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Scion xA/xB 1st-Gen Suspension & Handling Coilovers, Shocks, Airbags, Swaybars...

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Old 10-20-2008, 12:23 AM   #1
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Default xB1 rear wheel bearings.

Looks like it is time to do the rear wheel bearings on my '04. Hums like aggressive tires on the OEM rubber with no cupping. 60,000 miles, pleh, this is a Toyota?

Pulled the rear wheels and the left rear hub turns a bit roughly. Right rear seems OK

Did a bit or research on SL and it seems that the dealer might want $350 for the bearing. Ouch!

Are there aftermarket alternatives? NAPA or other sources? I want good hardware, and I'm willing to pay for it, but good bearings are $30 each, not $175!

Also, considering that the OEM bearings failed so quickly (and this doesn't seem to be uncommon) aftermarket might be better!

Ideas, folks?
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Old 10-20-2008, 03:13 AM   #2
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its just sad that the rear wheel bearings are a sealed unit
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Old 10-20-2008, 04:47 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by duck_dodgers_24_5
its just sad that the rear wheel bearings are a sealed unit
Well, it kind of goes with Toyota's attitude toward mechanics. Replaceable modules are relatively idiot-proof, and keep the profits in Toyota's corporate pockets. Somebody letting the dealer do the work won't see any difference because they will save on labor what they lose on the parts cost. Only those who do the work themselves will get reamed.

There's _no_ excuse for wheel bearings going out in only 60K miles, though. Did Toyota design them for the Echo and not beef them up for the heavier xB?

I try to keep everything factory, but I don't see any advantage in doing so when the factory parts fail so soon.
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Old 10-20-2008, 05:36 AM   #4
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OK, did some internet research and found two basic items.

SKF hubs ran around $270.00, which are probably the OEM part. Ouch.

Timken has a replacement hub that runs about $160. Still ouch, but only about half as bad.

Timken has a good rep, so I guess I'll be going for that one. I'll see if my import FLAPS can supply it or if I will be waiting for the UPS guy.

There were also some hits for ebay items in the $130 range, but no brand names were mentioned.
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Old 10-20-2008, 08:30 PM   #5
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No responses, so I went ahead and ordered the Timken unit from Parts Train for $188 including tax and shipping.

My FLAPS only had the SKF unit for $275. I didn't waste time sitting on hold with the dealer's parts department. Suddenly a Honda sounds like a much better choice for my next car.

I'll post again when the part arrives.
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Old 10-25-2008, 08:50 PM   #6
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Well, it's pretty obvious that if a topic doesn't involve fake carbon fiber , fart can exhausts or blue LEDs, there's little interest on SL...

Anyway, the part arrived. Box says Timken, but the part was marked "Koyo, Japan". The truth of the matter was printed on the bottom of the box:

"Timken service parts are carefully chosen from select manufacturers"

Translation: "We can get them cheaper from Koyo, but we wanted to use our recognizable name to sell it to you."

So: When you buy Timken hubs, they will be made by Koyo.

Another deceptive thing is that the vendor apparently has several duplicate web presences. I ordered my parts from an outfit called "Parts Train", supposedly based in Compton, California. The part actually was shipped by "US Auto Parts" from New York. Compare their websites:
http://www.usautoparts.net/catalog/?...709+11921+9327
http://www2.partstrain.com/store/?N=...130+11921+9326
and, for that matter:
http://www.thepartsbin.com/catalog/?...294965130+9327

Different makeup, same girl.


OK, on to the more interesting stuff:

The only visible difference between the old and new parts is that the ABS sensor "can" on the Koyo bearing was made of metal while the one on the OEM NSK part was made of plastic.

