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Old 04-27-2005, 11:45 AM   #1
Hotrodguru
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Question 3rd pair of cracked aftermarket rotors, any suggestions.

I'll try to make this post short. I have an 02' stage 2 WRX and am tired of going though rotors. The solution to my problem will be a big brake upgrade but unfortunately that won't come until the funds do.

As for now I'm replacing my 3rd pair of cracked rotors and need some suggestions. The first pair of aftermarket rotors to go were some Racing Brake rotors, believe they were their 1st versions out. These were cross-drilled and slotted. I'm aware that aftermarket rotors aren't meant for racing but I do punish them pretty hard. The Racing Brake rotors had about 2 hours of track time on them with a bit of high speed and then daily driven. I don't know too many people who are as hard on their brakes as me but that's what there for in my opinion. I drive fast everyday and well thats just that. These rotors developed cracks near the drilled holes after about a month and a half or so. I spoke to Ken at Racing Brakes and at the time they didn't have anything else to offer since I thought they were deffective or just not a good product. He told me to check back after a few months to see if anything new had come out. Fast forward about a year and now he says they have a slightly better rotor that is NOT drilled and believes it will work better for me. He's offering me a good deal and I'm thinking about trying these new ones out. Went back on his warranty agreement were he said he would replace them gladly at no cost. This is another topic all together but I think he's doing what he can and also understand I had them on a track, not for long but were on a track.

After these rotors cracked I had to look for something else. I then tried some powerslot (slotted not drilled) rotors. I am now on my 2nd pair of these and the same thing is occuring. Now these rotors haven't been used on a track but have been on a few high speed fun runs where big brakes would really be welcomed. I don't know how to explain how hard I am on rotors but I love to drive fast and find good roads to zip along on a daily basis. All these rotors have been used with Axxis Ultimate pads which also fade on me. I'm running Motul 600 brake fluid and SS lines FYI.

Now the time has come to replace this pair of cracked powerslots. I'm also going to go with the Hawk HPS pads, was going to go with the Hawk HP + but think the HPS will be a bit better for street use. So it's time for recommendations now. Should I go with the new rotors Ken at Racing Brake (www.racingbrake.com) is suggesting since he's giving me a fair deal in my opinion or try some other after market rotors??? DBA, Stoptech, etc....

Suggestions please

Hard on brakes and too poor to upgrade to big brakes now, Guru
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Old 04-27-2005, 11:52 AM   #2
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Get TWR heavy duty rotors with extra material in the hub area for extra cooling. Don't get slots or holes. Next get some brake ducting ASAP!!!! Search here for tips on very simple process.

Basically, you're burning your brakes alive. You need to cool that stuff down.
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Old 04-27-2005, 11:55 AM   #3
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Go with no slots and no dimples or holes. Brembo makes some that should do the trick. You could cryo treat also. I'd like to see pics of the powerslots that cracked. Make sure to do a cool down lap after hard track or street driving. Get better tires and suspension, so you use less brakes.
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Old 04-27-2005, 12:26 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjrutzky
Make sure to do a cool down lap after hard track or street driving. Get better tires and suspension, so you use less brakes.
Hahaha, use the brakes less. I'm trying to go easy on them as it is and not hitting my normal braking markers. The cars setup is pretty nice and I'm already running full suspension and some sticky rubber, not race rubber but sticky MX's. I'm gonna check into getting some non-slotted non-crossdrilled rotors. Ohh and just to let you know I have been allowing a good cool down period and when at the track doing a cool down lap.

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Old 04-27-2005, 12:42 PM   #5
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Hotrodguru - If you're looking for something that has a lower operating cost over time, you may want to consider our 2-piece OEM sized replacement rotors for your WRX. They will also drop 5.5lbs per corner in the front, as well as better protect your wheel bearings from heat generated from braking (ie: increase bearing life). We highly suggest cryo treatment for your application to extend the usage life of the rotors. Which tracks were you going to? It sounds like the pads may have been out of their heat range which leads to rotor failure as well. If you'd like more info, feel free to PM or Email us.
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Old 04-27-2005, 12:53 PM   #6
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lets see a pic of the rotor cracks.

edit to add:

Cryo treating won't SOLVE the problem. Driving style will.

