How Do I Dress Up My Ford 427 Engine?


Replace the stock valve covers with an aftermarket cover. A variety of aftermarket valve covers are available for the 427. Chrome is the most popular finish, but valve covers are also available in a flat black finish. If the engine is equipped with roller rocker arms, be sure to buy valve covers designed to accommodate those rocker arms. New valve cover gaskets and gasket sealer will be required when changing the valve covers.


Replace the stock air cleaner assembly with an aftermarket unit. Aftermarket air cleaners are probably the easiest component to install and can dramatically improve the appearance of the engine. Traditional circular air cleaner assemblies are the most popular design, but oval and even triangular-shaped air cleaner assemblies are also available. Chrome is the most popular finish, but air cleaner assemblies are also available in flat black, gold, blue and red finishes. Blue is often a popular color for Ford enthusiasts since it most closely matches the color of most Ford engine blocks, including the 427.


Replace the stock water neck with an aftermarket unit. A water neck is sometimes referred to as a thermostat housing, and is located on the front of the intake manifold. Aftermarket water necks are typically available only with a chrome finish. Although the water neck is a comparatively small component, it is often attention to the small components which can set the engine apart. It can be more difficult to find an aftermarket water neck for a 427, but they are manufactured. Unlike the stock water neck, which uses a gasket, the aftermarket water neck uses a single rubber O-ring to seal the water neck to the intake manifold. The aftermarket will almost certainly come with the O-ring.


Replace the stock oil pan with an aftermarket pan. Replacing the stock oil pan is perhaps the most difficult aesthetic improvement, as the engine typically must be removed from the vehicle. Aftermarket oil pans for the 427 are typically available in only chrome, flat black, and gold finishes. When shopping for an oil pan, it would be wise to invest in a high-volume pan, rather than a stock replacement-sized pan. High-volume pans store more oil and are specifically designed to provide the oil pump with a continuous supply of oil when the vehicle turns a corner sharply or accelerators suddenly from a dead stop.


Upgrade the stock pulley system with an aftermarket system. The 427 uses several pulleys on the front of the engine, which transfer the energy produced by the engine to the engine's various accessories via drive belts. The 427's stock black pulleys can be replaced with aftermarket chrome pulleys. Be sure to count the number of grooves in the stock pulleys before buying aftermarket units, as not all 427s have the same number of belt groves.


Install spark plug wire looms. The 427's spark plug wires attach to the only the distributor cap and to each individual spark plug. Although effective, the wires tend to look disorganized as they drape over the valve covers. Spark plug wire looms are available for the 427, and bolt to the bottom of each valve cover using the valve cover's bolts. Each spark plug wire can then be routed through slots in the loom to give an organized appearance.

The 427 was one of Ford largest big-block engines installed in passenger vehicles. First produced in 1963, the 427 was known for its ability to reach high engine speeds without sacrificing low-end torque. Unfortunately, the 427 was equipped with standard exterior equipment, which did nothing to improve its appearance. Today, a variety of dress up components are available for the 427 which can dramatically increase its appearance. Finding these parts for a 427 is a little more difficult than for some other types of engines, but the components are easy to install.