AR15.Com Archives
 Raybestos Brake Rotors Made in USA?
pv74  [Member]
4/20/2009 1:03:59 AM
My rotors warped on my F-150 due to a set of those damned ceramic brake pads (installed those last year...and had fade problems when going down hill...then eventually ended up with the shakes)

So I went to a Shuck's Auto Parts and all they had were made in China rotors....
I reluctantly bought a set of the commie rotors and USA made semi metallic brake pads.

Then I hit another Shuck's parts store on the way to the auto hobby shop (about 50 miles away) and figured I would ask if they had American made rotors...they had the Raybestos brand...I have always had good luck with Raybestos brake parts...and the rotors appeared to have a much better finish... One problem..."Made in China" appeared on the box. The sales dude swore up and down that the BOX was made in China....Uh OK

So I figured they were better than the plain white box China brand, so I bought them anyways...figuring that I can return the lesser quality set later.

I installed the new pads and rotors (after beating on the old factory rotors with a sledge hamer...it was a royal PITA to get them off ) and my truck stops smooth as a baby's ass

I just think I got duped into buying a set of commie brake rotors. I don't like questionable brake parts from communist countries or tin hat dictatorships on my truck...commie guns are OK...just not commie brake rotors...it's a double standard, I know...but my ass is riding on those brakes.

So did I get talked into buying a set of red rotors







Dac1915  [Team Member]
4/20/2009 1:07:14 AM
I heard that almost all rotors are made in china now. The only ones not made there are the super high end ones.
pjg43  [Member]
4/20/2009 1:10:01 AM
Originally Posted By pv74:
My rotors warped on my F-150 due to a set of those damned ceramic brake pads (installed those last year...and had fade problems when going down hill...then eventually ended up with the shakes)

So I went to a Shuck's Auto Parts and all they had were made in China rotors....
I reluctantly bought a set of the commie rotors and USA made semi metallic brake pads.

Then I hit another Shuck's parts store on the way to the auto hobby shop (about 50 miles away) and figured I would ask if they had American made rotors...they had the Raybestos brand...I have always had good luck with Raybestos brake parts...and the rotors appeared to have a much better finish... One problem..."Made in China" appeared on the box. The sales dude swore up and down that the BOX was made in China....Uh OK

So I figured they were better than the plain white box China brand, so I bought them anyways...figuring that I can return the lesser quality set later.

I installed the new pads and rotors (after beating on the old factory rotors with a sledge hamer...it was a royal PITA to get them off ) and my truck stops smooth as a baby's ass

I just think I got duped into buying a set of commie brake rotors. I don't like questionable brake parts from communist countries or tin hat dictatorships on my truck...commie guns are OK...just not commie brake rotors...it's a double standard, I know...but my ass is riding on those brakes.

So did I get talked into buying a set of red rotors









Welcome to reality. Best you can do is get em from Ford
pv74  [Member]
4/20/2009 1:14:13 AM
Originally Posted By Dac1915:
I heard that almost all rotors are made in china now. The only ones not made there are the super high end ones.


Thing is I don't want holes in my rotors and all that racing stuff...I just want a high quality set of standard rotors with some meat on them that doesn't come from a commie country with questionable business practices.

Keith_J  [Team Member]
4/20/2009 1:24:17 AM
Most are cast iron. That is a dirty, heavy, manual labor intesive process. Filling a cope and a drag with sand, removing the pattern, then blowing out any sand in the drag and flipping the cope flask over to mate the halves. Then fill with molten iron, letting the castings solidify, removing the flasks and then shaking out the parts. Parting the pieces, then line-boring the bearing seats, turning the surfaces true with the bearing bores and finally, balancing the parts.

Figure on a CASTING cost at over $1 a pound PLUS all that machining work...yeah, it is dirty work that the video game set just cannot do. Plus add in the environmental costs here in the US and it is no wonder they do most in China. And I bet they cast in at most, 3 per flask, manually set where domestically, the only thing that wasn't semi-automated was inspection of the formed flask halves.

I doubt the castings are radiographally examined. Forget about ultrasonic on vented disks. About the only NDE that can be done would be penetrant examination.

