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> would be your vacumme assist unit(if the 16v's had them?)....
Speaking in general about disk brakes, they all have vacuum assist.
(The exception that I can think of is the Porsche 914, but it is a light
car.) I can't think of anything that might go wrong with the vacuum unit
that would impair the car's ability to stop; it might take both feet on
the pedal, with the seat adjusted for maximum leverage, but you should be
able to get the wheels to slide on clean, dry pavement, with enough force.
(Before the advent of anti-lock brakes, that was our state inspection standard
for brakes. This assumes good tires.)
Since your stopping is so poor, and since most of the work is done by
the front brakes, I would be looking there first.
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