Last edited by Jgrahn555; 04-27-2005 at 01:27 PM.
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Old 04-27-2005, 01:22 PM   #7
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Cryo your brakes. Do searches on Cryogenically treated rotors or checkout frozenrotors.com
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Old 04-27-2005, 02:00 PM   #8
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If you're that hard on the brakes, you shouldn't compromise on the pads. The HPS will fade on the track.
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Old 04-27-2005, 02:05 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jgrahn555
Driving style will.
Sorry to disagree with you here Jgrahn555 but you can be right and wrong. I've been driving for a pretty long time and don't think the driving style is the problem. To properly state it, perhaps the driving style with OEM sized rotors is not right. If I had Big Brakes, this wouldn't be an issue. I will get some as soon as funds allow.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ITWRX4ME
If you're that hard on the brakes, you shouldn't compromise on the pads. The HPS will fade on the track.
Well the cause of death on these current rotors was a high speed fun run on some country roads. About 2 1/2 hours of driving with some high speed sections with mid triple digit speeds. No areas with super prolonged braking areas, perhaps 10-15 minutes of hard brake use at a time. I know the Axxis Ultimates were smoking at the end of 1 run, do you think the HP +'s would fare better?

Guru

Last edited by Hotrodguru; 04-27-2005 at 02:13 PM.
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Old 04-27-2005, 02:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
been driving for a pretty long time and don't think the driving style is the problem.
I don't mind you disagreeing at all.

To get down to the fundementals of it, if you have high quality pieces that are not known for having faults it could be one of two things: something you are doing is causing these parts to fail prematurely or you have the inexplicable bad luck of ALWAYS getting defective parts.

Your driving style needs to adapt to accomdate until you can upgrade your brake package to something more suitable to the high speeds that you claim to encounter on a "daily" basis; ie, slow down, work on downshifting more, etc.

Can you explain your braking technique coming into a corner - in detail?
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Old 04-27-2005, 03:24 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jgrahn555
I don't mind you disagreeing at all.

To get down to the fundementals of it, if you have high quality pieces that are not known for having faults it could be one of two things: something you are doing is causing these parts to fail prematurely or you have the inexplicable bad luck of ALWAYS getting defective parts.

Your driving style needs to adapt to accomdate until you can upgrade your brake package to something more suitable to the high speeds that you claim to encounter on a "daily" basis; ie, slow down, work on downshifting more, etc.

Can you explain your braking technique coming into a corner - in detail?
Well Jgrahn555 this is a really complex question you know . I'll try to answer it as best possible. When it comes down to it, you are right about the "adapt to accomade until you can upgrade" part. With my driving style I expect fade with the size of the stock rotors but not cracking. I know I'm on OEM sized rotors so I am trying to downshift a bit more and not apply as muchn initial braking force as normal.

As far as elaborating on my braking technique well that's kind of hard and depends on the particular road, track, and even vehicle. I'll try to give you a brief explanation. I'll try to help and give you a bit of insight to driving style, I've been racing for over 20 years, last year a GT2 Corvette in the Rolex Series and before that Formula Renault. As for my Subbie it's a daily driven car but I have ran it at the Big Bend Open Road Race (similiar to Silver State) and want to do the Silver State Classic with it. On most roads in my Subbie I like to have as much initial bite as possible before starting turn-in. I have ABS disabled and would say right on the threshold of lockup. Now this is generally my braking style. Some people are harder on brakes that others and 2 drivers can pull almost exact lap times but with two very different driving styles. One can brake alot deeper and accomplish passes or quick times this way and someone else can be super smooth with on throttle application. I try to be right in the middle of things and of course you adjust your style for what copponents on the car are working best. If you have a car with a good brake setup you'll use this as an advantage, if not you adjust elsewhere. I've always like to brake as deep and late as possible and sometimes even trail brake. Now with my stock rotors I've tried to change this up a bit and am braking well before turn in and completely off the brakes once the turn is initiated. This is usually what I've been doing on 95% of the places I'm driving except one nice turn near my house where I do like to trailbrake and get the rearend out just a tad bit. It sets it up nice for a left - right hander combination.

