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post #1 of 19 Old 09-21-2009, 09:55 PM Thread Starter
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heads for road racing

Need some opinions here.

I am looking at putting some aluminum heads on my fox mustang. I mostly do road course days with this car. They are just fun days but I like to drive it to my limits. I am thinking either AFR or Ford Racing because I like sticking with ford. I will put a cam in also. I have a holley systemax intake with #24 injectors.

thanks

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post #2 of 19 Old 09-21-2009, 10:56 PM
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You need to give the guys more to go on than this. Particular class i.e. weight to hp/torque limits, what motor you already have, do you have tuner, rpm range of cam, etc.

I know a few of the guys in AI run the AFR 165's but they have a lot of work done and are running high dollar titanium valves. The cam is the brains so it should be looked at very hard with your short block and intake setup. Once that has been done go look for heads. This is just my opinion and everyone has one of those...

Darren


'83 5.8L TKO'd T-Bird on the bottle
'93 5.4L Mustang coupe that beat your mom's LTD
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post #3 of 19 Old 09-22-2009, 05:33 AM
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I remember reading stuff about AFRs dropping valves. I had my springs upgraded by Ed Curtis when I bought the heads. Then had them rebuilt last summer. No problems. I love them, lots of torque (along w/ the FTI cam). 91k miles (total on the motor/heads/cam). About 85k miles on the heads before they were rebuilt.

1993 GT 310rwhp / 351rwtq
AFR FTI EDEL Combo. MM, T-56 3.73, Brembo, 275s on 03 Cobras all around

Last edited by Stanger_Matt; 09-22-2009 at 02:25 PM.
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post #4 of 19 Old 09-22-2009, 11:00 AM
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AFR 165s are tough to beat. My combo and power is listed below, not too shabby for a 145K mile 302. I had the springs, locks, and retainers upgraded.

NASA AIX Outlaw West Coast
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post #5 of 19 Old 09-22-2009, 04:42 PM
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I can not speak about road racing as that is something I have yet to do, but I have run AFR's for years and feel that some of the things I value about them would be very applicable to a road race setup

-they offer excellent valve train stability
-AFR's now run smaller OD (1.29") pacaloy valve springs which are less likely to float
-the new castings feature 8mm valve stems for reduced weight, again less chance of valve float
-Excellent Cylinder filling in low and mid lift areas
-excellent flow with high velocity ports for power through out the RPM range
-fully CNC's ports and chambers for consistent and repeatable flow
-They also feature a 3/4" deck

I ran a set of AFR 165's in my '95GT 'vert. Now that was a street/strip car, but it was a heavy one that made power everywhere in the power band, so much so that I was able to run a 12.03 at 112.5mph in it with only 304rwhp/331rwtq. I just recently swapped them onto my '94 cobra autocross car. I don't have any dyno data, but I can tell you that even with 3.08 gears out back it isn't soft down low and I run almost all courses in 2nd gear and power out of a hairpin has never been an issue. It will also scream way up into the high RPM's. I have been on several courses this year with high speed zones where I touched 65-70mph and the car was still pulling as I approached the 6250 factory rev limiter in 2nd gear. I took the car to the drag strip last week for ####s and giggles and the car actually hooked hard enough on 9yr old ET streets to make the clutch slip and beg for mercy on every run yet the car still ran a 13.2 at 105.2mph at 3400lbs with a DA of 1670' in full street trim. This is a 155K stock bottom end '94 cobra with the stock cam, no tune, 3.08 gears, and a full MM handling suspension. To say I was happy is an understatement. I have added their new AFR185 comps to my '95 GT and with a 9:1 compression 331 with the same cam I had in the car when I had the stock bottom end it makes enough power to run a 11.5 at 121mph!

I don't think you can go wrong with any AFR offering as long as the rest of the combo is matched.

