Key to us squeezing out more performance from our 327 are these heads from Trick Flow (PN TFS-3400001). The 62cc Super 23 street/strip aluminum heads flow a ton more air than even a good set of L98 stock GM heads and best of all they are a direct fit onto our short block. They come complete and fully assembled with 2.020- and 1.600-inch stainless valves, hardened exhaust seats and 195cc intake ports. They are even 50-state emissions legal (CARB Numer D-369-4) even though it’s doubtful that will matter with a 327 build.

With the provided Fel-Pro gaskets in place we went about installing the new Trick Flow heads. To keep costs—and compression—down, we didn’t deck the old 327 block. It was in great shape, and the 9.3:1 compression ratio will run great even on 87-octane gas. With gas prices where they are, it’ll be nice to get away with using the cheap stuff.

Sometimes it’s easier to buy new than try to use, or find, stock bolts. In this case we used new ARP head bolts (PN 136-3601). These were included in the kit, but even if you had to buy them they’re worth every penny. At around $62 these black-oxide-coated chromemoly fasteners will be failure free.

We then slid the Trick Flow hydraulic lifters (PN TFS-21400001) into place. Again, we were sure to use lots of assembly lube. Don’t be frugal with this stuff; after all, it’s way cheaper than replacing a flat cam.

Next we installed the included guides and rocker studs. To ensure that everything stays put we dabbed a bit of red LocTight on the stud threads.

One of the nicer aspects of this kit is that it includes these full-roller aluminum rockers (PN TFS-31400510). With a ratio of 1.5 and included polylocks they will ensure accurate valve timing, and the roller design should free up a few extra ponies. The hardened Trick Flow pushrods (PN TFS-21407850) in the kit came in at 7.85 x .080-inch. Normally when we do a build with mixed and matched parts, we measure to get the right pushrod length then wait for the UPS guy to deliver them before completing the engine. Since this is a matched kit they know exactly what length is needed and we get instant gratification.

For our first dyno pulls we wanted to go with a low rise, stock-style, intake (PN 8120, $125.95). This Weiand Action+Plus intake will out-perform the stocker and clear even the lowest hood line. Its dual plane design is good from idle up to around 6,000 rpm and should pair up well with the mild camshaft we started out with. The gasket is a Fel-Pro unit (PN 1205, include in Trick Flow kit).