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Wheel bearing shopping
Burl, and the list. Most automotive specific bearings are not generally
available through bearing supply houses, which carry (or have access to)
general purpose bearings. Standard bearings are often used in automotive
applications and would be available through these channels, but
specialized, one application only, bearings would not be available. For
example (an obscure one, I admit) there was a transmission bearing used
in pre 1959 Porsches that was a standard general use bearing with an
added groove for a snap ring. You could get the bearing through almost
any auto parts or bearing house for a fraction of the price, but it
wouldn't work for this application without the groove.
It has been my experience that the generic parts stores often sell
re-boxed European and Japanese bearings, generally at a substantial
markup. One example of this is my after normal business hours purchase
of a Rabbit front wheel bearing at Kragen's, one of those omnipresent
chain auto parts stores guaranteeing the lowest price anywhere. The
price? $56. Dealer list about $34, foreign car parts store, $18, regular
American car parts store, reboxed at about $42. We pay about $12 from
the foreign parts WDs.
You'll have a hard time finding your bearing anywhere but a foreign car
parts or service specialist or the dealer as it is used on relatively
few cars, although more than just Qs. The regular 5Ks after early '86,
100s, and some 200 w/ auto trans, as well as Qs use this bearing.