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By on July 19, 2021

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

Cammer: the actual tale of this 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 story behind the story.

Right right Here in 2014, overhead-cam, multi-valve engines 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 up to date. Into this easier, more innocent world stepped Ford’s 427 CID SOHC V8, which quickly became referred to as Cammer. Even now, a effective mystique surrounds the motor. Let’s dig set for a better appearance.

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 because of the brand new 426 Hemi engines through the Dodge/Plymouth camp, Ford officials asked NASCAR to accept an overhead-cam V8 the business had when you look at the works. But once the Journal reports right right here, NASCAR employer Bill France turned thumbs straight down on Ford’s proposed motor. France regarded overhead cams and such become exotica that is european 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 anyway develop the engine, looking to improve 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 Motor Speedway, in which the assembled press corps might get a good consider it. Here’s Ray Brock, publisher of Hot Rod magazine, eyeballing the setup. Note the spark plug location in the edge that is bottom of valve address with this very early type of the SOHC V8.

Here’s another early picture of a Cammer using the spark plug location that is original. Ford designers took great discomforts to style a completely symmetrical hemispherical combustion chamber having an optimized spark plug location, simply to find 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 engine is established for NASCAR usage: Note the cowl induction airbox, the carburetor that is single as well as the cast exhaust manifolds.

Inspite of the Cammer’s exotic cachet, in fact the motor had been merely a two-valve, single-overhead-cam transformation of Ford’s current 427 FE V8, and an instant and inexpensive one at that. In the business, the Cammer ended up being referred to as “90 day wonder,” a low-investment synchronous task towards the costly DOHC Indy motor on the basis of the Ford small-block V8. The heads were cast iron and the cam drive was a roller chain to save time and money on the conversion. The oiling system had been revised also to handle the greater horizontal inertia lots produced 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 an important attraction of this SOHC design among Ford designers. By putting the camshafts atop the cylinder heads, the pushrods might be eradicated entirely, allowing larger, straighter intake ports.

One Cammer function that will continue to fascinate gearheads is the timing chain—it was nearly seven feet long today. Cheaper and faster to produce when compared to a gear that is proper not nearly as effective, the string introduced lots of dilemmas. For instance, racers within the industry quickly discovered that it had been required to stagger the cam timing four to eight levels between banking institutions to pay for slack into 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 from the follower from the other 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 could be correctly positioned.

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 in the task. Most of the published technical sources from the Cammer, including an in-depth function in the January 1965 dilemma 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,” with its words, 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 continued on having its conventional 427 pushrod engine in NASCAR and took the SOHC engine to your drag strips.

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

Despite heavy lobbying from Ford, in of 1965 NASCAR again banned the Cammer for 1966, with USAC piling on (Spartanburg Herald-Journal, December 18, 1965 above) december. Nevertheless, in April of 1966 NASCAR finally relented. Type of. Okay, certainly not. The Cammer ended up being now permitted, theoretically, but just within the full-size Galaxie model, restricted to one tiny 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 true point Ford stated no thanks and devoted the Cammer to drag race. The engine never ever switched a lap in NASCAR competition.

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