I don't know, but come to think about it, I never had the stock rotors crack on me. I just decided to try aftermarket rotors and see if they performed well. Anyway hope the long explanation helps you out a bit.

Guru
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Old 04-27-2005, 04:53 PM   #12
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As far as elaborating on my braking technique. . . last year a GT2 Corvette in the Rolex Series and before that Formula Renault. . .
I was trying to ferret out your ability to recognize your driving pattern. Yep, you know what you're doing, no doubt there.

Drive slower until you get those bigger brakes, you'll save money by not spending as much on gas. Other then that, you'll just be throwing money on parts to try to solve the problem.
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Old 04-27-2005, 06:06 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jgrahn555
I was trying to ferret out your ability to recognize your driving pattern. Yep, you know what you're doing, no doubt there.

Drive slower until you get those bigger brakes, you'll save money by not spending as much on gas. Other then that, you'll just be throwing money on parts to try to solve the problem.
I wasn't trying to say anything about what I've driven, just point out that there are different techniques for different cars and some people know how to brake and well some don't. I think overall it just boils down to me trying to get the performance of some big brake 6 piston setup with a stock OEM sized rotor and pad...arrggghhhh.

Guru

P.S. I'm just pissed that they are cracking. I could understand fade and overheating due to the OEM size.

Last edited by Hotrodguru; 04-27-2005 at 07:14 PM.
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Old 04-27-2005, 07:42 PM   #14
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I think you need to slow down on the street. No one should be trail-braking on public roads. If you are racing on the track, get track specific Pads. Your rotors will like you more.
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Old 04-27-2005, 08:41 PM   #15
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I guess I'm curious as to the nature of the cracking. Are you seeing a single large crack in the rotor? Outer or inner surface? Or are you seeing a myriad of tiny cracks all over the rotor? The little cracks are heat checking, they really aren't a big deal but are general indications that the brakes are getting too hot. Eventually the cracks will get big enough to junk the rotors. Maybe your pads are too aggressive for the rotors? Lastly, are you getting pad knockback? Check your wheel bearings.

I broke three rotors (OEM) at Lime Rock last fall - all three were left front, and all were on the outer surface only. I was user Carbotech XP-9's with Subaru 4-pots. I have plenty of cooling through fabricated brake ducts. I was experiencing some pretty good pad knockback.

I've since switched to a Stoptech BBK - no issues in three days at Summit Point.

The two-piece rotors may work for you. I had no luck with the MRT DBA5000 rotors - went through two sets of them in a season with bad heat checking. Almost impossible to find replacement rotors for the MRTs.

A final suggestion is to get some of the heat sensitive paint and see what temps the rotors are getting.

-Keith-
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Old 04-27-2005, 11:02 PM   #16
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294X24mm rotors on a 3000 lb car that's tracked take a beating, no if, ands or buts. Brake ducting will help and relatively cheap as well. Have you done anything w/ the rear? Going to a "H6" rotor (290X10) in the rear should help a little as well- the front oem setup is pretty heavily front biased.

Unlike Keith, I've had pretty good luck w/ the DBA two piece rotors- pricey but have been working well for me.

I too would like to see pics if you have them. I've seen several drilled rotors cracking at the holes, but the majority of the "cracking" I've seen is as Keith describes- heat checking.

I like the idea of heat paint (DBA rotors come w/ the three paint dots).

Sounds like you know the ultimate "solution"- looks like Keith does too

Mike
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Old 04-28-2005, 02:11 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ratt_finkel
No one should be trail-braking on public roads. If you are racing on the track, get track specific Pads. Your rotors will like you more.
Well let me elaborate, there are a few private roads near my house only accessed by a few vehicles in the early morning and rarely any after that. Just a nice little shortcut I sometimes take on the way home but agree about keeping it slow on public roads.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CTKAG
I guess I'm curious as to the nature of the cracking. Are you seeing a single large crack in the rotor? Outer or inner surface? Or are you seeing a myriad of tiny cracks all over the rotor? The little cracks are heat checking, they really aren't a big deal but are general indications that the brakes are getting too hot. Eventually the cracks will get big enough to junk the rotors. Maybe your pads are too aggressive for the rotors? Lastly, are you getting pad knockback? Check your wheel bearings.
Point.

