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First I would like to say thanks to CharlieVT for his video on the final drive.

What is the thinking from the experts on which bearing is best?

33 12 1 468 899 is the BMW part number for the SKF replacement for the original FAG and is $134.

33 12 1 242 210 is the original FAG and is $75.05.

The number I saw in another post that is on the bearing is 61917 C3.

The bmw part number for the shaft seal is 33127663482 and is $29.17.

I have a 2001 LT and want to make sure I order the best bearing.

I'm knocking on wood I never need them but I do think I will carry a spare bearing and seal just in case. I may not have the correct shim(s) with me but hopefully having the bearing would just leave the need to find a way to get it on to get home. Surely a complete stranger would let me use their oven and freezer. If it happened here in Texas right now I could probably just set one part on the concrete and the other in an ice chest. :)

Thanks,
Dave
 

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FAG and SKF are both equally reputable bearing suppliers. There was some fiddling by BMW with the number of balls, but that probably reflected supply problems and not life ratings. Do the preload check per CharlieVT's video though.
 

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Ordering using either number will get you what they have in stock, not a particular bearing.

In my opinion, neither bearing is better than the other. I am quite positive now that the failures were due to improper machining or installation practices, not bearing quality. Both FAG and SKF are respected high quality bearing producers.
 
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