385 Series Cylinder Head Choices, what does it all mean?

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385 Series Cylinder Head Choices, what does it all mean?

Post  nickpohlaandp on October 16th 2017, 12:27 pm

I’m trying to figure out Ford cylinder head terminology, and I have a feeling in my previous thread there might have been a bunch of confusion (mostly on my part) because I don’t know the terminology. I’m searching around, trying to gather as much info as possible to figure out what head I want to run, and on other forums I had been told that, within reason as far as price is concerned, the Trick Flow A460’s are the top notch head. I can understand why that is being that it has the raised intake and exhaust runner and excellent flow characteristics. With that said, here’s where my confusion comes in.

I got a bunch of replied referring to the “A” head, or “A460” head, and I suspect (again, I could be wrong), that we weren’t always talking about the same head. This occurred to me when someone mentioned a B460 head. Then I got to thinking about the Ford SCJ aluminum heads that I just installed on my friends Torino, and how it specified that it required a CJ intake. I began to realize that there’s a lot of different parts you could order that are for a 385 series engine that will end up not working together if you’re not careful.

I have mainly a Chevy background, and in my other thread I made reference to the simplicity of the SBC and BBC heads. For SBC you have essentially one port design, or you can get a spread port with some aftermarket manufacturers, and some minor variations in intake mounting angles. The BBC heads all fall into one of a few categories, peanut port, oval port, and rectangular port, and then you have open or closed chambers. I think it’s pretty simple to understand, but maybe that’s because I’ve been around it for so long, or maybe it’s because it’s just really simple. Regardless, Ford is obviously not that cut and dry.

I really think it sucks on the lack of literature out there for these 385 series engines, because the more I read about them, the more I realize the outstanding potential of them. I’m the type of person who likes to have a book to read, to go back to and reference, etc. I’m also the type of person who like to know the “why” when it comes to what works and what doesn’t.

I’ve narrowed down the possibilities of heads that I might use to the list below, most likely a closer match between the Trick Flow A460 and one of the AFR, but I added the others on there for conversational purposes.

When it comes to 385 series heads, which on my list would be considered “A” heads?

What is a Ford “A” head, as it came from the manufacturer? Would that be something like the D0VE heads?

What is a Ford “B” head?

Does the list go on? Are there Ford “C” heads, “D” heads, etc.? (I’m aware of the 4V C head for mod motors, but I’m going to assume we all are going to be talking about BBF stuff here).

Are there obvious differences between these heads (production and aftermarket) that you can look at and go, “Oh, that’s a (whatever) head” if for some reason you couldn’t find a casting number?

I’m hoping I can get some good information in here. If I’ve upset you in the past, I apologize. Can we move on and talk engines please? I just want to learn about the 385’s. Thanks.


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Re: 385 Series Cylinder Head Choices, what does it all mean?

Post  nickpohlaandp on October 16th 2017, 12:30 pm

For anyone who wasn't part of the atrocity that was my previous thread, the setup I'm going to be running is as follows:

Roller valvetrain. Debating on solid or low travel hydraulic
TH400 trans with JW bellhousing (already have it)
Stock style suspension with adjustable control arms
Coil overs front and rear
Tubular K member
Engine mounted with motor plates and longitudinal stabilizers to the block
Chromoly front end (https://rock-solid-motorsports.com/products/foxbody-tubular-front-end)
Mini tub by Nick (that's me :-) )
8.8 rear, unsure of the gearing... 3.73's, maybe 3.55's
Guessing empty weight will be at or just below 3k
10 point cage
Two seats
Dash
Necessary gauges
All lights functional
License plate out back for ballast

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Re: 385 Series Cylinder Head Choices, what does it all mean?

Post  DanH on October 16th 2017, 1:20 pm

So you know the SBC. What is a SBC Buick head also the Pontiac sbc head? Easy whey to see the Ford 385 is a catalog.

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Re: 385 Series Cylinder Head Choices, what does it all mean?

Post  nickpohlaandp on October 16th 2017, 1:38 pm

DanH wrote:So you know the SBC. What is a SBC Buick head also the Pontiac sbc head?                      Easy whey to see the Ford 385 is a catalog.

