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Thread: Aftermarket Rotors: Cost vs Name Brand

  1. #1
    Supporting Member Turbo Mopar Contributor iTurbo's Avatar
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    Aftermarket Rotors: Cost vs Name Brand

    I am looking into buying new rotors for my CSX project. I have converted the car to use full '91 11" vented disc setup from an R/T. Have reman calipers with metal pistons, Hawk HPS pads ready to go. I'm not much interested in x-drilled or slotted rotors and it doesn't look like they are even available anyway. I'm wondering though, is it worth it to buy new name brand rotors such as Brembo or Wagner vs cheap parts store replacements from Oreillys or NAPA? The cost for the name brand replacements is significantly higher (sometimes 2x), but there is no real indication that I can find that they are in fact higher quality. If I new they were higher quality and wouldn't surface rust from sitting so easily like some cheapies I have bought in the past, then they might be worth it.

    For example, front rotors for a '91 Spirit R/T application:

    21.99 - Brake Best Select rotors from Oreillys
    31.99 - NAPA 'premium'
    52.99 - Wagner rotors from Oreillys
    61.28 - Brembo rotors from www.buybrakes.com

    What do you guys think???
    Jeremy Mitchell
    87 Shelby Lancer #127
    91 Dodge Spirit R/T
    08 Dodge Caliber SRT-4

  2. #2
    turbo addict
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    Re: Aftermarket Rotors: Cost vs Name Brand

    I would personally go with the Wagners. Wait for good sales at advance auto and you can get $50 of a $100 purchase. They carry wagners.

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    Supporting Member II Turbo Mopar Contributor supercrackerbox's Avatar
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    Re: Aftermarket Rotors: Cost vs Name Brand

    On my Charger, I have one front rotor by Wagner, and the other is Brake Best (O'Rielly's store brand). Wagner ThermoQuiet pads all the way around. Guess which wheel has more rust colored brake dust on it?

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    Buy my stuff!!!!!!!!!!! :O) Turbo Mopar Vendor turbovanman²'s Avatar
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    Re: Aftermarket Rotors: Cost vs Name Brand

    Put it this way, you get what you pay for. The cheap store brand rotors are recycled beer cans, the name brand rotors are a way better quality and use better combination of metals. The Brembo's, PBR's, Wagners, Raybestos, Aimco's are all good quality but they also have a lower line. It does suck that the parts stores charge way more for the better ones so shop around.

    What does Rock Auto offer?
    1989 FWD Turbo Caravan-2.5 TIII, GT35R, auto, a/c, cruise, pwr windows/locks, fully loaded with interior and ran with full exhaust. RETIRED FOR A FEW YEARS! 12.57@104 :O)
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  5. #5
    turbo addict
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    Re: Aftermarket Rotors: Cost vs Name Brand

    the cheapy low line rotors tend to come at the minimum thickness, it saves on metal eh.

    low line parts anyways burn me and hardly last a year.
    1986 Plymouth Caravelle 1988 Shadow ES T1-A520 1989 Daytona TBI-A520 1991 Daytona 3.0-5Speed 1992 Duster TBI-A413 1993 Acclaim 2.5T1-A520 daily driver Hoard parts now!

  6. #6
    Supporting Member Turbo Mopar Contributor A.J.'s Avatar
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    Re: Aftermarket Rotors: Cost vs Name Brand

    I use the cheapest rotors I can get on customers cars because people these days are more concerned with cost over quality. I have had ZERO problems with cheap/low cost rotors except for the few customers that admit to driving hard and braking just as hard. I don't even ask or look as to who makes them. If you just shift into neutral after a hard stop while sitting at a red light and take the pressure off the rotors you should be all set. Brake pads on the other hand are a different story. There are certain pads that I use because I can't afford a comeback because of squealing or noise. If cost is an issue for customers, I then give a disclaimer if I use the cheapest pads I can lay my hands on.

    A.J.

  7. #7
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    Re: Aftermarket Rotors: Cost vs Name Brand

    I had a brand labelled on the box "STOP" with a stop sign on the box, made in Canada, that I've got on the van, they were from my independent parts guy. Anyway, like those very much. Were inexpensive.
    '88 Voyager 3.0, Auto with shift kit, timing advance, walker sound FX muffler on 15" pumpers wrapped in 215/65/R15 H rated Nexens.... and a '95 phord escort wagon PnP head. I like 3.0s ... so??? ... stop looking at me like I've got two heads!

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    Supporting Member II Turbo Mopar Contributor supercrackerbox's Avatar
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    Re: Aftermarket Rotors: Cost vs Name Brand

    Quote Originally Posted by turbovanman View Post
    What does Rock Auto offer?
    When I put brakes on the Daytona last year, I got a great price on Wagner rotors and ThermoQuiet pads, and new hardware for all four corners. One really nice thing is the pads included the wear adjustment shims at no extra charge, something I've never even seen offered at the local parts stores. No more rattles in the calipers. Pads would have ended up being free too, if I hadn't kept procrastinating on sending in the rebate form. Oh well.

    Yes, there is some brake dust, but the wheels are freaking white as white can be. I think that'd be unavoidable.