-1995 GT Convertible show/strip project
12.03 @112.5MPH NA 302; 11.50 @121mph NA 331
-1994 Cobra...SOLD
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post #6 of 19 Old 09-22-2009, 04:52 PM
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Love my AFR 185's, yet to road race it though.

I do beat the piss out of it fairly often, though!

IMHO the cam choice is where you'll build the power in whatever RPM range you prefer. So pick heads first, then start researching cam grinds.

1989 GT- Prowler Orange Pearl
Engine:
331, AFR 185, FTI cam, 90mm LMAF/30 lb, TFS-R intake, BBK LT's, X-pipe, Spintech mufflers
Suspension:MM: TA, PHB, Rear LCA's, C/C Plates, H&R Race Springs, Bilstein HD's, SFC's, Moser 28 splines, 3.73's, Cobra brakes,10th Anniv. Cobra wheels
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post #7 of 19 Old 09-22-2009, 05:36 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by d brune View Post
You need to give the guys more to go on than this. Particular class i.e. weight to hp/torque limits, what motor you already have, do you have tuner, rpm range of cam, etc.
My engine is a 302 is a fox. I do not have a cam yet and I am thinking of going custom grind for my entire set up(whatever I get). The engine will definitely need to rev but these are just fun track days for me. I am not in any class, just want to enjoy driving my car on the track.

Thanks for everyones input. I have been leaning more towards the afr's but was curious what other people have had good luck with.
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post #8 of 19 Old 09-22-2009, 05:41 PM
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My one and only cam recommendation, ESPECIALLY for AFR's is
http://www.flowtechinduction.com

-1995 GT Convertible show/strip project
12.03 @112.5MPH NA 302; 11.50 @121mph NA 331
-1994 Cobra...SOLD
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post #9 of 19 Old 09-22-2009, 11:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hutchs View Post
My engine is a 302 is a fox. I do not have a cam yet and I am thinking of going custom grind for my entire set up(whatever I get). The engine will definitely need to rev but these are just fun track days for me. I am not in any class, just want to enjoy driving my car on the track.

Thanks for everyones input. I have been leaning more towards the afr's but was curious what other people have had good luck with.
You don't need to rev to go fast. I only use 2 gears at the tracks I go to. 3rd and 4th! 5th gear at California Speedway, but that's only once a lap. The AFRs, FTI cam, and small stroker (327) produce a lot of torque and only revs to 6k RPM. It does rev up fast though, aluminum flywheel and Romac Ultra Lite balancer. After the heads were rebuilt with better springs and lightweight hardware, high (for my motor) RPM performance skyrocketed. It took some time to adjust to how much faster it revved and to avoid crashing into the rev limiter

1993 GT 310rwhp / 351rwtq
AFR FTI EDEL Combo. MM, T-56 3.73, Brembo, 275s on 03 Cobras all around
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post #10 of 19 Old 09-23-2009, 05:29 PM Thread Starter
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For me to rev my engine high is around 54 to 5600. That's only when I down shift into corners. At mosport I top out in 4th on the back straight.

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post #11 of 19 Old 09-26-2009, 05:31 PM
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It's also been noted several times on here and by a few AI guys I've talked to at events that stock 5.0L blocks (in the main area) don't like extended periods of high rpm. So it's best to go with something that will make good power below 6k rpm so as to try to get the most life out of the block.
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post #12 of 19 Old 10-02-2009, 06:31 PM
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If you are going to pony up for a custom cam, the smallest head I would use would be a 185. Look at the Trickflow FAC or if you can find a Highport/Canfield you will be a happy camper.

I have a new Fordstroker 347 sitting in my engine bay. It has the aformentioned Canfields and a Sytemax II. If I get it running this weekend I will let you know how it turnes out. (Woody said it is going to scare me.)

