Author Topic: Brake component choices - 2020 edition  (Read 186 times)

karmann_20v

  • Classic
  • **
  • Posts: 292
  • W116 Enthusiast
  • Location: Toronto, Canada
Brake component choices - 2020 edition
« on: 22 September 2020, 05:40 PM »
Hi all, it's been a long time since I posted here. My 77 450SEL sat parked since the fall of 2017 because the SEC took priority. Long story short, all the research I did back a few years ago regarding what components to purchase and best sources, is out the window as a) some became unavailable and b) in my case I have to shop here in Canada because of a weak CDN$ and the often unreasonable shipping fees plus duty. My the next move will be to refresh the brakes (rotor/pads/hardware/flex lines), so naturally the research will be refreshed as well and shared here. For example I remember that ATE was generally regarded as a bad choice for the front rotors due to premature warpage issues reported here, but I cannot even find ATE rotors yet. I am looking for feedback from those of you that have recent experience with changing brake components (feedback on brands, quality, defects, etc), in an effort to make the right decision and to guide others looking for similar info. Feel free to add brands that I did not include.

First post will cover the rotors, then we will move on to pads and flex lines, hardware, etc. If there is info on calipers might as well include in a subsequent post. My research covers P/Ns applicable to my '77 450SEL, there are however other P/Ns that apply to other years and models. The brands are available through online suppliers here in Canada, prices quoted are in CAD, however all these are available in the US (albeit pricing will be different).

Front rotor choices 1164200205:
Mercedes OEM (for me this option is out of question at over $400 for each!)
Zimmerman coated - I personally used this brand on my daily drivers without issues. Last I bought a pair of Zimmerman rotors for an Audi they were still "Made in Germany". Anywhere from $65/ea.
Raybestos - established name in brakes here in North America, I do not have experience with them though. Under $40/ea.
Bendix - again another big name in brakes and cheapest option at $24/ea.


Rear rotor choices 1264230012 (Much more choice since these are also used on W/C126):
Mercedes OEM - I have these rotors on my C126 and have no complains. They were about $70-75/each which is much more reasonable than the fronts.
Zimmerman coated - See front rotor notes for the brand. $45/ea.
Brembo - It's been years since I've used any of their brake components, back then they were viewed as some of the best in the business, is that still the case? Under $45/ea.
Pagid -  Used their pads, they are part of the Hella Group I believe. $32/ea.
Raybestos - See front rotor notes for the brand. $27/ea. Also available as Raybestos R-Line for $18/ea (economy line maybe)
Wagner - Another big name in brakes. $26/ea.
Bendix - See front rotor notes for the brand. $22/ea.

Any thoughts, comments, suggestions are welcome.

And a pic for good measure:

floyd111

  • W116 Addict
  • ****
  • Posts: 2,689
  • W116 drama student
  • Location: taiwan
Re: Brake component choices - 2020 edition
« Reply #1 on: 23 September 2020, 06:59 AM »
My word, that s a sweet car! What is that color number? That's simply regal, next only to Midnight Blue.. :D

I've had the advice to buy used actual MB rotors from a dump, and have them balanced/refurbished, making them -still- better than the new aftermarket disks for a lot less money than 400usd.. I understand that the old MB rotors are handforged, making them much better to use than the new stuff. (Was that 400usd per pair or per rotor?)
« Last Edit: 23 September 2020, 07:04 AM by floyd111 »

karmann_20v

  • Classic
  • **
  • Posts: 292
  • W116 Enthusiast
  • Location: Toronto, Canada
Re: Brake component choices - 2020 edition
« Reply #2 on: 23 September 2020, 07:42 AM »
My word, that s a sweet car! What is that color number? That's simply regal, next only to Midnight Blue.. :D

I've had the advice to buy used actual MB rotors from a dump, and have them balanced/refurbished, making them -still- better than the new aftermarket disks for a lot less money than 400usd.. I understand that the old MB rotors are handforged, making them much better to use than the new stuff. (Was that 400usd per pair or per rotor?)

Thank you, much appreciated! It is 404 Milan Brown (Milanbraun). My SEC is Midnight Blue, so it appears that we have common taste in MB colors ;)

The price quoted was 400 Canadian Dollars per rotor and included a discount. In the US the MSRP is 334USD each, with some online dealers selling for less. I am hoping to hear opinions from those who used other brands, anybody???

ptashek

  • W116 Addict
  • ****
  • Posts: 1,992
  • W116 owner
  • Location: Ireland
    • History of ZV9485
Re: Brake component choices - 2020 edition
« Reply #3 on: 23 September 2020, 08:15 AM »
I can't remember any more what brand of rotors I have on my car, but they're not MB. Maybe it's in a thread somewhere here, as I recall having had a discussion about it before.
Whatever aftermarket rotors I have, I haven't had a single issue with them yet, and it's been 20k-or-so miles - and you all know I drive my cars proper, so the brakes get exercised.

