The V-belt has long been a staple of pulley systems that drive air conditioning, alternators or power steering units. Often running multiple thin V-belts from the engine’s crankshaft pulley to each accessory — known as the front drive system — was standard on older cars.
But V-belts have their limitations. Over time the thin belts stretch and slip on the pulleys, causing a loss of power and an ear-piercing screech. Multiple overlapping belts also take up a lot of space in front of the engine.
A more modern serpentine system, such as the Vintage Air Front Runner TM, uses a single longer, wider multi-groove belt and a spring tensioner that provides more grip on the pulley system, reducing the likelihood of belt slip and providing more reliability for high-horsepower vehicles. Plus, the larger serpentine belt connects all of the front-drive accessories to the crankshaft pulley for a more solid and compact system.
As pioneers of climate control systems for hot rods, Vintage Air prides itself on being the first to develop a high performance-based, all-in-one serpentine accessory drive system – the Front Runner Series TM. Designed more than two decades ago to improve reliability and appearance, the Front Runner design makes it easier to install crank-driven accessories like air conditioning compressors and compact alternators, and provides a clean, well-organized engine compartment. The Front Runners remain the most compact drive systems available.
Swapping a newer engine into a non-native chassis often presents fitment issues with the engine’s accessories such as the alternator, power steering pump and air conditioning compressor. The Front Runner design moves all drive-mounting points to the engine block itself to provide more compact accessory mounting positions. This creates more room below and around the engine for aftermarket parts such as larger intakes, custom headers and cylinder heads.
Along with the higher mounting points for accessories, Front Runners are the most narrow design on the market. Front Runners save space by running a more compact compressor and alternator and by standardizing to a high-performance water pump. This increases room for larger aftermarket radiators, intercoolers and custom suspension components when building a high-performance machine or a jaw-dropping show car.
The Bright finish features a machine-finished bracket with polished compressor, alternator and clutch and tensioner covers, and chrome pulleys. The Bright and Chrome finish adds a chrome compressor, alternator, and clutch and tensioner covers.
The Black finish option features a black-anodized bracket and clutch and tensioner covers, a natural-finish compressor and alternator, and black hardcoat pulleys. The Black and Chrome finish option adds a chrome compressor and alternator.
Vintage Air’s Front Runners have been featured on countless award-winning vehicles and is the leading drive system choice of builders and automotive enthusiasts worldwide. Whether you’re running a big-block Chevy or a larger modern engine such as the Ford Coyote, Front Runner drives provide the most proven solution for a front drive system.
Click the link below to see all the Front Runner options, or call us at 1-800-832-6658 and one of Vintage Air’s representatives will walk you through the available options and help you place an order.