Cliff. Yes, this modified water pump spacer is not cheap. However, I agree with Charlie. IMO if it works,it is well worth it!
For this entrepreneur there is significant start-up expense in getting his redesigned water pump spacer to market. Research, pattern making, foundry work, casting, finish machining, testing, advertising, etc. all spell significant investment of effort, time, and money. Financial success may only be accomplished over an extended time period.
I suspect the inventor is on the hook for a good buck and has his fingers crossed that the first 'production lot' he had made will be purchased in a timely manner.
'55-'57 'Birds have a long standing issue with under-hood operating temperature. One of the things I learned at Ford Carlisle last year (the E & F code reunion) was the change Ford made with the Phase II superchargers used on the 'Birds. Only on the 'Birds, Ford added a fuel return line from the engine compartment to the gas tank. The return line provides a constant flow of fuel from the engine compartment back to the gas tank to serve as a way to keep the under hood fuel temp down to prevent vapor lock.
Anyone with a 'Bird in the Southwest or who is participating in parades on a hot summer day will likely benefit from installing one of these improved water pump spacer designs. Unfortunately, I know several purist 'Bird owners who won't listen, let alone entertain having anything done to the engine for their 'Bird that is not 'as original'. This is in spite of various recommended mechanical 'modifications' not showing except in an engine tear-down and that suggested changes would benefit either the y-engine's mechanical performance, reliability, and/or longevity.
When I reflect on the timing chain water pump cavity baffles and the water pump impeller 'fins' that have been previously marketed to remedy the 'Birds' operating temperature problem, this entrepreneur's solution certainly seems to go at the problem in a grossly overlooked, but extremely fundamental manner.
I'm one of those that has never looked at the y-block's basic timing chain cover casting design, possible shortcomings of the sand mold casting process, or what was not done to the casting after the shake-out of the sand mold.
Considering the number of early 'Bird owners that there are, the number of 'Bird engine rebuilders who will hear about this improved spacer design, and the number of 'Bird owners who will buy into purchasing one of these, the success in marketing this improved spacer is not encouraging for the inventor. Frankly, unless a 'Bird owner has personally experienced the elevated y-block water operating temperature issue, they will not purchase the redesigned water pump spacer even if they are aware of its existence.
Ugh! The reality of the aftermarket audience.
a.k.a. Charlie Brown
near Syracuse, New York