Based on our information gathering, discussions with GM Performance Parts and Engine builders, and our own experiences, we found the Vortec heads to be the real deal. They are very economical, easy to get your hands on, and out perform the old style heads. The Vortec heads reigned supreme in every category except the “amount of work hours to make them flow better” category where the old style heads still rule. Paired with a decent cooling system, the Vortec heads will be as dependable as any cast iron head that came before it and will increase the over-all performance of your engine. That makes Vortec a real winner in my book!
If size is the only thing that matters, then big-block Fords would dominate the street/strip world. They don’t. At least not yet, but big changes are on the horizon thanks to Air Flow Research. Most commonly unleashed to the public in 429- and 460ci configurations, Ford’s 385-series big-block has all the right stuff for maximizing displacement. With a 10.320-inch deck height and an extra-wide crankcase, it can easily swallow up a 4.500-inch crank. Likewise, the big Ford’s 4.900-inch bore spacing yields cylinder walls thick enough for at least a 4.440-inch bore. Consequently, 557 ci can be yours using an OEM block that sells for peanuts at the local junkyard. On the flip side, easy access to cheap stroker kits and mega cubic inches means you need some serious cylinder heads to keep pace. While the big-block Ford crowd has been seething with jealousy over the endless cylinder-head options their big-block Chevy competition has to choose from, all of that’s about to change if Air Flow Research has any say in the matter. The company’s brand-new Cobra Jet–style heads are poised to revolutionize the Ford market.