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!