It's All In Your Heads
It's always nice when you can rely on your neighbors for a helping hand-especially when you're shooting for a big hairy horsepower number and your neighbor just happens to be cylinder head maestro Air Flow Research. Add in the success that Latimer had with his first 327, and it was a given that AFR would get the call for this project. AFR's Tony Mamo suggested a set of the company's 195cc Competition Ported Eliminator heads. That's right, even though emphasis here was on high-rpm horsepower, the parties involved weren't willing to entirely kiss off the lower end and wanted a better balance. And that's where the Competition porting job comes into play. Most of us hear "competition porting" and think WOT, max-rpm power. But a motor is never just at its peak. It's always moving through the rpm range, even when it's at full throttle. In that case, ultimate high-end performance is not necessarily the main reason for choosing Comp porting. "It's always best to run a smaller head that reaches your CFM target or goals, especially in any application that spends a fair amount of time on the street," explained Mamo. "When you have the same airflow through a more conservatively sized port, the torque and the low/midrange power is a lot stronger, and the snap and crispness in part-throttle operation is vastly improved, a factor you will never see measured or quantified on a dyno, but that's very welcome once you experience it." Well, couldn't they just have put a bigger head on it? Negative, said Mamo. With the 210 street heads, you'd save $500 but end up with a lazier engine and without the linear power curve. "I always recommend Comp porting to anyone who's serious about what they're doing," Mamo elaborated. "It does it all better: It has higher airspeed for better cylinder fill, it improves low/midrange torque and power output, it has better throttle response, and it improves fuel economy-it's just more efficient."