Dismiss Notice

Welcome To CK5!

Registering is free and easy! Hope to see you on the forums soon.

Score a FREE t-shirt and membership sticker when you sign up for a Premium Membership and choose the recurring plan.

Serpentine Belts

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by kazajames56, Feb 23, 2004.

  1. kazajames56

    kazajames56 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2003
    Posts:
    28
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Kenner, LA
    Would it be possible to convert my truck to a serpentine setup? Right now it's a 350 with v-belts on the accesories, but i have the complete serpentine setup from a 350 with all the brackets and accesories. Would it bolt right up, or is there something I should look out for? Thanks!

    Steven
     
  2. bigyellowjimmy

    bigyellowjimmy 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2004
    Posts:
    2,105
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Chandler, AZ
    If you have all the brackets and the holes line up use it! Ive thought about doing this myself in the past.
     
  3. 4xcrazy

    4xcrazy 3/4 ton status

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2003
    Posts:
    9,472
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    Olympia/Lacey, Washington
    If it's a stock serpertine setup from a newer truck, you need a new water pump as the newer pumps rotate in reverse.
    other than that i see no other problems.
     
  4. kazajames56

    kazajames56 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2003
    Posts:
    28
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Kenner, LA
    Cool. I've got the water pump and everything so it should be OK. I'll let everyone know what happens.

    Steven
     
  5. biobry

    biobry Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2003
    Posts:
    76
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    North Florida
    Steven,

    That serpentine setup won't work on your truck, Sorry! I'll be glad to pay the shipping so you can send it to me and it won't go to waste! /forums/images/graemlins/whistling.gif /forums/images/graemlins/whistling.gif /forums/images/graemlins/whistling.gif /forums/images/graemlins/k5.gif
     
  6. HarryH3

    HarryH3 1 ton status Author

    Joined:
    May 31, 2000
    Posts:
    10,384
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Georgetown, TX
    Serpentine setups look cool, but they have one fatal flaw. The loss of a single accessory can stop you in your tracks. I've been stranded by a siezed alternator bearing before. /forums/images/graemlins/eek.gif Luckily I was uphill from the nearest town and was able to coast most of the way into town, after I removed the belt. With a V-belt setup I would have only had to remove the alternator belt, leaving the other belts to still drive the water pump. Once the serpentine belt is removed, nothing is being driven at all. Just something to consider...
     
  7. 350350

    350350 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2003
    Posts:
    939
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    USA
    I put a serpentine belt system from a '91 Caprice on my '76 400 and the only problem I had was that there was one bolt hole not drilled or tapped on the passenger side head... So depending on the years you're swapping you may run into that. I just left that bolt out and didn't have any problems since it uses pretty much all of the other bolts on the face of the block and heads. You could also probably drill and tap the hole yourself, but the head didn't have the pad cast into it for the hole so you'd have to put some washers there or something to make a flat surface for the bracket to mount to. Not to mention you'd have to be careful of how far you drill into who knows what inside the head... /forums/images/graemlins/eek.gif

    I had to go to the serpentine system because I couldn't keep v-belts on at high rpm's for some reason. I finally got pissed off trying to figure it out and spent $100 on the whole system from a local salvage yard. Problem solved!
     
  8. Cmoe

    Cmoe 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2000
    Posts:
    2,884
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Mesa,AZ
    I want to do it myself..... I like the way they look and hate it when the inner belt brakes on the V-belt system (just had that happen a month or two ago).... What is you serpentine system from?
     
  9. CyberSniper

    CyberSniper 1/2 ton status Premium Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2003
    Posts:
    2,257
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    Chelsea, MI
    That's the exact reason why I haven't been in a hurry to switch to serpentine.

