The first 427 block has a large (4.23″-107.442 mm) bore and if a casting core was moved even slightly then it could render the casting useless, both are problems that increase building costs. Ford needs an engine about the same size, but easier and less expensive to manufacture. The engineers begin by taking features they have used in other FE castings that have worked well including the 3.985 inch (101.22 mm) stroke and a more manageable 4.135 inch (105.03 mm) bore. The result is an all new FE 428 with a cast iron crankshaft externally balanced and according to many the engine is more tractable than its predecessor. The new FE 428 engine could be ordered in a full range of models for 66 including the Cougar, Mustangs, AC Cobra, Thunderbirds, Galaxie and it was standard equipment for ‘66 and ’67 in the Mercury S-55.
The 428 CJ is completely about full, all stops pulled, dependable performance and this FE engine is available at all Ford dealers to get the job done right from April 1968. This new FE block can be made on a regular production line, although the heads all receive special treatment with the number “C80E-6090-N cylinder head casting” The intake manifold is centered between the two heads and will be mounted by a Holly 735 cfm four barrel carburetor in a Ford Motors finished product. This FE engine is cast with larger volume intake ports and can accommodate bigger valves than any other FE engine Ford has produced. The Cobra Jet engine connecting rods are thicker with 13/16” bolts securing them to a #1UB nodular crankshaft. The end product is very under-rated by Ford Motors as producing 335 hp (250 kW) @ 5200 rpm. By simply adding a hood scoop for unrestricted forced air induction the rating is upped to 410 hp (310 kW) on a dyno tested engine. The highly under-rated horse power is Ford management’s response to rising insurance rates on cars with powerful engines, which is causing sales to drop. This low rating Ford applies moves NHRA to rate the 428 Cobra Jet under the hood of a Mustang at 360 hp (270 kW) to match up drag racers. Pomona California hosts the NHRA Winternationals from February 2-4 at the Los Angeles county far grounds and this is where the first 428 CJ struts its stuff in 1968. The Ford Motor Company sponsors five drivers and supplies six Mustang units all powered by the 428 CJ. The classes are C Stock Automatic, Super Stock E, Super Stock E Automatic, SS/E manual and SS/EA automatic, with four cars making it to the finals in their class. One driver, Al Joniec, was first in his class and also won a first overall in the all Mustang 428CJ finals for the Super Stock Eliminator title that year. Ford Co. liked what went down at the winternationlals, but it would be another four months before the first 428 CJ is delivered to a Ford dealer.
The 428 SCJ engine block, pistons and the complete top end are identical to the 428 CJ The SCJ has a nodular cast iron crankshaft like the CJ, but the SCJ’s is the #1UA mould and the more substantial rods are secured with longer-life cappscrews instead of the CJ’s bolts. The 428 SCJ crankshaft is differently balanced and is external, while the counterweight on the inner crank of the CJ has been removed from the SCJ version. The pistons of each 428 variation are from the same casting, but the piston to cylinder wall relationship is altered and the pistons are a slightly looser fit installed on the SCJ. There is also a “Drag pack” option for track bound vehicles, but the first one offered was not available for the SCJ engine. The second Drag Pack option for the rear end was available starting on November -13, 1968 and would include an oil cooler with your choice of either the 391 or the 430 differential. The looser fit means the SCJ can dissipate heat a little quicker than the CJ and the former has been manufactured to withstand the abuse that automobile racing demands The location of the oil cooler in the SCJ dictates that no factory equipped SCJ engine could be equipped with air conditioning.