If you’re looking into installing a throttle body spacer, there’s a good chance you’re looking for a boost in performance and fuel economy. Lucky for you, most styles have equally effective features that give you what you crave. But before you order the first spacer that catches your eye and mod your ride into a corner, be sure to take a moment to read up on them here.
How Throttle Body Spacers Work
One of the tricks car manufacturers use to increase fuel economy and power is to generate a swirling-effect or “turbulence” in the air that enters the cylinders. This thoroughly mixes oxygen and fuel molecules, allowing the air/fuel mixture to burn completely when ignited. Sadly, not all car manufacturers have this trick mastered, which can limit the horsepower, torque and MPGs of any ride. Throttle body spacers remedy this with a combination of grooves, channels and ridges machined into their internal bores. While your engine is running, air flowing through spacers hit precisely designed contours and is spun into a fuel-mixing-tornado, unlocking hidden performance and fuel economy.
What Throttle Body Spacer is Best for You?
Simply put, the best throttle body spacer is the one that fits. No, I’m not talking about picking a throttle body spacer that’s made to fit your ride. I mean, you need to be sure to do an inventory of what you already have under the hood. That’s because the most common mistake made when installing a throttle body spacer is trying to combining it with a cold air intake that barely fits as is. You see, when you install a throttle body spacer, everything attached to it will move a distance equal to its thickness. Even relocating a cold air intake with its rigid air tube ¼” out of position can translate to an intake that used to fit perfectly and now won’t line up with its mounting holes.
But you may ask, “Then how can spacers work with stock intakes?” The answer is simple—many stock intakes are made from more flexible materials and have multiple, accordion-like folds in the tube, allowing you to compress the intake to fit. If your ride already has an intake installed, pop the hood and see if your intake can be moved an inch or so and still fit in its respective spot. If you only have a ½” to spare, you shouldn’t go big and grab a 1” spacer instead. When in doubt, pick up a readily available pre-packaged cold air intake & throttle body spacer kit combo instead. That way, you can be assured your parts combination will fit just fine