The year was 1974, and a young kid from New York City was putting the finishing touches on a 351 Cleveland engine. The small-block Ford powerplant was designed for action in Pro Stock and Comp Eliminator in NHRA, IHRA, and AHRA drag racing. The move was a big one for Scott Shafiroff, then a full-time drag racer who was making a name for himself in the Chevy ranks.
Our sister publication, Car...
Our sister publication, Car Craft, featured Scott Shafiroff’s Comp Eliminator dragster and Mustang II Pro Stock car back in the day. An SSRE 351 Cleveland powered the cars and he collected a few wins, several runner-up finishes, a couple of records, and a divisional title.
"I saw the writing on the wall. No matter what the rules makers did, the Cleveland engine still outran everything, so I made the switch to it," says Shafiroff. For the next two years, he worked the Cleveland bullet for all it was worth by racing all across the country. He'd swap the engine from his Pro Stock car to the dragster depending on the sanctioning body and category he entered. Shafiroff had his fair share of success by garnering two national event wins, three runner-up accolades, too-many-to-count top qualifiers, and a divisional championship. The crafty racer from NYC also had two national records credited to his name. In 1976, he decided to park his race cars and concentrate on his engine building business--Scott Shafiroff Race Engines (SSRE).
After Shafiroff's days in Pro Stock and Comp Eliminator, he started providing winning and record-setting Top Sportsman and Pro Modified powerplants to many top-name racers. After securing a stranglehold in that market during the '80s, he expanded his business into the pump gas market when the Ultra Street brand was born.
"Ultra Street is an engine line that produces a lot of horsepower, but can still run on pump gas, be extremely reliable, and enjoyable to drive," he says. Today, more than 40 years later, Shafiroff still enjoys the lure of horsepower and his business is as busy as ever. His expansion back into the Blue Oval marketplace is due to increasing demand from customers. His response to that demand was the unveiling of three new combinations, all 427ci small-block Ford engines, and each is in the popular Ultra Street lineup.
Shafiroff and his team targeted three horsepower levels that, based on experience, cover a broad-range of desires. All three engines not only share the famous 427 moniker, but each was designed to run on pump gas and be fully street-capable without compromises.
The first 427ci, nicknamed Extended Cruise, comes in at 525 hp, and according to Shafiroff, is the perfect engine for the guy who wants a 427ci for long-range cruising with an automatic that has a tight converter and numerically low gears--not to say a manual transmission can't back this bullet. Its 9.7:1 compression ratio makes this perfect for 91-octane fuel. It also has a dual-plane intake manifold for smoothness and fuel economy.
The next step is the Classic, and it features the same durability and reliability as Extended Cruise, but with some more punch thanks to bigger cylinder heads, camshaft, single-plane intake manifold, and more compression. The Classic cranks out an advertised 565 hp.
The final Ford offering right now is the Hot Hydraulic Roller, better known as HHR. "The HHR makes 615 hp and is perfect for the person who wants the most horsepower for his street car, but still wants to run on pump gas," comments Shafiroff. The HHR has an extremely aggressive sounding camshaft but doesn't compromise the capability of the engine package. It's meant to be run hard all day on the street and still shine on the racetrack.
This month, we got an inside look at the Classic crate engine, which is quickly proving to be a popular choice amongst the Ford crowd. Shafiroff targeted 565 hp with this package and the engine we followed cranked out 566 hp. One of the nice features of SSRE engines is that every engine is dyno-tested before being shipped off to its new owner. It's done to verify that the engine makes the appropriate power, is broken-in properly, the carburetor is adjusted correctly, and final valve adjustments are made. Also standard is a two-year warranty on all combinations.
1 A Dart SHP block is standard...
1 A Dart SHP block is standard in all three SSRE 427ci small-block Ford engines. It features priority-main oiling, thick webbing for durability, and was designed for stroker engines. This block is painted Ford blue, but SSRE offers an assortment of colors.
2 The Classic features a...
2 The Classic features a mild hydraulic roller camshaft with a smooth idle, while the HHR has a rowdy cam profile. Both are fully street-worthy, making these engines excellent for street and strip action. We’d love to give you the cam specs, but they’re proprietary pieces, and you’ll have to call SSRE if you want one.
3 An Eagle 4340 steel crankshaft...
3 An Eagle 4340 steel crankshaft features a 4.00-inch stroke, and when combined with the 4.125-inch bore, creates 427ci.
SSRE offers a list of options for each package that allows the customer to buy something specific for his or her vehicle. Those options include front engine pulley systems from Billet Specialties or SFI-approved balancers for those who intend on using the engines at the dragstrip or other tracks that require SFI equipment. Also on the list of options are a variety of fuel delivery setups (electric and mechanical) and MSD 6-Series ignition systems.
The Classic starts with a sturdy foundation thanks to a Dart SHP block, which its two 427ci brothers rely on as well. SSRE enlarges the bores to 4.125 inches and then adds an Eagle 4340 steel crankshaft with a 4.00-inch stroke. A set of Eagle 4340 steel rods check in at 6.25 inches long and SSRE adds ARP bolts for added strength. The pistons are from Mahle and built to SSRE specs; compression ratio is listed as 10.25:1.
