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Car Industry Information and Gossip + Racing + Automotive History + tech + Shop Lore + Hot Rods + Collector Cars + day-to-day

Cammer: the true tale for the Legendary Ford 427 SOHC V8

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Within the 1960s, Ford’s overhead-cam 427 V8, popularly referred to as Cammer, became the material of myth and legend. Here’s the story behind the tale.

Right right Here in 2014, overhead-cam, multi-valve machines will be the industry standard. Anything less is known as retrograde. But from the United states automotive scene regarding the 1960s, pushrod V8s had been the state of the art. Into this simpler, more innocent world stepped Ford’s 427 CID SOHC V8, which quickly became referred to as Cammer. Even now, a mystique that is powerful the motor. Let’s dig set for a better appearance.

The very first general public mention of Cammer V8 appeared in the Daytona Beach Morning Journal on Feb. 23, 1964.

Beaten up at Daytona all by the new 426 Hemi engines from the Dodge/Plymouth camp, Ford officials asked NASCAR to approve an overhead-cam V8 the company had in the works month. But since the Journal reports right right here, NASCAR employer Bill France turned thumbs down on Ford’s proposed motor. France regarded overhead cams and such become European exotica, a bad fit along with his down-home vision for Grand nationwide stock automobile race.

Despite the fact that France barred the SOHC V8 from NASCAR competition, Ford proceeded to develop the motor anyhow, hoping to improve Big Bill’s head. In-may of 1964, a ’64 Galaxie hardtop by having a Cammer V8 installed was parked behind Gasoline Alley in the Indianapolis engine Speedway, in which the assembled press corps might get a good view it. Here’s Ray Brock, publisher of Hot Rod magazine, eyeballing the setup. Note the spark plug location in the bottom side of the valve cover with this very very early version of the SOHC V8.

Here’s another very early picture of a Cammer aided by the spark plug location that is original. Ford designers took great aches to develop a completely symmetrical hemispherical combustion chamber with an optimized spark plug location, and then realize that the spark plug didn’t actually care. The plugs had been then relocated near the top of the chamber for simplicity of access. This motor is initiated for NASCAR usage: Note the cowl induction airbox, the carburetor that is single while the cast exhaust manifolds.

The engine was simply a two-valve, single-overhead-cam conversion of Ford’s existing 427 FE V8, and a quick and cheap one at that despite the Cammer’s exotic cachet, in reality. In the business, the Cammer ended up being known as the “90 time wonder,” a low-investment synchronous task into the expensive DOHC Indy motor in line with the Ford small-block V8. To truly save money and time regarding the conversion, the minds had been cast iron as well as the cam drive had been a roller string. The oiling system ended up being revised and also to handle the greater horizontal inertia loads created by the increased rpm, cross-bolted caps that are main integrated in to the block casting. These features had been then used on all 427 CID machines throughout the board.

This is simply not a SOHC Ford V8 but a 331 CID early Chrysler Hemi, shown right here to illustrate a significant attraction for the SOHC design among Ford engineers. The pushrods could be eliminated altogether, permitting larger, straighter intake ports by placing the camshafts atop the cylinder heads.

One Cammer function that continues to fascinate gearheads today may be the timing chain—it ended up being almost seven legs very long. Economical and quicker to build up when compared to a gear that is proper although not almost as effective, the string introduced lots of issues. As an example, racers within the industry quickly discovered that it had been required to stagger the cam timing four to eight degrees between banking institutions to pay for slack when you look at the links.

This closeup illustrates the revised spark plug location and another presssing problem developed by the string drive. The cam rotates toward the intake follower, and away from the follower on the opposite bank since the chain drives both cams in the same direction, on one bank. As a result necessitated a camshaft that is unique each bank, one a mirror associated with the other, and so the opening and closing ramps could be correctly situated.

Here’s a glamour shot associated with the cammer that is complete the community of Automotive Engineers paper (SAE 650497) presented by Norm Faustyn and Joe Eastman, Ford’s two lead designers regarding the task. Most of the published technical sources regarding the Cammer, including a feature that is in-depth the January 1965 problem of Hot Rod Magazine, seem to be closely on the basis of the SAE paper.

On October 19, 1964, NASCAR relocated to ban all “special race engines,” in its terms, eliminating both the Cammer Ford as well as the Chrysler 426 Hemi from Grand National competition for 1965. Chrysler reacted by temporarily withdrawing from NASCAR, while Ford proceeded on along with its main-stream 427 pushrod engine in NASCAR and took the SOHC engine to your drag strips.

Cammers had been very very very first used in the couple of factory-backed ’65 Mustangs and ’65 Mercury Comets race into the NHRA Factory Experimental classes and somewhere else. Shown this is actually the installation in Dyno Don Nicholson’s Comet. Throughout the ’65 period, Nicholson experimented with Weber carbohydrates and Hilborn fuel injection setups, combined with twin Holley four-barrels pictured. On gas, the engine ended up being reported to be best for 600 hp.

Despite hefty lobbying from Ford, in December of 1965 NASCAR again banned the Cammer for 1966, with USAC piling on (Spartanburg Herald-Journal, December 18, 1965 above). Nevertheless, in of 1966 NASCAR finally relented april. Type of. Okay, certainly not. The Cammer had been now permitted, technically, but just within the full-size Galaxie model, limited by one little four-barrel carbohydrate, along with an ridiculous, crippling fat handicap: almost 4400 pounds, 430 pounds a lot more than the Dodge and Plymouth hemis. At that point Ford stated no many many thanks and committed the Cammer to drag race. The motor never ever turned a lap in NASCAR competition.