Automotive

FYI: How to Spot 'Fake' Brembo Rotors

  • Last Updated:
  • Dec 3rd, 2012 3:42 pm
[OP]
Deal Addict
User avatar
Dec 25, 2006
2008 posts
69 upvotes
Toronto

FYI: How to Spot 'Fake' Brembo Rotors

I got this from another website, but I'll post it here, just in case the link gets broken.

How to tell if you have 'REAL' Brembo rotor blanks or their lesser knock-offs

Indicator #1 - Logo

The Brembo rotors have a Brembo Logo and stamp on the brake lip. Duh, you would think that would be a no brainer but I blindly trusted the supplier. Well REAL Brembo brakes have this stamp. They also have either a part number or serial number stamped on the edge. Mine had the numbers 09793110. The stampings on the Brembo blanks are also MUCH cleaner and more easily distinguishable from the knock offs. The Brembo's came in a thick brown cardboard box. The knockoffs came in a thin white cardboard box. (but dont let the box fool you)

http://img808.imageshack.us/img808/8543/11333278.jpg


Indicator #2 - Rotor Hat Front

Brembo - has 5 lug holes, and 2 screw holes (to brake the rotor from the hub after it eventually rusts on).
Knockoff - has 5 lug holes plus 10 more 'extra' holes which are good for, who knows what?

Image


Indicator #3 - Rotor Hat Rear

Brembo - Nicely machined inside hat. Notice also how much farther their vanes of the rotor extend in vs. the other.
Knockoff - Roughly cast hat, with a wide gap between the rotor vanes and the braking surface. Not machined at all.

Image
Image



Indicator #4 - Weight*

Brembo - 19lbs, 9.4 oz
Knockoff - 17lbs, 12.8oz
What's worse you ask? The knockoff is NOT drilled and is lighter, by almost 2 POUNDS! Shouldn't all those holes in the Brembo rotor make them LIGHTER?
* The two white things are business cards that kept the rotor from rolling off the scale. They did not add a significant amount of weight. *

Image
Image



Indicator #5 - Surface Thickness and Vane Coverage ***MOST IMPORTANT***

Brembo - has two equal and identical braking surfaces. Each side is EXACTLY 10mm thick.
Knockoff - has one side that is 9mm thick and the other is 8mm thick! Roughly 15% less braking surface material! ( I measured the other 3 front rotors they sent and they were all different: 8mm/9.5mm, 9mm/9mm (not too bad), 9mm/8mm. No two rotors were the same.)
Brembo - Vanes extend out to the very outer edge of the braking surface (both inside and outside)
Knockoff - Vanes are sunken into the rotor surface by 6mm (on the inside and outside), meaning there is less material connecting the two rotor surfaces.

Image
Image
Image
Image
Image




Why is indicator #5 the most important?
When you brake the rotor absorbs heat. If one side of the rotor is thicker than the other, the thinner side gets hotter FASTER than the other. The side that gets hotter expands faster and more acutely. This induces brake shudder/vibration/shake/whatever you want to call it. This is compounded by the fact that the vanes that keep the rotor intact are SHORTER on the knockoff than on the Brembo. Compound this by the fact that the braking surface is thinner, thereby reducing the amount of heat the brake as a whole can absorb. Combine all three of these things and you have an inferior rotor.

Why does it only vibrate at higher speeds and it feels smooth at lower/surface street speeds?
At surface street speeds you don't build up enough heat to create a large enough heat differential between the two sides of the rotor. But at highway speeds, this process is accomplished pretty easily.

Do I have to buy Brembo/Bradi?
I would, and I would guess that most others would agree with me. In my opinion, there is not a chance in hell that these two brakes came from the same factory or even the same wholesale distributor. The CSR told me that the initial 2 sets of rotors I received were Brembo rotors. I call BS. The Brembo rotor is clearly of superior build, and quality.

How can you protect yourself when buying?
1. Specify that your rotors be the Brembo brand, with the stamp that proves it.
2. Inspect the rotors before you install them, as it seems that most places will not accept used equipment.
3. Compare the rotors you purchased to the pictures I have listed here. If they look like the knockoff, strongly consider asking the company for a replacement set.


Why don't I talk about the rear brakes?
Since the fronts provide 75-80% of the braking power, the rear brake's job is much easier. As a result, it is very unlikely that the rear brakes will cause much of an issue. Also, since I ended up getting genuine Brembo brakes for the rear in the first place, they were not defective
18 replies
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Mar 5, 2006
5922 posts
155 upvotes
Murica
thx Rob. Good info.

goes to show you don't cheap out on important parts.
As you'd cheat yourself.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Oct 27, 2007
2923 posts
69 upvotes
maniacshopper wrote: thx Rob. Good info.

goes to show you don't cheap out on important parts.
As you'd cheat yourself.
I don't think thats the purpose of his post. He is comparing real vs knock-off brembos, not brembo vs third-party.

This would've been useful when I bought some brembo blanks off Amazon (when I use to be in the states). They warped twice on me, haha.

