Jim Smart
July 5, 2011

Serpentine beltdrive first appeared on ’79 Mustangs with the 5.0L engine. In the years to follow, serpentine drive became main stream for engine front dress, replacing the redundancy of V-belts, not to mention reliability and longevity. With serpentine front dress, a single, continuous drive belt quietly runs all of the engine accessories.

Factory serpentine beltdrive looks and acts utilitarian in terms of function, but it doesn’t have to be boring. The Vintage Air billet aluminum FrontRunner Serpentine Beltdrive system is a way-cool bolt-on upgrade for classic and late-model small-block Ford V-8s, including the 5.0Ls in ’79-’95 Fox-bodies. We like the FrontRunner system for its self-adjusting belt tensioner and good looks. It places all accessories in close to give the small-block Ford a compact persona. It also cleans up an engine compartment by eliminating unnecessary clutter. This cool billet design yields perfect fit and finish. Water pumps are available in long and short style, depending on your application, along with three finishes depending on taste and desire.

Installation of the FrontRunner system calls for timing cover removal and replacement with the FrontRunner billet cover and related components. We’re going to install Vintage Air’s FrontRunner system on Project Reclaim’s 331ci Street Stealth small-block V-8, which was handcrafted by MCE Engines in Los Angeles.

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