Modified Mustangs & Fords
Ford 427 FE Build - Fe = Real Iron, Part 2
We build and test a '66 Cobra specification 427 and wring it out on the dyno
What we learn from both of these engines is what's possible from original equipment Ford castings, and it gives us a strong sense of what Ford engineers faced a half century ago. Though we have rare and desirable parts among these beasty 427s, imagine what they could do with better cylinder heads and induction. Ford's own 427 High Riser heads and induction would be a good start, though you'd lose torque on the low end.
The aftermarket offers a wealth of great cylinder heads and induction systems for the FE depending on your expectations and budget. Because these 427s had to be assembled as original-appearing FE mills utlizing factory castings, they suffer from the limitations of Medium Riser dimensions (2.18-/1.72-inch valves with 2.78x1.38-inch intake and 1.78x1.30-inch exhaust ports. With these heads, you get good low to mid-range torque, but not the full potential on the high end because they are basically a street/race head. The aluminum "XE" advantage isn't so much breathing, but instead great heat sink capability to where you can run a pinch more timing, higher compression, and a slightly leaner mixture depending upon what you get for a plug reading. This is where dyno time is money well spent before placing your FE between the shock towers. But that is another story. Check out the captions to see just how these two vintage V-8s faired in the dyno cell.
Two FEs--One Polygraph Room
This was an opportunity to dress a 427 up in its original clothing void of special modifications--basically Ford's legendary Cobra FE 427 as it was in the mid-1960s when it powered the world's fastest production automobile. We wound up with 510 hp and 503 lb-ft of torque. This is what JGM got from a basically stock 427 FE with rare metal on top. Horsepower and torque numbers aren't much different than you would have seen in 1966, and the gains aren't all that significant with the aluminum heads and magnesium intake. Aluminum heads allow us to run more timing and less jetting in an effort to gain power. Further gains could have been achieved with a more aggressive roller mechanical camshaft, larger carburetor, and richer jetting. Jim and Jeff followed instinct and went with what they knew works. Here are some of the more significant pieces JGM specified for this circa '66 427.
|JE custom forged pistons with race ring set||(No Part Numbers)|
|ARP connecting rod bolts||200-6001|
|Fel-Pro gaskets and seals throughout|
|Comp Cams flat tappet mechanical camshaft custom grind||33-000-5|
|Comp Cams valvesprings||972-16|
|Comp Cams lifters||810-16|
|Sealed power rocker shaft||RS-621|
|Pro-Gear high-performance timing set||PG4108|
|Melling high-volume oil pump||M-57HV|
|ARP oil pump shaft||154-7902|
|AMK Products cylinder head bolt kit||F-1771|
|AMK Products engine bolt kit||660-427HP|
|C5AE-H experimental aluminum heads||2.18/1.72-inch intake/exhaust|
|C6AE-J 427 side-oiler block with SOHC drain holes|
|Magnesium dual-plane medium riser induction||No Part Number|
|"XE132391" steel crankshaft with Welsh oil galley plugs and C-clips|
|C6AE-E cap-screw connecting rods with ARP bolts||also 428 SCJ|