No offense, but I can't follow what you are trying to ask... or say... or whatever with that comment. Are you typing on a cellphone? What are you asking?

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Re: 385 Series Cylinder Head Choices, what does it all mean?

Post  DanH on October 16th 2017, 1:56 pm

Yes to a cell phone. Asking for info on the so called Buick and Pontiac heads. They fit the sbc block.

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Re: 385 Series Cylinder Head Choices, what does it all mean?

Post  nickpohlaandp on October 16th 2017, 2:00 pm

DanH wrote:Yes to a cell phone. Asking for info on the so called Buick and Pontiac heads. They fit the svc block. What a Face

Never tried to make a Frankenengine. Wouldn't know. I'm not here about Buick and Pontiac... or Chevy for that matter. I was simply stating what I know about Chevy and seeing if there was some similar way Ford stuff relates.

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Re: 385 Series Cylinder Head Choices, what does it all mean?

Post  maverick on October 16th 2017, 3:20 pm

Without entering the head choice debate, I think that any well thought out combination in a stroked BBF would likely break into the 9's in a Checker cab. My point of reference is a 2700 lb. Ranger with a pump gas 514 with home ported A429 heads (just an early aluminum version of a CJ head) and a powerglide. It went 9.27 in Florida.

Since running 9's is one of your goals, I think your cylinder head choice becomes less tricky...and more of a durability/price/parts availability deal. The A460's are dandy but unnecessary.

Just an unrelated side note: On the street, no sweat...but if this car hooks well on your occasional trip to the track, you'll probably also get an education on the difference between an 8.8" rear and a good 9". A good friend of mine is growing tired of his 8.8 pinion gears coming out looking like a chicken drumstick. I'll be putting a 9" in his Fox hatch soon. I'm sure that 8.8" rears can be made to live...but a 9" will require you to spend less time under the car...and offer endless gear choices. Jmo.
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Re: 385 Series Cylinder Head Choices, what does it all mean?

Post  nickpohlaandp on October 16th 2017, 3:27 pm

maverick wrote:...Just an unrelated side note:  On the street, no sweat...but if this car hooks well on your occasional trip to the track, you'll probably also get an education on the difference between an 8.8" rear and a good 9".  A good friend of mine is growing tired of his 8.8 pinion gears coming out looking like a chicken drumstick.  I'll be putting a 9" in his Fox hatch soon. I'm sure that 8.8" rears can be made to live...but a 9" will require you to spend less time under the car...and offer endless gear choices.  Jmo.

I hear you on that one, and I know. I'm gonna give the 8.8 a chance with some good parts, 35 spline axles and an Eaton with a quality ring and pinion set. If I stumble across a 9" before I complete the build that could change, but for now the 8.8 is an easy way to get disks in the rear. When it frags itself you can feel free to say "I told you so". Until then I'll let it ride.

In regard to the heads, I've pretty much figured out that any of the heads that are on that spreadsheet above will work for what I'm doing. What I'm really trying to figure out is the part about:

nickpohlaandp wrote:When it comes to 385 series heads, which on my list would be considered “A” heads?

What is a Ford “A” head, as it came from the manufacturer? Would that be something like the D0VE heads?

What is a Ford “B” head?

Does the list go on? Are there Ford “C” heads, “D” heads, etc.? (I’m aware of the 4V C head for mod motors, but I’m going to assume we all are going to be talking about BBF stuff here).

Are there obvious differences between these heads (production and aftermarket) that you can look at and go, “Oh, that’s a (whatever) head” if for some reason you couldn’t find a casting number?

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Re: 385 Series Cylinder Head Choices, what does it all mean?

Post  dfree383 on October 16th 2017, 3:53 pm

nickpohlaandp wrote:
maverick wrote:...Just an unrelated side note:  On the street, no sweat...but if this car hooks well on your occasional trip to the track, you'll probably also get an education on the difference between an 8.8" rear and a good 9".  A good friend of mine is growing tired of his 8.8 pinion gears coming out looking like a chicken drumstick.  I'll be putting a 9" in his Fox hatch soon. I'm sure that 8.8" rears can be made to live...but a 9" will require you to spend less time under the car...and offer endless gear choices.  Jmo.

