Choosing the right combination is critical in building an efficient engine combination. The old clich that bigger is better has been thrown around over and over, and by now, everyone knows that a big camshaft combined with the largest heads may produce the most horsepower on a track engine, but will it remain street-worthy?
Probably not, but finding the right combination of parts has become easier these days as the aftermarket offers various camshaft grinds to meet the needs of the engine as well as an assortment of intakes and cylinder heads. For the 5.0L crowd, there are dozens of intakes and cylinder heads from which to choose, giving that segment virtually limitless amounts of combinations. However, there isn't a one-part-fits-all application. The Two-Valve modular engine market isn't as fortunate to have as many choices as its pushrod brethren, but the mod-motor crowd does have options to help fit their goals.
Over the past two years, the aftermarket has responded to the great need of induction solutions for the Two-Valve engines. We still rely on various stages of porting with the stock heads, but the choices of intake manifolds are greatly increasing. The stock heads seem to respond well to porting, but the stock intake manifold, often times slightly aided with a larger upper plenum and a bigger throttle body, has hampered its potential. A Bullitt intake manifold works OK, and porting it helps the situation, but there's still room for improvement.
Today, the market is far from its dismal status two years ago as we have counted seven intakes with more on the horizon. Each of these manifolds are designed for a different type of combination, so you can go from mild to wild. Some testing of milder intakes has proven to be not so effective in power production versus cost. Others served their purpose quite well, helping free up serious airflow to the hungry intake ports.