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wingwalker

Will this alternator bracket clear?

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I am about to order this bracket and a similar one on the passenger side for an a/c compressor. But I worry they may not clear the sides of the engine bay. The engine is a Vortec 350. The car is a '77 280Z. If not these brackets, which?

 

  I have finally cut away and patched up the rust that grew under the batter tray, welded up excess holes in the engine compartment and have a JTR kit. Following the JTR book, I am now "dressing the engine," as the author puts it. So I want to attach stuff like these brackets and adjust belts before setting the engine in place.

s-l1600.jpg

Edited by wingwalker

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Maybe I missed it, but did you actually specify which bracket you're considering in your post??  A picture by itself will not suffice.

 

You may prefer to install all the accessories before installing the motor; but I personally have found that it's easier to get the motor into the engine bay without all the peripherals attached.  Personal choice.  

 

I don't know what bracket that is that you're considering, but you may want to check out Alan Grove Brackets.  They produce a great selection of high and low mount brackets for all requirements for multiple engines.  Good luck with it.

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Thanks, JHM.

 

These are ICT Billet brackets, and I went ahead and ordered them. I was assured by the vendor they would attach to the Vortec engine okay, so the fit in the engine bay will be the next unknown. For the pair, I'll save almost $50 if they work.

 

I did find drawings with dimensions of both these and the Alan Grove brackets, and in comparison with the Grove equivalents, these appear to be within a half inch different in both side and height. So, we'll see. I'll post the results.

 

I agree that an engine without all the stuff hanging from it will be easier to get in, but I want to test fit all the stuff while it is still accessible. That includes ensuring the pulley alignment is spot on and the belt sizes are determined. Just a lot easier with the engine at a nice working height.

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Gotcha'.

 

I don't know if this will be of any use to you, but I measured the space between the base of my valve cover and the inner fender, and it was approx 6.5".  (Engine is an iron-head SBC, mounted halfway between JTR setup and Scarab mounting position.)

 

If you have the ability to mount a small-body alternator, I'm sure that would give you more clearance to play with, no?

 

Good luck with it, and be sure to post an update with your final results!

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One other thing, on the subject of alternators....

 

Forgot to mention this in my previous post, but db electrical is a great vendor for starters and alternators.  They offer standard and mini-size components for most engines, and it's really high-quality stuff.  Have been using their units for years, without any issues.  You may want to look at using one of their mini alternators if space is tight using that bracket.

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19 minutes ago, jhm said:

Nice, nullbound.  I really I could find a good quality high-mount bracket for use with a short water pump, but haven't had any luck with it.  May just have to make one myself.

 

Thanks! I looked into that at one point, too, with the swp but they all seemed to mount too far out and would either hit the inner fender well or not clear the hood. This bracket kit for the lwp is pretty simple, looks clean, and worked well with my mostly stock wiring.

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Okay, as promised, here's the update.

 

The ICT brackets put the alternator and compressor out too far. There is just over 31 inches between strut towers in the engine bay, and these brackets put the alternator to compressor distance out 32.5 inches. And with the JTR mounts, the engine is offset, which means on the passenger side, there is no hope of clearing. So, back to square one. I looked at the March options, and the alternator bracket will work.

 

Nullbound's installation looks very nice.

 

But I'd like to have the alternator on the driver side so that the compressor will be on the pass side, allowing a cleaner path for hoses. And I cannot find a March option that will do those things.

 

Yikes, this has been done many times. There is an answer, but so far I'm lost.

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So, I sent the ICT brackets back, and Summit Racing's tech support guy suggested I talk with the Vintage Air guys (because I will be installing their system). The Vintage Air tech gave me parts numbers and I ordered them from Summit. They arrived in two shipments, with the alternator kit arriving Wednesday. I've bolted it in place, and once more, I think I am in trouble as far as fitting into the engine bay goes. It does indeed pull the brackets in close to the centerline of the engine, but wow, they put it up in the air. My measurements seem to show very severe conflict with the hood. And the compressor kit arrived yesterday, and clearly it will do the same. Once again the issues are:

1. Engine has Vortec heads with tall valve covers

2. I need the compressor on the passenger side, and alternator on driver side

3. It all needs to fit into the engine bay of a 280Z with a small-block (long water pump) engine sitting on JTR mounts.

 

Please help me on this. This problem has to have been solved dozens of times.