I hear you on that one, and I know. I'm gonna give the 8.8 a chance with some good parts, 35 spline axles and an Eaton with a quality ring and pinion set. If I stumble across a 9" before I complete the build that could change, but for now the 8.8 is an easy way to get disks in the rear. When it frags itself you can feel free to say "I told you so". Until then I'll let it ride.

In regard to the heads, I've pretty much figured out that any of the heads that are on that spreadsheet above will work for what I'm doing. What I'm really trying to figure out is the part about:

nickpohlaandp wrote:When it comes to 385 series heads, which on my list would be considered “A” heads?

What is a Ford “A” head, as it came from the manufacturer? Would that be something like the D0VE heads?

What is a Ford “B” head?

Does the list go on? Are there Ford “C” heads, “D” heads, etc.? (I’m aware of the 4V C head for mod motors, but I’m going to assume we all are going to be talking about BBF stuff here).

Are there obvious differences between these heads (production and aftermarket) that you can look at and go, “Oh, that’s a (whatever) head” if for some reason you couldn’t find a casting number?

The search function is your friend
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Re: 385 Series Cylinder Head Choices, what does it all mean?

Post  maverick on October 16th 2017, 4:10 pm

The factory part numbers tell you the following:

After WW2, Ford began a new system for OEM part numbers.  In the 1940's, the 1st digit is an "A".  In the 50's...a "B".
In the 60's....a "C".  The 70's get a "D"...and so on.  
The 2nd digit indicates the year of that part's introduction or the year of a casting revision.  D followed by a zero indicates a 1970 era part.   D3 indicates a 1973.  D9 is a '79............You can see where stuff like C4 and C6 trannys get their names.
The 3rd digit indicates the company division for which the part was primarily designed.  A letter "V" indicates a Lincoln/Mercury part...although all divisions sometimes shared those parts. DOVE heads (a 1970 Merc head) were everywhere.  

The last digit being an "E" indicates an Engine part.  Example:  A block with a D9TE part number is a 1979 Truck block casting, although the casting was widely used in the company. Also, the part number was carried into later model years until a casting or design revision was necessary.  That's why D9 blocks were found in later model vehicles.   Countless suffixes exist, but those first 4 characters usually tell the tale.

Keep in mind those are OEM parts.  Ford's race parts have their own number system....so obviously, an "A" head is not from the '40's Wink   And an A429 and an A460 are VERY DIFFERENT.

Have I sufficiently confused you?
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Re: 385 Series Cylinder Head Choices, what does it all mean?

Post  DanH on October 16th 2017, 4:11 pm

OP you have limit on your chevy knowledge. The Buick head is from the early 80a is, port port layout is like a Ford. Chevy bad a$$ small block head at that time. The B460 head is the same as the A460 castwith smaller ports. B heads can be ported to A heads size. Those were from Fords SVO days.

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Re: 385 Series Cylinder Head Choices, what does it all mean?

Post  nickpohlaandp on October 16th 2017, 4:36 pm

maverick wrote:...Have I sufficiently confused you?

You're getting there, lol. Actually, that makes sense. It's not often that a casting number makes sense so easily like that.

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Re: 385 Series Cylinder Head Choices, what does it all mean?

Post  Mark Laczo on October 16th 2017, 9:03 pm

nickpohlaandp wrote:When it comes to 385 series heads, which on my list would be considered “A” heads?

The only one on your list considered an "A" head is the TFS A460 head.

BTW Dave Mclean is/was a member here as well.
Also many members here are members at Speedtalk FYI.

Your kinda going in circles so too speak.
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Re: 385 Series Cylinder Head Choices, what does it all mean?

