There are certain phases we humans go through as we grow up, one being dressing up. Whether it's cowboys and Indians as kids, toga parties in college, or the Hogettes at a Skins game, it's all part of our natural evolution as expressive individuals. Another area we project our desire to "dress up" is with our rides. From the outside in, and from the front to the back, we constantly change the look of whatever current truck we have in our possession. One area that gets a much-needed makeover is the engine.
No matter what kind of motor we have, we all have at 'em! With the addition of new valve covers, air cleaners, pulleys, fuel pressure gauges, manifolds ... you get the point ... we trim them to fit our visual needs. Although, for the most part, an engine is going to look like an engine, there are several key aspects that one must focus on to get that desired look. Things such as valve covers, air cleaners, and pulleys are items that differentiate whether your motor is destined for that race, custom, street, show, etc., look. For the past few months we've been following along with a 383 Smeding crate motor build, and now the time has come for us to "accessorize" the motor, if you will.
For starters, we needed to find a pulley system to operate the motor's vitals, such as the alternator, water pump, power steering, and A/C compressor. We really had two main options, either to go with a V-belt system, or to install a serpentine system. Once we got to looking around, we found the perfect solution: a Concept One Victory Series kit. The Concept One kit is an easy-to-install turnkey system that is supplied with all the necessary components. The best part about it is that the kit is a serpentine-style system that will keep everything compact, sleek, and stylish. The kit is CNC-milled from 6061 billet aluminum and available in either a machined or polished finish. The kit also features "overdrive" technology, which increases water flow and electrical system charging at idle and slow speeds for better driveability. The kit comes standard with a Powermaster polished alternator, a polished Sanden SD-7 compressor, and an Edelbrock reverse-flow water pump. The water pump comes standard with a cast finish, but polished is an option as well. Another available option is Concept One's exclusive aluminum power steering pump with their pump-mounted billet aluminum mini reservoir. All in all, the kit makes for one sleek setup and is easily installed in a matter of hours with simple hand tools.
Not stopping there, we decided to outfit the motor with a few other vitals that will tie in nicely with the Concept One system. In terms of fuel delivery, we went with an Aeromotive block-mounted billet mechanical fuel pump. The fuel pump is constructed from aluminum as well, which will gel nicely with the pulleys, but it is also an incredibly efficient and dependable pump. Instead of going with a plain-Jane thermostat housing, we also ordered a polished stainless steel thermostat housing from Performance Stainless Steel. Although once again the piece looks great, it also features the ability of 360-degree swivel that is ideal for any install in terms of heater hoses. Our last stop on the journey was to decide on valve covers and an air cleaner. We decided to set the tone of the motor along the lines of an old-school hot rod motor. What better way to do that is there than a call to Mooneyes? We decided to go with a set of finned-aluminum valve covers, with Moon breathers, for the 383. To match the covers, we also got a finned-aluminum air cleaner.
When installing all these pieces, the only real concern is putting aside the better part of a day to do the work. Other than that, just round up a few basic hand tools and hit it! Dressing up never gets old.
The meat and potatoes of the...
The meat and potatoes of the install: the complete lineup of the Concept One Victory Series pulley system, Aeromotive fuel pump, Performance Stainless Steel thermostat housing, Edelbrock pump, Powermaster alternator, and various fittings.
Starting things off is the...
Starting things off is the installation of these threaded mounting studs into the block. We only want to screw the studs in 3/4 inch, therefore I measured each stud for 3/4 inch and marked it.