trick flow power port cylinder head on a workbench
close up of valve springs installed on a cylinder head
close up of valve springs installed on an engine
applying threadlocker to a cylinder head stud
man installing trick flow cylinder head onto a big block chevy engine
torqueing down cylinder heads with a snap-on extension
torqueing down intake bolts with an extension
installing lifters on a big block chevy
valve springs installed on a big block chevy engine cylinder head
checking valve lash with a feeler gauge
bolting together jesel rocker arm stands
close up of lifters in an engine valley
man fitting a trick flow intake onto an engine
moroso oil pan with baffle
oil pan pickup installed
installing a moroso oil pan onto a v8 engine
a deepwell socket on an extension bar
plugging oil pan stud holes
big block v8 partially assembled on engine stand

Trick Flow’s PowerPort A460 360 aluminum cylinder head is designed for large cubic inch big block Ford 429/460 engines. We’re talking 500 cubic inches and up with at least a 4.500-inch bore. The head’s 360cc intake/180cc exhaust runners have Trick Flow’s CNC Competition Port job, which creates a very smooth, high resolution surface for maximum airflow. Other features include CNC-profiled 87cc combustion chambers, 2.400/1.880-inch stainless valves, and Track Max® Pacaloy™1.645-inch diameter triple valve springs. Trick Flow even provides an 18-bolt mounting pattern to help keep the head secure under high-boost and high rpm conditions.

The inner ARP head studs and the Jesel Pro-Series rocker arm stands have a bit of an interference problem. The studs are approximately .500 inch too tall, so Trick Flow engine builder Todd Hodges cut them to length.

That’s much better, isn’t it? The tops of the head stud nuts were cut down .060-inch as well to clear the rocker stands. Trick Flow is working on a head stud kit that will resolve this problem once and for all.

With the head stud issue fixed, the stud threads are coated with Loctite ‘blue’ thread locker and threaded into the block.

A PowerPort 360 head is lowered onto the block. The head gaskets are Trick Flow’s MLS (multi-layer steel) gaskets. They have three layers of stainless steel for better torque retention, less distortion, and better sealing than conventional or composite head gaskets. The gaskets have a compressed thickness of .045-inch; combined with the PowerPort 360’s 87cc chambers and the Wiseco domed pistons, static compression is approximately 14.25:1.

Because the PowerPort 360 heads have an 18-bolt mounting pattern, there are four extra mounting holes on the exhaust side and four on the intake side. These fasteners are impossible to tighten without using a torque wrench extension, or crow foot, like the one shown here.

Todd used a torque wrench extension on the intake side bolts as well. The corrected torque value with the extension is 60.5 ft.-lbs. The remaining head studs are torqued to 140 ft.-lbs. (with moly lube) in four stages: 50, 80, 100, and 140 ft.-lbs.

With the Jesel rocker arms installed, valve lash is set to .022 inches. The adjusting bolts are then torqued to 25 ft.-lbs.

Each pair of Jesel rocker arm stands is bolted together with these 1/4-25 fasteners. Once the rocker arms are torqued to spec, the stands are in proper alignment. You then have a choice: rely on the bolts to keep the stands together, or weld them together. Trick Flow elected to weld the stands together to increase strength and rigidity. You can weld the stands installed on the head, or remove them to bench-weld them.

This riser in the lifter valley has crossover holes that feed the left side lifter galley. Since we don’t need the extra oil, Todd plugged the holes with screw-in plugs.

Up next is the Trick Flow R-Series A460 intake manifold. The single plane intake manifold features a one-piece, spider-type design with high-flow, individual extended runners and a raised plenum floor for maximum airflow. Other features include extra material for custom port work and bosses for nitrous or fuel injection. The intake manifold is designed for use with Holley Dominator carburetors.

The nine quart Moroso Drag Race oil pan is designed for tube-chassis cars including dragsters, roadsters, and doorslammers. The fabricated steel pan has a full-length sump and comes with a solid louvered windage tray. It clears cranks up to 4.75 inch stroke (with aluminum rods).

Trick Flow decided to run an external oil pump on the 598. An external pump puts less load on the distributor and camshaft, and makes adjusting pump pressure easier. This Moroso weld-in pickup is required to convert the pan for use with an external pump.

The Moroso pan is bolted to the block’s pan rails with studs. The fun part is trying to run the nuts through the access holes in the bottom of the pan. Todd found the best way to do it is lay the gaskets, attach the pan to the engine with the outer pan bolts, then turn the engine over and install the nuts from the bottom.

Here’s the trick to not losing the socket when running the oil pan nuts—securing the socket to the extension with several wraps of electrical tape.

The oil pan stud access holes are filled with these threaded and O-ringed plugs.

