This is a bracket to be used on a factory style LS Fbody waterpump to allow easy mounting of an off the shelf HD tensioner. Specifically for 1996-2002 Camaros and Firebirds. This is especially useful for high-rpm setups that have issues with the belt staying on. I now offer the bracket and a HD 6-rib flanged pulley tensioner as a kit. This purchase includes the bracket and the center grade 12.9 bolt, locking nylon nut, and 2 washers with option stainless mounting hardware. This is made from 3/8″ steel, it is very strong. The 2 factory mounting bolt locations are reused. A spring-loaded automatic tensioner is preferred over a manual style tensioner whenever possible since it will accommodate natural belt stretch and is also easier on bearings when loaded. If the bracket is ordered raw it must be painted, powdercoated, or sealed or it will rust relatively quickly.
Mounting and Installation
There are several mounting positions which can be used for the tensioner tab to rotate the tensioner to whatever position works best for you. Depending on belt length and accessories the tensioner will generally point straight up when completely unloaded when installed, but can be rotated as needed. This is because the other ones are not able to be used anyway eliminating some confusion. Generally the middle of the 5 holes is the best place to start, but rotate as needed to get the most travel as possible. Ideally you want to have to tighten the tensioner to its full stop and just barely be able to get the belt on all of the pullies. In this way the tensioner has the most room to work and accommodate belt stretch. If the tensioner ever takes up all of its travel the belt will be loose and probably walk or be thrown off. If the tensioner is rotated too far counter clockwise (or too long of a belt is used) the belt may rub the tensioner body from the crank pulley.
A stock or close to stock belt length should work depending on your pulley combination. The larger case 145a alternator, OD crank pulley, OD alternator pulley, or any other larger pulley will require a longer than stock belt. Any underdrive pullies will shorten the belt needed. If any accessories are eliminated or non-stock belt routing is used that will shorten the required belt.