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sub $50 v-belt to flat belt tutorial for bbc and sbc


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I AM NOT A MECHANIC, SO IF I CAN DO IT, SO CAN YOU IF YOU THINK IT WOULD BE BENEFICIAL TO YOU

A little background before I get into the write up. I have a 69 chevelle with a sbc 400 that I put a system in. I realized before I started the build that the stock 42 amp alternator was not going to cut it, so I gave Mechman a call to see what we could come up with. After a few discussions with Eric and Matt as well as some internet research on what could be done, I wound up ordering a 250 amp large case CS-144 alternator from Mechman. Initially I thought all was well, until I began putting a load onto the alternator at 2000 rpms and realized that the v-belt setup that my alternator ran on slipped like crazy under load and was not going to cut it for this high of an amperage alternator. After doing some research, I realized that I had relatively few options... 1) do a full serpentine swap off a similar motor(time consuming and can be very expensive), 2)order pullies from a company like march performance or similar that convert your v-belt style over to a flat, ribbed style belt(cheapest I found was $350), or 3)find a hybrid v-belt/flat belt pulley system on an existing car that fit my needs.

I chose option 3, mostly because of the cost and the fact that my power steering running off a v-belt was fine and not a problem, and after some more internet research and asking a few knowledgeable mechanic friends, I determined that I needed the pulleys from an 84-86 small block(or big block if thats what you have), so I set out to my local pull-a-part junk yard on a hunt. I found what I needed on an 86 c/k series chevy truck with a 305, but if you have a big block look for a suburban with a 454 or a heavy duty 2500 series or higher truck and you will find what you need, take both the water pump and crank pulleys. Took all of 10 minutes to take both pulleys off, and cost me $11, a far cry from the $350 kit I found.

old v-belt pulleys on most pre 84 general motors engines

IMAG0600.jpg

IMAG0512.jpg

after going to the junk yard and find the correct pulleys for either your bbc or sbc, they should resemble these... notice the combination system vs the old style v-belt system

Crank pulley

IMAG0615.jpg

water pump pulley

IMAG0616.jpg

start off by removing the fan and pulley from the water pump, there are (4) 1/2" bolts holding it on, simply take them off and the fan(if mechanical like mine) and pulley will come right off

IMAG0618.jpg

next, take the old crank pulley off. i didnt get a picture but there are (3) 9/16" bolts holding it in around the sides and (1) 5/8" bolts in the center. after taking them off the pulley will come right off.

reverse this process to install the pulleys, and you will see the flat style belt grooves now line up perfectly

IMAG0620.jpg

if you did like I did and orignally ordered your alt with a v-belt pulley, this will need to be switch to a 5 groove style. I told Eric what I was doing and they rushed my out a billet aluminum 5 groove pulley. If you have a v-belt and have not ordered yet, I highly recommend you go with the 5 groove initially and take the time to do this simple swap, its well worth your time.

IMAG0630.jpg

IMAG0631-1.jpg

Now, depending what style power steering(if equipped) pump you have, your belts may not be the exact same as these, but when pulling my pulleys off at the junk yard, i took the old belts also as I knew they would fit and I took them to O'Reilly and got two new belts, $37.

IMAG0637.jpg

All in all, if you have a bbc or sbc, its well worth the 2 hours of work and appx $50 for this swap. My alternator now runs on the 5 groove belt, has no slipping issues at all and puts out more at idle thanks to the overdrive billet pulley.

IMAG0638-1.jpg

Feel free to ask any questions if you want to know more information, this is my first write up and im certain I left a few things out, but all in all, very affordable solution for us in the v-belt chevy world.

Edited by zx10intn

1969 Chevy Chevelle

20/22" staggered Bonspeed Huntingtons wrapped in Nitto INVO's

Mechman 250amp cs144 alt w/AVBM

Kinetik 1800 main battery/Kinetik 2400 in the trunk

Pioneer AVH-3200dvd Headunit

(2) sets of Hybrid Audio Technologies Imagine components up front

(2) DD 3512's d4 coils

Sundown sax100.4 component amp

Sundown saz-3000d subwoofer amp

5ft^3 box tuned to 34hz

MY BUILD

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if you are planning on running a big alt and have an older style all v-belt chevy motor like mine, its a must bro, too effective and easy an upgrade to pass up.

1969 Chevy Chevelle

20/22" staggered Bonspeed Huntingtons wrapped in Nitto INVO's

Mechman 250amp cs144 alt w/AVBM

Kinetik 1800 main battery/Kinetik 2400 in the trunk

Pioneer AVH-3200dvd Headunit

(2) sets of Hybrid Audio Technologies Imagine components up front

(2) DD 3512's d4 coils

Sundown sax100.4 component amp

Sundown saz-3000d subwoofer amp

5ft^3 box tuned to 34hz

MY BUILD

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Great write up man! I had thought the most you could do on a v was like 140-160 so didn't someone there say something about it before you bought it (they know this)? I've known should I ever want to move the system in my old 61 Deville (390) I would have to swap the pulley, but that isn't something that comes in a manual.

