Today's small block Ford street engine builder has it easy. Not all that long ago, the small block fan's only choice for Ford cylinder heads was the classic 351W Ford heads swap on a 302. Today, the aftermarket lineup of Ford cylinder heads has plenty of castings from which to choose. We'd love to test 'em all, but we decided to line up as many performance small block Windsor Ford heads as we could find, as long as they were available complete for less than $1,350 for the pair. These Ford cylinder heads all feature between 170 and 180cc intake port volumes and offer excellent performance potential over even the best production iron 5.0L heads. To pull this off, we needed a durable mule, so we chose Ford Racing's Boss 302 345hp crate engine that comes with a set of aluminum heads and actuated by a 0.480-inch lift B303 hydraulic roller cam, and 9.0:1 compression. To complete the Boss, we added an Edelbrock Performer RPM intake, a Holley 750 cfm mechanical secondary HP carb, MSD distributor, and a set of open exhaust dyno headers, and we were ready to rumble.
It's also worth mentioning that due to deadline pressures, Dart and Pro Comp Electronics also offer small block Ford heads that fit within our price prerequisite, but for a variety of scheduling reasons, they didn't make the test. The Dart castings would have been the Iron Eagle versions while the Pro Comp's are affordable in aluminum.
As with our small-block Chevy head test published in the Sept. '12 issue, we will evaluate each of these small block Ford cylinder heads using several different categories in addition to peak torque and horsepower. We evaluated each head on the flow bench, average overall power, and we calculated average horsepower-per-dollar. We'll squeeze all of this into these few short pages, which means we have a long way to go and a short time to get there. So get comfortable, slip on your Ford-colored glasses, and hang on.
Edelbrock Heads: E-Street Ford Cylinder Heads
This made-in-the-USA head is Edelbrock's value leader. Edelbrock heads are available in two different versions with either 1.94- or 2.02-inch intake valves. Our test heads came with the larger intakes that clearly contributed to these heads' strong showing. The E-street came in second in peak horsepower and a very close third in average horsepower and torque. The Edelbrock heads showed a little weakness in the midrange, something that could probably be rectified by adding a 30-degree back cut to the intake valve. At less than $950 for the pair, these Edelbrock heads may be the best bang-for-the-buck investment of all the Ford heads in this test. Combine Edelbrock quality with excellent power and a highly competitive price, and the E-Street Edelbrock heads strike us as an excellent choice.
Ford heads: Edelbrock E-Street 170cc
PN 5025, $935.95
||1.250-inch single, max lift 0.550
The first thing we did was bolt each head on the Superflow 600 flow bench at Jim Grubbs Mo
With six heads to swap, we outfitted the 302 with ARP 1⁄2-inch head bolts. The Boss block