Post  BBFTorino on October 17th 2017, 1:58 am

Perhaps a little history will help you to figure out the crazy designations!!
As it regards the 429 and 460 engines. They were introduced in the 1968 model year. The 460 was the torque monster / workhorse for the big Lincolns at first, then it made its way into LTD's, station wagons, trucks, vans, etc.
The 460 was always considered a 'low performance' engine from the factory, as it (and the 429) was born in the "smog era".
In 1970, FoMoCo introduced the 429 Cobra Jet and Super Cobra Jet (CJ/SCJ). They were hotter than the standard 429 which was called the Thunder Jet (TJ).
All of the standard 429 and 460 heads were basically the same. They had 'regular' sized ports with a 2.08 intake and 1.65 exhaust valve package. The CJ/SCJ heads were made with very large ports and featured 2.25 intakes and 1.76 exhausts.
Both intake and exhaust ports were considerably larger than the standard 429/460 heads.
Other than some 'one-off' special castings from Ford or Shelby or Holman-Moody, there were no aftermarket heads available throughout the 1970's for Fords.
In the early 1980's Ford had a dept. within the company called "Special Vehicle Operations" (SVO) that was responsible for the performance/racing/testing/tuning, and prototype developments.
Out of this branch of the company, "Ford Motorsports" was born.
Ford was heavily involved in NASCAR and NHRA at the time....but the dillema was that there was not a lot of hardcore racing parts being developed for Fords!!
So Ford Motorsports began casting up, and cranking out many of the needed parts....blocks, heads, cranks, intakes....
A lot of the heavy hitting Ford racing teams began pitching into the efforts to bring Fords up to the same level as GM.
The main one being Jack Roush and Roush Racing Industries.
Trick Flow Specialties began to get in on it too. They designed the big raised port aluminum head for the BBF and called it the "A460". It was nothing like a factory 429 or 460 head. In fact, it was nearly a state of the art Pro Stock head back in that day!!

Most of the aftermarket Ford stuff centered around the small blocks...289/302/5.0L/351W. But as the popularity of those kept increasing, its waves began to 'crash' into the big block world, and suddenly in the 1990's several more companies got on board and began making more heads for big block Fords. Edelbrock, TFS, Alan Root, Blue Thunder..
Ford Motorsports released the "A429" CJ head in the late 80's / early 90's...it was basically an aluminum copy of the factory production iron CJ head with some slight improvements.
Further on in the 90's and into the 2000's......the "A460" heads went thru some revisions to improve their performance...the name stayed the same. However Ford Motorsports (which then became "Ford Racing") had also released the "B460" which is like the A460 but cast with much smaller ports for the purpose of having cylinder head porters, port and design their own ports for custom applications....such as truck / tractor pullers, mud boggers, etc.
The "C460" heads are bad ass heads that are well suited for big inch engines 600+ cu. in.
the "D460" and "E460" heads are flat out Pro Stock type of racing heads.

So all of the letter heads "A460" thru "E460" are tall raised port racing heads.

All the stock type of heads including factory iron CJ's...the "A429" CJ's, the later modern Ford Racing SCJ's, the Kaase P-51, Edelbrocks Performer and Performer RPM CJ, Blue Thunder CJ, and ProComp (junk)...are all of the stock type of architecture.

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Re: 385 Series Cylinder Head Choices, what does it all mean?

Post  nickpohlaandp on October 17th 2017, 10:05 am

BBFTorino wrote:Perhaps a little history will help you to figure out the crazy designations!!
As it regards the 429 and 460 engines. They were introduced in the 1968 model year. The 460 was the torque monster / workhorse for the big Lincolns at first, then it made its way into LTD's, station wagons, trucks, vans, etc.
The 460 was always considered a 'low performance' engine from the factory, as it (and the 429) was born in the "smog era".
In 1970, FoMoCo introduced the 429 Cobra Jet and Super Cobra Jet (CJ/SCJ). They were hotter than the standard 429 which was called the Thunder Jet (TJ).
All of the standard 429 and 460 heads were basically the same. They had 'regular' sized ports with a 2.08 intake and 1.65 exhaust valve package. The CJ/SCJ heads were made with very large ports and featured 2.25 intakes and 1.76 exhausts.
Both intake and exhaust ports were considerably larger than the standard 429/460 heads.
Other than some 'one-off' special castings from Ford or Shelby or Holman-Moody, there were no aftermarket heads available throughout the 1970's for Fords.
In the early 1980's Ford had a dept. within the company called "Special Vehicle Operations" (SVO) that was responsible for the performance/racing/testing/tuning, and prototype developments.
Out of this branch of the company, "Ford Motorsports" was born.
Ford was heavily involved in NASCAR and NHRA at the time....but the dillema was that there was not a lot of hardcore racing parts being developed for Fords!!
So Ford Motorsports began casting up, and cranking out many of the needed parts....blocks, heads, cranks, intakes....
A lot of the heavy hitting Ford racing teams began pitching into the efforts to bring Fords up to the same level as GM.
The main one being Jack Roush and Roush Racing Industries.
Trick Flow Specialties began to get in on it too. They designed the big raised port aluminum head for the BBF and called it the "A460". It was nothing like a factory 429 or 460 head. In fact, it was nearly a state of the art Pro Stock head back in that day!!

