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Fresh air / inner fender wire duct

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I have a 1976 280z. Bought it as a shell and I am redoing everything. Under the dash, in the upper kick panel area on both sides it appears there are round openings that have been tack welded or riveted and sealed shut.  





I also have openings to passageways in both inner fenders up by the core support. I ran some fish tape down the passageways and I'm wondering if they connect to these openings that are blocked off. It seemed like they would connect. I would love to potentially use these to run wires through for a cleaner look.  




Can anyone shed some light on this? Maybe these were fresh air intakes? If so, how were they controlled? Are the block off plates factory or added by a previous owner? If I open them up, will I get a large amount of air coming in while driving at speed?






Edited by fusion
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I'm not near my car right now and don't remember the footwell area well enough to 100% confirm that's the correct spot, but I believe you're correct. The oblong holes in the engine bay are fed by ducts like these:



They take air from the round holes on the core support and feed those ducts. Then there would be a round knob at the bottom of the dash to control a flapper on the blocked off round holes in the interior. That mechanism looks like this:



I had been planning on doing the same thing, and I think others have run wires that way in the past. 

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