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Gen III Hemi swaps are gaining popularity as more gearheads opt for modern amenities and reliability in their classic Mopar muscle cars, Jeeps or even non-Mopar classics like a Chevrolet C10 or Ford Mustang. Ensuring there’s enough space in the engine bay is the number-one detail to consider when planning for a modern drivetrain swap. Thankfully, there’s a straightforward solution to simplify the swap and gain more wiggle room.
When dealing with space constraints, whether swapping your classic vehicle’s old engine for a modern drivetrain or stuffing power-adders into an already cramped space, a Holley Accessory Drive kit will open up your options. Available for a variety of configurations, these kits re-think the configuration of the front drive by eliminating bulky brackets and condensing all the belt-driven accessories into a tightly-wrapped package. That said, Holley Accessory Drive kits should be on your to-do list if a clean looking engine bay is your end goal. Your vehicle’s engine will be the center of attention, not the accessory belts.
The Holley Gen III Hemi Front Accessory Drive Kit is the ideal solution to simplify the swap and gain more wiggle room.
In this case, we are getting ready to drop a Gen III Hemi into a B-body Mopar. Before you order your kit, it’s important to identify whether you have a VVT or Non-VVT (sometimes called VCT or variable cam timing). One indicator is a large solenoid just above the front camshaft journal bearing. Hemi and order accordingly. We selected the Gen III Mid-Mount Holley Accessory Drive Kit for the best fitment. All of the accessories attach to the front cover casting, which pulls the front drive system closer to the engine. The reconfiguration of the air conditioning and power steering pulleys allows us to easily carry over those necessities instead of being restricted by parts hitting the vehicle’s frame rail. The accessory drive kit also gives us more room for future twin-turbos and the plumbing that goes with them, but that’s for a later article. For now, here’s some snippets of the Holley Gen III Hemi Mid-Mount Accessory Drive Kit installation.
Like most projects, installation begins with disassembly. Start by removing the serpentine belt, then remove the accessories from the engine, including the a/c, power steering pump and alternator. Use an impact wrench or breaker bar to remove the balancer – a helping hand or two comes in handy here to hold the flywheel in place. Once the bolt breaks lose you will need to pull the balancer off with a puller tool. With all front drive accessories removed, unbolt the front cover – don’t forget the four bolts that hold it to the oil pan. Clean the gasket surfaces to prepare for the installation of shiny new parts.
Installation begins with securing the gasket into the front cover and bolting the cover onto the engine. Determine how you want to route the heater hoses and install the fittings using thread sealant. Install the cam and water temperature sensor. Next, apply the supplied water pump gasket and bolt up the water pump with the six button head bolts. Install the thermostat and water inlet and outlets with the included hardware, and then install the crank seal using the tool that Holley includes in the kit.
The instruction booklet included in the kit is thorough and easy to follow.
If you ordered an aftermarket ATI balancer with the kit, assemble the balancer following the included instructions. Once the balancer is seated using a dampener installation tool, install the dampener bolt and torque to 129 ft./lbs.
Assemble the power steering pump’s plumbing and use three bolts to secure it to the driver’s side of the front cover. Secure the steering pump pulley to the front cover. Pulley installation tools are available for rent or purchase from most auto parts stores.
Nearing the end of the installation, bolt up the A/C compressor, alternator and tensioner before wrapping it all together with the belt. Refer to Holley’s instructions for belt routing. Route the belt around the grooved pulleys first, and then, using the tensioner, wrap it around the smooth pulley. Release the tensioner to secure the belt. Lastly, dress up the front drive with the supplied covers.
Breaking the crank bolt free – we opted for an impact gun to get the job done.
After removing the bolts, the front cover may require a few hits from a dead blow hammer or rubber mallet to break the seal for removal. Make sure you removed the 4, lower bolts connecting it to the oil pan!
Once the front cover is removed, prep the gasket surface.
Bolt up the housing using the supplied hardware.
Install the crank seal with Holley's supplied installation tool, which you can purchase separately as p/n 97-367.
Don’t forget to apply thread seal before installing your fittings.
Installing the water fittings.
Installing the water inlet and outlets.
Installing the water pump housing.
Installing the air conditioning compressor.
Installation of the harmonic balancer is straightforward, but requires a dampener installation tool that you can rent from most major parts stores.
You will also need a pulley installation tool to install the power steering pump pulley.
Torque the crankshaft bolt to 129 ft./lbs.
The included covers complete the Holley Gen III Hemi Front Accessory Drive Kit’s clean look
What was once a bulky, ill-fitting setup is transformed into a clean, compact front drive that will make Hemi swap dreams come true.