Borg and Beck Brake Discs and Pads Tested

Who are Borg & Beck?

Borg & Beck are an automotive parts manufacturer that were established way back in 1903. A brief overview of who they are and what they do:

  • With over 100 years of experience designing and building quality car and trucks parts, they’re a brand trusted by some of the world’s biggest vehicle manufacturers.
  • Borg & Beck are now a part of First Line Ltd, a worldwide automotive component supplier with over thirty-five years of experience.
  • Since purchasing Borg & Beck in 2006, First Line Ltd has invested heavily in their product development to increase the parts range to over 60 product lines and 37,000 references, all available globally!
  • First Line and Borg & Beck are trusted by car and commercial vehicle parts distributors worldwide to provide premium quality products, high levels of availability, and superb customer service.

How to find parts for your car or commercial vehicle

Borg & Beck and First Line Ltd have made it really simple and easy to see what parts are available for your car or vehicle. Here’s a quick way to do it:

  1. Visit the Borg & Beck website, and use the WEBCAT page to fill in either ‘Search By Vehicle’, ‘Search By Engine Code’ or ‘Search By Part/Cross Reference’.
  2. If you can’t see the part for your car there, you can also do the same on the First Line Ltd website which may have different availability.

Watch my video review here!

Are Borg & Beck brake discs and pads good quality?

Like me, you may previously not have heard of Borg & Beck or used their products, but in a nutshell, the answer is a definite yes, their brake discs and pads are very high quality. But first off some background information on why I’m now reviewing them.

My 2001 Lexus LS430 needed new brake parts, plus a couple of other things for carrying out a small service. Like most, I’ll look around for a combination of a competitive price and quality product. While searching for brake parts, I came across a supplier selling Borg & Beck, who I’d not heard of at that point. However, their cool branding really stood out from the crowd with the blue and red logo, something I must admit initially attracted me to them. Call me fickle, but I do like a bit of nicely-designed branding on products. Not only were the prices better than most of the other manufacturers, but the product description showed they were designed and built to a high-quality level.

As I review anything automotive-related that interests me, I wanted to see for myself if the Borg & Beck parts lived up to what I’d read from the supplier and on their website. Talking to their global marketing director, I was pleasantly surprised by just how genuinely enthusiastic he was about both the Borg & Beck brand and how much work went into developing the brakes.

Some of the points that make Borg and Beck brake parts stand out from the crowd and show the high level of clever design and build quality are as follows:

Bork & Beck brake disc details

  • Borg & Beck brake discs contain a high level of carbon whereas cheap discs may have less carbon and therefore reduced heat dissipation.
  • Their brakes feature a water-based coating named BECKTEC, which uses zinc aluminium flakes which protect the discs both inside and out against corrosion and rust – something that normally plagues the average disc. Other manufacturers may paint their discs on the hub and edges with an oil-based paint as this is cheaper than the fully coated water-based paint, or they may not be painted at all.
  • There are no oils on the discs, so from the box they can be fitted straight away without having to be wiped down.
  •  Borg & Beck’s vented brake discs have an even ratio of outer metal thickness and the ventilation gap ensuring good longevity. Some manufacturer’s discs can have thinner plates and a wider gap between them to compensate and ensure the outer dimensions remain the same.
  • All Borg and Beck brake parts have comprehensive 2 year/24,000 mile warranty.

Borg & Beck brake pads details

  • The brake pad friction material is a fine semi-metallic organic, copper-free formulation. Cheap brake pads will normally still have copper in the friction material and you will see more metallic pieces in the material.
  • Borg and Beck brake pads have slotted and chamfered edges on the design of the brake pads. The slots in the brake pads help clean dirt and debris off the disc, which will help increase brake contact surface and increase brake bite. Cheaply-made brake pads may not have chamfered edges and slots as this is another process that adds to the manufacturing costs.
  • Chamfered edges help prevent the friction material from lifting off the back plate; this will ensure a long-lasting life for the brake pad.
  • Borg and Beck pads come with special BECKTEC blue shims on them, which are double rubber, i.e. rubber/metal/rubber construction and have been developed by the world leaders in friction noise reduction – Wolverine.
  •  Vibration causes a large portion of the noise you hear during braking. With the BECKTEC shims, other brake noise will be reduced as The BECKTEC shims help reduce vibration generated during caliper piston and brake back plate contact. Other pads (even OEM ones) are usually supplied without shims or just a standard metal shim on the back.