Thanks for the post!
Newbie
Sep 30, 2006
41 posts
3 upvotes
I don't want to burst your bubble but the 'REAL' Brembo rotors you referring to are fake. Brembo does not sell cross drilled AND slotted rotors - people often are fooled by companies that purchase Brembo plain OE replacement discs and have them altered by a third party :evil: . These misrepresentations usually are offered as a cross drilled and slotted disc which Brembo does not produce. Firstly that voids warranty secondly REAL Brembo drilled or slotted are cast-in by Brembo at the time of manufacturing and also all cross drilled or slotted discs are zinc plated.
Going back to your post the disc you referring to in your post as a real is in fact real Brembo rotor (for Lexus) but it's regular blank disc but altered by third party. http://bremboaftermarket.com/En/Car_Dis ... e=09793110
Sorry for bed news> :(
Deal Guru
Jan 15, 2006
13514 posts
10362 upvotes
Richmond Hill
If those knock off rotors are used for street driving it really won't make a difference in performance, except might warp more easily. FYI, I've had 3 honda cars warp their OEM rotors.

The only time a real brembo rotor vs. knock off will make a difference is when they are used at the extreme (on the track).
Deal Addict
User avatar
Nov 2, 2008
1276 posts
156 upvotes
arek wrote: I don't want to burst your bubble but the 'REAL' Brembo rotors you referring to are fake. Brembo does not sell cross drilled AND slotted rotors - people often are fooled by companies that purchase Brembo plain OE replacement discs and have them altered by a third party :evil: . These misrepresentations usually are offered as a cross drilled and slotted disc which Brembo does not produce. Firstly that voids warranty secondly REAL Brembo drilled or slotted are cast-in by Brembo at the time of manufacturing and also all cross drilled or slotted discs are zinc plated.
Going back to your post the disc you referring to in your post as a real is in fact real Brembo rotor (for Lexus) but it's regular blank disc but altered by third party. http://bremboaftermarket.com/En/Car_Dis ... e=09793110
Sorry for bed news> :(
The post he made is from 5 years ago... lol This was tested in 2005, so there is a good chance you are right regarding the drilling.

Conversely, this was the ending of the FnF era, so Brembo could have equally been pumping out what all the little civics & wannabe trackstars were willing to buy...
Newbie
Sep 30, 2006
41 posts
3 upvotes
Like I said I'm sorry for bed news but how much proof do you need - even the serial number on your "real" x-drilled AND slotted discs on the brembo web site coming out as blank discs, and those web sites you referring to they do sell real Brembo rotors (as advertize) but modified for profit. If you do not believe me - it's simple send an email to Brembo and ask. BTW rotors normally come in red boxes (not white) and x-drilled or slotted are made in Italy and blanks (usually) in china.

Cheers
Deal Expert
Nov 2, 2003
15614 posts
1595 upvotes
GTA
good thread!
i was actually coming in here looking for a good laugh at how to spot ricers and fake brembos ON their cars but was pleasant surprised at this detailed description/comparison.

thanks.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Sep 2, 2006
5782 posts
466 upvotes
Stouffville, ON
Great post OP!

Now since this is red flag deals...where should one purchase real brembo rotors in Canada at the best price possible?
--
Deal Expert
User avatar
May 10, 2005
34330 posts
8150 upvotes
Ottawa
actng wrote: good thread!
i was actually coming in here looking for a good laugh at how to spot ricers and fake brembos ON their cars but was pleasant surprised at this detailed description/comparison.

thanks.
And pointed out that the detailed description is even wrong :)
m4gician wrote: Great post OP!

Now since this is red flag deals...where should one purchase real brembo rotors in Canada at the best price possible?
Actualy, great post arek.
Pointing out the original post is actually perpetuating the claim it is trying to dispell. LOL.
Sr. Member
User avatar
Apr 21, 2004
819 posts
50 upvotes
Pickering
arek wrote: I don't want to burst your bubble but the 'REAL' Brembo rotors you referring to are fake. Brembo does not sell cross drilled AND slotted rotors - people often are fooled by companies that purchase Brembo plain OE replacement discs and have them altered by a third party :evil: . These misrepresentations usually are offered as a cross drilled and slotted disc which Brembo does not produce. Firstly that voids warranty secondly REAL Brembo drilled or slotted are cast-in by Brembo at the time of manufacturing and also all cross drilled or slotted discs are zinc plated.
Going back to your post the disc you referring to in your post as a real is in fact real Brembo rotor (for Lexus) but it's regular blank disc but altered by third party. http://bremboaftermarket.com/En/Car_Dis ... e=09793110
Sorry for bed news> :(
Actually, not all are zinc plated. Light truck and SUV rotors don't come plated according to Tirerack.

http://www.tirerack.com/brakes/brakes.j ... lled+Rotor

I was checking them out for my Q7.
Deal Fanatic
Apr 11, 2006
7555 posts
2497 upvotes
Mississauga
arek wrote: I usualy buy them from states :
http://www.importrp.com/home.php?cat=38 ... dbf8457522
I've ordered from them fiew times and they offer good prices (I think), fast service and GENUINE Brembo Rotors.
Hmmm, they don't have rears available for my vehicle. Shipping for two fronts cost one rotor itself and it's via UPS (boooo!!! who knows what kind of handling fee I'm going to be dinged with).

Anyone know if the OE Brembo brakes on AutoPartsWay is genuine? They're a bit more, but of course free shipping over $75.
Sr. Member
User avatar
Dec 18, 2006
833 posts
107 upvotes
Richmond Hill
Good to know. Thanks op.

I ordered a set from Autopartsway a few years ago and I'm pretty sure they were genuine.

Top