In our first Top Class 565 post, we outlined the short block assembly for the 565 cubic inch big block that will be part of the prize package awarded to the 2012 Summit Racing SuperSeries Top Class Champion.

The 565 is being built by the cylinder head experts at Trick Flow Specialties. With a large 4.600-inch bore, 4.250-inch stroke, and a 6.535-inch rod, the 565 can make large amounts of horsepower and torque, yet uses readily available parts and requires minimal machine work. Better yet, the 565 is adaptable to many IHRA sportsman and bracket classes.

We also dropped a hint that the cylinder heads for this engine will be pretty special. In this post, we will reveal what’s behind the one-off Trick Flow PowerPort® cylinder heads as well as document the valvetrain assembly, intake manifold install, and oil system installation.

The Pro Stock Connection
Considering the horsepower and rpm goals of the 565, the cylinder heads are cirtical. Trick Flow’s best offering for big block Chevy is the PowerPort® 360 cylinder head. The PowerPort 360 (part number TFS-4141T808) features:

  • Heart-shaped 122cc combustion chambers with 2.300/1.880-inch valves
  • 360cc intake/137cc exhaust Fast As Cast runners—near CNC-ported
    performance in an as-cast design
  • Exhaust ports raised .300-inch from stock
  • CNC-bowl blended valve seat transitions and 24-degree valve angles

Trick Flow knew the PowerPort 360 needed some enhancements to feed 565 cubic inches of race engine, so they turned to someone that knows their way around cylinder heads—current NHRA Pro Stock Champion Jason Line.

Active in KB Racing’s engine development and tuning programs, Line can’t resist the challenge of making something run faster, flow better, or make more power. He made some revisions to the intake ports and did a bit of work on the combustion chambers to help give the incoming air and fuel a more direct shot at the valves—no trickery or fancy port work involved.

Check out the progress on the cylinder heads, valvetrain, and top-end components in the Slide Show below. Then, be sure to look for our final installment of Top Class 565, when we’ll bolt on the remaining accessories, strap the 565 to Trick Flow’s Superflow dyno, and let ‘er rip.

You’re gonna want to see what happens…stay tuned!

Trick Flow 565, Top Sportsman, Cylinder Heads
Trick Flow 565, Top Sportsman, Combustion Chambers
Trick Flow 565, Top Sportsman, Cylinder Head Runners
Trick Flow 565, Top Sportsman, Cylinder Head Modified Runners
Trick Flow 565, Top Sportsman, Roller Lifters
Trick Flow 565, Top Sportsman, Cylinder Heads
Trick Flow 565, Top Sportsman, Degreeing Camshaft
Trick Flow 565, Top Sportsman, Rocker Arms
Trick Flow 565, Top Sportsman, Rocker Shaft Bolts
Trick Flow 565, Trick Flow R-Series Intake Manifold
Trick Flow 565, Oil Pump
Trick Flow 565, Top Sportsman, Oil Pump
Trick Flow 565, Oil Pan
Trick Flow 565

To properly feed the 565 big block the air it needs, Trick Flow enlisted the help of current NHRA Pro Stock champ Jason Line to get the most out of Trick Flow’s PowerPort 360 cylinder heads. On the left are out-of-the-box PowerPort 360s; the modified head is at right. It takes a close look at both to tell the difference visually—the changes are subtle, but effective.

The PowerPort 360 heads feature 122cc combustion chambers with 2.300-inch intake and 1.880-inch exhaust valves and CNC bowl-blended valve seat transitions (left). The efficient, heart-shaped chambers were smoothed and blended, and treated a 50-degree angle valve job to reduce any obstructions to airflow moving smoothly into the cylinders.

The intake runners were modified as well. The original 360cc Fast As Cast runners (shown here) are an as-cast design that rival CNC-ported runners in flow rate.

The modified 365cc runners on the right have raised floors—essentially raising the ports by .150-inch—and mildly recontoured and smoothed walls to give incoming air and fuel a straighter shot at the valve.

