In the issue at hand, we are installing a complete four-wheel disc brake conversion kit from the fine folks at Master Power Brakes of Mooresville, North Carolina, onto Wally's '56 panel .
When MP Brakes says their kit is complete, they're not kidding. Everything from new wheel bearings and grease seals to grease caps and flex hoses is included. The beauty of buying an engineered kit such as MP Brakes' is there's no guessing at which proportioning valve you need to use with which master cylinder or brake caliper. All these determinations have been figured out.
We would like to have run a before-and-after comparison test on Wally's '56 for 60-to-0 braking results, but we couldn't find a test track long enough to conduct the before portion. Once we get Wally fixed up with a set of tires that won't pop, we'll gather some stopping distance data.
As a reference point, figure that a stock Tri-Five Chevy or GMC in tip-top condition will require over 200 feet to stop from 60 mph. The average stopping distance for brand-new full-size heavy-duty pickups will run around 170 feet. For a 1500-series Sierra or Silverado, count on around 150 feet, with approximately 120 feet to stop a Chevy SS pickup in its tracks.
In the state of California it doesn't take much for politicians to pass a new law. After a Toyota pickup with a camper shell full of people fell off a freeway overpass, exterminating its many occupants, it's now illegal for anyone to ride in the bed of a pickup truck.
Since Wally isn't exactly graced with a lot of luck, he might end up plowing through a minivan packed full of people and being the guy who got classic trucks banned from our highways. What about you? Is your old truck irreplaceable or potentially the Typhoid Mary of a new ban on customized trucks? Either way, it's not a pretty thought. Please follow along as we update Wally's '56 Chevy panel and hopefully inspire others to update their '55-59 GM trucks to survive in the 21st century. After all, if you want to go fast, you have to stop fast.