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Re: UFO vs. G60 Wars, Redux

Greg Amy wrote:

> EXCELLENT information. As I had said back then (has it really been 6 months
> now?) that I had tested *really* worn-out UFO brakes; I wasn't going to buy
> a new set of UFO brakes, right before chucking them (actually, I gave the
> old ones to ChrisM). My comparison of the UFO brakes to the G60s was not
> really fair, as the G60s only had less than 5K miles on them and were in
> reasonable condition.
> Your results are good news, though, and are worthy data to add to the BIRA
> website; may I have permission to do so?
> Remember that these were my own test results:
> UFO Brakes: 164 feet
> G60 Brakes: 138 feet
> BIRA.ORG Boxster/A8 Brakes: 126 feet
> If we were presume that I would have gotten similar results as you did using
> good UFO components (and I believe I would have), then this supports a
> couple of theories I've had:
> 1) the UFO brakes, with their much larger rotors and pads, offer a
> significant improvement in brake performance over the stock G60 brakes, and
> 2) the braking performance of the BIRA kit is at least on par with the
> bigger-sized 12.3" UFO brakes (which is expected, as they are about the same
> sized components), and
> 3) that the BIRA brakes offer a significant improvement in brake performance
> over the stock G60 brakes: an almost 10% reduction in braking distance using
> only stock A8 rotors and stock Boxster pads. Once of these days I'll buy
> slotted rotors and aftermarket performance pads and see what they can do.
> This was the whole focus of my investigations when I was looking to change
> the brakes on my 1991 200q. I blanched at the thought of spending upwards of
> $700 for stock replacement parts for the UFOs, and I simply rejected the
> notion of spending upwards of $3000 for one of the "Big Red" brake upgrades,
> especially those that didn't fit under factory 16" wheels. Ironically, I
> thought nothing of spending $1000 to go the BIRA Porsche aluminum monobloc
> brakes, especially since they had "Porsche" emblazoned on the side! <grin>.
> Note, of course, that I already owned the conversion parts to go to the S6
> struts and brakes. If I had had to buy these parts, it would have cost about
> $1500 more (I think that's the going price for UFO-to-G60 conversion using
> salvaged S-car parts.) This $1500 cost would also have had to be added to
> the $3000 for the "Big Reds" conversion plus another who-knows-how-much for
> appropriate wheels and tires to fit over them.

When I did my UFO conversion this past summer, there were four salvage yards
that had S4/S6 struts and associated parts (including G60 calipers).  The asking
price from three of them was in the $300 to $500 range (not including pads and
rotors).  The fourth wanted just over a $1000 (anyone care to guess who that

> If I had kept the UFO brakes but harbored any thoughts of further brake
> improvements, I would have been limited to brake pad material only. Cost of
> replacement parts are also an issue: $300 rotors and $100 pads for the least
> expensive pads. With the BIRA system my future rotors are $110 each ($175
> each for slotted) and the pad material options are virtually endless (and
> cost $85-180 a set). This was a big factor, especially if I had planned to
> run track events and use up brake parts (and I did, and I did.)
> Bottom line as I see it: good-condition UFO brakes are good-performance
> brakes, and if the car is used for the street I really don't see a need to
> change them. Keep them in excellent condition and you'll see a long, happy
> service life with them.. The downside is the replacement parts' cost and
> availability, plus they're relatively heavy unsprung weight as well (which
> doesn't realistically mean diddly to the street driver).

Agreed, I very happy with the street performance of the UFOs, however when it
came time to replace the UFO pads and rotors, I was getting quotes in the $700
to $800 range.  It appeared that I could perform a G60 conversion for "a few
dollars more;" open up a world of braking options; and leave the non-competitive
UFO pricing world behind.  Truth be told, I pushed this budget a bit, because my
mechnic told me if I wanted to change springs, this was the time to do it, so I
added H&Rs while we were in there. I don't have any G-meters, nor have I done
any stopping distance testing, but I live on a big hill and my keister tells me
the G60s are not quite as powerful as the UFOs.  We'll resolve this situation in
the near future.

Greg Johnson
'91 200 TQA