El Camino Central Forum banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
ZERO MPG
Joined
·
15,376 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
O.K. I've seen many post on this and I'm wondering if I should do a swap on mine. From what I have seen it's not a hard job to do and if it has a real advantage on the performance of the motor like gas mileage less pull on the motor and only one belt then I would like to do it myself. Is this why you do it or is it just something someone started and it doesn't help with anything?
I like the one belt system because I can keep one in the truck with my breaker bar and a socket just in case but I don't want to spend money on something I can use for another up grade that will help.:dontknow:
 

·
ZERO MPG
Joined
·
15,376 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
I have the serpentine set-up and love it. Also,the belts don't break as easy!
What's the advantage Just the look and only one belt ? I went to Ecology auto recker's yesterday for the first time in thirty years man you want to talk about part's not El Camino's or Chevy's lots of F------.:poke: I don't want to waste the money if it's not going to help with 300,000 on my 305 maybe wait till it dies and put the new 350 in? But still with the new motor is it worth it or just looks?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
852 Posts
looks great, cleans up the engine compartment, as stated, only one belt....why not?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,102 Posts
the main advantage is the one belt,as stated above it cleans up the engine bay.it doesnt save you any hp unless you go to electric fans. to make the cleanest install you use the v6 buick powered g body ac condenser and it moves all of the ac hoses to the pass side. you need to use the reverse rotation wp and fan. if you buy at ecology buy all of the accesories because they or thier pulleys are different. self tensioning and last about 100,000 mile on the belt
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
213 Posts
I did a proper conversion on my 87. The pros are tidying the front of the engine up, the multiribbed belt is less prone to slippage (being thrown) and it's easier to get the belt on and off. I don't know of a HP gain unless you're swapping to an underdrive setup, which isn't specific to serpentine.

The cons are a seized a/c or power steering pulley puts you out of commission, and if you're going with the GM setup, and have AC, it moves the compressor to the opposite side, which means running new hoses, new condenser, and recharging the system (this does help contribute to tidying up the engine bay as you no longer have big ac hoses crossing over). This was an unexpected cost when I did mine but I'm definitely glad i did it.

If you're contemplating an engine swap in the future though, not sure i'd bother.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,075 Posts
Not a lot of cons.
Pros
no belt alignment issues--providing everything comes from the same car
no belt tension issues
no tossing belts at high rpm
no tossing belts belts when AC cycles.

Granted, the original setup I had in the 59 made for some long belt runs
But this was just sheer luck.
This happened while driving back to San Antonio from a show in the Killeen area. (3hr + ride)
Have no idea how long this was like this, found it when checking the oil.
The upside of this-----apparently I have (had) no pulley alignment issues.



This will not happen with the serpentine I put on not long after this event
 
G

·
Not a lot of cons.
Pros
no belt alignment issues--providing everything comes from the same car
no belt tension issues
no tossing belts at high rpm
no tossing belts belts when AC cycles.

Granted, the original setup I had in the 59 made for some long belt runs
But this was just sheer luck.
This happened while driving back to San Antonio from a show in the Killeen area. (3hr + ride)
Have no idea how long this was like this, found it when checking the oil.
The upside of this-----apparently I have (had) no pulley alignment issues.

http://i275.photobucket.com/albums/jj289/Bryan59EC/HPIM2912.jpg

This will not happen with the serpentine I put on not long after this event
That same thing happened to someone I know....Flipping belts suck!
 

·
Registered
1966 El Camino
Joined
·
2,081 Posts
PRos:
  • Reliability - there is only one belt and it lasts significantly longer than a V-belt
  • Availability - if taken off a late model car, you can be assured of proper belt length availability, this is becoming less true of V-belts as manufacturers reduce the quantity of part numbers and sell you odd length belts for old installations.
  • Self-tensioning: no longer have to worry about under or over tensioned belts
  • No more thrown belts or flipped belts.
Cons:
  • Cost: - the Cost to upgrade can add up quickly, if done through bone yards it can be done fairly reasonably.
  • REverse rotation water pump: Pretty much all, (if not actually all) factory serpentine system require a reverse rotation water pump, this means you cannot reuse an engine mounted fan. Not an issue if you already have electrics, but a significant added cost if you dont. March makes a system I believe that continues to use the normal rotation pump - but March stuff is $$$$$$$$$$$
  • possible need to relocate accessories such as alternators and AC compressors.
As a general rule, I think its worth doing if for appearance sake only but even swapping from a donor car can add up so be ready to budget for it.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
12,122 Posts
Can't say I like the serpentine belt system. I've had my share for failures, with tensioner pulleys, idler pulleys, and the tensioner assembly itself. When a pulley fails, the belt gets trashed too, so in my case a belt is 30 bucks, and a pulley is just over 40 bucks. That's 70 bucks I've had to spend a few times, and buying the normal three V belts is less money. Changed the tensioner again last year.
Carrying a spare belt and tool to install it is a good idea, but the flat belts do last a long time, if no pulley failures occur. I would be more inclined to swap the serpentine belt for V belts !
Of course if people are just looking for appearance, and it's only a summer toy, it doesn't matter. For a work truck that gets a lot of miles a year, it sucks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
238 Posts
REverse rotation water pump: Pretty much all, (if not actually all) factory serpentine system require a reverse rotation water pump, this means you cannot reuse an engine mounted fan. Not an issue if you already have electrics, but a significant added cost if you dont. March makes a system I believe that continues to use the normal rotation pump - but March stuff is $$$$$$$$$$$
The truck I pulled my motor from had a serpentine belt and it used a mechanical clutch fan. You might not be able to reuse your stock fan but you can get a reverse rotation mechanical fan.
 

·
ZERO MPG
Joined
·
15,376 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for the input and I will leave it alone not that many people look at my engine and it's not as simple as stated in one of the threads. The only belt I lost while driving sense 1987 was when my ac compressor froze up and didn't stop me from my fishing trip or hurt anything else.:beer:
Robert
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
589 Posts
The main reason I did serpentine belt change over is because I had a donor truck that had all new parts. Plus I got a AC compressor that was made to work with 134a. I do not know if any of the factory v-belt ac compressors where made and designed for 134a freon, or if it even matters. I just know that it works great.
 

·
TrannyMike
Joined
·
2,807 Posts
If your motor is like mine you have a serpentine belt that runs the water pump and alternator. There is no tensioner pulley like newer cars have. The belt is tightened the old fashioned way. My A/C and P/S run v-belts. I like having the P/S and A/C separate so if either have a problem I'm not stranded. My ride is an 85 but has a complete 87 drive-train. :beer:
 

·
ZERO MPG
Joined
·
15,376 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
If your motor is like mine you have a serpentine belt that runs the water pump and alternator. There is no tensioner pulley like newer cars have. The belt is tightened the old fashioned way. My A/C and P/S run v-belts. I like having the P/S and A/C separate so if either have a problem I'm not stranded. My ride is an 85 but has a complete 87 drive-train. :beer:
The crow bar is my tensioner.:beer:
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top