The Misfit 327
To be completely honest, I was a bit skeptical when I volunteered myself to put together a 327 for our three-way build, as in my eyes, the 327 has always seemed like an outcast, shunned by the other small-blocks as a weakling and cast aside for more important jobs. Sadly, it's never really gotten its due. I knew it was going to be tough to try to play in the street with the other bad boys of the hood, but I knew it could be done with the right parts and with less money. Predictions and trash-talk were running rampant in the office as to how much power we could get out of this little guy, but the 327 made it through without so much as a hiccup.
After we contacted Mark Plotner from Powerhouse Engine Components in Bakersfield, California, he set us up with an original 327 block, bored and machined 0.030 over. He also offered up his complete, balanced 327 rotating assembly with cast flat-top pistons. While this foundation is nearly stock, we were trying to keep costs at bay so we could spend our loot on a more efficient top end. In this case, we went with Dart's SBC top end kit, which came with everything we needed to complete the build. At only 1,500 bucks for the stuff, it was perfect.
Initially, on the dyno, the motor wasn't happy. Upon some investigation, we realized the timing pointer on the timing cover had been installed upside down, in turn giving us the wrong reading. As a matter of fact, we were 10 degrees off, and once we got the timing correct at 35 degrees, we recorded a baseline of 346 hp. We weren't pleased just yet and we knew there was still some hidden power to be found. The fuel curve was pretty fat so we got after it and took out some fuel in the primaries and secondaries-even bumping up the timing to 39 degrees. We then hit 371 hp on the next run. The fuel curve was perfect but we still weren't that impressed. We opted for a 1-inch open style Wilson Manifold spacer and gained 10 hp. At that point, the 327 was still making power so we took it a step further and added a 2-inch tapered Wilson spacer and gained another 10 hp. Our final number netted us 391 hp and 381 lb-ft with no drop in power down low! It was rather impressive, to say the least, and the cost to produce it was even better. -SH