All too often, in the game of project cars, room for improvement is always available. When it comes to upgrading, we’ve got a ton of products to choose from. Some upgrades happen purely out of necessity, others for fun, or when the budget allows for it. The privileged just can’t wait to get the latest and greatest offerings in the aftermarket. For us, though, our install this month consisted of a well-liked upgrade—the serpentine drivebelt system. Its tight, clean, and simplistic design makes the perfect addition to free up engine bay real estate on our small-block-powered ’64 Chevelle.
The serpentine system, first introduced in GM vehicles during the mid-’80s, is more efficient than the older multiple belt systems. Serpentines use a single, wide belt to drive all of the accessories instead of thinner V-belts. Additionally, they require less space to operate and produce higher tension, which also reduces slip. In turn, less slip means longer belt life, extending your initial investment. What’s more, serpentine systems are also much easier to maintain and replace.
Our all-inclusive S-Drive kit (PN EMS107-55M) from Eddie Motorsports included CNC-machined components from high-quality aluminum and utilized stainless steel hardware for longevity. All systems are available for small- or big-block applications in machined finish, polished, anodized, or powdercoated versions. Complete systems include billet pulleys, A/C compressor and tensioner covers, A/C compressor manifold, and all the necessary brackets. However, A/C lines are not included. At most, you’ll have to get a few lines made to adapt to your specific application. Also included are a Powermaster 105A alternator, Edelbrock water pump, Sanden compressor, Unisteer power steering pump, and a Gates serpentine belt.
Although, we began with the front of our small-block already torn down, the removal process is easily completed with basic handtools. Under the technical hands of Jason Scudellari, we installed the entire EMS S-Drive kit before midday. Our final touch was adding the serpentine Gates belt to complete the package.