Mark Houlahan
Tech Editor, Mustang Monthly
June 1, 2013
Photos By: Justin Cesler

Summit 427


The Cobra is synonymous with Ford's 427 FE big-block, but what many people don't realize is that the 427 Cobra was a body designation (not all 427 Cobras had 427 side-oilers in them). In today's world, it's easy to get big-block power and torque from a stroker engine, while offering up lighter weight, more room, and better handling in a replica. Of course, you don't have to be building a FFR kit to use a 427ci-based Windsor small-block stroker. The 351-based 427 Windsor will be just as much at home between the front fenders of a Mustang, Torino, Fairlane, or Galaxie as well. To build upon the short-block combo, Summit offers several additional combo kits, including a cylinder head and valvetrain combo, induction and fuel combo, ignition combos, and more. For our 427 Windsor entry, we'll be focusing on the three main combos that make up a complete engine.

The Ford Racing Performance Parts Boss 427 short-block is packaged with a Trick Flow Track Max camshaft, Trick Flow OE-style roller lifters, a Trick Flow billet timing chain set, a Trick Flow harmonic damper, and a full gasket set. Additional parts included in the combo are a new timing chain cover from Edelbrock, a Ford Racing roller lifter installation kit, and a full ARP engine accessory bolt kit. That's quite a bit of hardware for calling it a “short-block” combo, but we're not going to argue!

Adding on the Windsor cylinder head and valvetrain combo tops off your short-block with everything you need to button up the engine. Crack open the SUM-CSUMFFC03 combo box ($2,279.99) and you'll find a set of Trick Flow Twisted Wedge 185cc cylinder heads, a set of Trick Flow 1.6:1 roller rockers, Trick Flow chrome-moly pushrods, ARP head bolts, ARP valve cover bolts, and a sweet set of Trick Flow cast-aluminum valve covers with Summit Racing logo'd breathers.

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Finally, you can make your 427 a complete engine with the inclusion of Summit's Windsor induction and fuel system combo, SUM-CSUMFFC04 ($1,189.58). Summit has put together all the right pieces to ensure your 427 breathes right with a Summit Stage 2 dual-plane aluminum intake, a Holley 770-cfm Street Avenger carburetor with fuel line kit, a Lokar throttle cable bracket, an Aeromotive fuel pump and regulator kit (just like the 306 combo), and a Summit fuel filter along with a billet air cleaner assembly to top off the build.

As noted with the 306 combo, your choice of oil pan will be determined by the chassis that the engine is going into. Unlike the 306 combo, however, the 427 combo does not include an oil pan (there is an oil pan combo kit available that should work for most applications though). Also, unlike the 306 combo, the 427 combo does not include a water pump (though an accessory combo with water pump, starter, and more will be offered). You'll be on your own to source one, though Summit has several to choose from in both standard and reverse rotation (depending upon your pulley system) and left and right inlet.

We got to taste the 427 combo in Summit Racing's own Mk 4 Roadster. The gray with red stripe beauty was a fresh build and drove like it was on rails; that is until you put your right foot down. There was no way any sort of rail, track, guide, or chain and anchor was going to keep this rocket from breaking loose with the low-rpm torque that the 427 Windsor strokers are famous for. Throttle response, even for being carbureted, was sharp and the little gray monster (as we began to call it) would strike hard like a pitbull with each stab of the go-pedal when we were dyno testing it. Having a 427 Windsor in our own project car, we know first-hand how quickly things can go south with such a short wheelbase and nearly 500 lb-ft of torque. That being said, a 427 Windsor in a bit heavier car with some sticky tires would be very manageable for even a daily driver.

427 Windsor Engine combo Dyno Results
RPM HP Torque
2,400 199.14 435.78
2,600 208.14 420.43
2,800 242.44 454.73
3,000 260.52 456.09
3,200 277.52 455.49
3,400 289.21 446.75
3,600 305.24 445.32
3,800 316.04 436.83
4,000 332.57 436.69
4,200 340.47 425.76
4,400 347.41 414.69
4,600 356.69 407.26
4,800 362.42 396.56
5,000 369.78 388.42
5,200 369.40 373.10
5,400 362.86 352.92
5,600 357.16 334.97
5,800 343.85 311.37