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Old 03-26-2007, 07:55 PM   #1
pcmcobra
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Serpentine setups..info please

Been looking at serp setups on egay for awhile, only the gm ones.
The ones I have been looking at have like off early-mid 90's v8 trucks. Will one off a say 85-92 tpi car work without any problems? Reason I ask, a guy has one locally for like $60...a/c is shot, but no biggie, everything else works, needs a little cleanup, for that price seems decent.
Any feedback and thoughts are appreciated.
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Old 03-26-2007, 09:37 PM   #2
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Re: serpentine setups..info please

Quote:
Originally Posted by pcmcobra View Post
Been looking at serp setups on egay for awhile, only the gm ones.
The ones I have been looking at have like off early-mid 90's v8 trucks. Will one off a say 85-92 tpi car work without any problems? Reason I ask, a guy has one locally for like $60...a/c is shot, but no biggie, everything else works, needs a little cleanup, for that price seems decent.
Any feedback and thoughts are appreciated.

I would buy it, you can also use the ones off of the 4.3 s series trucks and blazers. They are a little tighted to the engine and look pretty good, but they brackets are steel, rather than aluminum.
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Old 03-26-2007, 10:30 PM   #3
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Re: serpentine setups..info please

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Originally Posted by BaddBusa2005 View Post
I would buy it, you can also use the ones off of the 4.3 s series trucks and blazers. They are a little tighted to the engine and look pretty good, but they brackets are steel, rather than aluminum.
Some are steel, some aluminum.

I bought a set off of a S-10 Blazer 4.3 & they were alum w/the smog pump bracket (I pulled them off myself @ the wrecking yard).
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Old 03-27-2007, 03:09 PM   #4
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Re: serpentine setups..info please

I bought my entire setup from a guy parting out a 1992 Firebird. Everything bolted right up except for the passenger side head I had to drill and tap one hole. I paid $200 for everything including the following:

All Studs, bolts, brackets, and pulleys
A/C Compressor, lines and condensor
Alternator
Waterpump
Powersteering pump and lines

Here is how it turned out....
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Old 03-27-2007, 09:15 PM   #5
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Re: serpentine setups..info please

did you cut the alt wire or did you have it converted to a 1 wire

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Old 03-28-2007, 01:16 AM   #6
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Re: serpentine setups..info please

That looks awesome. Is the Firebird serpentine setup the same as a truck setup?

I got some questions about the A/C setup.

What did you do about the A/C condenser? With the compressor on the drivers side on my 78, the lines to the condenser were on the drivers side as well. What did you do to correct this ?

I know these setups come on the 88-91 Blazer/Suburban/CrewCab. Did you just use those hoses ?

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Old 03-28-2007, 04:31 PM   #7
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Re: serpentine setups..info please

Bowtiecb-- I have the same setup, DONT cut into the alt harness, GM has a direct adapter for old style to new style alt conversions. They told me It has a built in resistor so it wont burn your alt up. I picked it up for less than $30 dollars. It just plugs into your old plug then into the new alternator. I got my serpentine setup off 1990 camaro TPI engine. The water pump and PS pump have to be reverse direction.(NOT REVERSE FLOW). When i started my truck for the first time I had the right WP but not the right PS pump. PS fluid was coming out the top of the pump.

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Old 03-28-2007, 08:44 PM   #8
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Re: serpentine setups..info please

Napa also sells a converstion plug sells for 25.00 with shiping.(local store had no idea what I was talking about). Ordered mine online from napa, 24.00 and some change. Part # EC80. This is the one with the resitor in it.
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Old 03-29-2007, 07:37 AM   #9
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Re: serpentine setups..info please

To answer some questions for you guys. Yes, you can get the wiring harness, but there are two different ones. If you have an alternator gauge in your cliuster then you need the one with the resistor. If you have the dummy light cluster then you will need the harnes without and the light provides the resistance. Here are a few links for some more information:

http://oljeep.com/gw/alt/edge_Altern...html#Section_3
http://www.alternatorparts.com/alter...ss_adapter.htm
http://www.alternatorparts.com/cs130_sbpage1.htm
http://www.chevelles.com/techref/tecref14.html
http://www.madelectrical.com/catalog/cs-130.shtml

As far as the A/C questions, you can get a condensor that comes out on either side. The Firebird lines come out on the passenger side. Look for a condensor that comes out on the passenger side. My core support was designed to have the lines on either side.