Installing this thing is about the easiest thing you can do. If you can change a tire you can do this job. The routine goes like this:

Tools:
  • jack
    Lug wrench
    13mm socket
    Ratchet Handle
    Stubby (1-3/4) extension
    Torque wrench
    Cleaning brush
    Paper towels
    Latex or nitrile gloves

Procedure:
  • Secure car with wheel chocks on the wheels on the opposite side of the car.
    Leave car in first gear.
    Make sure the parking brake is released.
    Remove hub cap.
    Loosen lug nuts.
    Jack car with floor jack under spring carrier until tire just clears ground.
    Remove lug nuts and wheel, slide wheel under car for safety.
    Pull brake drum from hub. It will have grunge inside of it, so put it down on a paper towel.
    Lift locking tab (on top) slightly and disconnect wheel speed sensor wires. Let it hang.
    Using a 13mm socket and stubby (1-1/4) extension, loosen four bolts on back of hub.
    Remove bottom bolts, then top bolts while holding hub in place.
    Pull hub assembly out. The backing plate will be supported only by its connections, so be careful not to displace it.
    Clean the mounting area with brush or air hose.
    Push new hub assembly in.
    Insert four bolts from behind backing plate.
    Torque all four bolts to 46 ft-lb.
    Plug in wheel speed sensor wires.
    Reinstall brake drum.
    Reinstall wheel, snug lug nuts.
    Lower car, remove jack.
    Torque lug nuts to 76 ft-lb.
    Reinstall hub cap.
    Apply parking brake, remove chocks
    Clean up.
    Test drive, pray that the noise is gone!

Total time for me, first time, was 32 minutes including time to take some pictures of old and new parts, look for my stubby extension, clean up, and test drive. A pro mechanic with a lift and air tools would be snoozing if he couldn't do it in 15 minutes.

A few words on diagnosing noisy bearings:

In my case, it was difficult to diagnose which rear bearing was bad and the xB's funky swingarm rear suspension does not help. I finally narrowed it down by letting someone else drive the car, sitting in the back seat, and leaning back and forth to figure out which side was humming louder. In my case, it was louder to the left. Opening the left rear door while in motion confirmed that other odd noises, unheard inside, were emanating from the left rear wheel. The real proof of the pudding was when the left rear was jacked, the drum removed and the bearing turned by itself. You could definitely feel the roughness. With the wheel on, it turned buttery smooth!

(edit: added reconnection of the wheel speed sensor wires, oops!)
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Old 10-25-2008, 10:13 PM   #7
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George - My rear right bearing went out at 82000 miles but toyota replaced it under warranty.

I was wondering why it failed so early. But who knows.
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Old 10-26-2008, 02:29 AM   #8
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Good info, thanks!
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Old 10-26-2008, 04:35 AM   #9
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on the plus said at least we don't have to pack any bearings
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Old 10-26-2008, 08:31 AM   #10
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yeah man that sucks ,,,also i do know that some parts are made from a company ..example company A makes a part but puts company B name on it but is still company As part ..if that makes sense to you ..when i had my integra i needed a clutch so my step dad (mechanic) got it form his work at wholesale price with a difrent name but when i took it out of the box it was a exedy cluth wich is made by daikien but was boxed as a no name brand...also i just recently got some seat brackets for my box so i went on to nopi and seen a set for 100 so i bought them ..arrive at my house and its the ones from ...wedge engineering that go for a 100 each and i got em for 100 a pair...on my recipt it says number 1 as the the brand
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Old 10-26-2008, 09:12 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TJ
George - My rear right bearing went out at 82000 miles but toyota replaced it under warranty.

I was wondering why it failed so early. But who knows.
I had considered talking to the dealer, but my experience with my local dealer (Frontier Toyota) being reluctant to do warranty work well _within_ the 36,000 mile warranty period convinced me that it wasn't worth the grief. The hassle and downtime of letting them have the car for two full days (once for "inspection", once for repair) would exceed the value of the part.

