The accessory drives—meaning the pulleys and belts used to drive stuff like water pumps, generators/alternators, power steering pumps, air conditioning compressors, and the like—used on all vehicles from the Model A up to late-1970s cars all used the basic V-belts and grooved pulley arrangement. It was simple to understand and worked just fine, but that skinny V-belt tends to slip when the loads get big (like an A/C compressor engaged or a high-drag power steering system), and the multiple V-belts often required to drive all of the accessories looked plenty ugly.
That changed with the introduction of the serpentine belt; a single, flat, grooved belt that wrapped around the pulleys like a snake (hence the name serpentine) and had much wider contact points with the pulleys for less slippage. Plus it is easier to remove and replace since all you need is a ½-inch ratchet or breaker bar to move the idler pulley out of the way and then slip a new belt on or off. It looks much “cleaner” as well.
Hence the popularity of swapping V-belt drives and steel pulleys with factory or, better yet, modern billet aluminum serpentine pulley kits on early Mustangs. You wouldn’t do it on a correctly restored car, but even a basic restomod these days often gets a serpentine accessory drive system. To alleviate any fear you may have about installing one, we present this story on how we bolted an Eddie Motorsports S-Drive system on a small-block 302 Ford.
Two things to note: because of the design of this and many other serpentine pulley systems, an electric cooling fan and fuel pump must be used, as there are no provisions to run the mechanical drives with these kits.
The Eddie kit we used is part number MS107-63 for an 8.2-deck small-block Ford and comes with all of the necessary pulleys and brackets machined from 6061-T6 billet aluminum. That includes a billet aluminum timing cover with all mount points built in (nothing mounts off of the cylinder heads), allowing the system to universally fit all small-block Fords regardless of timing cover/water pump configuration. The kit also includes new accessories from American companies such as Power Master (170-amp one-wire alternator with a billet aluminum fan and pulley are already installed), Sanden SD7 air conditioning compressor (uses R-134a refrigerant), a Ford Performance reverse rotation water pump, Maval compact, late-model GM Type II power steering pump, a Gates “off the shelf” spring loaded tensioner and six-rib Serpentine belt, and all necessary stainless steel fasteners, O-rings, and gaskets where required. There are options for power steering pump reservoirs and other things for custom fitments, and there are seven available finishes: Raw Machined, Bright Polished, Bright Clear Coat, Gloss Black Anodized, Matte and Gloss Black Powder coat, and Clear Anodized.
Follow along and you’ll see that installing this S-Drive system is really not much more difficult than replacing a water pump, yet goes a long way in giving a modern restomod look to any engine compartment.
1. The engine we started with is a 306ci small-block from Blueprint Engines (which we purchased from Summit Racing). It was stripped of its intake manifold, exhaust, and front timing cover in preparation for the serpentine system installation. The reason this Ford is painted orange is that it’s destined to go in a 1957 Thunderbird custom.
2. The Eddie Motorsports S-Drive system we’re installing uses the matte black powdercoat finish.
3. The system comes with a new Sanden A/C compressor and Powermaster 170-amp one-wire alternator with pulleys already attached; a Ford Performance reverse rotation water pump; a compact, highly efficient GM power steering pump (in our case with the factory plastic reservoir mounted to the pump for easier and cleaner plumbing); and a Gates serpentine belt.
4. Two things you can’t use with this serpentine kit are a mechanical fuel pump and mechanical fan, so after removing the stock water pump and timing cover, remove the fuel pump eccentric from the cam gear and replace the cam bolt after hitting it with some Red Loctite.
5. To prevent galling the stainless steel fasteners, coat all the threads with a dab of antiseize. Likewise, there are four 5/16-inch mounting studs that go into the water jackets, so pay attention to the instructions and use RTV silicone sealer on those fasteners to prevent water leaks.
6. With the four cover mounting studs screwed into the block (by the water pump cooling passages), and appropriately sealed gasket in place, and the supplied rubber seal glued to the bottom of the cover, slide on the billet aluminum timing cover.
