Replacing Front Hub Assembly



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Thread: Replacing Front Hub Assembly

  1. #1
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    Replacing Front Hub Assembly

    At almost 180,000 miles my van's front wheel bearings are finally going bad, so I need to replace them. I looked in the Chrylser manual and it seems fairly easy to do. Are there any potential problems that I should be aware of before doing the job. I am going with Timken parts.

    Thanks.
    Current Cars:
    2004 Chrysler Town and Country 3.3, 227,000 miles
    2004 Chrysler Concorde 90,000 miles
    2008 Chevy Malibu 79,000 miles

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    Timken, a wise choice. The only issues with doing this are stuck bolts. Just make sure to not strip the 4 bolts that hold the hub in and you are good to go. The axle nut can be a bear without a breaker bar too, but its fairly obvious how to get that off. Just lots of muscle while someone is stepping on the brakes.
    Candy the van. '98 Sport 3.8L 132,200 miles. Used trans at ~96k. Great piece of my life and a fine van.

    '69 GTO drop top
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    when I did my Mazda, the axle nut came off easy, but the axle did not.
    I was replacing the original axles.
    There was no way the axle was coming out.
    I eventually cut the axle close to the hub, took everything apart, and put the assembly in a bucket with penetrating fluid.
    It came apart after soaking a few days and a mallet.

    One old trick is to to spray with fluid, take the nut off, and move the car a few feet to loosen the axle. (this did not help me)

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    Be very careful when buying Timken hubs. I don't know what they're trying to pull now, but I ordered the Timken hubs from Rock Auto this summer. They came in the black and orange box the way genuine Timken hubs are supposed to. When I unwrapped the hubs and carefully inspected them, I saw printing on the back side of the bearing itself. It says SKF and made in Spain. Is Timken selling out? It looks like a cheaper made hub than I would expect from Timken, so I wonder if they are outsourcing some of their manufacturing now?
    DAN(husband of member STEPHANIE)

    2000 Chrysler Town & Country Limited - Dark Charcoal Metallic with chrome trim, taupe leather interior, loaded. In need of rust repair on rockers and liftgate. Now enjoying the new family mommy-mobile!

    Knowledge can never be wisdom without experience.
    "Your experience is a commodity."
    "Opportunity is not a lengthy visitor."
    DRIVE = LOVE

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    Quote Originally Posted by Consultant View Post
    At almost 180,000 miles my van's front wheel bearings are finally going bad, so I need to replace them. I looked in the Chrylser manual and it seems fairly easy to do. Are there any potential problems that I should be aware of before doing the job. I am going with Timken parts.

    Thanks.
    The axle nuts should come off oK unless they have been overly tightened with an impact wrench at some time. Torque required: 185 ft. lbs.
    The 4 hub nuts are a little hard to get at. Long sockets help. The ABS line will be in the way so a bracket bolt has to be undone there.
    Moving the wheels back and forth as you work, will likely cause power steering fluid to spill, from the reservoir, and air may get in the system.
    Rather than remove the caliper, remove the bracket with the caliper on it, if like mine (I have front and rear discs - A Teves system. You may have the TRW brake system if you have rear drums).
    Last edited by Jeepman; 12-06-2011 at 09:15 AM.
    2007 GC SXT - Magnesium - S&G - 3.8L - 112,920 kms
    2002 GC Sport - Stone White - 3.3L - 311,200 kms
    2003 Jeep TJ Sport - 4.0L - 251,430 kms

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    Consultant (12-08-2011)

  9. #6
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    Welcome to the new world of global companies.
    You should have contqacted them and asked them what is going on.
    I put Bendix rotors on my Mazda a while ago and they had a South American companies name on them.
    Turns out it was a reputable and respected company but that is how things are going now.

    Quote Originally Posted by Road Ripper View Post
    Be very careful when buying Timken hubs. I don't know what they're trying to pull now, but I ordered the Timken hubs from Rock Auto this summer. They came in the black and orange box the way genuine Timken hubs are supposed to. When I unwrapped the hubs and carefully inspected them, I saw printing on the back side of the bearing itself. It says SKF and made in Spain. Is Timken selling out? It looks like a cheaper made hub than I would expect from Timken, so I wonder if they are outsourcing some of their manufacturing now?

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    I wasn't about to return heavy parts like that and pay shipping, and with the other things going on in my life then, I couldn't afford the time to complain. Besides, I already marked them up by switching studs in them, and the recessed stud head design of the flange enabled me to use a common stud to safely use spacers for my 3rd gen chrome wheels to clear the big 4th gen brakes. A little note here, the 3rd gen and 4th gen vans use the exact same front hub assembly (if 5x114.3 bolt pattern).

    I'd researched Timken hubs before (a few years ago) when looking for hubs for our Grand Prix. That car uses expensive hubs. I replaced them @60k for $220 with SKF units (and that was a good price for those hubs). Only a few years later, @100k the hubs were already shot! I found out Timkens were better, so searched for those. I read online that Timken made 2 levels of hubs, and the cheap ones were packed in white boxes so that other companies could put their label on them. They would have outsourced parts in them and not be 100% quality Timken. The authentic, 100% Timken bearings are packed in a black and orange box with their name printed on the actual box/cardboard. That is the ones that I received. The Grand Prix hubs are/were the good Timken units back then. I have to replace one again, but only because the ABS sensor wire broke because I installed it in freezing cold weather a couple years ago.

    So, based on my previous experience I went with genuine Timken once again, and was willing to pay a little more for the quality. If I had known they were using SKF bearings, I would have just ordered SKF hubs, saved some money and resigned myself to having to replace them a little more frequently. Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

    Edit: Here's a pic of the backside of the Timken hub, showing the SKF printing on the bearing:


    Here's the box and the hubs with Ford Taurus studs in one of the hubs. Here you can see the back of the flange is different from OEM design:
    Last edited by Road Ripper; 12-05-2011 at 07:56 PM. Reason: Adding pic.

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    Consultant (12-08-2011)

  12. #8
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    Thanks for all the suggestions. The parts should arrive tomorrow or Thursday. I'll report back on how it went.
    Current Cars:
    2004 Chrysler Town and Country 3.3, 227,000 miles
    2004 Chrysler Concorde 90,000 miles
    2008 Chevy Malibu 79,000 miles

  13. #9
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    My timken hubs just arrived. They both are in the orange and black boxes. One of them has no writing on the bearing and its box says made in the United States. The other one has SKF printed on the bearing and the box doesn't say made in the United States. I didn't even get a matching set!
    Current Cars:
    2004 Chrysler Town and Country 3.3, 227,000 miles
    2004 Chrysler Concorde 90,000 miles
    2008 Chevy Malibu 79,000 miles

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    Road Ripper (12-08-2011)

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    Wow. Well, that's good to know for future reference. You can see in my picture above, the box does say made in the USA. I wonder if they are making the body and flange castings, machining, and then assembling with SKF bearings? Otherwise the made in USA is a lie!

    I just installed one of my hubs in the van last night and it's quiet, but who knows how long it will last. I guess they are supposed to be changed every 60k miles, so even though the SKF may last that long, it still may not last as long as a true Timken. Good enough to meet OEM specs, and that's about it. Thank you for the informative update.
    DAN(husband of member STEPHANIE)

    2000 Chrysler Town & Country Limited - Dark Charcoal Metallic with chrome trim, taupe leather interior, loaded. In need of rust repair on rockers and liftgate. Now enjoying the new family mommy-mobile!

    Knowledge can never be wisdom without experience.
    "Your experience is a commodity."
    "Opportunity is not a lengthy visitor."
    DRIVE = LOVE

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