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Re: UFO retrofit options
>>From: Dave Conner <email@example.com>
>>Subject: UFO retrofit options
>> What are the options for retrofitting the UFO's on a 91 200Q?
>> Sargent Schutt described upgrading to the S4/S6/92+V8 brakes for $1200.
>> Could the brakes from an earlier 200Q or a 5KTQ also be retrofitted?
There's a little cadre of folk with UFO brakes that have been bantering
among private email that exact concept. We've investigated several options
over the last couple months, and the general consensus from our search is
that you CAN do it, but it's going to cost you.
The favored changeover is putting 5K, S4, or S6 brakes on the car. Any of
these will require changing out suspension parts as well. If you do the
later stuff, you have to change out the lower spring strut housing at a
minimum. If you use the earlier stuff, you have to also include the 5K hub
and driveshaft along with that.
But guess what? You get brakes that are not as powerful as your UFO brakes.
Total cost? About $1000-1500 using used parts.
Like to go over to aftermarket? Fine, no problem. I can refer you to setups
that use either AP or Wilwood brakes. However, you STILL have to change over
the struts and hubs, and maybe driveshafts. Plus, if you continue to use
your 15" wheels you'll still get brakes that are not as powerful as your
Don't mind spending money on 16" or 17" wheels (and tires)? Great! we can
set you up with better-than-UFO brakes. However, expect the total cost of
brakes and suspension parts to approach $2000-2500. Warning though, the
sellers will set you up with racing calipers, which will need to be rebuilt
every 12-18 months.
So it comes down, basically, to the following preferences, given to me by
Wollf (and I agree): Todd Candy's "Big Reds" at $2500 plus $400 in
Terry Gosse's (KVR) AP calipers and rotors with brackets and hats for
$2500-$2800 from TAP. I believe that either can offer an option of rotors
and brackets for 15" wheels.
I almost had a heart attack a few days ago, when I called KVR (Ottowa, CN)
for aftermarket brake parts. The guy told me he had carbon fiber brake pads
and aftermarket rotors for the UFOs at $400 total! Unfortunately, he was
mistaken; all they could do was sell me semi-metallic pads for $55. Damn.
OK, so you're telling me that I have to spend $2500, plus maybe another
$1500 for wheels and tires? $4000 for what? (Other listers have had to
"listen" to me rail on this, so I apologize...)
But, you know, I REALLY don't know why people are so quick to reject these
brakes! I suppose Audi started the whole mess by making poor quality rotors
that warped. Then, instead of re-engineering replacement parts they
encouraged owners to change the whole setup to a less efficient one. For
Now, we're all led to believe that these brakes should be replaced right
away or we're all gonna die. Well, dammit, I LIKE my UFO brakes! I think
they work great, and I want to keep them on the car. ESPECIALLY since the
replacements give me less performance and I have to spend $2500 or more!
I was on the phone with Ned Ritchie (Intended Acceleration) and he agrees.
He says these are the best brakes you'll be able to fit into a
reasonable-sized wheel. He encouraged me to put good quality pads on the car
(he suggested Porterfield pads) and enjoy. He told me if they warp to heat
them up red hot and let them cool, and they'll be fine again for a while.
(I couldn't find any contact info for Porterfield, so I'll buy KVR's pads
for now and keep my eyes open.) I've got a good working relationship with a
fellow at CarboTech Racing pads in Fort Lauderdale. He doesn't have a
listing for our OEM brakes, but as soon as I get a new set on this Audi I'm
sending him my old pads; he's going to mix up a good batch of pad material
and develop some pads for us.
As for rotors, Doug Glanz offered the following: rotors are around $290 (and
going down) from Shokan (1-800-ALL-AUDI). And the pads are down to $89 for
BLAUfergnugen in Manitowoc, WI (920-758-3232).
Even better, Wollf spent some time doing his own investigation, and by
simply lightly turning the surface of the rotors, he was able to stop the
pulsating brakes. It's his contention, and it makes sense, that the
pulsating brakes are more due to uneven friction coefficient on the surface
of the rotors than warpage.
So, when a brake job costs $700 if you do it yourself, it's hard to justify
$2500 (or more) to modify the car!
Whew. Glad to get that off my chest.