Most of the aftermarket Ford stuff centered around the small blocks...289/302/5.0L/351W. But as the popularity of those kept increasing, its waves began to 'crash' into the big block world, and suddenly in the 1990's several more companies got on board and began making more heads for big block Fords. Edelbrock, TFS, Alan Root, Blue Thunder..
Ford Motorsports released the "A429" CJ head in the late 80's / early 90's...it was basically an aluminum copy of the factory production iron CJ head with some slight improvements.
Further on in the 90's and into the 2000's......the "A460" heads went thru some revisions to improve their performance...the name stayed the same. However Ford Motorsports (which then became "Ford Racing") had also released the "B460" which is like the A460 but cast with much smaller ports for the purpose of having cylinder head porters, port and design their own ports for custom applications....such as truck / tractor pullers, mud boggers, etc.
The "C460" heads are bad ass heads that are well suited for big inch engines 600+ cu. in.
the "D460" and "E460" heads are flat out Pro Stock type of racing heads.

So all of the letter heads "A460" thru "E460" are tall raised port racing heads.

All the stock type of heads including factory iron CJ's...the "A429" CJ's, the later modern Ford Racing SCJ's, the Kaase P-51, Edelbrocks Performer and Performer RPM CJ, Blue Thunder CJ, and ProComp (junk)...are all of the stock type of architecture.    

Thank you for the breakdown. That helps... a lot. My older brother worked for SVT (I believe SVO turned into SVT) back in the 90's and early 2000's, but he was on the engineering side for supercar stuff. He's never really been interested in old school, big inch muscle. He was the chassis/brake engineer for when they re-released the Ford GT. That's what landed him the job he has now, at Brembo North America. I got the impression from him that SVT was kind of dissolved a while back, but they're still working on SVT-type stuff over at his old stomping grounds. I know he has buddies over there that do all kinds of racing, and he gets his hands on a lot of cool stuff. There's probably an ice cubes chance in hell that he could pull something like this off, but I'm going to ask him if he has any connections for some BBF stuff for me. I know when I bought my 2012 Mustang GT, about two weeks later I got two boxes in the mail containing everything I needed to upgrade to the GT500 brakes... that was pretty cool. I think it's time to call up my big bro.

Thanks again for the information. I'm definitely going to bookmark this for future reference.

So just so I'm clear, because I'm a little foggy on this still. The A460 head is NOT specific to Trick Flow then? Are you saying that there were multiple versions/manufacturers of the A460 head, just different manufacturers, but they were all primarily the same design?

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Re: 385 Series Cylinder Head Choices, what does it all mean?

Post  DanH on October 17th 2017, 3:25 pm

Today TFS is the only one making A460 heads now. Your prior thead, I posted info on others that made A460 type heads in the past

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Re: 385 Series Cylinder Head Choices, what does it all mean?

Post  nickpohlaandp on October 17th 2017, 4:19 pm

DanH wrote:Today TFS is the only one making A460 heads now. Your prior thead, I posted info on others that made A460 type heads in the past

I searched my previous post, just to be 100% sure, to see if I missed something. Here's all I found that you posted.

