427 Ford marine head (photo documentation)

427 Ford marine head (photo documentation)

Joined: July 15th, 2005, 8:09 pm

July 15th, 2005, 9:12 pm #1

C7JE marine heads.

Edit comment, September of 2013: I am updating this post due to more information being learned since it was initially posted many years ago. It now appears the C7JE heads were used on 1966 427 marine motors and earlier. The C7JE has bigger intake ports than the C7AE-A, which came into play during 1967, and onward. In short, which is indicated in more detail later in this thread if you read it all, the C7AE-A with smaller ports had some advantages due to it being an "acceleration port" design. While the C7JE is a fine design, pretty well thought of in Ford circles, it is not a high performance head but can be ported to perform quite nicely. The C7AE-A was used on all Ford FE motors such as the 352, 390, 410, 427, and 428 (even the Shelby GT-500 and police interceptor motors). It is also not considered a "high performance head" either, but something one would expect to find if they ordered a 1967 Mustang 390 GT, or a 428 powered Shelby. Either one works on the Chris-Craft motors. I think they are entirely bolt-for-bolt interchangable. End of September 2013 edit.

the remainder of this thread is left as it was initially posted, so you can see the notation above has the benefit of some more recent discovery.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ * ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


The C7JE cylinder head used by Ford for Chris Craft marine motors, is a generic cylinder head that is very similar, if not identical, to the head that was used for the 352 and 390 cubic inch Ford automotive and truck motors. Naturally, if anyone is going to make a swap during a rebuild, the details will have to be closely verified, because there are many changes in the production run of these motors, and not all of it is well documented. The cylinder heads, however, appear to be generally low performance, but very fine in design, and quite durable. At a detuned 300-hp, this motor is still among the heavy-weight bruisers able to propell cruisers and speedboats at remarkable speeds.






http://www.network54.com/Forum/424840/m ... 1138582901

Also, please see the MASTER INDEX file, for a lot more information on this engine.























The wedge (head) that kicks out 438 foot-pounds of torque at 2900 RPM.

This is a design that basically came out of the United States during the 50s and 1960s, with designs primarily from Ford and Chrysler. GM used the plank head design similar to Lincoln when GM took their 348 big block and pumped up to the 409 cubic inch displacement size. The plank head design (used very successfully in Lincoln automobiles and the 431 Chris Craft Lincoln-based V8 marine engine) basically is flat as a plank with valves inset into the plank. The cylinders are cut off at an angle and that pie-shaped volume at TDC is where combustion occurs in the Chevy 409 and Lincoln 430 and 431. These motors were able to produce big power readings but that plank head ran out of breathing capability at higher rpm, and it was not a successful racing design.

Below are two photos of the Lincoln cylinder head, now you see why they're called plank heads?










In 1958 along came FoMoCo with the wedge head design you see in the photos at the top of this post. Combustion occurs inside this wedge shaped chamber with great success, and this particular design won 101 NASCAR races in the three seasons of 1963, 1964, and 1965. This design forced Chrysler to develop their hemi head design in order to compete. Even then, this design was tweaked into the high riser and tunnel port designs, and remained competitive. The competitiveness of the FE motor against the hemi was not necessarily in brute ultimate power nose-to-nose, as the hemi design is a beautiful improvement that has a lot of merit. However, the Ford (427) has the fabulous light weight cross-bolted block many of us have in our boats, and this block is VERY strong and reliable. Its light weight (compared to the boat anchor hemi) made it a natural in racing machines like the Ford powered Cobra, and GT 40 cars that won LeMans every year they were allowed to compete. Yes, the 427 was NEVER defeated at LeMans.

One thing the Chrysler guys don't like to remember, is the fact that Richard Petty actually defected from Chrysler to Ford in 1968, and when Ford put him in a 427 powered Torino, he beat the best thing Chrysler could put on the track (which was powered by their hemi)

Chrysler also had their own very fine wedge head motors, including the 318, 413, and 426B. These were great motors of the era, but the 427 Ford is the king of the big block wedge designs. In 1958 when the design began production, it was offered in the FE motors in 332 and 352 cubic inches. The initial series of heads all had machined combustion chambers in what must have been a vastly expensive CNC type machine process on what would now be considered antiquated equipment. The process was quickly shifted to cast combustion chambers, and those early machined heads are somewhat of a bragging point for collectors, racers and restorers of the early big block Fords.

As Ford began experimentation with this new big block design, they produced a very cool 360-hp solid lifter version of the 352, which showcased just what this cylinder head design was capable of doing. The development included a 401-hp solid lifter 390 cubic inch version, and a 405-hp solid lifter 406 cubic inch version, prior to the eventual zenith of the FE series being the bored out solid lifter 427 (actually 425 cubic inches of displacement) conservatively rated at 425-hp. Naturally the solid lifter tunnel port 427 is the top of the solid lifter food chain anywhere, and that motor is found ONLY in racing machinery. It features huge intake ports so large that the pushrod actually penetrates directly through the port on its way to the camshaft, in a fabulous high volume intake well suited to high-rpm racing.

The fine wedge head design was used in many work horse applications by Ford for 14 or so years, making quite a reputation for the company in reliability, and whenever Ford decided to back this engine design in competition. This is the cylinder head design Henry Ford II used to put wins on the board for his company. The basic heads from the 332 to the 427 are essentially able to bolt onto any of the FE motor series, but there is a caution about matching up intake ports. The later designs have larger ports than the early ones, and all of the high performance heads have larger intakes (and in some cases, larger valves too). As long as we stay away from the ultra expensive performance heads you see on ebay going for $1000 or more a pair, any 352 or 390 head will bolt onto the 427 marine motor, because that is exactly what the 427 marine head is. The 361 and 391 FT (Ford Truck) heads are somewhat different and care must be used to be sure the intakes match up. Attention must also be given to the number of exhaust manifold bolts, to assure they will bolt to the marine exhaust.







