We have an elephant that just entered the room… you know me, I’m saying something! As our assault on quality parts continues, I can now only rely on specs of one brand of wheel bearings to be consistent enough for us to use on the GMC.
Before I get specific on this understand this is not the first part to become unuseable for us. Transmission filter kits… A long standing tried and true still built in America.. supposedly…. the ATP brand B-40 transmission filter will not consistently work in our 425 automatic transmission. Someone decided to size their pickup tube on the minimum side of their tolerance…. all that means the tube fits loose into the transmission causing air bypass starving the transmission for fluid. Ask me how I know? 2 good friends of mine I did work for found their transmissions slipping!!! Bad ATP ….. if I would have continued to use or simply not say anything about ATP brand trans filters I woul;d be part of the problem… I just can’t do that….. similar to when I found the original 4 bag air suspension system was not robust enough to stand up…. the quad bag system was then developed………
NOW, what this is all about…. after poling other folks I respect in the GMC community I find others have come to this conclusion …. here goes… for decades we have all agreed that our front “23set” front wheel bearings had to be Timken brand bearing sets. Why? Many people have attempted to be the guru and answer that question of which most of those explanations didn’t mean much to me…. I did however adopt using only Timken bearings in the unique front wheel bearing assembly.
Tempkin bearings are not sourced well for some reason in the south down here…. this wet world is owned by National brand bearings and Federal Mugul. Manufacturers reps are trained to explain their products are the best…. yeah how the ATP rep tried to make me believe that for the greater good their made their tubes on the trans filter too small!!!! yeah, that kinda stuff! Well, the BCA/Bower, Federal Mogul and National folks for years have been telling me that front wheel bearing thing was a myth…. OK but I’m doing this… I’m using Timken front bearings….. but the rear wheels really are nothing special, they eren’t much more than a tried and true tapered trailer bearing design setting the preload with the outer castle nut. Anyone can repair and replace those and many people make them. BCA/Bower, National and others having good availability here … we’ve been using those bearings for the rear. We have been buying and having front Timken wheel bearing sets sent to us by Jim K. at Applied GMC in California…. It was lass money to buy them from Jim K. and have them shipped to me here than buying them locally! Hey, distribution is what it is…..
If you’re on Facebook you have followed the saga of Ross and his flaming wheel bearings. Hey, we put those bearing on! Now it’s that we are a stupid as a rock screwing up installing really simple rear wheel bearings….. 2 times on Rosses coach…… or something is going on with our wheel bearing supply!!! No other excuse unless you wanna say Valvoline synthetic grease sucks!
So here’s the outcome of this scientific test….. We will now import Tempkin rear inner.. outer and seals for our rear wheels…. I will scream this to anyone that will listen. We are making a rescue mission to Louisiana next week to replace all of Rosses rear wheel bearings with Tempkin bearings and drive his coach to his house in Texas. This cannot happen again guys… boycott any wheel bearing other than Tempkin and if they say they have to order it and that the bearing they have will work fine… insist… pay more… wait for it but do NOT use any rear or front wheel bearing on your GMC Motorhome other than the Timken brand bearing. Hey, it may take me a while but when I get something…. I get it!
Here are some other “don’t do” when it comes to parts for your GMC as far as I’m concerned:
o Any water thermostat than a Robertshaw….. You want to restrict the water flow in the system to keep it in the radiator longer… those are free flow (no restriction) thermostats… plus thie stands are too weak!
o Radiator recores must have 14 fins per inch. A rating for the cooling capacity we need the increased fins.
o Rear shocks can be either Bilstein or KYB brand. Charged backwards those are the only shocks that are.
o You must replace all of your brake hardware and adjuster kits when doing a rear brake job.
o You must use riveted (462RR) rear brake shoes.. not bonded
o You must replace the inner CV bolts if they are taken out. These are one use bolts and will not retighten to 75fp.
o We’ve talked about the ATP trans filter deal
o We’re now aware of using only Timken wheel bearings
o The only company it seems that makes fan clutches is Hayden… Delco is made by Hayden! Use a Hayden 2747 “heavy duty” fan clutch and replace it often… the story of all new parts
Hey and there are more! only use Delco ignition parts…. had a pickup dead out of the box…. Standard branded!
