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Shop says new drums and rotors are not turnable #2927417
05/27/21 08:31 PM
05/27/21 08:31 PM
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hp383 Offline OP
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I was discussing brakes with my favorite shop today. They work on a lot of older vehicles and I questioned why they had gotten rid of their brake lathe.

They said new drums and rotors, even those bought for older vehicles, are no longer made with enough material to turn and keep in spec. And the few that were able to be serviced the material was of such poor quality that it was nearly guaranteed to be a bring back for a warped rotor a short time later.

Are the available brake parts really that poorly made these days?

I'm running a set of Wagner drums and rotors purchased 8 years ago
Drums were USA mfg. rotors are Canadian mfg.

I'm assuming I will be able to have these turned at least once if needed. But it's going to be several years before I have the miles needed to replace pads and shoes.


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Re: Shop says new drums and rotors are not turnable [Re: hp383] #2927423
05/27/21 08:40 PM
05/27/21 08:40 PM
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Central Pa
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moparjim79 Offline
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Originally Posted by hp383
I was discussing brakes with my favorite shop today. They work on a lot of older vehicles and I questioned why they had gotten rid of their brake lathe.

They said new drums and rotors, even those bought for older vehicles, are no longer made with enough material to turn and keep in spec. And the few that were able to be serviced the material was of such poor quality that it was nearly guaranteed to be a bring back for a warped rotor a short time later.

Are the available brake parts really that poorly made these days?

I'm running a set of Wagner drums and rotors purchased 8 years ago
Drums were USA mfg. rotors are Canadian mfg.

I'm assuming I will be able to have these turned at least once if needed. But it's going to be several years before I have the miles needed to replace pads and shoes.



I've found in most cases, the cost to turn is anywhere from 50-70% of the cost of a new rotor. I really miss the days of $5-$10 a piece turn a mom and pop would do for you.....also, you go into a lot of shops and they have no idea what you're talking about. "Yeah sir, rotors always turn when they're mounted on a car"...

Re: Shop says new drums and rotors are not turnable [Re: hp383] #2927426
05/27/21 08:48 PM
05/27/21 08:48 PM
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AndyF Offline
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You most likely can't turn the rotors on anything made in the last 20 years. Everything has been valued engineered to the last penny. I've run into this issue with several different vehicles.

Re: Shop says new drums and rotors are not turnable [Re: AndyF] #2927431
05/27/21 09:03 PM
05/27/21 09:03 PM
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Granite Bay
Frankenduster Offline
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Originally Posted by AndyF
You most likely can't turn the rotors on anything made in the last 20 years. Everything has been valued engineered to the last penny. I've run into this issue with several different vehicles.

Not completely true.
I have aftermarket rotors for my 2007 Ram 1500. I got three "resurfacings" on each front and rear pair before they were under the spec.

Re: Shop says new drums and rotors are not turnable [Re: Frankenduster] #2927454
05/27/21 10:04 PM
05/27/21 10:04 PM
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Dcuda69 Offline
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There are plenty of rotors out that have enough material to turn.....the biggest problem is rust! Big rust spots make it hard to create a clean flat surface by machining. Most shops simply do not want to spend time turning rotors when they can slap new ones on in a few minutes and be done.

The biggest problem is the crap replacements.....I replaced rotors twice on my 04 Ram in 60k.....both replacement sets sucked! Hammering again when I said enough and traded it off. Bought a F150.....1st set of brakes lasted 50k and plenty of material to cut the rotors and keep using them.

Re: Shop says new drums and rotors are not turnable [Re: Dcuda69] #2927491
05/28/21 12:19 AM
05/28/21 12:19 AM
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New drums and rotors for older vehicles or even newer large vehicles like trucks should still be able to be done. But for how cheap they are to replace now nobody does it any more.

Re: Shop says new drums and rotors are not turnable [Re: moparjim79] #2927494
05/28/21 12:45 AM
05/28/21 12:45 AM
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Originally Posted by hp383
I really miss the days of $5-$10 a piece turn a mom and pop would do for you.....also, you go into a lot of shops and they have no idea what you're talking about. "Yeah sir, rotors always turn when they're mounted on a car"...



