Ford and Mercury 427 CID SOHC V-8: 1964-1969

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Race Engine Only – The 427 CID SOHC Version

The Ford Single Overhead Cam (SOHC) 427 V8 engine, familiarly known as the “Cammer,” was released in 1964 to maintain NASCAR dominance and to counter the Chrysler 426 Hemi engine. The engine was based on the high performance 427 side-oiler block, providing race-proven durability. The block and associated parts were largely unchanged, the main difference being use of an idler shaft instead of the camshaft in the block, which necessitated plugging the remaining camshaft bearing oiling holes.

The heads were an entirely new design with hemispherical combustion chambers and a single overhead camshaft over each head, operating shaft-mounted roller rocker arms. The valves were larger than those on Ford wedge head engines, and made out of stainless steel and, and utilized dual valve springs. Sodium-filled exhaust valves were used to prevent the valve heads from burning.

An idler shaft was used in the block in place of the camshaft, driven by the timing chain and it drove the distributor and oil pump in conventional fashion. An additional sprocket on this shaft drove a second 6 foot long timing chain, which drove both overhead camshafts. The engine  had a dual-point distributor with a transistorized ignition amplifier system.

427 SOHC engines were hand-built. Combustion chambers were fully machined to reduce any variability. With a single four-barrel carburetor they were rated at 616 HP @ 7,000 rpm and delivered 515 ft. lbs. of torque @ 3,800 rpm. When equipped with dual four-barrel carburetors they made 657 HP @ 7,500 rpm and 575ft. lbs. of torque @ 4,200 rpm.

Ford sold the SOHC over the counter with the single four-barrel model as part C6AE-6007-363S, the dual carburetor model as part C6AE-6007-359J. The engine weighed 680 lbs.

Although Ford sold enough SOHC 427s to have the design homologated, NASCAR decided to ban the engine. Nevertheless, the SOHC 427 found its niche in drag racing, powering A/FX Mustangs and becoming the basis for  supercharged Top Fuel dragsters, including those of Connie Kalitta, Pete Robinson, and Lou Baney (driven by Don “the Snake” Prudhomme). It was also used in numerous nitro funny cars including those of Jack Chrisman and “Dyno” Don Nicholson.

Eric White Digital Library

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