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CVF Racing Serpentine kit all inclusive install/review

Discussion in 'Engine and Drivetrain/Mechanical' started by Boom, Feb 27, 2018.

  1. Boom

    Boom Active Member

    Hey guys, I figured I'd post a thread showing this particular kit I ordered and what is involved in installing it on a small block Ford. I'll be offering my opinions as I go.

    This is what I ordered:

    My options were: short pump and 4 bolt aftermarket balancer.

    The full kit comes in one large, heavy (~65 lbs) box. Be prepared to handle that. I unwrapped and opened everything and this is the full kit fresh out of the box:

    [​IMG]20180227_171316 by Brett, on Flickr

    The instructions are not as glorious or detailed as some of the other companies I looked at that offered instructions online. They're basic, but I'm sure they'll get the job done. They are missing some information I noticed, though.

    The Alternator:

    I'm not sure if this is a Poweremaster alternator or another brand. It comes with a stamped steel fan and pulley. The kit comes with a new fan and pulley in a separate box. I would've thought that would already be installed, but no worries, an electric impact swapped them out super quick. One thing that was lacking in the instructions is a torque spec. Which wouldn't be needed should this pulley already come installed. I googled it and found a Powermaster article that said they torque theirs to 70 ft/lbs.

    [​IMG]20180227_180036 by Brett, on Flickr

    Water Pump (short):

    The instructions state that the kit only includes bolts for the spots were the bracket mounts on the timing cover/ water pump. Seems a bit incomplete to me. Especially since the kit includes a new water pump.

    The kit only provides the bolts 4 spots on the timing cover. You will still need the top 3 bolts on the water pump and the lowest 4 on the timing cover. I have ARP bolts on my other cover, they should fit on this no problem. I also need a timing pointer. Looks like the 10 or 11 o'clock ones will work without issue.

    [​IMG]20180227_190139 by Brett, on Flickr

    There are 2 different directions to install the water pump. The main instructions say to use blue RTV or similar where the water pump came with it's own set. I am going to try and use the ones in the water pump box. They say not to use silicone, but rather a "contact glue for countertops". I'll need to pick some of that up from Home Depot.

    Last edited: Feb 27, 2018
  2. Patrick Stapler

    Patrick Stapler Active Member

    Permatex has a sealant formulated specifically for water pumps and housings. Works great.
  3. Boom

    Boom Active Member

    They do mention that "In a pinch #3 liquid Permatex will work" I've used RTV and Permatex, both work with good prep. I'm curious about this contact glue though. Mentions that they will be extremely sticky and will not move once touched together. Might be worth using some all thread as a guide to line the water pump up on the timing cover. Same for cover to block.
  4. B67FSTB

    B67FSTB The NorCal dude from Belgium

  5. Horseplay

    Horseplay I Don't Care. Do you?

    A number of us went with CVF systems or pieces and I haven't read anything but rave reviews. The machining is top notch and the style/designs are nice too. We haven't seen this system installed on our forum yet so keep sharing pics!

    We've all gone silicone sealer crazy in this "modern age" as compared to the days when our cars were first built. Provided the mating surfaces have been machined well and they alignment of parts is good the gasket alone does a great job. This is why the instructions suggest the use of a contact type glue. All that needs done is to make sure the gasket is properly aligned (held in place by the glue) and the gasket will do the sealing by itself. Using your finger to smear a thin layer of silicone sealer around just the water ports portion of a gasket can only help. Squeezing out an 1/8" or larger bead and running it around the whole gasket does nothing more than make a big mess but that seems to be the standard practice for far too many. The only except I know of for us Ford guys is to use a large, consistent bead of silicone sealer IN PLACE of the cork end gaskets when installing an intake. If you do this be sure to let the silicone skin over a bit before dropping on the intake. Even then, if you use something like Gask-a-cinch (sp?) to securely locate and hold the old cork pieces you can get away from the gobs of silicone too. The problem isn't he cork gaskets not sealing things up but rather them squeezing out of place when the intake is set down and torqued. Anyway...back to the thread.
    swpruett likes this.
  6. Boom

    Boom Active Member

    Ok, I finally got another day to work on the install. I got the timing cover installed so I could start getting ready to mount the main bracket. I used "contact glue" to mount the timing cover and the water pump as the directions said, I really don't feel good about it...at all. Time will tell i guess.

    Once you go to install the water pump you have to get the main bracket as it uses 4 bolts (the ones directly next to each water port) to mount to the engine. It uses some spacers, but nothing too tricky about this install.

    [​IMG]20180302_220856 by Brett, on Flickr

    [​IMG]20180302_184919 by Brett, on Flickr

    I was a bit worried seeing how close the bracket was to the water pump knowing how large the pulley was, but everything clears just fine here. I installed the 2 idler pulleys, the tensioner on the lower left of the picture and the alternator up top right. The AC is in place but doesn't have its fancy pulley cover on yet.

