Serpentine Belt Conversion
After upgrading my alternator to a 95 amp unit from a newer heavy-duty truck, I found that the older style V-belt setup wasnít up to the task anymore. The belts would constantly slip and squeal and tightening them up would only temporally fix the problem. Eventually, the belt would break apart about every month or so. An upgrade to the belt system was in order. This article is to upgrade your Alternator V-Belt system for a GM V8.
Changing the whole system over to a serpentine setup is no small task. All new brackets are needed and the alternator gets relocated and the water pump needs to be changed out and so on. There was a better way. Since my power steering was fine, the only issue was the alternator. In the Ď80ís, GM ran a hybrid system for a few years that had a serpentine belt on the alternator and a regular V-belt for the air conditioning and the power steering. Looks like they had the same problem with the alternator that I did. Since I have a 454, I had to find an application that had this setup. Turns out that GM had the incorrect drawings at their parts counter. So, I found an í87 Suburban with a 454 and wrote down the parts numbers. The water pump pulley was part number 14087536 and the crank pulley was part number 14087537. Finding the numbers for the small block was easy. I just had them look up an í88 Blazer and there they were. The only pulley that is interchangeable is the alternator pulley. If you buy an alternator from the parts house for that year, it should come with a serpentine pulley.
Getting the correct belt can be a search also. The belts that I found at the parts house were longer to be able to run around the smog pump as well. I found that CarQuest belt #K060470 worked perfectly on my Big Block application as I did not have the factory smog pump.
With the parts in hand, itís time to do the swap. The first thing to do is to disconnect the battery. Surprise welding is only fun when itís not your vehicle. Next loosen the alternator and remove it and alternator belt. Then loosen up the power steering pump and the A/C pump if you have one. Remove all of the belts. Next, pull out the fan shroud and the fan. With the fan off the pulley should come right off. You might need to tap it a little. Now remove the three bolts holding on the crank pulley and remove it. You might need to tap it as well.
Putting it all back on will basically be the reverse of taking it off. The only thing that might throw you is the alternator pulley. Using a hex wrench stick in the middle and a 15/16ís wrench on the nut, I was able to get it off. It might be necessary to use an impact if it is stubborn. Other than that, this is a very easy swap to do.