Welcome to, The home of the PCCA => General Help- Ask the Experts... => Topic started by: russosborne on July 08, 2014, 02:19:38 AM

Title: Different kind of 2.3l belt question(yes, I am doing too much thinking)
Post by: russosborne on July 08, 2014, 02:19:38 AM
I have no accessories with my engine. Only the crank pulley. And that is a V-belt style.

For no real good reason other than wanting to do it, I am thinking about doing a serpentine belt system.
Eventually, being in AZ, I really want to add A/C and a high amp alternator, and having done research from my Pontiac days the V-belts start slipping on the alts past 120amps or so and most recommend using serpentine at that point. Why a high amp alt? Just in case, really. My goal with this car is if I have to buy and do stuff anyway, I want to do it so if later on I upgrade something the car is already setup for it. Could also say I just don't want to do something twice.  ;D

Is this really just as simple as finding a donor and taking all of the serpentine stuff off of it, or will I run into issues of possibly the block not being machined for all the idlers and stuff? Any chance of a clearance issue (this is a 74)?
Any other concerns?

Anyone here actually done this?

Title: Re: Different kind of 2.3l belt question(yes, I am doing too much thinking)
Post by: amc49 on July 08, 2014, 08:52:55 PM
The value of serp belt is they do just that, or wind all around the motor to catch multiple drive objects using both sides of the belt. If you have nothing to drive then waste of time. You will also play heck trying to find a tensioner mounting point since usually a dedicated boss to put it on.

I do not agree with big amp alts slipping past a point, more like not enough wrap in degrees to get enough friction or belt not tight enough. With serp belt you are limited by the built-in tension of the tensioner, although since I rebuild them I commonly ramp that up a bit over stock. A V belt can be made much tighter since you are in control of the adjustment.

FYI, tensioned serp belts can get into harmonics that play with things depending on the strength of the tensioner spring, some over the counter replacements are junk before you even bolt them on the car. The normal use of them will have the belt jumping wildly and belt choice must be much more exact using them too. I watched people all day long trying to find belts that work on rigged systems say when they want to cut the a/c compressor when it locks up and no money to fix. They do not understand tensioner 'range' at all and commonly pick a belt that is slightly too long or short and a disaster doing that when it affects the tension greatly. Then they either spit belt after belt or the belt slips and they blame belts being the poor retarded souls they were. I watched person after person bring back up to 4-5 broken or 'slipping' belts until they get mad and proclaim our belts were garbage to go elsewhere. What I tried to get them to do after like two, you are only going to lose money dealing with a customer like that who refuses to listen to good sense.

Nowadays it's all about the alternator having a one way clutch in the drive pulley, the selling/training vids show belts that whip around until the alt gets the clutch then suddenly the belt runs so dead smooth, like it has stopped while engine still running. ZERO movement there. They proclaim how much better that is but I have this to say........... ..........bull sh-t. The erratic belt forces are STILL THERE, only now being soaked up by alt pulley/clutch. Now, you go to replace tensioner at $50 say or alt at $200-$250 PLUS the extra tack-on fee of up to $100 for clutch pulley alone and now up to ? in price??? Do the math there, the idea was to increase profits, the alt clutch pulleys fail far faster than tensioners ever could, being smaller and they get hot enough to cook all the grease out. The alt rebuilds beginning to show up when I quit parts were so bad they commonly came back over and over with squealing clutch pulleys in less than a week, it was a huge problem and looked like one that was not going away soon. One guy went through like 4 in a week, Ford OEM the same, they could not make one that wouldn't make pulley noise in a day or two, brand spanking new Mustang. He sold the car over it. BUYER BEWARE!

I'll take the solid alt pulley ANY DAY. OWCs that small belong in like ATX so they can be literally flooded with oil all the time to live.
Title: Re: Different kind of 2.3l belt question(yes, I am doing too much thinking)
Post by: russosborne on July 09, 2014, 12:52:55 AM

Ok, I will take that as a No vote.

Seriously, you brought up some good points. Especially the one about the block not being machined for the tensioner.

The point about v-belts and the high amp alts is valid, but it can be hard to get enough wrap with them. So most go the easy route.

I will likely end up with just AC and the alternator. I have no intentions of going with power steering. Who needs that when you have a rack and pinion? I can't think of anything else that would be belt driven, unless I put a supercharger on it.  ;D So most likely functionally the serp would be a waste of effort.

I did find an alternator in the cargo area today. I think it must have come with the engine as it has a double pulley setup. Since it is there I will have to take it to get tested, hopefully it works. I will also need to look for a part number on it to try to find out details on it. If nothing else, I will have a double pulley to use on a high amp alt.

Title: Re: Different kind of 2.3l belt question(yes, I am doing too much thinking)
Post by: Jerry merrill on July 09, 2014, 11:22:50 PM
I have a 71 with 2.3/5spd. I put a serpentine set up using a ranger single pulley for the water pump and a 89 or so mustang lower single crank pulley and an alternator pulley from a 84 GT. The water pump and crank pulleys may be just the opposite as I can't remember which is which. I dont have any accessories and dont need a tensioner. Works great. The belt is from the ranger if I remember correctly. Not very hard to do. The belt tension is set by the adjustable alternator bolt and slotted bracket. I have to run an electric fan as there is not enough room between eng and radiator. 
Title: Re: Different kind of 2.3l belt question(yes, I am doing too much thinking)
Post by: amc49 on July 10, 2014, 03:59:32 PM
That could work, I've often thought of dumping the automatic spring tensioner on other engines to get away from the tensioner issues. Tensioners just get all dirty and start sticking and they are built with like ten cents worth of quality. A good manual belt tensioner set up would work fine, just making one up where it does not exist is the problem. You can make them out of the tensioners themselves but often they are so puny not enough material to work with, they would break easily. Seems like an opening there for a creative businessman I would say........... .............. ....just like for a a/c-heater blower motor that will take your face off like OEM new ones do, just try finding that as well. Somebody could make millions there.