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To serpentine or not....

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by txbartman, Nov 7, 2001.

  1. txbartman

    txbartman 1/2 ton status

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    ON the new 350 I am building for my rig, I am considering going with a serpentine setup. What would you guys recommend?

    I am putting on a new water pump anyway, so that isn't much of an issue. I figure I can get the pulleys for the PS, A/C, and alternator from the local junkyard as well as the tension doodad. Anything else I will need to take into consideration?

    Brian
    Check out <a target="_blank" href=http://tx85gmcguy.alloffroad.com>My Jimmy</a> with all her projects!
     
  2. chevyracing

    chevyracing 1/2 ton status

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    Carry an extra belt and idler pulley with you.

    John

    Like to go sloppin' 'round in da mud in a rapid fashion....=) [​IMG]

    <a target="_blank" href=http://community.webshots.com/album/23622937JIJjTHhZPo>http://community.webshots.com/album/23622937JIJjTHhZPo</a>
     
  3. HarryH3

    HarryH3 1 ton status Author

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    Serpentine looks great, but if any one accessory locks up, you aren't going anywhere. I had an alternator bearing sieze on my S-10. It stalled the engine when I let it get down to idle, then kept the engine from cranking over until the belt was removed! Luckily I was in a spot where I could coast downhill most of the way back to town.

    With multiple belts, you can just remove the belt from the offending accessory and still drive.

    <font color=black>HarryH3 - '75 K5</font color=black>
    <a target="_blank" href=http://www.angelfire.com/super/ThunderTruck>www.angelfire.com/super/ThunderTruck</a>
    It's a great day to be alive...
     
  4. 1986Blazer

    1986Blazer 1/2 ton status

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    Hey.....I want to do this also. I just do not have access to a junkyard. If you find two of the serpentine main aluminum bracket assemblies, LET ME KNOW. I have no access to a junk yard here. Also, if you do this, please document the parts and modifications you complete!

    <a target="_blank" href=http://www.geocities.com/keywestk5/KeyWestK5.html>http://www.geocities.com/keywestk5/KeyWestK5.html</a>
    So I says to him, I said, "get your own monkey."
    1986 K5, 350 GM Crate, 700R4, NP208
     
  5. Emmettology 101

    Emmettology 101 3/4 ton status

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    I was thinking of doing the same thing, I have an altenator and complete bolt on bracket from a serpentine set-up... It would be a lot nicer to use one belt rather than 2 or 3...

    Mike

    <font color=green>"1024x768x256... Sounds like one mean woman."</font color=green>

    <a target="_blank" href=http://www.geocities.com/emmettology101>www.geocities.com/emmettology101</a>
     
  6. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Friends newer Chev 1/2 ton busted a power steering hose about 35 miles from ANYWHERE. No choice but to drive it with the pump howling away. My vote for reliability? No. There just isn't much work around them. If one thing (or the belt) fails, your stuck, or ruining components.

    Dorian
    My tech/links page: <a target="_blank" href=http://www.dorianyeager.com/index2.html>www.dorianyeager.com/index2.html</a>
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  7. Triaged

    Triaged 1/2 ton status

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    You could always carry a shorter belt that would bypass any frozen acc.

    '71 Blazer CST w/ a 400sbc, 4" lift, 36" Supper Swampers, and alot of rust
    <a target="_blank" href=http://community.webshots.com/user/triaged>See it Here </a>
     
  8. Blazer_Boy

    Blazer_Boy 1/2 ton status

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    If you want a little less drag on the engine, got get an electric fan. The motor your putting in is going to be a good, solid, reliable engine for you; its not anything to exotic. Its not fun trying to figure out how a new belt goes on when you're stranded on the road. Plus about every parts store on earth has v-belts for the S/B chevy truck.

    <a target="_blank" href=http://www.geocities.com/bigkern76>http://www.geocities.com/bigkern76</a>
     
  9. BadDog

    BadDog SOL Staff Member Super Moderator Author

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    I gotta chime in on the side against the serp. V belts are common as dirt (cheap and you can get them anywhere, not just at parts houses) and you can even rig stuff to get you by. They even make a universal temp kit you can by in many convenience stores. Also, usually you have at least 2 or 3 belts that ride on the pump so any one will not shut you down completely. The only bene for the serp. is slightly lower drag and it aint worth it for a 4x4, IMO.

    Russ

    85 K30 CUCV, 350 TBI, TH400, 205, D60/C14, 4.56 Locked
    Some day: 4" lift, 44" tires, massive cutting, shorter wb and rear overhang.
     
  10. 1986Blazer

    1986Blazer 1/2 ton status

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    Mike:

    You ever want to get rid of that setup - you just let me know! I really do not want to go out to the yard and pull one.....I'd rather just buy one already removed.

