Steve Turner
Former Editor, 5.0 Mustang & Super Fords
July 1, 2002
Photos By: Chuck James

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.

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.

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