  9. #9
    turbo addict JDAWG's Avatar
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    Re: Aftermarket Rotors: Cost vs Name Brand

    On my Intrepid I put on about 4 or 5 months ago Raybestos Ceramic pads from rock, Napa Eclipse calipers, Napa Premium rotors, and out back Napa cheapie shoes with hardware. The car stops AWESOME, way better then it did. The brakes dont pulsate what so ever, I drive on the interstate every day so there are some hard stops sometimes, I look in my rear view and there can be 2 cars sideways and I just stop like normal. Although I know how to break though, getting off the interstate I dont hold the pedal down for the mile long exit ramp or wait till the last second and smash it. Ill apply a medium pressure for 2-3 seconds then let off for 2-3, then keep doing that to slow the car down. Anyways Ill be using Napa Premium rotors and calipers on the daytona, just cheaper then getting stuff shipped in.

  10. #10
    turbo addict Murphy's Avatar
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    Re: Aftermarket Rotors: Cost vs Name Brand

    TireRack had brembo rotors for a 91 spirit R/T for $20 once....
    95 spirit 3.0/543 15.0@91 N/A, 14.5@96 on a 50 shot 87 shelby Z - project car, maybe I can drive it this year 70 chevy custom camper - work truck 89 chevy blazer - being sold 97 chevy burb - family vehicle 94 acura integra GSR - Wife's car 91 spirit - roll it, chop the top, do some burnouts! RIP

  11. #11
    Moderator Turbo Mopar Staff 135sohc's Avatar
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    Re: Aftermarket Rotors: Cost vs Name Brand

    Its hard to call anything 'premium' when its all coming from the china...

  12. #12
    Supporting Member Turbo Mopar Contributor iTurbo's Avatar
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    Re: Aftermarket Rotors: Cost vs Name Brand

    Thanks for all the replys everybody, keep them coming!

    I just bought a set of rotors a few minutes ago at Rock Auto. I gotta tell you I was pretty skeptical about shopping for rotors at RA because of the shipping weight tended to negate any good deals I could find on rotors there. They have a huge selection but I managed to find Wagner rotors (BD61958 fronts, BD61950 rears) at a great price. They had the fronts on wholsale closeout for $18.15 each and the rears were only $21.79 each. Unfortunately there were only two rear rotors left so they price/availability of those might be in question now.

    I also used the T-M.com 5% member discount and got all four rotors shipped for $131. That is about 1/2 the price the local Oreilly Auto Parts wanted for the same rotors!

    ---------- Post added at 12:59 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:52 PM ----------

    Also, after starting this thread I remembered that my brother and I had put OE replacement Brembo rotors on his '98 Buick Regal GS which is now my DD and also pizza delivery vechicle. When I got the rotors (from TireRack), I noticed the fronts had the Brembo name/logo laser engraved into the rim of the rotor. The rears, which came boxed as Brembos, didn't have this and looked totally generic to me. The car has always stopped great and we also upgraded to larger front brakes from '04 Impala SS and the rear disc brakes are stock FWIW.

    For a while the brakes started pulsating and I was totally convinced that the Brembo OE rotors were crap and had already warped! I later found this was not the case. Turns out the ABS system started malfunctioning causing the brake pressure to modulate on long stops. Finally the ABS light just stays on and the brakes are super smooth and work excellent again. No more ABS and traction control though! I haven't had the wheels off the car to inspect the rotors but will update this thread when I do.
    Jeremy Mitchell
    87 Shelby Lancer #127
    91 Dodge Spirit R/T
    08 Dodge Caliber SRT-4

  13. #13
    Supporting Member II Turbo Mopar Contributor supercrackerbox's Avatar
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    Re: Aftermarket Rotors: Cost vs Name Brand

    Quote Originally Posted by iTurbo View Post
    Thanks for all the replys everybody, keep them coming!

    I just bought a set of rotors a few minutes ago at Rock Auto. I gotta tell you I was pretty skeptical about shopping for rotors at RA because of the shipping weight tended to negate any good deals I could find on rotors there. They have a huge selection but I managed to find Wagner rotors (BD61958 fronts, BD61950 rears) at a great price. They had the fronts on wholsale closeout for $18.15 each and the rears were only $21.79 each. Unfortunately there were only two rear rotors left so they price/availability of those might be in question now.

    I also used the T-M.com 5% member discount and got all four rotors shipped for $131. That is about 1/2 the price the local Oreilly Auto Parts wanted for the same rotors![COLOR="Silver"]
    Yep. I have no problem going with Rock Auto if I have a few days to wait and am getting enough parts to where their prices will offset the shipping costs. I just dropped another $350 with them for the engine build in my Daytona, stocking up on Wix oil filters to last the rest of the year ($4 each). NGK spark plugs are just over $1 each too.

  14. #14
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    Re: Aftermarket Rotors: Cost vs Name Brand

    Quote Originally Posted by 135sohc View Post
    Its hard to call anything 'premium' when its all coming from the china...
    The Wagners I just got for my neon are made in USA.

