For the Love of Fine Forged Metal

By , November 7, 2009 10:54 pm

Today I changed the front rotors (and brake pads) of my wife’s Volvo. I do a lot of work on the cars that I have owned and occasionally I stop and marvel at how well made something is.


It first happened when I adjusted the belt tension of my 1989 Nissan Maxima. You see I was used to American cars. My first one was a 1970 Mustang Mach 1. To adjust the belt tension you had to pull on the tension pulley real hard and then tighten the bolt securing the tension pulley. After that you would push on the belt to make sure it wasn’t too tight or loose. It was so stone age. The Maxima had a bolt you turned that would lift or drop the tensioner pulley. It was so easy to be accurate and it also stayed at the right tension for a long time.

The second time I was struck by this was when I was working on the engine bay on my Ferrari and I noticed a highly polished fragile piece of metal that basically connected some part to the engine. It looked like a piece or art. I was amazed that they took so much time to highly finish such a small part. It was circular at both ends and had a nice thin rod in between. It was a polished stainless steel!

Then today I looked at the rotor of my wife’s Volvo. These were made by a German company called Zimmerman. The rotors were Zinc impregnated to prevent rust and they are vented. As I picked up this part and inspected it, I was once again struck by how nicely finished it was. This part will be abused liked crazy on the car. Semi-Metallic pads will rub against it at high temperatures and all kinds of road dirt and grim will pass through it. The disc will be ugly and worn in a few years and you’ll only have a fleeting glimpse of how it once was. Still the manufacturer took the time to make it look great. I many have to but another pair for the rear of the car.

So here it is in all it’s glory. For the love of fine forged metal.
Volvo Front Rotor

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