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Technical Holman and Moody big block

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by Deuce Man, Jun 30, 2020.

  1. Deuce Man
    Joined: Jul 31, 2015
    Posts: 199

    Deuce Man

    Did ford build any 427's without the cross bolted mains? I picked up a H&m Boat motor for an old raceboat that we are restoring for a fellow car guy. He bought it as a 427, but it doesn't have cross bolted mains. I talked to Lee Holman today, he said that his dad built a lot of 390 marine engines, a few 428's. Wierd that the serial # begins with The letter A which signifies 427. I know this is kind of a diversion from standard practice in this forum, but this is not the first Holman Moody marine engine thread on this forum. Thanks guys Rich
  2. greybeard360
    Joined: Feb 28, 2008
    Posts: 1,513


    Yes, Ford built a lot of non side oiler/cross bolt 427's. Most standard 4bbl 427's were standard blocks.
    jaracer, rpm56 and dana barlow like this.
  3. Can’t help, but you and the family have a safe and great 4th.

    Sent from my iPad using H.A.M.B.
  4. deathrowdave
    Joined: May 27, 2014
    Posts: 2,248

    from NKy

    I had a marine BLOCK as a kid it was cross bolted single 4V an non side Oiler .But I do not have an answer to the question .

  5. sevenhills1952
    Joined: Mar 14, 2018
    Posts: 940


    I worked at a service station in 1970, guy I worked with had a Holman and Moody built 427 in a 66 Fairlane street/strip. It ran high 10s (1/4m), not much on the street then could run with it.

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  6. Supposedly the cross-bolted mains came about when Ford discovered that the main caps were 'walking' on their 406 NASCAR motors during races, so in late '62 Ford started cross-bolting the caps on the 406. You'll run into 406 blocks with both types of caps. This was carried through onto the 427 blocks. Keep in mind that the only real difference was the main caps; the block casting was more-or-less the same, with the cross-bolt blocks having their pan skirts machined for the bolts and spacers needed. AFAIK all the car/marine blocks were machined for the cross bolts.

    But Ford also sold 'industrial' versions of the 427, intended for stationary power applications and I was told by a old racer that many of these lacked both the caps and the machining for the cross-bolts, although they could be added if you had a set of caps. The majority of these were center-oiler blocks. After Ford discontinued the 427 in '68, blocks quickly became hard to find and any usable block you could find were used in 'other' applications. The 427 had thin cylinder walls and couldn't take much of an overbore unlike the other FE blocks. The 'preferred' overbore size is .017", going more causes problems. Until the advent of aftermarket FE blocks, it wasn't uncommon to find restorers installing 8 sleeves in 427 blocks to salvage them. These days, if finding a bored OEM block you'll probably be better off replacing it.
    harpo1313 likes this.
  7. I'll also note that any 'identification' you find on a FE block has to be taken with a grain of salt. I've never ran into one that had a 'serial number' on it, and casting numbers will at best only get you into the ballpark. While certain casting numbers were associated with certain blocks, they weren't always exclusive to those blocks so the only truly accurate way to identify one is by architecture, i.e. cross bolts or not, center or side oiler, bore size, and whether of not it was drilled for hydraulic lifters.
  8. sunbeam
    Joined: Oct 22, 2010
    Posts: 4,974


    The ones I wondered about are the 68 and 69 hydraulic lifter motors.
  9. The last 'official' 427 was the '68 Cougar 'GTE' which was the only 427 ever offered with hydraulic lifters. Detuned to 390 HP and only offered with an automatic trans, not many were sold. It's only reason for being was to keep the motor 'legal' for NASCAR. Ford switched to the Boss 429 in '69 and the 427 was gone from the Ford lineup...
  10. I can verify that there were 427 industrials that did not have cross bolts. What they did have was the boss cast into the block as to be able to drill into the caps. They had standard 2 bolt main caps. They were all center oilers to my knowledge. Everyone I saw had TRW flat top pistons with pop up eyebrows for the valves to bounce off of. :) These were widely sold in the midwest for irrigation use. That supply was depleted before the 428's were put into production.
  11. Deuce Man
    Joined: Jul 31, 2015
    Posts: 199

    Deuce Man

    Hi guys, thanks for the response to my question, all good information. Yesterday I talked to an old friend Nick Smith. Nick grew up amidst his father's ford dealership "Bev Smith Ford" here in Florida. Nick was a very competitive drag racer in the sixties, of course he raced fords, and now has a sweet collection of 60's race cars called "Factory Lightweights" Google it sometime. Nick basically confirmed what has been stated by you guys. Thanks a bunch Rich

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