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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I needed to replace some wraped rotors and have had good luck using Ford parts. I bought some Motorcraft rotors and found out later that it appears that Ford has another grade of rotor that is more expensive than the Motorcraft.

To compare the OEM rotors I was replacing with the new Motorcraft rotors, I weighed the old and new rotors as well as compared the number and size of the cooling fins. Both the OEM and the Motorcraft rotors weighed the same and the fins were identical.

Does Ford have two (or more) grades of rotors? If so, what could be the differences between the two grades? Is it worth the money to buy the more expensive grade?

Thanks. Tom
 

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In my experience i've always gone with cheap rotors and a decent set of brake pads. The price difference is purely in the warranty unless you go with some cyro treated rotors or drilled / slotted ect.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
The Motorcraft rotors cost around $55 each. Don't know if that qualifies them as cheap. The other Ford rotors cost around $75 each.

The new rotors and pads eliminated all pedal pulsation. And we won't let anyone near these wheels with an impact wrench.
 

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There are differences in rotors. Most good rotors are thicker when new than cheap rotors. You can often find differences in the fin patterns which sometimes makes a difference.

I say stay away from the bottom feeders, all you get is the equivalent of a half worn out rotor.
 

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There are differences in rotors. Most good rotors are thicker when new than cheap rotors. You can often find differences in the fin patterns which sometimes makes a difference.

I say stay away from the bottom feeders, all you get is the equivalent of a half worn out rotor.
I don't see how thet could be signifacantly thicker. :confused: If the width were much more than the standard width you would not be able to get a new set of pads on over the rotor
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The front rotor is basically two solid rotors separated by cooling fins. What KhanTyranitar is referring to is the thickness of the two individual solid rotors. The overall width between the inner and outer surfaces of the rotor assembly is the same across all grades.
 

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As a wholesale auto parts salesman, and a retired master auto tech. I can assure you that there ARE differences in rotors. Rotors must meet a thickness spec. set by the vechicle manif. so all the other parts can fit togeather, but its how they do it that makes a difference. Cheap Rotors come with wider cooling fins, this mean thinner wear surface, thus less of an ability to absorb heat properly, and much more prone to warping. Another difference clearly is weather the rotors was machined, I don't like to use any rotors that has no factory machine. All the parts I used, and the ones I sell, are premium, or oem spec. parts, designed for the professional. The large chain stores sell cheaper quality aimed at the shade tree shops, or do it yourself mechanics. Other features of a premium rotor is a powder coated to ward off rust on the hubs...all features that come with a professional quality product.... just saying... same goes for pads and shoes.....quality is in the box.... our company also offers cyro treated, drilled and slotted, all for performance, not really needed for everyday driving, but cool to look at......
 

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As a wholesale auto parts salesman, and a retired master auto tech. I can assure you that there ARE differences in rotors. Rotors must meet a thickness spec. set by the vechicle manif. so all the other parts can fit togeather, but its how they do it that makes a difference. Cheap Rotors come with wider cooling fins, this mean thinner wear surface, thus less of an ability to absorb heat properly, and much more prone to warping. Another difference clearly is weather the rotors was machined, I don't like to use any rotors that has no factory machine. All the parts I used, and the ones I sell, are premium, or oem spec. parts, designed for the professional. The large chain stores sell cheaper quality aimed at the shade tree shops, or do it yourself mechanics. Other features of a premium rotor is a powder coated to ward off rust on the hubs...all features that come with a professional quality product.... just saying... same goes for pads and shoes.....quality is in the box.... our company also offers cyro treated, drilled and slotted, all for performance, not really needed for everyday driving, but cool to look at......
One add on for me is the visual quality of machining.
See pic.
The more of the "unused" surfaces they machine, the less out of balance is needed to be corrected. The more they machine all the unused surfaces, the better the heat transfer is in uniformity. In "old school" Ford used to put pieces of steel tubing pressed between cooling fins for balance. So when it rusted and fell out you had out of balance and not fixed with tire balance. When new they did not cool the same all around. Of course that is what I would not accept now, but was common practice, and on Lincoln they ground a grove one side for balance.

The rotor in the pic was from RockAuto and I do not remember the brand, it just looked like quality in the finish. Put on '03 Sable.

-chart-
 

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The third-party rotors can be from way below OE to way above - from 29$ to over 200$ for one - it's all money!
The bottom priced ones are made of pig iron and scrap steel and minimally machined. The high end have cast iron alloys (like EBC), mil ballanced, eventually machined with dimples, holes, slots. Motorcraft ones are somwhere in the middle. OE material should be SAE grade G3000 cast iron.
How "good" you need them to be depends of your driving habbits. If you drive like a granny, barely using the brakes, probably you will be OK with the cheapest one. If you drive like on Indy 500, then you will warp those cheap ones in a day.
 

