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Timken Tech Tips: Generation 1, 2 or 3?

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Some confusion exists in the marketplace because several non-manufacturers of hub unit bearings are marketing them as Generation 3. This issue of "TechTips" is designed to educate distributors and end-users as to the features and benefits associated with ball type hub unit bearings -- Generations 1, 2 and 3 -- which are recognized by leading bearing manufacturers.

Based on their load-carrying capabilities, ball bearings tend to be used in the wheel ends of light-duty vehicles. The contact between the balls and the raceways in a ball bearing is considered a point contact. This allows less friction to develop between the contact surfaces and also allows for high-speed applications.

A hub unit bearing is pre-set, pre-lubricated, sealed and requires no maintenance. The progressive levels of integration design within a wheel end result in 'generations' of hub unit bearings. Current model applications feature three generations of ball hub unit bearings.

(Timken, as a manufacturer, has provided solutions for integrating ball, tapered, cylindrical and needle bearings into wheel ends.)

Timken is one of the few bearing manufacturers that has the knowledge and capabilities to design and produce the increasingly complex hub unit bearings being designed into vehicles. The same Timken quality products available to the OEMs are also available to the aftermarket. Timken offers one of the most extensive lines of hub unit bearings in the industry.

Additional information regarding Timken hub unit bearings is available at

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