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Auto Industry Information and Gossip + Racing + Automotive History + tech + Shop Lore + Hot Rods + Collector Cars + regular

Cammer: the Story that is real of Legendary Ford 427 SOHC V8

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

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 scene that is automotive of 1960s, pushrod V8s had been the high tech. Into this easier, more world that is innocent Ford’s 427 CID SOHC V8, which quickly became referred to as Cammer. Right now, a mystique that is powerful the motor. Let’s dig set for a better appearance.

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

Beaten up at Daytona all thirty days by the brand new 426 Hemi machines through the Dodge/Plymouth camp, Ford officials asked NASCAR to accept an overhead-cam V8 the business had into the works. But since the Journal reports right here, NASCAR employer Bill France turned thumbs straight straight down on Ford’s proposed motor. France regarded overhead cams and such become European exotica, a bad fit together with down-home vision for Grand National stock vehicle race.

And even though France barred the SOHC V8 from NASCAR competition, Ford proceeded to develop the motor anyhow, looking to change Big Bill’s brain. In May of 1964, a ’64 Galaxie hardtop by having a Cammer V8 installed was parked behind Gasoline Alley during the Indianapolis engine Speedway, in which the assembled press corps might get a look that is good it. Here’s Ray Brock, publisher of Hot Rod magazine, eyeballing the setup. Note the spark plug location at the edge that is bottom of valve cover about this very very early form of the SOHC V8.

Here’s another very early picture of the Cammer because of the spark plug location that is original. Ford designers took great discomforts to style a perfectly symmetrical hemispherical combustion chamber by having an optimized spark plug location, simply to realize that the spark plug didn’t actually care. The plugs had been then relocated at the top of the chamber for simplicity of access. This motor is established for NASCAR usage: Note the cowl induction airbox, the solitary carburetor, 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. The Cammer was known as the “90 day wonder,” a low-investment parallel project to the expensive DOHC Indy engine based on the Ford small-block V8 inside the company. The heads were cast iron and the cam drive was a roller chain to save time and money on the conversion. The oiling system ended up being revised also to manage the greater horizontal inertia loads generated by the increased rpm, cross-bolted primary caps had been included to the block casting. These features had been then used on all 427 CID machines over the board.

This isn’t a SOHC Ford V8 but a 331 CID early Chrysler Hemi, shown right right here to illustrate a significant attraction associated with the layout that is SOHC Ford designers. The pushrods could be eliminated altogether, permitting larger, straighter intake ports by placing the camshafts atop the cylinder heads.

One Cammer function that will continue to fascinate gearheads is the timing chain—it was nearly seven feet long today. Economical and faster to produce when compared to a gear that is proper yet not almost as effective, the string introduced a number of dilemmas. For instance, racers on the go quickly discovered that it absolutely was essential 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 problem developed by the string drive. Because the string drives both cams in identical way, using one bank the cam rotates toward the consumption follower, and out of the follower in the contrary bank. As a result necessitated a camshaft that is unique each bank, one a mirror of this other, so that the opening and closing ramps is correctly positioned.

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

On October 19, 1964, NASCAR moved to ban all racing that is“special,” in its terms, eliminating both the Cammer Ford additionally the Chrysler 426 Hemi from Grand nationwide competition for 1965. Chrysler reacted by temporarily withdrawing from NASCAR, while Ford proceeded on along with its old-fashioned 427 pushrod engine in NASCAR and took the SOHC engine to your drag strips.

Cammers were very very first used in the couple of factory-backed ’65 Mustangs and ’65 Mercury Comets race within the NHRA Factory Experimental classes and somewhere else. Shown this can be a installation in Dyno Don Nicholson’s Comet. On the ’65 period, Nicholson attempted Weber carbs and Hilborn fuel injection setups, combined with the double 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 ended up being now permitted, technically, but just into the full-size Galaxie model, restricted to one little four-barrel carbohydrate, sufficient reason for a ridiculous, crippling fat handicap: almost 4400 lbs, 430 pounds a lot more than the Dodge and Plymouth hemis. At that true point Ford stated no many thanks and committed the Cammer to drag race. The engine never ever switched a lap in NASCAR competition.

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