When it comes to making your ride look better, the way your engine looks can determine whether your hood is up or down at local car shows. There’s nothing worse than having a gorgeous looking car and telling people that you can’t open the hood – because you know it will be a disappointment.
Just like putting a nice set of wheels on almost any car can improve its looks, installing a few engine goodies can drastically change the way your engine looks. Sometimes a little paint on a couple of parts, new valve covers, and a new air cleaner can take your engine from blah to more than acceptable, and you’ll want to open that hood and show it off.
Proform Parts has been expanding its line of engine dress-up parts for popular Ford and GM vehicles lately, and adding to the new Slant Edge valve covers is a new line of matching Slant Edge air cleaners. The smooth, no-visible-hardware aspect of the air cleaner lid is a great look.
We wanted to see how these air cleaners mount to your carburetor, and address some concerns with alignment and installation, so we decided to install one on our 1966 Ford Fairlane. Because the air cleaner lid is threaded onto the stud, alignment will require some patience, but Proform makes installation simple, and a couple helpful hints will have you finished in no time.
Booth Platt, Special Projects Manager at Proform Parts, said, “Air cleaners haven’t exactly been a hotbed of innovation since their inception, other than the actual filter elements which have evolved significantly. We asked the question, ‘How can we make a different air cleaner that people will like?’ and went through multiple iterations.”
Platt states that due to obstacles like sealing, attachment, and manufacturing considerations, these multiple iterations left a lot of paper and prototypes on the drawing room floor. Platt said, “Some of the highlights included a half moon bead in the casting that runs around the underside of the perimeter of the lid that allows the lid to seal nicely to the filter.”
“The spin down attachment point for the lid took some creative thinking to come up with, and then making it correctly so that it could be die-cast easily. When you have a thick attachment boss surrounded by thin material, die-casting cooling problems can occur, and again it took creative thinking by our engineering team to overcome this. Lastly, there are the spectacular finishes that customers expect from parts that bear the Bowtie or Blue Oval,” he said.
The result is a great looking air cleaner, without that dreaded nut in the center, providing a clean overall look. Installation was a breeze on our Ford, and it sure dressed up the looks once it was installed.
To install, Proform suggests installing the base and the filter first to get a height measurement. The filters are paper, but are a standard size that can be replaced with 13-inch K&N filters for Ford, and 14-inch filters for Chevrolet applications. For those how want a taller filter, this can be accommodated with a longer center stud on the carburetor.
The main focus of this install is that you want to make sure the center stud doesn’t come in contact with the top of the lid. Once you measure your stud length, it can be adjusted slightly by turning it further, and both short and longer studs are included to fit various applications. Because the studs have a fine thread, the filter lid can be rotated to secure it and seal to the air filter while aligning it.
With the air cleaner installed, there’s another bright idea that adds a great look to your engine, and with the unique mounting system you won’t have that unsightly nut in the center. The Slant Edge air cleaners are available for Chevrolet and Ford applications, and are both officially licensed products to go along with Proforms matching Slant Edge valve covers. You can find these air cleaners at the Proform Parts website, and by viewing either new products, or by specific application.