"We use as little compression as possible to achieve the horsepower goal," says Shafiroff. By keeping the compression ratio as low as possible and the camshaft as mild as possible, it allows SSRE to include a two-year warranty and customers donÆt have to worry about using high-octane fuel or constantly making valvetrain adjustments. Speaking of the camshaft, the specs are kept quiet, but it was revealed that the valve lift is less than 0.600-inch.
Topside, SSRE taps AFR for its 205cc cylinder heads, which come with a complete CNC-port job to help increase the flow. Normally, weÆd look at the valve size, 2.08/1.60 (intake/exhaust) and realize that the airflow is suitable for the power, but Shafiroff pointed out something else that is equally important to the combination.
"I like the 8mm valve size," he says and all AFR heads from SSRE feature 8mm-sized valves and upgraded conical/beehive-style valvesprings. According to Shafiroff, the combination of lightweight valves and springs makes for greater reliability and more rpm with the hydraulic roller camshaft. The cylinder heads flow copious amounts of air on the flow bench. The intake port moves 309 cfm at 0.600-inch lift. Moving to the exhaust side shows a max flow at 0.600-inch lift of 233 cfm. Those results were accomplished with a 4.125-inch bore (like the Ultra Street engines), 28-inches of water, and a 17?8-inch exhaust pipe.
An Edelbrock Victor Jr. intake manifold is bolted onto the AFR heads and the final top-end piece is a choice between two Quick Fuel Technology carburetors. The first choice is an 830-cfm carburetor with mechanical secondaries and electric choke, and the second is a 780-cfm unit with vacuum secondaries and electric choke. Shafiroff shares, "Both work great with this engine, but the 780 does get much better fuel mileage and is smoother."
Final dyno results showed a peak output of 566.5 hp, and the engine featured a broad curve as it held 566 hp from 5,700 rpm through its peak rpm of 6,000 rpm. Torque was equally impressive, as the stroked Windsor cranked out 588 lb-ft of torque at 4,500 rpm. The torque curve was also long and broad as it was consistently above 500 lb-ft from 3,000 rpm to 5,900 rpm. ThatÆs enough power to push a 3,500-pound vehicle solidly into the 10-second zoneùand be capable of driving home from the track while getting filled up at the local gas station.
"We use as little compression as possible to achieve the horsepower goal," says Shafiroff. By keeping the compression ratio as low as possible and the camshaft as mild as possible, it allows SSRE to include a two-year warranty and customers donÆt have to worry about using high-octane fuel or constantly making valvetrain adjustments.
Scott Shafiroff Race Engines
427ci Classic Engine Package
4 SSRE engine builder Jack...
4 SSRE engine builder Jack Boer torques down the main caps. The Dart SHP block has four-bolt mains for the three center caps, while the outside caps feature two-bolt mains.
5a SSRE worked with Mahle...
5a SSRE worked with Mahle to design three forged piston sets for each Ultra Street 427...
5b ...The Classic has a 10.25:1...
5b ...The Classic has a 10.25:1 compression ratio, while the Extended Cruise has 9.7:1 (perfect for 91-octane) and HHR has 10.7:1.
6 SSRE upgrades all of the...
6 SSRE upgrades all of the Ultra Street 427 engines with ARP rod bolts for added strength.
7 Eagle 4340 steel H-beam...
7 Eagle 4340 steel H-beam connecting rods are 6.25 inches long.
8 A Cloyes true-roller timing...
8 A Cloyes true-roller timing chain set connects the camshaft with the crankshaft.
9 Roller lifters are used...
9 Roller lifters are used with the hydraulic roller camshaft, and the Dart SHP block has provisions for the dog bones and spider.
10 The AFR 205 heads come...
10 The AFR 205 heads come with 2.08/1.60 valves and a 58cc combustion chamber.
11 The intake and exhaust...
11 The intake and exhaust ports are CNC-ported for maximum flow. The intake moves 309 cfm while the exhaust flows 233 cfm, both at 0.600-inch lift.
12 Comp roller rocker arms...
12 Comp roller rocker arms are standard on all three engine combinations. Those are conical/beehive springs under the roller rocker arm and are standard items that SSRE adds to all of the AFR heads it sells.
13 A Quick Fuel Technology...
13 A Quick Fuel Technology 780-cfm with vacuum secondaries and electric choke sits on top of an Edelbrock Victor Jr. intake manifold. The fuel lines and fuel pressure gauge are optional.
14 An Edelbrock water pump...
14 An Edelbrock water pump is included in the package.
15 SSRE boasts the options...
15 SSRE boasts the options it offers for all of its engine packages. Here’s a Canton oil pan with rear sump setup that is set up for the customer’s particular application.
16 An MSD Pro-Billet distributor...
16 An MSD Pro-Billet distributor with Moroso/SSRE spark plug wires comes standard. SSRE also offers a complete line of MSD products to go along with the engine
17 Optional fuel system setups...
17 Optional fuel system setups are on the list of choices, and this engine featured a mechanical fuel pump that SSRE custom-made the fuel lines to the carburetor, making this engine virtually a drop-in-and-go type of package.