Last edited by FEfinaticP on September 19th, 2013, 2:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: July 15th, 2005, 8:09 pm

July 15th, 2005, 9:14 pm #2


Intake side




Intake port width


Intake port height


Combustion chamber width

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Joined: July 15th, 2005, 8:09 pm

July 15th, 2005, 9:19 pm #3

C7JE marine heads.

Edit comment, September of 2013: I am updating this post due to more information being learned since it was initially posted many years ago. It now appears the C7JE heads were used on 1966 427 marine motors and earlier. The C7JE has bigger intake ports than the C7AE-A, which came into play during 1967, and onward. In short, which is indicated in more detail later in this thread if you read it all, the C7AE-A with smaller ports had some advantages due to it being an "acceleration port" design. While the C7JE is a fine design, pretty well thought of in Ford circles, it is not a high performance head but can be ported to perform quite nicely. The C7AE-A was used on all Ford FE motors such as the 352, 390, 410, 427, and 428 (even the Shelby GT-500 and police interceptor motors). It is also not considered a "high performance head" either, but something one would expect to find if they ordered a 1967 Mustang 390 GT, or a 428 powered Shelby. Either one works on the Chris-Craft motors. I think they are entirely bolt-for-bolt interchangable. End of September 2013 edit.

the remainder of this thread is left as it was initially posted, so you can see the notation above has the benefit of some more recent discovery.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ * ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


The C7JE cylinder head used by Ford for Chris Craft marine motors, is a generic cylinder head that is very similar, if not identical, to the head that was used for the 352 and 390 cubic inch Ford automotive and truck motors. Naturally, if anyone is going to make a swap during a rebuild, the details will have to be closely verified, because there are many changes in the production run of these motors, and not all of it is well documented. The cylinder heads, however, appear to be generally low performance, but very fine in design, and quite durable. At a detuned 300-hp, this motor is still among the heavy-weight bruisers able to propell cruisers and speedboats at remarkable speeds.






http://www.network54.com/Forum/424840/m ... 1138582901

Also, please see the MASTER INDEX file, for a lot more information on this engine.























The wedge (head) that kicks out 438 foot-pounds of torque at 2900 RPM.

This is a design that basically came out of the United States during the 50s and 1960s, with designs primarily from Ford and Chrysler. GM used the plank head design similar to Lincoln when GM took their 348 big block and pumped up to the 409 cubic inch displacement size. The plank head design (used very successfully in Lincoln automobiles and the 431 Chris Craft Lincoln-based V8 marine engine) basically is flat as a plank with valves inset into the plank. The cylinders are cut off at an angle and that pie-shaped volume at TDC is where combustion occurs in the Chevy 409 and Lincoln 430 and 431. These motors were able to produce big power readings but that plank head ran out of breathing capability at higher rpm, and it was not a successful racing design.

Below are two photos of the Lincoln cylinder head, now you see why they're called plank heads?










In 1958 along came FoMoCo with the wedge head design you see in the photos at the top of this post. Combustion occurs inside this wedge shaped chamber with great success, and this particular design won 101 NASCAR races in the three seasons of 1963, 1964, and 1965. This design forced Chrysler to develop their hemi head design in order to compete. Even then, this design was tweaked into the high riser and tunnel port designs, and remained competitive. The competitiveness of the FE motor against the hemi was not necessarily in brute ultimate power nose-to-nose, as the hemi design is a beautiful improvement that has a lot of merit. However, the Ford (427) has the fabulous light weight cross-bolted block many of us have in our boats, and this block is VERY strong and reliable. Its light weight (compared to the boat anchor hemi) made it a natural in racing machines like the Ford powered Cobra, and GT 40 cars that won LeMans every year they were allowed to compete. Yes, the 427 was NEVER defeated at LeMans.

One thing the Chrysler guys don't like to remember, is the fact that Richard Petty actually defected from Chrysler to Ford in 1968, and when Ford put him in a 427 powered Torino, he beat the best thing Chrysler could put on the track (which was powered by their hemi)

Chrysler also had their own very fine wedge head motors, including the 318, 413, and 426B. These were great motors of the era, but the 427 Ford is the king of the big block wedge designs. In 1958 when the design began production, it was offered in the FE motors in 332 and 352 cubic inches. The initial series of heads all had machined combustion chambers in what must have been a vastly expensive CNC type machine process on what would now be considered antiquated equipment. The process was quickly shifted to cast combustion chambers, and those early machined heads are somewhat of a bragging point for collectors, racers and restorers of the early big block Fords.

As Ford began experimentation with this new big block design, they produced a very cool 360-hp solid lifter version of the 352, which showcased just what this cylinder head design was capable of doing. The development included a 401-hp solid lifter 390 cubic inch version, and a 405-hp solid lifter 406 cubic inch version, prior to the eventual zenith of the FE series being the bored out solid lifter 427 (actually 425 cubic inches of displacement) conservatively rated at 425-hp. Naturally the solid lifter tunnel port 427 is the top of the solid lifter food chain anywhere, and that motor is found ONLY in racing machinery. It features huge intake ports so large that the pushrod actually penetrates directly through the port on its way to the camshaft, in a fabulous high volume intake well suited to high-rpm racing.