    Chris

    <a target="_blank" href=http://www.geocities.com/keywestk5/KeyWestK5.html>http://www.geocities.com/keywestk5/KeyWestK5.html</a>
    So I says to him, I said, "get your own monkey."
    1986 K5, 350 GM Crate, 700R4, NP208
     
  11. HarryH3

    HarryH3 1 ton status Author

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    Good luck figuring out how many spare belts you would need to carry (length would vary depending on what accessory failed) and how to reroute them (if you even could). [​IMG]

    <font color=black>HarryH3 - '75 K5</font color=black>
    <a target="_blank" href=http://www.angelfire.com/super/ThunderTruck>www.angelfire.com/super/ThunderTruck</a>
    It's a great day to be alive...
     
  12. blazer72

    blazer72 1/2 ton status

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    You dont need that many belt to bypass a bad ps pump. But a bad Alt is not something you can bypass. I just installed GMs kit for serpentine belt drive system. The kit from GM was 300 and the water pump came with the kit, as did all the nut, bolt and pulleys. As long as your PS pump pulley is press on you can use the one you have, If the one from my 72 fit then so will the rest. As for how it works much better than v-belts. Belt slip is a thing of the past. The fan runs at the right speed and the motor stay cool. I could never keep the temp down with an electirc fan or 4 when out on a hot trail run not talking about running around town but when running a trail at 2 miles per hour. Or sitting running the winch or air compresser with no movement. Keep the stock fan nothing move air like it can.
    Heres were to find the serpentine belt drive system kit.
    http://www.paceparts.com/Serpentine Belt Drive Systems.htm

    72 Blazer CST 400TPI NV4500 NP203/205
    01 Suburban 8100 2500 4X4
     
  13. HarryH3

    HarryH3 1 ton status Author

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    My point was that you can't carry just a single "short belt" to solve accessory drive problems with a serpentine belt drive. You would need one size belt to bypass a bad alternator, another size to bypass a bad power steering pump, another size to bypass a bad idle pulley, well, you get the idea... [​IMG]

    The other problem is that some of the accessories just can't be bypassed. For example, I don't see any way to make any size belt work to bypass a seized alternator on my setup. [​IMG]. Serpentine belts look clean and work great, until something goes wrong. Then you can be in for some rather creative solutions to getting home.

    All 4 of my vehicles have serpentine belt drives, but I'd still prefer the old multiple v-belt system. I was several miles back in the Colorado mountains, outside Silverton, just 30-45 minutes before the alternator seized on my S-10. Luckily I was almost back to town before it happened. Had it seized just a little earlier, it would have been a long, slow trip out of the mountains, because I would have had to keep stopping to let the engine cool. [​IMG]

    <font color=black>HarryH3 - '75 K5</font color=black>
    <a target="_blank" href=http://www.angelfire.com/super/ThunderTruck>www.angelfire.com/super/ThunderTruck</a>
    It's a great day to be alive...
     
  14. blazer72

    blazer72 1/2 ton status

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    Your right you cant by pass the alternator, water pump, A/C or the tension pulley, To solve this when I travil away from friendly places I carry 2 belts one with all things being driven, one to bypasses the PS pump. A idle pully that replaces the A/C comp, and the tension pully, an alternator. Alot of the places I end up at you need to have everything working there is no drive out 20 min to go get it fixed

    72 Blazer CST 400TPI NV4500 NP203/205
    01 Suburban 8100 2500 4X4
     
  15. Leadfoot

    Leadfoot 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    All I need is one spare (but I carry 2 just in case, and there small and thin not long and thick like the serpentine). The belt that powers my alt is the same lenght as the one that powers my power steering. Those with smog and AC may differ. but as far as finding spares (easy), finding spares in serpentine standard (not easy) and then if you have to by pass, not only do you have to find the right lenght but you still have to get it around the idler. If the idler goes you are screwed (no accessories). So instead of keeping a spare belt or two for v-belts, you have to carry a couple diffent size serpentine belts and a spare idler assembly. Sounds like that is more baggage to me (plus v-belts are easy to find a spot for). I will agree that a serpentine system has a little (stress little) less drag and if the idler works correctly keeps proper tension (which most people don't do when installing v-belts), but you can get great results with good quality (stress good) v-belts and PROPER tensioning, not the crowbar method (which can kill accessories and water pumps quickly). Both work well but from the carrying spare parts goes, v-belts you carry a few spares to be prepared, and serpentine you do the same with thicker longer belts, and you have to carry an idler assembly (to be PROPERLY prepared). Just a thought.

    See my rig at <a target="_blank" href=http://coloradok5.com/gallery/Leadfoot> click here </a>
     
  16. 1bad82k5

    1bad82k5 1/2 ton status

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    Ususally the belts are routed a certain way to be certain all the pulleys turn the correct direction. I have had many a person come in to get a shorter belt to bypass a smog pump or ac compressor only to find out that it wouldn't work because the belt hits another pulley or turns something backwards. Just my thoughts.
    eric

    Don't get me started, you know how i get.
    82k5, 14bff, d44, sm465, np205, 300hp350, rust
     
  17. blazer72

    blazer72 1/2 ton status

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    The belt my serpentine uses is the same for the 89 to 95 chevy truck. Have yet to find a parts store that does not have a belt to fit.

    72 Blazer CST 400TPI NV4500 NP203/205
    01 Suburban 8100 2500 4X4
     

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