DEARBORN - An update to the older Z head, the Ford Performance Parts M-6049-Z2 cylinder head is the answer for high performance vehicle applications that produce 500+ horsepower and comfortably fit in stock small-block engine bays.
We caught up this week with Ford Performance Parts Engine Engineer, Tom Dettloff to discuss the development of the Z2 cylinder heads.
What prompted Ford Performance to develop this new head?
For many years the Ford Performance Parts small-block cylinder head offerings were the M-6049-X306(7) (X Head) street cruiser style head and the high performance M-6049-Z304D (Z Head) cylinder heads. The X heads have been around for many years and are a perfect fit in the street cruiser arena. The Z heads, while making excellent power offer some challenges in the packaging department. The new Z2 head addresses these challenges.
What are the benefits?
One of the biggest differences between the Z2 head and older Z head is the location of the exhaust port flange. The new Z2 head has the exhaust flange in the stock location. The Z2 also utilizes the stock exhaust bolt pattern (2.00”). The exhaust ports seal with standard Fel-Pro 1415 exhaust gaskets. These heads accept straight rocker arms making choice of rocker ratio more expansive.
What were some of the challenges in creating the Z2 Head?
There is always a challenge to incorporate a production level design and testing program into an aftermarket application. For example, the unique “velocity vane” intake port was extensively tested on (2) displacement engines. First, on a 363 cubic inch (302 based) crate engine and secondly on a 427 cubic inch Windsor based crate engine. The findings revealed that on a 363 inch engine the velocity vane was worth 3-7 horsepower from 4500-6500 rpm vs. the same port without the vane. On the 427 engine, the power was equivalent with or without the vane. Professional engine building machining standards are met with all of our aftermarket products.
Will the Z head replace the X Head?
We will continue to offer the existing X head but, plans are under way to revise the X head soon. The new M-6049-Z2 head will be available as an end item and is intended to replace the M-6049-Z304DA head on many of our crate engines. We will continue to produce the M-6049-Z304D series of heads for sanctioned circle track applications and racing applications where the M-6049-Z304 series of heads currently compete.
What enthusiasts is the Z head targeted towards?
This head suits engine builders looking to make in excess of 425 HP and use headers that have a stock bolt pattern.
Is there anything else we should know about the Z head?
M-6049-Z2 heads come assembled with premium, spin tron tested, components from leading valve train suppliers. The head is equipped with 2.050” stainless steel intake valves and 1.600” 23-8N stainless exhaust valves.
Z2 heads are currently available on the Ford Performance Parts M-6007-Z2363FT(RT) crate engines. They are also standard equipment on the upcoming M-6007-Z2427FFT(FRT) Ford Performance Parts crate engines (available soon).