7. Four 5/16-18x2-inch socket head capscrews in the holes closest to the bottom fasten the cover in place.
8. In this case we used a Fluidampr damper, but whatever you go with, the Eddie kit uses a four-hole damper with a maximum 6.40-inch diameter and 3.950-inch overall length (such as Ford M-6316-M50). This kit has a measurement of 4.71 inches from face of the balancer (pulley mounting surface) to the block surface, so if yours varies from this, you’ll need to buy the appropriate crank spacer to compensate for the variance. Always use the correct damper installation tool and not a hammer and block of wood to press the damper in place. We did; this electric impact was just used to tighten the damper bolt.
9. The power steering bracket goes on next with two 3/8-inch capscrews. It bolts to the right side of the cover (facing the engine). If your timing pointer is on the passenger side you can reinstall it. If it’s on the driver side, you can use the new pointer included in the kit and attach it with two 1/4-20 bolts on the bottom left of the cover. Don’t forget to check its accuracy at top dead center!
10. The Ford Performance water pump installs with a gasket and a thin coat of RTV sealer. Just slide the pump over the mounting studs and fasten it with the supplied 5/16-18 socket head capscrews and stainless steel “standoff posts.”
11. These are the “standoff posts” that mount the bracket to come next. Make sure they’re installed with the grooved ends facing the water pump. The opposite (front) end of these posts have metric thread that are easy to booger up if you’re not careful. Again, be generous with the antiseize here.
12. Tighten the fasteners to secure the pump in place.
13. Now install the main bracket using four M8x1.25x25mm button head capscrews and AN washers. Make sure the standoff posts are only finger-tight before installing the capscrews, and use antiseize on all of the threads.
14. Next up is the water pump pulley, installed with Loctite to securely hold the screws in place.
15. Now the crank pulley goes on with four 3/8-inch capscrews on top of the “cone” of the Belleville cupped spring washers and more Loctite.
16. The alternator bolts to the main plate with four 3/8-16x4.5-inch button head capscrews. Use the 3/4-inch-long stainless steel spacer on the bolt and positioned between the back side bottom mount of the alternator and the timing cover. The top fastens with M8x1.25x25mm capscrew and AN washer.
17. The power steering pump bolts to the main plate with two 5/16x3-inch capscrews and lock washers.
18. We ordered the power steering pump with the reservoir attached, in which case this fitting and hard line should be installed (just finger-tight) prior to the pump going on. It will be removed later to install Teflon power steering hose after determining the length in our custom application.
19. The A/C compressor installs to the main plate with two M8x1.25 capscrews and AN washers, one each on the top and bottom mounts. Hand-tighten only at this point. On the bottom side, apply antiseize to the threads of the 1/2-inch shoulder bolt and washer and thread into the timing cover.
20. The A/C compressor is charged with nitrogen for lubrication during transport and this cover keeps it in, so only do this step when you’re ready to install the A/C lines and charge the system. We did it early to show you how it goes together. The first step is to remove this plate and replace it with the compressor manifold. While loosening the plate you’ll hear the gas escaping a little bit and then see two sealing O-rings once you remove the plate—making sure not to nick or damage the O-rings, install the manifold with two M8x25mm capscrews and fully tighten (but don’t over-torque it).
21. Install the belt tensioner on the main bracket with the supplied 3/8x2.25-inch hex bolt with Loctite.
22. A 1/2-inch drive ratchet or breaker bar fits into the little square opening of the tensioner and allows you to rotate it down in order to install the belt.
23. This billet aluminum cover hides the semi-ugly cast tensioner with two 10-32x3/4-inch socket head capscrews. Handy Tech Tip: We have learned in the past to always keep the little Allen wrench in the glovebox—if you need to swap a belt on the road and need to access the tensioner, you’ll need that tiny wrench to get this cover off.
24. And that’s it—the Eddie Motorsports S-Drive accessory bracket system installed on our small-block Ford. The engine’s owner is putting it into a ’57 T-bird, hence the Ford Red-Orange paint and valve covers. That’s a Holley Sniper fuel injection system on a Weiand intake.