What I have done on the Bird this Winter.


At the end of October in the fall of 2011 my son and I went to the SEMA show in
Las Vegas . While there I visited the March Performance Booth and fell for
their Serpentine Belt Kit 13150 . I saw it on a 69 Firebird at the show. They had
a show special on it of course and free shipping up to the border.

here is what the engine Bay looked like in the fall of 2011.


I drained the radiator, removed the upper and lower hoses then removed the
alternator, Power steering pump and lines, and all associated Brackets.

The Flowcooler water pump I removed has a different impeller design with a
plate brazed onto it. I took some pictures of it after I took it off and compared
it to the new Edelbrock water pump that came with the new March kit. The
pump needs to be changed to ensure all the mounting surfaces for the new
brackets are perfect to get the brackets alignment perfect. The entire March
system mounts on the water pump mount surfaces.

the depth of the pump fluid area is considerably more than the new edelbrock or
the stock ones I have seen.

a shot of the plate brazed onto the impeller on the flowcooler pump

and the depth of the flowcooler impeller. It is much deeper at the sides than the
new pump.

below is the new edelbrock pump impeller vanes

it is half the depth of the flowcooler one.

and the depth of the fluid area is also much less.


I used the stock water pump plate rather than the new one that came with the
edelbrock pump. The stamping detail was much sharper and it seemed to fit better
I did however do the modification described in the Jim Hand book to establish a
tight clearance between the impeller wheel and the divider plate. I first measured
the clearance with a feeler gauge and then used a dead-blow hammer and a block
of wood to tighten the clearance within the marked circle you can see below. It
started out about .60 and I tightened it up to about .030.

and here is the new water pump mounted.

the main bracket support comes from 2 large steel studs and posts in the 2
large water pump mounting holes that go thru the pump and to the cast iron
block itself. all other bolts go into the aluminum water pump itself.

here is the main support bracket attached to the two steel posts.

I was very impressed with the quality of every piece in the March kit. each piece
was numbered on the back of the part with engraving , and on the paper over
the tissue paper. The finish was perfect on all the pieces. the two brackets below
were the only two parts that were not raw machined aluminum. They were
powder-coated and beautiful

Below are a bunch of shots of the finished March System installation.
I very happy with it. I replaced the stock rubber power steering hoses with a
braided stainless set that I purchased from March at the same time as the kit.
They fit and look so much better than the old stock ones.



I did one other thing this winter. I am looking forward to trying out the car
at the strip again this summer so I purchased an Autometer shift light and
installed that on the car. I looked at a lot of different options for shift lights
and settled on this one it does take away a bit my stock looking interior but
I can live with it. It is the level 2 Digital Pro Shift System





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