Author Topic: Who created the first 428 Cobra Jet?  (Read 2739 times)

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Offline crossboss

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Re: Who created the first 428 Cobra Jet?
« Reply #15 on: March 30, 2019, 02:42:42 pm »
Did anybody tweak the 428 PI engines in 66 to the level of a CJ?



Yes, I guess you can say Shelby did for his 1967 GT-500s.
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Offline 69cobrajetrugae2

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Re: Who created the first 428 Cobra Jet?
« Reply #16 on: March 30, 2019, 03:23:09 pm »
Thanks crossboss.


Let me clarify my question.

Insofar as I know Taska was credited with using off the shelf parts to wake up the 428,  the first engine was a 390 with 428 internals and medium riser heads and 390 GT cam unless I'm mistaken.

The performance of this first engine resulted in the birth to the Cobra Jet Mustang and 150 odd cars we're available for sale 4-1-67.  Shelby must have used the same formula with the exception perhaps being the aluminum intake manifold.

I've wondered if a Police Garage mechanic was tasked to wake up the new 428 PI in 66 and was first to use the off the shelf collection of parts but was never credited in doing so in order to maintain the element of surprise over the criminal element.

I'm not suggesting that Taska's agents stole the idea but that perhaps they weren't the first to use it.

There was an article I read about how the new 428 PI in the full size Galaxy cop car had so much low end torque when the police began a high speed pursuit even though the outlaw speeder could attain a much higher top speed, the low end grunt of the 428 PI would always keep the outlaw in the policeman's view thereby ending any chances of escape.  Given the weight of the full size Galaxy my assumption is that some of the cop cars we're made into Q codes ie: Cobra Jets under the radar.

 The first Q code was a British police car in the early 60s that was secretly hopped to run down criminals and that program was very successful.

Offline geraldt52

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Re: Who created the first 428 Cobra Jet?
« Reply #17 on: March 31, 2019, 08:07:06 pm »
...Yes, I guess you can say Shelby did for his 1967 GT-500s.

The Shelby-spec 428s of '67 and '68 had nothing near the performance of the 428CJ...lousy heads, lousy exhaust manifolds, 2" exhaust, and more carburetor than they actually needed.  It's always been a puzzle to me why at least the low-riser heads weren't used by Shelby, since the engines were exclusive to Shelby anyway.  He had to know it could be done, so apparently a beancounter decision.

It was no secret, long before the 428 CJ, that 427 heads could wake up 390s and 428s.  There were even Hot Rod articles on it.  It was expensive though, and not legal for class racing, so what was the point?...much easier and cheaper to visit your friendly Pontiac dealer and drive off in a tri-power GTO, ready to go.

The performance of this first engine resulted in the birth to the Cobra Jet Mustang and 150 odd cars we're available for sale 4-1-67...
I don't know what you're referring to there.  There were no CJ cars available 4-1-67, and there were many more than 150 CJ cars available 4-1-68.

Offline crossboss

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Re: Who created the first 428 Cobra Jet?
« Reply #18 on: April 01, 2019, 10:00:13 am »
...Yes, I guess you can say Shelby did for his 1967 GT-500s.

The Shelby-spec 428s of '67 and '68 had nothing near the performance of the 428CJ...lousy heads, lousy exhaust manifolds, 2" exhaust, and more carburetor than they actually needed.  It's always been a puzzle to me why at least the low-riser heads weren't used by Shelby, since the engines were exclusive to Shelby anyway.  He had to know it could be done, so apparently a beancounter decision.

It was no secret, long before the 428 CJ, that 427 heads could wake up 390s and 428s.  There were even Hot Rod articles on it.  It was expensive though, and not legal for class racing, so what was the point?...much easier and cheaper to visit your friendly Pontiac dealer and drive off in a tri-power GTO, ready to go.

The performance of this first engine resulted in the birth to the Cobra Jet Mustang and 150 odd cars we're available for sale 4-1-67...
I don't know what you're referring to there.  There were no CJ cars available 4-1-67, and there were many more than 150 CJ cars available 4-1-68.


