5.0 Mustang & Super FordsHow To Engine
Choosing Mustang Heads - New Heights
We Head To Fox Lake To See How The New Trick Flow High Port Responds To Porting
You can't really appre-ciate how incredible the rerelease of the Trick Flow High Port small-block Ford cylinder head is unless you've been in the game for a while. When it was first set loose on the streets of America in 1988, you had almost no other choice if you wanted a performance cylinder head. You could port your stock heads with something that was made during the '60s, you could try the J302 castings from Ford, or you could get a Yates head, which is of abso-lutely no use on the street. That's it! But then the High Port (or Street Heat, as they were known) came along and helped spur a new performance revolution in small-block Ford performance.
When Trick Flow was sold in 1996 to Summit Racing, it coincided with the debut of the Twisted Wedge head, which has gone on to break all sorts of sales records. In the interim, Summit didn't see any use for the Street Heat other than to offer more competition to its new head. So, it was shelved-until 2002.
From 1988 to 1996, the Street Heat was the head if you were more serious than high 11s. Head porters had developed all sorts of possible combinations with the Street Heat to fit any sort of application, from street to Pro 5.0. Combined with this amazing versatility and the standard list of features that make up any good performance cylinder head, the Trick Flow Street Heat was-and still is-a winner. It's quite easy to say no other cylinder head has seen as many victories in heads-up, pro-tree Mustang drag racing as the Street Heat. As recently as the 2000 season, the NMRA saw its Pro 5.0 (Joe Silva), Super Street Outlaw (Job Spetter), and Hot Street (Sammy LaManna) classes all won by cars running the Street Heat head.
With that as a backdrop, we headed to Fox Lake Power Products in North Lawrence, Ohio, to see what Ron Robart has to offer today's High Port customers. Ron was employed by Trick Flow for six years, and that included the early years of the Street Heat development and release. So he certainly has had the inside track with these heads from day one. When we told Ron we wanted to become reacquainted with the High Port, he offered us an interesting experiment. He would build us one of his company short-blocks to test an out-of-the-box set of High Ports on an engine dyno. Then he would swap those heads for a set of High Ports on which Fox Lake had worked its magic.
As it turns out, there isn't a better way to demonstrate to today's Mustang consumers what the Trick Flow High Port is all about. The key point to remember is the High Ports will always be able to work with almost any combination. They can be bought as unported stock castings to run with a stock, hydraulic-roller 302. Then, as your combination becomes more intense, the High Port can be ported and modified to match your demands. This is a huge advantage in keeping costs down, since, in most cases, you will never need to buy another set of cylinder heads.
Throughout our test, the engine dyno and its operation was graciously provided by Chris Music of Horsepower Development in Medina, Ohio. And that dyno saw quite a workout. Ron's new engine facility offered world-class engine assembly to complement the legendary Fox Lake-ported head and intake components. He put together a nice 395-inch Windsor motor that featured a 3.850-inch stroke and a 0.040-inch bore to a 9.5-inch deck block. In stage one of the test, a stock set of High Ports, an Edelbrock Victor Jr. intake, a Holley 750-cfm carburetor, and a Cam Motion cam were put into place on the awaiting 395ci small-block.
When the test was over and the dyno had stopped, the Trick Flow Street Heats had lived up to their impressive rsum. The unported heads worked great for a mild, 490-horse street motor with gobs of torque (more than 460 lb-ft at 5,300 rpm). And, after Fox Lake ported the Street Heats and added a port-matched Super Victor intake and AED-built HP 950-cfm carb, they really came to life. The Fox Lake 395 cranked out almost 620 hp and a peak of 516 lb-ft of torque, without breaking a sweat (or a single part).
What we hoped to demonstrate for you in this wicked little experiment is that the Trick Flow Street Heat is still a viable option for those of you looking to go fast with a 5.0 Mustang. Its reentry in the Ford performance aftermarket is like seeing an old friend who's been away for a few years. So, whether mild or wild, take your pick. But it all comes down to one killer cylinder head. The Trick Flow High Port lives again!
|On the Dyno|
|High Port||Stage III–Ported High Port|
|On the Dyno|
|High Port||Stage III–Ported High Port|
Our goal for this article was to demonstrate how effective the High Port is stock, and how quickly these heads become serious when treated to good porting and preparation. In stage two of this experiment, we turned Ron and the Fox Lake team loose on bare castings to see what he could do. Ron ran the heads through his CNC Stage III port job, did one of his custom valve jobs, added 2.08/ 1.625-inch Ferrera valves, milled the heads to a 58cc combustion chamber to bump compression to 12.00:1, added Isky roller valvesprings and Manley titanium retainers, and port-matched a Super Victor intake manifold (Fox Lake sells these exact same heads for $3,000). For reference, these heads flow 325 cfm on the intake and 238 cfm on the exhaust at 0.700 inch lift. The engine was reassembled with an AED 930-cfm carb, and the test began. Would you believe the thing popped up to 619 horses and more than 500 lb-ft of torque from 4,100 to 6,100 rpm? "If a customer were to put this simple combination in a 3,000-pound Mustang," Ron says of the ported High Port combo, "it would run 10.00s no problem. On the street, you could hit the gas anywhere you want and fry the tires to the cords." With a solid short-block, we also learned that the real tricks are in the cylinder heads-that's where the power is. Fox Lake certainly made believers out of us as to the awesome potential the Trick Flow High Port heads offer.