I have ATE rotors in my semi-daily W124 at the rear, and have also had zero issues with those after 13k+ miles.
They're also nicely coated, so the non-working surfaces don't rust with time.

I have Brembo (at least I think they were Brembo...) rotors all-over in my daily Toyota, and after 75k-maybe-more miles it's the same story - no issues whatsoever.
1993 "Pearl Blue" W124 280TE
1988 "Arctic White" W124 200T
1979 "Icon Gold" W116 450SE (history, resto)

ptashek

  • W116 Addict
  • ****
  • Posts: 1,992
  • W116 owner
  • Location: Ireland
    • History of ZV9485
Re: Brake component choices - 2020 edition
« Reply #4 on: 23 September 2020, 08:17 AM »
I've had the advice to buy used actual MB rotors from a dump, and have them balanced/refurbished, making them -still- better than the new aftermarket disks


Stan, are the MB rotors known to be hand-forged in Germany by fairies with the help of Daimler employed unicorns, and doped with magic Benz dust, or simply re-packaged off-shelf product sold at twice its retail price, like most of the consumable parts they sell these days? Asking for a friend ;)
1993 "Pearl Blue" W124 280TE
1988 "Arctic White" W124 200T
1979 "Icon Gold" W116 450SE (history, resto)

daantjie

  • W116 Addict
  • ****
  • Posts: 2,053
  • W116 Enthusiast
  • Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Re: Brake component choices - 2020 edition
« Reply #5 on: 23 September 2020, 08:35 AM »
Florin, I looked back on what I ordered for my 6.9:

Front - Zimmerman
Rear - Brembo

Coupled with Textar pads.  Then all new/NOS ATE calipers and hoses.  Works very well, though granted I rarely drive my car, so I cannot really say how they would perform on daily driver type duty.  The Textar pads have a nice bite to them, which I like, but I know some folks dislike them due to heavy dust.  Akebono comes highly recommended by a lot of Benzheads too.
Daniel
1977 450 SEL 6.9 - Astralsilber

karmann_20v

  • Classic
  • **
  • Posts: 292
  • W116 Enthusiast
  • Location: Toronto, Canada
Re: Brake component choices - 2020 edition
« Reply #6 on: 23 September 2020, 09:23 AM »
I've had the advice to buy used actual MB rotors from a dump, and have them balanced/refurbished, making them -still- better than the new aftermarket disks

Stan, are the MB rotors known to be hand-forged in Germany by fairies with the help of Daimler employed unicorns, and doped with magic Benz dust, or simply re-packaged off-shelf product sold at twice its retail price, like most of the consumable parts they sell these days? Asking for a friend ;)

LOL!

I can't remember any more what brand of rotors I have on my car, but they're not MB. Maybe it's in a thread somewhere here, as I recall having had a discussion about it before.
Whatever aftermarket rotors I have, I haven't had a single issue with them yet, and it's been 20k-or-so miles - and you all know I drive my cars proper, so the brakes get exercised.

I have ATE rotors in my semi-daily W124 at the rear, and have also had zero issues with those after 13k+ miles.
They're also nicely coated, so the non-working surfaces don't rust with time.

I have Brembo (at least I think they were Brembo...) rotors all-over in my daily Toyota, and after 75k-maybe-more miles it's the same story - no issues whatsoever.

Great to hear. Please post if you remember the brand of the front rotors on the 116.

Florin, I looked back on what I ordered for my 6.9:

Front - Zimmerman
Rear - Brembo

Coupled with Textar pads.  Then all new/NOS ATE calipers and hoses.  Works very well, though granted I rarely drive my car, so I cannot really say how they would perform on daily driver type duty.  The Textar pads have a nice bite to them, which I like, but I know some folks dislike them due to heavy dust.  Akebono comes highly recommended by a lot of Benzheads too.