I am not sure if the truck setups are the same, but I don't think that they are. I'm sure that someone on here has the answer! Good luck!!
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Old 03-29-2007, 10:08 AM   #10
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Re: serpentine setups..info please

I've got the same serpentine setup on my K5. I don't have A/C but have a compressor in place to keep the system up (I need the a/c delete pulley). DirtyLarry had this installed this setup when the engine was in his K10. He was using the a/c and since the compressor location swapped sides from the stock setup, he got a couple of hoses that fit the compressor from the junkyard, cut the ends off for the compressor and took them in with his old lines to make new ones. They made a hybrid with the old fittings he needed for the evap and condensor, but with the new correct fittings for the R4 compressor. It was the perfect time to switch to R134a too.

He had to do the lines again when he put the big block in with the L29 serpentine setup as the compressor and alt swapped sides again.

Here's a tip when using the style of serpentine setup I have. Get the thermostat housing for a 88-95 truck and the upper hose from the same. This will change the position of the outlet on the thermostat housing to rise up and then forward, clearing the serpentine belt. Only difficulty is that the inlet on the radiator is slightly bigger that what the hose was designed for on the later trucks. Just a little dab of vasoline is all you need to slide the hose on the radiator.
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Old 03-29-2007, 07:11 PM   #11
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Re: serpentine setups..info please

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Originally Posted by Pyrotechnic View Post
Is it just me or does the Firebird setup look like it places the alternator and A/C compressor down lower and further outwards ?
I think they are the same, the perspective of the pic is different. Here's mine when the engine was out of the truck.
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Old 03-29-2007, 09:19 PM   #12
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Re: serpentine setups..info please

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pyrotechnic View Post
Is it just me or does the Firebird setup look like it places the alternator and A/C compressor down lower and further outwards ?
Yes, the F-body and B-body cars are different brackets from the C/K trucks. The car brackets position the accessories lower and spread apart more at the top. Personally, I do not like the looks of the car brackets.

Which ever brackets you use be prepared to scare yourself silly when you have to drill a hole in the cylinder head for one of the bracket mounting bolts, unless you are running late model cylinder heads. I know I was nervous drilling and tapping a hole in the head. I can’t remember which side I had to drill on my old 350 though.....I think it was the driver's side. Heck it has been 10 years since I did that to Zoomad's engine when it was in my truck.

Word of the wise….do not bolt the brackets to the block with 3/8 bolts. Instead, use studs in the block and either nylon lock or prevailing torque nuts to fasten the brackets to the studs. You will need to use the big long bolts in some areas of the brackets though. Basically, bolt them on just as Generous Motors did on serp equipped vehicles.

In addition to changing the thermostat housing as Zoo stated you also need to change the water pump to a reverse rotation pump as the pump spins backwards with serpentine systems.

Here are the 4 different SB serpentine bracket systems to be found in the bone yards. The 4.3L V6 used the same brackets.

1) ’87 – 91’ stamped steel brackets. These are the least desirable as they are notorious for braking causing weird noises and belt squeaks. These are junk....don't buy them (First picture)
2) ’92 – ’95 aluminum brackets. (Second picture) GM also sells these brackets in kit form. GM part number 12497698 and goes for around $700. (Third pic) The down side to these brackets is you have to use the crappy R4 A/C compressor.
3) ’96 – ’04 (yep, the 5.7L was still around in 2004) These are good brackets as well and allow for the much more reliable Delphi A4 A/C compressor. These are the best in my opinion. (Fourth pic)
4) F and B body car brackets. I have a picture of those at home that I can scan in this weekend.
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Old 03-29-2007, 09:29 PM   #13
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Re: serpentine setups..info please

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pyrotechnic View Post
That looks awesome. Is the Firebird serpentine setup the same as a truck setup?

