On one of our recent projects we pulled that proverbial thread-the one that unravels the whole blanket, or, in this case, our whole project. In the words of Ricky Ricardo, "Let us splain." You may remember our 2007 Full Size Muscle supplement back in our January '07 newsstand issues. In that big car special we replaced the tired old 327 with a 350 in this '68 Bel Air wagon.
The problem we encountered after the swap was bracket alignment. We used a roller rocker combo that required taller valve covers. The taller valve covers required us to adjust the alternator position and bracket, and that's where the problem came in. We bent the OEM bracket and moved the alternator further up (to clear the valve covers) and once the engine started, the alternator and bracket shivered and shook like a Pentecostal snake charmer. Furthermore, when the engine rpm went up, the shaking got worse and we were in danger of throwing a belt.
That's OK because we had Zoops to save the day. Most folks are familiar with Zoops serpentine belt systems, but did you know about their correct align brackets? The correct align brackets are adjustable brackets which allow the user to move the pulley back and forth for better belt alignment-so whether you have a Rat or a Mouse under the hood, Zoops has a bracket and pulley that will fit. Since we had to realign the alternator pulley, one thing led to another ... then comes the power steering pump pulley and, well, we kept on pulling that thread. Installing the new brackets was a little more time consuming than we had anticipated. Actually, it was cutting the hose and installing the fittings that took most of our time.
Climatologists have been sounding dire warnings of the coming summer months. They claim the western states are in for the hottest summer on record. Since we have pulled all the old pulleys and brackets off we decided we had better replace the OEM cooling system and tackle two installs with one wrench. Without a doubt, most reading this magazine have experienced some overheating problems in their vehicles at one time or another. Chevy enthusiasts have been known to increase the horsepower in their automobiles. These extra ponies can tax even the best stock cooling system, let alone one that's four decades old. Updating an engine while leaving the 39-year-old cooling system may not be the best idea, especially when pulling a grade in a large vehicle such as this wagon. Higher revving while pulling a load or even sitting in traffic on hot days can lead to vapor lock, boiling over radiators, and other engine difficulties. Been there, done that, and don't want to do it again! This is why we went to Flex-a-lite for help in the cooling department. Let's dive under the hood and spin some wrenches.
Once the alternator is out of the way, it's time to remove the old steering pump and reservoir. The bracket on this pump sits on the motor mount. So unbolting the motor mount and lifting the left side of the engine an inch or so with a jack is required.
Here's the correct align bracket and GM Type II remote power steering pulley that we ordered from Zoops (bracket part # 8070 and pump # 6175).
This particular bracket is for use with the GM Type II pump only.