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re: 91 200 TQ Brakes (UFOs)

Sarge wrote:

<<  (snip)
I bought the car in Michigan (during a snowstorm :-)) 1/2/97. On 1/4/97
I drove from MI to Vail, CO. By the time I was in Vail, after a few
mountain passes (high speed) the infamous UFO brakes had started to
warp. Heat should not have been an issue. 90 or so MPH on the freeway,
little use of brakes on downsloping passes, near to below freezing
temps, and yet they warped. By the time I made it to Telluride a few
days later, they were nearly trashed. A couple high-speed stops
straightened 'em out a little. Compounding the problem was the fact that
between Vail and Telluride it snowed pretty hard, and the snow/slush
became clogged in the brake cooling scoops. That's some real FINE
engineering; a quattro that isn't designed to be driven in the snow.>>

<<  (snip) 
Oh, when I bought my car, the previous owner had installed *NEW* UFO
calipers, rotors and pads 15k miles before my purchase. They were *not*
warped when I bought it. I got only 2k miles or so out of them. Yes,
they are like anchors, stopping feel is nice, very nice. But they are
fragile as all hell. Not a commendable charactarisitic for BRAKES.>>

Sarge:  Couple comments.  First, you say the brakes were 15k miles old, and
then warped (badly) within 2k, without heavy use.  I'd guess you were had; the
rotors were probably warped, and were turned to allow the car to be sold.
Some cars had recurring problems; often the rotors were mounted slightly out
of round, etc. due to rust on the hub, or other factors.  Later rotors had
provisions for mounting in five separate locations on the hub to allow the
best fit/least out of round positioning.

Are you sure he used new calipers/rotors/pads?  Seems like an expensive fix to

My brake ducts have never gotten clogged in snow, unless you were
"snowplowing", they should've been fine.  Also: "snowplowing" can clog up
other things at around the same height, such as your alternator, alternator
cooling duct, oil cooler ducting, right engine mount-cooling duct, etc.  Did
your spoiler add to this?

Don't mean to fully defend the UFOs, yes, they're somewhat fragile, but they
do work very well.  I find that my normal cool down for the turbo (i.e., don't
work the turbo hard then shut down) works for the brakes as well; I run hard
on the way to work or wherever, then drive calmly for a bit before shut down.
No problems so far.  However, I would consider the "upgrade" swap should I
need new rotors, pads and calipers!  Pricewise, probably pretty similar.
Anyone bought rotors or calipers recently?  I'd guess the rotors are around
$250 each, and calipers are anyone's guess, probably similar.

Anyways, from the EC writeup, seems like you got quite a deal on the car; it
certainly looks sharp!

Chris Miller, Windham NH, c1j1miller@aol.com
'91 200q