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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been entertaining changing from my round chrome air cleaner to one of the "Heartbeat" billet aluminum 15"X8.5"X3" to have an optional look under the hood for my 68Z (which if you haveseen the pics in Feature Car section you know it is far from stock). I currently have the billet valve covers and wire looms so they will match. My question is, will it fit up in the cowl hood recess? I believe the recess is 16" diameter so it would appear that it will fit if it is close to centered. Anyone with experience with this application or similar? Suggestions??

Also, I know there has been talk out on Chevelles.com in the past and maybe here about aftermarket chrome thermostat housings and how they are a failure waiting to happen. Mine has been on my Z for sometime now and I am starting to get nervous. I was thinking of also getting a billet aluminum housing but for $70.00 I would like to get opinons on this before shelling out the $$$. Anybody use these?? What else have you used?

Thanks in advance,

Robert (a.k.a. Mytmouse)

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67 SS 396 Chevelle 350HP 4speed
70 SS 396 Chevelle 350HP 4speed
68 RS Z/28 302 350+HP? 4speed
 

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I just finished fabricating a cowl induction air cleaner for my '68. Previously the car had a K&N drop base air cleaner. Turns out that with a Holly Contender manifold and a 750 carb the back edge of the air cleaner was overlapping the back edge of the cowl induction hole by 3/4". In other words if I put on a regular air cleaner it would hit the hood at the back of the cowl hole.

The fix was an offset HEI type air cleaner base.

In the process I think I found a pretty easy way to determine hood clearance. Go to an office supply store and pick up an emphasis pointer. It's one of those telescopic pointers used for presentations that fit into a shirt pocket. Take an old piece of thin plastic, drill a hole that the pointer will fit through, and put a piece of double sided tape on the flat edge of the plastic. Now stick the base of the pointer on your manifold, laid flat against the side of the air cleaner, using the plastic with double sided tape piece stuck to the top of the air cleaner. Extend the pointer above the air cleaner and shut the hood. The pointer will shorten and you can take your clearance measurement. Move the plastic piece outward and you can find the edges of the hood hole.

The chrome housings are not great. The factory cast iron housings are very good, just check the condition of the gasket surface. I don't know about the billet style but you may want to consider one with a solid housing base.

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Click here to see see my car and hear 5-speeds. http://www.geocities.com/casanoc
 

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That billet air cleaner will clear but it is very close. I have a Edelbrock Performer RPM manifold here so I had more a problem with VERTICAL clearance. I had to have the flange on the air cleaner machined down and clearance holes cut on the underneath surface of the lower air cleaner baseplate for the float adjustment screws on the carb bowls to clear.
I still occassionaly get a slight rub on top of the air cleaner and the bottom side of the hood. This probably wouldn't be an issue with most people but I have a 1/2" NITROUS plate underneath the carb.

The air cleaner fits inside the cowl hole OK but there is probably no more than a half inch clearance on the front and back of the cowl opening underneath. WARNING, if your hood is not alighned properly (front to back) it will catch of the lip of the cowl hood opening.

USE [email protected] as GUEST LOGIN and go to the follwing site and look at sixth picture. Double Click on picture and it will blow up for you.


http://www.fototime.com




[This message has been edited by sr71bb (edited 03-16-2001).]
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks Carl and SR71. Looks like the key is to be sure my hood is on correctly and then the air cleaner should be centered in the hood recess thus, it should fit with a little clearance to spare.

Robert (a.k.a. Mytmouse)

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67 SS 396 Chevelle 350HP 4speed
70 SS 396 Chevelle 350HP 4speed
68 RS Z/28 302 350+HP? 4speed
 

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Carl, can you provide details on how you fab'd the cowl induction? I have a 69, 4" K&N, original steel CI hood. I really don't want to buy the kits since I don't need the cover, filter - just a base and flange/gasket. Thanks...Rick
 

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Rick,

I'll try to take a picture and post on my website soon. It turned out better than I thought it would.

I took an HEI air cleaner base that moved the air filter 1 1/2" forward.

Using the pointer method above, I determined the distance from the bottom of the base to the bottom of the cowl hood opening in 8 places (45 degrees around the circumference.)

Measure the diameter of the cowl hood opening and add about 2". Cut out of stout sheet metal a donut shaped piece in which the OD is the cowl measurement and the ID is the same as the flat underside of the air cleaner base.

Cut a retangular piece of the same sheet metal that is the same height as the tallest measurement (usually from the back of the air cleaner to the hood) and as long as the circumference of the donut piece. It will be close to 5 feet long!

Set up a fixture on your workbench so that the donut lays flat and the rectangular piece is at a right angle going up. Start tack welding the piece to the donut base as you work the curve. This was the hardest part. If you have access to a sheet metal roller/bender it would be really easy. I welded from the inside.

When you get to the lap joint use a cut-off wheel to get the joint nice and tight and tack weld the vertical joint.

Drill a bunch of holes in the base of the HEI air cleaner. Measure again to make sure that it is centered L to R and fore/aft. Weld through the holes onto the dount to secure the two bases together.

Using the hood clearance dimensions cut the top of the vertical section so that there will be 1/4" clearance. Mine was something like 3 1/4" tall in the rear and 1 3/4" in the front. Using a piece of masking tape works well as a guide.

Find a McMaster/Carr catalog. In it there will be a section that has foam rubber seals. The seal has a groove that fits over the top edge and has a 5/8" hollow closed cell foam rubber bulb. Get 5'. This will seal the new housing to the hood. It is black in color. It hides a lot of mistakes along the top edge. It costs all of $10.

Spend some time with a grinder, a little bondo, and some POR 15 and it will look great. You may also want to get a sheet metal nibbler. It makes cutting a lot easier. I used Marine Goop on the inside edge to feather in the spot welds and make a nice fillet radius. Since I was learning along the way it took close to 20 hours to do it, but cost all of $40 including the HEI base.



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Click here to see see my car and hear 5-speeds. http://www.geocities.com/casanoc
 

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Wow, a great fabrication. I guess I have no reason to not learn to Mig. Great site, too, Carl. I like the appearance of your air cleaner better than the OEM. Thanks for the information.
 
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