DanH wrote:Search the proven builds…

…If one thinks there a limit on intakes, then there is a limit. I know it"s not true…

…I should have said cash over the counter. There is several more intakes that can be used on A type heads. Cost in the TF range even less. The A heads the leave room for more power. In the future if you wish…

…I refer A or A type. and A460. No other heads. A heads can make good low rpm. Tq. and still do. the high rpm HP…

All you mentioned were the heads currently in production. You were part of the inspiration for me to start this thread, because I was still unsure of what exactly an "A" head was. maverick, Mark Laczo, and BBFTorino were the only ones kind enough to answer the question I asked clearly. I thought I made it pretty clear that this was my first BBF build. Perhaps I incorrecly thought that would've implied that I don't really have any knowledge on the 385 series, other than what I've been able to read on the internet. Trust me, I've looked for books, and I've been rather unsuccessful. If you know of any good books on the 385, please, let me know.

I started this thread to get away from that other one because it just got ugly. Any chance we can prevent this one from going that direction too? I'm here to learn about the 385 and ask questions. I don't really have what I would consider any knowledge worth sharing in that regard. I can comment on why someone might've broken a ring land off a piston when running nitrous... that's kind of a universal phenomenon. Other than that, I'm just going to ask questions. If I have a question about your reply, I'll ask that too.

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Re: 385 Series Cylinder Head Choices, what does it all mean?

Post  rmcomprandy on October 17th 2017, 6:34 pm

Saying "A" head without the number tells almost nothing as there are A429, SCJA, A460 heads and all are of different design.

To simplify ...

An A429 head is an improved aluminum version of the iron O.E.M. design Cobra Jet heads.

An SCJA head is a head with stock O.E.M. port locations but, different better flowing valve locations.

An A460 head is based upon the Ford Pro Stock head from Ford Motorsport of the early 90's which has also been produced by different companies with slight design variations; even within the same company.
Mainly, Extreme Technologies, Ford Motorsport, IDT, Trick Flow.

A B460 head is a Ford Motorsport A460 head with smaller oval type intake ports.
Sometimes, the few "Bastard" Pro Stock heads produced by Trick Flow are referred to as their "B" heads.

There are a bunch of other wedge type heads for the big block Ford but, these are what you asked about.

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Re: 385 Series Cylinder Head Choices, what does it all mean?

Post  DanH on October 17th 2017, 7:12 pm

Nick-----,my mistake it wasn't your tread was a post about A460's in another thread. You asked a question. I gave the answer.

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Re: 385 Series Cylinder Head Choices, what does it all mean?

Post  nickpohlaandp on October 17th 2017, 7:37 pm

rmcomprandy wrote:Saying "A" head without the number tells almost nothing as there are A429, SCJA, A460 heads and all are of different design.

To simplify ...

An A429 head is an improved aluminum version of the iron O.E.M. design Cobra Jet heads.

An SCJA head is a head with stock O.E.M. port locations but, different better flowing valve locations.

An A460 head is based upon the Ford Pro Stock head from Ford Motorsport of the early 90's which has also been produced by different companies with slight design variations; even within the same company.
Mainly, Extreme Technologies, Ford Motorsport, IDT, Trick Flow.

A B460 head is a Ford Motorsport A460 head with smaller oval type intake ports.
Sometimes, the few "Bastard" Pro Stock heads produced by Trick Flow are referred to as their "B" heads.

There are a bunch of other wedge type heads for the big block Ford but, these are what you asked about.

Thank you. I'm beginning to understand this a bit better now.... I think. So would the Ford SCJ (Kaase design), P51, Trick Flow Power Port, and the AFR Bullitt heads all be considered a variation of the "A" head, or are they just an aftermarket cylinder head that is an improvement on the stock design? I'm sorry if I'm beating this to death, I am honestly just trying to pick up the terminology. I really do appreciate your input.

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Re: 385 Series Cylinder Head Choices, what does it all mean?

Post  nickpohlaandp on October 17th 2017, 7:38 pm

DanH wrote:Nick-----,my mistake it wasn't your tread was a post about A460's in another thread. You asked a question. I gave the answer.                      

Sorry Dan, I got so wrapped up in that other thread because of how shitty it ended up going, I wasn't thinking about that A460 thread that was posted up.

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Re: 385 Series Cylinder Head Choices, what does it all mean?

Post  cool40 on October 17th 2017, 8:08 pm

nickpohlaandp wrote:
rmcomprandy wrote:Saying "A" head without the number tells almost nothing as there are A429, SCJA, A460 heads and all are of different design.