On a side note, now that you have the charging system sorted where in the FAWK are the bass videos? ;)

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Great write up man! I had thought the most you could do on a v was like 140-160 so didn't someone there say something about it before you bought it (they know this)? I've known should I ever want to move the system in my old 61 Deville (390) I would have to swap the pulley, but that isn't something that comes in a manual.

On a side note, now that you have the charging system sorted where in the FAWK are the bass videos? ;)

And burnout videos also, jeje

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Great write up man! I had thought the most you could do on a v was like 140-160 so didn't someone there say something about it before you bought it (they know this)? I've known should I ever want to move the system in my old 61 Deville (390) I would have to swap the pulley, but that isn't something that comes in a manual.

On a side note, now that you have the charging system sorted where in the FAWK are the bass videos? ;)

the bass videos are about to be taken, like 10 minutes haha. and yes, they told me 180 was really the max, but hey, im stubborn LOL and thought i could have a buddy make up an idler pulley tensioner and blah blah, didnt work out. plus, for under $50, its all gm parts and the best and most cost effective way to DIY. thats why i say plan ahead, if you have a v-belt system on a pre 84 gm, order your alt with the 5 groove pulley and save the cost of buying the additional pulley as well

1969 Chevy Chevelle

20/22" staggered Bonspeed Huntingtons wrapped in Nitto INVO's

Mechman 250amp cs144 alt w/AVBM

Kinetik 1800 main battery/Kinetik 2400 in the trunk

Pioneer AVH-3200dvd Headunit

(2) sets of Hybrid Audio Technologies Imagine components up front

(2) DD 3512's d4 coils

Sundown sax100.4 component amp

Sundown saz-3000d subwoofer amp

5ft^3 box tuned to 34hz

MY BUILD

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Actually I have two cars with a v-belt setup my 69 elco and my 84 cutlass. I always thought my only option was to go aftermarket so you know Im freaking happy you posted this bro. :yahoo:

Thanks again!

both are easy swaps, just make sure to get pulleys off a small block for a small block and a big block for a big block, they are slightly different from each other. the cheapest system i found for swapping out all the pulleys and belts was a march performance kit, came with crank, water pump, alternator and power steering pulley, $349, a little steep considering the v-belt system works fine for power steering, its just turning these high output alts that it cant keep up with.

1969 Chevy Chevelle

20/22" staggered Bonspeed Huntingtons wrapped in Nitto INVO's

Mechman 250amp cs144 alt w/AVBM

Kinetik 1800 main battery/Kinetik 2400 in the trunk

Pioneer AVH-3200dvd Headunit

(2) sets of Hybrid Audio Technologies Imagine components up front

(2) DD 3512's d4 coils

Sundown sax100.4 component amp

Sundown saz-3000d subwoofer amp

5ft^3 box tuned to 34hz

MY BUILD

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Actually I have two cars with a v-belt setup my 69 elco and my 84 cutlass. I always thought my only option was to go aftermarket so you know Im freaking happy you posted this bro. :yahoo:

Thanks again!

both are easy swaps, just make sure to get pulleys off a small block for a small block and a big block for a big block, they are slightly different from each other. the cheapest system i found for swapping out all the pulleys and belts was a march performance kit, came with crank, water pump, alternator and power steering pulley, $349, a little steep considering the v-belt system works fine for power steering, its just turning these high output alts that it cant keep up with.

I have like 4 salvage yards within 30mins drive so I'm gonna start hitting them up asap.March was also the cheapest I found but 350 compared to 50 doesnt seem so cheap after all.

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I have like 4 salvage yards within 30mins drive so I'm gonna start hitting them up asap.March was also the cheapest I found but 350 compared to 50 doesnt seem so cheap after all.

exactly. the yards will have dozens and dozens of them, vans, trucks, cars, they all had them so it will be no challenge finding them

1969 Chevy Chevelle

20/22" staggered Bonspeed Huntingtons wrapped in Nitto INVO's

Mechman 250amp cs144 alt w/AVBM

Kinetik 1800 main battery/Kinetik 2400 in the trunk

Pioneer AVH-3200dvd Headunit

(2) sets of Hybrid Audio Technologies Imagine components up front

(2) DD 3512's d4 coils

Sundown sax100.4 component amp

Sundown saz-3000d subwoofer amp

5ft^3 box tuned to 34hz

MY BUILD

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