View Full Version : Water-heated carburetor spacer

11-18-2014, 05:34 PM
I saw this water-heated carburetor spacer this morning on e-bay. It was labeled as "1963-1964 OEM Ford Mustang Falcon V8 260 2V Carburetor Spacer C2OE-9A589-E".


That made me curious, so I looked around and found this:

This spacer must be specific to a 1962 Fairlane. The 260 was introduced in mid-1962 and the intake manifold must have been redesigned for 1963.

The intake manifold that I have on my engine was an e-bay purchase that was said to be an “Original intake manifold off a 1963 Ford 260, casting C30E-9425”, and it does not have anywhere to attach the water inlet that is on that spacer. It also has a PCV valve rather than a draft tube.

The parts diagram shows that the engine could be had with either a PCV valve or draft tube. Was having one or the other determined by its destination market, or by date of manufacture?

I wonder why the water heated carburetor idea only lasted one year.

Was it prone to leaks?

Was the primary reason for the the water passage to heat the carburetor quicker on a cold morning, or would it also keep the carburetor cooler than it would otherwise be while sitting on a hot engine?

11-19-2014, 09:52 AM
That's a first for me to see it enter/exit directly back into the intake.

I helped my dad rebuild our '62 Fairlane with 260 in 1975 (I was 15 at the time), but it was before digital pictures, so we took no pictures. And if it had this I don't recall.

The truth though is that water-heated carb spacers were around long after that. They just ran the heater hose to the heater core through the base of the carburetor. You can see the 4bbl plate is 1969. But I think it lasted a long time after. It was done to combat carb-plate icing, which in some states (like ours) is brutal if you don't have some method to keep that from happening. Ice would form (air entering the carb got colder as it passes the venturi) and would freeze the throttle-plate in place. Not good.

4346 4347 4348

These did tend to corrode. And they also tended to "heat" the carb and fuel all the time - when in fact you really want a carb to be cooler rather than hotter. This sort of worked against that principle.

At some point they switched to air-cleaner snorkel tube heat-feeds, which used thermostatic flaps in the end of the snorkel to close off the cold air intake and pull hot air off the exhaust manifold to do this anti-icing thing. This also allowed the thing to switch over from hot back to cold when things finally warmed up and icing, that day, wasn't a potential anymore. You can see the vacuum feed to the snorkel and the pickup tube going down to the exhaust manifold in this pic.


Beginning in about the start of the 60's the EPA (probably with some push from the California branch) was trying to get the pollution thing under control. I don't have all the ins and outs on this (I was a kid then) but I do know by 1966 California had some of the craziest smog requirements anywhere (and still do), so for sure they were 100% PCV. They also had the Thermactor system that pumped air into the exhaust on decel to burn the unburnt hydrocarbons. Sort of like adding oxygen to a cutting torch - it gets hotter when you do.

I'm sure some states claimed it was their God-given right to pollute and didn't want no PCV garbage on their cars. Silly, I know (and may be totally fabricated on my part). But I'd guess the answer to your question is yes - in the beginning it was probably a regional thing to mandate PCV until they ran out of draft-tube parts and switched over everywhere.

And that's the way it was...

11-19-2014, 06:36 PM
Hello, Roger.

Thanks for the reply. That is interesting about how they dropped the water heated spacer in favor of the air cleaner snorkel idea.


I couldn't get my snorkel flap valve to work. The spring was in place and everything looked correct, but I put the snorkel in the freezer and the flap valve never moved and stayed in the closed position.

It is also interesting that while they put the snorkel-heater on the standard V-8, Ford did not think that it was important enough to put it on the Sprint V-8.

It is also interesting that they dropped the idea of a water-heated carburetor on the V-8 but evidently stayed with the idea on the six cylinders. I saw this six cylinder water heated space on e-bay, but this one has "plugs". It is called "1963-65 Ford Falcon 6 cyl. Carburator Spacer with Plugs C3UZ-9A589-B". Were the plugs to block off the hot water passage?



11-20-2014, 09:55 AM

If you have a snorkel flap on your Falcon - it didn't come with it. I'm not sure when they began, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't that early. I think that was an early 70's 'thing'.

They've done the snorkel flap a few ways - one is with a spring (like you show) and the other was is with a vacuum sensor/valve in the intake feeding to a vacuum-operated flap in the snorkel. The spring method depended on ambient air temp and the vacuum method operated from engine temp, which was better. The spring, as most springs do, eventually would fail to pull the flap up and close off the end of the snorkel.

