In the process of cleaning up the engine on the rat project I discovered the metal heat riser tube from the intake manifold to the choke had completely rusted off and there is also a small hole rusted through the plate attaching to tube to the manifold. (This is a 351 M). Here are a couple shots to get you oriented. My questions are 1) will the choke operate at all well without this heat tube, 2) What is below this plate - and do I need to be concerned about debris getting down those holes if I just left it as is (The bolts are rusted in and I'd just as soon leave them alone if at all possible) and 3) if the choke is pretty well toast without the heat tube, am I better off just tossing the whole automatic choke and hooking up a cable to operate it manually - I'll only be driving this car during nice warm weather anyhow - so the choke should only have to operate occasionally.
The first shot is looking across the manifold toward the passenger side with the heat riser plate just above the taped over intake holes. The second shot is a close up of the plate.