Ford 427 428 429 Specs

If you wanted a big block engine in 1968 you could choose a 427, 428 or the new 429. The top performance motor was the 427. The 428 was a ten year old FE design, more tamed down. And the new 429 was a brand new design called the "385" series. Available in two versions in 1968, the 429 and the huger 460. The later motor was for Lincolns and Mercury's.

The 429 was unique in many ways. It offered:

  • Thin wall casting
  • Longer bore centers than the FE block
  • Huge bearings
  • Canted-valve cylinder heads forming a slightly hemi-spherical combustion chamber
  • Rocker shafts were replaced with rockers riding on fulcrums with separate pedestals

The canted-valve design angled the valves in the head. This allowed for larger ports and valves. It also permitted an better unshrouded mixture of gasoline and air into the chamber.

Ford needed a better NASCAR and NHRA motor. The 427 was gone. So Ford engineers developed a unique set of heads and placed them on a 429 Mustang in 1969. This Mustang was called the Boss 429. The head design was also used on a special 302 Mustang. That car was named the Boss 302. Ford sold enough Boss 429 Mustangs to qualify the motor for racing. The aluminum heads used in the Boss 429 engines featured:

  • Modified hemi-spherical design
  • One long and one short rocker arm per cylinder
  • A single camshaft
  • Stronger main bearings
  • Different oiling system
  • Four bolt mains

The Boss 429 was a "385" motor but with the above changes is not interchangeable with other 429 blocks.

In 1970 the 428 Cobra Jet Motor was replaced with a 429 CJ engine. The change occurred in the middle of the production year so some early Cobra Jet cars had 428's, later cars were 429's. The 429 Cobra Jet package included:

  • Bigger heads with larger ports and valves
  • Stamped steel rocker arms
  • Screw-in rocker studs in the early 70 models
  • Guide plates like used in the Boss 302's
  • Compression was increased from 10.5:1 to 11.3:1
  • Cast iron intake manifold
  • Single 700 cfm Rochester carb
  • Rated at 370 horse power

In 1971, Ford offered the Super Cobra Jet 429. This upgrade offered:

  • Four bolt mains
  • Forged aluminum pistons
  • Bigger oil pump
  • External oil cooler
  • Cast iron crank shaft with higher nodularity than the base 429
  • Mechanical camshaft with adjustable rocker arms
  • Single 780 cfm Holley carb

The 429 motor was phased out in 1973. It's sister motor, the 460, continued in production.

The 460 motor is a 429 with longer stroke, same bore. In 1968, when it was first offered, the 460 was rated at 360 horse power with 10.5:1 compression. By 1972 the compression dropped to 8.5:1 with a horse power rating decrease to 212 HP. The next year, 1973, saw the compression down to 8.0:1 and horse power at 200 HP. However the way horse power was stated changed during this time. Early motors were rated using flywheel or brake horsepower, in '72 net horsepower was used. (The difference being whether all the power robbing accessories are considered.)

The 428 Cobra Jet, introduced April 1968, was a high torque, quiet, and inexpensively built engine. Not intended for true racing durability, it lacked the bottom end features of the side-oiler 427. The cross-bolted main bearing caps and oiling improvements were missing. The thin cylinder walls of the 427's 4.23" bore made normal assembly line production impossible. The smaller bore of the 428 was well within normal production line capabilities. The longer stroke (3.98 vs. 3.78 for the 427) gave the engine powerful low-end punch.
The 428 CJ and SCJ blocks have extra main bearing webbing and thicker main caps than the normal 390 or 428.

Connecting rods are similar to those used in the 390 GT, but CJ and Police Interceptor engines are fitted with 13/32" bolts.

Unlike other FE family engines, the 428 is externally balanced. Due to different piston and connecting rod weights, there are actually four different 428 crankshafts. One used for normal 428, the 428 Police Interceptor, and the 428 CJ before 12/26/69. After that date Ford offered one crankshaft for 428 CJ. Two were offered for 428 Super Cobra Jet before and after that date.
The 428 CJ cylinder heads featured an un-machined chamber of 73-76cc, 2.06" intake valves and 1.66" exhaust valves. The intake ports measured 1.34" x 2.34". Exhaust ports measured 1.28" x 1.84". The 16-bolt pattern exhaust face was unique to the CJ heads. A 735 cfm Holley carburetor sat on a cast iron intake manifold. Curiously, the 428 Police Interceptor received an aluminum intake. Dished pistons with valve relief's resulted in 10.6:1 compression. A thermactor air injection system was required to meet federal emissions standards. Special free flowing cast iron exhaust manifolds were fitted, similar to those used on 427 Galaxies. The Q-code CJ was rated at 335 BHP @ 5600 RPM, obviously under rated.

The Super Cobra Jet, available only with a 3.91 or 4.30 rear axle ratio, included additional features. For improved high speed reliability, the SCJ used the beefier LeMans style capscrew connecting rods and forged pistons. This heavier reciprocating assembly required additional balance mass on the crankshaft added via a special front oil seal sleeve with a cast-on counterweight. An engine oil cooler forced the horns to both be located on one side of the car. A reinforcement plate was used for the horn bolts behind the radiator core support -- often lost, or missing from fakes. Air conditioning was not available because the oil cooler used up the space in front of the radiator. The SCJ engines used 427 Le Mans style rods with capscrews and forged pistons.