The fine wedge head design was used in many work horse applications by Ford for 14 or so years, making quite a reputation for the company in reliability, and whenever Ford decided to back this engine design in competition. This is the cylinder head design Henry Ford II used to put wins on the board for his company. The basic heads from the 332 to the 427 are essentially able to bolt onto any of the FE motor series, but there is a caution about matching up intake ports. The later designs have larger ports than the early ones, and all of the high performance heads have larger intakes (and in some cases, larger valves too). As long as we stay away from the ultra expensive performance heads you see on ebay going for $1000 or more a pair, any 352 or 390 head will bolt onto the 427 marine motor, because that is exactly what the 427 marine head is. The 361 and 391 FT (Ford Truck) heads are somewhat different and care must be used to be sure the intakes match up. Attention must also be given to the number of exhaust manifold bolts, to assure they will bolt to the marine exhaust.






It's good to get these out where people can see them, and use this information.


Combustion chamber close-up


Intake valve close up


Intake side


Intake obstruction caused by oil boss at rocker assembly




Rocker assy oil boss




Hope this info gives you an idea of what a proper marine C7JE is supposed to look like for a 427 marine motor.

regars, Paul
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Rob Williams
Rob Williams

July 19th, 2005, 10:20 pm #4

C7JE marine heads.

Edit comment, September of 2013: I am updating this post due to more information being learned since it was initially posted many years ago. It now appears the C7JE heads were used on 1966 427 marine motors and earlier. The C7JE has bigger intake ports than the C7AE-A, which came into play during 1967, and onward. In short, which is indicated in more detail later in this thread if you read it all, the C7AE-A with smaller ports had some advantages due to it being an "acceleration port" design. While the C7JE is a fine design, pretty well thought of in Ford circles, it is not a high performance head but can be ported to perform quite nicely. The C7AE-A was used on all Ford FE motors such as the 352, 390, 410, 427, and 428 (even the Shelby GT-500 and police interceptor motors). It is also not considered a "high performance head" either, but something one would expect to find if they ordered a 1967 Mustang 390 GT, or a 428 powered Shelby. Either one works on the Chris-Craft motors. I think they are entirely bolt-for-bolt interchangable. End of September 2013 edit.

the remainder of this thread is left as it was initially posted, so you can see the notation above has the benefit of some more recent discovery.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ * ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


The C7JE cylinder head used by Ford for Chris Craft marine motors, is a generic cylinder head that is very similar, if not identical, to the head that was used for the 352 and 390 cubic inch Ford automotive and truck motors. Naturally, if anyone is going to make a swap during a rebuild, the details will have to be closely verified, because there are many changes in the production run of these motors, and not all of it is well documented. The cylinder heads, however, appear to be generally low performance, but very fine in design, and quite durable. At a detuned 300-hp, this motor is still among the heavy-weight bruisers able to propell cruisers and speedboats at remarkable speeds.






http://www.network54.com/Forum/424840/m ... 1138582901

Also, please see the MASTER INDEX file, for a lot more information on this engine.























The wedge (head) that kicks out 438 foot-pounds of torque at 2900 RPM.

This is a design that basically came out of the United States during the 50s and 1960s, with designs primarily from Ford and Chrysler. GM used the plank head design similar to Lincoln when GM took their 348 big block and pumped up to the 409 cubic inch displacement size. The plank head design (used very successfully in Lincoln automobiles and the 431 Chris Craft Lincoln-based V8 marine engine) basically is flat as a plank with valves inset into the plank. The cylinders are cut off at an angle and that pie-shaped volume at TDC is where combustion occurs in the Chevy 409 and Lincoln 430 and 431. These motors were able to produce big power readings but that plank head ran out of breathing capability at higher rpm, and it was not a successful racing design.

Below are two photos of the Lincoln cylinder head, now you see why they're called plank heads?










In 1958 along came FoMoCo with the wedge head design you see in the photos at the top of this post. Combustion occurs inside this wedge shaped chamber with great success, and this particular design won 101 NASCAR races in the three seasons of 1963, 1964, and 1965. This design forced Chrysler to develop their hemi head design in order to compete. Even then, this design was tweaked into the high riser and tunnel port designs, and remained competitive. The competitiveness of the FE motor against the hemi was not necessarily in brute ultimate power nose-to-nose, as the hemi design is a beautiful improvement that has a lot of merit. However, the Ford (427) has the fabulous light weight cross-bolted block many of us have in our boats, and this block is VERY strong and reliable. Its light weight (compared to the boat anchor hemi) made it a natural in racing machines like the Ford powered Cobra, and GT 40 cars that won LeMans every year they were allowed to compete. Yes, the 427 was NEVER defeated at LeMans.

One thing the Chrysler guys don't like to remember, is the fact that Richard Petty actually defected from Chrysler to Ford in 1968, and when Ford put him in a 427 powered Torino, he beat the best thing Chrysler could put on the track (which was powered by their hemi)

Chrysler also had their own very fine wedge head motors, including the 318, 413, and 426B. These were great motors of the era, but the 427 Ford is the king of the big block wedge designs. In 1958 when the design began production, it was offered in the FE motors in 332 and 352 cubic inches. The initial series of heads all had machined combustion chambers in what must have been a vastly expensive CNC type machine process on what would now be considered antiquated equipment. The process was quickly shifted to cast combustion chambers, and those early machined heads are somewhat of a bragging point for collectors, racers and restorers of the early big block Fords.