 

Photos of the latest bracket below: The issue of clearance with the valve cover can be cured with a mini alternator, but I suspect that the compressor will have a less-easily solved issue.

P1090058.JPG

P1090055.JPG

P1090056.JPG

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wingwalker, do you have the option of doing a low-mount alternator (on the driver side)?  That's what I did with mine, and I have roughly 1" clearance between the alt and the frame rail and no interference issues with the steering rack.  (However, the JTR mounting location might make a low-mount difficult?)

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Smaller alternator? What is the part number for the bracket you are using there? Can the bracket be configured so that the alternator is on the side of the valve cover, over by the header?  

If you are dead set on that location you could cut, notch and weld up that valve cover. A quick google shows me that many people have done that. 

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Capernix, jhm and Llave, 

 

Thank you all three for the responses.

 

Jhm, I have rotated both brackets and, yes, it appears they can be modified so that both the compressor and alternator will be located lower. I'm thinking of dropping the engine into the bay and onto the mounts to determine just where I have room. Then I'll mark up the brackets for mods. After that, I'll take everything back where it is easier to work with the engine on a stand. Likely I'll find a few other issues to deal with while it is temporarily in there.

 

Llave, a smaller alternator may also be part of the solution. But the size of the compressor, I think, is fixed. I plan on using a Vintage Air setup, and the system that will fit under the dash uses a Sanden 508. The 508 is a bit larger even than the 507 I have on hand, and that thing is larger than the alternator. Probably I should start worrying about it interfering with the headers. But I'll wait until the whole mess is in the engine bay. There is an answer, I know there is. 

 

I'll have to wait until the weather warms a bit before I hoist the engine. The part of my shop where the Z lives was at 14 degrees this morning and it hasn't warmed much since. I've been driven back into the house (where I should be working on my income tax filing--but, yuk, I'd rather brave the cold).

 

 

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I used a VA Sanden 709, it was pretty compact. But like you said, you will run out of room fast. Everything wants to occupy the same space at the same time. 

 

Have you checked hood clearance with that alt bracket? Probably ok, but looks like it might be close. 

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Here's the latest on the bracket saga. I tried three sets sourced by Summit Racing, and when the third set (made by Grove) was going to hit stuff, I bit the bullet and fabricated (actually, I modified the last set I got). The folks at Summit were super about the returns, but when the third set didn't work, I felt embarrassed. After all, three times!

 

I used 1/4-inch aluminum plate to make the modified parts, and used as many parts as I could of Grove's stuff.

 

The compressor is off now, but with both in place, I measured and measured, and I am now certain--well, almost certain--that these will work. Here are some photos.

 

P1090121.JPG

P1090122.JPG

P1090123.JPG

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Posted (edited)

I'm confused... on all of your various iterations, the alternator is outboard of the driver's side cylinder head.  Why can't the alternator be placed in front of the cylinder head, if necessary with  "long"-style water pump, and thereby more tucked-in?

Edited by Michael

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Michael,

Thanks for the comments, but when I made one singe change, problems cascaded.

 

I had spoken with someone at Vintage Air, the manufacturer of the AC system I will install, and he suggested that if the compressor is placed on the passenger side, routing of hoses will be easier. So without enough thought, I decided to switch the standard GM configuration. Main issue is that the valve covers are of course staggered, and it is the driver's side that is forward. I do have the long water pump and a newer, shorter version of the alternator, but at you can see in one of the photos I posted on Feb. 23, the back of the alternator hits the valve cover when I attempt to tuck it in. And from there the issue cascaded.

 

Hindsight is wonderful. Had I stuck with GM's configuration--alternator on the passenger side and compressor on the driver's--my life would have gone easier. I have, I think, got it solved, but such is hot rodding--which is what we are doing when we swap engines. It has been far too hot in my shop to get much work done, but I am anxious to tackle the remaining issues and see what other trouble I have created for myself. I want to get this car back on the road.

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