Bench racing the other day with a hot rod friend of mine, he said, "The problem with all these LS engine swaps everywhere is, the engine is just so ugly." I couldn't believe my ears. How could an engine that makes more than 400 hp, returns 24 mpg, and is so easy to drive fast be ugly? Sure, plastic is prominent with the intake, coil covers, and idler pulleys, but when they're dressed up, we think they look pretty darn good. Case in point, this junkyard engine that originally came in a limited edition '99 Pontiac Firehawk, and was rated at 327 hp and 345 lb-ft of torque. We picked up the low-mileage LS engine for less than $700 with the wiring harness and computer. Swapping the engine into a hot rod–inspired classic C10, Tre5 Customs in Peoria, Arizona, couldn't stand to look at the dull, cast-aluminum front accessory drive. A custom-built truck needed a high-end-looking engine compartment, and one of the quickest and easiest ways to transform any engine bay is by swapping the pulley system.
Searching the web for a compact, all-inclusive pulley setup, we contacted Vintage Air for one of its Front Runner serpentine systems. Once the box arrived, we were impressed with the brand-name parts included and the detail-oriented accessories that would ensure we did the job right. Included in the LS Front Runner kit was a new, compact Sanden A/C compressor, new Delphi-Saginaw power steering pump with reservoir, water pump, 140-amp alternator, Dayco tensioner and belt, billet aluminum mounting bracket, ATI balancer, and ARP polished stainless hardware. The before and after photos are incredible. If your truck's engine, whether an LS, small- or big-block needs a new look, check out the install of Vintage Air's Front Runner system.