Plastic And So-Called Phenolic Carb Spacers

Fuel and Air Systems

  1. 12many

    12many Well-Known Member

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    Looking for past or present users reviews or findings of any brand of specifically plastic, polymer, or plastic looking but supposed phenolic carb spacers, preferably interested in the 1/2” 4-hole versions but input from users of open as well as thicker versions are useful as well. What intake was/is used, heat crossover open or blocked, Air Gap style DP and single planes etc. Seeing and reading some used with no issues, others had melting and warping. Problem is in most cases the users haven’t divulged specific details of the intake used and/or whether a heat crossover is operational.
    A few pics found from searches:

    E212A487-34C0-4E65-BE89-FF74CD830D25.jpeg

    FF262C73-718D-42D0-9AB4-8866DA114526.jpeg

    Just running an aluminum or using the wood/fIber is the obvious but....So now that that is out of the way, plastic users what say you?
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2022
  2. Righty Tighty

    Righty Tighty FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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    :popcorn:
     
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    • 413

      413 Well-Known Member

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      Wood spacer story. Worked great.

      A Freind was going rounds at the drags. And after he won and in the pits he opened the hood, I felt the carb and it wasn’t hot like the rest of the engine. I could leave my hand on it.

      Car has 450 cube BB iron heads, alum intake, headers with mufflers, unknown if intake heat passage was blocked. Flat hood with no hood scoop.
       
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      • Oldiron440

        Oldiron440 Well-Known Member

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        I've been using plastic for years and have never had a problem. They're usually good for a few numbers both in torque and horse power no matter what manifold type.
         
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        • Topless69

          Topless69 Well-Known Member

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          I’m interested in this as well as I was planning on using a 1/2” phenolic spacer. I’d use a 1 inch spacer if there was room. I’ve never seen anyone report melting like this – what brand is this spacer?
           
        • 12many

          12many Well-Known Member

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          The pics I posted I believe are Allstar brand. I saw some other pics of a plastic type 1” with tapered 4-holes that was melted as well but can’t recall where I saw.
           
        • Topless69

          Topless69 Well-Known Member

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          Yeah, I could see the star in the pic but couldn’t quite read the name.
          Some companies must be using cheap stuff because hi-temp composites have been around a long time and some of them are very tough. I hope a lot of people chime in on this, I’d like to see the junk that melts exposed.
           
        • Oldiron440

          Oldiron440 Well-Known Member

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          Just more Chinese parts I suppose...
           
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          • GTX JOHN

            GTX JOHN FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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            I have been running the spacers for years and never an issue.
            Of course I run name brand stuff and not the cheap Chinese
            Knock Off Junk! Heat risers are blocked and all my stuff is in Race
            Cars ( Even the daily drivers ). It is plenty HOT here in So Nevada.
             
            Last edited: Mar 13, 2022
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            • mopardude318

              mopardude318 Well-Known Member

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              I have for a couple years now use a 1” thick laminated wood open spacer on everything thing I can.

              I used one on my stock stroke 360 with an Air Gap manifold.

              Here’s a picture of one on a supercharged 408. I’m turning this blower a little too fast because it’s too small for a 408, so I’m experiencing a little more hotter intake temperatures, the blower is like an oven, Using a 1” thick wood open spacer really keeps the heat away from the carburetor.
              After driving, and putting my hand on the blower, it’s hot. When I touch the carburetor, it’s luke warm.
              I believe it really helps. After Driving around all day, I can park it for a while, then come back and it fires right up. No heat soak, or the need to crank and crank until it starts.

              8683327D-F85B-44A3-90D2-C1576DE62416.jpeg
               
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              • MopaR&D

                MopaR&D Nerd Member

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                I had an Allstar 1" 4-hole spacer on my truck that melted after some miles. 360 with Performer intake but heat crossover blocked. I went to pull the carb and noticed there were DEEP indentations on the underside where it mated to the manifold and the gasket had melted into the plastic (tore off and left fibers behind embedded in the plastic). I left a bad review on Summit (long past the return/exchange time) then went to a local speed shop and got an Edelbrock one. Been doing fine ever since and that was about a year ago, maybe more.

                I've used many plastic/phenolic spacers in the past but they were always Edelbrock or another quality brand that makes carbs/intakes, tried to cheap out that one time and it bit me!

                I will say I've been running a 1/2" wood fiber spacer on my Duster for 4+ years now and it works great although last time I pulled the carb I noticed the spacer was a bit discolored where it's exposed to fuel. I do run regular E10 gas so the ethanol might have something to do with it but I'll keep an eye on it.
                 
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                • mario03srt

                  mario03srt Well-Known Member

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                  All,

                  My builder who raced and built NHRA Stock Eliminator engines, would not allow me to have a phenolic spacer on my build. He said he has seen many melt and distort to the point of effecting engine/carb operation. Went with the ol' 1" aluminum.

                  FYI,
                  Marion
                   
                • DrCharles

                  DrCharles Well-Known Member

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                  Aluminum conducts heat very well, especially compared to phenolic or wood... if you're trying to keep heat out of the carb, that wouldn't be the best choice.
                   
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                  • volaredon

                    volaredon Well-Known Member

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                    I just bought a phenolic spacer for a BBD geared towards Super Six applications (as he had advertised, and thats what its being used with) Got it on Ebay, I saw them advertised for sale either here or the /6 site, dont remember which. Well see how that works here shortly. I did have to enlarge the holes slightly, to get it to slide over the studs on the intake.
                    I do have a couple of other some sort of plastic 4 barrel spacers here new in package, dont remember the brand, but the packaging is red if that helps ID...
                    If I go with the AFB on my Fury Im gonna use one. and try it. The bane of AFBs for me has always been percolation and hard hot starts, fuel boiling out of the bowls when shut off.
                    Phenolic must be an ok insulator, that was the selling point of the TQ, right? Yeah I know, they sometimes warped.
                    I looked into buying a 12X12 or so piece of solid 1/2" phenolic plastic (thinking of making my own spacer) and it is crazy expensive. I did make one out of wood (oak) once/ and yeah it worked.
                     
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