  15. #15
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    Re: Aftermarket Rotors: Cost vs Name Brand

    Quote Originally Posted by supercrackerbox View Post
    Yep. I have no problem going with Rock Auto if I have a few days to wait and am getting enough parts to where their prices will offset the shipping costs.
    My problem is, I always put off ordering/buying parts until I need them yesterday.
    '88 Voyager 3.0, Auto with shift kit, timing advance, walker sound FX muffler on 15" pumpers wrapped in 215/65/R15 H rated Nexens.... and a '95 phord escort wagon PnP head. I like 3.0s ... so??? ... stop looking at me like I've got two heads!

  16. #16
    Garrett booster
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    Re: Aftermarket Rotors: Cost vs Name Brand

    Oreilly brakebest rotors are usually machined to just above min tolerances, usually can turn them one if that gives you and idea. Most are supplied my Affinia mfg. http://www.affiniagroup.com/wps/portal/affiniagroup. We sell the hell out of them due to being more cost effective. I have them on a few vehicles of my own. GLH just got a set on the rear. Like to have the wagners but the price was higher.

    And for the "china" comment.

    Pay for american and you will get american. Locals around here ----- piss and moan about chinease, mexican, korean parts, but are also the first to ask if that the cheapest thing ya got, im sellin' it in a YEAR. When the import rotor is 29.99 and a wagner for instance is 59.99 patriotism flies out the front door for the low price of $30 american lol. /rant

  17. #17
    Moderator Turbo Mopar Staff 135sohc's Avatar
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    Re: Aftermarket Rotors: Cost vs Name Brand

    I'm the only person I know who goes out of the way to buy american at any reasonable cost. The problem lies in you never know what your gonna get until you receive the box/rotor and determine then and there where its coming from. I could not count how many times I've been burned 'buying american' just to see "made in china" stamped on one of the boxes

  18. #18
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    Re: Aftermarket Rotors: Cost vs Name Brand

    I run hawk street pads in the front and currently i have hawk race pads in the rear, was trying to balance the braking effort a bit, trailbraking , it's been working for me. I used this setup with ATE slotted rotors, all brakes and rotors from tire rack and not a bad price either. Now for the best part..... none of my rotors have rust anywhere on them, they are coated with silver awesomeness, haha. Im pretty hard on my brakes due to backroad insanity with an automatic so i'm sure this would work great for you.

  19. #19
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    Re: Aftermarket Rotors: Cost vs Name Brand

    Quote Originally Posted by 135sohc View Post
    I'm the only person I know who goes out of the way to buy american at any reasonable cost. The problem lies in you never know what your gonna get until you receive the box/rotor and determine then and there where its coming from. I could not count how many times I've been burned 'buying american' just to see "made in china" stamped on one of the boxes
    I'm leaning that way now, at least to try to buy "first world" products. Getting ticked at the chinese parts only lasting 10,000 miles.... particularly when I'm replacing original parts that have done 200K... Rotors I would spend a bit more for meaty ones with more corrosion resistance if I owned a brake lathe, then I'd skim them for maintenance every so often, but cost of getting that done here is higher than "reasonable" rotor pricing on both my vehicles, so I usually just get 5 years out of 'em then buy a new set.
    '88 Voyager 3.0, Auto with shift kit, timing advance, walker sound FX muffler on 15" pumpers wrapped in 215/65/R15 H rated Nexens.... and a '95 phord escort wagon PnP head. I like 3.0s ... so??? ... stop looking at me like I've got two heads!

  20. #20
    Basic Vendor (MSD, Hawk, etc) Turbo Mopar Vendor rbryant's Avatar
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    Re: Aftermarket Rotors: Cost vs Name Brand

    I have the EBC slotted and dimpled rotors on the front for $125/pair shipped from www.autoanything.com. I think they are probably just closing them out or something because they are much cheaper than any other application I saw for the same rotor type from EBC.

    They come coated to keep them nice and rust free and will wear the black off from the rotor face and keep it in the slots and dimples black.



    They also have a non dimpled version of them but the slots are broken up instead of going all the way across the rotor (supposedly to keep road noise down) for $10 or so less.




    For lower cost and still great performance I would go with centric premiums.

    They are also e-coated so they won't rust up and look like crap. Centric also makes powerslot so they are basically the same rotor without the slots. You can also get them cryo treated if you want to spend more. Just be careful when buying them. Part numbers that start with 120 are premiums and 121 are their c-tek value line that is not coated and doesn't have the same manufacturing tolerances. I did put c-teks on my wifes daily driver but it probably isn't worth it on a car that is pushed hard.



    I actually have centric premiums on the rear because I couldn't justify that the EBC rears were going to be $160/pair (for neon rotors) and the centrics were only $70/pair for brakes that don't do much work.

    I am running neon rear rotors with a spacer on the rear with non vented backing plates. I chose the 1G neon rotors for lighter weight and because the 89-94 centric premium non vented rears were discontinued earlier in the year. I tried to order the centric premium 89-94 non vented rears and I was drop shipped c-teks without them even mentioning it so I had to return those... So be aware that some suppliers may say they have premiums but still send you the non coated cheaper ones.

    I believe that the centric premium vented rears are still around at about $35 each. I found tirerack to have the best deals on centric rotors.

    -Rich

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