Shelby's '67 GT-500 428s may not had the ground pounding performance, however, he did 'hop up' the 'ol standard 428 with dual quads, and engine dress up goodies. Btw, I'm sure it was quicker than a 'standard' 390 car. Also, I'm unaware of any GTOs that had Tri-Powers in 1967. All were equipped with the 'new' 400 cid 4V and QJ carb. I believe you are referring to the '66 and earlier cars. That said, there were many other cars in 1967 that would trounce a GTO, several cars like the Mopars come to mind.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2019, 10:21:27 am by crossboss »
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Current lifelong project: 1969 Mustang Fastback/FOX chassis, Powered by a modern Can-Am 494 (Boss 429), Kaase headed, Autolite 1425 cfm 'B' Inline carb, 6 speed, 4 wheel discs, ala Trans-Am style--Whew!

Offline geraldt52

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Re: Who created the first 428 Cobra Jet?
« Reply #19 on: April 01, 2019, 12:14:47 pm »
Shelby's '67 GT-500 428s may not had the ground pounding performance, however, he did 'hop up' the 'ol standard 428 with dual quads, and engine dress up goodies. Btw, I'm sure it was quicker than a 'standard' 390 car. Also, I'm unaware of any GTOs that had Tri-Powers in 1967. All were equipped with the 'new' 400 cid 4V and QJ carb. I believe you are referring to the '66 and earlier cars. That said, there were many other cars in 1967 that would trounce a GTO, several cars like the Mopars come to mind.

The '67 and '68 GT500s were definitely better than the 390 cars...about what you'd expect from 40 cubic inches.  I would say the non-CJ GT500s are about midway between the 390 cars and the CJ cars in terms of performance.  It's really a terrible shame that Shelby didn't use 427 heads and better exhaust on the first GT500s...the history of the era would have been quite a bit different.

You're right, the tri-power for the GTO was discontinued when they went to the 400 in '67...I was just using the GTO generically, to illustrate that there were far better, cheaper  choices available back then than starting with a weak 390/428 Ford and building your own, which would end up not being legal for class competition.  When Ford didn't even really have a muscle car, your local Pontiac dealer probably had a ram-air tri-power GTO with a Hurst shifter and 4.33 posi rear sitting on the showroom floor.  Even when the Fairlanes and Cyclones hit the market they were almost certainly 3.00s or 3.23s, open rear, or at best Equa-Lok.

GTOs tend to get a bad rap because there were so many of them, and obviously many, probably most, of them were mediocre.  A base engine GTO with 3.08s was no better than a 390GT Fairlane or Cyclone.  The best GTOs were always right there with the best of anyone's...the ram-air tri-powers, and the RA IIs, RA IIIs, and RA IVs.  Chrysler made a smart move then they entered the muscle car battle, their 440s having a huge displacement advantage over GM's 400s and Ford's 390s.  Had they gone with 383s the best GM stuff would have eaten them alive.

Offline sportyworty

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Re: Who created the first 428 Cobra Jet?
« Reply #20 on: April 01, 2019, 03:01:48 pm »
Ken the 66 PI solid unfortunately used the small valve heads common to 360/390. Perhaps reconfigured with 427 L/R (CJ spec) heads combined with the Aluminum C6 PI single 4 and a Holley and it would have been better. The diagonal head exhaust pattern would have allowed them to use the U or R heads in order to increase the exhaust to 390 GT style but again back to small valve heads. I agree with you that there are combos that they had to have played with since on hand.
The 67 GT 500 and 68 500 pre KR have the same small valve heads C7AE and C8AE respectively. Unfortunately the 427 Low Riser Heads did not have enough of a pad to machine a diagonal pattern in order to bolt up the somewhat better 390 GT exhaust. There was a real need to redesign that 427 head and use the bigger valves by 1967. The W/J and N heads were the answer. The earliest J head I have seen is early August 1967
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Offline 161854