GC7  [Member]
4/20/2009 1:27:40 AM
For most direct OEM replacements, its much easier for companies to have rotors mfged in China. If you have an issue with this, then you need to get upgraded rotors or find a metal working shop and have them make some for you. The thing is, depending on your reason for wanting USA made rotors, you may be putting yourself into a pit of agony. If you want them out of principle, then there's nothing wrong with that, but realize that rotors DO and WILL warp or glaze on F150s. You can pay $200ea for USA made direct OEM replacements, only to have them warp in 5k miles, or get $60ea China made rotors that end up lasting until you sell the vehicle. It's a toss up.

Raybestos is the parent company of many different brake rotor brands. Some of their divisions sell value end parts that mostly come from China, while I believe the actual Raybestos brand sources their rotors from Canada or any remaining US facilities.

One thing you NEED to do is bed in those pads. In fact, do it twice, a week apart. This will essentially temper the rotors and leave them extremely hard and less likely to warp. They should have a blue or brownish sheen when you are done if you heated them up hot enough.

I recently did a brake job on my truck and right away I had brake chatter issues. Well, I forgot to bed in the pads so the material from the ceramic pads was melting onto the rotor after hard stops. I bedded in the rotors that evening and they were smooth as ice. One thing you need to keep in mind is that trucks especially shift weight around when braking, which puts extra stress on the rotors. Add in the fact that the damn engineers have no choice but to put the most cost-saving design into the brake setup, and you have a high chance of warping. What this means is if you have been driving 85MPH on the interstate and you immediately take the step declining off-ramp into a red traffic light, try not to sit in that one spot with your foot on the brake pedal. This WILL cause the rotor to unevenly cool as well as induce the possibility that the pad material will meld to the rotor. Instead, slow down before the off-ramp, or don't stop a foot behind the car in front of you at the light. Come to a near stop about a car length back and then slowly inch forward so that you aren't giving the pads a chance to glue themselves to the rotor.
Dave_A  [Team Member]
4/20/2009 1:29:28 AM
Originally Posted By pv74:
My rotors warped on my F-150 due to a set of those damned ceramic brake pads (installed those last year...and had fade problems when going down hill...then eventually ended up with the shakes)

So I went to a Shuck's Auto Parts and all they had were made in China rotors....
I reluctantly bought a set of the commie rotors and USA made semi metallic brake pads.

Then I hit another Shuck's parts store on the way to the auto hobby shop (about 50 miles away) and figured I would ask if they had American made rotors...they had the Raybestos brand...I have always had good luck with Raybestos brake parts...and the rotors appeared to have a much better finish... One problem..."Made in China" appeared on the box. The sales dude swore up and down that the BOX was made in China....Uh OK

So I figured they were better than the plain white box China brand, so I bought them anyways...figuring that I can return the lesser quality set later.

I installed the new pads and rotors (after beating on the old factory rotors with a sledge hamer...it was a royal PITA to get them off ) and my truck stops smooth as a baby's ass

I just think I got duped into buying a set of commie brake rotors. I don't like questionable brake parts from communist countries or tin hat dictatorships on my truck...commie guns are OK...just not commie brake rotors...it's a double standard, I know...but my ass is riding on those brakes.

So did I get talked into buying a set of red rotors









Brake rotors fall into that 'Too easy to manufacture, for it to be worth doing in the US' category....

DangerJ  [Team Member]
4/20/2009 1:37:06 AM
Originally Posted By Keith_J:
Most are cast iron. That is a dirty, heavy, manual labor intesive process. Filling a cope and a drag with sand, removing the pattern, then blowing out any sand in the drag and flipping the cope flask over to mate the halves. Then fill with molten iron, letting the castings solidify, removing the flasks and then shaking out the parts. Parting the pieces, then line-boring the bearing seats, turning the surfaces true with the bearing bores and finally, balancing the parts.

Figure on a CASTING cost at over $1 a pound PLUS all that machining work...yeah, it is dirty work that the video game set just cannot do. Plus add in the environmental costs here in the US and it is no wonder they do most in China. And I bet they cast in at most, 3 per flask, manually set where domestically, the only thing that wasn't semi-automated was inspection of the formed flask halves.

I doubt the castings are radiographally examined. Forget about ultrasonic on vented disks. About the only NDE that can be done would be penetrant examination.



Is there anything you don't know?
Armin_Tanzarian  [Team Member]
4/20/2009 1:40:21 AM
FYI, brake rotors rarely warp. The pulsating you were feeling was probably caused by overheating the ceramic pads and having them deposit friction material onto the rotor. The rotor is a lot stickier in the area with the deposit which causes the pulsating feeling while braking. Did your rotors have dark spots in some areas? That's a sign of deposits. This is almost always caused by overheated pads and generally isn't the fault of the rotor.