The lifters are COM Cams’ Endure-X mechanical rollers. The big block Chrysler-sized .904-inch diameter lifters are stronger, more rigid, and lighter than many other lifter types. Just as important, the bigger lifters (stock big Chevy is .842 inches) have larger roller wheels and axles, plus larger ‘legs’ where the axle mounts. That last item is a big plus when you’re running really high spring pressure.

Engine builder Todd Hodges lowers the PowerPort head onto the block. The head studs are then torqued to 80 ft.-lbs. (with ARP lubricant). The head gaskets are Multi-Layer Steel (MLS) gaskets from Cometic. These gaskets are designed to withstand extreme cylinder pressures.

With the cylinder heads installed, Todd degrees the camshaft off of the valve spring. Speaking of valve springs, these are 1.645-inch diameter triples with 835 lbs. open/290 lbs. seat pressure.

The Jesel Sportsman shaft rocker arms use these stands that screw into the existing rocker arm stud holes. The intake rocker stand on the right (marked 3B) uses a shorter bolt than the exhaust rocker stand (marked 1A). It can get easy to mix them up in the heat of assembly, so be careful!

The rocker stand bolts are torqued to 60 ft.-lbs. (with 30 weight oil); the rocker shaft bolts are torqued to 26 ft.-lbs. (also with 30 weight oil). The rocker arms are adjusted by cylinder firing order. Once the rockers are set, the adjuster nuts are torqued to 25 ft.-lbs.

The Trick Flow R-Series intake manifold is designed specifically for 500-cubic-inch and larger engines. With high-flow, extended length runners and a raised plenum floor, the R-Series delivers significant power gains in the 3,500-8,000 rpm range. Trick Flow had to fill in the manifold floor and raise the roof to match the revised intake ports on the PowerPort heads.

Todd installs the Milodon high-volume oil pump and matching pickup.

He double-checks the clearance from the pump to the oil pan floor by measuring the distance from the pan rail to the top of the pump, then transferring that measurement to the pan. Minimum clearance should be ¼-inch; we had 3/8-inch.

The Milodon oil pan is lowered into place. The eight quart pan has a full-length louvered windage tray and double trap doors to keep oil flow controlled under hard acceleration. The pan also has a small kickout on the passenger side to help improve ground clearance.

One 565-cubic-inch big block Chevy, ready for its carburetor, ignition system, and accessories before heading to the dyno. Join us for the final installment of this series and find out what kind of horsepower the 2012 Summit Racing SuperSeries Top Class Champion will be getting!


Parts List

TFS-4141T808: Trick Flow PowerPort 360 Cylinder Heads*
JES-KSS-248080: Jesel Sportsman Series Shaft Rocker Arms, 1.8 ratio
CCA-892C-1: COMP Cams Endure-X Roller Lifters, .904 In. Diameter, set of 16
CCA-819-L: COMP Cams Roller Lifter Link Bars
TFS-21418450-8: Trick Flow Pushrods, Intake, set of 8
TFS-21419250-8: Trick Flow Pushrods, Exhaust, set of 8
ARP-235-4303: ARP Head Stud Kit
CGT-C5331-040: Cometic MLS Head Gaskets
TFS-41400111: Trick Flow R-Series Intake Manifold
MRG-121: Mr. Gasket Intake Manifold Gaskets
MIL-31176: Milodon Oil Pan
MIL-18760: Milodon High-Volume Oil Pump
MIL-18202: Milodon Oil Pump Pickup
MEL-IS-77:Melling Oil Pump Drive
FEL-1804: Fel-Pro Oil Pan Gasket Set
ARP-535-9501: ARP Engine Accessory Bolt Kit
*NOTE: Part number is for unmodified heads—custom port work not included

Author: Alan Rebescher

Editor, author, PR man—Alan Rebescher has done it all in a 25 year career in the high performance industry. He has written and photographed many feature stories and tech articles for Summit Racing and various magazines including Hot Rod, Car Craft, and Popular Hot Rodding, and edited Summit Racing’s Street & Strip magazine in the 1990s. His garage is currently occupied by a a 1996 Mustang GT ragtop.