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  1. #1
    FEP Senior Member tbirdman's Avatar
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    Default Air Cleaner Restoration

    I have two air cleaners that I would like to restore. I'm thinking of having them powder coated, as the powder coat looks to be a more durable finish than paint, and there are the two metal clips at the back of the air cleaner, one that holds the air temp sensor in and the other holds the air cleaner breather filter housing in that would probably scratch up the paint finish when they were being installed.

    My question really revolves around the 2 vacuum valves in the snorkels. I saw a prior posting on here from before where the poster was asking sort of the same question, but it never really got answered. The vacuum valves are held in place by two tabs. One slides under a metal tab in the snorkel, the other tab has an opening for a metal rivet that attaches it to the snorkel. The valves have a plastic covering that I doubt would survive the powder coating, and the valves on the 2 air cleaners I have are in pretty rough shape anyhow and should be replaced.

    Once everything is powder coated and I go to install the new vacuum valves, what is the best way to attach the valve where it was riveted? It looks like a solid rivet, but I don't think you would be able to get a rivet gun in the snorkel far enough, or would have enough height to press down on the rivet. I tried looking for a smooth head screw to use, but couldn't find anything. I tried an internet search for ideas, but there isn't a whole lot of info out there on this. I did see where someone used screws mounted with the screw heads inside the snorkel and the nuts on the outside. Did not look good.

    Here is a picture of the snorkel (a new one, in much better shape than mine). I know the rivets from the factory were a natural finish...

    Name:  Mustang snorkel 1.jpg
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    My other question (really more an observation). There seems to be a plastic piece at the front of the air cleaner housing at the bottom that is riveted in place with two rivets. Not sure what it's purpose is, but I'm guessing that the rivets will have to be drilled out and the piece removed, as it, like the vacuum valves, would not survive the powder coating...

    Name:  Air Cleaner 1.jpg
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    If they take my stapler, then I'll set the building on fire...

    85 Mustang GT

  2. #2

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    Just a thought; you could use a stainless button-head Allen screw with the nut/lock washer on the inside of the snorkel.

    That piece on the forward part of the base is rubber. Not sure exactly what its for. I left mine in place when I painted. Was worried Id destroy it if removed.

    Good luck
    84.5 GT Convertible Build Thread
    86 LX Coupe

  3. #3
    FEP Member 0F0 CBR's Avatar
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    Default

    I also wondered what the plastic piece was for on the front of the air cleaner. Being directly above the distributer cap I think it is to prevent any arcing or shorting from the plug wires to the bottom of the air cleaner.

  4. #4

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    What year is that air cleaner from? My 85 doesn't have that plastic/rubber piece on the front of it. That must be an earlier one.

    And regarding the attaching of the vacuum valves to the snorkels, you could just pop rivet them on from the outside. While it wouldn't be a solid rivet like comes from the factory, at least it would be in the rivet "family"...... it'd be a little closer to original than a nut and bolt arrangement. Although that button-head allen screw idea doesn't sound like it would look bad.

    Eventually I'm going to repaint my air cleaner and snorkels, but haven't yet decided if I'm going to remove the vacuum valves when I do it. Cross that bridge in the not-too-near future.
    1985 Mustang GT (Currently mothballed, but acquiring parts)

  5. #5
    FEP Senior Member tbirdman's Avatar
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    It's an 85 air cleaner. It only has the one air temp sensor along the outer ring and the crankcase filter, whereas the 84 and earlier air cleaners had 2 sensors I believe. Where the second one used to be there is just a plastic plug. You can see the plug there to the left of the crankcase filter holder.

    85GTGuy, not sure why yours wouldn't have the plastic piece at the front of it. I have two 85 spare air cleaners and both have them. Can you take a picture of yours and post it here?

    That sounds like a plausible explanation for the plastic (rubber?) piece 0F0 CBR, to prevent arcing off the distributor.

    I figure if I am going to restore the air cleaner, I might as well get as many new parts as I can to use in the restoration. Not all are available anymore, but I should be able to scrounge up most. The vacuum controls are pretty wasted on the one I have which is the reason I want to replace those.
    If they take my stapler, then I'll set the building on fire...

    85 Mustang GT

  6. #6

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    If there is a difference, maybe that went along with the early 5.0 Engines that were the early in the 1985 run that also had the steel clutch fan...IDK
    I had an early 85GT years ago (decades ago actually...) and remember my friend had an 85 and I was surprised they were slightly different. Not sure about the air cleaner tho, just dont remember..
    Last edited by scenarioL113; 03-10-2023 at 11:31 AM.
    1981 Capri "Black Magic" I6 (sold)
    1985 Mustang GT (sold) Oxford white T-Top
    1985.5 Mustang SVO 9L
    1986 Mustang SVO 1D

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by tbirdman View Post
    ..... 85GTGuy, not sure why yours wouldn't have the plastic piece at the front of it. I have two 85 spare air cleaners and both have them. Can you take a picture of yours and post it here?
    Yes, I can. I'll try to get it posted within the next few days.
    1985 Mustang GT (Currently mothballed, but acquiring parts)

  8. #8
    FEP Power Member qikgts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scenarioL113 View Post
    If there is a difference, maybe that went along with the early 5.0 Engines that were the early in the 1985 run that also had the steel clutch fan...IDK
    I had an early 85GT years ago (decades ago actually...) and remember my friend had an 85 and I was surprised they were slightly different. Not sure about the air cleaner tho, just dont remember..
    I have an early '85 and I believe the air cleaner housing to be original. It does not have that plastic deal on it.
    '85 GT

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