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Better to disconnect (block) the vacuum pipe to the vacuum actuator on the filter body. Doubt if you need a warm air intake unless you drive in the depths of winter.
There should be two actuators, one that shuts off the intake when the engine stops and one for the warm air - make sure you disconnect the right one
You could bolt a flat plate in the heater’s place, but why? The heater is used to help atomize the fuel from a crab. It is also fed power through coolant temp sensors. Been a while since I traced the power supply, but I think it is active only when cold. This was done to replace the earlier style manifolds that had the intake bolted to the exhaust with a temperature controlled flap to allow intake warming.