I used to run an auto repair office and do service writing for a small shop in California. I still know the owner and his wife. To this day they turn rotors at $10 a piece! Great people, fair prices and a super mechanic.


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Re: Shop says new drums and rotors are not turnable [Re: BigDaddy440] #2927496
05/28/21 12:55 AM
05/28/21 12:55 AM
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Here
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Rotors for my Saturn run as low as $10.94 for Raybestos and $11.59 for Bendix - tough to beat that price


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Re: Shop says new drums and rotors are not turnable [Re: DirectSubjection] #2927504
05/28/21 02:24 AM
05/28/21 02:24 AM
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hp383 Offline OP
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With rotor/hubs at $60 each I can pay NAPA to turn them a time or twu before dropping cash on a new pair.

I understand the newer stuff that runs the hat rotors it's not cost effective, but after buying a premium name brand rotor I was hoping I could get a few cuts on them.


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Re: Shop says new drums and rotors are not turnable [Re: hp383] #2927546
05/28/21 09:14 AM
05/28/21 09:14 AM
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Aftermarket replacement rotors warp much easier than their OE counterparts. The rust problem is common on both aftermarket and OE. We buy insurance cars which may set a year or more due to negotiations and title snafus. The rotors are often deeply rusted where the pads sit on the rotor for that long and you can really feel it in the pedal. We used to have the local O'Reilly's turn them because they turned them for free for commercial customers. But, the help was so incompetent, that they ruined some rotors, damaged others, broke bits, and finally damaged the bearings in the machine which O'Reilly's decided not to have repaired. We just decided to buy our own machine. $500 for a nice used unit. We don't do a lot of rotors, but now we know they are done right. And don't have to wonder when they will get done.


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Re: Shop says new drums and rotors are not turnable [Re: DaveRS23] #2927588
05/28/21 11:13 AM
05/28/21 11:13 AM
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moparx Offline
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i turn rotors and drums on the lathe. i get a much better finish than a brake lathe, and i can do the job when i feel like it because i have "extras" on the shelf.
i turn them, put a thin layer of grease on the fresh surface, then put into a small garbage bag and on the shelf ready for the next time needed.
that gives me something to do so i stay out of trouble.
beer

Re: Shop says new drums and rotors are not turnable [Re: moparx] #2927685
05/28/21 02:12 PM
05/28/21 02:12 PM
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I charge $10-$15 (depending on size, how many passes to get em flat and weather there is greasy hubs to deal with or not) each to turn them and most have some extra material to do so, a shop not wanting to do it is because they are lazy/greedy... there is a bigger profit margin on selling new ones, they mark it up at least $15 each anyhow, they don't pay the tech any labor and the job gets done faster.

On the other hand I prefer to machine them for several reasons
1. The chinese material is junk on new rotors and they frequently come back warped where the originals or even used chinese ones have been heat cycled a ton o times and are not gonna warp quickly under most circumstances.
2. I live 2 hours from a real parts store (NAPA directly accross the street from my shop is a joke, they have to order everything, even have to order me ATF+4 so I can get the job done faster by doing it myself.
3. It saves the customer money and they love me for it when I save em $50-$100 even on some brake jobs.


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Re: Shop says new drums and rotors are not turnable [Re: HotRodDave] #2927701
05/28/21 02:25 PM
05/28/21 02:25 PM
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One thing that sets up rotors and especially drums up for issues is how they are stored at the store/warehouse. They need to be stored flat, not vertical. Most places store vertical as it eats up less space. How long were they sitting like that? When I worked at a NAPA store in the early 90's we stored them flat and had no warp issues. This was after finding out we had more returns due to warpage from being vertical. Add the prevalence of overseas manufactured units, like now, with questionable machining and you have your current results of issues. Maybe buy better made units? Hard to say. Even major brands get stuff done offshore. For sure though, once you cut them to true them up, you lose material that would have been there to help absorb the friction heat thereby making it much easier to warp the units when you are on the binders hard or for a long period.