Daniel, that is valuable info. As I mentioned in the initial post, I have a good opinion regarding Zimmermans and your confirmation cements that (actually it's better than expected as a 6.9 is alot more strenuous on brakes, me thinks).

floyd111

  • W116 Addict
  • ****
  • Posts: 2,689
  • W116 drama student
  • Location: taiwan
Re: Brake component choices - 2020 edition
« Reply #7 on: 23 September 2020, 10:04 AM »
I've had the advice to buy used actual MB rotors from a dump, and have them balanced/refurbished, making them -still- better than the new aftermarket disks


Stan, are the MB rotors known to be hand-forged in Germany by fairies with the help of Daimler employed unicorns, and doped with magic Benz dust, or simply re-packaged off-shelf product sold at twice its retail price, like most of the consumable parts they sell these days? Asking for a friend ;)

Funny, but what I was on about is that Benz no longer produces the same quality as they did back in the day, so refurbishing an old pair would not seem such a bad idea.
i wouldn't trust any brand these days, when it comes to making big promises.

Jed

  • Classic
  • **
  • Posts: 175
  • W116 6.9 Enthusiast
  • Location: Motor City, Michigan
Re: Brake component choices - 2020 edition
« Reply #8 on: 23 September 2020, 03:54 PM »
Seriously Stan? Put an old used rotor from a junk vehicle on my car?! no thanks! even after turning it and confirming its true and not warped, and of course still within spec I wouldn't think of it.  For something as important as brakes, and with these (relatively speaking) reasonable prices all around I am buying new rotors, best quality i can afford every time! and twice on Sunday. Maybe, maybe, if my old rotors are well within spec and not warped AND if replacements are outrageously pricey (like they were on my Jag XKR) I would reuse them, but at these relatively cheap pieces I am buying new...

1979 Mercedes 6.9 #5206 - restored
1979 Mercedes 6.9 #6424 - ongoing restoration
1976 Mercedes 6.9 #484 - restoration?

floyd111

  • W116 Addict
  • ****
  • Posts: 2,689
  • W116 drama student
  • Location: taiwan
Re: Brake component choices - 2020 edition
« Reply #9 on: 23 September 2020, 08:57 PM »
I am not advising anyone , and surely not putting my foot down, but like you said, ""after confirming its true and not warped, and still within spec"", there shouldn't be a worry in the world, except feeling and maybe dogma.
Over the years, I have read several testimonials from people that have used both the old edition, and the new edition MB rotors, and how they find them behaving differently, especially at times where it matters most. They insisted on not changing to new MB or aftermarket rotors, but replace old with old/refurbished.
That's the point I was making.
This, of course is but an opinion of other w116 drivers, but even though I struggle with excessive emotion quite regularly, I try very hard to be a man of science first, and if the science makes sense, I force myself to do away with emotion and presumption. Consider the struggle I have gone through the last -how many years?- to get to drive my 0-mile w116. if the science makes sense, I would instantly prefer refurbished old-quality rotors. But, if there would be a brand out there that offers the same or better specs, i would spend the money and use those.
The aftermarket prices of w116 rotors are sometimes ridiculously cheap. And, i am not impressed by brands offering the same item for twice the price, because that's still dirt cheap, and I have no way of checking why and where that other brand is different.
Now everything is made in China, i wouldn't trust MB rotors, no matter how high they want to sell
However, the W116 was built like a battleship, a tank, totally overengineered, overpriced, in the era where the indestructible W123 was built, and it was all designed to last a lifetime.
Even the optional Fuchs wheels were 4 times the price of other aftermarket wheels, and -I think-nobody is contesting how the real Fuchs behave better than cheap copies. Considering that f.e. the 15" are often more expensive 2nd hand on ebay, than they are when you buy them new, is another testament to that. They are believed to be much better.
When former MB people tell tales of the elaborate process that went into building the rotors back in the day, versus the made-in-china generation we are familiar with today, i don't think those rotors are automatically a proper , or "the best" replacement.
There is so much tech that goes into creating different versions of steel, and all of that affects the production price in both directions. On top of that, since the 80's everything must wear, tear and/or break after a while, or these white-mask-chinese companies can't make money.
And it is exactly the quality and the characteristics of those steel rotors that can make the difference between making it through that corner in one piece, while hitting the brakes. or, on the highway, doing a sweet 120km/h, and then suddenly needing to hit the brakes for an obstacle or a sudden a traffic jam.
I am going to look into all of this once more this year, before deciding what rotors I am going to install, now that my chassis is finally ready. but  it won't be price or branding that will get my vote.

About the steel.. here's a video from Eibach, who make the springs for our Ohlins shocks.
When I custom order 100 springs from them for our private projects (with Eibach logo), I need to fill in spec forms that would make you dizzy looking at from 6 feet distance. It is a perfect example of how steel properties are a complicated, expensive science.
If I place the same order with the Chinese producers of Koni, Monroe, or whoever, all of it is 3 times as simple, and 3x cheaper.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ZMuMvpgKFs



« Last Edit: 23 September 2020, 09:43 PM by floyd111 »