Trick Flow vs AFR Heads: A Comprehensive Comparison for Performance Enthusiasts

When it comes to selecting aftermarket cylinder heads for high-performance engines, two popular options are Trick Flow and AFR heads.

Both brands offer a wide range of products designed to increase airflow, maximizing an engine’s potential.

In this article, we will compare these two top brands and help you make an informed decision about which might be the best choice for your application.

Trick Flow’s cylinder heads are known for their innovative Twisted Wedge design, which features a smaller intake valve measuring 2.02 inches, and exceptional intake airflow gains as mentioned here.

On the other hand, AFR heads provide an excellent balance between performance and affordability, often CNC ported and offering a choice between 65 or 75cc combustion chambers as discussed in this thread.

To compare these options, it’s crucial to consider factors such as engine type, intended use, and budget constraints.

Ultimately, enthusiasts have differing opinions on which head is best, with some preferring Trick Flow for specific applications, while others opt for AFR’s versatility and selection.

Trick Flow Vs Afr Heads


Trick Flow Vs Afr Heads Overview

Trick Flow and AFR (Air Flow Research) are both well-known for their high-quality cylinder heads designed specifically for high-performance engines. In this section, we will be comparing the features and performance aspects of both Trick Flow and AFR heads.

When building a 347 stroker engine, choosing the right cylinder heads plays a crucial role in maximizing power and torque. Comparing AFR vs Trick Flow heads, you’ll find differences in valve size, port design, and combustion chamber volumes.

For instance, AFR 165 heads on a 289 engine offer slightly smaller intake valves and 56cc combustion chambers while Trick Flow heads have bigger intake valves and 58cc chambers source. This results in a slightly higher compression ratio using AFR heads.

  • AFR: 56cc combustion chambers, smaller valves
  • Trick Flow: 58cc combustion chambers, larger valves

On smaller displacement engines, smaller valves and ports in AFR heads can provide better low-end torque source. The AFR 165, for example, is known for its good torque curve.

Here’s a quick performance comparison table between AFR and Trick Flow heads:

Performance AspectAFR HeadsTrick Flow Heads
Low-end torqueGoodModerate
High RPM powerGoodBetter
Compression RatioHigherLower

Remember that choosing between AFR and Trick Flow heads largely depends on your specific engine application and performance goals. Regardless of your choice, both brands offer excellent quality and should deliver satisfactory results.

Performance And Power

Compression Ratio

When comparing AFR 165 and Trick Flow heads, the compression ratio is an essential aspect. AFR 165s have 58cc combustion chambers, while Trick Flow features 56cc chambers, providing a slightly higher squeeze.


Both AFR and Trick Flow heads contribute to improved torque on engines like a 408 stroker. However, specific results will depend on other engine components and the overall build.

Dyno Results

In a test comparing AFR 190 heads and Trick Flow 195 heads, the AFR option provided 60-80hp and 20-25lb/ft better performance. For a hydraulic roller cam setup on a 327 engine, AFR heads can deliver noticeable gains.

HeadsHorsepower GainTorque Gain
AFR 19060-80hp20-25lb/ft
Trick Flow 195

Head Design And Technologies

In this section, we will discuss some of the key design factors and technologies that differentiate Trick Flow (TFS) and Air Flow Research (AFR) cylinder heads.

Trick Flow Vs Afr Heads


Twisted Wedge Heads

One notable feature of TFS Twisted Wedge heads is their unique valve layout and combustion chamber design. This feature provides increased airflow and improved combustion efficiency.

On the other hand, AFR heads offer more conventional inline valve designs which still manage to deliver high airflow and performance.

CNC Porting

Both TFS and AFR cylinder heads are available with CNC porting options. CNC porting refers to using computer numerical control machines to precisely shape and optimize the intake and exhaust ports, improving airflow and power potential.

TFS CNC-ported 185 heads, for example, are designed for small block Ford engines and have shown impressive results when paired with a 347 Stroker engine.

AFR also offers CNC-ported 210 heads with two different combustion chamber sizes, allowing enthusiasts to choose the optimal setup for their engine and fuel octane preferences.

Flow Characteristics And Efficiency

Intake Flow

The intake flow of cylinder heads plays a crucial role in an engine’s performance. AFR 205 heads feature a 2.08-inch intake valve, while TFS Twisted Wedge opts for a smaller 2.02-inch intake valve 1.

This difference in size may impact the overall airflow and performance of each head. For instance, smaller intake valves tend to perform better at lower RPMs, providing quicker throttle response and improved torque.

Trick Flow Vs Afr Heads


Exhaust Flow

Exhaust flow is another key factor in determining a cylinder head’s efficiency. AFR heads generally outperform TFS Twisted Wedge heads on the exhaust side 1.

The AFR 165 heads have an exhaust-to-intake flow ratio of about 85%, while the Trick Flow TW has a ratio of only about 72% 2.

This difference means that AFR heads may provide better exhaust flow, allowing for better overall efficiency and power output.

Valvetrain Components


When comparing Trick Flow and AFR heads, both offer a wide selection of high-performance camshafts.

Trick Flow camshafts provide excellent power and torque potential, while AFR camshafts are known for their superior efficiency and performance throughout the RPM range.

Intake Valve

Trick Flow and AFR heads incorporate high-quality intake valves in their designs. Trick Flow’s lightweight valves promote smooth operation, and AFR’s stainless steel valves provide exceptional durability and strength.

Pushrods and Roller Rockers

Both Trick Flow and AFR heads offer premium pushrods and roller rockers. Trick Flow pushrods are known for their high-strength construction.

AFR roller rockers are reputed for their precision manufacturing and versatility, fitting various valvetrain configurations.

BrandCamshaftIntake ValvePushrods and Roller Rockers
Trick FlowHigh power potentialLightweightHigh-strength construction
AFREfficiency & performanceStainless steelPrecision manufacturing


In conclusion, when deciding between Trick Flow and AFR cylinder heads for high-performance engines, it’s important to consider factors such as engine type, intended use, and budget constraints.

Trick Flow heads, with their innovative Twisted Wedge design and larger intake valves, offer exceptional intake airflow gains. On the other hand, AFR heads provide a balance between performance and affordability, often featuring CNC porting and a choice of combustion chamber sizes.

Ultimately, the best choice depends on individual preferences and specific application requirements. Both brands offer high-quality options that can deliver satisfactory results.


  1. MotorTrend 2
  2. Ford Mustang Forums
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Sean Mendez

Hi, I am Sean, a self-confessed petrolhead. I live in Boise, Idaho with a busy family of four and our energetic Labrador retriever. Thank you for visiting my website. You can find my email on the contact page.

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