Air Cleaners (1969 Q-Code)

During the 1969 and 1970 model years there were two basic air cleaners available for your Cobra Jet Mustang: Q-code cars received an enclosed air cleaner with a chromed lid (this same lid was also used on Boss 302 Mustangs), and R-code cars received a special "ram air" air cleaner with an air scoop that protruded through a hole in the hood. The ram air setup came to be known as the "shaker" air cleaner because of the way the scoop would shake in response to changes in engine RPMs. Goose the throttle and watch it move!

This page describes the Q-code (non-ram air) air cleaners used during the 1969 model year. There were two Q-code air cleaners used in 1969 due to a mid-year production change. The different air cleaners, their service part numbers, their build (broadcast) sheet codes, and their measurements (as found in the 1975 Master Parts Catalog) are described in this table:

Year & Application Service Part Number Build Sheet Code Measurements
1969 Q-code
(before 17 February 1969)
C8OZ-9600-C 80 C 16.79" x 3.66"
1969 Q-code
(after 17 February 1969)
C9OZ-9600-H 90 H 16.79" x 3.66"

1969 Q-code Air Cleaner Part Numbers

I believe the measurements are for the complete air cleaner assembly, not the base alone. I could use some help to confirm actual base measurements.

The 1969 model year saw a running change that took place around 17 February 1969, when the air cleaner base was changed because of an issue with the automatic choke coming off too soon, causing a driveability and emissions problem. Ford added a vent to the heat tube for the choke to help keep the choke on longer. The choke tube was redesigned to include a tee and a hose was added to connect the tube to a thermal vent mounted in the bowl of the air cleaner. Air cleaners with the thermal vents also had a small strap spot welded to the outer edge of the bowl to support the hose. The change was described in TSB #114, Article 1780, issued on 2 May 1969.

The 1969 base used for Q-code cars has a metal elbow in front that's used to link the base to the breather that mounts on top of the driver's side valve cover via a rubber hose. Here's a shot of the 1969 Q-code air cleaner. Note the various stickers. I'm not sure if the "COBRA" sticker is original since I've also seen cars with a sticker that reads "COBRA JET" instead of "COBRA".

1969 Q-code Air Cleaner

Here is an example of an early-style, 1969 Q-code base. Note the vacuum-operated door on the side of the air cleaner, which opened under low-vacuum, hard throttle situations to let more air in. Though not shown in this picture, the inner raised center of the air cleaner base was originally painted flat or semi-gloss black. Note, too, the square nuts used to mount the air cleaner snorkel. The base was painted the same Ford Dark Corporate Blue as other engine components.

1969 Q-code Air Cleaner Base, Top 1969 Q-code Air Cleaner Base, Bottom
1969 Q-code base (early), top 1969 Q-code base (early), bottom
1969 Q-code Air Cleaner Lid, Top 1969 Q-code Air Cleaner Lid, Bottom
1969 Q-code lid, top 1969 Q-code lid, bottom

I've seen different stickers used on these lids -- one says "COBRA", the other says "COBRA JET". I'm not sure if this is a model year difference or a repro vs. original thing. Additional insights would be welcomed!

Here is a detailed picture of the door:

1969 Q-code Air Cleaner Door

Thanks to Jim Linton and Tom Cherry for the pictures used on this page.