Looking like a real engine now, isn’t it? Todd still has to make a front motor plate to hang the engine-driven accessories on, and we still need a carburetor and ignition system. We’ll cover all that—and tell you how much power our 598 made on the dyno—in the next installment.

In our initial Big Ford Horsepower post, we told you how Trick Flow Specialties in Akron, OH was building a 598 big block Ford to out-power the 1,013-horse 565 cubic-inch Chevy it had assembled the prior year. In that initial post, we covered the short block assembly and showed you how most of the parts were off the shelf, meaning virtually anyone can duplicate the build with parts from suppliers like Summit Racing Equipment.

With the foundation for the 598 big block Ford prepared, it’s time to install the top end of the engine—cylinder heads, valvetrain, and intake manifold—so all those cubic inches get all the air they need to make big horsepower. We’ll also show you a couple of modifications needed to get everything to play nice together.

The Cylinder Heads

The PowerPort A460 360 cylinder head is designed for engines with a minimum bore of 4.500 inches (stock is 4.3600 inches). This is a great head for high-compression, normally aspirated engines like our 598, or for engines with a power adder like a multi-stage nitrous system or a big Roots-style supercharger.

The PowerPort 360s feature:

• CNC-profiled 87cc combustion chambers with 2.400 inch intake/1.880 inch exhaust valves

• 360cc intake/180cc exhaust runners with Trick Flow’s CNC Competition Port job. This is Trick Flow’s top-of-the-line port work with a high-resolution surface finish for maximum airflow. The ports are raised for better airflow

• Trick Flow Track Max® Pacaloy™1.645 inch diameter triple valve springs, rated to handle up to .850 inches of valve lift

As tested on Trick Flow’s Superflow bench, peak airflow is 453 cfm intake/321 cfm exhaust at .800 inches of valve lift. But it’s the mid-lift figures that really show how good the PowerPort 360 is—369 cfm intake at .500 inches of lift and 410 cfm at .600 inches.

The Other Parts

Jesel Pro-Series Shaft Rocker Arms: Designed specifically for the PowerPort A460 cylinder heads, the 1.8 ratio Pro Series rockers are made from Jesel’s 7000 Series aluminum alloy. That allows Jesel to make a rocker arm that’s stronger, lighter, and more than 19 percent stiffer than a comparable Jesel Sportsman rocker.

Crane Ultra-Pro Mechanical Roller Lifters: Among the strongest roller lifters available, the Ultra-Pros are also very lightweight to reduce valvetrain weight and increase rpm potential. The lifters have a “four-column” design to improve torsional rigidity, reinforced pushrod seats, and micro-polished roller wheels.

Trick Flow Chromoly Pushrods: Made from 4130 chromoly steel, these one-piece pushrods are heat-treated for use with guideplates. Trick Flow closes off the tips, then drills and chamfers the oiling holes to .093 inch. That prevents stress fractures and cracks.

Trick Flow R-Series A460 Intake Manifold: Intended for 500-plus inch, high-rpm engines, the Trick Flow® R-Series A460 single plane intake manifold features a one-piece, spider-type design with high-flow, individual extended runners and a raised plenum floor. It’s designed for use exclusively with the PowerPort A460 cylinder heads.

Moroso Drag Race Oil Pan: This nine-quart pan is designed for tube-chassis cars including dragsters, roadsters, and doorslammers. The fabricated steel pan has a full-length sump and comes with a solid-louvered windage tray. It clears cranks up to 4.75 inch stroke (with aluminum rods). Trick Flow modified the pan for use with an external oil pump.

Next Time

In the next and final installment of our 598 Ford build, we’ll be fabricating a front motor plate and installing the Holley Dominator carburetor, MSD distributor, and front accessories (oil pump, crank trigger, balancer, and water pump). Then for the funnest part of all—strapping the engine on Trick Flow’s dyno and seeing how much power we can extract.

Parts List

Trick Flow PowerPort A460 360 Cylinder Heads

ARP Head Stud Kit

Trick Flow 18-Bolt Conversion Kit for PowerPort heads

Trick Flow MLS Head Gasket, each (2 required)

Crane Ultra-Pro Roller Lifters

Jesel Shaft Rocker Kit

Trick Flow Pushrods, 9.200 inch (intake)

Trick Flow Pushrods, 9.600 inch (exhaust)

Trick Flow R-Series A460 Intake Manifold

Trick Flow Intake Manifold Gaskets

Trick Flow Intake Manifold Bolt Kit

Moroso Drag Race Oil Pan

Moroso Oil Pump Pickup

Fel-Pro Oil Pan Gasket Set

Trick Flow Cast Aluminum Valve Covers

Moroso Valve Cover Vent

Trick Flow Valve Cover Fasteners

Fel-Pro Valve Cover Gaskets

Share this Article
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.