As Ford began experimentation with this new big block design, they produced a very cool 360-hp solid lifter version of the 352, which showcased just what this cylinder head design was capable of doing. The development included a 401-hp solid lifter 390 cubic inch version, and a 405-hp solid lifter 406 cubic inch version, prior to the eventual zenith of the FE series being the bored out solid lifter 427 (actually 425 cubic inches of displacement) conservatively rated at 425-hp. Naturally the solid lifter tunnel port 427 is the top of the solid lifter food chain anywhere, and that motor is found ONLY in racing machinery. It features huge intake ports so large that the pushrod actually penetrates directly through the port on its way to the camshaft, in a fabulous high volume intake well suited to high-rpm racing.

The fine wedge head design was used in many work horse applications by Ford for 14 or so years, making quite a reputation for the company in reliability, and whenever Ford decided to back this engine design in competition. This is the cylinder head design Henry Ford II used to put wins on the board for his company. The basic heads from the 332 to the 427 are essentially able to bolt onto any of the FE motor series, but there is a caution about matching up intake ports. The later designs have larger ports than the early ones, and all of the high performance heads have larger intakes (and in some cases, larger valves too). As long as we stay away from the ultra expensive performance heads you see on ebay going for $1000 or more a pair, any 352 or 390 head will bolt onto the 427 marine motor, because that is exactly what the 427 marine head is. The 361 and 391 FT (Ford Truck) heads are somewhat different and care must be used to be sure the intakes match up. Attention must also be given to the number of exhaust manifold bolts, to assure they will bolt to the marine exhaust.






Ijust noticed this thread, it's a great resource for anyone with an old Ford or one of your Ford powered boats. I've downloaded all the photographs, many thanks for taking the time to post this.

cheers, Rob
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Rob Williams
Rob Williams

July 20th, 2005, 5:34 pm #5

Ebay # 7988056135

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayI ... 7988056135


Text below is from the auction,

Set of early 63 Ford 427 low riser heads in great condition. No visible cracks or markings. These heads have never been reconditioned or tampered with.
Specs
Intake valves - 2.022 - 2.037
Exhaust valves - 1.645 - 1.660
Intake ports - 2.34 tall - 1.34 wide
Exhaust ports - 1.84 tall - 1.28 wide






This would appear to be a nice set of heads for the marine 427.

cheers, Rob Williams
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Paul
Paul

May 7th, 2007, 5:36 pm #6

C7JE marine heads.

Edit comment, September of 2013: I am updating this post due to more information being learned since it was initially posted many years ago. It now appears the C7JE heads were used on 1966 427 marine motors and earlier. The C7JE has bigger intake ports than the C7AE-A, which came into play during 1967, and onward. In short, which is indicated in more detail later in this thread if you read it all, the C7AE-A with smaller ports had some advantages due to it being an "acceleration port" design. While the C7JE is a fine design, pretty well thought of in Ford circles, it is not a high performance head but can be ported to perform quite nicely. The C7AE-A was used on all Ford FE motors such as the 352, 390, 410, 427, and 428 (even the Shelby GT-500 and police interceptor motors). It is also not considered a "high performance head" either, but something one would expect to find if they ordered a 1967 Mustang 390 GT, or a 428 powered Shelby. Either one works on the Chris-Craft motors. I think they are entirely bolt-for-bolt interchangable. End of September 2013 edit.

the remainder of this thread is left as it was initially posted, so you can see the notation above has the benefit of some more recent discovery.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ * ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


The C7JE cylinder head used by Ford for Chris Craft marine motors, is a generic cylinder head that is very similar, if not identical, to the head that was used for the 352 and 390 cubic inch Ford automotive and truck motors. Naturally, if anyone is going to make a swap during a rebuild, the details will have to be closely verified, because there are many changes in the production run of these motors, and not all of it is well documented. The cylinder heads, however, appear to be generally low performance, but very fine in design, and quite durable. At a detuned 300-hp, this motor is still among the heavy-weight bruisers able to propell cruisers and speedboats at remarkable speeds.






http://www.network54.com/Forum/424840/m ... 1138582901

Also, please see the MASTER INDEX file, for a lot more information on this engine.























The wedge (head) that kicks out 438 foot-pounds of torque at 2900 RPM.

This is a design that basically came out of the United States during the 50s and 1960s, with designs primarily from Ford and Chrysler. GM used the plank head design similar to Lincoln when GM took their 348 big block and pumped up to the 409 cubic inch displacement size. The plank head design (used very successfully in Lincoln automobiles and the 431 Chris Craft Lincoln-based V8 marine engine) basically is flat as a plank with valves inset into the plank. The cylinders are cut off at an angle and that pie-shaped volume at TDC is where combustion occurs in the Chevy 409 and Lincoln 430 and 431. These motors were able to produce big power readings but that plank head ran out of breathing capability at higher rpm, and it was not a successful racing design.

Below are two photos of the Lincoln cylinder head, now you see why they're called plank heads?










In 1958 along came FoMoCo with the wedge head design you see in the photos at the top of this post. Combustion occurs inside this wedge shaped chamber with great success, and this particular design won 101 NASCAR races in the three seasons of 1963, 1964, and 1965. This design forced Chrysler to develop their hemi head design in order to compete. Even then, this design was tweaked into the high riser and tunnel port designs, and remained competitive. The competitiveness of the FE motor against the hemi was not necessarily in brute ultimate power nose-to-nose, as the hemi design is a beautiful improvement that has a lot of merit. However, the Ford (427) has the fabulous light weight cross-bolted block many of us have in our boats, and this block is VERY strong and reliable. Its light weight (compared to the boat anchor hemi) made it a natural in racing machines like the Ford powered Cobra, and GT 40 cars that won LeMans every year they were allowed to compete. Yes, the 427 was NEVER defeated at LeMans.

