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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter #1
Had the shop install the new tyre I bought for the XS400. He went to balance it, but the wheel bearings were shot.
I bought them November 014 and installed them. Have the two old ones and the receipt in my hand. They are 6302 bearings by RB Tech. rbibearing.com
Just checked their sight. US owned company with a manufacturing plant in China.
I had told the BC Bearing guy not to give me any bearings made in China. It could be a US company, or anywhere else, and they are still made in China.
This is not good. I rode this bike for 6 months last winter, and not every day.

I will be phoning RB bearing and BC Bearing. Unfortunately the mechanic dude chucked the faulty bearings.

Unkle Crusty*
 

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Nightfly
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As it is with most things, it's about the money, i.e., profit, and bearing are no different. American companies have long been about their shareholders. The shareholders want a positive return on their investment, "show me a profit I'll show you my money," don't care so much about the quality. To increase their profits they either move overseas to produce a cheaper product or limit innovation funding and produce a sub-par product that sells on its "Made in USA" badge.

While China, Taiwan and other countries are making cheap stuff for us, Japan, Germany, Sweden and other countries are innovating and progressing ahead with superior technology and greater innovation. Meanwhile, "Made in the USA" is losing its luster.
 

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True, but that's just part of the story. It's okay to be about the money, and about profits. It's NOT okay not to care about quality. These companies - and by extension, most of our country as a whole - are being penny wise and pound foolish, going for instant gratification. Companies that EMPHASIZE quality and value are those that are successful in the LONG run.

Unfortunately, U.S. business has followed the trend of U.S. society: instant gratification, with little thought to long term success - or consequences.

As it is with most things, it's about the money, i.e., profit, and bearing are no different. American companies have long been about their shareholders. The shareholders want a positive return on their investment, "show me a profit I'll show you my money," don't care so much about the quality. To increase their profits they either move overseas to produce a cheaper product or limit innovation funding and produce a sub-par product that sells on its "Made in USA" badge.

While China, Taiwan and other countries are making cheap stuff for us, Japan, Germany, Sweden and other countries are innovating and progressing ahead with superior technology and greater innovation. Meanwhile, "Made in the USA" is losing its luster.
 

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Shaper Of All Things Metal
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One thing I've found with most sealed bearings is the lack of lubrication put in them... basically enough to keep them from rusting. This isn't a new thing, been seeing it in my shop for at least twenty years. It's easy enough to pop the seal, add some grease and pop the seal back in place, increasing the life of bearings dramatically.
 

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Nightfly
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4,412 Posts
True, but that's just part of the story. It's okay to be about the money, and about profits. It's NOT okay not to care about quality. These companies - and by extension, most of our country as a whole - are being penny wise and pound foolish, going for instant gratification. Companies that EMPHASIZE quality and value are those that are successful in the LONG run.

Unfortunately, U.S. business has followed the trend of U.S. society: instant gratification, with little thought to long term success - or consequences.
I don't disagree but, when there is no competition and everyone is making inferior products, what is the incentive to be better? American auto companies were putting our crap for quality in the 60's, it was the advent of the Japanese, and to some extent the German's that forced our companies to make a higher quality vehicle. And if you check closely you'll find that "Made in America" doesn't mean what we might think it means.

There is a loophole in the “small print” of the Made in the USA specifications by the 40-page list of rules set by the Federal Trade Commission. The FTC rules state that a product has to be “all or virtually all made in the USA” to be labeled as such. Virtually all? What does that mean? As long as a product is assembled and the cost of making the product was put on the United States, then it can be considered “Made in America.” Even if a car was manufactured in the United States, a cars internal parts, such as the engine or other types of technology could be manufactured in Japan, and the car would still be able to claim it was “Made in the USA.”Additionally companies can make something called a “qualified claim” if a product was made in several different countries including the United States. All a company has to do is list which parts were made in the U.S. and which parts weren’t. If the label of the product says “Made in USA from imported parts,” that’s legitimate for the FTC. The FTC also has a list of exempt companies and products that don’t have to be all made in the USA,

Least we forget, the word virtually means nearly, almost, hence the loophole.
 

