So you've just finished building the Bow Tie powerplant of your dreams-polished intake manifold, shiny new valve covers, and a fresh coat of Chevy Orange on the block. Why stop now? To this very day, some enthusiasts still believe in restoring the old pitted and rusty stock accessory brackets, spending numerous hours sandblasting, powdercoating, painting, or whatever.
While the stock bracketry is a mainstay in the heads of many, it can pose possible issues beyond looks alone. Whatever flavor tea you choose is ultimately your decision, and restoration-specific vehicles must be period-correct, but if you're not hung up on originality, why not step into 21st century looks with the technology of today?
While a wild-looking engine is important to some, there are additional factors to think about when purchasing engine accessories and/or bracketry of any kind. Focus on the importance of, for example, the alternator. What will cause the unit to function as it should, opposed to how it should not? Proper belt tension must be obtained for effective alternator output; a loose belt may squeal, causing less output, while an overtightened belt may give proper output while causing premature bearing wear within the unit. If improper bracketry is used, alignment issues are eminent and may cause inconsistent belt tensions as well as belt throw. The same concept will hold true for the water pump, power steering pump, and air-conditioning compressor mounting practices.
March Performance Pulleys recently announced its new Style Track Serpentine Drive system, claiming rigid support, style, and a price tag $500 less than its competitors. Let's see: style, functionality, and a bargain price all in one? We had to see this one for ourselves.
The timing couldn't have been any better; after learning of this new part, we received a call from Tom Egan and our friends at Muscle Car Unlimited in West Berlin, New Jersey. They just happened to be installing the new Style Track kit on a fresh 475-horse 383-cid small-block, so we ventured south to get the lowdown.
We're happy to report that the installation was a snap. It couldn't have been easier, and the finished product looks outstanding. Sounds like a bargain to us.
Before beginning a project of this magnitude, you should lay out all the parts to be sure nothing missing and to give the installer a better idea of what's involved. As we suspected, nothing was missing. Muscle Car Unlimited Technician Dave Genovese began by installing the supplied fan and pulley to the polished 105-amp alternator included kit. It you are performing this install with the engine in the car, the radiator will have to be drained, the battery disconnected, and if so equipped, the air-conditioning system evacuated, as well as removed.
Next, Genovese installed the alternator pulley cover, the power steering pump pulley (which will require the use of a pulley installation tool), and the A/C compressor pulleys were properly installed, we began to mate the items to the engine. It should be noted that all kits produced after May 30, 208, will have a power steering pump with a pressed-on hub. This will make mounting the power steering pulley a simple bolt-on.