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Big Ford Horsepower (Part 2): Installing the Top End on Trick Flow Specialties’ 598 Ford


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

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  1. Hello, I have a 24ft. welded aluminium river jet boat with a 460 in it. Yes it is a fuel pig! But not really that much worse than other inboard jets. The engine is rated at 320 horse. My thoughts are to build a 460 balanced with roller cam etc. I’m not sure if my thinking is right but if I built it with port EFI and build it to somewhere between 4 and 500 hp I would have an engine that wouldn’t have to work very hard to turn the jet. Currently I need to run at 3200 plus to get on step and stay there. The jets top end optimum operating RPM is about 4400.
    I quite often run at 3500 to 3800 RPM for hours on end. Do you think a balance angine made to breathe easier and is injected won’t have to work as hard and may use less fuel? I know it’s a boat and not a race car and I don’t need 1000 horses. I’m looking to build a strong easy running engine that doesn’t have to work that hard. Hope I’m not dreaming.

    • OnAllCylinders says:

      Fuel injection has undoubtedly proven itself to have better overall fuel control as compared to carburetors. It may or may not make more power but the driveability and economy benefits will pay for itself over time! Keep in mind though, for the low to mid power range you are operating in, be careful not to over cam or choose too large of an intake runner on the cylinder heads! Bigger is NOT always better!!

    • Sounds like you could use a whipple-charger or something similar, and your RPM is more like a Towing/Pulling Type
      set-up. Where your powerband is going to be from 1200 or 1500 to 3500-4000 RPM.

      So you won’t want HiRise manifolds or High RPM Heads, cams an such

  2. which camshaft are you using on this build?

    • OnAllCylinders says:

      Here is an overview of the cam used on this engine:
      COMP Cams Roller Camshaft: Custom-ground for this engine, this is a big cam—285/300 degrees advertised duration at .050 inch and .873/.831 inches of lift (with 1.8 ratio rockers). Lobe separation is 114 degrees.

  3. GeorgeAllanOdell says:

    Hi my name is George Odell and i think that is way to big of a cam ,i think the biggest type of cam i would use in a 460 would be in the range of 230-240 at .050 and i dont know what type of exhaust the things got but that might still be too big of a cam because you dont want the water to reach the exhaust valve during exhaust reversion or lower engine speeds so talk to your cam manufacter.

  4. GeorgeAllanOdell says:

    I think an engine like that TFS 598that made over a thousand horses probably had a cam simmilar to those specs!

  5. Pingback: Big Ford Horsepower (Part 3): Dyno Results for Trick Flow Specialties' 598 Ford - OnAllCylinders

  6. also lets not forget the 351/400 C M, a mid size power house

  7. I’m not to do with a computer but I’d like to talk to somebody 2692456714 Tony thanks

  8. Pingback: Alan Ford Strip – Galleria di immagini di auto nuove

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