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Discussion Starter #1
I wonder if there exists a relationship between tire diameter and the occurrence of bearing failure? Or will this thread get deleted, or worse yet get me banned? :nerd:
 

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I think we should just ban you for keeping your car running well, don'tchathink? :D
 

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Hey not before I get my installation of the oil catch can done and the pics posted. "Ignore the above post! Nice CC but a member here sent me a link to a OCC with dual inlets!! That just made it easier for me!!!". I am the person that PM Streetsleeper and sent a link to the can he will use. Please don't ban my CAN! :grin:
 

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I would say that it isn't the size of the wheel specifically, but the increased rotating mass in combination with imperfect wheel/tire balancing that wears out the wheel bearings prematurely. The cheap factory tires GM uses (like the terrible Goodyear Eagle LS2 standard on my old Malibu V6 with 18s) tend to have bad production tolerances and lousy balance as a result. Harsher ride certainly doesn't help either.

It's also important to consider that some factory parts are simply substandard, like the ACDelco stabilizer links. If GM used a product as nice as the Moog links bought to I replace them on my old Malibu, they'd outlive the rest of the car.

Personally, when I look at cars, wheel size is an important factor. I'm glad my SS "only" has 19 inch wheels, versus the 20+ inch wheels that are "in style" on muscle cars. That makes them naturally lighter and allows a tire size that has better ride quality. I made sure my wife's Cruze didn't come with the 18 inch wheels on some variants and has more reasonable 17s.

I don't intend to ever own a car, truck, or suv with 20 inch wheels. Besides looking cartoonish in my opinion, they compromise ride, fuel economy, and contribute to suspension wear. Even acceleration is negatively impacted.
 

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The cheap factory tires GM uses (like the terrible Goodyear Eagle LS2 standard on my old Malibu V6 with 18s) tend to have bad production tolerances and lousy balance as a result. Harsher ride certainly doesn't help either.
Yeah, they're not my favorite tire either. And I work for the company that makes them. Although production tolerances are fairly tight (built in segmented molds), I, personally, am underwhelmed with the belt package. That is where you get a lot of issues. The lack of stiffness in the belts leads to tread squirm, resulting in poor and abnormal treadwear. The first generation ones were even worse. You will find many of these same issues in "China" tires built for a price point.

Anyway.. to the OP.. No. Tire diameter has no affect on bearing failure.
What DOES, however, is tire WIDTH and rim offset. The centerline of the tire/wheel assembly needs to bisect the bearing between the races. Aftermarket wheels with less offset can put undue pressure on either race, leading to failure, as can just plain wider wheels/tires and subsequent side loads.

Extreme alignment angles can also cause side loading, leading to failure.

I can't tell you how many times I have to explain the alignment one on a day to day basis.
 

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and on that belt package note..
If you get a tire where the belt package is TOO stiff, it's harder for the tire to "roll" laterally when cornering. They feel "heavy" and need more driver input to the steering wheel.
(Our Silent Armor truck tire was like this. Guys LOVED the aggressive look of the tread, and hated them when they put them on mid- and compact- trucks and SUV's and drove them in the city.)

I REALLY like that in tire, though. They're stable under load and give you confidence when hauling large amounts of cargo or towing. It also enhances treadwear, as it negates the "squirm" I mentioned above.
 

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Bearing failure is due to water seal failure letting water into the bearing. Another reason to stay out of the big puddles and those flood zones. I think poor lubrication at time of manufacturing is another issue. I see it in my field, that Chinese fish oil grease ain't worth a darn. Replacement bearings I use in my snowmobiles barely have any lube in them when new also. There is no way to check those hub bearings.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I thank all who have contributed to this post. This form has some real knowledgeable members. :wink:
 
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Crazy Eric
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