273 Commando Air Cleaners and Valve Covers

Early A-Body Discussions

  1. Overdrive

    Overdrive Entropy User

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    Are there other air cleaner lids that are the same as the 273 commando air cleaners? I am trying to find one for my '65 Valiant, and the chrome Commando air cleaners are a little more money than I have to spend on one. Are there any differences (early to late 273 Commando). Also, would they flow enough for a 360? I'm trying to make my engine look like a 273.

    Also, are the Commando Valve covers the same as a regular 273 cover except for the aluminum trim?
     
  2. Jim Lusk

    Jim Lusk Well-Known Member

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    The same air cleaner was used on some big blocks, but was painted black. There is no repop of the correct silk screened aluminum applique. There were also some with the nipple for the valve cover breather and some without. Every one I have owned had the nipple, but that's probably because I am in California.

    The valve covers are close, but they also had a special wire holder by the carb on the passenger side cover. 65 and 66 used the same covers. 67 was the first year of the grommet for the PCV valve.
     
  3. jahsh

    jahsh Well-Known Member

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    I have also seen some early /6 motors with the same air cleaner.

    The thing I always have had issue with is that the air cleaner never seems to fit with a high rise manifold, so if you are building a stout 360, it could be difficult dealing with hood clearance.
     
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    • Jim Lusk

      Jim Lusk Well-Known Member

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      Yes, some slants had the same lid, but the base is obviously different.
       
    • 65Val

      65Val Average Length Member

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      I have to agree with Jim on most of what he said. Yes, the same air cleaner,albeit, black instead of chrome came on some early big blocks. I had a '66 Charger 383 that had a black one. The slant 6 air cleaner used the same top cover, but the lower plate had the smaller opening for a one barrell carb. The nipple was used on C.A.P. cars.
      The 2 bbl valve covers had the spark plug wire holders "welded" to the valve cover itself and the Commando ones had them on the fins. If you were careful, you could remove the holders on the 2bbl ones,paint them wrinkle black and glue the aluminum fins on. Regarding the different years of Commando covers, they do differ from year to year.....

      1965 - "stove pipes" on top for PCV and breather;3 small wiring holders on
      the pass.side cover; plug wires used individual plastic grommets for
      retention in the fins
      1966 - stove pipes on top for PCV and breather;2 small and 1 large wire
      holder on pass side cover;individual grommets for wires
      1967 - 1 stove pipe for breather and rubber grommet for PCV;2 small and
      and 1 large wire holders on pass side;fins had slots between holes for
      using plastic double wire holders.

      Hope this helps...
       
    • cavemanmoron

      cavemanmoron Well-Known Member

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      If your going to use a newer carb, the air cleaner base won't fit.

      I had an old small "Universal" 10 inch {Or maybe it was 9 inch?}
      ai cleaner, and used the base from that.

      For the air filter, I drove the car to Advance Auto Parts store,
      and took the base, and top inside. I found a filter that fit,
      on the second try. {Fit some kind of Ford by the box description}

      My top, I bought on Ebay, it was from a Slant 6 engine;
      someone had had it chromed over the years past. :)

      [​IMG]
       
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      • moparlee

        moparlee 64 Valiant

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        1965 two barrell air cleaner top and bottom off a 65 satellite 273 pcvolk@comcast.net

        Not sure if this helps or not, but it's was in the forsale deal in Moparts.

        Lee
         
      • 65s

        65s Well-Known Member

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        You can use any base plate (Mr.Gasket for example) with the chrome upper and just use a low profile air filter which will make the chrome upper drop down around your carburetor, thereby allowing hood clearance if you have an aftermarket carb or intake manifold that's a little too high.
         
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        • dart4forte

          dart4forte FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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          The 273 aircleaner is actually smaller in diameter than the big block aircleaners if you are talking about the re-bop unsilanced aircleanerl. The base is also smaller in diameter to fit the smaller AFB. If I'm not mistaken the aircleaner base on the D/Dart was modified to fit the Holley carb.
           
        • Jim Lusk

          Jim Lusk Well-Known Member

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          No, we're not talking about the 68-69 unsilenced air cleaner. The black one was used on mid-60s big blocks (the 64 300K I had used that air cleaner since it was a base model with the 360hp single four barrel motor). The D/Dart used a completely different air cleaner of unknown origin.
           
