For this upgrade we wanted to put some hard numbers to the improvement in our car's braking system, so the first step was to measure the car's stopping distance with the 10-inch drum brakes. For this task we went to the Mopar Muscle proving grounds and test track (the industrial park road behind our office). After scaring the commuters away by doing a couple of burnouts, we set up some cones and performed three consecutive 60-mph-to-zero braking tests. The resulting stops were pretty scary, and our first sliding stop of 155 feet even had photographer Kevin Shaw running for cover. Our second stop was the best at 148 feet, and our third was a miserable 171 feet as our brakes heated up and faded to the point of near nonexistence. The design of drum brakes is what makes them susceptible to fade as the drum itself actually traps heat, which takes a long time to dissipate. Multiple stops in rapid succession increase the heat exponentially that glazes the pads and boils the brake fluid, neither of which help stopping distances. with our baseline established, we decided to gather up our orange cones and head back to the shop before someone called the cops.
Back at the shop we put the car on the lift to cool while we opened up our brake kits. We were pleasantly surprised to find the kits complete, clean, well packaged, and organized. Starting with the front, we removed our old brakes to install our new disc units. The supplied instructions were accurate and informative, and the brakes went together quickly. With the exception of a tie-rod separator, no specialty tools were needed for the job.
After installing our front brakes, we moved to the rear where we again found the Master Power kit to be complete and easy to install. The only issue we had was that our driver-side rear axle wouldn't allow the rotor to completely seat on the axle flange. Upon closer inspection we discovered it was the wheel studs, not the axle, that had the interference problem. We quickly corrected it by drilling the holes in the rotor slightly oversize. Even so, we easily had both kits installed in a weekend and were ready to install our wheels for another test of our stopping distance.