View Full Version : 51 V8 Air cleaner question

06-01-2010, 07:27 PM
I have wondered why the 'plenum' that connects the air-cleaner to the carb extends well beyond the carb. I just saw a photo of a straight 8 President engine and it had a similar arrangement. Anyone know why it was designed like this?

06-02-2010, 11:42 AM
Probably there to reduce air intake resonance. A lot of modern cars have similar chambers on the air induction system and that is what they are for.


06-02-2010, 01:47 PM
It's a silencer, yeah, kinda like one for a 3.57 Magnum!

If you have ever heard an R1 Avanti engine running flat out, you know what an UNSILENCED Air Cleaner sounds like, same as a '60's Police Interceptor!

If by any chance you are talking about the TUBE that connects some type Air Cleaners from the filter and silencer chamber to the Carb. that is strictly so the main body can be remote from the Carb. and LOWER for hood clearance. :)

06-20-2010, 10:11 AM
I understand why the main body of the filter is off to the side (bolted to the valve cover) for under hood clearance. What I don't understand is why the 'tube' (more rectangular in cross section) connecting the filter to the carb runs past the top of the carb by 6-8" on the opposite side from the air filter. I have seen other OEM filters on the same model as my cars that have a round tube that sweeps up from the carb and over at 90 degrees to connect to the filter which sets on the valve cover.


06-20-2010, 12:28 PM
OK I think I get it now, you don't have a problem, you just question the thinking of the 1940's Fuel System Engineers at Packard, Buick Studebaker and many others who must have thought that a longer transition tube than the Carb. distance would improve Air Flow and or reduce air turbulence, however I don't think they are with us now to explain! :)

06-21-2010, 06:56 PM
I think he means THIS one:


not THIS one:


Now that I look at the 2 together, it does look kinda wierd, huh? Maybe you can keep your lunch warm in the extension. :p


06-21-2010, 07:51 PM
So according to those great pics, maybe the difference is Wet or Dry, since you showed one of each.

That Dry Type really does have a strange looking transition tube like I have never seen, and that could be because MOST of the '51-'52's did have Oil Bath Air Cleaners, as we know the dustier parts of the Country got wet cleaners.

06-21-2010, 08:57 PM
The dustier areas may have GOTTEN them but they paid for them. Even the Land Cruiser got only a clock, that was optional on the other models, as a freebie. Here is the invoice from my father's '52 LC:



06-21-2010, 11:16 PM
Well your Dad paid for a LOT! That car was either ordered by the Dealer or himself as a top of the line car should be, FULLY LOADED and then some! Or maybe for new car introduction, Showroom display, Demo etc. Because that is a Dealer Invoice and not a factory Production Order, Line Build Sheet, Shipper etc. it does not detail the items and AC #'s, such as was that an optional type Air Cleaner for the Area and what type. Land Cruisers, President States and Cruisers have always came with a Clock, but that Dealer did not miss a trick to charge for. When Dad sold a Car with any profit left in it at all after the "Deal", he would most of the time GIVE the buyer a Side View Mirror at least, installed even.

06-22-2010, 08:51 AM
Both the '51 he traded and the "new" '52 had been dealer demonstrators. And you'll notice he waited until after the new '53s were out before buying, so I'm assuming he received a higher trade-in or some other kind of higher-than-normal discount on his '51. And I think there was no retail "factory invoice" in '52, as there is now. I think the "Monroney sticker" didn't start until '58. You'll also notice he received a $15 "new car prospect" (bird-dog) fee. That's equal to about $120 in 2009 money. So even tho he got charged for "everything" I think he got it back in other ways.

We were not rich, so trading within a year was unusual. But he'd had a big problem with the starter on the "old" 51. You'd sit there pulling that T-handle, attempting to start, but the Bendix kept kicking out. Really frustrating. The dealer couldn't (didn't) fix it and he had heard about the new FOLO-THRU type on the '52, so he traded, primarily for the new type starter.


06-22-2010, 09:50 AM
One of the better examples of a silencer on an air cleaner is the enormous appendage around the air intake on certain 1950s GM products. Check out the big can right behind the car's battery in this pretty 1957 Pontiac Catalina listing, for example.

And even if you don't like Pontiacs, isn't that an appealing car? How could The General so lose the ball in the high weeds a half-century later? (Of course, people were probably saying that about Studebaker as recently as 1950!)

Groan: The General managed to ship 21,343 1957 Catalina 2-door sedans at a $2,463 base price, whereas Studebaker could only push 836 1957 President 2-door sedans out the door at a lesser $2,358 MSRP. Oh, well...


06-22-2010, 02:05 PM
AND...it did 105 mph in PARK! Try THAT with one of those NEW cars! AND it appears you could change the plugs without removing half the accessories! WOW! What a revolutionary idea!


06-29-2010, 02:44 PM
Well your Dad paid for a LOT! That car was either ordered by the Dealer or himself as a top of the line car should be, FULLY LOADED and then some! Or maybe for new car introduction, Showroom display, Demo etc.

My 51 LC has most of the features listed for Johnnywiffer's Dad's 52 LC except for the windshield washer, right side mirror and factory visor. It also has the accessory SS visors/rainguards above the window in each door and somebody installed an aftermarket windshield visor. The factory build sheet only lists the climatizer, automatic trans, WSW, & deluxe wheel covers so maybe the rest was added by the dealer. It was originally shipped to Toeffner Motors in Ohio.



06-29-2010, 03:18 PM
IIRC, that plenum extending past the carb throat reduces turbulence. When an air column is moving at high speed and hits a dead-end 90-degree bend, it doesn't all make the turn, but some of it packs up and causes turbulence.

jack vines