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Old 03-18-2006, 01:21 AM
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Default What's with the new wheel bearings

Went to buy new wheel bearings for the trailer, the new ones have a black steel roller cage, looks like it is painted. On the old ones the cage looks like it is made of SS. Went to several stores, and ended up at a trailer manufacturer. Even the bearings he sold me had the black metal cages. This can't be good? What gives?
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Old 03-18-2006, 08:34 AM
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Default Re: What's with the new wheel bearings

I'll bet the ones you looked at were "made in China", or someplace else that doesn't have a clue about metallurgy. It's hard to find quality bearings, if not impossible. Same with tools. The Chinese will take over the world...first they flood the world with crappy tools, then they start a conflict. We try to produce items for the war, and all our crappy Chinese tools break. With their huge population, they just walk in.
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Old 03-18-2006, 08:52 AM
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Default RE: What's with the new wheel bearings

Isn't THT amazing. Ask a question about trailer bearings and before you know it we're at war with the Chinese.

I've never had a problem finding decent quality bearings(even Asian ones). Never seen the black ones you describe. I guess I'm spoiled because A couple of places I go to for boat and trailer parts have everything you would ever need. You could just about make your own trailer in the parts department at T.A. Mahoney in Tampa.
http://www.tamahoney.com/
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Old 03-18-2006, 11:26 AM
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Default Re: What's with the new wheel bearings

I have yet to find stainless steel bearings. The black finish is probably a black phosphate finish. What difference does the color make. I have seen bearings with plastic cages. The cage only holds everything together until it assembled.
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Old 03-18-2006, 09:58 PM
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Default Re: What's with the new wheel bearings

Actually, if plain cages don't hold up because of rust, you've got other problems. Stainless doesn't always machine well, and most stainless steels are not suitable for bearing races or balls/rollers. The problem with inferior bearings is they simply won't carry the loads and provide the service that quality bearings will. Remember in WW2 one of the prime targets was the German bearing plant at Schweinfurt..bearings make the world go 'round, and we don't manufacture as many as we usedta. So a boat trailer question rehashes WW2........
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Old 03-19-2006, 08:00 AM
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Default RE: What's with the new wheel bearings

Every new trailer I have purchased in the past ten years has had wheel bearings from China. I used to go out of my way to buy the equivalent Timken roller bearings at more than twice the cost. You can find them but the bearings from China seem to last just as long. With the through the spindle lube systems today, as long as your rear seals aregood and you keep them greased, the Chinese bearings should last for years.

This is not a cheer for China, just an observation.
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Old 03-20-2006, 09:36 AM
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Default Re: What's with the new wheel bearings

I work as a QAE for a bearing manufacture.

There are no stainless steel parts in a wheel bearing.
The black color is from a chemical coating that protects the metal from corrosion, it does not denote an inferior metal or product.

Even bearing that are stamped with "Made in USA" often have components made in China.
Can I list a 100% made in USA bearing..... no I can't. We sell Chinese parts (balls & rollers) to all the major bearing manufactures in the US.
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Old 03-20-2006, 01:13 PM
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Default Re: What's with the new wheel bearings

Billinstuart;

Have you taken a look at stainless tools recently (especially surgical stainless)? Seems that most of the "good" stuff, well machined, well finished, etc. is coming from Pakistan. Used to be India and [somewhere else I can't think of now - Indonesia?] Asian industry may trigger your racist attitude, but there's some pretty good stuff coming from the east now.

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