    Even though it's a pain in the butt when the power steering belt comes off or needs adjusting. I hate dealing with the power steering belt. There's nothing to pry on to put tension on it. PLus having to take ALL the other belts off to do it... /forums/images/graemlins/angryfire.gif
     
  10. kazajames56

    kazajames56 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2003
    Posts:
    28
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Kenner, LA
    The setup is from an 89 Suburban... I was hoping to swap the TBI setup in this week but it had the 40 gallon tank so the sender/pump wouldn't fit in the 31 gallon tank, but that's a whole different story... and I'm swapping to serpentine because my A/C compressor is shot, the pulley on the PS is completely messed up, and I have it available.

    Steven
     
  11. ZooMad75

    ZooMad75 1/2 ton status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2003
    Posts:
    1,015
    Likes Received:
    615
    Location:
    Pueblo, CO
    [ QUOTE ]
    Serpentine setups look cool, but they have one fatal flaw. The loss of a single accessory can stop you in your tracks.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    True thats a fatal flaw, but why cant you carry a spare belt with you? The only tool you need to change it out is a 1/2 breakerbar to release the tensioner. I've got the serpentine setup on mine and it takes away all the issues of V-belts. Adjustments, throwing belts, squeeling and carrying as many as 3 spare belts if one breaks on the trail. As long the rest of the parts on the accessory drive are in good shape (alt-p/s-a/c, ect) when you install it, chances of those failures stopping you are slim. Besides any part can fail, if its got enough mileage on it regardless (V-belt or Serpentine). My opinion is that the benifits faw out weigh the flaw.

    Besides, the main reason a serpentine belt breaks is because its old. keep an eye on it for cracks in the ribs and replace it when you see them. Sure a tensioner could lock up in one spot making it loose or tight but thats rare. If you are pulling the parts from the boneyard or used from a swapmeet/ebay, at least get a new belt and tensioner. 99% of the problems are gone once you do that.

    In addtion to a reverse rotation water pump, you also need a reverse rotation Fan and Clutch. They all spin from the same place and in the same direction and V-belt fans/clutches tend to not draw any air across the radiatior in the right direction when spun backwards....
     
  12. Fubeca

    Fubeca 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2002
    Posts:
    2,100
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Denver Area
    I think he meant if one of your accessories fries -- your stuck. Like if your PS pump croaks and freezes you can't even limp it home like you could with separate belts. I don't worry about it too much though. I like my serpentine belts /forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif.
     
  13. 350350

    350350 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2003
    Posts:
    939
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    USA
    [ QUOTE ]
    That's the exact reason why I haven't been in a hurry to switch to serpentine.

    Even though it's a pain in the butt when the power steering belt comes off or needs adjusting. I hate dealing with the power steering belt. There's nothing to pry on to put tension on it. PLus having to take ALL the other belts off to do it... /forums/images/graemlins/angryfire.gif

    [/ QUOTE ]

    /forums/images/graemlins/hack.gif Here's a good tip, or not so good, you decide... I found a neat trick for tightening the power steering belt. It only works if you have a motor hoist handy though... /forums/images/graemlins/doah.gif

    The power steering pump swings in an arc that ends up going just about straight up at the end of its adjustment. You can put your hoist down in the engine bay and hook the outermost pump bracket. Go easy because your hoist can easily rip the pump right off... Hoist slowly and check the belt tension and you've got both hands free to tighten the bolts while the hoist holds the belt tight. /forums/images/graemlins/waytogo.gif

    Of course, I'm nuts so consider the source before taking this advice!!! /forums/images/graemlins/peace.gif
     
  14. 4xcrazy

    4xcrazy 3/4 ton status

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2003
    Posts:
    9,472
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    Olympia/Lacey, Washington
    I have had that happen, luckily it happened just as i pulled up right in front of my house, very lucky because i was out all weekend on a fishing/camping/wheelin trip with some friends. About 3 miles from home the check engine light came on for a few seconds, thought. hmmm, oh well, when i got home and threw it in park, the engine started bogging down and shut itself off, i though uh oh, then tried to restart it and screamed at me. Found out the next am it was my alternator, a bearing locked up. But other than that problem, i absolutely love serpentine belt setup, quiet belts, better performing, work better when wet, easy to change. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  15. CHEVY 4WD

