Tech Talk: "What's the difference?" - Serpentine Belts vs V-Belts

Serpentine Drive System serpentine kits Serpentine Systems v-belt V-belt system

When dealing with restoration projects, one of the first questions that comes to mind (at least when considering your front engine drive system) is: "Am I running a v-belt? Or am I going all in on a multi-rib serpentine belt??" Well, we're happy to shed some light on this, as this question often can be the start of a hot rod project gone right--or HORRIBLY WRONG... 

V-belt brackets and pulleys are often considered to be the good economic solution: often times being the pulleys you can mounted on an old motor you find at any junkyard shop (sure, they might be a little covered in dirt, dust, and it might even squeak 'cause of the rust--BUT HEY, IT'S CHEAP!...Right?) Well, no. Not if you're having to either replace the belt due to continuous slippage, especially if you go over a certain RPM. What about those rusty old pulleys continuously rub and wear out, or even if those brackets crack from age?

Yes. There is a certain nostalgic look to those smaller pulleys, and yes, the deeper v-belt does (somewhat) assist with keeping the belt aligned when pulley alignment is off on your serpentine belt set up... even though the pulley alignment should be fine IF the pulleys are installed right! 

Are we here to attack v-belts? No, but we do often get asked (and ask the question to many enthusiasts) "should you run a v-belt and pulleys?" Well, we wouldn't suggest so. Instead, why not go for a more secure set up? One that you won't have to replace NEARLY as often, with the ribbed pulleys holding the belt in place, even at a HIGHER RPM. What's more? You can't find many all-inclusive bracket and pulley systems that include components like alternators, power steering pumps, and air conditioning compressors (some of our all inclusive serpentine belt systems even come with water pumps too) which is something you can't get when shopping for v-belts.

If you like shopping for old parts, there's no issue! Good for you! But our recommendation is: you probably won't save as much as you think relying on old parts. Plain and simple. You might as well get something that's 100% going to fit securely, and move on to the next task of your crazy restoration project. 

If you're looking for something all-inclusive, we at Billet Kings got you covered: www.billetkings.com


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