The belt failure saga sounds as though there may have been another issue such as a burr or nick in one of the pulleys. This is a more common problem than people recognize. It often occurs because a stone or other debris has flipped up and trapped between belt & pulley, causing a sharp area on a pulley.
Another consideration is belt alignment because a misalignment greatly increases belt problems.
Amazing how the engine installs/emission treatments changed over the span of a few model years! Our 1983's 460 had relatively plain (no emissions piping) exhaust manifolds, but did have an A.I.R. pump, and had no catalytic conveter.
Seeing that bracket with no pump in it reminded me of a couple things.
First, in the pix above I saw what looked like high quality drive belts. We'd had a breakdown on the road and I put a set of "store brand" belts on it. I'd used them on cars, but the RV simply tore them up! The paired belts held up OK but I couldn't keep the belt that drove the alternator (which in turn drove the AIR pump) from wearing and slipping. The one that drove the York compressor on the "dealer A/C" it had was even worse. Like a belt live of about one trip. Going to NAPA, Gates, DAYCO, etc. branded took care of that.
And that bracket reminded me of another problem. The bolt through the alternator was longer than the distance it needed to the back of the radiator core to get it out. Typical solutions were: 1. Remove Radiator, 2. Modify Radiator Core (once out) to leave a "pocket" for the bolt (cutting out one or two tubes), 3. Dismantle AIR pump etc. to move the bracket enough to slide the bolt out at an angle. I wouldn't do 1. or 2. and after a time or two on 3. I found that if I took one of the 3/8" bolts out of the bracket and stuck a long drywall screw in the hole in its place, removing all the other bolts let me twist the bracket to the angle I neeeded yet keep its weight supported and lined up for an easy re-assembly.
It was the uppermost bolts in the AIR/ALT bracket if I recall, up high by the water pump. I still have some of the parts (Starter, Alternator, Radiator) from that coach if anybody needs them. I used to carry starter, alternator, regulator, ignition module, couple belts as spares for the road. Also relocated the Regulator so I could change it without having to lift the Battery out.
You are soooooooo right. I've already had to replace the alternator on the side of the road once. I was able to get that bolt out just enough without having to pull the radiator. The bad part is, when I replaced the radiator, I went from a 3 core to a 4 core. While everything was apart, I tried that bolt "just to see". It will not come out far enough to change the alternator with the new rad. I'm hoping since it is a new alternator, it'll last a while. I do not want to pull the radiator just to change the alternator !!!
I also keep spare belts, ignition module, plugs, rotor, starter solenoid, and fuel filter on the rig. I put quality belts and hoses on it (hoping to prevent a problem), because NOTHING on this thing is an easy fix on the side of the road. But just in case, I have them.
1987 Coachmen 27'/ Ford E-350, 460 cid with Headman headers, and dual Flowmasters
I first tried tying the bracket up with rope or wire, forget which, but poking something in the bolt hole was easier and kept it closer to being lined up for reassembly. Drywall screw's better than say a nail because its threads snag the bolt threads making it less likely to slide out.
I've repaired a lot of those little Ford alternators. Bearings, brushes and rectifier bridge was all it usually took. That's if it's a back-wired one where the charge wire's held with a nut and the small wires push onto threaded studs. The side-terminal versions weren't much good.
Flowmaster used to have 3" mandrel-formed "cat-back" single exhaust sytems with their massive "Big Block II" muffler and designed for Ford Class Cs. There was a model for the late 80s through 91 and another for 92 and up 460s. I made the late 80s model fit my early 80s coach and really liked it. I stayed with the OEM manifolds that I had resurfaced, OEM crossover, and used the 3" extension pipe for longer wheelbase to make up the length for the cat converter it didn't have. I learned about it here on RV.net and it was a great tip.
God Bless, jd
2003 Jayco Escapade 31A on 2002 Ford E450 V10 4R100