John Kiewicz
August 1, 2000

When someone says "427" to a For enthusiast, there are mental pictures of a big-cube FE big-block with pent-roof valve covers and a pair of Holleys. With high displacement comes a lot of weight-about 650 pounds to be exact-in a lean yet stodgy FE. Just imagine if you could shoehorn 427 cubic inches beneath your hood without the weight penalty of a big-block-or the shoehorn. Now you can, because Performance Automotive Warehouse (PAW) makes it possible by taking Ford's venerable 351ci Windsor small-block and stroking it to 427 ci.

Stroking an engine to achieve greater displacement is nothing new. It's a common sense approach to getting an engine to produce more power. The engine produces more power because it ingests a greater volume of air and fuel along with the increased leverage that goes with stroke. The longer the stroke, the greater the torque, even if you aren't increasing displacement.

PAW makes it possible to get into cubic inches and greater torque with its 427 Street Beast, an affordable 400- to 450-horse stroker you can buy for less than $3,000 (long-block) or $2,500 (short-block). What makes this engine powerful yet affordable? Commonsense engine-building techniques and proven components.

PAW begins its quest for cubic inches with a 351W block bored and honed .060-inch oversize. The cylinder skirts are notched to clear the Chrysler 360ci small-block connecting rods. The 351W gets stroked a half-inch by fitting the block with a 400M crankshaft (the 400M is a tall-deck Cleveland). Keep in mind the 351W has a 3.50-inch stroke while the 400M has 4 inches of stroke. PAW takes a 400M crankshaft and removes the ridge not present in a 351W crankshaft. This gets the timing set to line up properly between the 351W block and 400M crank. The 400M crank is also machined to accept a longer Woodruff key, which keeps the harmonic balancer where it belongs. To marry the Chrysler 360 rods to the 400M crank, PAW machines the rod journals down from 2.311 inches to 2.124 inches. But there's more: PAW offset grinds the journals .125-inch to add even more stroke for a whopping 4.125 inches.

Traditional 400M engines used a 28-ounce offset-balance harmonic balancer. Because we're changing the dynamics of the engine's rotating and reciprocating weight, PAW uses the late-model 50-ounce offset balancer to counterbalance the additional reciprocating weight.

The PAW 427 Street Beast is available with a hydraulic or mechanical tappet camshaft. You can upgrade to a roller hydraulic or mechanical lifter camshaft for a few bucks more. When your PAW engine kit arrives, the cam bearings are already installed in the block. Just lube up the cam and carefully install. When you opt for a roller cam conversion, everything necessary to do the job is included with the engine kit.

Photo Gallery

View Photo Gallery