December 22, 2017

Modern Braking Rotor Upgrades

  • by Callum Ollie
  • 3 Years ago
  • Comments Off

If you want to improve your car’s performance you should not only look at the engine and the transmission. Sure, improving intake manifold and the fuel injection and your transmission will certainly give you more power—and control of that power—but what good is all that power if you can’t stop?

That’s right, if you want to go fast, you need to make sure that you also upgrade your car’s braking system too.  And to do that, you are going to need to learn a little about the different types of performance brakes rotors equipped on cars today.


Also known as “smooth-surface” brake rotors, the “solid surface” in this case refers to the fact that the rotors are made of a single material.  Most of the time, this “single material” will be solid cast iron.  What is most important about solid surface rotors, though, is that these are the industry standard for all OE non-performance vehicle applications.  This means, essentially, if you bought your car from a dealership—whether new or used—solid cast iron (solid surface) rotors are probably what has been installed.  As the standard, then, if you want to improve performance, you simply need to upgrade these with any of the many different types that are currently available.


Obviously similar to solid surface rotors, the slotted surface type of rotor would be the first, immediate upgrade.  The slotted surface offers a little more protection at higher friction levels; this means they provide more stopping power at higher speeds.  At the same time, this benefit comes at the cost of lower brake pad life (so you may have to replace them more often).


The next immediate upgrade would be for something called cross-drilled rotors.  And just as slotted surface rotors add more protection to solid surface rotors, cross-drilled surface rotors continue to improve braking efficiency simply because of the way they are made.  And, of course, this also means uneven and premature brake pad wear which might even result in stress cracks.


This offers added stopping power and protection by combining the benefits of cross-drilled and slotted surface rotors.


Dimples in the surface of these slotted rotors continue to provide more braking benefits and add stress-crack resistance; and they are also more aesthetically pleasing.

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