Where does this end! I don’t have the luxury to sit back and let other hash things out… I’m in the front line… I need to make a move ! It ultimately falls back on us.. we inspected and packed the bearings will with good grease.. they failed.! When you come here… inspecting your rear wheel bearings if they are perfect looking but not Tempkin, I am replacing them! If you don’t know how old your Tempkin bearings are.. they too will be replaced. These parts are too cheap to let go and too cheap to not put in the best you can get!
I have now completely learned the lesson on rear wheel bearings and I hope some of this crap rubs off on your thoughts… I will take care of Rosses sorrows, it’s out responsibility and I will tear every bearing company a new butt down here in Florida. I need to get hold of the Timken rep and become a direct dealer!
This is as important to me as Firs Fight Products was. What… you’re riding around in a 40 year old made up campfire looking for a match? What? Go to www.firefightproducts.com and fix this one too!
Lastly on this, let me put it all in perspective, more and more parts manufacturers are “grouping” parts manufacture using that volume to find more cost effective suppliers…. China and others unfortunately because of their business practices have eroded both the price and quality of the parts we need to rely upon,,,, standing at a rally, telling lies and kicking tires we laugh about this but guys… this is where the rubber meats the road! We need to pick and choose to find better than accepted quality critical parts. I do think some dude overseas made a bad production run and we got some of them. I do have still some confidence in our parts suppliers… we HAVE to… this is where we get parts and we need to be choosy now. On bearings, keep a record of your bearing temps each time you stop. If you don’t know the age or brand of your rear wheel bearings, guys please just replace them with Tempkin bearings. The part numbers are readily available. If your local parts house tries to substitute to any brand than a Timken, call us, call Jim K., call you regular parts sources and get the Timken replacements or call one of the GMC dealers in your community… we all use them!
One more subject on this is the rear seal clearance issue. I do know about proper seal clearance and if we saw a greasy brake place on the wheel I would totally agree. There’s no grease but still, I hope buying Timken we will be getting good parts. Thanks Ross for that thought….
Yeah, a boring post today…. tell ya what….. give me a little and I’ll put up some stuff…. be right back…..
OK… that was important but lets move on…… Good News…. The GM 6.5Turbo-diesel Explorer II GMC motorhome has found a new home. Yes, it’s going on the road! A beautiful machine anyway the previous owner purchased the coach from Explorer Vans … is 1 of 40 coaches “frame off” built by those folks before figuring out they were loosing money. Anew cabinets and everything in 1996, that’s why they called it Explorer II. AND.. as if that wasn’t enough…. we just installed the 6.5 GM design AMGeneral Hum V mechanical injected turbo-diesel power plant.. a super strong Manny Trans with a 273 gear. And if THAT wasn’t enough, the coach was fitted with a 2 cylinder, water cooled Marine application Kubota diesel generator!!!! All NEW.. not rebuilt… NEW motors! The Hum V motor is JAN spec.. will work after the effects of a neutron bomb! Wwwwhaaaatttt!. Wat a coach, John awesome machine. Stay tuned as we do a few things to finish the coach off. We’re ordering in some “2pound sheet good” as insulation… stay tuned for that…
John will get new rear Timken wheel bearings and seals……
“Rock the Alps” is on the road. Yesterday I d the first of any test drives.
Oh yeah, we’ll be installing new Timken rear wheel bearings in the coach too!
I’ll run it around this week… stay tuned….
Well.. got a bit into it about those bearings and every other crap part poured out on me! Sometimes feels like it never ends! Anyway, tell your friends about Timken bearings and to check the bearings you have. China is infiltrating…….
See ya tomorrow……
Tempkin or Timken?
Timken. I use them on all my vehicles.