Brakes
With the car capable of 150-plus-mph top speeds on the straights we knew that the brakes were going to be heavily taxed on this car. Previously, the car was fitted with a brake kit that utilized homemade brackets to support the 13-inch OE Viper calipers and rotors. The home built 13-inch kit worked fine, but the Viper rotors were very heavy due to their cast iron construction. Baer Brakes builds several brake kits for Mopar vehicles that can easily handle the speed and power of our A-Body, so we called their tech line for a recommendation. What we found was that while Baer had plenty of kits which would fit our car, all of their standard kits are designed to work with Mopar type wheels. Our Valiant has been fitted with 17x9 "Bullit" wheels, and the wheels need to be located very precisely in the wheel wells to clear the fenders. After a short discussion with the guys at Baer, they suggested that we use parts from their Builder Series to create a customized solution. The good news was that the Baer rotor and calipers were six pounds lighter per wheel when compared to the Viper brake setup.

In order to put the wheels in the necessary location, we also needed to have a set of custom hubs machined to our specifications. The hubs were designed to fit the large wheel bearings on our late model spindles, as well as having the correct nose dimensions to fit and locate our wheels. Once the design was final, we had the hubs machined by a local machine shop and then anodized for corrosion protection. With the hubs back in hand, we pressed in a set of extra long wheel studs and installed high quality Timken wheel bearings.

In an effort to improve brake feel, as well as to reduce weight, a rear disc-brake kit for the 8-3⁄4 rear end was sourced from DoctorDiff. The DoctorDiff kit is a lightweight setup using 10-3⁄4-inch diameter rotors. The key to the DoctorDiff kit is a billet aluminum caliper-adapter bracket that not only locates the caliper, but also provides the proper spacing so the original bearing adjuster can be used. By using the stock adjuster and seals, this disc brake kit is compatible with the factory style tapered roller axle bearings. We really did not want to change over to a ball bearing type of axle bearing because the tapered roller bearings are better suited for the side loads seen in a road race car.

Oil Pan
Oil control has been an issue with this car for some time now. The high G-forces encountered on a road race course really raise havoc with the oil in the pan as well as in the valve covers. The engine has been fitted with several different oil pan designs over the year, but none of them have worked quite as well as hoped. The biggest problem which we've seen at the track is a lack of oil pressure while rounding long sweeping corners. Our theory is that the oil in the sump is being trapped up against the side of pan. If the corner is long enough, the pickup in the pan is eventually uncovered and the oil pressure drops. The Valiant has been fitted with a three quart Accusump system in an attempt to provide additional oil supply during the long corners, but even that hasn't prevented occasional loss of oil pressure.

Milodon has had an excellent big-block road race oil pan available for the B and E-Body cars on the market for many years, but there hasn't been a small-block version available until recently. Milodon released a small-block road race pan at the 2010 SEMA Show, which fits the production K-frame in A-Body cars as well as the B and E-Body cars. The new Milodon pan has a large T-style sump located ahead of the steering linkage. The central pickup area in the sump is surrounded by trap doors to control the oil during cornering, braking, and acceleration. The sump on this Milodon pan was made as large as possible to fit into the chassis without hanging down below the K-frame.