Vintage Breathing

Lots of rust and a few dents to clean up on the replacement air cleaner.
Lots of rust and a few dents to clean up on the replacement air cleaner.

Since I posted last, the T-Bird has been running problem free reliably and I’ve been able to put about 1,000 miles on the odometer. A year ago this time, I had serious doubts that I would ever see a month with no need to get under the hood.

With warm weather here, I’ve had the windows down and driven pretty much anywhere I need, the furthest distance being a 45 mile round trip. Summer is going to be a blast.

During the lull I’ve been assembling all the parts I need to install the “correct” vintage Ford carburetor. An air cleaner assembly has been secured, cleaned and painted, as have the various accouterments for the choke. In addition, I picked up a new PCV valve and a new heater hose.

I used a Dremel tool to cut the baffle off the top lid of the air cleaner.
I used a Dremel tool to cut the baffle off the top lid of the air cleaner.

The air cleaner has been a bit of an adventure. There are no part numbers stamped on them, and a wide variety were produced every year. For a California car, I need one with two fittings, one for the choke heater and another for the crankcase breather. I found one that fit the bill, but it is a slightly lower profile than the original.

Inside, there is a series of baffles that serve no discernible purpose. In fact, they look like they would impede airflow pretty well. I cut one of them off, and may remove the other if I get a chance in the next few days.

Cleaned up, it looks pretty good; I suspect it will do the job until the right piece comes along.

Next weekend, I should have a day free to swap out the existing Edelbrock for the new/old Autolite. After that, cruising is on the agenda.

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