Help choosing the right HUB bearing assembly
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Cadillac Escalade, EXT and ESV Forum - 1999 - 2006 Discussion, Help choosing the right HUB bearing assembly in Cadillac Escalade Forums; I am looking for some advise on what hub assembly to get, I know you usually get what you pay ...
  1. #1
    CaddyEscalade is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Help choosing the right HUB bearing assembly

    I am looking for some advise on what hub assembly to get, I know you usually get what you pay for, but since the price difference is so drastic I am not sure what to do. I phoned 2 different local auto parts stores and both gave me similar pricing. They have 2 different hubs, one is $150.00/each and the other is $280.00/each. The cheaper one made in China and the more expensive one in the USA, was all they told me was the difference. Since I want to buy 2, that is a considerable amount of money. WHat to do?

    Thanks!

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    wake's Avatar
    wake is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Help choosing the right HUB bearing assembly

    I'd go with the USA made hubs. Are they a brand name like TRW or Timken?

    I bought cheap eBay hubs before that were made in China. On the two vehicles I installed them they didn't last 10K miles before I was replacing them again after failing inspection for bad hubs.

    I'd rather pay double than risk having to do the job a second or third time.

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    jnrsesv is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Help choosing the right HUB bearing assembly

    I can't remember what brand I purchased through NAPA a couple years ago but it was around $120.00 and made in the USA.

    I have to agree go with the "made in America" bearings.

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    the cadillac man's Avatar
    the cadillac man is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    I agree also as I had to replace one on my previous car and the us made bearings are best

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    CaddyEscalade is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Thanks for all the advice. I am all for supporting USA made products, but we are talking about twice the price. Is it twice the product? Just cause something is made in china doesn't always mean its inferior. The iPhone is made in china.

    I want to buy the more expensive ones for peace of mind, but common sense is telling me that there is no major difference between the 2. I'm sure each product must meet the same testing and quality control acceptance before being accepted.

  7. #6
    wake's Avatar
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    Re: Help choosing the right HUB bearing assembly

    Quote Originally Posted by CaddyEscalade View Post
    Thanks for all the advice. I am all for supporting USA made products, but we are talking about twice the price. Is it twice the product? Just cause something is made in china doesn't always mean its inferior. The iPhone is made in china.

    I want to buy the more expensive ones for peace of mind, but common sense is telling me that there is no major difference between the 2. I'm sure each product must meet the same testing and quality control acceptance before being accepted.
    It isn't just about supporting USA made products, I want to support the USA just like the next guy. Quality is the driver for me and likely most of the others who are giving you advice about buying the USA branded/made part. The TRW or MOOG part could also very well be made in China but most likely the part that goes into the TRW branded box has more strict quality controls that it must meet before it can go into that box. The ones that fail say TRW's likely more rigid QC might just be going into one of those, 'white box' brand containers.

    Sometimes when you see price differences between similar products there is nothing to them other than paying for a name. In this case the parts you choose might also be a safety issue. Maybe a cheap Chinese product might be OK for your power window motor, I'd have to be desperate though to trust them to something that might affect my safety.

    Also take a look at the real cost of using a cheaper and possibly inferior product. Will you be replacing these yourself or will you be paying a shop to do the work? Paying the labor may make the cheaper product more expensive in the end. Or you pay in your time if you have to do the job twice.

    I've been left stranded in the past by inferior parts when I was younger and didn't have the money to buy OEM replacements. One time was dangerous as I had a chain store master cylinder fail on me within between 2 weeks to a month. Luckily it was while pulling into the garage so I was able to use the e-brake to stop the car before I hit the wall. If it had failed 10 brake applications prior to that when I was moving at 70+ mph on the highway it might have ended very badly.

    And sometimes even the quality brands lose their luster over time. I had an Optima battery fail on me 50 miles from home and left me stranded. That expensive battery that was supposed to be a recommended and trusted name cost me about $250 and a day and a half of a wasted weekend as I had to get the Escalade towed at 11pm, get a rental car from the airport, go back 50 miles the next day in weekend traffic to return the rental car and retrieve my truck. I'm on my last ever Optima battery in the Corvette only because it was a warranty exchange (it failed too). Once I'm out of warranty and that one fails there will never be another Optima under the hood of any of my vehicles again. I also upped my AAA plan to the Premium level in case I'm ever left stranded far from home again as they'll tow me up to 200 miles. To have the Escalade towed home from 50 miles away would have cost me $400 as a flatbed isn't cheap.

    In the end it is your vehicle, your money, your time, and your peace of mind involved. Make your choice based on those things.

