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Centric C-TEK 121 Economy Rotors

Posted By: The Critic

Centric C-TEK 121 Economy Rotors - 10/11/18 12:38 AM

I posted about this in the humor section for a different reason, but the Centric 121 C-TEK economy rotors are Centric's equivalent to the infamous "whitebox" economy rotors that are sold by many parts stores.

Normally I do not use whitebox economy rotors, however, this brake job was for a lease return and the driver wanted to minimize their costs. The driver did not mind the rusty appearance from unpainted rotors.

This was the first set of economy rotors that I had used in over two years. After properly cleaning the hub flanges, washing the rotors and installing them with conical washers, I measured the lateral runout values and found the following:

L/F = .001"
R/F = .0015" (after indexing, first try yielded .0025")
L/R = .0005"
R/R = .002"

This particular vehicle (2016 Outback 3.6R) allows a max of .002" so all of the values were within spec. From my past experience, economy rotors typically have .003"-.004" of runout and this was simply too much for most modern vehicles. Resurfacing rotors on a bench lathe usually results in .004"-.007" of runout.

Either I got lucky, or I guess economy rotors have gotten a lot better in the last few years. I was a bit blown away. If economy rotors are consistently this good and the driver is on a budget (can't afford or does not want to pay for premium rotors), then economy rotors have truly become a viable low-cost alternative to resurfacing your old brake rotors. The finish felt reasonably smooth as well, and the pads bedded in fairly quickly. I paired these rotors with Akebono ProACT pads on the front axle and Centric 105 PosiQuiet Ceramic pads on the rear axle.

Also, nthach came by and watched me do this brake job. He's cool.

Attached picture Rear.jpg
Attached picture Front.jpg
Posted By: anndel

Re: Centric C-TEK 121 Economy Rotors - 10/11/18 01:02 AM

Good enough!
Posted By: Propflux01

Re: Centric C-TEK 121 Economy Rotors - 10/11/18 01:27 AM

And I think you will like those Akebono pads. I am impressed withe 40K I have on mine so far.
Posted By: FlyNavyP3

Re: Centric C-TEK 121 Economy Rotors - 10/11/18 01:33 AM

On a lease return I would've been tempted to put the cheapest pads known to man on that Subaru. You're a better man than me. Nice work and excellent run out numbers for budget parts!
Posted By: The Critic

Re: Centric C-TEK 121 Economy Rotors - 10/11/18 02:02 AM

Originally Posted by Propflux01
And I think you will like those Akebono pads. I am impressed withe 40K I have on mine so far.

The car is getting returned in Dec.

Originally Posted by FlyNavyP3
On a lease return I would've been tempted to put the cheapest pads known to man on that Subaru. You're a better man than me. Nice work and excellent run out numbers for budget parts!

Thanks.
Posted By: daves87rs

Re: Centric C-TEK 121 Economy Rotors - 10/11/18 02:15 AM

Very nice!!!
Posted By: Char Baby

Re: Centric C-TEK 121 Economy Rotors - 10/11/18 09:00 AM

I have used C-TEK rotors(and pads) with good success. I have also use DURAGO rotors as well with the same success. But, this success is also based on the vehicle that they're being installed on. In other words, I had good success with them on a lower end MAZDA and mid level NISSAN. However, I've had even better success with them on a LEXUS. So, it depends on the car & rotor manufacturers spec of the rotors, is how well you'll do with them.
Posted By: hallstevenson

Re: Centric C-TEK 121 Economy Rotors - 10/11/18 01:15 PM

Originally Posted by FlyNavyP3
On a lease return I would've been tempted to put the cheapest pads known to man on that Subaru. You're a better man than me. Nice work and excellent run out numbers for budget parts!
I was thinking the same thing. It's not to be cheap or a sh***y person either, it's just not necessary for someone returning a leased vehicle to do at the end of a lease.
Posted By: The Critic

Re: Centric C-TEK 121 Economy Rotors - 10/12/18 06:35 AM

Originally Posted by hallstevenson
Originally Posted by FlyNavyP3
On a lease return I would've been tempted to put the cheapest pads known to man on that Subaru. You're a better man than me. Nice work and excellent run out numbers for budget parts!
I was thinking the same thing. It's not to be cheap or a sh***y person either, it's just not necessary for someone returning a leased vehicle to do at the end of a lease.