One thing the Chrysler guys don't like to remember, is the fact that Richard Petty actually defected from Chrysler to Ford in 1968, and when Ford put him in a 427 powered Torino, he beat the best thing Chrysler could put on the track (which was powered by their hemi)

Chrysler also had their own very fine wedge head motors, including the 318, 413, and 426B. These were great motors of the era, but the 427 Ford is the king of the big block wedge designs. In 1958 when the design began production, it was offered in the FE motors in 332 and 352 cubic inches. The initial series of heads all had machined combustion chambers in what must have been a vastly expensive CNC type machine process on what would now be considered antiquated equipment. The process was quickly shifted to cast combustion chambers, and those early machined heads are somewhat of a bragging point for collectors, racers and restorers of the early big block Fords.

As Ford began experimentation with this new big block design, they produced a very cool 360-hp solid lifter version of the 352, which showcased just what this cylinder head design was capable of doing. The development included a 401-hp solid lifter 390 cubic inch version, and a 405-hp solid lifter 406 cubic inch version, prior to the eventual zenith of the FE series being the bored out solid lifter 427 (actually 425 cubic inches of displacement) conservatively rated at 425-hp. Naturally the solid lifter tunnel port 427 is the top of the solid lifter food chain anywhere, and that motor is found ONLY in racing machinery. It features huge intake ports so large that the pushrod actually penetrates directly through the port on its way to the camshaft, in a fabulous high volume intake well suited to high-rpm racing.

The fine wedge head design was used in many work horse applications by Ford for 14 or so years, making quite a reputation for the company in reliability, and whenever Ford decided to back this engine design in competition. This is the cylinder head design Henry Ford II used to put wins on the board for his company. The basic heads from the 332 to the 427 are essentially able to bolt onto any of the FE motor series, but there is a caution about matching up intake ports. The later designs have larger ports than the early ones, and all of the high performance heads have larger intakes (and in some cases, larger valves too). As long as we stay away from the ultra expensive performance heads you see on ebay going for $1000 or more a pair, any 352 or 390 head will bolt onto the 427 marine motor, because that is exactly what the 427 marine head is. The 361 and 391 FT (Ford Truck) heads are somewhat different and care must be used to be sure the intakes match up. Attention must also be given to the number of exhaust manifold bolts, to assure they will bolt to the marine exhaust.








A word of caution, due to the fact that most machine shops these days see a lot of Chevrolet motors and they are not familiar with the FE series of motor. The FE has some unique features that just don't work if you apply Chevy thinking to them. I also had a guy at an automotove parts store tell me one day that Ford never made a 427, and I must be thinking about the Chevrolet motor. Therefore, the warning below:

FE cylinder heads are not to be casually milled like some other makes. They can be milled.050 but you do NOT want to do it because this can increase volumes by 12cc on a wedge head design like this. One of the beautiful things about the 427 is it has a reasonably low compression so it runs well on marina gas. In addition, milling even .020 may require the intake manifold to be milled too. Since the head may have been milled before, you have to be careful when these go to the shop. If milling is left to .010 it will normally compensate for the .003 to .007 warpage allowed (the former for a 6” dimension and the latter across the entire head)..

If the heads are milled more than .010 or have been milled before, the rocker shaft oil hole should be checked, to be sure the channel in the gasket surface of each head is .18 to .20 deep because that is necessary to provide rocker shaft lubrication. Personally, unless the head really needed milling because it was proven to be out of tolerance, I would just go with a good FelPro gasket and be done with it. I wouldn't mill just for the heck of it.

The reason I am posting all this info, is because these are not Chevy heads, and what is normal practice in a shop that sees a lot of Chevy heads may not work for the FE series wedge head. These heads can not be casually milled. The good news is, they probably don't need to be milled, as they're not prone to warping in the first place.

Regards,

Paul
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Paul
Paul

September 21st, 2007, 10:21 pm #7

C7JE marine heads.

Edit comment, September of 2013: I am updating this post due to more information being learned since it was initially posted many years ago. It now appears the C7JE heads were used on 1966 427 marine motors and earlier. The C7JE has bigger intake ports than the C7AE-A, which came into play during 1967, and onward. In short, which is indicated in more detail later in this thread if you read it all, the C7AE-A with smaller ports had some advantages due to it being an "acceleration port" design. While the C7JE is a fine design, pretty well thought of in Ford circles, it is not a high performance head but can be ported to perform quite nicely. The C7AE-A was used on all Ford FE motors such as the 352, 390, 410, 427, and 428 (even the Shelby GT-500 and police interceptor motors). It is also not considered a "high performance head" either, but something one would expect to find if they ordered a 1967 Mustang 390 GT, or a 428 powered Shelby. Either one works on the Chris-Craft motors. I think they are entirely bolt-for-bolt interchangable. End of September 2013 edit.

the remainder of this thread is left as it was initially posted, so you can see the notation above has the benefit of some more recent discovery.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ * ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


The C7JE cylinder head used by Ford for Chris Craft marine motors, is a generic cylinder head that is very similar, if not identical, to the head that was used for the 352 and 390 cubic inch Ford automotive and truck motors. Naturally, if anyone is going to make a swap during a rebuild, the details will have to be closely verified, because there are many changes in the production run of these motors, and not all of it is well documented. The cylinder heads, however, appear to be generally low performance, but very fine in design, and quite durable. At a detuned 300-hp, this motor is still among the heavy-weight bruisers able to propell cruisers and speedboats at remarkable speeds.






http://www.network54.com/Forum/424840/m ... 1138582901

Also, please see the MASTER INDEX file, for a lot more information on this engine.























