Well, you can see I have a Mercedes Benz up on the lift here and been looking it over and it obviously is going to need a new set of front rotors. There’s quite a bit of wear you can see the deep grooving and particularly out towards the outer lip, there’s some real excessive wear right in there. So it’s time to order up some new rotors, but all rotors are not created equal. I can imagine if you have ever tried to go order rotors, you’re thinking, well, what should I order, you know, what are the best brands, which ones are going to last long and so on?
So, in this video I just want to share with you a couple things that I have to say about rotors. I have three different types of rotors here that I can show you and we’ll talk a little bit about the pros and cons of each. I ordered in rotors from three different manufacturers, so I could show you the difference. This is a low-price rotor right here. This is a mid-price rotor. And this one here is kind of at the high end of the range. To give you a comparison, this is about half the price of this one here. But when you’re looking at rotors, you cannot tell just by looking at them, which one is the best? I mean they all look kind of nice.
This is an Opie rotor. It’s made in China, but it is very good quality. I’ve had great success for the last five, six years using these Opie rotors. They tend to wear very well. In fact, I did a comparison test between the Opie rotor and an [inaudible 1:43] rotor and I had better wear results on this rotor. So just because it’s made in China doesn’t mean any longer that it’s no good. This middle rotor here is made by Textar. That is a well-known German company. If you’ve bought brake parts before for your Mercedes, you’ve probably run across the name Textar, it’s highly regarded. And then finally this is a Zimmerman Rotor. This is a German company and these are highly regarded rotor discs.
So, let’s, let’s talk about the difference. Well, if you look at them, these two are coated. They’re completely coated. In fact, these two rotors right here need no preparation for installation. In fact, they even say it right on the box, ready to install, no preparation needed. Now the Opie rotor is also coated in a central hub and down inside these fins here, but the face is not coated and it’s got a heavy preservative grease on it. So, when you get these rotors, you have to be very careful that you thoroughly clean the surfaces on these before you install them, or you’re to contaminate your new pads.
As far as quality of manufacture, I liked the OP. They have a very nice consistent crosshatching on them. And the coating, all the way down, they’re completely coded. So, these won’t rust. You know, a lot of these older type rotors, you’d leave on the car for a while and they’re all rusty. And that’s really bad if you live in an area where they use road salt. So, I think a lot of manufacturers have gone to coating their rotors and these two, they’re coated even on the surfaces. So, it takes a little driving to wear that coating off and the new pads will see it in and eventually that’ll come down to bare metal. And it will rust if you don’t drive your car very often.
But it’s kind of interesting when you get these rotors. I spent a while; I use a lot of Opie rotors. I’ve used a few Zimmerman’s in the past and it’s been a long time since I’ve ordered a Textar rotor. But when I got the box I thought, okay, clear this. This says high carbon, coated anti corrosion, no cleaning, installation ready. And I’m looking around and I’m thinking, you know, Textar, German company, original Textar German specifications. And I’m thinking, well, where’s this made? And my mechanic and I, we’ve probably looked at this for about a minute before we figured it out. And we were looking over here and we’re looking, oh, there’s a tag. No, it doesn’t say here. And we finally went back to this tag right here and right there in very, very small print it says, made in China. So, you know, people are going to say, well, I’m not gonna use that if it’s made China. Well you might want to get used to it because more and more manufacturers, including German manufacturers, are going to China to get their parts made.
And I recently had one of my suppliers say, Kent, you can get really good things made in China. It just has to do with how much you want to pay. So here I am looking at these three rotors and which one am I going to use on my car? Or which one would you want to use on your car? There’s a significant price difference between the Opie and the Zimmerman, but how are you going to know which one is the best rotor? That’s really tough. I mean, you have to be careful about what you read on forums because everybody comes at this from a different perspective. If they’re done on Chinese products, they’re gonna say, no way. These are the best in the world. Somebody else will say, well I’ve — Well, I found out that these Opie rotors outperform some [inaudible 5:58] rotors I had a few years ago when I put them side by side on a 124 chassis. So it’s kind of going to be your call. It’s a price consideration, how often do you drive the car. How hard you brake; that is a consideration because I think in reality when it comes down to it, as long as you get a quality rotor, probably what’s more important is the matching pad that you put with it. You know, looking back on this heavily grooved rotor here, I have a suspicion that somebody probably put cheap brake pads, cheap after market brake pads. Maybe they had a high metal content, but there’s some severe wearing there that was caused by the pads or the owner was a very heavy footed driver.
So I hope you found this helpful. I can’t tell you what rotor you should buy, but at least you can kind of get an idea. One of the things I’ve noticed, particularly in a difference in machining between a lot of Chinese parts and other parts that are made in Europe in name factories, is the casting, the quality of the casting. Now that doesn’t mean it’s a better rotor just because the casting is smoother. But if you come in here and look at the casting between the Textar here and the Zimmerman here, you can probably see this is quite a bit rougher than the Zimmerman. The Zimmerman’s quite a bit smoother. That probably means it’s going to be easier to clean. I mean, if you’re that fanatical about cleaning the venting in your rotors, there are obviously going to be easier to clean on the Zimmerman than they are on the Textar. But that’s a very minor difference. And once again, that does not necessarily mean that one rotor is better than the other. So which one am I going to use? Well, I’ll let you guess, okay? I hope you found that helpful. And later on we’ll talk about brake discs. I mean, sorry, brake pads.