PST provided their original-performance front-suspension rebuild kit for our Dart. Due to
Soon afterward the Wilwood catalog arrived, and a sinking feeling ensued when it showed no brake-kit match for the '76 Valiant parts. Another call was placed to Magnum Force, and Ron, with his extensive Mopar-inclined experience, figured a Wilwood 140-2729 kit would probably fit. We immediately shipped the spindles off to him to check and, sure enough, all was well. The order was then placed with Wilwood, who sent not only the requested kit but also a new master cylinder and proportioning valve. The former was essential because of the large fluid capacity of the calipers, and the latter was a dandy tuning aid for the braking system. Wilwood also sent us drilled/slotted rotors, which are basically competition pieces. While they'll work on the street, they'll quickly and prematurely wear pads in the stop-and-go environment. We replaced them with a similar 10.75-inch set of solid-faced Wilwood rotors Ron had in stock.
And so, with all the new parts loaded into the trunk, we headed off in the Dart before sunrise to make our morning appointment at Magnum Force. Fully aware of the irony if the dreaded braking inconsistency and fade caused another sideways incident on the way to attaining braking nirvana, we drove more carefully than ever. Despite that, we encountered two situations on the freeway that required heavy-brake application, accompanied by our now all-too-familiar apprehension of the Dart's ability to stop in time. Luckily, we arrived without further difficulties, and soon after, the Dart's totally inadequate stock front brakes were heaped in a pile by the trash can where they couldn't cause any more trouble.
In this installment of our epic tale, we'll take you through the disassembly of the OE parts and get them ready for the new hardware. Next month we'll finish by discussing how those up-to-date parts fit on our little A-Body. As a result, it will, we hope, be a long time before we see the world through the windshield from such a vertical perspective again!
One side effect of using the original-performance kit and its rubber bushings rather than
A cutoff wheel (and a light touch) was used to remove the inner shell of the bushing from
The new PST bushing was pressed right into place. While most of the job can be accomplishe
The pivot shafts were then pounded into place. The persuasion of a ball-peen hammer will b
Next, it was time to remove the original lower ball-joint assemblies from the cleaned-up '
The Wilwood caliper-mounting brackets used larger-diameter bolts to attach to the spindle.
The new ball joints were then installed on our spindles. We were ready to reinstall the co
These are the MagnumForce tubular upper control arms that will find a new home on the Dart
Magnum Force Racing
1436 White Oaks Rd., No. 7
PST-Performance Suspension Technology
P.O. Box 396
Bonanza Auto Dismantlers
5200 Bonanza Auto Rd