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406 & 427 Full Size Mercury Facts and Information
406 and 427 engines were true high
performance engines with special blocks, crank shafts, connecting rods,
pistons, high flow cylinder heads, solid lifter camshafts, dual point
distributors, cast iron headers, and Holley carburetors.
Mercury installed 406 4V and 6V engines in full size cars in the last half of 1962 production and the first half of 1963 production.
Mercury installed 427 4V engines in full size cars in the last half of 1963 production and 1964.
Mercury installed 427 8V engines in full size cars in 1963, 1964, and 1965.
In March 1963 Mercury officials talked about creating a "Light Weight" 427 Mercury, but the car never saw production Documents.
I make no guarantees about the accuracy of the numbers listed here, but simply list what I have seen and heard over the years.
The engine code is the 5th digit in the VIN.
It has been reported that Mercury sold 124-125 full size 406 (B & G code) cars. This number has not been verified but is consistent with other figures.
406 production began in the spring of 1962.
Mercury sold 176 full size 406 and 427 cars (document above).
Breakdown by engine is shown below. This data was provided by Greg Donahue.
B code 406 4V
385 HP 29
G code 406
6V 405 HP
Q code 427
4V 410 HP
R code 427
8V 425 HP
It has been reported by a Ford engineer that 21 of the 58 Mercury "R" cars were Marauder S-55s.
While it is known that at least 2 Marauders were built with
the 406 engine, it is unlikely that there were more than
5 or 10.
Mercury sold 64 full size 427 cars (document above).
It has been reported that 42 of these were 427 8V cars. This number has not been verified but is consistent with other figures.
That would mean 22 427 4V cars which is also consistent with other figures.
While the document above states that
Mercury sold 7 full size 427 8V cars in 1965,
I have seen a letter from a
Ford executive stating that the production figures below are correct.
R code 427
8V 425 HP
12 cars (non-wagon)
R code 427
8V 425 HP
7 station wagons
I cannot say which numbers are right, but mathematical evidence indicates 7 is more likely the correct number.
These engines were installed as part of a total performance package that included;
Heavy duty brakes (3" front shoes vs the standard 2.5")
Heavy duty suspension
Manual transmission (3-speed or 4-speed)
15" x 5.5" Kelsey Hayes wheels in place of the standard 14" x 5.5" wheels
3/8" fuel line instead of 5/16"
4-pinion differential instead of 2-pinion
In April 1963, 427 cars began getting 31 spline axles in place of the 28 spline axles Documents
Automatic transmission, air conditioning, power steering, and power brakes were not available
cars came with a 3 month/4,000 mile warranty instead of the
standard 12 month/12,000 mile warranty. (prior to summer 1963)
cars came with a 6 month/6,000 mile warranty instead of the
standard 24 month/24,000 mile warranty. (after summer 1963)
The front passenger brake line on 406/427 cars runs in front of the engine rather than under it.
Some 406 cars had an additional VIN
stamped into the vertical structure behind the rear seat back
on the driver's side.
There are two differences between the Ford and Mercury 406/427 engines - valve covers and 1963 harmonic balancers.
All Mercury 406s used "Mercury" stamped valve covers rather than the Ford "Thunderbird" stamped valve covers.
The Mercury 406 valve covers did not use an identifying CID sticker like the Fords did.
The Mercury 427 used the same
chrome valve covers as the Ford but with "Marauder 427" or "Super Marauder 427" stickers.
The 1963 Mercury used an alternator instead of the
standard Ford generator (an alternator was optional on the Ford).
Because of the alternator, the Mercury used a harmonic balancer with a different size pulley than the standard Ford.
Both the 406 & 427 would have
had this difference, but 427s were available after 1963 when
alternators were standard on Ford.
The Ford/Mercury 406 harmonic
balancer for an alternator is a rare part today (C1AZ-6312-A).
406 & 427 engine blocks and heads were painted black (not red as show on the Motor Trend cover).
Exhaust headers came from the factory in the natural cast iron finish and did not use gaskets.
The aluminum intake manifolds used on all 406 & 427 engines were unpainted.
406 valve covers were painted gold. Chrome covers were optional.
Engine and Parts Identification
All 1962-1965 406/427 blocks used solid lifters and had no oil galleries drilled in the lifter bores for hydrolic lifters.