The Sprint V8 was considered a "performance motor" and didn't get some of the same treatments the "daily driver" might get. It wasn't until it was mandated for smog reasons that Ford even had to put smog stuff, I'm sure, even onto SOHC motors - if they went into a street car. :rain:

11-20-2014, 06:16 PM
Dennis, If you have a snorkel flap on your Falcon - it didn't come with it. I'm not sure when they began, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't that early. I think that was an early 70's 'thing'."

Hello, Roger.

The six cylinder's did not have the flap valve, but I believe that the small block eights had them by 1963. See the following 1963-1965 parts diagram showing a heat chimney going to the snorkel for the 221, 260, and 289:

My car had an edelbrock aluminum intake manifold and a four barrel carburetor on when I bought it. To put everything back to somewhat original I bought an intake manifold, valve covers, carburetor, carburetor linkage, and air cleaner cover off e-bay. The valve covers and chimney came from a 1963 Fairlane with a 289. The e-bay description said "“These were stored in a friends shop for 40 plus years. These were originally installed on a 260 V8 in a 1963 Fairlane. They were removed to customize the motor with aftermarket air cleaner and valve covers. This was done 40+ years ago! So....these covers are in exceptional original condition and include the super rare exhaust manifold heat riser. One end of the heat riser attaches to the exhaust manifold and the other end attaches to the air cleaner. These are not reproductions, they are original 1963 items. Perfect for any 1963 Ford V8 restoration.” Note: The gold color indicates that the valve covers actually came off a 289. The valve covers on a 260 were Ford Red. I had to get valve covers that did not have a hole for the oil cap because the 1963 260 had the oil cap on a tube coming up from the timing chain cover.


For air cleaner cover colors see: http://www.falconparts.com/ford-falcon-auto-parts/pc/Ford-Falcon-Engine-Colors-d15.htm
This shows that in 1963 a 260 was Ford Red and a 289 was gold. In 1964 the 260 had a blue air cleaner cover.

The air cleaner cover that I bought was said to be from a 1963 260. Note that the air cleaner is Ford Red and has a black snorkel and heat riser inlet.



11-24-2014, 08:51 AM
Well.. I learn something new every day. So not only did the car come with the heat riser it had a water-heated carb as well? Interesting.

But the more I think about it the stock intake manifolds also have a heat transfer beneath the carburetor to get the carb base warmed faster. It uses exhaust gases from the cylinder heads to feed to a plate under the intake manifold. And they too had the snorkel - so it was a dual "get the carb hot" system.


I never really understood this system (never really though much about it until now), but it would seem from a cursory observation and history that:

1) these always got clogged up. I've never pulled a set of heads that didn't have those associated ports clogged.
2) the exhaust gases had to go somewhere and it seems they has to exit the little "drain looking thing" on the bottom of the heat shield. Meaning you were pumping exhaust gases into the motor.
3) most aftermarket intakes negate this
4) heat on a carb - all the time - is never good.

The things that make you go 'hmm'

11-25-2014, 09:26 PM
So not only did the car come with the heat riser it had a water-heated carb as well? Interesting.

Hello, Roger.

Well, the water heated V-8 carburetor seems to have been specific to 1962 Fairlanes, but the 1963 non-Sprint V-8 Falcons had the heater chimney to the air cleaner snorkel and that exhaust crossover on the intake manifold. It is interesting the efforts that the Ford engineers took to try to make sure that the carburetor would stay warm. This is probably because gasoline volatilizes at 140 degrees (I think). It seems like a miracle to me that a cold engine and carburetor even work.

Here is a related puzzle. My shop manual includes 1963 supplement that addresses the 260 and 289 V-8. (The 289 was available in the 1963 Comet but not the Falcon.) The shop manual shows that the carburetor automatic choke had two heater tubes. One tube came from behind the air cleaner down to a heater box on the exhaust manifold. The other tube went from the manifold heater to the automatic choke.


Here is the air outlet on the bottom of my 1963 air cleaner. (I had to cap it off. See explanation below.)


Here is the heater box on my manifold. One tube comes up from it to the automatic choke, but there is no hole on the front side for the air filter inlet tube to connect to. Where does the inlet air come from??


My exhaust manifold heater box draws air from the bottom through a little pressed-in sintered filter. The filter is the little circle near the center of the photo and to the right of the starter motor. This arrangement just uses one choke heater tube, not two tubes as is shown in the service manual.


It has me puzzled as to why my manifold does not match what is in the service manual. I do not know if some Falcons came that way with a sintered filter and no tube connection for the air cleaner, or if maybe my manifold came off another car, maybe 1962 Fairlane?