Review & Install Video
Hey, guys. Adam here with americanmuscle.com. Today, I'm bringing you a detailed overview and installation of the SR Performance Underdrive Pulleys in Black, available for all '96 to mid-'01 Mustang GTs. So in this video, I'll be going over the functionality and benefits of the SR Performance Underdrive Pulleys, and what exactly underdrive pulleys do in general.
I'll be touching on the materials and construction, and I'll even top on the installation at the end of the video, which I'll let you know upfront it gets a very simple one out of three wrenches on our difficulty meter. The SR Performance Underdrive Pulleys in Black will be for any '96 to mid-'01 Mustang GT owner who is looking to reduce the amount of energy their factory pulleys are using in order to free up some horsepower with a very simple, and very straightforward bolt-on mod.
So the first thing I wanna touch on in this video before I move any further is what exactly underdrive pulleys do and what the benefits of picking up an aftermarket set would be. So in a nutshell, underdrive pulleys essentially reduce the amount of parasitic drivetrain loss by cutting down the amount of power it takes to run your accessories, like the water pump, alternator, and A/C compressor. To explain that a little bit better, the engine essentially uses its own power to rotate the serpentine belt, starting at the crankshaft or drive pulley.
Now, the crankshaft or drive pulley uses the engine power to rotate the rest of the pulleys in the circuit, so reducing the size of the drive pulley can actually reduce the amount of engine power it takes to rotate the accessories I just mentioned a second ago. By doing this, you can actually free up about 10 or 15 horsepower in the best-case scenario.
Now, with that in mind, I don't want you to think freeing up 10 to 15 horsepower is the same as gaining 10 or 15 horsepower. Freeing it up just basically means you're not taking your engine's power and using it for the pulleys. You can use it elsewhere, which is where supporting mods, like direct bolt-ons, can really come and reap the benefits of underdrive pulleys. Redirecting that power can be used at the rear wheels, which is why it's important to have a lot of other supporting mods when adding the underdrive pulleys, but a lot of people do this as their first go-to mod.
Now, another valid question you may be asking is, if you're reducing the amount of power going to a lot of the pulleys, wouldn't something such as the alternator not be running at its maximum potential? Like I said, a very valid question, but of course, that's where all the rest of these pulleys come into play. Adding the underdrive pulley set compensates for the loss of power by actually adding a bunch of other pulleys like you see here, in order to keep things running smoothly.
Now, for your course, if you're running aftermarket sound systems that require more amperage out of your alternator, this might not be the mod for you. It really all depends on your particular setup. If you're running that bigger sound system, your alternator has to work at even more of its potential. So of course, reducing that potential might be a little bit harmful, which is where picking up a new alternator with a higher amperage comes in handy. It definitely all depends on your personal circumstance.
Now, as far as this particular kit from SR Performance goes, expect the underdrive pulleys to include one for the water pump, the crankshaft or drive pulley that runs the whole operation, and of course, the alternator pulley, as I just mentioned a second ago.
SR Performance is known for making some of the most budget-friendly parts on the market. So if you're interested in picking up this particular underdrive pulley kit, expect to be spending just shy of 100 bucks, a very affordable price tag, thanks to SR.
As far as materials and construction goes for this kit, expect it to be CNC-machined out of lightweight aircraft grade aluminum alloy, which, of course, is a very durable material, something that won't chip or crack over time. On top of that, it's got a black powder-coated finish, which caters right into the hands of the guys and girls out there attending some car shows, looking to get that sleeker more aggressive appearance under the hood.
Now, before I go on to installation, I wanna touch on the application of the '96 to mid-'01 Mustang models because 2001 was split right in half as far as production is concerned. With that said, the 2001 models were split in half and, of course, have very slight differences that you almost can't even notice. One of those differences being the size of the water pump and the water pump pulley that goes along with that. Now, of course, this one fits all '96 to mid-'01, mid-'01 referring to the early production model.
Now, in order to find out if you have the mid-'01 or late '01 model, all you have to do is check your VIN sticker on the inside of your door frame and it'll tell you the production date. Anything from June or earlier, of course, is the mid-'01. Anything after that date will be the late '01. So you just wanna be careful when you're picking up the SR Performance Underdrive Pulleys and pulleys in general, or even if you're shopping for a water pump replacement.
As far as the actual installation goes, this one's gonna be very straightforward, very simple, almost anybody can take care of in the driveway at home. All you'll need is a simple ratchet and socket set to get the job done. Now, you'll start by releasing the tension on the tensioner pulley just to make sure you can get that serpentine belt off safely. Now, of course, next step is to unbolt the factory pulleys, of course, for the water pump, alternator, and crankshaft and set those aside as well as the hardware. New hardware is provided in the kit, so you'll be replacing that directly the same way you took them off.
So once you get the new pulleys back on, it is my best recommendation to pick up a new serpentine belt since you've got yours off anyway. Now, with the new belt or the old belt, directly up to you, of course, just pop that back on using the tensioner pulley as well and you're good to go. Overall, about 30 minutes to an hour on the install would definitely give this a one out of three wrenches on our difficulty meter.
Just to wrap things up here, if you're the owner of a '96 to mid-'01 Mustang GT and you're looking to pick up some underdrive pulleys in order to reduce the amount of parasitic drivetrain loss that your engine is putting out on the factory pulleys, you might wanna check out the SR Performance Underdrive Pulleys in Black, available right here at americanmuscle.com.