Commemorating 50th anniversary of Cammer
By Titus Bloom –
Winder, Georgia: Some recent production at Jon Kaase Racing Engines included the building of several impressive Ford FE hot-rod engines, not least of which a beguiling Cammer version.
Big-block V8s packing 427 cubic inches (7 liters), FE production began in 1958 and ended in 1976. It replaced Ford’s Y-block and at the end of its reign was succeeded by the 385-series.
Competition FE engines were characterized by their remarkable record-breaking history, scoring dozens of NASCAR and drag racing triumphs and winning hundreds of races in Shelby Cobras. But in global motor sports, the FE’s reputation soared when it powered the unassailable Ford GT40s to two successive 24-hour Le Mans victories in 1966 and ’67. So dominant on the world’s stage were they, that when engine displacement rules were reduced to 5 liters, the GT40s continued to dominate, prevailing in 1968 and ’69 using Ford’s 302cu in (5 liter) small-block.
Earlier in 1965 Ford created a hemi-chambered cylinder head for the FE and operated its valves by a single overhead camshaft situated in the middle of each head. Known as the Cammer it was banned by NASCAR but became the tour de force in drag racing when Pete Robinson replaced the chain drive with a perceptive gear drive assembly (See The Legend of “Sneaky Pete” Robinson drag racing innovator and champion in next issue of Car Craft Elapsed Times, Summer Issue, on sale 04/24 news stands only).
The FE featured a bore spacing (distance between cylinder centers) of 4.630in and a deck height (distance from crank center to block top) of 10.170in. The main journal (crankshaft bearing) diameter is 2.749 in (69.8 mm).
Click here to see short interview of Jon Kaase discussing his latest FE and Cammer engine builds.
For further information contact:
Jon Kaase Racing Engines, Inc.
735 West Winder Ind. Parkway,
Winder, GA 30680,
Telephone (770) 307-0241 or email: JonKaaseRacing@gmail.com
I want One! How much for the 526 FE?
$55k+ according to Kasse’s website.
Your news item shows an Edelbrock Victor intake. However, I’m running an antiquated Offenhauser Port-O-Sonic intake on a 484FE with BBM heads and a 4150 carb in a SuperGas 2500lb racecar. Can you estimate my potential power loss? I realize a Port-O-Sonic may be so old you may not have a comparison. Both intake and heads have been ported by Jeff Colvert.
Unfortunately there is no way for us to say how much power you would be losing on an engine that we didn’t build and do not have knowledge of its design or components. Your engine builder or cylinder head guy may be able to give you a guess on that.
Running a Blue Thunder CJ dual quad on an FE with a streetable cam and aluminum heads. What displacement would you suggest to achieve 500 streetable horsepower?
Not knowing the exact specifications of your components, it would be hard to say. Depending on the quality of the heads and build, a 427ci engine should be able to accomplish your goals. The larger the displacement, the milder it can be while still achieving your power goals.
Just watch the episode of Engine Masters on Power Nation where they took A9427, meaning it didn’t have the cross-bolt main bearing just a stock block. Though I cannot remember the exact numbers, it came out to 445ci, using a 4.25in stroke. It had a hydraulic camshaft, 10:1 pistons, eat o’clock heads, which are basically the old 428 Cobra Jet clones. After a few timing adjustments 587 horsepower was accomplished, torque was a little less but comparable. I was thinking about doing something similar to put in ’74 tallboy F250, but with not as much horsepower. I just want to talk machine for that application. But they say you can use the truck heads from the nineteen-seventies from a 390 and you can get big numbers too. They have the same porting and the same valve sizes as the 428 Cobra Jet. It’s a great combination. Of course Kaase’s set up would far exceed it, for he’s a genius. In engineering prowess he is hands-down one of the best. One last thing, though, they say you can take the stock crank and stock rods with ARP bolts and it will handle 500/550hp. It’s a good little engine for an old timer.
I’m sorry about the spelling; the phone tries to help me but this is what I get…
I have one of the 1966 GT Fairlane’s that was part of the car converts and easily slated for the dealer option overhead cam package. Do you have any of these chain-drive kits available? NASCAR left these few cars on dealer showrooms after using what they needed for side-oiler cars. I would like to finish the Ford dream they had planned.
Are you looking for a kit to convert your existing FE engine to a SOHC? Unfortunately, there isn’t any type of “kit” per se. To make this conversion work would require piecing everything together.
I wish someone would make available an upgrade copy of the MT Hemi head for the FE in kit form. I feel certain it would sell.
What happened to Dove Manufacturing?