Why add serpentine belts to your ride? How about because it looks good. That’s the main reason why most show car owners have added serpentine systems to their engines. The aftermarket world has addressed the fact that stock belt systems are just plain ugly and need to be modified to look good. Some of the benefits besides the “cool factor” are that you gain a 10 to 15-percent increase in horsepower. Serpentine add-on will also bring your engine into the 21st century as you may have noticed that auto manufacturers have largely eliminated old-style V-belt designs in most new vehicles and replaced them with a serpentine configuration.
When purchasing a serpentine belt system there are a few questions that you will need to deal with. For instance, which type of water pump to use is very important as some systems require a reverse-flow water pump. There are a few cars that use a short water pump, while others take a long-neck water pump; it all depends on the style of system that you want to use. Be advised that if you use the wrong water pump it could damage your engine. Air conditioning is also important, as well as proper bracket alignment. If the brackets are not correctly aligned your belt might start to come off while your engine is at high RPM, like while driving on the highway!
Most serpentine systems designed for GM engines are based on 350-c.i.d. engine platforms. Zoops Products is one of the only manufacturers that provide brackets for older GM engine platforms. Being dressed up with a new serpentine system was just what this 327-c.i.d. ’65 Chevy Impala engine needed. Now follow along as we bolt on the Zoops kit to this stock GM engine block.
1. This Zoops serpentine kit will let you modernize your pre-’68 stock GM engine.
2. This candy-painted 327 was ready to be modernized with a serpentine system.
3. The first of the pulleys to be bolted on was the main harmonic balancer pulley which turns the crank.
4. When installing the water pump pulley you might have to shim the back side of the pulley to ensure alignment between both pulleys.
5. Next was the power steering pump and brackets, which featured a remote reservoir for the power steering fluid.
6. Since we shaved the firewall smooth on this vehicle, we were not going to run air conditioning, which meant that we needed to add a tension pulley to the engine.
7. The idler base bolted onto the water pump will allow the pulley to be lined up properly. You will also need to tighten down the pulley to the actual bracket.
8. Once you tighten down the idler pulley, the pulley cover can be snapped on.
9. The engine was ready for the last bracket and pulley to be installed, but not before the engine was dropped back into the vehicle.
10. The engine was ready to receive the last brackets.
11. The last of the brackets was this unique setup which bolts onto the manifold as the older GM camel-heads do not have any holes on the actual heads.
12. Set the bracket in place by snugly tightening the bolt on the manifold.13. Next, the alternator was locked into position to allow the other brackets to be bolted on.
14. The alternator brace was bolted on to allow the adjusting rod to bolt on. This works as the adjusting point on this bracket.
15. The aluminum billet pulleys were ready to be adjusted and lined up.
16. Since the main pulley and water pump pulley always line up, the first and most important is to measure the water pump pulley. This will allow you to get the first measurement needed to align the brackets.
17. Using a level will give you a true measurement and allow you to adjust all of the brackets so that the belt does not come off.
18. With the brackets all lined up, the belt was put in place and the tension braces adjusted. The engine was ready to be taken for a spin.