    [​IMG]20180302_215601 by Brett, on Flickr

    I am going to hit everything with a torque wrench and then finish them off with the various covers. i haven't installed the crank pulley or balancer yet. I am hoping for a smooth install but am expecting it to not fit since CVF wouldn't give any measurements for balancer depth. Really my only real major gripe so far. They offer "stock" and "aftermarket" options for balancer but they don't list what that actually means or what it changes in the kit.
  7. Horseplay

    Horseplay I Don't Care. Do you?

    Well, the obvious first question about the balancer is does its hole set line up with the pulley (3 or 4 holes). Many aftermarket have both or you select one or the other. I think stock pieces are all three hole but that's may be just the ones I have encountered. Depth/or extension is your question in terms of will things line up. Before pressing one on I would measure up a stock piece compared to yours to note any differences. I can tell you I've used stock, ATI and Ford Motorsport pieces and all were interchangeable for use with a "standard" multi-belt system. Never messed with a true serpentine.
  8. Horseplay

    Horseplay I Don't Care. Do you?

    BTW -- I love the look of this set-up. It's as nice as a March and you save quite a bit.
  9. Boom

    Boom Active Member

    Yes, this kit looks fantastic. Machining is top notch and the design is very compact. Everything mounts to the main bracket so there are no issues with mounting to the heads.

    I just need to either buy or borrow a better torque wrench, my current 3/8" one is from HF and I'm not getting a warm and fuzzy while using it to torque the timing cover bolts.
  10. msell66

    msell66 Burning Fossil Fuels Donator

    For shame, using an "iffy" torque wrench. Plunk down a few extra bucks and have one good TW just for engine work. Save the old one for tires and body use! A shit TW could cost you a motor.
  11. msell66

    msell66 Burning Fossil Fuels Donator

    Oh yeah, that setup is PUUUURTY!
  12. Boom

    Boom Active Member

    I know, I have higher quality torque wrenches for everything 50 ft/lbs and up. I need a good one for the smaller things, especially since they are usually more sensitive.
    msell66 likes this.
  13. Boom

    Boom Active Member

    I'm just gonna post this picture and go make a drink so I can think of a polite way to ask CVF for at least the third time what balancer/spacer combo they are using. I removed the pulleys and measured the mounting surfaces between the water pump and the balancer. I got 1.75". How hard is it to give a measurement or "we used XX part number"?

    [​IMG]20180303_123126 by Brett, on Flickr
  14. msell66

    msell66 Burning Fossil Fuels Donator

    I went at it a different way. I took measurements, made a drawing and they sent what would work. I had my known items mounted before taking the measurements. Damper, water pump etc...
  15. Boom

    Boom Active Member

    Clean slate, I need to figure this issue out, rather then point fingers. I pretty much knew this balancer/pulley combo wouldn't work at first sight.

    I think the best bet is to get a proper aftermarket balancer. Maybe that will be the difference I need with my set-up. Most aftermarket balancers are fairly flat where-as the one I have has a raised middle to "help" with pulley alignment.
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2018
  16. Boom

    Boom Active Member

    The install is complete with the exception of the crank pulley. I had to order a new balancer. The kit looks very nice. The idlers and tensioner all thread into the main bracket and then out the back where they are also secured with a locknut. The kit makes use of a variety of allen head bolts, so make sure you have a good set of allen keys. It appears that you can use the stock 45* thermostat housing. I have to remove my 90* one to install the thermostat so I will verify that. Just waiting now till I get the new balancer in to install the crank pulley and the belt.

    [​IMG]20180303_142805 by Brett, on Flickr

    [​IMG]20180303_142823 by Brett, on Flickr
    Grabber70Mach likes this.
  17. 3175375

    3175375 Well-Known Member

    looks great! Why is the alternator on the driver's side and is that the AC compressor on the passenger side? Looks backwards from how these components are mounted.
  18. msell66

    msell66 Burning Fossil Fuels Donator

    Nice man jewelry!
  19. Boom

    Boom Active Member

    Yes you're right. I think it'll make it easier/cleaner to run the AC lines. The battery is going in the trunk so I just have to route the power cable for the alternator, its a one wire alternator also I'm not sure if you could swap them around.

    Thanks Mark!
  20. Boom

    Boom Active Member

    I got the new balancer in today. Professional Products #80006, Looks to be just the right size. It's 6.4", any bigger and I think you'd start to have issues with water pump clearance.

    I put everything on and it looks great. I was a bit worried at first since it feels like the crank pulley is still out just a hair, but time will tell. Here's the pictures, this really is a great looking kit. Radiator clearance might be a bit tight, but I think it'll be worth it in the end.

    [​IMG]20180307_185854 by Brett, on Flickr

    [​IMG]20180307_185834 by Brett, on Flickr
    swpruett likes this.

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