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American Legion Rider
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One thing I've found with most sealed bearings is the lack of lubrication put in them... basically enough to keep them from rusting. This isn't a new thing, been seeing it in my shop for at least twenty years. It's easy enough to pop the seal, add some grease and pop the seal back in place, increasing the life of bearings dramatically.
It's been going on since 1988 in fact and I had proof with a brand new wheel bearing installed and I got about 15 miles away from a dealer and it started throwing sparks. Meaning there couldn't have been anything but dried hint of grease in that SEALED bearing. JERKS!
 

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This piqued my interest as I have just replaced my bearings with All Balls bearings. Googled "all balls usa made?" and lots of info came up.

Just random stuff I found on this discussion. Best advice seemed is to take out the originals and take them to a bearing store to get the good stuff. Also be aware that a USA name like Timken does not guarantee US manufacture, so look all over the bearing components for anything that is not USA. When you order them from a parts store NAPA may have more of a chance than some of the box parts stores. Some of the older stuff with not much demand for replacements may be made in China regardless because USA manufacturer cannot afford to re-tool the machines for short runs.
It is getting so bad that the race can be from one country and the other parts may come from somewhere else. I worked on an assembly line piecework for a time and got blamed when the stator of a well pump was failing because of end play. I was installing a snap ring in the pump shaft and they were not always staying in. I did notice that the guy placing stators in the housings hit the unit with a tremendous blow....not two blows but just one... to seat the bearing in the motor case.

I got with the QC inspector and asked him to inspect my assemblies to make sure that all snap rings were in the groove and still some failures happened.
Long story short was that some of the snap rings did not grip as tight as they should, cave man hitting one blow instead of two, and I did not get fired. This might explain how things happen when each event of manufacture happens in so many countries each with their Go-No-Go [gauge] of manufacture. Put a loose bearing in a tight race and all may be good, but it may be a crap shoot as to what you get...:frown:
 

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The 43rd Poser
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440 Posts
Unfortunately the mechanic dude chucked the faulty bearings.
Why would he do that?

If they truly were faulty, and I assume he is the one that told you they were, it would seem he would want you to have them.

Without, it is just empty words.

Corpus evidentiae.
 

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American Legion Rider
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23,542 Posts
Why would he do that?

If they truly were faulty, and I assume he is the one that told you they were, it would seem he would want you to have them.

Without, it is just empty words.

Corpus evidentiae.
Yep. My first thought was they probably were not bad or you have the same ones and he just said he changed them. Where's to proof in other words. Just sounded strange.
 

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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter #10
Proof.

Yep. My first thought was they probably were not bad or you have the same ones and he just said he changed them. Where's to proof in other words. Just sounded strange.
I was there. He gave me a call, I went in the shop, stuck my finger in each bearing and said: there stuffed, you will not be able to balance this.
We then went to the parts department, girl located a set and ordered them.
Having shown me the faulty bearings, he probably saw no reason to keep them.

I had the shop install them instead of doing it myself. The extra time and ferry trips for me, made it more practical for them to do the job. I also checked the new bearings and the seal.

Products like wheel bearings require a certain standard of quality, regardless of where they are made. There had been a steady improvement in quality all over starting in the early 80s. Then Europe came out with the ISO90 standard which was great. But with this China crap we are stepping backwards hugely. It will run its course. I sometimes think the politicians have their fingers in the pie. No decent company, other than Chinese, wants to be known for making crap.

I just fired up my 70s vintage Ampzilla and Advent. They had been in storage for several years. Both made in the US. The RCA speakers are from 1971. Traded a bike for them. Guy worked for RCA. Bike for his wife.

Unkle Crusty*
 

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True, but that's just part of the story. It's okay to be about the money, and about profits. It's NOT okay not to care about quality. These companies - and by extension, most of our country as a whole - are being penny wise and pound foolish, going for instant gratification. Companies that EMPHASIZE quality and value are those that are successful in the LONG run.
I don't know about that.

I had a debate with a hardware store owner (and friend) about some of the cheap tools he carried. I said that it would be good to carry a few quality tools as well as the cheap ones and he said if there was a ten cent difference in price, the quality tool would sit on the shelf for many years while the cheap ones sold out time and time again. That was nearly 30 years ago!!!!

