How to Add 100 RWHP with a Trick Flow Top-End Kit

Blow Your Top! - Add more than 100 rear-wheel horsepower to your LS3 with a Trick Flow top-end kit

Patrick Hill Jul 30, 2014 0 Comment(s)
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New Trick Flow Heads 2/34

17. Now we can set the new Trick Flow heads in place. Even though they feature revised intake ports and the head itself is taller than stock, the factory intake will still bolt down with no problems.

Trick Flow Head Bolts 3/34

18. Also included with the kit is a set of fresh, factory-style head bolts. The Trick Flow heads are torqued down to factory spec.

Trick Flow Pushrods 4/34

19. Because the new heads are taller, they require longer-than-stock pushrods. The kit comes with a set of one-piece, heavy-wall (0.080-inch) Trick Flow pushrods, PN TFS-21407750. They’re made of 4130 chrome-moly steel 5/16-inch in diameter and 7.750 inches in length. Stiffer than the factory pushrods, these pushrods will enhance valvetrain stability (especially at high rpm) because they have less flex. When a pushrod starts to flex under lift, that lift isn’t being transferred to the rocker arm, which means the valves aren’t opening fully.

Remove Factory Cat Assemblies 5/34

20. With the heads in place, we can install the exhaust upgrades. With the factory manifolds gone, next up is removing the factory cat assemblies from each side.

Long Tube Headers 6/34

21. The Trick Flow by Stainless Works long-tube headers feature 16-gauge stainless steel primary tubes with 3-inch collector diameter and a 3/8-inch-thick mounting flange.

Extension Plug 7/34

22. Another part of the kit is this extension plug for the wiring that goes to the oxygen sensors. Because of the long-tube headers, the oxygen sensor mounting points are moved rearward, requiring the wiring extension.

Stainless Works Headers 8/34

23. The Stainless Works headers feature an extra-thick 3/8-inch flange so they won’t distort and cause an exhaust leak when tightened down.

Three Bolt Cam Sprocket 9/34

24. Because the Trick Flow cam uses a three-bolt sprocket (instead of the factory single-bolt unit), you’ll need to have a three-bolt cam sprocket (GM PN 12586481) and a cam bolt set (ARP PN 134-1003) to reinstall the timing chain. After the sprocket’s bolted down (we used a dab of Loctite on the bolts), the chain tensioner can be released and the timing cover reinstalled.

Reinstall Valvetrain 10/34

25. With the cam in place, we can reinstall the valvetrain. First are the new Trick Flow rocker arm stands, included with the kit. The factory rocker arm stands will not work on the Trick Flow heads, so you have to use these new ones. But they will accept the factory rocker arms, along with aftermarket rockers as well.

Rocker Arm Install 11/34

26. Thanks to the net-lash valvetrain design of the LS series, rocker arm install is a snap. Just reinstall the rockers and tighten down their retaining bolts to factory inch-pound specs. No need to adjust and set lifter preload like on the old Gen I motors.

Radiator Cooling Fan Assembly 12/34

27. With that done, the front accessories can be bolted back in place. Then the radiator/cooling fan assembly can be reinstalled.

Fuel Line Hookup 13/34

28. The intake manifold is reinstalled and the fuel line is hooked back up to the fuel injector rail.

Factory Catalytic Converter 14/34
High Flow Metal Matrix 200 Cell Catalytic Converter 15/34

29. Replacing the factory catalytic converter is this high-flow Metal Matrix 200 cell catalytic converter from Stainless Works. While still cleaning engine emissions to the stringent standards set by the EPA, they feature less flow restriction than the factory cats, along with more resistance to the increased exhaust heat generated by a performance engine.

Computer Tuning 16/34

30. With everything buttoned up, Antivenom’s Greg Lovell applies the necessary computer tuning to get the most out of the Trick Flow kit. One key area of tuning here is with the oxygen sensors. Because they were moved rearward due to the long-tube headers, they require more time to heat up to operating temp. Without tuning, the computer will read the O2s as being slow to respond and throw a check engine light.

2013 Camaro Ss Dyno Tuning 17/34

31. With everything set, the car was strapped back down to the Dynojet. The results were a peak horsepower of 450 and peak torque of 420. That’s an increase of 102 hp and 68 lb-ft of torque. And as the chart in the body text shows, we saw big gains throughout the entire rpm range. On the street, you could feel the gains right off the line. The new heads give you a high ceiling for further mods in the future, like a power-adder, upgraded intake manifold, or nitrous.

Baseline Trick Flow Kit
HP Torque HP Torque
3,100 194 329 219 371
3,200 201 329 230 377
3,300 206 328 243 387
3,400 216 334 256 396
3,500 223 335 269 440
3,600 231 337 282 411
3,700 242 343 294 418
3,800 251 347 304 420
3,900 257 347 310 417
4,000 262 344 315 414
4,100 270 346 323 414
4,200 274 342 322 403
4,300 284 348 334 408
4,400 290 346 347 414
4,500 298 348 358 418
4,600 306 350 363 414
4,700 315 352 371 415
4,800 322 352 377 413
4,900 325 348 386 413
5,000 334 351 396 416
5,100 340 351 405 417
5,200 333 336 414 419
5,300 328 325 424 420
5,400 335 325 430 419
5,500 334 319 437 418
5,600 333 312 441 413
5,700 340 313 N/A N/A
5,800 344 312 448 406
5,900 348 310 450 410


Trick Flow Specialties
Tallmadge, OH 44278
Summit Racing
Akron, OH
Seffner, FL 33584


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