I got some questions about the A/C setup.

What did you do about the A/C condenser? With the compressor on the drivers side on my 78, the lines to the condenser were on the drivers side as well. What did you do to correct this ?

I know these setups come on the 88-91 Blazer/Suburban/CrewCab. Did you just use those hoses ?
This is how the A/C was hooked up when I had Zoomad’s engine with the '92 – ’95 aluminum brackets. The local Napa store custom made my A/C hoses.

The second picture is how my 4fidy4 is A/C plumbed.
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Old 03-29-2007, 11:32 PM   #14
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Re: serpentine setups..info please

Sorry to shift the topic of the thread, but I got an A/C compressor question.

On my 78, it had this HUGE log style compressor. It was very long and the brackets made it impossible to use use tall valve covers. I also hated the way the hoses crossed over the engine.

Is the newer style short and fat compressor found on the earlier serpentine setups more reliable than the old log style one ? How about the newer Delphi ?

Basically what I'd like to achieve is a clean serpentine setup, no hoses crossing over the engine, and the ability to run tall valve covers, and ice cold a/c for the hot Texas summer.

Whats my best bet? Should I just keep the old log compressor? I swear that thing takes 50 HP to turn...well not that much but you get the idea.
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Old 03-30-2007, 01:06 AM   #15
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Re: serpentine setups..info please

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pyrotechnic View Post
Sorry to shift the topic of the thread, but I got an A/C compressor question.

On my 78, it had this HUGE log style compressor. It was very long and the brackets made it impossible to use use tall valve covers. I also hated the way the hoses crossed over the engine.

Is the newer style short and fat compressor found on the earlier serpentine setups more reliable than the old log style one ? How about the newer Delphi ?

Basically what I'd like to achieve is a clean serpentine setup, no hoses crossing over the engine, and the ability to run tall valve covers, and ice cold a/c for the hot Texas summer.

Whats my best bet? Should I just keep the old log compressor? I swear that thing takes 50 HP to turn...well not that much but you get the idea.
Brackets, A/C question…what’s the difference...they all go together. After all it is that time of year to start thinking of A/C.

The log style that you are talking about the is old Harrison A6 compressor. That is a very good piece. Big, heavy, intrusive, and not very efficient describe it best although it is very reliable running on R12 refrigerant, which the R12 refrigerant is expensive and hard to find. Those dogs do not like new R134A refrigerant at all. Every one that I have ever converted to R134A leak like crazy…R4 compressors as well. Even the newly remanufactured compressors that were supposed to be R134A ready still leaked. You can plan on adding refrigerant a couple times a year once you convert it to R134A refrigerant.

I have run all the GM compressors on different vehicles and actually all on 1 specific truck…..My ’78 K10. I would say the R4 is the worst of the bunch. I have yet to figure out why so many members here use them other than they are dirt cheap. The R4 is noisy, vibrates like crazy and is not very reliable. The good news is you can buy replacement R4’s dirt cheap. I guess, the Chinese are getting pretty good at remanufacturing them and manufacturing counterfeit knockoffs. Heck, many dime store part stores like VhatoZone do not even require a core on them anymore.

Actually, the R4 A/C compressor gave the serpentine belt system a bad rap back in the early serpentine days because the compressor had a habit if locking up and burning the serpentine belt off while leave you on the side of the road.

Delphi is one screwed up automotive supplier right now but my preference is the late model pad mount Delphi A4 like I am running on my ’78 K10, as it is quite and is hardly noticeable when the clutch is engaged (the same compressor is also called the H4, HT6 and a few other names…not sure why all the names are commonly used for the same compressor…could be the clutch options or pad mounts). It is also a much better compressor than the common Sanden compressor that comes with most aftermarket A/C kits and brackets that the street rod crowd loves... Streetroders like carburators too

I also have that same basic compressor with different pad mounting and clutch assemblies on my 2004 Tahoe, 2001 Silverado and 2006 Poncho GTP. I am a field service rep for a truck manufacturer and we use only the Delphi. It is a good piece with very little warranty exposure. A bit pricy to acquire but a good piece of equipment. There were some bad compressors that landed on a lot of GM trucks in 2002/2003 that suffered from main shaft failures right out of the box but other than that….good stuff. If you chose to go that route you will need the ’96 – ’04 small block serpentine brackets to mount it. You will also need to go with the later model Delphi alternator of that vintage to fit the brackets as well. Again, pricy but at least you will also get a 145 Amp alternator too boot!