A final suggestion is to get some of the heat sensitive paint and see what temps the rotors are getting.

-Keith-
Wow very useful info Keith and I totally didn't think about the heat paint. I'll have to snag some from a friends trailer and check it out. As for the cracks, well on the drilled rotor it was the expected crack along the drilled holes. I only have this crappy pic at the bottom taken with a camera phone like a year ago. Now the powerslot rotors have what you call a myriad of tiny cracks all over the rotor and then two cracks that go all the way throughout. I just noticed these and will have pics as soon as I take them off.

Now I have a question, could you please elaborate on the pad knockback. Every now and then when I first take off or stop slowly I do hear a little knock. I was assuming this was caused either by the crack in the rotor or a slot but could be wrong. Also this never happened with Axxis pads but only with some temp O'Reily pads that didn't fit well. On the stock calipers there is a small aluminum piece that fits inside the caliper below where the pad rides and acts kinda like a spring or retaining clamp. Well on the Axxis and stock OEM pads they fit with this on there. When my Axxis went out and I had to wait for some in the mail I went to my local O'Reily and picked up some cheap pads. Now these didn't fit with that little retaining clamp, I had to remove it and there was some slight movement (maybe 1/8 of an inch) of the pad sitting inside the caliper. This went away after about 30 minutes. I still didn't take any chances and drove slowly till my Axxis pads came in.

I'll have some new blank rotors (gonna go with these - www.frozenrotors.com) this next week and will get pics posted of the powerslot rotors with cracks. I'll also check the bearings, are these the cause of the so called pad knockback?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGSKYWRX
Have you done anything w/ the rear? Going to a "H6" rotor (290X10) in the rear should help a little as well- the front oem setup is pretty heavily front biased.

I too would like to see pics if you have them. I've seen several drilled rotors cracking at the holes, but the majority of the "cracking" I've seen is as Keith describes- heat checking.
You know the rear still has the Racing Brake cross-drilled rotors that I purchased over a year ago and have only gone through 1 set of rear pads. Anyway here's a year old pic of the Racing Brake cross-drilled front rotor.

Thanx Everyone, Guru


Last edited by Hotrodguru; 06-01-2007 at 12:54 AM.
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Old 04-28-2005, 08:35 AM   #18
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Pad knockback is when the pads are pushed back away from the rotors. How this shows up is that you may find that you have to 'double-pump' the brakes going into a braking zone. The first pedal tap is to push the pads back out until they contact the rotors, the second is the actual braking. This can be due to a warped rotor, pad deposits, stuck sliders (on stock calipers), bad wheel bearings, or even a loose axle nut.

I've seen the stock calipers and even the 4-pots exhibit a fair amount of flex when the brakes are applied. This can be seen by having someone stand on the brake pedal and observing how the caliper moves slightly. My guess is that the mating surfaces are not perfectly square where the caliper attaches to the spindle. Probably adequate for street use - some of the aftermarket calipers come with shims presumably for this reason.

Mike, neither set of my DBA rotors came with the three dots of heat paint. Have you replaced the rotors yet? Where did you source the discs from?

-Keith-
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Old 04-28-2005, 09:33 AM   #19
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Thanx for the info Keith . Now what do you guys think about those blank frozen rotors. A few people in TXIC seem to like them and on another board.

www.frozenrotors.com

Guru
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Old 04-28-2005, 09:34 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hotrodguru
Thanx for the info Keith . Now what do you guys think about those blank frozen rotors. A few people in TXIC seem to like them and on another board.

www.frozenrotors.com

Guru
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Old 04-28-2005, 09:40 AM   #21
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Frozen rotors are definately lasting me longer.
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Old 04-28-2005, 09:40 AM   #22
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The "H6" rotor is a bigger (larger dia- 290 vs 266mm) than the oe one- it's direct replacement w/ the correct brackets- same caliper. I think you'd find the rear doing more work w/ this setup, which should alleviate some of the "work" the front is currently doing.

