Another disadvantage with offshore sourcing is the long lead times. That means making changes to ports and chambers can't be done quickly. This isn't as big of a problem with CNC heads if the port work is done in the U.S., but it can really compromise the quality of as-cast cylinder heads. Having our castings done in America may cost a little more money, but we know exactly what we are getting and can ensure that our customers receive an excellent product. Since we use only top-quality components, we can back our product with a great warranty program. Plus, we can help keep jobs here in the U.S.-Al Noe
Trick Flow heads have earned a reputation for delivering outstanding performance right out of the box, and that didn't happen simply by chance. Using a proprietary process called Fast As Cast, Trick Flow is able to produce as-cast cylinder heads that offer performance very close to CNC-ported heads for a lot less money. "We start with one of our CNC-ported cylinder heads, then make intake and exhaust port tooling based off of the port shapes. Casting technology and our method of locating the intake and exhaust cores allow us to tightly control the tolerances, so the port shapes are much more exact than we could have achieved five to ten years ago," says Noe.
Trick Flow also offers fully CNC'd version of several of its cylinder heads, which deliver the ultimate in power but at a slightly greater cost. "To assist in the R&D process, we utilize two in-house Superflow 901 engine dynos that allow us to evaluate several port or chamber designs before putting a head into production. We benchmark virtually every cylinder head on the market to honestly evaluate how good our products are in relation to our competition, and to see what we can do to make better products. Competition in our industry is definitely a good thing for the performance enthusiast, as it compels us to constantly improve our products and keep them affordable."
Flowbench vs. Dyno
A flowbench is a great tool, just like the CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) software that we use. In addition to measuring airflow, some flowbenches can even measure air swirl and tumble. But what do the numbers really mean? For example, a head that flows great peak numbers but performs poorly at low and mid lift will often run like a dog on the dyno. A head with lower peak numbers but excellent low and mid lift will destroy the lazier head on the dyno. The flowbench and CFD software are good places to start, but we must use the dynos to verify their findings. Consequently, the dyno allows us to look at combinations objectively.
Believe me, our dyno guys do a great job of giving us a much needed reality check from time to time. Ultimately, this allows the customer to know exactly what they're getting before they invest in our products. For instance, we sell bundled top-end kits for first-gen small-block Chevys and LS engines, which include matched camshafts, rocker arms, and gaskets. When a customer buys our 515hp LS1 kit or our 550hp LS2 kit, we know for sure that it will make the power we say it will, and we have the numbers to back up our claims.-Al Noe
Serious Gen I Power
The increasing affordability of the LSx platform has many traditionalists jumping ship, but thanks to products like Trick Flow's 18-degree heads, the old-school Mouse has plenty of fight left in it. On the company's 406 small-block with 12:1 compression, a 266/270-at-0.050 solid lifter cam and an Edelbrock Victor intake, Trick Flow's Ultra 18 race castings belted out a staggering 731 hp and 543 lb-ft. Those impressive numbers resoundingly back up the company's published flow numbers of 334 cfm at just 0.600-inch lift.