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Re: Who created the first 428 Cobra Jet?
« Reply #21 on: April 02, 2019, 10:50:00 am »
    Kerry is spot on as usual. What few understand is how Ford's system worked. The fact that the low riser heads didn't have the diagonal bolt pattern on the exhaust and the fact that no "vertical' pattern Mustang compatible manifolds were available was a deal killer for the heads. While it is claimed that Tasca used 427 Fairlane manifolds , this was NOT a drop in conversion , something that would be necessary on an assembly line. I am sure there was some hammer manipulation done to the shock towers on the '67KR8. At Ford when parts don't exist , it requires a proposal which starts the red tape process. People think that if a part was needed , it was made , but that is not the case.  Cost factoring was imposed on EVERY part added to a car including the engineering costs to develop it.  That is the reason the 427CJ ( the initial intent engine) as it was called on Ford paperwork , never happened in the Mustang ( plus the company's fear that the insurance companies wouldn't insure a 427 Mustang)and why it was phased out on the GTE Cougar. It simply made the car lose money when sold. Cougars were more expensive that Mustangs and much of the cost increase was absorbed by that. Slow sales added to the 427 engine being dropped. No doubt it would have been a hit in the Mustang

    Ken ,
   Medium riser heads ( with their larger valves and different valve locations) require a 428's smaller bore to be notched for valve clearance , something Ford was not willing to do that extra work for a "production" engine. Plus the MR head has the same bolt pattern issue as the LR
head.

    Randy
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Offline Dggilbert

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Re: Who created the first 428 Cobra Jet?
« Reply #22 on: May 02, 2019, 02:37:36 pm »
Have a few subjects to address , first from a technical historical angle, not mine my fathers. He said the 427 heads would bolt up to the 390 but the bore being too small the valves would hit the block. That's why Bill Barr recommended the 428 PI block because, though he fly cut the pistons, the 428 bore size worked. 2nd the Fairlane exhaust manifolds were a mistake passed on over the years that was made in the Hot Rod article, tuned headers from Jardine just like went on Street Bertha, Ben Coles car,pictured  in the SS&DI article "Tasca's 11 second Cobra Jet". M father met with some resistance from both Ford, who thought there was no advantage, and the Bopper but because they weren't being charged by Jardine the Bopper said. Bill Barr list in the comparison  chart describes the KR8 having headers.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2019, 04:32:42 pm by Dggilbert »

Offline Dggilbert

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Re: Who created the first 428 Cobra Jet?
« Reply #23 on: May 02, 2019, 04:57:48 pm »
As far as timing goes, the Bopper got one of the first 67 GT coupes in mid 66 and that's when my dad and Bill Barr began the back and forth and decided the 428 PI would be a candidate for the heads my father wanted to use. Interesting note and a possible way to determine when the KR8 build was not only  known to guys at Ford but also to Shelby. Bill Barr says there was a back and forth between Tasca and Shelby that led to Shelby using the 428 PI in the GT500, that quote is here on the registry home page under Bill Barr's History of the Cobra Jet. By working back the time it took to when Shelby decided on the 428PI might just line up about when the CJ build started testing and development.

Offline 161854

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Re: Who created the first 428 Cobra Jet?
« Reply #24 on: May 02, 2019, 05:46:05 pm »
  Dave ,
      THANK YOU for clearing up the information regarding the Fairlane manifolds versus headers deal. I knew from personal experience that the Fairlane manifolds are REALLY difficult to make work on a Mustang. Same as the MR head on a 390. Besides there is a SIXTEEN CC difference in combustion chamber volume that LOSES a couple of points in compression on a 390 and about a point and a half on a 428 when using them on a stock short block. "Production " 427's had to use a dome piston to get compression with a MR head. The KR8/CJ was NOT intended to be a 7,000 rpm engine and the smaller valve LR heads cleared the 428 bores because of the smaller valves and lack of "spread" between the valves. The smaller chamber LR head also worked with the existing dished 428 pistons to give a realistic compression ratio. The late Bill Holbrook called the CJ "the engine that should have been built from day one". ( meaning in '66 when the 428 was first released) Company policy and fear of insurance companies not insuring a 428 Mustang at that time was more important than sales. The "Donald Frey letter" , and the Tasca KR8 project gave Ford execs a dose of reality.
   Randy
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Offline Dggilbert