    CHEVY 4WD 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    May 14, 2002
    Posts:
    1,773
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Florida
    A freind of mine got a serpentine set up off a 90or91 S-10 with a 4.3 worked great and he loved it but the AC still ran of a V-Belt but the rest was serpentine I guess this is kinnda cool if you wanted to go extra FAST and bacially remove your AC by takeing off the belt /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  16. CyberSniper

    CyberSniper 1/2 ton status Premium Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2003
    Posts:
    2,257
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    Chelsea, MI
    If any one of those accessories takes a dump (usually it's an idler, the tensioner, or the alternator) then you're fscked if you have a serpentine setup.

    With my v-belt setup I just keep a spare alternator belt with me at all times. It'll run the water pump and the alternator. When I'm in the woods I carry a spare alternator as well.

    When I had an alternator seize on the expressway last fall I stopped at the rest stop, saw the belt catch on fire and boil (ever see belts bubble like a tarpit?), put it out, cut the belt, and finished my 3 hour drive home. Can't exactly do that with a serpentine setup.

    When I had my serpentine setup on my Sonoma I kept a spare idler pulley (same as one on tensioner) and an old belt with me. It was fine and dandy unless the alternator seized (no power steering or AC).

    I also learned that tensioners (the sping inside) can break once you relieve the tension on them while changing the belt. This means that even if you do carry a spare alternator you're fscked. I've ghettofabbed them together before but it required tearing it apart which isn't easy to do on the road.
     
  17. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

    Joined:
    May 30, 2001
    Posts:
    17,669
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    IL, USA
    if all else fails carry a spare tensioner.

    Getting rid of my squeeling stupid ass V belts is at the top of the list for me.
     
  18. HarryH3

    HarryH3 1 ton status Author

    Joined:
    May 31, 2000
    Posts:
    10,384
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Georgetown, TX
    [ QUOTE ]
    True thats a fatal flaw, but why cant you carry a spare belt with you?

    [/ QUOTE ]
    The belt didn't fail, the alternator locked up solid and stalled the engine. /forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif So having a new belt wouldn't have helped a bit. Had I been way out in the boonies, with lots of uphill runs required to get out, it would have taken a very long time to get out since I would have had to keep stopping and waiting for the engine to cool off.

    Serpentine belts are very neat, but they create a single point of failure for all of the engine driven accessories. /forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif
     
  19. kazajames56

    kazajames56 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2003
    Posts:
    28
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Kenner, LA
    Thanks for all the different views guys. Looks like I'll be doing it tomorrow (and then time for Mardi Gras... woohoo!)

    Steven
     
  20. ZooMad75

    ZooMad75 1/2 ton status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2003
    Posts:
    1,015
    Likes Received:
    615
    Location:
    Pueblo, CO
    I can completly agree that you can have an alternator seize up (or P/S or A/C....) but really how often does that happen? Sure if you swap a serpentine pulley on a Alternator thats already got a ton of miles on it your asking for trouble anyway. Again, even if you had a V-Belt your still fubar'd if the Alt seized. I mean sure running the backwoods your going to run with spares anyway so really whats the difference between the two? I'll tell you. I'll have my belt off and the alternator on in 10 minutes, while a v-belt guy is having to yank the p/s belt to get to the alternator belt, adjust it, then the p/s belt and adjust it too. The v-belt guy is then a road block on the trail.

    All I'm saying is just about any accessory failure your going to have a similar dibilitating result v-belt or serpentine. Sure you can run without p/s, its a pain but it can be done, but if a alternator is stuck, slapping a another v-belt on is still not going to fix it. And you got about the same amount of time to run on battery alone.

    Bottom line you run old accessorys on your rig regardless of belt drive and the same issues will develop. Run fresh stuff and your chance of those parts fail lesson, it falls then to personal preference. I personally prefer having my belt adjust itself, not slip, fly off and simplify what I need to carry on the trail. Besides, GM went to them for a reason and on new units how many are failing? Not that many.
     

Share This Page