Getting the Right Performance Pulley
Getting a performance pulley installed to your car will immediately give you a mechanical advantage. Although this component may be considered as one of the more popular upgrades you could do to reduce load and put more power on the ground, there are a few things you should consider before actually getting one. Here are a few tips to help you get the right performance pulley:
Less weight, less force
Less weight means less force is necessary to turn the performance pulley. Lightweight billet aluminum is the most common metal used in making performance pulleys. The lighter a pulley is, the more it will allow your engine to climb smoothly into its power brand. It also gives you additional horsepower.
Bear in mind that larger pulleys add weight on the accessory shaft, which actually decreases horsepower (something you should try to avoid). On the other hand, lightweight pulleys decrease the drag on pulley shafts, thereby increasing horsepower. This should be the main reason why you decided to have pulleys installed in the first place.
Full function, full ease of installation
Performance pulleys reduce power to the accessory but do not reduce too much that the accessory loses full functionality. The right pulley your car needs is one that is tuned to have functioning accessories while gaining a complete increase in power to the rear wheels. It should also be easy to install, only requiring the release of tension of the accessory belt and the removal of the accessory pulleys with a suitable puller.
The performance pulley is installed to simply prevent the accessories from being driven too hard at high RPMs. Remember that a damaged accessory can lead to further damage in your car's engine. Also, the pulley's revolutions per minute decreases when the diameter of an accessory pulley increases, making this cut down on the parasitic drag of your component's demands.
Other things to consider
Although most performance pulleys may be similar in looks, they vary in style and finish. Aside from all the features already mentioned, a performance pulley made of billet aluminum gives a off a silvery finish to match what's under your car's hood. Different performance pulleys are designed for different cars, so you should know your car's specific year, model, and make before making a purchase. Performance pulleys can be quite expensive since their prices range from $100 to $500.
8-Step Performance Pulley Installation
Installing a performance pulley can free as much as 15 horsepower from your engine. This way, it won't work as hard spinning the performance pulleys and the accessories attached to them. It would also allow you to tweak the amount of underdrive built in to your pulley set. Read on and learn the steps on how to install a performance pulley.
Difficulty level: Moderate
Tools that you'll need:
- Large sockets
- Torx screwdrivers
- 3 finger/harmonic balancer puller
Step 1: Jack up the passenger side of your car, and remove the passenger side wheel.
Step 2: Detach the splash guard from the wheel well to access the pulley and get the screws out. Remove the serpentine belt using a 3/8" breaker bar to twist the tensioner pulley up. After this, take the tension off the belt so you can slide it off.
Step 3: Unfasten the center bolt from the pulley using an 18mm socket. Next, pull off the pulley with a 3 finger/harmonic balancer puller and screw 3 3/8-16 thread bolts through the puller into the 3 holes in the pulley. After this, tighten the center bolt, to force the pulley off the crankshaft.
Step 4: Substitute the front crankshaft seal using a screwdriver. Pry the old seal out of the opening and do not to gouge sealing surfaces. Next, put grease in the inside edge of the new seal.
Step 5: Spread silicone sealant to the inside bore of the new pulley and in the keyway, then apply grease to the outside sealing surface of the pulley. Next, push the new pulley onto the crank, lining up the keyway with the tab on the crank. Insert the center bolt and tighten.
Step 6: Route your new belt, which should vary depending on your alternator size, and whether you have AC. Leave the belt off of the alternator pulley, and route it around the rest.
Step 7: Pull up on the tensioner pulley using a breaker bar to so you can complete the install by pulling the belt over the alternator pulley. Reinstall the splash guard and the serpentine belt cover. Reinstall your wheel, and torque down the lug nuts.
Step 8: Lower the car, start up your engine, and observe how much faster it accelerates. Also make sure there is no oil leaking from the crankshaft seal. Finally, take your car out for a test drive.