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Re: Shop says new drums and rotors are not turnable [Re: CKessel] #2927727
05/28/21 03:18 PM
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My third Tacoma has 500,000+ miles on rear original drums and shoes, I'm not turning them.


If you can't dazzle them with diamonds, don't waste your time, because nothing will
Re: Shop says new drums and rotors are not turnable [Re: hp383] #2927769
05/28/21 04:03 PM
05/28/21 04:03 PM
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JohnRR Offline
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Originally Posted by hp383
I was discussing brakes with my favorite shop today. They work on a lot of older vehicles and I questioned why they had gotten rid of their brake lathe.

They said new drums and rotors, even those bought for older vehicles, are no longer made with enough material to turn and keep in spec. And the few that were able to be serviced the material was of such poor quality that it was nearly guaranteed to be a bring back for a warped rotor a short time later.

Are the available brake parts really that poorly made these days?

I'm running a set of Wagner drums and rotors purchased 8 years ago
Drums were USA mfg. rotors are Canadian mfg.

I'm assuming I will be able to have these turned at least once if needed. But it's going to be several years before I have the miles needed to replace pads and shoes.


I'm driving a ...cough cough ... 2018 F150 ... cough cough ... and the stealership turned my rear rotors when they talked me into letting them do the rear brakes last December.


running up my post count some more .
Re: Shop says new drums and rotors are not turnable [Re: JohnRR] #2927864
05/28/21 08:47 PM
05/28/21 08:47 PM
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poorboy Offline
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When its time to redo brakes, if the rotors or drums still look good an are not warped, I reuse them, not turned. The last set I had turned were really messed up, and it cost almost 1/2 the price of the replacement parts.

I either reuse good rotors or drums, or I buy the new junk. I'm not paying to have them turned at the only place in town that will still turn them.

Our turbo PT eats rotors about every year, they crack at both sides of the center supporting ribs on each of the brake surfaces at several areas around the rotors.

Re: Shop says new drums and rotors are not turnable [Re: poorboy] #2927940
05/29/21 01:54 AM
05/29/21 01:54 AM
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Castlegar, BC, Canada
That AMC Guy Offline
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About 5 years ago, I bought some Raybestos front drums for my little '74 Hornet. I'm from the era where drums or rotors out of the box are bolt on and go. Well apparently, those days are gone. Front drums vibrated so bad, it was WORSE than the old drums. Took them to my favorite little mom&pop place, and Erwin had to turn the front drums SO MUCH to make them straight, I he said they'll be at throw-away spec the next time we turn them.

Though I see now Rockauto is carrying a new line of drums from a place called "Dynamic Friction". They claim to be "bolt on an go" and are even high-heat painted right out of the box. When I've got the money, I'm going to buy a front set for my Gremlin and will report back with my findings.

Last edited by That AMC Guy; 05/29/21 01:56 AM.

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Re: Shop says new drums and rotors are not turnable [Re: That AMC Guy] #2928297
05/29/21 08:28 PM
05/29/21 08:28 PM
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Granite Bay
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Hey....What was so wrong with the "Rambler Man" name?

Re: Shop says new drums and rotors are not turnable [Re: hp383] #2928327
05/29/21 09:47 PM
05/29/21 09:47 PM
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feets Offline
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Some manufacturers like BMW and Merciless Bends have rotors that are surface hardened. If you turn there there's a good chance you'll cut off the hardened surface. That dramatically shortens the lift of the rotor.


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Re: Shop says new drums and rotors are not turnable [Re: feets] #2928390
05/30/21 06:54 AM
05/30/21 06:54 AM
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ohio
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After 25 plus years in the business, most shops don't know what they're doing when turning rotors or drums. It's all in the setup and keeping the mating surfaces and lathe parts clean. Most guys just toss the rotors on and let the machine go at it. They usually end up taking a good rotors and making it wobbly.

If you don't currently have a pulsating pedal, just scrub the friction surfaces with some 80 grit to remove residue from the old frictions and reassemble.


Angry white guy
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