This dealer's policies have done an excellent job of keeping this marginal warranty complaint out of their shop, but they've also done an excellent job of directing me across the street to another make when buying time comes around again.
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Old 10-27-2008, 03:05 AM   #12
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I feel your pain. I work in a parts dept. at a Toyota dealership and I had a heart attack when I saw how much one of the hubs cost for my xB, And that was with my employee price. I noticed my left one gave out and my right one is still good, anyone else notice only the left one giving out prematurely?
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Old 10-27-2008, 03:10 AM   #13
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Great! Something else to worry about and to top it off...it's pricey!...
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Old 10-27-2008, 07:33 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bB384
I feel your pain. I work in a parts dept. at a Toyota dealership and I had a heart attack when I saw how much one of the hubs cost for my xB, And that was with my employee price. I noticed my left one gave out and my right one is still good, anyone else notice only the left one giving out prematurely?
Well, the aftermarket internet price is about $160 and I've seen folks selling hubs on ebay for $90 "buy it now". Of course, you add about $20 to these prices for shipping.

I doubt that there is a big enough market for Chinese knockoffs to emerge, so you're likely to get a NSK, SKF, or Koyo bearing from just about any vendor. Considering that the OEM NSK bearings are the ones failing, I'd feel more comfortable with an aftermarket bearing from a different manufacturer.

I don't think that we have enough data to say the left bearings are the ones failing. A couple of folks have said that they had a right bearing fail. The bearings are the same part.

It would also be interesting to see the year of production for the vehicles with bad bearings. Were they all '04s like mine, or does the same problem persist in later years?
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Old 10-28-2008, 12:29 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Metro273
Great! Something else to worry about and to top it off...it's pricey!...
Well, don't worry until your XB starts to sound like it's running a set of Monster Mudders. You might get lucky.

I still don't see why folks running wide wheels and driving aggressively aren't having problems. That puts more stress on the bearings than my stock wheels/tires and unspirited driving style. Maybe I should abuse it a bit more...
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Old 10-28-2008, 02:00 AM   #16
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^^^We have these bearing problems on Nissans as well! Mostly the Maximas and Muranos, so I know what to listen for but I didn't expect it on Toyotas...
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Old 10-29-2008, 07:25 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by George
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metro273
Great! Something else to worry about and to top it off...it's pricey!...
Well, don't worry until your XB starts to sound like it's running a set of Monster Mudders. You might get lucky.

I still don't see why folks running wide wheels and driving aggressively aren't having problems. That puts more stress on the bearings than my stock wheels/tires and unspirited driving style. Maybe I should abuse it a bit more...

I'm running 16x7 inch rims wrapped in 215/45R16 Azenis RT-615's (200 Treadwear Traction A Temp. A), I track race often and used to canyon race ALOT (which means I drive on crappy roads often to get there, not to mention the roads near my house are pure crap). I have 107K on the clock and my xB was manufactured in December '03. I fell into every category you described, but my bearings lasted way longer than you.
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Old 10-31-2008, 03:59 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bB384
I'm running 16x7 inch rims wrapped in 215/45R16 Azenis RT-615's (200 Treadwear Traction A Temp. A), I track race often and used to canyon race ALOT (which means I drive on crappy roads often to get there, not to mention the roads near my house are pure crap). I have 107K on the clock and my xB was manufactured in December '03. I fell into every category you described, but my bearings lasted way longer than you.
Did they fail, and at what mileage?
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Old 11-02-2008, 03:51 AM   #19
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I just replaced my left rear (driverside rear) about a month ago. That was the first wheel bearing I ever had to replace on the xB, and I wish and hope thats the last one I'll ever have to do. Actually, thats the first wheel bearing I've ever had to replace on any of my cars that I've ever owned.
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Old 11-02-2008, 10:03 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bB384
I just replaced my left rear (driverside rear) about a month ago. That was the first wheel bearing I ever had to replace on the xB, and I wish and hope thats the last one I'll ever have to do. Actually, thats the first wheel bearing I've ever had to replace on any of my cars that I've ever owned.
Since this part is shared with the Echo, it's likely that Toyota took the risk that the added weight of the xB wouldn't cause very many failures within the warranty period.

Still, wheel bearings are a primary safety part and should be not be designed for a finite cycle life. The difference between a 100,000 mile life and an infinite life is about 10% in weight.
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Old 11-02-2008, 10:03 PM
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