Dress-up accessories for the small-block Chevy are plentiful. In fact, the numerous choices can lead to some mismatched combinations of finishes, textures, and styles. That’s why we prefer to do our engine accessorizing with complete kits. The small-block Chevy in question for this tech piece just received a rebuild and is resting under the hood of Matt Hickman’s ’71 Chevrolet C10. Matt upgraded the appearance of the engine with some modern accessories but wanted to add air conditioning and give his engine bay a little more wow factor. His choice was an All American Billet Silverline Supreme Serpentine kit.
The All American Billet kit offers every component needed to install the system, including 6061-T6 aluminum brackets and pulleys, Tuff Stuff Performance accessories, and stainless steel hardware. The kit also includes a remote power steering reservoir and the necessary brackets to mount it. The kits are available in several finish options. Matt went with polished aluminum—a timeless look. The only items that Matt needed to outsource were the high-pressure hoses for the power steering system. All American Billet recently began offering an upgrade to braided stainless steel hoses for GM and Ford power steering systems.
The All American Billet serpentine kit is easy to install with basic handtools. A weekend in the shop could take your engine from bland to spectacular. The straightforward instructions helped us figure out how the pieces of the puzzle went together. It’s important to note that the design of the pulley system does not accommodate a stock-style mechanical fan so Matt took the opportunity to upgrade his cooling system with an aluminum radiator and dual electric fan setup. Now that the kit is installed and the truck is back on the road, Matt can open his hood with pride at the local cruise night and trust that his accessory drive system is ready for years of service. CHP
1. Our starting point is a potent small-block, sporting an Edelbrock top end and powdercoated Chevrolet valve covers. The front drive system is adequate, but it features a stock power steering pump, a pair of standard V-belt drives, and no air conditioning.
2. The engine already had some good parts on it, including a new aluminum water pump and a chrome one-wire alternator with chrome bracket. These components will be great swap meet material after we switch to the All American Billet Silverline Supreme Serpentine front drive system.
3. We found it easiest to remove the radiator, shroud, and fan before disassembling the front of the engine. From there, we removed the alternator, water pump, power steering pump, and crankshaft pulley.
4. Since our engine is fresh, we didn’t see the need to do a lot of touch-up work on the paint. Most of the painted surfaces will be hidden, so we simply did a quick cleanup with some spray detailer before installing the All American Billet crank pulley with the supplied bolts and the original harmonic balancer bolt.
5. The All American Billet Silverline Supreme Serpentine kit comes in a variety of finishes, we opted for polished aluminum. This kit comes with a polished aluminum water pump from Tuff Stuff, and we used standard water pump bolts to loosely install it.
6. The All American Billet Silverline Supreme Serpentine kit comes in a variety of finishes, we opted for polished aluminum. This kit comes with a polished aluminum water pump from Tuff Stuff, and we used standard water pump bolts to loosely install it.
7. The alternator will mount to the driver-side of the engine, and it uses this oval bracket for proper spacing. The bracket attaches to the engine via the top water pump bolt. You will use the shortest spacer in the kit to take up the slack between the main accessory bracket and this alternator bracket.
8. Next is the passenger side, which mounts the compressor for the air-conditioning system. The fourth and final long bolt is installed through the intermediate length spacer, and then into a Z-shaped bracket for the A/C compressor.
9. A button head bolt holds the A/C compressor to the Z-bracket. Space is tight with the heater hose installed, so for most cases, it’s best to wait until the accessory drive is fully installed before attaching the heater hose.
10. Out front, the polished Tuff Stuff Performance peanut-style A/C compressor is held in place with two supplied bolts.
11. Now we can bolt the polished 140-amp one-wire alternator into place. This is another Tuff Stuff component, polished to perfection, with a six-groove serpentine pulley and stylish billet aluminum fan already installed.
12. Below the alternator goes the power steering pump, another polished item from Tuff Stuff. The All American Billet kit utilizes a compact Type II power steering pump, which requires a remote reservoir.
13. Two supplied button head bolts hold the aluminum Type II power steering pump in place.
14. Next is the belt tensioner, which is a genuine General Motors component. It attaches to the main pulley system bracket with a single bolt.
15. The All American Billet serpentine kit features beautiful polished aluminum pulleys that bolt into place easily using the supplied hardware. The pump turns freely so we were not able to get the four pulley bolts very tight at this stage of the install.
16. The A/C compressor has a black pulley built in, but the All American Billet kit comes with a decorative pulley cover that matches the contemporary design. It attaches to the compressor pulley with three supplied bolts.
17. Four supplied bolts hold the water pump pulley in place. All American Billet serpentine kits are complete, but keep in mind that the kit features a 1985-’91 Corvette-style “SuperCool” water pump, which features a 3/4-inch pilot shaft.
18. Now for the moment of truth, as we snake the supplied six-rib Gates belt around the pulleys and insert a 1/2-inch breaker bar into the square slot on the tensioner. The belt snapped into place perfectly, giving us a tight fit.
19. With tension on the belt, we can now finish tightening the stainless steel bolts that hold the water pump and power steering pump pulleys in place. Now would also be a great time to double-check all of your fasteners to make sure they’re tight.
20. The All American Billet serpentine kit features a Type II power steering pump with an external reservoir. Included in the kit is this cool, ribbed billet aluminum reservoir, complete with mounting brackets, set screws, and an O-ring spin-on lid. We chose to mount it to the radiator support.
21. We had a local NAPA store make up the hydraulic hoses using our measurements and fitting sizes. Although it would cost a few more bucks and require custom fitment for your application, All American Billet offers a braided stainless steel line kit as an option.
22. We had a local NAPA store make up the hydraulic hoses using our measurements and fitting sizes. Although it would cost a few more bucks and require custom fitment for your application, All American Billet offers a braided stainless steel line kit as an option.
23. The completed serpentine kit is compact and stylish, and the Tuff Stuff Performance accessories are ready for many years of service. This All American Billet serpentine drive system brightened up our engine bay, and it works as good as it looks.
Photography by Tommy Lee Byrd