Once you change over to whatever serpentine setup you chose the A/C hose routing us totally up to you and your hose fabricator. You can route them as hidden as you like or middle of the road like I did. The R134A hoses do not need to be as big as the old R12 hoses as you can see by my pictures. Finding an A/C manifold to connect the hoses to the compressor for the late model Delphi's are pretty easy as pretty much all GM products in the last 10 years have used them.

This is the shizzle right here…..


POS R4


Old Harrison A6
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Old 03-30-2007, 03:36 PM   #16
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Re: serpentine setups..info please

Thanks for the info, I'm learning a lot here. So it looks like if I upgrade, the only worthwhile way to go is the new serpentine setup with the Delphi and 145 amp alternator. I really like the hose routing you did on the 454. I never considered having hoses custom fabricated, is it reasonable as far as cost goes ? Does the Delphi compressor running R134A run as cold as the old R12 setup on these trucks ?

One last question. Where on the head does a hole have to be drilled and tapped, and is there anyway to get around it such as adding a support brace at another location, etc ? The heads I have are Dart Iron Eagle made in the late 80's, so I'm not sure if these will have the hole already or not.

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Old 03-30-2007, 06:00 PM   #17
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Re: serpentine setups..info please

I can vouch for the a/c output in DirtyLarrys truck. You can hang meat in there. Thats with 134a too. I do remember that he did install a hot water shut off valve (manual ball valve) on one of the heater core lines as the stock a/c setup still has the hot water ciruclating even with the a/c on.

Larry and I were talking about the hole he had to drill just a little bit ago. It was on the passenger side head. Best thing to do is to bolt the pass side bracket to the engine and mark the spot on the head where the bracket hole lines up to. Then remove the bracket and carefully drill the hole making sure to be level with the head top to bottom and side to side.

You only need to drill the hole if you have older heads. The later heads have all the holes in the right spots for the serp brackets. Your iron eagle heads should have all the holes too.
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Old 03-30-2007, 06:19 PM   #18
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Re: serpentine setups..info please

Personally, I think the Delphi on R134A runs pretty close to the original A6 on R12 as far as duct temperatures go but it has been so long since I have ridden in a vehicle with R12 so I can’t really say for sure. Keep in mind, the Delphi was engineered to run R134A so it is pretty efficient. Definitely cooler than the supposed R134A prepped R4 compressor.

Actually hoses aren’t that expensive to have made. Mine cost $80 but I have also known the guy that owns the local Napa store since I was a little kid. I would suspect most hose fabricators would charge around $150 or so to build hoses.

You know, 10 years have gone by now since I bolted those brackets onto my old 350 and I can’t exactly remember which side needed to be delt with. I want to say it was the driver’s side head toward the top intake side of the head that needed to be drilled and tapped but Rob said it was the pass side. Heck, I dunno….but I bet you will figure it out real quick once you get brackets. I remember being pretty worried about drilling into a water jacket and fangling the head up. Hopefully, your aluminum heads have the accessory hole already in them or that will sure make things exciting for you, as would be no other way to fasten the bracket to the head on that corner.

Here is the pic of the F and B body car brackets.
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Old 03-30-2007, 07:02 PM   #19
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Re: serpentine setups..info please

One thing most individuals miss on a serpentine setup is that there are two different positions for the accessories. A truck setup and TBI F Body cars have the accessories mounted close together at the top of the motor (there is no TPI involved) where the ones on a Camaro and Firebird with TPI has the alternator and the A/C set further apart. The Camaro brackets are usually matched to a long water pump and that is what trucks are equipped with. I came across this when I started my endeavor to put a TPI corvette motor in my 91 silverado. The Corvette brackets are a really boogered mess compared to the brackets on the F Body cars. The bolts for mounting the A/c and the Alternator are different than the truck bolts and (of course) GM doesn't sell them anymore. I had to get creative or go junk yarding. I made my own out of Grade 8 Redi-bolt and lock nuts. I also bobbed off the extra cud on the brackets where the air pump would mount and got rid of the stuff that just stuck out in the way.