Sure, I understand where you are coming from. But I also will not put my name on a substandard brake job. The owner would have preferred to not do the brakes at all, but the rears were grinding and the fronts were at 1mm.
Posted By: hallstevenson

Re: Centric C-TEK 121 Economy Rotors - 10/12/18 01:55 PM

How did you get involved ? Was this a friend's car that you did in your garage or driveway or do you have a repair shop ? If you use parts specified by the customer and do a proper, quality brake job, I wouldn't consider it "substandard" in any way.
Posted By: spasm3

Re: Centric C-TEK 121 Economy Rotors - 10/15/18 03:40 AM

Originally Posted by Char Baby
I I have also use DURAGO rotors as well with the same success.



Glad to hear that! I just ordered some DURAGO coated rotors from RA for the hyundai. Going with the centric stoptech street pads 308.15430.

Will see how they do.
Posted By: slacktide_bitog

Re: Centric C-TEK 121 Economy Rotors - 10/15/18 03:59 AM

Basically the same as Centric Premium but without the coating.

The C-Tek will probably be ok for awhile since you're lucky enough to not have rust (on the east coast, non-coated rotors rust overnight), but they are NOT usable anywhere up north where you get rust.
Posted By: HangFire

Re: Centric C-TEK 121 Economy Rotors - 10/20/18 07:30 PM

Originally Posted by The Critic
This particular vehicle (2016 Outback 3.6R) allows a max of .002" so all of the values were within spec. From my past experience, economy rotors typically have .003"-.004" of runout and this was simply too much for most modern vehicles. Resurfacing rotors on a bench lathe usually results in .004"-.007" of runout.

Ouch. There is a local race-oriented machine shop that does much better than that. But your average brake and muffler shop, yeah, I can believe that.
Originally Posted by The Critic

Either I got lucky, or I guess economy rotors have gotten a lot better in the last few years. I was a bit blown away. If economy rotors are consistently this good and the driver is on a budget (can't afford or does not want to pay for premium rotors), then economy rotors have truly become a viable low-cost alternative to resurfacing your old brake rotors.

I'm sure I've opined on here before, that if new rotors pass parallelism (usually) and runout (sometimes) tests, then good enough is good enough. Rust is another issue. C-Tek is usually within the spec that you can find on the RockAuto site. I have a set of Centric C-Tek's on my Corolla, that are at 4 years 2 months and 76K miles and doing fine. The pads are about done, though, I just bought their replacements, and plan to put them on this coming week.
Originally Posted by slacktide_bitog
The C-Tek will probably be ok for awhile since you're lucky enough to not have rust (on the east coast, non-coated rotors rust overnight), but they are NOT usable anywhere up north where you get rust.

Surface rust on the friction surfaces happens on coated rotors overnight as well, because the coating is toast on break-in, and it's just as harmless on coated as it is on uncoated rotors.

It's the rust from the edges and ventilated back side eating its way through that is the hazard. My experience in heavily salted Maryland (we may not have all of the snow, but due to Winter-long freeze/thaw cycles, we have all of the salt) is that coated rotors give you one more year before this happens, but it still takes 4-6 years. If you are putting 20K+ a year (as we do) on your vehicle, you'll get your money's worth out of an uncoated rotor (60-80K miles). If you drive 10K or less a year, or just prefer a nicer appearance, a coated rotor is a worthy upgrade.
Posted By: The Critic

Re: Centric C-TEK 121 Economy Rotors - 10/21/18 08:22 PM

Apparently, the owner decided to return the car early and the car is now being marketed as a CPO unit on the dealer’s lot.

I am curious if the dealer had to re-do the brakes before sale since they were not OEM Subaru.
Posted By: SatinSilver

Re: Centric C-TEK 121 Economy Rotors - 10/21/18 09:09 PM

Originally Posted by The Critic
Apparently, the owner decided to return the car early and the car is now being marketed as a CPO unit on the dealer’s lot.

I am curious if the dealer had to re-do the brakes before sale since they were not OEM Subaru.


If the dealer links a Carfax report to the car it may show whether they did a new brake job to it or not. My guess would be they left it as-is.
Posted By: The Critic

Re: Centric C-TEK 121 Economy Rotors - 10/22/18 07:20 AM

Originally Posted by SatinSilver
Originally Posted by The Critic
Apparently, the owner decided to return the car early and the car is now being marketed as a CPO unit on the dealer’s lot.

I am curious if the dealer had to re-do the brakes before sale since they were not OEM Subaru.


If the dealer links a Carfax report to the car it may show whether they did a new brake job to it or not. My guess would be they left it as-is.

You were correct. I stopped by the Subaru dealer tonight and looked at the car; they did not re-replace the brakes.
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