[V8] UFO and brakes: what? Again? Arghhhhhhhh!

Roger Woodbury rmwoodbury at roadrunner.com
Fri Oct 2 05:02:04 PDT 2009

About every six months the "UFO vs What?" brake thread reemerges.  This time
I have found it very interesting especially all the links to the gizzie
conversions that folks have done.  Once again I truly wish that my folks had
sent me to tech school so that I was more of a mechanic than I am, but that
is for another thread.

Anyway, since I just recently had the UFO's on my '90 V8 replaced, I thought
I'd dig up the work order and count the numbers to see what it all ended up
being.  Bear in mind that my UFO replacement was part of a general work up
on my 62,000 mile '90 that had the original timing belt when I bought it in
Pittsburg last year.  

The original diagnosis was that the front brakes needed replacement and that
it was likely that the calipers might be shot also as they appeared to be
weaping.  I first put the car on the road in May, and in November had new
tires fitted.  The mechanic pronounced the UFO rotors getting thin at that
point and I replaced them in February, 2009.  In the interim I searched for
everything and everywhere that might offer an alternative braking system to
the UFOs.  In the end, since I do not do my own work, UFO's were the most
cost effective.  

Between November February, the weaping caliper problem had disappeared and
it is assumed that the weaping caliper was resolved with use.  The car had
sat very still for quite a long time it would appear...several years most
likely as far as we know.

Anyway, the UFO rotors and pads were $667 and the total cost for all four
brakes was a bit more than $1200.  After two weeks of searching and
discussing I had found no alternative that was less than half again as much
in parts alone.  

My desire was to retain stock wheels and tires, stock ride height and ride
quality.  Larger wheels are problematic although Audi did offer a 16" wheel
option for this car.  However anything larger will almost guarantee bent
wheels from rural Maine roads, especially now that Maine has cut road
maintenance projects due to the recession.  

The one big issue of course is that in another sixty thousand miles, IF I
need new rotors will I be able to find them?  I have no idea when sixty
thousand miles might be, but probably four to six years at a guess.  Whether
or not it will be possible to continue to drive this car at that point in
time is arguable:  critical parts might be no longer available for it, and
sources of used parts might well be very few also.  In the meantime I have
stopping power so that I can avoid running through the errant moose or flock
of turkeys.  


P.S.  The final part for the brake issue is a new bomb, which is in the
process of being clamped in as we speak.

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