It is the consumer, in the end, who determines what sells and what doesn't.
 

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So I checked the old saved bearing that was possibly the original 30,000 mile stamped NTM 6304 LTU. It appears that you can order them from Amazon, but the local Honda dealer sells by internet and an internet discount. If you consider that timken bearings are not all USA made, I would hope that the NTM are made in Japan as it says on the box.

The local Troy OH dealer is a nice ride away and that ride gets you free shipping, so that is the path I should have chosen. I am assuming of course that 'Made in Japan" means what it says. Also, one side of these bearings are open so they can be greased...
 

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This piqued my interest as I have just replaced my bearings with All Balls bearings. Googled "all balls usa made?" and lots of info came up.

Just random stuff I found on this discussion. Best advice seemed is to take out the originals and take them to a bearing store to get the good stuff. Also be aware that a USA name like Timken does not guarantee US manufacture, so look all over the bearing components for anything that is not USA. When you order them from a parts store NAPA may have more of a chance than some of the box parts stores. Some of the older stuff with not much demand for replacements may be made in China regardless because USA manufacturer cannot afford to re-tool the machines for short runs.
It is getting so bad that the race can be from one country and the other parts may come from somewhere else. I worked on an assembly line piecework for a time and got blamed when the stator of a well pump was failing because of end play. I was installing a snap ring in the pump shaft and they were not always staying in. I did notice that the guy placing stators in the housings hit the unit with a tremendous blow....not two blows but just one... to seat the bearing in the motor case.

I got with the QC inspector and asked him to inspect my assemblies to make sure that all snap rings were in the groove and still some failures happened.
Long story short was that some of the snap rings did not grip as tight as they should, cave man hitting one blow instead of two, and I did not get fired. This might explain how things happen when each event of manufacture happens in so many countries each with their Go-No-Go [gauge] of manufacture. Put a loose bearing in a tight race and all may be good, but it may be a crap shoot as to what you get...:frown:
I haven't had any problems with all balls from wheel bearings to steering neck bearings.
 

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Nightfly
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4,412 Posts
I don't know about that.

I had a debate with a hardware store owner (and friend) about some of the cheap tools he carried. I said that it would be good to carry a few quality tools as well as the cheap ones and he said if there was a ten cent difference in price, the quality tool would sit on the shelf for many years while the cheap ones sold out time and time again. That was nearly 30 years ago!!!!

It is the consumer, in the end, who determines what sells and what doesn't.
Agree Dianne, it is always the consumer who determines what sells and what doesn't. Look at the rise of Harbor Freight, mostly crap for sale. But as long as you don't mind, they don't mind. I go by the local Harbor Freight store and the parking lot is always filled. Most consumers seem to want cheap over quality. Not so for the professional mechanic. Of course there are always those who just won't settle for crap in their toolbox. I once bought a hammer there, it still works.
 

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One thing I've found with most sealed bearings is the lack of lubrication put in them... basically enough to keep them from rusting. This isn't a new thing, been seeing it in my shop for at least twenty years. It's easy enough to pop the seal, add some grease and pop the seal back in place, increasing the life of bearings dramatically.
There used to be a thing called Grease fittings. You don't see too many of them anymore, but you hear more and more people having to replace wheel bearings more often then they should have. Wonder what company will be smart enough to bring them back....

oh, wait, those are for ball joints...eh, even I mess up my parts now and then.... but sure would be nice if ball joints came with grease fittings.....
 

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That is a good point.

If U.S. consumers are buying cheap crap by choice, when quality options are available, that sorta falls back to the "instant gratification" thing where they would rather spend $10 for something that works once or twice then breaks, instead of $20 for something that would give them a hundred uses and keep going.

In that case, we get what we deserve.

Getting what we deserve is what made the United States great. It is also what is destroying the United States today.

I don't know about that.

I had a debate with a hardware store owner (and friend) about some of the cheap tools he carried. I said that it would be good to carry a few quality tools as well as the cheap ones and he said if there was a ten cent difference in price, the quality tool would sit on the shelf for many years while the cheap ones sold out time and time again. That was nearly 30 years ago!!!!