The wedge (head) that kicks out 438 foot-pounds of torque at 2900 RPM.

This is a design that basically came out of the United States during the 50s and 1960s, with designs primarily from Ford and Chrysler. GM used the plank head design similar to Lincoln when GM took their 348 big block and pumped up to the 409 cubic inch displacement size. The plank head design (used very successfully in Lincoln automobiles and the 431 Chris Craft Lincoln-based V8 marine engine) basically is flat as a plank with valves inset into the plank. The cylinders are cut off at an angle and that pie-shaped volume at TDC is where combustion occurs in the Chevy 409 and Lincoln 430 and 431. These motors were able to produce big power readings but that plank head ran out of breathing capability at higher rpm, and it was not a successful racing design.

Below are two photos of the Lincoln cylinder head, now you see why they're called plank heads?










In 1958 along came FoMoCo with the wedge head design you see in the photos at the top of this post. Combustion occurs inside this wedge shaped chamber with great success, and this particular design won 101 NASCAR races in the three seasons of 1963, 1964, and 1965. This design forced Chrysler to develop their hemi head design in order to compete. Even then, this design was tweaked into the high riser and tunnel port designs, and remained competitive. The competitiveness of the FE motor against the hemi was not necessarily in brute ultimate power nose-to-nose, as the hemi design is a beautiful improvement that has a lot of merit. However, the Ford (427) has the fabulous light weight cross-bolted block many of us have in our boats, and this block is VERY strong and reliable. Its light weight (compared to the boat anchor hemi) made it a natural in racing machines like the Ford powered Cobra, and GT 40 cars that won LeMans every year they were allowed to compete. Yes, the 427 was NEVER defeated at LeMans.

One thing the Chrysler guys don't like to remember, is the fact that Richard Petty actually defected from Chrysler to Ford in 1968, and when Ford put him in a 427 powered Torino, he beat the best thing Chrysler could put on the track (which was powered by their hemi)

Chrysler also had their own very fine wedge head motors, including the 318, 413, and 426B. These were great motors of the era, but the 427 Ford is the king of the big block wedge designs. In 1958 when the design began production, it was offered in the FE motors in 332 and 352 cubic inches. The initial series of heads all had machined combustion chambers in what must have been a vastly expensive CNC type machine process on what would now be considered antiquated equipment. The process was quickly shifted to cast combustion chambers, and those early machined heads are somewhat of a bragging point for collectors, racers and restorers of the early big block Fords.

As Ford began experimentation with this new big block design, they produced a very cool 360-hp solid lifter version of the 352, which showcased just what this cylinder head design was capable of doing. The development included a 401-hp solid lifter 390 cubic inch version, and a 405-hp solid lifter 406 cubic inch version, prior to the eventual zenith of the FE series being the bored out solid lifter 427 (actually 425 cubic inches of displacement) conservatively rated at 425-hp. Naturally the solid lifter tunnel port 427 is the top of the solid lifter food chain anywhere, and that motor is found ONLY in racing machinery. It features huge intake ports so large that the pushrod actually penetrates directly through the port on its way to the camshaft, in a fabulous high volume intake well suited to high-rpm racing.

The fine wedge head design was used in many work horse applications by Ford for 14 or so years, making quite a reputation for the company in reliability, and whenever Ford decided to back this engine design in competition. This is the cylinder head design Henry Ford II used to put wins on the board for his company. The basic heads from the 332 to the 427 are essentially able to bolt onto any of the FE motor series, but there is a caution about matching up intake ports. The later designs have larger ports than the early ones, and all of the high performance heads have larger intakes (and in some cases, larger valves too). As long as we stay away from the ultra expensive performance heads you see on ebay going for $1000 or more a pair, any 352 or 390 head will bolt onto the 427 marine motor, because that is exactly what the 427 marine head is. The 361 and 391 FT (Ford Truck) heads are somewhat different and care must be used to be sure the intakes match up. Attention must also be given to the number of exhaust manifold bolts, to assure they will bolt to the marine exhaust.






............when you could buy a SOHC 427 "Cammer" for $3400 new !!!



Here is an interesting photo comparison of the early type competition wedge head versus the tunnelport wedge head (right). The tunnelport uses a ridiculously HUGE air intake port, and this just goes to show how serious Ford was in competing for wins.



The cool part about all this racing development, where Ford used low, medium and high riser heads and intake designs, tunnelport intakes and heads, and even the single overhead cam versions.............is the fact that the cross bolted bottom end of the 427 block never really changed, and it could handle all the power of all those racing developments. That's the same bottom end we have in our 300-hp marine engines, and it is one reason these engines are so durable. They were developed on the race tracks, and in many cases, elements of this motor are over-engineered for marine use. The side oiling feature was added in case a cam bearing went out, and the design was thought to be able to provide enough extra time for the motor to run, to perhaps live long enough to still be able to cross the finish line!! Now that is what the word "competition" is all about.

