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Old 04-10-2008, 09:51 AM
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Difference in rotors?

Hey guys,

I need to replace the front rotors on my '96 K1500 and was wondering what the differences might be between expensive and cheaper rotors? The GM rotors from Chevy are $140 each, AC Delco (from dealership) are $75 each, and I can get a brand I never heard of from local auto parts place for $40 each.

I have definitely noticed the difference between different kinds of pads. Will the cheaper rotors wear quicker or be thinner, meaning they can't be turned as many times? Just wondering if the cheaper ones are worth using and are safe.

Any thoughts or advice is appreciated!



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Old 04-10-2008, 10:23 AM
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I would assume less cooling ability, number of cooling fins, possibly thinner as well, not to mention the quality of the casting and machining. For the $35 or so difference, I'd stay with a quality brand name.
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Old 04-10-2008, 10:25 AM
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most cheap rotors are made overseas & are just the cheap/junk. A friend did a brake job on a car for a friend of his & they told him to buy cheap rotors. After the first hard stop they warped both rotors & had to have them turned. When the picked them up the shop told them the next time you'll have to throw these away.

Personally I by only AC/Delco, Wagner or Raybestos rotors but I am able to get them through a parts house...joe
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Old 04-12-2008, 02:57 PM
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Cheap rotors don't last, they're meant for used car dealers.
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Old 04-12-2008, 03:02 PM
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If you are unloading the truck, go cheap otherwise it is worth the extra for a quality name brand.
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Old 04-12-2008, 04:49 PM
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The dimensions of each has to be within spec so I doubt one is thinner, smaller, whatever. I know that Wagner Rotors are the exact same as Aimco and Standard--because I saw them being loaded into the same boxes on an assembly line once. Hard to tell 'good' from 'bad' anymore because it's mostly a shell game. Oh, and AC Delco makes less than 8% of their own parts now. I have used both at different times and never had a bit of trouble so I now usually buy the least expensive rotors, the best aftermarket pads and Timken--and only Timken--bearings.
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Old 04-17-2008, 03:29 PM
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...There's cheap and then there's less expensive! ...DON'T buy them at the dealers if your worried about money! They mark up the prices from normal parts warehouse cost! ...Go to the big auto-parts shops (Kragen or Autozone in my area) and see if they have rotor with a lifetime warranty ...they have to meet physical dimension specs, so the only two other variables are how well they are machined and casting ...these are something you can "see" ...so judge for yourself. I drive a 97 S10 Blazer ...notorious for going thru front disc brakes. I normally have to change the brake pads every 18 months. I have the rotors turned (normally they handle one turning) ...and if they are too thin, I take them in and get new ones ...free! ...Same with pads. Now going to the dealer for somethings is a necessity, but not of everything!
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Old 04-17-2008, 04:28 PM
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Wagner rotor are decent quality and fairly reasonably priced and available at most parts stores.

One of the most overlooked things with rotors is proper installation. The hub surface should be clean and free of rust. If it is not sandblast or wire wheel it untill it is clean so the new rotort sits flat. After cleaning apply a very light coat of neverseize. Make sure you torque the wheels to factory specs in a criss cross pattern.

Make sure all the sliding parts of the caliper still slide, if not fix this also.
This will be sure both pads works and the rotor heats evenly.

Follow the above procedures and even the cheapo rotors will last as long as they are straight to start with.


You can do a brake job in 15 minutes but you need to spend a lot more time to do it properly. The extra time will pay off in the end.

As far as pads, we only use eiter OEm or Thermoquiets.
Never grind the pads, if they dont slide freely clean the rust from the mating surfaces on the caliper and/or caliper brackets.
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Old 04-17-2008, 05:08 PM
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Rock Auto has Raybestos brake rotors and brake drums.. I just got 2 Raybestos drums from them for $51 each, for my '65 Rambler.. every place else wanted $70-$86.
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