Michael Galimi
July 6, 2011

Bench racing--it's a rite of passage, and all car enthusiasts take part in conversing about what the hot setup is, or just about building cars, engines, racing, or going to the latest show. Some of the coolest ideas and plans are conjured up during these sessions, which often take place in the pits, on the Internet, and of course in your garage over a few adult beverages.

But the best-laid plans don't always come to fruition or end up as successful as they sounded during those late nights in the garage. Poor results are almost always the sum of mismatched parts. Let's face it, it's tough to navigate through the dozens of cylinder heads, intake manifolds, and stroker kits. For some people, turning to an engine shop for guidance is the best answer. It may cost a little more, but generally you will get what you pay for.

Scott Shafiroff Racing Engines (SSRE) might be more well-known in the Brand X market, but it packs years upon years of race-winning experience in many classes. It isn't the first time the shop has built a mighty Ford, as it churns out custom racing engines for a select clientele. Scott Shafiroff also competed with a small-block Ford in NHRA Pro Stock back in the '70s as well.

The Bohemia, New York-based engine shop recently unveiled three potent small-block Ford combinations, and we headed over to get the inside scoop on the new line that's dubbed the Ultra Street 427.

All three engines measure 427ci, but with differences in regard to compression ratio, camshaft profile, intake manifold, and cylinder heads. Naturally, we wanted to checkout the most powerful of the bunch, the Hot Hydraulic Roller (HHR)--it's advertised as producing 615 hp, while sucking down pump gas.

The Ultra Street 427 HHR starts with a Dart SHP 9.5-inch-deck block that has proven to be extremely durable (as we saw in the MM&FF "200-MPH Takedown" article (Mar. '11, page 128). The short-deck, 8.2-inch SHP block in that article held sturdy under a serious amount of boost that generated 1,004 hp on the dyno.

The rotating assembly that contributes to the 427ci includes an Eagle 4.00-inch crankshaft and a set of Mahle forged aluminum pistons that are fitted into the block's 4.125-inch bores. Eagle H-beam connecting rods join the pistons to the crankshaft, and the rods measure 6.25-inches long.

Moving topside, SSRE taps AFR 225 CNC-ported cylinder heads as the main ingredient for airflow. Shafiroff designed its own custom hydraulic camshaft, and the good folks at Comp Cams graciously cut it to his exact specifications. Naturally, he remained tight-lipped about the specs other than to say that it idles smoothly and drives nicely.

A set of roller lifters push a set of chromoly 0.080-inch-wall pushrods, which in turn motivate a set of Comp Cams roller rockers and valvesprings to control the opening and closing of the valves. An Edelbrock Super Victor intake manifold and Quick Fuel 950-cfm carburetor round out the induction.

SSRE also includes an Edelbrock water pump, MSD Pro Billet distributor, Moroso spark plug wires, and dyno sheet. There is a long list of options--or choices, as Shafiroff calls 'em--for upgrades like SFI balancer, flexplates, fuel systems, and various MSD ignition systems.

Standard operating procedure at SSRE is to dyno test every engine before it is shipped off to its new owner. Some of our sister magazines have sampled the SSRE Chevy engine packages with each one making within a few horsepower of the advertised number. So we didn't doubt this combo would perform similarly when bolted to the in-house engine dyno.

Another important part of the SSRE process is quality control or "production precision," according to Shafiroff. Each component is measured and verified before being put into inventory. It saves the engine builder time and ensures quality.

On the dyno, the engine recorded a peak horsepower reading of 618 at 6,400 rpm, while peak torque was a stout 571 lb-ft at 5,100 rpm. In this application, Shafiroff felt a small shot from a plate nitrous system would safely bring output into the 800hp range.

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