Ram Air option was installed on R-code cars. A scoop was mounted on top of and part of the air cleaner assembly. A square hole cut in the hood allowed the scoop to come through the hood when closed. The alignment of the scoop in relation to the air cleaner and the opening in the hood was adjustable. The now
famous term "shaker hood scoop" is appropriate, especially when the engine has a more aggressive camshaft.
The 428 "P" engine was used in the 1966 AC Cobra The 1967 Shelby GT 500 and the 1968 Shelby GT 500 used "Q" engines.

427 "W" (4V)
427 SOHC "D" (8V)
427 SOHC "L"(4V)
427 "Q" (4V) 1963-64
427 "M" (8V) 1965
427 "R" (8V) 1963-67
427 "W" 1966-67
Engine Type
8 cylinder
90 degree,
Overhead Valves (OHV)
8 cylinder
90 degree,
Overhead Valves (OHV)
8 cylinder
90 degree,
Overhead Valves (OHV)
427 cu.inches (CID)
427 cu.inches (CID)
427 cu.inches (CID)
Maximum torque

460 lbs./ft. @ 3,200 RPM

515 lbs./ft. @ 3,800 RPM (4V)

575 lbs./ft. @ 4,200 RPM (8V)

476 lbs./ft. @ 3,400 RPM (4V)
480 lbs./ft. @ 3,700 RPM (8V)
Maximum Horsepower
390 BHP @ 5,600 RPM
616 BHP @ 7,000 RPM (4V)

657 BHP @ 7,500 RPM (8V)

410 BHP @5,600 RPM (4V)
425 BHP @6,000 RPM (8V)
Firing Order
(Number 1 cylinder on right bank, nearest radiator)
(Number 1 cylinder on right bank, nearest radiator)
(Number 1 cylinder on right bank, nearest radiator)
Bore & Stroke
4.232" X 3.784"
(107.59 mm X 96.03 mm)
4.232" X 3.784"
(107.59 mm X 96.03 mm)
4.232" X 3.784"
(107.59 mm X 96.03 mm)
Compression Ratio
11.6:1 (all 1963-64)
10.0:1 (Mercury only)
11.0:1 (most 1965-67)
Oil Pressure (hot)
35 to 60 lbf/in2
35 to 60 lbf/in2
35 to 60 lbf/in2
cross bolted
cross bolted
cross bolted

Holley 4150 (4V)
automatic choke

Holley 4150-C (4V)

Holley 4160 x2 (8V)

Holley 4150 (4V - "Q" series)
Holley 4150-C (4V - "W" series)
Holley 4160 x2 (8V - "M" & "R" series)

all automatic choke

Size of Carburetor
710 cfm (4V)

780 cfm x2 (8V)

premium gas
super premium
super premium
Intake Manifold
aluminum (thru 12/1968)

cast iron after 12/1968

Valve train
hydraulic lifters
solid & adjustable lifters
solid & adjustable lifters
2.022"-2.037" (low riser intake before 3/15/1963)
2.082"-2.097" (low riser intake 3/1963-64)
2.185"-2.195" (all medium & hi riser intake)
1.645"-1.660" (all low riser intake)
1.723"-1.733" (all medium & hi riser intake)
single point
vacuum advance
dual point
mechanical advance

Transistor ignition option: single point mechanical advance

dual point
mechanical advance

Transistor ignition option: single point mechanical advance

Spark Plugs
Autolite BF-32
Autolite AG-2
Autolite BF-32
Long Block Weight
in lbs.
590 (4V-1967)
600 (8V-1967)
Emission Controls
RPM Rev Limiter
1963 - The 427 was first offered February 1963. The "Q" & "R" 427 engines were offered in Galaxies & Mercurys in 1963.

1964 - The "Q" & "R" engines were offered in Galaxies and Mercurys. The "R" engine was available in the Fairlane "Thunderbolt" low rise intake only.

1965 - The Ford Galaxies and the Shelby Cobra got the "R" engine. Mercurys got the "M" engine.

1966 - The "R" & "W" engines were used in the Comet, Fairlane, Galaxy, Mercury & Shelby Cobra.

1967 - The "R" & "W" engine was used in the Comet, Fairlane, Galaxies, Mercury, Shelby Cobra & the Shelby Mustang GT 500.

1968 - The "W" engine was offered as an option in sales literature for Comet, Fairlane, Galaxies, Mercury, Cougar, Mustang & the Shelby Mustang GT 500. The W code 427 was the standard engine in the 1968 Mercury Cougar GT/E. In mid year, the W code was replaced in production by the 428 CJ. No other examples of this engine actually being installed have been found.

This engine, the infamous 427, was featured as an option on many cars such as the Shelby Mustangs in 1967 and 1968, but no examples have been located from the factory. The engine was dealer installed.

Both cast iron and aluminum heads were offered. The listed weight is the maximum for a complete 4V engine.

The 427 "D" and "L" engines were offered in 1964 in a Galazie 500. After late 1969 those engines were available from Holman-Moody.

EXP 133, 134, 474, 503

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