It is the consumer, in the end, who determines what sells and what doesn't.
 

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Shaper Of All Things Metal
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2,799 Posts
There used to be a thing called Grease fittings. You don't see too many of them anymore, but you hear more and more people having to replace wheel bearings more often then they should have.
Inspecting and repacking wheel bearings used to be a regular maintenance item. Grease used to 'dry out' and harden with centrifugal force having forced the grease away from the balls or rollers. Pull off an old bearing and you can see the separation. Maybe modern lubricants don't do this as readily? Thus not recommended as frequently?

I drilled and tapped every trailer hub I've owned for grease fittings so I could give them a shot or two of grease between inspections. Never lost a bearing.

For sealed bearings a needle with a zerk (grease fitting) attached is available which allows lubing of sealed bearings by slipping the needle under the edge of the seal. Very effective in prolonging bearing life on ag equipment.
 

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American Legion Rider
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For sealed bearings a needle with a zerk (grease fitting) attached is available which allows lubing of sealed bearings by slipping the needle under the edge of the seal. Very effective in prolonging bearing life on ag equipment.
And yet people fail to do it. Just saw a guy yesterday when I was buying oil at the tractor shop bring in a bearing off his rake that didn't look like it ever had grease in it. His excuse was it was hard to get to. I didn't ask but I wondered to myself, any worse than having down time and the trouble it took to replace it? Idiot!!!
 

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Gone.
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When it comes to tools I don't think it's always just a matter of people choosing the cheap import over the well made more expensive tool. Sometimes it's a matter of economy of use, and it's not always the wise choice to invest in the better American made tool. The average home user doesn't need a $150 Snap-On ratchet in his garage when the $15.00 tool will do.

For example: I bought a pipe bender from HF about ten years ago that I used for one thing, and I may only use it one or two more times in my life. It did the job fine and I would have been foolish to buy a more expensive one for it to sit in the corner and not get used. I've also got a secondary tool box and tool cart that have held up just fine, but were a LOT cheaper then the Matco ones. I can probably find several other examples of things in my shop that didn't need to be top of the line so I saved quite a few coins by buying lesser made items, and they preformed okay.

Obviously, there are other situations where I have purchased the best I could afford, or the best that's made, and that quality has paid for itself numerous times over. But I, for one, am glad that I have options when it comes to shopping around for various tools. I'd hate to be limited to top name quality and price when it's not something I need.

It's just a shame that American manufacturers can't offer a made-in-the-USA line of tools that are more competitively priced for the occasional user.
 

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Shaper Of All Things Metal
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When it comes to tools I don't think it's always just a matter of people choosing the cheap import over the well made more expensive tool. Sometimes it's a matter of economy of use, and it's not always the wise choice to invest in the better American made tool.

I can probably find several other examples of things in my shop that didn't need to be top of the line so I saved quite a few coins by buying lesser made items, and they preformed okay.

Obviously, there are other situations where I have purchased the best I could afford, or the best that's made, and that quality has paid for itself numerous times over. But I, for one, am glad that I have options when it comes to shopping around for various tools. I'd hate to be limited to top name quality and price when it's not something I need.

It's just a shame that American manufacturers can't offer a made-in-the-USA line of tools that are more competitively priced for the occasional user.
^^^^ I agree completely with this having practiced the same thing over the years. In a small job shop, jobs come along one or two times you will never see again. It's just not practical to buy a tool costing four times as much as a cheaper one that will get the job done and then hang on the wall unused for years.



And yet people fail to do it. Just saw a guy yesterday when I was buying oil at the tractor shop bring in a bearing off his rake that didn't look like it ever had grease in it. His excuse was it was hard to get to. I didn't ask but I wondered to myself, any worse than having down time and the trouble it took to replace it? Idiot!!!

You would not believe how often a customer would bring in a repair job where it was obvious it hadn't seen grease since it left the factory, yet it will be covered with fresh grease they just pumped into or on it to make it look like they had been lubing it. Same with gearboxes let run dry, full of shavings and ground up gears and FRESH gear oil! Always pointed it out to them, too, AND charged extra to clean off the NEW grease they slathered all over it just to save face.
 
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