Dressing up a classic pickup engine has come a long way from the days of a rattle can and some chrome-plated tin. Today aftermarket companies are pushing the envelope developing a myriad of cool CNC-machined gingerbread for our beloved trucks – and some of ’em, like March Performance Pulley’s serpentine drive systems actually perform needed tasks above and beyond just looking good.

With this in mind we chose to equip our latest project engine, a muscular 351W Ford, with a new and really cool-looking Style Track system.

March Performance’s new Style Track serpentine system was created with a combination of style and affordability that’s sure to find favor among enthusiasts everywhere – it sure caught our eye. The stylized one-piece alternator and air-conditioning bracket provides solid support for the alternator and A/C compressor; and a separate bracket assembly allows the option of either power or non-power steering. Best of all, March’s new Style Track bracket kit is much more affordable than similar units.

The Style Track makes use of an easy-to-use belt tension adjustment tool. Once the belt tension has been set, the adjustment tool is easily removed and stowed away for future use. As a result, the Style Track displays a much cleaner appearance than others with large adjusting assemblies that are integral in their design.

The Style Track comes complete with alternator, an alternator pulley with fan and nose cover, a polished A/C compressor and nose cover, a water pump with pulley and cover, a crank pulley, and an alternator/A/C bracket complete with the belt-tensioning tool. Kits with power steering include a GM type-2 remote power steering pump and the power steering pump pulley with nose cover. These kits also include all the mounting hardware you’ll need and detailed instructions so installation is a snap. You can also forget about polishing this assembly, as it features maintenance-free clear powdercoating – all features we liked when considering which system to use on this particular engine.

Another important factor was the system’s ease of installation. Since I do a lot of these installs in my home shop, I not only have to perform the actual install, but handle the photography and write the story – all while trying to stay one step ahead of the “page police” and make deadline. The Style Track was a really easy and straightforward install that, even with the stop-and-start procedure required for developing the story, it only took me about an hour and a half from start to finish (though the engine was out of the truck and more easily accessible than it would have been if it was in the engine bay). That said, I’d happily repeat the install in any vehicle – it was that easy. So go ahead and check out the install shown here and then get over to you preferred street rod parts source and take a look at a Style Track system in person – once you see it, you’ll want it!

01 The Style Track system we chose came complete with alternator, an alternator pulley with fan and nose cover, a polished A/C compressor and nose cover, a water pump with pulley and cover, a crank pulley, and an alternator/A/C bracket complete with the belt-tensioning tool. Kits with power steering include a GM type-2 remote power steering pump and the power steering pump pulley with nose cover, everything we’d need for an awesome conversion.

02 Here’s the recipient of the new Style Track system, an extremely healthy Ford racing 351W destined for a future project vehicle. Luckily for me I got to perform the install out of the vehicle which made it a bit easier as you might imagine.

03 As with any V to serpentine belt conversion you’ll have to swap the standard water pump for a reverse rotation one because the belt configuration reverses the direction that the water pump pulley turns. In our case (an early version SBF set up for V-belts) March supplied us with a new water pump and timing cover. On late-model engines with factory serpentine systems this swap will not be required. The job began by removing the harmonic balancer so I could pull the old-style timing cover and pump. With the balancer out of the way I then pulled the water pump and then the timing cover assembly, taking care not to damage the pan gasket. I should also note that the fuel pump concentric will have to be removed and discarded and the system converted to an electric fuel pump.

04, 05 The new timing cover and reverse-rotation pump were installed next. I bolted it in completely. And as is typical, I only then picked up and began to read the installation instructions supplied by March – hey, at least I read ’em.

06 A quick coat of paint to match the engine block came next, and while it dried I read on.

07 Upon actually reading the instructions I learned that three of the original water pump bolts were actually supposed to be replaced by a set of studs included in the kit – someday I’ll learn my lesson and actually read the assembly instructions before I start a job.

08 Luckily, I was able to thread the studs in without a problem – the directions were clear as to where they went.

09 With the four studs in place I was ready to proceed – now paying close attention to said installation directions.

10 Three threaded stainless spacer assemblies were then screwed into place on the aforementioned studs and will serve as mounting points for the front main bracket – but not quite yet – see, it does help to read the instructions!

11 The next step was to install the A/C rear support bracket to the passenger side head using the supplied bolt and washer – it was left loose at this point though.

12 I then grabbed the rear power steering bracket and timing pointer assemblies and hardware.

13 Mount the timing pointer over (actually in front of) the rear power steering bracket as shown, and use two of the supplied 5⁄16 bolts to mount ’em – leave these loose for the time being, as well. Also, for those situations where power steering will not be used, March supplies a pair of spacers so you can properly mount the timing pointer alone.

14 The alternator rear support comes next. There’s a threaded bushing in the kit that threads into the bracket as shown.

15 With the bushing in place, mount the bracket to the driver side head with the supplied 7⁄16 or 3⁄8 bolt from the hardware selection – leave this one loose, as well.

16 Now it’s time for the front main bracket. Secure the front main bracket using two 5⁄16x51⁄2-inch-long socket head cap screws along with two spacers between the bracket and the water pump. Then install three 5⁄16 bolts through the bracket and into the threaded stainless spacers which were previously threaded onto the water pump studs.

17 Next, fish through the supplied hardware and locate a machined bushing like the one shown here. This will be a part of the upper alternator mounting.

18 Line up the alternator mounting ears with the upper and lower brackets and attach it as shown using the small bushing shown in the previous photo at the top, and another larger spacer (also supplied in the kit) at the bottom mounting point. Once its mounted leave the attaching bolts a bit loose, but tighten up the bracket to cylinder head bolt at this time.

19 With the bracketry in place, you can now attach the A/C compressor cover to the compressor. The compressor mounts to the bracket in much the same way as the alternator, and the March design makes it pretty foolproof – as long as you read the instruction sheet.

20 So far, so good. This Style Track system is one good-looking accessory, that’s for sure.

21 Next, move on to the power steering pump installation. Secure the power steering pump bracket to the pump, using Loctite on the threads of the 8mm screws from the hardware pack. Then install bracket and pump assembly to the main front bracket.

22 Once attached to the main bracket at the front, move to the rear and secure it with an 8mm bolt provided. At this point go back and tighten the balance of the bracketry and recheck all of the mounting bolts of the assembly.

23 Here’s the nearly completed assembly from another angle. Pretty impressive, don’t ya think?

24 March also supplies a good-looking billet power steering pump pulley and cover as part of the kit, and as you can see I hadn’t gotten around to pressing it on at the time of this photo.


25 The water pump pulley comes next and is one of the most stylized components in the kit, aside from the front main bracket, that is. And like the alternator and A/C pulleys, it comes complete with a nose cone cover, as well.

26 The final steps are the crank pulley and serpentine belt installation. Both are as straightforward and easy as the rest of the install and the perfect finishing touches to a fine system – one that any classic trucker would be happy to add to their pride and joy – I know we were!

SOURCE
March Performance
16160 Performance Way
Naples
FL  34110
239-593-4074
http://www.MarchPerf.com
Ford Racing Parts
15021 Commerce Drive South, Suite 200
Dearborn
MI  84120
8-00/-FOR-D788
www.fordracingparts.com