406 engine blocks can be identified by an "HP" cast into the block on
the right side behind the alternator and behind the flywheel.
(the 390 HP blocks also used this identifying mark)
427 engine blocks can be easily identified by the cross bolts for the main caps at the bottom of the block.
hand full of late 406 blocks also used cross bolted main caps, but they
are very rare, and cross bolts can be added to any FE block so cross
bolts alone don't make a 427)
C2AE-J, C2AE-K, C2AE-V 1962 406
1962 406 with cross bolts
1963 406 with cross bolts
406 with cross bolt bosses but no cross bolts
1963 427 top
427 top oiler
C3AE-Z, C5AE-A, C5AE-E
427 top oiler
1965-66 427 side
oiler to 12-9-1965
1965-66 427 side oiler
427 cast iron
427 cast iron
1964-65 427 forged
427 forged steel, cross drilled
forged steel, cross drilled
1962-65 late 390PI from
late 390PI from 1-15-1962
1963-65 early 427 to 3-1-1965
427 Le Mans - original
1965-66 427 Le Mans
early 406 4V & 6V to 1-29-1962
late 406 4V
1962-63 early 406 6V to
late 406 6V, has spring-seat cups, 2.02/1.65, 58-61cc
390 high altitude, 2.02/1.55, 58-61cc
390, 2.02/1.55, 70-74cc
427 Low-Riser, released 10-14-1962
427 Low-Riser, released 12-26-1962
427 Low-Riser, released
1963-65 427 Low-Riser, has improved intake port
Mercury used these engine names during the 1962-1965 production period
The 406 4V (385 hp) was referred to as the "Marauder" engine.
The 406 6V (405 hp) was referred to as the "Marauder 406" engine.
(There is at least one 1962 ad that refers to the 406 6V as a "Monterey" engine. It's likely an early ad. )
The 406 4V (385 hp) was referred to as the "406 Marauder" or "Marauder 406".
The 406 6V (405 hp) was referred to as the "406 Super Marauder" or "Marauder Super 406".
The 427 4V (410 hp) was referred to as the "427 Marauder" or "Marauder 427".
The 427 8V (425 hp) was referred to as the "427 Super Marauder" or "Marauder Super 427".
(The arrangement depends on which Mercury document you are looking at)
1961-1964 406 and 427 cars used 15"
x 5.5" Kelsey Hayes wheels in place of the standard 14" x 5.5" wheels,
with the same 4" back spacing.
They can be identified by the FoMoCo and
K-H stamps, and the crescent shaped opening.
There is also a Kelsey Hayes replacement wheel with the same marks and dimensions, but with a different opening.
There are other wheels out there to be aware of.
There is a Kelsey Hayes 15" x 5" wheel (1960) that looks like the 5.5".
There is a Ford KW wheel that is 15" x 5.5" with a 4" back spacing and no opening, shown below.
Tires were available in 6.70-15 (standard prior to April 1963), 7.10-15 (standard after April 1963), and 7.60-15 sizes. Blackwalls would have been standard, with whitewalls optional.
The cars tested in magazines all appear to wear the Firestone Patrol 500 7.10-15 tires.
Mercurys of this period did not use engine identification on the
outside of the car like the Ford's did so the 15" wheels and covers were the only external
clue that a 406 or 427 engine was hiding under the hood.
All 1962-1965 low cost Mercurys with 406 or 427 engines would have come with Mercury "dog dish" hub caps shown below.
The Monterey S-55 used the "dog dish" Mercury hub caps with beauty
rings shown here.
The beauty rings would have been available on other
models as well.
Cars with full covers used the 15" spinner shown here (C3MA-1130-B).
It was available with the white center shown or a red center (red shown on the 14" cover below).
They would have been standard on Monterey/Marauder S-55, Montclair, and Park Lane, and available on other models.
These covers are rare and expensive today but they can be re-created.
The 15" cover is the same general stamping as the 1952-3 Mercury and the 1966 Bronco shown here.
The spinners were commonly used on the 1964 14" cover shown here.
All 1965 full size Mercurys used 15" wheels so no special wheel covers
would have been required for a 427 car.
This also means that there was
no external clue that a car may have had a 427 under the hood.