Jim Smart
July 18, 2014

Few can dispute the FE series big-block's performance on a grand scale. This is the legendary engine that not only won Le Mans, it spanked Ferrari and other exotics in a global venue only the very few get to attend let alone win. Ford won Le Mans via the University of Hard Knocks. It took Ford years of trial and error to get the FE big-block where it needed to be to win.

To win, an engine has to stay together and actually finish a race. The FE's largest shortcoming early on was shaking itself apart. Main caps that worked loose in stock car racing—scattering iron, steel, aluminum, oil, and coolant all over tracks from coast to coast. Ford engineers kept the dynamometer labs roaring searching for the FE's biggest weaknesses. Some of the greatest weaknesses were main caps, block webs, and lubrication issues. In 1962, Ford developed 406 and 427 blocks with cross-bolted main caps in order to provide down under security. The cross-bolted main cap block was a fresh iron casting ready for thrashing and trashing on the racing circuit. Racers welcomed the new 406/427 cross-bolt block and put it to work. Though the cranks stayed put, they burned up and failed nonetheless. The new 427 struggled to finish a race because it had trouble keeping an oil wedge between moving parts at high rpm.

At the time Ford engineers were birthing the 427 Single Overhead Cam (SOHC) for NASCAR use (poo-pooed by NASCAR authorities), they were also developing a better 427 cross-bolt block known to most of us as the side oiler. The side oiler vastly improved oil distribution throughout the 427 with great focus on main and rod journals. With the bottom end sewed up tight with plenty of lubrication for thirsty main and rod journals, the 427 was ready to meet the stressful world of endurance racing.

Bear Market

For years, Ford 427 parts of any kind have been scarce and expensive. If you've needed a 427 side oiler block, you'd better have a Ford E-Series van full of cash to bring one home. And a new old stock side oiler? Forget it.

Imagine if you could sit down at your PC and order a new 427 side oiler block authentic in every way produced using the most advanced casting techniques in the world. And imagine a side oiler block you could actually afford. Bear Block Motors introduces the 427 side oiler block for your dreamy FE big-block project. Imagine being able to build an all-new FE big-block using one of today's stroker kits and the 427's huge bores along with roller cam and high-tech cylinder heads. Bear Block Motors not only offers you the block, it has also engineered high-swirl heads to go with the block.

01. Meet the new kid—yet old kid—on the block. The clean-shaven 427 cross-bolt side-oiler block from Bear Block Motors and Blue Oval Performance Engineering. Even if you have an old side oiler block, put that guy away for safe keeping and check out Bear Block Motors’ new 427 casting. Casting technology in Ford foundries was never this good 50 years ago. The Bear 427 block employs diesel-grade iron with improved oil circuitry, thicker main webs and 0.750-inch decks, and perfect-fit cross-bolted main caps void of spacers. Big bores are 4.245-inches, finished to 4.250-inches. An optional 4.180-inch bore is also available. Weight is 250 pounds including steel main caps.

02. Check out the buttery smooth machine work displayed here. All mating surfaces make for perfect gasket contact and leak resistance. Oil galleys are all screw-in plug.

03. The 427 side oiler from Bear Block Motors has advanced oiling system circuitry with larger galleys for volume aplenty.

04. What makes the Bear 427 different from Ford’s vintage side oiler is hydraulic lifter capability. You can run flat tappet or roller hydraulic lifters in this 427 block.

05. Cross-bolted main caps are a perfect interference fit between the block skirts and without spacers. Locating dowels in the main saddles “lock” the forged and heat-treated 8620 steel main caps in place.

06. Look at the casting and machining quality demonstrated here with screw-in freeze plugs and the correct C5AE-H casting number.

07. The Bear 427 looks great from any angle thanks to advanced casting and machining techniques. Once you have your Bear 427 in paint, it is virtually impossible to tell the difference between original equipment and the Bear 427.

08. The Bear 427’s lifter valley sports abundant webbing for extraordinary strength. Classic 427 blocks were never this good.

09. This is the Bear aluminum 427 block tipping the scales at 125 pounds. Like the iron block, casting and machining quality are over the top.

10. Valley webbing is extra thick making the FE aluminum block a cut above and born for the business of high-performance driving. Check out the casting thickness around those lifter bores with no worries about core shift.