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I have Duralast Gold rotors and ceramic pads (not the priciest C-Max pads, the regular DG ceramic) front and rear on my Bull, and 'very spirited driving' is the best way to describe the type of use that they get.

Almost 30k miles on that setup now, and there is still no noticeable fade or any issues of lost braking ability.
 

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With over 300k on gen2/3 brakes, 200k on aftermarket pads and rotors, my suggestions is to buy the cheapest Chineseist rotors you can find and spend your money on brake pads and a good torque wrench for the lug nuts.
I like Hawk HPS (not the HPS+ the cold friction is to low), they are dusty though, but can handle the higher temps of the 1989-2000 10" rotors. You have a 2002, so it should have the 11" rotors and they have enough thermal mass to allow for "normal" expensive brake pads.

Most of the "warped" rotors are caused by brake pad material being transferred to the rotors because they pads are being used outside of the designed temp range. I have scene warped rotors, but it was on our E150 that was maxed combined van+ trailer weight. We where coming down a PA mountain and because of a traffic jam were forced to sit in one place with out any time to cool the brakes off. The over heated brakes causing the pads to bake onto the rotors and temperature variation warped the rotors. It was bad enough that we lost 1 lug nut and could see the rotor wobble when spinning it by hand.
 

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when I bought my gen 3 SHO it had about 92k on it and pulsating brakes.

I bought what I thought was "decent" rotors and ceramic pads from Raybestos' "professional" line (Rock Auto).
Rotors were <$50 each and the pads were $40 ish.

They worked very well for around 5k mi and the pulsation slowly came back.
This was strange -- I've done 8 or 10 brake jobs on 4 or 5 different cars and never had brake problems so soon after installing new parts.

Rock Auto referred me to Raybestos and Raybestos' advice was - you over-torqued them, you're on your own. (No more Raybestos brake parts for me).

Next try - Wearever rotors from Advance. Cheaper than the RB's, <$40 each after AA discount. I stuck with the RB pads since wear appeared minimal.
Same problem. Worked well for a few thousand then pulsation returned.

AA exchanged the rotors. No questions asked.

THIS time I put the brakes through the suggested "seasoning" process of 3-4 60-70 mph to 5-10 mph stops.
The theory doesn't hold water IMO, but apparently it works. I'm at around 10k now and no pulsation.

So I guess what I'm saying is - in MY experience on THESE cars cheap rotors are fine. Good pads are a good idea. Proper torque is important.
And do a search on brake rotor seasoning and give it a try. It may make all the difference.
 

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Seasoning allows for an even transfer of brake pad material on to the rotor and will also burn / scrape off anything on the surface.
 

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my company sells alot of centric brake parts, centric's cheapest rotors the "121" series are better then most others premiums..the centric premium are awesome, powder coated hubs..the also have a excellent line of pads....but overall driving habits are the main contributing factor to must brake problems. some drivers seem to get by on the cheapest crap on the market, yet some soccer mom in their suv's cant go 1 month w/o warping the rotors...so bottom line is, buy what you can afford, and use your brakes properly, and see what happens.
 

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I had a set of motorcraft rotors cryo treated and used PFCM pad. I went through a set and a half of pads. When I upgraded my brakes, I moved the rotors to my brother's SHO and he went through 2 sets of pads. Neither one of us are gentle on the brakes. During this time the brakes never pulsed. The rotors were seasoned when new and new pads were bedded properly.

Bob
 

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I needed to replace some wraped rotors and have had good luck using Ford parts. I bought some Motorcraft rotors and found out later that it appears that Ford has another grade of rotor that is more expensive than the Motorcraft.

To compare the OEM rotors I was replacing with the new Motorcraft rotors, I weighed the old and new rotors as well as compared the number and size of the cooling fins. Both the OEM and the Motorcraft rotors weighed the same and the fins were identical.

Does Ford have two (or more) grades of rotors? If so, what could be the differences between the two grades? Is it worth the money to buy the more expensive grade?

Thanks. Tom
See pic of Ford Factory rear rotor off '02 Lin Cont (same as taurus) at 42K miles. Pads were metallic and as often posted, meatallics "eat rotors". Factory spec for this car and Taurus is organic rears, ceramic fronts.

In my opinion, based on experience, if you put metallics on new rotors, you are kissing the rotors goodby.

Cermaics and orgainic have similar compressability and friction so using what the factory put on should be fine. Ceramics on the rear will have the same character as the orgainic that should have been on from the factory will balance as well.

Metallics do not have good friction cold, but get agressive when hot. Thus mixing on a car would create a moving out of balance front to rear. Metallics are for police, taxi, and delivery vehicles.

-chart-
 
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