Her name is white lightning. She's loaded with some Griggs stuff, and a plant woody built for me.
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post #13 of 19 Old 10-02-2009, 09:45 PM
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I'm giving serious consideration to the AFR 185 Competition heads for my engine. The flow numbers are as good as the Vic Jr heads I was also thinking of buying and the 185 Comps do it with less port volume.
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post #14 of 19 Old 10-03-2009, 01:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moving Target View Post
I'm giving serious consideration to the AFR 185 Competition heads for my engine. The flow numbers are as good as the Vic Jr heads I was also thinking of buying and the 185 Comps do it with less port volume.
I run them on my '95 GT 'vert. The combo is a 9:1 compression 331 dart block setup for a turbo and I'm still running the FTI cam that was ground for my AFR 165 headed stock shortblock combo. Despite a mismatch of parts, this combo is making some power! I have run as fast as 11.5 at 121mph with this combo... I can't imagine what it's going to do when I finally put the turbo on it! The car felt like a different animal when I put the AFR185 comps on, it was one of the biggest SOTP improvements I've ever felt, and the track numbers backed that up.

-1995 GT Convertible show/strip project
12.03 @112.5MPH NA 302; 11.50 @121mph NA 331
-1994 Cobra...SOLD
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post #15 of 19 Old 10-08-2009, 04:25 PM
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I've got mildly ported J302 heads, stock 1986 cam (faster ramp speed then the 1987-93 cams), forged TRW coated pistons with valve reliefs, tubular GT40 intake, 1.72 Motorsport rockers, 77mm Pro M mass air, 24 pound injectors canton oil pan, full length MAC headers, mallory metal balanced crank and shot peened rods in my .030 over 5.0 block and I'm running close to 10 to 1 compression ratio.

I'm going to upgrade the manifold to a Edelbrock Performer RPM II and add a custom grind cam for a 3000 to 6500 RPM range. If I fully port and unshroud the J302 heads and go with K302 style 2.02 intake valves with 8mm stems, lighter 8mm exhaust valves, beehive valve springs, better retainers etc, would I be sticking too much money into these heads when I could get something that would out flow them?
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post #16 of 19 Old 10-09-2009, 09:56 PM
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"Mildly ported" doesn't mean anything without some flow and/or dyno numbers to give you something to work with.

The only way to make an educated decision is to ask an honest head porter if it's worth it for those J302 heads with that much work done to them.

Food for thought (or not):

I remember looking at the published flow specs for the Edelbrock Performer RPM heads w/1.90 intake valves versus the 2.02 valves and it made a whopping 6 cfm difference. at 0.600" lift. I was unimpressed.

Last edited by Moving Target; 10-09-2009 at 10:08 PM.
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post #17 of 19 Old 10-10-2009, 11:31 AM
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I'll ask my porter and keep in mind AFR 185's, FTI cam and maybe going with a 333 .040 stroker kit

Do you favor RPM II's or a Trick Flow R intake for a 3000-6500 RPM range for open track events with a 333 stroker, 10.5 to 1, FTI cam and ported 185's?
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post #18 of 19 Old 10-10-2009, 10:33 PM
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I can't give you an opinion on which intake to choose for that application.
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post #19 of 19 Old 10-12-2009, 06:20 PM
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FWIW - in the tradition of "opinions." When I wanted to upgrade my fun track car (in my case A/X with O/T in mind), I contacted a recognized cam guy and told him my plans i.e., heavy vert, mostly street but needs to pull out of tight turns on short courses, but also out of sweepers and be able to run down long streights without too much embarresment; stock block so hold the revs to >6000; 5 speed; 3.55 or 3.73 gears, smog legal to name a few constraints to be considered. He asked a bunch more questions but when it was all said and done, he made the cam and recommneded the heads, valve train, intake, T/B, etc. for the complete package; it is a package/combination. He told me that if I didn't change my mind or alter the package, it would do what I wanted it to do. While my package is still in the build stage, he has done the same for other guys who have absolutely praised his work. My opinion: talk to your cam guy of chioce; tell him what you want to do and the parameters witihin which he must work, and the follow the advice without deviation. You will do it right the first time and not look back.
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