        • Overdrive

          Overdrive Entropy User

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          Height might be a problem for me. I was hoping to use a Thermoquad on a Mopar Performance M1 single plane. That will likely put me into the hood. I am tossing around the idea of using a repro '65 Hemi S/S scoop, so cutting my not so nice hood is an option if I just need an extra inch or two. As for lids, I have 3 or 4 '65 slant six tops I can use! I thought they looked similar! I wasn't sure if they were the same or not. I could perhaps section one to make it lower. As for a base, I don't know. Perhaps some sort of drop base that can fit over the gi-normous thermoquad?
           
        • 65dartman

          65dartman Active Member

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          I am using all the Hipo 273 stuff on my 360 in my 65, just find an aftermarket base for the air cleaner just as some of the other people mentioned. Works fine! I'd post a pic, but I haven't figured that part out yet! :sad:
           
        • dart4forte

          dart4forte FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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          My assumption is wrong, yes the aircleaner is pretty much the same as the black claeaners used in the mid 60's. The D/Dart however used the 273 aircleaner with a modified base. I say that because we a have a local fella here in town that owns an original D/Dart
           
        • Overdrive

          Overdrive Entropy User

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          So, the filter element for the HP 273 should be the same as a slant six then, assuming the lid is the same? The listings i found for slant six application show it as being 8" O.D., 6.47" I.D. 3.00" tall. Do these dimensions sound right? Oh, and only flowing 90 CFM... that for sure is no good for any performance engine!

          Anybody recall what filter part # to use for a 273HP air filter?
           
        • '64 Cuda

          '64 Cuda Well-Known Member

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          I remember long ago we put a 273 Commando chrome air cleaner top on my moms '65 slant six. It fit the element perfectly but was larger in diameter so it allowed air in more easily around the bottom. Gave the engine that "WAAAAAAAA..." sound when accelerating, like when you turn an air cleaner lid upsid down. Eliminated the "silencing" of the air cleaner design. I'm sure it flowed more than 90 cfm that way.

          :burnout:
           
        • cavemanmoron

          cavemanmoron Well-Known Member

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          Nope the element is not the same,
          from what I recall.

          If I recall correctly; to use the Edelbrock carb, vs a 1965 era AFB,
          I used a 9 inch universal base. $19.99 for the whole air cleaner,
          i threw away the rest.

          4 bbl 273;
          Part Number: CA162 Fram

          2bbl 273;
          Part No. CA160 Fram

          Slant 6 225/ 170
          Part No. CA146 Fram

          The Slant 6 lid might be useable,
          with a 4bbl base. They are all small.
           
        • Overdrive

          Overdrive Entropy User

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          Does anybody have measurements of a 273 4BBl lid vs. a 225 slant six lid? (diameter, height, diameter of the "rings" on the top side, etc). I think that would get me pointed in the right direction.
           
        • dart4forte

          dart4forte FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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          I think I have a small diameter base if you need one
           
        • Overdrive

          Overdrive Entropy User

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          is it a 4bbl base? I might be interested, unfortunately, I was planning on using a thermoquad, so it may not work. I'll measure my slant six lid today and see what its dimensions are.
           
        • dart4forte

          dart4forte FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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          I'll have to take a look
           
        • Overdrive

          Overdrive Entropy User

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          I found a used Fram CA160 filter laying in the trash and tried it in my slant six lid. (I think it was a CA160... came from a '67 Polara with a 318). It seems to fit the registers good. there's around 1/4 inch clearance all the way around... kinda tight, no? If that's the same as a 273 4bbl, then that means the lids should be the same then (there are two locating grooves on the lid... an inner one for the TINY slant six filter... and an outer one about 3/4 inch or so out from the inner one). Anyhow, trying it on a thermoquad, it's going to be tight... can't really fit a drop base with a filter that small. But the TQ needs a base with a hole 5 1/8 inches in diameter.
           
        • Overdrive

          Overdrive Entropy User

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          I finally measured my slant six lid. 11" diameter on the outside edge.
           
        • ddartdude

          ddartdude Well-Known Member

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          The D/Dart air cleaner is of unknown origin. It measures 14 in diameter and is 4 5/8 high. It's nothing like the chrome one that's on the 273 Commando engine. It's more like the big block air cleaner but with a smaller center for the wing nut.
          I've attached a picture of one.

          P1010172.JPG
           
        • moparlee

          moparlee 64 Valiant

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          DDartDude,

          That's neat to know.

          Lee
           
        • Overdrive

          Overdrive Entropy User

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          D/Dart stuff is always interesting to see... I wonder what the original application for that lid was? It's got to be from some common application. I might just have to use an aftermarket air cleaner. We'll see. I'm getting my intake manifold next week, so I'll be able to try and measure.
           
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