To simplify ...

An A429 head is an improved aluminum version of the iron O.E.M. design Cobra Jet heads.

An SCJA head is a head with stock O.E.M. port locations but, different better flowing valve locations.

An A460 head is based upon the Ford Pro Stock head from Ford Motorsport of the early 90's which has also been produced by different companies with slight design variations; even within the same company.
Mainly, Extreme Technologies, Ford Motorsport, IDT, Trick Flow.

A B460 head is a Ford Motorsport A460 head with smaller oval type intake ports.
Sometimes, the few "Bastard" Pro Stock heads produced by Trick Flow are referred to as their "B" heads.

There are a bunch of other wedge type heads for the big block Ford but, these are what you asked about.

Thank you. I'm beginning to understand this a bit better now.... I think. So would the Ford SCJ (Kaase design), P51, Trick Flow Power Port, and the AFR Bullitt heads all be considered a variation of the "A" head, or are they just an aftermarket cylinder head that is an improvement on the stock design? I'm sorry if I'm beating this to death, I am honestly just trying to pick up the terminology. I really do appreciate your input.
if it has round intake runners it's a factory "type" head. The A460 head is all together different as I think you've figured out. The C460 is another ford racing head all its own animal. Profiler makes Bbf heads also but I ain't confusing you even worse.lol.....Google any of them and you'll find a lot of info.
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Re: 385 Series Cylinder Head Choices, what does it all mean?

Post  maverick on October 17th 2017, 8:16 pm

When a Ford guy mentions "A" heads, he's typically referring to a version of the raised port head, the A460....could be from various manucturers, all with their own little tweaks and names but still based on the original Ford A460 raised port design.  No, the SCJ (Kaase), the P51, the TrickFlow 325 and the AFR are definitely NOT versions of the A460....but rather refined versions of the old Cobra Jet design.  The "A" head nickname is a reference to a design and power level ABOVE all those others named.
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Re: 385 Series Cylinder Head Choices, what does it all mean?

Post  Mike R on October 17th 2017, 8:28 pm





Thank you. I'm beginning to understand this a bit better now.... I think. So would the Ford SCJ (Kaase design), P51, Trick Flow Power Port, and the AFR Bullitt heads all be considered a variation of the "A" head, or are they just an aftermarket cylinder head that is an improvement on the stock design? I'm sorry if I'm beating this to death, I am honestly just trying to pick up the terminology. I really do appreciate your input.[/quote]


The Ford SCJ (Kaase design) is a redesigned stock design with improved ports and relocated valves, the P51 is basically an as cast fully ported SCJ head, they require different pistons due to the relocated valves. The Trick Flow Power Port heads are based on stock architecture as are the A429, Blue Thunder, Edelbrock and the Chinese Pro Comps. The AFR Bullet heads are a clean sheet redesign of the factory head with relocated valves requiring different pistons. The A460 heads are a completely different head from all the others listed, the only thing they have in common is they bolt to the same block.

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Re: 385 Series Cylinder Head Choices, what does it all mean?

Post  nickpohlaandp on October 17th 2017, 11:09 pm

Mike R wrote:



Thank you. I'm beginning to understand this a bit better now.... I think. So would the Ford SCJ (Kaase design), P51, Trick Flow Power Port, and the AFR Bullitt heads all be considered a variation of the "A" head, or are they just an aftermarket cylinder head that is an improvement on the stock design? I'm sorry if I'm beating this to death, I am honestly just trying to pick up the terminology. I really do appreciate your input.


The Ford SCJ (Kaase design) is a redesigned stock design with improved ports and relocated valves, the P51 is basically an as cast fully ported SCJ head, they require different pistons due to the relocated valves. The Trick Flow Power Port heads are based on stock architecture as are the A429, Blue Thunder, Edelbrock and the Chinese Pro Comps. The AFR Bullet heads are a clean sheet redesign of the factory head with relocated valves requiring different pistons. The A460 heads are a completely different head from all the others listed, the only thing they have in common is they bolt to the same block.[/quote]

Thank you all very much!

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