You probably could've gotten away with turning the rotors slightly if they were still within spec and getting better pads, but getting all new stuff ensures that you are starting fresh and shoudln't have any more problems. If it's not too bad you can even use an abrasive pad to remove the deposits, but it's not the prefered method. Mild cases can sometimes be cured, even if only temporarily, by one good hard stop but without overheating the pads. I had a car years ago that would get deposits when I drove it too hard and I could clear it up with one good stop on cool brakes from 50-0 MPH.

I stick to OE pads or good aftermarket pads. If you really drive hard you might even want to look into higher end pads like Hawk and get something that is designed for the extra high temps. If I had to choose I'd spend more to get nice pads than more to get nice rotors. A lot of the higher end performance rotors are actually blanks made in China and then machined here with slots, cross drilling, etc.
warlord  [Member]
4/20/2009 1:48:37 AM
How come you don't machine the original rotors on your truck? I would do that before you toss the rotors.
subjectofcalifornia  [Member]
4/20/2009 2:03:52 AM
if you ever get your rotors hot. The worst thing you can do is pull over. Drive further and let them cool down prior to stopping. A few miles if you can.
pv74  [Member]
4/20/2009 9:27:36 AM
Originally Posted By warlord:
How come you don't machine the original rotors on your truck? I would do that before you toss the rotors.


I wanted to have them turned and return the new rotors, but I had to damage the original rotors to get them off the front axles (4WD).
They were rusted in place and needed convincing with a ton of penetrating oil and a sledge hammer.
Took me damned near an hour


ScottsGT  [Member]
4/20/2009 9:36:46 AM
My Cobra rotors are made in Honduras.
pv74  [Member]
4/20/2009 9:37:58 AM
Originally Posted By Armin_Tanzarian:
FYI, brake rotors rarely warp. The pulsating you were feeling was probably caused by overheating the ceramic pads and having them deposit friction material onto the rotor. The rotor is a lot stickier in the area with the deposit which causes the pulsating feeling while braking. Did your rotors have dark spots in some areas? That's a sign of deposits. This is almost always caused by overheated pads and generally isn't the fault of the rotor.

You probably could've gotten away with turning the rotors slightly if they were still within spec and getting better pads, but getting all new stuff ensures that you are starting fresh and shoudln't have any more problems. If it's not too bad you can even use an abrasive pad to remove the deposits, but it's not the prefered method. Mild cases can sometimes be cured, even if only temporarily, by one good hard stop but without overheating the pads. I had a car years ago that would get deposits when I drove it too hard and I could clear it up with one good stop on cool brakes from 50-0 MPH.

I stick to OE pads or good aftermarket pads. If you really drive hard you might even want to look into higher end pads like Hawk and get something that is designed for the extra high temps. If I had to choose I'd spend more to get nice pads than more to get nice rotors. A lot of the higher end performance rotors are actually blanks made in China and then machined here with slots, cross drilling, etc.


I drive down a lot of steep grades and tow frequently...I think that's part of the problem.

I got the best set of semi metallic pads the parts store had...

Never really noted any problems with the factory brakes, just the pads wore out after about 40K miles and a wheel cylinder cracked....so I replaced the pads with ceramic pads (and the wheel cylinder)...
After replacing with ceramic pads I noticed squeeling and fade durring hard stops downhill and after about 15K miles I started getting the shakes durring high speed braking.

I'll try to go easier on the brakes from now on...try to let them cool after a hard stop and see how that works.
ampn  [Team Member]
4/20/2009 10:03:42 AM
I use NAPA parts at work. Most of the high end premium parts in their line were made in the USA. Slowly more and more parts are Chinese. The brake rotors are made in China but appear to be of high quality. I've never had a warped one out of the box, the surface finish is nice. Brake wheel cylinders look ok. Brake hoses just look inferior––hose material and crimps. Time will tell.

paris-dakar  [Member]
4/20/2009 10:15:22 AM
Originally Posted By Dac1915:
I heard that almost all rotors are made in china now. The only ones not made there are the super high end ones.


This. At least with the American Name Brand ones, there's a chance that someone checks for dimensional conformance and proper spec material.

The generic stuff, forget it. Pure pot-metal garbage.