Volume III, Issue 7, Page 7

Ported and polished. In hot rodding those simple words have either been held in esteem or scorn for what seems like forever. If a head was modified by someone who knew what they where doing, it really meant the engine had the potential to rock. If the work was questionable then there was a pretty good chance the engine would be a turd, plain and simple.


The Jesse James signature series heads are based around easy-to-source components – almost all of which are common high-performance replacement parts for traditional Chevy engines. This particular example is a Blitzkrieg oval port big- block model.

It wasn’t that long ago that grinding on heads was a long, arduous task necessitating hours upon hours of hand work, and if you made one or two little errors (in either judgment or by slip of hand), then all of your work was likely for naught (or would fall into the questionable category). Today, advancements in technology have led to horsepower improvements once available only with those extremely expensive, heavily reworked castings. Now, all you have to do is you is pick up the phone and place an order.

The cylinder head market offers nearly infinite choices and prices vary. There are inexpensive ported heads out there, but that doesn’t mean that all of them work well. So what’s right for your big-block?

That’s a broad question, but if you want to buy heads, bolt them on and go that narrows the field significantly. That’s where the collaboration between Brodix and Jesse James (yes, that JJ; seems as if the name is the only tie-in) enters the equation. The idea here was to build a series of heads specifically engineered to work on street-driven Chevy engines that would accept readily available aftermarket components and OEM accessories. Bear in mind that not all aftermarket heads fit this mold--many incorporate raised exhaust ports, heavily revised intake ports, revised rocker geometry and so on. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with that technology, it often comes the need for a wide range of specialized hardware (new headers, new intake manifold, new rockers, longer pushrods, different valve springs, new fasteners, new gaskets and so on). That stuff just isn’t required with the Jesse James-Brodix heads.

When it comes to the entire Jesse James line, the concept was to maintain port velocity through small, but high-flowing ports. Oval port big- block models such as this feature a 270cc intake port. Rectangular port models have a larger 294cc intake while small block El Loco heads (also of the Jesse James variety) have intake port volumes of 180, 200 and 210 cc’s.