Any time you can kill two birds with one stone is absolutely righteous. The mere thought of accomplishing two goals in one job almost sounds insane! But the truth of the matter is, every so often the clouds open up to reveal a once-in-a-blue-moon situation, and oh how sweet it is. In the truck world, one way to get a two-for-one deal without going to Pep Boys for some schwag is to install a serpentine belt system.
The thing about serpentine systems is that they truly are a two-for-one deal. On the side of drivability, they increase alternator and compressor efficiency by allowing less belt slippage, and they eliminate the need for two or three belts to run your motor since a serpentine system routes everything together using one belt. Another downside that's out of the picture is the need to bust out the pry bar and adjust belts by positioning alternators and A/C compressors to keep tension on the belts. The reason for that is a serpentine system uses one spring-loaded tensioner pulley that keeps constant pressure on the belt, and because of this everything else is firmly mounted, instead of on a swivel, so to speak, which helps reduce vibration. As for the two-for-one aspect, they look cool and hi-tech, especially the billet systems.
When it comes to aftermarket billet products, one company right in the thick of things is Billet Specialties. Their billet repertoire ranges from 22-inch billet wheels to billet door lock knobs and everything in between, including serpentine systems. The Billet Specialties serpentine systems, better known as Tru Trac serpentine systems, are direct bolt-on applications to retrofit (or update modern systems to billet) a variety of popular engines. Whether it's small- or big-block Chevys, Fords, or Hemis, Billet Specialties has a number of kits to equip a variety of motors. However, regardless of make and model, all their kits are based around the same design, engineering, and quality.
For our install, SporTrucks by Dean in Moorpark, California, have a Chevy ZZ4 350 crate motor in desperate need of a Billet Specialties Tru Trac system. The small-block Tru Trac serpentine system is designed and engineered to be a direct bolt-on with no modifications. It bolts on at the water pump and aligns itself without stabilizer brackets or adjuster bars. It mounts between the water pump and the engine block using a positive O-ring seal that allows any cylinder head to be used. Each bracket and pulley is machined from 6061-T6 billet aluminum and is highly polished for a quality look.
In terms of options, the Tru Trac system comes with a little check box next to A/C and power steering add-ons. Otherwise, all kits are sold with a new polished Power Master 105-amp one-wire alternator, alternator bracket, alternator fan and pulley, bridge bracket, Edelbrock aluminum reverse rotation water pump, water pump pulley with a hard coat anodized belt surface to reduce wear, spring-loaded tensioner, tensioner pulley, crank pulley, 12-point stainless fasteners, and serpentine belt. Kits with power steering come with a new aluminum power steering pump from Sweet MFG with AN fittings (-6 and -10), a power steering pulley, and a power steering bracket. The A/C add-on comes complete with a polished Sanden SD-7 compressor with a polished manifold block and fittings, compressor bracket, and compressor cover.
Spread out like a centerfold, here's the Billet Specialties Tru Trac system, without A/C,
Brian's first step is to strip the front of the motor down by removing the power steering
With the motor stripped, Bryan at SporTrucks by Dean installs the four Billet Specialties