Mark Houlahan
Brand Manager, Mustang Monthly
July 29, 2011
Photos By: 5.0 Mustang & Super Fords Archives

Horse Sense: For about a year after Trick Flow stopped offering the original Street Heat cylinder heads, they were still available from Wil-Burt, the company that cast the heads for Trick Flow before it became part of Summit Racing. After Wil-Burt's arrangement ended, the heads were no longer available, but the demand persisted.

If there's one constant in life, it's change. Computers get faster, cell phones get smaller, race cars get quicker, job demands increase. Some changes are good, some are bad, but sometimes it's just tough to keep pace. Take, for example, the world of small-block cylinder heads. When fuel-injection joined the 5.0 under the hood of Fox Mustangs, the only hot-rod cylinder-head option was a set of '69 351 Windsor heads with C9 casting numbers, or, in a pinch, '70 Windsor heads with a DO casting number.

That's right, 16 years ago the Ford hot rodder was hard-core. He had to find parts at the junkyard, then port them just to make power. Today, you simply open up a catalog and order a set of aftermarket heads that flow more than those ported Windsor heads without getting anywhere near a Dremel tool. These days, there are more than 30 cylinder-head options to choose from, and Ford fans are fortunate.

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However, the more things change, the more they stay the same. Hip huggers, bell-bottoms, teen pop-these fads have all been here before and will likely surface again. Such is the case with the latest cylinder head from Trick Flow. It's not really a new cylinder head at all. It's simply a refined version of one of the first small-block aluminum heads born of the aftermarket. Back in 1989, Ford Motorsport SVO's (nee Ford Racing Performance Parts) J302 cylinder head was the only aftermarket head around. Then Trick Flow introduced the Street Heat aluminum head.

The Street Heat head featured raised exhaust ports, thick decks, wide valve spacing, and better out-of-the-box performance than Windsor or J302 heads. Better yet, once cylinder head porters started working on these heads, they found big power. The heads soon became the top choice of 5.0 racers. Over the years, and in the face of stiff competition, the Street Heat head remained one of the most popular small-block cylinder heads around. It was also one of the most flexible. Mildly ported, it shined on street Mustangs. Radically ported, it reigned on the top Pro 5.0 cars of the day.

Eventually, the High Port heads, as all the cool guys called them, were run out of production by the inexpensive Twisted Wedge street and racy Twisted Wedge R heads. Still the demand lived on. Racers continued to modify old castings, and competitors created heads that addressed the same combinations as the old Street Heats. People just kept asking Trick Flow about them and it finally sunk in. The company decided to reintroduce the Street Heat head-in refined form-as the Trick Flow High Port cylinder head.

If the trend of not calling a head by its real name returns, the cool guys will undoubtedly call this new head the Street Heat head. Whatever people call it, there's likely to be a huge interest in the infamous cylinder-head design, from street-performance enthusiasts all the way up to Hot Street and Renegade racers. And at $895 a set bare and $1,295 a set assembled, we can hardly contain our enthusiasm. Check the captions for the details on these new-old favorites, and get ready for a blast from the past.

Twisted vs. High

Naturally, we wanted to see how the High Port stacked up against the ubiquitous Twisted Wedge head. To find out, we checked in with Ron Robart and crew at Fox Lake Power Products. The company is intimately familiar with the original design and got to play with some early castings to develop porting packages. As such, we were able to get a peek at the potential of the new head. Though the comparison with the Twisted Wedge is a natural, it's important to note the High Port is an addition to the Trick Flow line, not a replacement for the Twisted Wedge, the Track Heat, or the Twisted Wedge R.

Twisted Wedge* High Port **
Lift INTAKE EXHAUST INTAKE EXHAUST
(inch) (cfm) (cfm) (cfm) (cfm)
0.100 66 55 72 57
0.200 141 102 138 103
0.300 198 135 190 145
0.400 240 177 235 177
0.500 250 185 261 190
0.600 n/a n/a 272 198
0.700 n/a n/a 282 206

Assembled
Valve job only
(All tests performed at 28 inches of water)

High Ported

Of course, Fox Lake couldn't leave well enough alone. The company works to extract max airflow from every head lying around the shop. The new High Port is no different. Designed as a porter's head, the High Port did well under the influence of Fox Lake. The company considers the High Port/Street Heat the best small-block Ford head, and that's saying something. Each of these porting packages is performed on a CNC machine, and the prices range from $599 for Stage 1 to $1,600 for Stage 4-and that's on top of the cost of the heads.

LIFT INTAKE EXHAUST
(inch) (cfm) (cfm)
  STG. 1* STG. 2** STG. 3*** STG. 4**** STG. 1 STG. 2 STG. 3 STG. 4
0.100 69 71 73 73 57 60 60 61
0.200 140 140 143 145 103 105 106 110
0.300 196 202 204 210 148 152 155 157
0.400 240 241 249 255 180 190 195 200
0.500 275 278 280 289 200 210 215 216
0.700 302 312 322 330 219 231 235 241
0.800 N/A N/A 329 340 N/A N/A N/A 253

206cc port
216cc port
225cc port
240cc port, requires intake-manifold modifications
(All tests performed at 28 inches of water)