Is there quality difference between no name brand brake drums and disc vs. name brand?

I need to replace the brake drums on my 2006 Ford Focus. After about 8 years of New England winter, the outside is simply rusting away. I see really cheap drums and discs on eBay, at about half the price of name brands like Wagner. I would think there would be a difference in quality, but are the cheap stuff good enough for everyday use?

I need to change warped front discs on my Crown Victoria also, so the cost of two sets would make a significant difference on my pocketbook.

Thank you.


“After about 8 years of New England winter, the outside is simply rusting away.”

Rust on the outside is fine. Just as long as it’s not rusted inside.

You have small inspection windows for the brake shoes, I believe. They should be covered up with a small rubber plug. If you peek in there, you’ll probably find the shoes still have plenty of life.

If you are adventurous, pull off a rear drum and have a peek. You may like what you see . . . meaning everything in there is still good to go.

Are there any brake drum performance problems in your situation?

Absolutely, dont buy bottom of the barrel brake parts. Go with the wagner or other name brand.

Brake drums are really robust, even if there is rust flaking off of the drum its probably ok as long as they are in spec. and there are no cracks anywhere on the drum.

This is another advantage of drum brakes over disc brakes the drums themselves are very robust… Just saying.

I would venture to guess that your original drums are of much better quality than cheap replacements from ebay, If its strictly a cosmetic issue you can have the old drums cleaned up and you can paint them if you wish.

I am originally from Southern California, so I am not used to seeing so much rust on my car. I am worried, because I see chunks of rust on the drum. This is particularly concerning, because the wheel studs are part of the brake drum, which means, if the drums brake, the wheels could fall off.

its normal for the outside of drums to be rusty. just wire brush the base of the studs real good to see if there are any problems. if you tap the stud with a hammer, and it rings like a bell, its probably ok. if there is a dead sound, there is a problem

Rock auto discs are $20 with $8 shipping. I think your wallet can handle that.