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More info about the 1968 hydraulic 2-bolt 427

June 4 2001 at 7:04 AM
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(Premier Login FEfinaticP)
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Hi fellow FE’ers. I’ve been dormant for a while here on the forum, but having just gotten over a major hurdle that has been sucking away all my free time and keeping me up at night, I’ve got some time now to spend back with this great forum. (And from what I've been dealing with, this is great therapy, at last!!)

One thing I wanted to respond to in the past, but ran out of time, was the hydraulic 2-bolt 427 of 1968. I found some interesting info from a 1983 article in the old (large newspaper format) Autoweek “Escape Road” section, July 4 edition, and also a January 1999 edition of Musclecar Review (which I bought due to the 427 article).

The articles indicate Ford had intentions of offering the “fabulous 427 side-oiler” as an option for the Mustang, in order to give the Stang the top cubic inch performance image in the ponycar field of 1968. Autoweek says: “Remembering 1967, Chevrolet had toped Ford’s 390 Thunderbird Special with its famous 396 big block in its Camaro. Ford then trumped Chevy’s Porcupine headed 396 with its 427 powerhouse, an engine which had earned a world-famous record of durability at the 24-hour LeMans Grand Prix (in 1966 and 1967 in the Cobras)- as well as on the stock car racing tracks in the fastback Galaxies”.

Of course, we all know the LeMans was won by the GT-40’s and not the Cobra’s, and so should have Autoweek writer Jerry Heasley. Heasley continues: “Since the Cougar had been using the same performance engines as the Mustang, then quite naturally, the little Mercury would also have the 427 in its lineup. However, the strange marketing strategy which followed was that Ford Division did not promote the 427 in the Mustang, but Lincoln-Mercury Divisiion did in its Cougar. Apparently, Ford was worried about warranty problems with 427 Mustangs, as already, the four-speed was unavailable with the 427, and the engine had been de-tuned with lower-revving hydraulic lifters (as opposed to the solid lifters seen in the earlier production 427s), and a two-bolt main bearing block as opposed to the famous cross-bolt block with four-bolt mains.”

Power numbers for the 2-bolt hydraulic were 390 HP at 5600 RPM, and 460 foot-pounds of torque at 3200 RPM, still a very potent engine. Midway through 1968 the 27 was changed out to the 428 in the Cougar, and only 358 of the 602 GT-E’s were the “W-code” 427 powered.

The Musclecar Review article mirrors the numbers, but adds the note that compression was 10.9:1 and quarter mile time was 15.1 with a C-6 automatic transmission.

I recall another article about the 1968 427 Cougar GT-E somewhere, and it had a photograph of the car cornering with the front tire smoking from the load. Wish I could find it.

Ford was concerned about putting a high powered 427 in the Mustang with a 4-speed due to the obvious results; a lot of blown up engines and recalls. With the 4-speeds, people would obviously be out there “proving the point” with the equipment, and this would require high RPM action. Automatic transmissions have a way of knowing when to shift, despite adrenaline and a planted right foot. Standard 4-speeds rely on the big nut located behind the steering wheel, and this is far less reliable a factor than the automatic tranny, when considering the so-called “general public”. It is a puzzle to me as to why Ford chose to eliminate the 4-bolt main bearing configuration for the “detuned 390 HP” Cougar GT-E in favor of a 2-bolt design when power was still up there in the 390 HP range. Perhaps this has more to do with the forces encountered with the higher RPM reached with the solid lifter motors, rather than horsepower ratings, and also probably due to the fact that high RPM wouldn’t be encountered with the automatic tranny. Who knows. Guess they saved a couple bucks per engine, and I guess the 4-bolt configuration really wasn’t needed in this application.

Thought you guys would be interested in hearing about this. Time to crawl back under my rock.

Regards, P








 
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