[V8] UFO brakes at Audi

Roger Woodbury rmwoodbury at roadrunner.com
Tue Dec 30 22:19:23 PST 2008

Now that I have had two cars with UFO brakes I think that the
dissatisfaction that some had with the UFO was in the actual use and
environment that the brakes were used in, not the brakes themselves.  

The internal caliper brake design was used to enable an unusually high
internal disc swept area with small exterior wheel diameter.  This is the
same consideration given to braking systems in aircraft that require high
speed applications of braking force on an occasional use basis, but not over
and over again without substantial time to cool the rotors between

I think the car was never really intended to be driven in intense American
urban conditions nor for that matter, in spirited "canyon bashing" or other
intense on and off again braking environments.  I think that continuous high
heat with relative short cool off periods will warp the rotors quickly and
perhaps permanently.  In the time that I had my 20Valve Avant, I had on and
off again wheel pulsing that was cured after an "Italian tuneup", where the
car was taken out onto a flat, straight away about five or six miles from
here, accelerated hard to about 110 and then braked very hard to stop.  That
usually did it, and the brake shudder was gone for sometimes a couple of

The '90 V8 has no shudder.  The '90 V8 appears to have all original brakes
and I don't think the car was driven extensively in heavy traffic nor very
athletically during its earlier two owners....more my opinion based on how
the undercarriage and under everything looked when the car first arrived

Now the car seldom gets driven in anything approaching "urban" traffic
conditions, and certainly never anything like driving in the commuting
traffic that most on this list endure.  The car does get driven distance,
and does get "let out" every once in a while, but while we have terrific
opportunity for "canyon bashing" of a sort here, one does so while holding
one's fragile license out the window at the end of one's fingers.  

So when compared with other heavy cars of this sort that I have owned, the
UFO brakes are really very powerful for the application  that this car is
being used.  IF I had a continual warping issue, and the warping was never
really still, then I would want to go to 16" wheels and some other brake
combination.  Seventeen inch wheels are NOT an option here, because 17's on
this car will merely result in bent wheels in relatively short order...not
if, but when.  So the UFO's are a good compromise for the need for some
pretty big swept area and 15" wheels in my application I have found.  And it
will cost around a grand to "do" all four wheels and the front rotors once I
have them.  Not terrible, and at this point it is not unlikely that this car
will have its last brake job at that point.

Incidentally, the very best brake system that I have had on a street car
were the brakes on either of the 928S4's that I had.  Of course, I didn't
pitch those cars around, either.


-----Original Message-----
From: too many quattros [mailto:thequattroking at yahoo.com] 
Sent: Tuesday, December 30, 2008 11:18 PM
To: rmwoodbury at roadrunner.com; b.homburg at web.de
Cc: V8 Audi Fans
Subject: Re: [V8] UFO brakes at Audi

over the years I have read posts from a die hard few that just love the UFO
brakes.  honestly, I am not sure why.  I have had two cars with them.  yes,
they did seem to stop better then G60 brakes when used in day to day driving
(although I never did measure the distances).  but, one romp in the hills
and it was so easy to cook the UFO brakes.  when I converted my V8q to
Wildwood brakes back in 1994 or 1995 (by this time, I had already been
through 3 or 4 sets of UFO rotors), I was highly impressed with the rigidity
of the Wildwood brakes.  the Rambo rotors did not heat soak like the UFOs.
the overall braking of the car was GREATLY improved.  imp, there is NO
comparison.  in short, what is the point of a set of brakes if you have to
replace a warped pair after just a spirited drive or two?  BTW, the fastest
set of UFO brakes I ever warped was warped in about 2 weeks.  I put them on
and two weeks later i had to make a panic stop from about 75 MPH when a
truck pulled out in front of me on the highway (ambient temp was about 105
that day).  i slowed to about 20 mph.  that was it, another 800$ (back then)
to replace the rotors.  about 6 months later i had the willwoods on.  the
UFOs were a great idea, poorly executed.


PARTING:  1972 Mercedes Benz 280 SE 4.5
PARTING:  1986 Audi 4000 CS quattro

> From: Roger Woodbury <rmwoodbury at roadrunner.com>
> Reply-To: <rmwoodbury at roadrunner.com>
> Date: Tue, 30 Dec 2008 17:32:20 -0500
> To: <b.homburg at web.de>
> Cc: V8 Audi Fans <v8 at audifans.com>
> Subject: [V8] UFO brakes at Audi
> Perhaps I should have said that Audi USA is no longer supporting the V8
> Quattro's UFO brakes.  Here in this country, a great many V8's and 200
> 20Valve cars were converted to G60s due to warping.  I am not surprised
> they may be unavailable here now, as there are some hoses for the 200
> 20Valve turbo that are no longer available through Audi.
> UFO calipers in the US from the franchised Audi dealer were about $1400.
> That is one reason why I was so interested in aftermarket brake systems
> this car.  IF it came down to $1400 for UFO calipers and $12-1300 for a
> conversion to something else, I would have to think long and hard about
> which way to jump.
> Roger
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