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Thread: Chevy 350 serpentine to v belt system
          
   
   

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  1. #1
    efregoso is offline CHR Member Visit my Photo Gallery
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    Chevy 350 serpentine to v belt system

     



    Hi all, so I'm currently working on a Chevy 350 vortec swap in my 72 Buick skylark. And I had two questions.
    1)how to make a serpentine drive vortec 350 work in my skylark.
    2) how to convert a vortec 350 serpentine drive system to a traditional v belt system.

    I would honestly like to keep the vbelt system at the moment in time, as I'm trying to do this swap as quickly as possible
    Last edited by efregoso; 01-23-2016 at 01:18 AM.

  2. #2
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    Can I ask what's the desire to go with a serpentine drive system?

  3. #3
    rspears's Avatar
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    Efregoso, on your first question the easy answer is that you use all of the mounting brackets and accessories from the donor vehicle, or accessories (alternator, power steering pump, ac compressor, water pump) purchased new using the donor vehicle specs, and keep the serpentine belt system complete, as it was in the donor. An alternative is to purchase a new accessory drive system from one of the aftermarket suppliers - Holley has a new one, or March, Rocky Hinge, Vintage Air, lots of choices. Just google accessory drive system.
    The second, converting the serpentine Vortec to V-belt, when you say you'd prefer to keep the V-belt drive I assume that you're looking at it from the standpoint of using your '72 alternator, power steering pump, AC compressor, etc? Assuming your accessory brackets mate up to the engine, and that they align with each other you'll need a new crank pulley and water pump pulley that align with your pulleys on the other accessories. It may be harder and more time consuming to swap back to V-belt, considering that your old brackets may not fit the Vortec? You're just going to have to fit things up and check alignment. Some of the aftermarket guys offer a V-belt package that's cheaper than the serpentines - check Rocky Hinge for an easy install kit that includes new accessories and is reasonably priced.

    Good luck on the quest.
    glennsexton and 36 sedan like this.
    Roger
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  4. #4
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    Roger gave great advice, but if you get in a pickle for a specific bracket check or call Alan Grove (Rogers Kansas neighbor) at http://www.alangrovecomponents.com nobody on earth has more steel brackets for v belt or experience than him, not billet or shiney chrome but you can actually talk to the guy that makes the brackets! He has a info section online that might help as well. Best of luck Matt
    Last edited by Matthyj; 01-23-2016 at 09:16 AM.
    34_40 likes this.
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  5. #5
    jerry clayton's Avatar
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    Best and easiest will be to go with the serpintine but you will probably have to do some hose fabs--Use the late model accessories and check out the mounts from other era 350s-there is a big differance between brackets from a corvette, impala, truck/suv as to how high/wide they are

    If you go v belt you will need to also change water pump because it will turn backwards---
    NTFDAY likes this.

  6. #6
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    Serpentine is much quieter system, easier to change belts, etc. However, there are some things to keep in mind:
    Water pump is specific to serpentine....v belt pump runs opposite directioin
    A/C compressor is fixed mounted in bracket, belt tensioner makes slack adjustment. IT is direction specific
    Alternator is also fixed but will run either direction
    Power steering pump is fixed location.
    I have done the swap by getting brackets off of a Vortec truck and finding the accessories. HOWEVER you must realize that the head mounting holes are Vortec specific.
    rspears likes this.

  7. #7
    efregoso is offline CHR Member Visit my Photo Gallery
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    Well at this time, I can't afford to get all the accesories(or I'd rather not buy new ones when the ones that are in the skylark work fine.) I guess I was at a standpoint where I was wondering if I could get my old accessories to work with the serpentine system(aside from the water pump) or how I would go about converting the serpentine to v belt

