Custom hot air source for CAI for 82 E350 with 460??? - Ford Truck Enthusiasts Forums

Custom hot air source for CAI for 82 E350 with 460???

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Old 08-29-2010, 06:30 PM
FrankGRUN FrankGRUN is online now
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Custom hot air source for CAI for 82 E350 with 460???

I have a 1982 Born Free Class C lMotorhome built on a Ford E350 cutaway chassis with 460 engine, C6 transmission and GearVendors Overdrive. I'm replacing the Holley 4180 carb and stock intake with an Edelbrock 1411 carb and 2166 manifold. I'm also adding a duel fuel system using a Impco A2-46 right angle adaptor to mount an Impco 425 mixer atop the carb. I have another 90 degree adaptor to the top of the 425 going to a 4" hose and then to a Spectre inline air cleaner. The online air cleaner housing has a 4" inlet tube flange.

Now for my problem! I'm trying to fabricate a high flow cold air intake for this system. The original air intake on the 82 E350 uses a 3.5" square tube from the area of the front grill, just below the battery holder. This goes to a hot air switching valve (vacuum operated) that takes heated air from the heat exchanger mounted over the exhaust pipe. When operating, the flapper valve closes off the cold air intake. The cross-section of this air valve is rectangular with dimensions of about 3" wide by 2" tall, roughly 4.5" long. In the stock install, the end of this flapper valve output is connected by rectangular flex hose to the inlet of the stock air cleaner.

I have found (in my junkyard explorations) a different air inlet on the first of the EFI installations on this same E350 body style. The air inlet is mounted in the same position under the battery tray taking air from the front grill area. But here the intake tube is a simple 4" ID round tube that couples into a plastic molded right angle part that ends in a 4" flex hose (round) that then goes on to the EFI intake system. The 4" outlet is simply vertical at it's outlet and looks ideal to go to a 4" right angle hose and into my new online air cleaner. HOWEVER, there is no provision for the heated air inlet.

I'm located in Southern California, so heated air probably isn't critical for daily operation, but I do intend to traverse the USA with this beast and colder climates will definitely be seen! So my problem is how to fabricate a hot air valve to accomplish the purpose of the stock unit?? I've seen hot air inlets from Audi and other German vehicles that could easily be used to open and close the hot air inlet, but closing off the cold air intake seems much more difficult.

Any ideas on how to accomplish this would be greatly appreciated as well as any discussion about how important this function really is!
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Old 09-13-2010, 04:02 AM
FrankGRUN FrankGRUN is online now
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I've been rather disappointed with the lack of response to this posting! Nonetheless, I am proceeding and will offer the following update for those faced with a similar project problem.

I've walked my local (SoCal) Pick&Pull junkyard searching for larger snorkel/heat riser valve assemblies. The results have been rather underwhelming! There are relatively few carbed systems still present in the self service yards in Southern California! The largest Ford Snorkel inlet system I could find was on a carburated LTD. The inlet cross-section of the cold air collector is 2.2 inches tall by 3.5 inches wide for an inlet area of 7.78 sq. in. The diameter of the hot air inlet was 2.0 inches for an area of 3.14 sq. in, or less than half the cold air cross-section. I found a stripped '68 Lincoln Mark ?? that no longer sported an air cleaner, but had a heat riser pipe that was 2.65 inches ID suggesting a hot air inlet of around 5.56 sq. in. No way to verify the cold air inlet area.

The largest GM inlet snorkel I could find was on a carbed Cadillac engine and the cold air inlet measures 1.56 inches high by 5.13 inches wide for a cold air inlet of 8.05 sq. in. The hot air inlet pipe was 1.5 inches in diameter for an inlet area of 1.77 sq. in. Surprisingly, the cold air inlet area is nearly the same as the large Ford, but the hot air inlet is just about half . I found many other GM air cleaner/snorkel configurations, but all the cold air inlet cross-sections were much smaller that this unit and the hot air inlets were all the smaller 1.5 inch diameter.

I did find one interesting anomaly however. This was a lower airbox section with a cold air inlet molded into the plastic structure. The only identification decal suggested that the unit was of AC/Delco manufacture. The flapper valve was metal and was vacuum actuated. The hot air inlet was a metal tube and flange sealed and mounted to the airbox. Here the cold air inlet measured 2.0 inches high by 5.79 inches wide for a cross-sectional area of 11.58 sq. in. and the hot air inlet was 2.0 inches in diameter. Upon close inspection, it appears that this flapper valve can be ported to the Ford E350 EFi air duct I described in the original post. With some minor modification of flapper valve design it can be made to seal the hot air port that can be adapted to the Ford duct. The hot air inlet would be quite close to the original hot air inlet used on the '82 snorkel system. With a metal extension of the flapper valve surface, the effective cold air inlet area is nearly twice the original '82 inlet area. I will now proceed to build a prototype of this ported GM to Ford E350 EFi duct with integrated hot air riser or pre-heater system.

I'm still confused as to why the factory hot air inlet systems have such smaller areas than the cold air inlets. BTW, all the Mopar systems I found were smaller than the Ford and GM units described here. Other comments still solicited!
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