Test time

When the giant and really rather heavy boxes arrived with my parts, I was, like most car enthusiasts, quite excited to get them open and see the goodies inside. If you are one of these guys, you’ll know that awesome feeling when your brand new car parts arrive. The excitement was heightened as I hauled out the cool blue and red Borg & Beck boxes containing the brake discs. Up to now, all I’ve ever known are drab, lifeless boxes whenever I’ve bought parts for my cars, and while I know that it’s ‘just a box’, there’s something that much better about getting to open a cool-looking package.

Initial impression was that, heck, these are incredibly heavy discs and the design and build quality immediately impressed me. I’ve fitted a lot of brake discs over the years to my cars, which were from a variety of manufacturers. However, I can genuinely say with 100% certainty that these Bork & Beck discs both look and feel like they’re a grade above the norm. (Note: I’m not being paid for this article.)

The grey-silver BECKTEC coating means you can handle them to your heart’s content as they’re free of the usual oily coating, so it was really nice to be able to examine them closely for once without getting slippery oil everywhere. I noticed the inner rim of the discs (just outside of where the bolt-holes are situated) are ‘stepped’ instead of being straight-edged, which I assume adds strength to the discs.

The Borg & Beck brake pads were next, and again, these felt unusually heavy and with their muck-defending chamfered edges and slots cut in, they really look like they’ll work well in a variety of conditions. What interested me was the BECKTEC shims I’d read about. The blue coating has a slightly rubberised feel on both sides, which reduces vibration and therefore noise.

I’d only recently bought this car, and straight away I’d realised braking power and bite was clearly diminished and really very dull. Removing the old brake parts, both the front and rear pads had been worn down to almost nothing, and while the discs still had a decent amount of wear left in them, they were fairly corroded.

Fitting the new Borg & Beck brake discs and pads went really well, and it was a joy to see the new parts all installed. I always get an immense amount of satisfaction seeing new discs and pads installed, not only because they look good, but because the fact is that you do get peace of mind from having high-quality parts installed. After all, aside from tyres, brakes are what haul you to a stop, and in an emergency, you want ones that will do the job with a high level of effectiveness.

With the brake discs, Borg & Beck provide a handy note with a hanger which warns you to take it easy for the first 500 miles during the running-in period, to ensure they bed in properly and avoid damage to them. While initially, brakes do lack bite, once I’d done a few hundred miles, it was obvious the Borg & Beck discs and pads were working supremely well, and the heavy Lexus LS430 now had proper stopping power. The pads give a positive bite without being too aggressive, which is the perfect match for the waft-tastic luxury LS.

Something that has bugged me after fitting new pads in the past has been the amount of brake dust they put out, but the Borg & Beck ones seemed to only put out a low amount of dust, which is great for those of us who like to keep their cars clean all the time. One thing is for sure; where possible, I’ll be using Borg and Beck parts on all my cars from now on!

At the same time, I also fitted the Borg & Beck oil filter and wiper blades. While I can’t physically see what’s happening with the filter, I’m ensured that all filters are made from high-quality, resilient materials and that premium quality filter paper is specifically selected for each application of filtration. Rigorous testing is undertaken throughout production to ensure a high level of quality is achieved at all time.

The wiper blades also look and feel like they’re made to a high standard, and as I’ll only ever buy premium branded wipers (they always last a lot longer than cheap ones) these Borg and Beck versions compare really well.

What parts do Borg & Beck make?

Borg and Beck offer over a range of over 37,000 references and 60 different product lines, with an average of 150 references being added every month. They stay entirely up-to-date with new-car parts such as stop-start alternators and starters and electric water pumps, for example. Product lines include:

  • Turbo hoses
  • Brake parts
  • Filters
  • Clutches
  • Rotating electrics (starter motors, alternators etc)
  • Driveline components (propshaft couplings, centre support bearings etc, including ones for LCVs, RWD and 4WD vehicles)
  • Steering and suspension (tie rod ends, axial joints, stabiliser links, suspension arms, engine mountings, bushes etc)
  • Boots and gaiters
  • Cables
  • Wheel bearings
  • Cooling parts (water pumps, thermostats, switches & sensors, coolant flanges, radiator caps, thermostats and more)

Words: Chris Davies | Photography/film: Chris Davies

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