Keith- I've had three sets of DBA's- the 4000 one piece model (which worked pretty well too ), I had a pair of the 5010's w/ the oem calipers- they still had some life in them and sold them when I got my four pots and now have a pair of the 5000. All three came w/ paint dobs, I wondering if yours were an older version????

I haven't had to replace discs yet on my newest set (only two track days thus far).

I sourced mine from kind of odd source- it's Man-A-Fre of Landcruiser/offroad fame- they happen to be a pretty large vendor of DBA rotors (of all sorts) and prices were competitive.

I should call them and get a quote on a pair of outer discs- w/ steel prices of late it probably won't be pretty, the USD against the AUD isn't that grand either. The hardware is supposed to replaced as well.

Mike
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Old 04-28-2005, 11:13 AM   #23
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Its 100% your driving that is the problem. Not busting your balls but the fact that you have been driving for a long time doesnt mean that you havent spent a long time driving with poor habits.
Why do I say its your driving? Because there are THOUSANDS of serious track guys driving WRX's that arent having the problems you are having. What does that tell you?

I also blame crap aftermarket rotors. Cross drilled rotors are junk for track use. (yeah I said it so what) Those little holes are good for one thing, starting cracks. And any vendor that sells them can come in here and kid themselves all they want saying "Our rotors are different, ours have some special sauce that makes them not crack" The reality is, in the real world, on the track, they do. There is a reason why 99% of the trackwhores will tell you to just use factory rotors....
And cryotreated factory rotors is the biggest idiot move yet. Lets see.
Should I
A. Pay twice as much for a set of factory rotors that last not quite twice as long
B. Pay twice as much, for 2 sets of off the shelf factory rotors that obviously last twice as long (after all, it IS 2 sets)
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Old 04-28-2005, 12:49 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davenow
Its 100% your driving that is the problem. Not busting your balls but the fact that you have been driving for a long time doesnt mean that you havent spent a long time driving with poor habits.
Alright RacerX, thanx for the very useful information there. Dude when you actually have something clever to say then maybe you can hit the boards. First off I probably was one of the first people to try the Racing Brake rotors when they came out after Sema, and 2nd I'm sure I'm not the only one that has cracked powerslot rotors.

Now as for you critizing my driving style saying that it's 100% my fault...you don't even know me, haven't seen me drive or anything. If you had any brains you could have surely said "I'm 99.9% sure it's your driving style" leaving that .01% out there for maybe a possible defect or bad combination of pads rotors that I'm using. Maybe that's why I posted to get some advice from people with similiar problems or situations.

Yeah there's a thousand of serious track guys, doesn't mean that they're racing on any Pro level. Ohh and on another note, it does piss me off when someone like you who thinks he knows what he's talking about post stuff like this. FYI, I come from a very humble (yeah poor-middle class) family and I have never paid $1 for a ride. If you knew anything about racing this does mean something when you don't pay for a ride. Don't think my long time poor driving habits would have netted me a 3rd place finish in the 2002 Grand Premio Formula Renault race in Mexico City (CART support race) the first time in that car and with Team Herdez/Nextel or testing for P. Gentilozzi. Maybe I've even won a few races in some good series. Yeah there are alot of very talented drivers out there many I've seen with more natural talent than me. Just because they're not laying down 15k for a GT2 ride doesn't mean they can't drive and have poor habits.

Guru

P.S. Since your soooo knowledgeable, why don't you help me out and tell me what I'm doing wrong in regards to braking.
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Old 04-29-2005, 09:40 AM   #25
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Well, Dave actually makes a good point about OEM rotors. I stopped with the aftermarket rotors after I discovered that I wasn't getting any extra life out of them and just used OEMs @ $60 each. Yeah, I changed them every few events, still was cheaper than the specialty rotors.

Mike, both sets of DBA 5000's were purchased in late 2002, so they in fact may have been early models. If you ever want or know of someone who wants spare hats, let me know. I'm guessing the replacement discs are approximately the same cost as ION's - which are about the same as the Stoptechs.

-Keith-
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