The 427 marine engine has an awesome racing pedigree, and it can be seen, heard and felt, even if the motor is draped with marine gear.

<embed src="" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="850" height="700">
There's a little bit of NASCAR history in every 427 Chris Craft !!

regards, Paul



Last edited by FEfinaticP on February 1st, 2010, 12:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Anonymous
Anonymous

September 21st, 2007, 10:44 pm #8

It's good to get these out where people can see them, and use this information.


Combustion chamber close-up


Intake valve close up


Intake side


Intake obstruction caused by oil boss at rocker assembly




Rocker assy oil boss




Hope this info gives you an idea of what a proper marine C7JE is supposed to look like for a 427 marine motor.

regars, Paul
Top two photos are the plank-head Lincoln. Note, no combustion chamber in the head! The cylinder bore is cut off at an angle, and combustion happens within the cut off bore.









Here is the 427 wedge shaped combustion chamber. This design lets the piston come right up to the face of the valves and all combustion occurs inside this wedge shape.




The Lincoln was great on torque, overall build quality, and longevity. The Ford 427 had all that, plus the racing developments and the ability to breathe much better at higher rpm. The pushrod version of the 427 was rated at 6000 rpm redline in street form for the general public, ha ha. Imagine that today! In racing form these engines sometimes reached rpm high enough to have small bumpers cast into the tops of the pistons, to force the valves back up into position, in the event rpm got so high it created valve float. All the while, the same cross bolted bottom ends we have in our 427 boats today, withstood the stress of running at this kind of speed for a 500-Mile NASCAR race or a 24-hour run at LeMans.

For some, a motor is a motor is a motor. To others there is an appreciation of the history and mechanical attributes of a 427 Ford Big Block that make a difference.

Regards,
Paul




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James Brunette
James Brunette

September 22nd, 2007, 1:46 am #9

............when you could buy a SOHC 427 "Cammer" for $3400 new !!!



Here is an interesting photo comparison of the early type competition wedge head versus the tunnelport wedge head (right). The tunnelport uses a ridiculously HUGE air intake port, and this just goes to show how serious Ford was in competing for wins.



The cool part about all this racing development, where Ford used low, medium and high riser heads and intake designs, tunnelport intakes and heads, and even the single overhead cam versions.............is the fact that the cross bolted bottom end of the 427 block never really changed, and it could handle all the power of all those racing developments. That's the same bottom end we have in our 300-hp marine engines, and it is one reason these engines are so durable. They were developed on the race tracks, and in many cases, elements of this motor are over-engineered for marine use. The side oiling feature was added in case a cam bearing went out, and the design was thought to be able to provide enough extra time for the motor to run, to perhaps live long enough to still be able to cross the finish line!! Now that is what the word "competition" is all about.

The 427 marine engine has an awesome racing pedigree, and it can be seen, heard and felt, even if the motor is draped with marine gear.

<embed src="" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="850" height="700">
There's a little bit of NASCAR history in every 427 Chris Craft !!

regards, Paul


Paul,

I am a big fan of the 427 but I really don’t know much more about them than I can find here on the forum. I consider myself lucky to have ended up with a boat with these motors.

I put gas in the tanks, have valves adjusted each year, change the oil, and we run them easily most of the time. I am aware of the history, to a certain extent, but again, I have never seen the insides of one and never really did much work of my own on one.

I see comments about the low and high riser versions of the motor. In a nutshell, without stealing much of your time, what is the difference in lay terms between the low and high riser? What do we have in our boat?

Thanks in advance for the kind tutorage,

James Brunette
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Paul
Paul

September 22nd, 2007, 3:54 am #10


Hi James,

The low risers are common to just about all the FE versions out there from 1958 on. Those were all low profile intakes, and some of them were designed for truck use and some were admittedly not intended for high flow or high power. The head design, however, is a very good one, and the entire big block “FE” family was intended to be the “power option” for Ford Motor Company. The series included great motors like the 360-hp solid lifter 352, and the 401-hp solid lifter 390, the 405-hp 406, and of course the 427 too. Most of the cylinder heads that fit the 352 will bolt directly onto all of the other FE motors, including the 427. It’s a great design, and Chrysler Corporation also had some great wedge head designs like their 413 Max Wedge, and their 426B (non hemi) that had great (primarily drag racing and street racing) careers.

On the low rise Ford intake, you get the same basic (good) cylinder head we have on our boats, and a squashed down intake design (resulting in a flat motor) that fits under a hood of something like a 1963 T-bird. As Ford continued to experiment with power options, they found that bigger ports on the intake side produced more power. Since the motor couldn’t really get any wider without a total redesign of cylinder placement, they started building taller to achieve the same end result. The ports got taller within the same cylinder spacing and bore, etc. In other words, they increased the air flow by making taller ports with more flow and longer runners. The Chrysler “cross ram” design used long runners too, in order to build very large torque numbers.

Everyone of the era (the 1960’s musclecar war era) knew about this basic technology, but Ford is the one who built the bullet-proof designs that swept wide-open-throttle big block racing like NASCAR. The Chysler hemi is (also) a great motor design, and it was very competitive, and it was designed from the onset to compete against the 427. When Richard Petty jumped ship and drove one season for Ford, Mr. Petty won in a 427-powered Ford, and he raced against the hemi. Chrysler fans want to forget about this, but it's true! It's a tribute to his driving skill and the machinery too. When the 427 Ford was developed further into the tunnelport version, it remained a competitive tool, but the basic 1958 design was finally replaced with the BOSS 429 “semi hemi” and that motor was able to battle Chrysler to a more than an equal draw before big block racing became a thing of the past. If you ever watch those classic NASCAR races with David Pearson, Richard Petty, Cale Yarborough, etc., you'll see both brands on the tracks passing each other almost at will. It was very competitive. Both brands won races too, during the years of '63, '64, and '65, Ford literally swept the tracks clean with the FE.

