Bearing up. (WIP).
Timken's latest wheel end module is the "Generation III." The main advance of this design is the integration of the bearing raceway with the hub, which reduces unsprung weight and narrows the overall package width. The smaller package allows designers to enhance durability by beefing up hubs, seals and mating components. It also leads to a reduction in the scrub radius (the distance from the point where the steering axis meets the ground, to the center of the contact patch of the tire) which improves braking and maneuverability. The Generation III is currently on the Dodge Ram 1500 series and is slated to go on an upcoming full-size truck and SUV program.
But even with advanced products like the Generation III, Timken officials say getting makers to switch from cheaper ball bearing-based designs to their tapered roller bearings is often an uphill battle. However, as vehicle weight and performance increases, Timken's products become an easier sell. One recent example: when Chrysler added a performance version of its PT Cruiser, it found that its ball-bearings couldn't handle the added strain, so it turned to Timken with a quick development request. A short nine months later the new bearings were ready. And Chrysler liked them so much that it made them standard equipment on all PT Cruisers.
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|Publication:||Automotive Design & Production|
|Article Type:||Brief Article|
|Date:||Sep 1, 2002|
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