If you strip a GM F Body, get it all---even the funny bolts laying on the ground around the car, just in case.

Last edited by piecesparts; 03-30-2007 at 07:04 PM.
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Old 03-30-2007, 07:22 PM   #20
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Re: serpentine setups..info please

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If you strip a GM F Body, get it all---even the funny bolts laying on the ground around the car, just in case.
Heh, that goes for any vehicle. I just got the surprise of my life to day when I went to the stealership to get replacement transmission bolts (the ones that go into the engine).

They are just shy of $5.00 EACH!!!
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Old 03-30-2007, 07:45 PM   #21
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Re: serpentine setups..info please

Pieces,

The picture above your post is a B and F body TBI engine, which are not the same as truck brackets.

Once you get into the Corvette engines, TPI, LT1’s and other oddities there are some freaky brackets out there that are not worth messing with as they are too hard to find as you mentioned. Plus, they will not fit a standard small block.

Here are pictures of the car options….
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1968 GMC C1500, 396, TH400
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1989 Chevrolet Suburban, 5.7L, NV4500, NP241
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2001 Chevrolet K2500HD, Ext Cab, SWB, 8.1L, ZF 6 speed

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Old 03-30-2007, 09:43 PM   #22
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Re: serpentine setups..info please

Believe me, i know that the TBI and the TPI is different for F bodies to truck bodies. My 91 Chevy truck has a set of TBI brackets and a long water pump. The Camaro TPI brakets i purchased are there to move the accessories out for the install of the Tuned Port intake and it's Throttle body. The items that are the same are the water pump items, such as long or short. That is why the F bodies are aligned to a truck easier. I have just about all of that laying on my shop floor, not to mention the LS-1 parts and the LT-1 items in the Wife's car.
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Old 03-31-2007, 10:09 AM   #23
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Re: serpentine setups..info please

I am in the middle of this conversion, and got my whole setup off a 90 Camaro TPI car. Pretty straightforward, but I have run across one thing. Seems my stock clutch fan doesn't have the same bolt pattern as the new waterpump. I either have to convert to electric fans, or elongate the holes on my clutch fan so it can be bolted on. I plan on doing a TPI swap pretty soon, and just wanted to run my stock fan setup for now. Anyone else have this issue?

I also ordered the adapter for the alternator, but I am going to have to extend one wire on the stock alt plug. It is the one that goes to the starter. I am trying to run a clean install with the alt wires running along the driver's head, and the starter wires dropping down the back of the motor.
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Old 03-31-2007, 10:49 AM   #24
smills78gmc
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Location: tenn.
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Re: serpentine setups..info please

Phishfud-- I had the same problem, just get a fan clutch off of an S10, Also you may have to do some trimming on your fan shroud. I trimmed mine up by the alternator about 2 inches back. It fits good now.
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Old 03-31-2007, 02:36 PM   #25
bowtiecb
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Re: serpentine setups..info please

Quote:
Originally Posted by smills78gmc View Post
Bowtiecb-- I have the same setup, DONT cut into the alt harness, GM has a direct adapter for old style to new style alt conversions. They told me It has a built in resistor so it wont burn your alt up. I picked it up for less than $30 dollars. It just plugs into your old plug then into the new alternator. I got my serpentine setup off 1990 camaro TPI engine. The water pump and PS pump have to be reverse direction.(NOT REVERSE FLOW). When i started my truck for the first time I had the right WP but not the right PS pump. PS fluid was coming out the top of the pump.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cjracing15 View Post
Napa also sells a converstion plug sells for 25.00 with shiping.(local store had no idea what I was talking about). Ordered mine online from napa, 24.00 and some change. Part # EC80. This is the one with the resitor in it.
thanx i need 2 convert i have a mangled up a/c brackets cause of my headsers
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