Converting a shaftie to a belt drive is no easy feat. Simply stripping off the shaft hardware and slipping on a pulley is not an option. Numerous clearance and force considerations need to be addressed. First, the pulley would be further out from the engine case than the shaft, exerting side loads onto the countershaft bearings that they weren’t designed to endure. How do you keep a long shaft from becoming a lever? Borrowing from the bag of tricks utilized by dragrace builders, Collier decided to support the shaft on both the inside and outside of the pulley as you would an axle for a wheel. However, in order to construct the rigid piece he needed, Collier had to replace the entire engine side cover. Since the cover housed the alternator, stator and ignition pickups, the new cover had to be machined with mounting points for the factory electrics. For this exacting work, Collier turned to Ben Lake of Eustis, Florida.
When Lake finished, the countershaft was supported on both sides by OE bearings, making the assembly stronger than any belt. Also, the new cover uses the stock bolt locations on the engine and even provides a mounting point for the clutch slave cylinder. Since the new drive system was being added to an existing engine, tolerances get tight in places. The space between the pulley and the clutch actuator shaft is only 110-thousandths of an inch! Collier off-handedly says that if the belt breaks, it’ll take the clutch controls with it.