    Just remember though based on your last post about, 'twice the price' that these cheaper bearings may in the end not only cost you what the USA branded bearings do, but maybe more if you have to pay in money or time to do them a second time. Two of my vehicles with cheaper Chinese bearings both required replacement within 10K miles. Both instances cost me a lot of time not only to change them out again but one of the vehicles also required a trip to the tire shop for an alignment, another half day gone there. Don't only think of cost as what you pay today, consider what it may cost you tomorrow as well.

    And I'll leave you with a final thought that I learned to take into consideration after 25+ years of maintaining/repairing my own vehicles. Look at the inconvenience and personal safety factor when choosing your replacement parts. Will this cheap part possibly leave you or your wife stranded if it fails? Is the part easy or cheap to change out so you can justify taking a gamble on a cheaper substitute? Take for instance the starter and alternator. On our Escalades it is easy to change out and therefore I'll take a chance (and I have) on a chain store brand with a lifetime warranty. On my STS, my Audi, my Aurora though I'll only stick to OEM for replacements because I want to minimize the chance I'll have to do the job a second time.

    Sorry this was so long winded. I just hate to see people make decisions based on cost today only to find out it cost them more in the end.
    jnrsesv likes this.

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    CaddyEscalade is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Well said! Thank you, I'm convinced the cheaper one is the way to go. Haha just kidding, I'm going either GM or the USA branded expensive one. Now the next question is how easy of a repair is this. I need to find out what size socket I need, the torque specs and if I need a puller.

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    the cadillac man's Avatar
    the cadillac man is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Now I am a USA built supporter as much as the next guy(leave the apple products out of this)
    But I also have been stranded by getting the cheapy parts

    I had Walmart batteries leave me stranded due to bad cell in almost everyone of my vehicles
    I put a optioma red top in my truck and only had one fail(it was a defective battery and had a bad cell from day one) the replacement hasn't gave me a issue but you do have to have a special charger for them and follow the charging instructions or you will ruin them quickly

    I only got a cheapie bearing for my previous car as I wasn't keeping it long and didn't want to spend a lot of money on it

    Now my truck is a different story I go to the dealer for my parts now and find the oem parts a lot better built then aftermarket parts(quality control is one) and haven't had a problem out of any of the parts I got

    The only aftermarket parts I have on my truck is my rear shocks but even they are from a company here in the us

  10. #9
    jnrsesv is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Help choosing the right HUB bearing assembly

    Well stated wake!

    I was in vacation when I replaced ours in the parking lot of our hotel. I bought inexpensive tools (sorry can't remember) and used the truck jack. It took twenty minutes.

    In other words very easy replacement, if you can change brake pads then can easily replace the wheel bearing.

  11. #10
    wake's Avatar
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    Re: Help choosing the right HUB bearing assembly

    Quote Originally Posted by jnrsesv View Post
    Well stated wake!

    I was in vacation when I replaced ours in the parking lot of our hotel. I bought inexpensive tools (sorry can't remember) and used the truck jack. It took twenty minutes.

    In other words very easy replacement, if you can change brake pads when can easily replace the wheel bearing.
    Wow! You got lucky there. I've done about 8 sets of bearings on different vehicles, I've never done one in 20 minutes! Are you by chance 2WD?

    Usually I need to break out the plumbing torch to melt the Loctite on the hub bolts before I can remove them, then I need about 4 different combinations of sockets and extensions to work around the half shaft on the front. I think about an hour is my record on a from scratch job before.

  12. #11
    jnrsesv is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Help choosing the right HUB bearing assembly

    hee hee nope wake. Ours is '05 AWD, what probably helped out is it is a completely southern vehicle, absolutely zero rust or corrosion.

    And seriously I was drinking beers while I did the job!

  13. #12
    the cadillac man's Avatar
    the cadillac man is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by jnrsesv
    hee hee nope wake. Ours is '05 AWD, what probably helped out is it is a completely southern vehicle, absolutely zero rust or corrosion.

    And seriously I was drinking beers while I did the job!
    I agree with you there a southern vehicle has less rust then northern vehicles

  14. #13
    axe
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    Re: Help choosing the right HUB bearing assembly

    If you don't mind buying online you could check out Rock Auto, they sell OEM Delco hubs for about $215.

  15. #14
    the cadillac man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by axe
    If you don't mind buying online you could check out Rock Auto, they sell OEM Delco hubs for about $215.
    I agree

  16. #15
    wesyder's Avatar
    wesyder is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Quote Originally Posted by jnrsesv
    hee hee nope wake. Ours is '05 AWD, what probably helped out is it is a completely southern vehicle, absolutely zero rust or corrosion.

    And seriously I was drinking beers while I did the job!
    Yeah its not a bad job at all

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