Kaase Boss Nine
Kaase Complete Engine
Kaase Complete Engine
You've likely never uttered the terms "crate motor" and "Boss 429" in the same sentence, but you can now thanks to Jon Kaase Racing Engines. Designed for pump gas, and assembled from all new components, the displacement options are vast. One of Kaase's personal favorites is the 521, sporting a 4.30-inch forged stroker crank, hydraulic roller cam, and 771 horsepower. No, it's not cheap at $18,900, but then again, big horsepower never is. With the entire Boss Nine top end running around $7,000, Kaase figures a good wrench could build an impressive piece themselves for $10-12,000.
Big news for classic Ford enthusiasts occurred in the last year, as Jon Kaase Racing Engines released brand-new Boss 429 cylinder heads, rocker arms, valve covers, and intake manifolds. Unless you've been hiding under a rock for the last 20 years, you'll recognize Kaase's name as one of the preeminent big-block Ford builders, specializing in the mountain motors of IHRA Pro Stock. Kaase engines can be credited with more than a dozen IHRA championships, but Kaase began the hard-core phase of his Ford experience in 1977 working for one of the greats, Dyno Don Nicholson. More recently, he's received positive ink for winning the Engine Masters Challenge four times (2003, 2004, 2008, and 2009), the most recent win coming via a 400-inch Cleveland.
The genesis for the new Boss Nine parts came from Kaase's desire to build a Boss 429-based engine for the Challenge. "The problem was that original Boss parts are hugely expensive and relatively fragile as well," says Kaase. From the start, the idea was to build parts that could be used as replacements for original Boss 429 components, or used to easily build a Boss from scratch. The latter wasn't the case prior to the new parts, as a Boss block was almost a requirement in order to use the heads-if you could find them. Boss blocks utilize unique oil galleries and drain holes which match those in the Boss heads, lubricating the rocker assemblies through the rocker stands. Non-Boss 429/460 blocks don't have these features, as the rocker system on conventional 385-series big-blocks is oiled through the pushrods. While tapping into the lifter oil gallery on a standard block, and running plumbing in the lifter valley to the Boss head oil galleries is technically possible, and has been done, there are additional issues to overcome. Clearance problems with a standard block are generated by the Boss' steeply angled exhaust pushrods as well.
While we love to see concourse-restored...
While we love to see concourse-restored Boss 429s, cars like Dave Redman's are really far more interesting. The racing history on Dave's car isn't particularly high profile, and yet Dave embraced the history that it has, and restored it as such. Originally purchased by Rick Auxier, brother of notable Ford racer Sam Auxier Jr., the intent was to build a Pro Stocker. That didn't end up happening, but the car was campaigned in SS/C with sponsorship from Henry Woodfield Ford in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Later, it ran in A/Super Modified with a 351 Cleveland before being rescued by Redman. Keystone wheels and flared rear fenders were period modifications that Redman chose to retain. Cool. (Joe Spinelli photo)
A far better option are Kaase's new Boss Nine heads, which, while stock-appearing from the outside, are revised in ways that allow them to be easily used on all 429/460 blocks. It's a simple bolt-on operation. Also revised are the CNC-machined combustion chambers-now more detonation resistant, and smaller to allow reasonable compression with flat-top pistons. More important changes were incorporated into the intake- and exhaust-port designs, as well as the rocker-arm geometry. Actually, the entire rocker system is greatly improved over original, and is specific to the Kaase heads-meaning no interchange with the original Boss 429 rocker system.
All other parts do interchange however, meaning you can run a Kaase intake on stock heads, and so forth. You could even bolt stock exhaust manifolds to the new heads, whereupon the "Modified" part of us will ask, "why let 400cfm intake/300cfm exhaust flow potential go to waste?" Throw a set of headers on her, slip in a stout cam, and let it rip! In reality, there is probably a market for folks who need a set of heads for their otherwise-stock Boss 429 Mustang, but we look forward to seeing what people do with the new Kaase parts to really take advantage of their potential. How about a NASCAR Torino clone? How about a Pro Stock Maverick?
Kaase Cylinder Head
Rocker stands aren't used on the new Kaase heads as they were originally, rather the new Boss Nine head has a cast in boss that does away with stands all together. The exhaust rocker is slightly longer, taking some angle out of the pushrod, while also moving the pushrod away from the block deck-avoiding a previously mentioned pitfall of using original Boss 429 heads on a standard block. Another benefit of the revised pushrod angle is reduced side load on the lifter bore, a real advantage if running a solid roller cam with lots of spring pressure.
Anyone looking for a sign...
Anyone looking for a sign as to what the most revered Ford V-8 of all time might be should look at the '94 Boss Mustang built by Roush Racing and Ford's Special Vehicle Engineering (SVE). The car was the brainchild of SVE chief John Coletti, in response to a big-block Chevy-powered Camaro from the GM "skunkworks." Masterfully engineered, the Boss motor was based on a tall deck aluminum AR block, AR heads, and measured a positively massive 604 cubes! It dyno'd 670 hp and 700 lb-ft, and ran 10.80s at 125mph-unbelievably with 2.73 gears! Dig that one-off fuel injection setup!
The illustrious Can-Am series...
The illustrious Can-Am series proved a tough nut for Ford to crack. Over a several year period, most types of Ford V-8s were tried-DOHC Indy engines, 351s, 427s, and yes, Boss 429s. Actually the 429s used a specially cast aluminum block, enabling bigger bores, and some 494 cubic inches. Mario Andretti drove a variety of Can-Am Fords, including this Holman and Moody 477-inch entry at the 1969 race at Riverside. He finished Third, which was as good as it got for the Boss in this form of racing.
Boss 429s have always been...
Boss 429s have always been near-exotic, and were purchased by people who knew what they were. Consequently, it's not real unusual to find an interesting story lurking somewhere below the surface, but a pretty interesting one surrounds Jan Byrd and his Grabber Green '70. As a 16 year old in 1970, Jan actually sat in this very car while it was on the showroom of Southern Ford in Murphysboro, Illinois. His parents were buying a '70 LTD, but Jan was all about the big-inch Boss. Jan recalls his mother saying to him, "if I was rich, I'd buy you this car." Of course she wasn't rich, and Jan didn't get the Boss-at least not then; fast forward to the early 1980s when Jan worked as a heavy equipment operator and drove a '66 GT350H. A co-worker told him a rumor he'd heard about a green Boss 429 in a small northern Illinois town. Evidently the car had been parked in a garage for years, initially due to a warranty dispute with Ford. Jan eventually tracked the car down in the mid-'80s, and came to realize it was the very