My point for the short history comments about Chrysler, was just to make a point about how good the basic Ford wedge design was, and also how competitive those years were, with Chrysler being the real big block competition of the day for Ford.

On the high rise setup, Ford found the taller intake (and taller head design) allowed fuel to practically drop vertically into the motor and this showed up in higher racing horsepower. This tall design caused hood bubbles because it was so bulky. The Fairlane Thunderbolt, with it’s distinctive hood bulge, is one such example of a real fire breathing high rise setup. The high rise setup required a special high rise head and a special high rise intake to be used together, and it is not possible to use a low riser intake with these big ported heads because the intakes just don’t match up. The high riser was primarily a racing product, and I am not sure it was ever offered for the street (other than a special order from Ford, motor only, or perhaps in a purpose built drag racing car like the Thunderbolt).

Later, Ford developed a high performance low rise and medium rise head, and with some clever engineering those turned out to perform almost as well as the taller one for street use. Our boats have the low rise setup, and it’s not a race-track design. Since virtually ANY head and intake bolted to a 427 motor is to be considered a “performance” part by nature, everything is relative. They do make aftermarket low rise intakes that flow better than our boat intake manifolds do, but since we are only spinning at 4000 rpm, it really doesn’t matter all that much. Edelbrock, Shelby, Blue Thunder, and Dove are some companies making great aftermarket intakes for this motor today. If you look at the torque ratings of high performance 427 motors that produce in excess of 400 hp, you will see our detuned boat motors STILL have enormous torque numbers at 438 footpounds at 2900 rpm. That is an indication of massive torque even from a 300-hp marine version of this motor. The good Ford cylinder heads do their part in making this possible.

If you have the time and want to read a really good article, check out the following PDF file. It has a nice write-up about the FE engine design and some of the features. Keep in mind, that Ford Motor Company poured untold millions of dollars into the development of this motor in order to get all those competitive advantages. It’s in the record books now, and those of us who have these motors in our boats need to really APPRECIATE what we have. They are historic icons, and they are still very strong performers that are built better than just about anything you will find with new paint these days. I dare say, some of those new highly marketed motors would not be running today, 40 years later, if they were put into service at the same time a race-proven solid lifter 427 was.

Our blocks are essentially “the same” as the blocks that were raced in NASCAR. They are the royalty of the big block musclecar era. The cranks in our boat motors are generally the very fine Ford cast iron crankshaft, capable of well over a hundred more horsepower than we have. The heads are very fine, but they are “generic” FE heads found on cars like Thunderbirds and big Galaxies of the day. The intakes are also pretty generic, if you can call a FE intake generic these days !!

If your motors had the high rise setup, your heads would be taller than the ones in your boat, and the intakes would be too. The result on some boats smaller than the 38 Commander, would be a clearance problem. The 38 has the clearance for a high riser, but the smaller boats (and most cars) don’t. Thus, the hood bulge they had to add for those hot race cars that used this setup.

Here is a link to that PDF file I mentioned. Enjoy the read, it’s well written and pretty accurate, but it takes a while to load the file. http://www.legendaryfordmagazine.com/PD ... rplant.pdf

The horsepower figures listed are those published by Ford Motor Company. It is generally understood that the high performance 427 motors were actually putting out power ratings in the 450-hp range, and the 428 Super Cobra Jet listing (for instance) at 335-hp is a joke, with a low published rating to get around insurance regulations. It stands to reason, that a smaller 390 with the same compression ratio and a listing of 401-hp a few years earlier, would indicate a Super Cobra Jet high performance 428 with the same compression ratio and larger displacement would have a lot more power than the published 335. Guess what? It did J Therefore, look at some of the power ratings with a bit of a wink, because it was a sign of the times, and not finite reality. That engine was putting out somewhere in the 400-hp range, proven by dyno testing and real world performance hauling lots of iron around on the streets and drag strips.

The benefit we boaters have today, is the benefit of the untold millions Ford spend developing this engine series, and the fact that we have detuned versions that not only perform well, they are so well built they will last almost forever if given good care. The blocks are the same as those raced. The intakes are not racing intakes, but they are still good for their intended purpose. The compression ratios are lower for marine use, and the crankshafts are cast iron instead of the forged steel used to obtain 7000 on the NASCAR tracks. The basic motor is the same, but in a marine configuration intended to provide long service. Those cylinder heads are very similar to those used to produce 400+ horsepower, and with a hot cam and higher compression, our boat motors could produce lots more power, and this is one reason the Cobra kit car builders still seek these motors.

Therefore, anyone running a 427 marine motor today, is actually a part of the Ford racing legacy of the 1960s, part of the NASCAR legacy, and also part of the 24-hours of LeMans legacy too. This knowledge and appreciation for history and good machinery is a big part of the enjoyment I get owning these motors in my Chris Craft Commander. I know this is more than you wanted to hear when you asked about the cylinder heads and the low and high riser versions, but hey, this is a big part of the reason I own the particular Commander I do, and a big part of the fun for me.

Next time you twist the key and hear yours fire up, I hope you have a little more appreciation and fun too !

Regards, all the best (there are no dumb questions)

Paul
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