  8. #8
    rspears's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by efregoso View Post
    Well at this time, I can't afford to get all the accesories(or I'd rather not buy new ones when the ones that are in the skylark work fine.) I guess I was at a standpoint where I was wondering if I could get my old accessories to work with the serpentine system(aside from the water pump) or how I would go about converting the serpentine to v belt
    You'd buy new serpentine pulleys for your accessories, then figure out what kind of brackets you need to mount them to the Vortec, assuming that you already have the tensioner unit. If not then you'll need to buy one, or source one from a salvage/pick-n'-pull. Going the other way, you'd buy a new crank pulley, a new water pump pulley, and a new water pump for a V-belt application (rotates the opposite direction), and again figure out the brackets needed to mount your old accessories and have them properly aligned with the drive pulley & water pump. Matt's suggestion of Alan Grove is a good one for brackets & mounts, but if you're not able to afford accessories for the serpentine drive I think you're going to be surprised how much it costs you to swap over to V-belt drive.

    Good luck with the quest.
    Last edited by rspears; 01-23-2016 at 01:27 PM.
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    Roger
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  9. #9
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    I think you are starting to understand this "swap" will not be cheap or easy. Nothing between the two motors will swap and you are looking at a new transmission and entire exhaust. Just getting the pulleys and accessory drives right will cost you over 2 grand... You would be farther ahead to sell that Vortec and rebuild the Buick. That will bolt back in with no issues.
    Going the Vortec route will leave you with a cobbled mess that will not be reliable without a lot of money and time being thrown at it.
    Mark
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  10. #10
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    Mark is right, and you've set the stage for problems when you mentioned that you cannot afford, or don't want to buy new accessories for the Vortec when your period correct parts were fine. If you're wanting to keep the Buick somewhat "original", what some call a "resto-mod" or "resto-rod" for older stuff, then rebuilding your Buick engine is the way to go. If you don't care, and are looking to improve your driveability/reliability, then another option is a total takeout package from a later model vehicle, engine, tranny, ecu, and engine wiring harness in a package pulled from an operating vehicle. There is a growing group of businesses catering to this approach, offering varying warranty/guarantees on what they sell. One out west is Pacific Fabrication, which seems to have some very reasonable package pricing - Take Out Engine Packages - Engine Packages - Engines - Engine & Transmission - Products
    Roger
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  11. #11
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    Standard pre ecm distributor fits stock location in rear of manifold. For a swap to carb ( highly recommend this route) you will need an Edelbrock #7116 for a 4 barrel plus you'll need a low pressure pump-some of those blocks had fuel pump boss , but may or not have been drilled out for fuel pump push rod and mounting bolts so you may need an electric pump (low pressure and don't get carried away with ######'s GPM specs.

    Alan Grove is probably best source for mounting brackets and pulleys but also look at Gearhead Enterpizes,Inc ( Alan may be involved) ebay site -couple of ebay numbers to look at-----361312792455 pulley set and 270915573958 PS bracket- Alan grove # 206l and 109r brackets for ideas---

  12. #12
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    The other possible problem when trying to fit a mechanical pump to the L31 block is that the cam may not have a lobe on it to power the pump. If you go electric pump, limit fuel pressure at the carb to no more than 5 psi using 1/2" or larger fuel lines. Agree with Jerry's choice of intake manifolds.

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  13. #13
    jerry clayton's Avatar
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    your words about distributor----------are you sure you have a vortec engine and not an LT1????



    ALSOOOOOOOOOOO-----------do you have any pics of your engine???? some of the later LS series engines have vortec on covers--------you mentioned computer dist-------I think we, re not on same page????????
    Last edited by jerry clayton; 01-24-2016 at 06:33 PM.

  14. #14
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    efregoso-see you are looking at the thread---can you answer the questions for me?
    does your engine have 8 coils?

  15. #15
    rspears's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jerry clayton View Post
    your words about distributor----------are you sure you have a vortec engine and not an LT1?.... I think we, re not on same page?
    I think Jerry may have hit the nail on the head with the question about this being a LT1, considering the question in another thread, asking how and where an "old" distributor would be mounted - chevy 350 swap

    You've started four or five different threads about this engine swap from August '15 to now, and when they are all put together I'd agree that we may not all be on the same page here and that a picture or two of your "Vortec" would help clear the air. As Jerry asked last, do you have 8 coil packs mounted on the valve covers?
    Roger
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