By creating more space between the carburetor and intake manifold, the carburetor spacer takes vehicle performance up a notch. These spacers are designed to keep the carburetor from getting too hot. As a result, they keep air and fuel, two important elements for combustion, much cooler. These spacers can increase the power generated by the engine and maximize fuel efficiency. With these benefits, spacers are used as a tuning device for gas and diesel vehicles.
Types of carburetor spacer based on material used
Note: When using the heat transfer rating as a guide, remember that those with lower numbers have better insulating properties against heat.
Wood. Carburetor spacers that are made of wood have good insulating capacities. They have a rated thermal conductivity of 1.02. The good thing about wood is that it's fairly easy to mold and shape. It's also less expensive compared to other materials. However, it can easily absorb liquid, which means that it may not be able to resist fuel and chemicals. As an effect, spacers made of this material tend to warp. They may also be prone to vacuum leaks when spacers develop porous qualities. Since they may wear out faster, these should be checked regularly.
Phenolic resin. Phenolic resin has a 2.01 thermal conductivity rating. While wood makes a better insulating material, phenolic resin also has its upsides. This material has high resistance to chemicals and fuel. Phenolic resin carburetor spacers are known to be more durable than wood.
Polymer (plastic). Polymer isn't the best insulating material there is. It has a rated thermal conductivity of 3.90. Its main advantage as a carburetor spacer material is that it's not as expensive as phenolic resin. Some polymers are crafted or designed to have better insulating properties, almost as good as phenolic resin. Those looking for a cheaper spacer option should consider this.
Aluminum. Aluminum has a rated thermal conductivity of 1, 665.1. With this rating, it seems that this material has weaker insulating capabilities. In spite of this bit of disadvantage, what makes aluminum a good spacer material is its high strength and durability. Some spacers are even manufactured from aircraft-grade billet aluminum or die cast aluminum. Another good thing about this material is that it can be modified for tuning the intake charge. Aluminum carburetor spacers are widely accepted in the racing circuit.
Types of carburetor spacer based on design
Four-hole plenum spacers. These spacers can help create torque by increasing the air-fuel charge's velocity. For cars and trucks, polymer and phenolic spacers make great choices. They provide the needed insulating effect and possess much-desired durability.
Open plenum spacers. These spacers squeeze out more horsepower from the engine by expanding the intake manifold's total area. These are often used in racing applications. For spacers that won't be modified, polymer and phenolic resin are highly recommended. When reshaping or stacking spacers, the best options would be spacers made of aluminum and wood.
More carburetor spacer tips:
- Look for spacers with anodized finish. These have better resistance to corrosion.
- Use spacers that are specifically designed for your vehicle and for the intended application. Spacers, depending on the design, may increase power or build torque.
- Some spacers may not be used on streets or highways but may be used on tracks for race vehicles. Take note of these specifications.some spacers require a bit of modification.