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Re: Who created the first 428 Cobra Jet?
« Reply #25 on: May 04, 2019, 10:37:22 am »
Another revelation from my dad with regards to the car they called "Street Bertha". In the SS&DI article Tasca's 11 sec CJ, its mentioned the car would go 7000 rpm and I've seen posts doubting that fact. While my dad was explaining to me about the 390 bore size and the 427 heads he swung right into telling me how he opened up the CJ exhaust valve to 1.73"? so he could use 427 sodium filled lightweight valves. Between that and spending, on and off, a couple of months "massaging" the heads that car was able to go 7000 rpm. He did  mention there was some grinding on the block necessary for the 427 exhaust valve clearance. Sure hope  get you and my father squared off for  chat at the Boss 50th Randy.

Offline Dggilbert

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Re: Who created the first 428 Cobra Jet?
« Reply #26 on: May 06, 2019, 12:02:28 pm »
Question for Randy. Your Ford Engineer friend Bob(anonymous) said in your thread in Aug 12 2012 "Finally a few minutes with a Ford CJ engineer" in point #2 says Tasca was 100% responsible for the CJ. Have you or could you get his response to the Don Frey letter in response to the "Hot Rod" article? Every time I read that letter I can't help but wonder what was going on at Ford when in the body of that letter it refers to a 427 CJ and that the 428 couldn't be done, yet the 428 CJ release memo was only a month away, very confusing. Still waiting for an "Insider" to explain this contradiction. Bill Barr states here in the registry that all testing and certification was  done between Jan 67 -Aug 67. I'll have to have my dad  Bill Barr if there was simultaneous testing being done on both a potential 427 and 428 Cobra Jet.

Offline 161854

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Re: Who created the first 428 Cobra Jet?
« Reply #27 on: May 06, 2019, 06:25:08 pm »
   Dave,
      The 427CJ was "planned" and it is "my opinion" the manufacturing costs stopped it from happening. It is also "my opinion" that the 427GTE Cougar engines were what was going to be the 427CJ. "I" believe that the 427s were used on the Cougars because it was targeted toward a higher paying client. Shelby literature and press releases all mentioned the 390 HP 427 offering. Tasca's KR8 was a FAR more economical way to do the same thing. I believe Bill Barr's timeline includes "all" Cobra Jet engine development time including the 390HP 427 hydraulic lifter engine.
    "My opinions"
  Randy
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Offline Dggilbert

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Re: Who created the first 428 Cobra Jet?
« Reply #28 on: May 08, 2019, 07:31:22 pm »
That seems reasonable and I'll go back and check but Roger Parlett aka. Lightwgtjet told me the car S-713-62 in the lightweight vehicle report he supplied to the registry was a 427 Cougar or Mustang and I believe was the proposed 427 CJ mule. It is listed at the end of the testing week as a 427 Developmental vehicle. In my opinion the idea of a 427 CJ as late as Nov 67 can't be viable without some evidence of a mule at that late a date. Its my opinion the S-713-62 427 powered car in the Ford tests Roger supplied results for are  a key for understanding the Frey memo on the Hot Rod article. In that testing data it's clear how much  the Tasca 428 4V, as it's listed, is clearly superior to all others tested. Curious for those advocates of another CJ creator, there are no other 428 cars only 390's and the developmental 427 car. For those who haven't looked at the Frey memo and then the light vehicle testing results Lightwtjet was kind enough to supply you really should, it's a real rare connect the dots Ford memo trail that says a lot about how close the 428 was to not being the 428CJ, we would've gone 427CJ to 429CJ. That is exactly what Bill Barr told my father and I at the CJ 50th.

Offline Dggilbert

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Re: Who created the first 428 Cobra Jet?
« Reply #29 on: May 08, 2019, 07:37:50 pm »
Here are both documents.