Air Flow Research Develops A Potent LS3 Cylinder Head and Cam Combo

Cylinder heads and cams developed in unison offer some of the highest horsepower potentials compared to independent development. The Air Flow Research (AFR) “Mongoose” LS3 cylinder heads provide great opportunities to wake up an LS engine.

This head design has been further developed with matched cams for your application. AFR now offers three stages of cams, depending on your horsepower goals.

As one of the first to provide an aftermarket cylinder head option for the popular LSX engines, AFR has stepped up again with the Mongoose cylinder head matched to the LS3 engine platform. This aluminum head is CARB-legal and can flow large amounts of air to help any LS3 engine combination make a brutal amount of horsepower.

The test engine is a stock GM 6.2-liter LS3 short block with no modifications. On top of the block are a pair of Air Flow Research LS3 260cc square-port heads with stock rocker arms. Hooker headers with 1 7/8-inch primaries are matched to Superflow dyno mufflers. A stock L92 intake manifold with a 90mm throttle body tops off the engine for the cam experiment. Of course, the three new cam options to mate with the AFR heads can be interchanged.

The CNC-ported Mongoose LS3 head is capable of flowing 384 cfm of air at .700-inch of lift. The intake and exhaust runners, along with the combustion chambers, are finished with the CNC porting that AFR is well known for as a part of the overall finished product.

The heads are designed to work on engines with a 4.000-inch or larger diameter bore and have up to 454 cubic inches of displacement. AFR created these heads from virgin A356 aluminum casting with a 3/4-inch deck height to make the Mongoose LS3 heads stronger than factory heads. These heads are also offered with both four- and six-bolt patterns.

The AFR three cam choices offered:

The Stage One Mongoose Cam is a street-friendly grind that will give your engine more power without sacrificing drivability. This cam has a 223/231 duration at 0.050-inch with .604-/.595-inch lift on the intake and exhaust, respectively, and a lobe separation angle of 115 degrees.

The Stage Two Mongoose Cam provides a little more horsepower and a lumpy idle. This cam is more aggressive with a 227/235 duration at 0.050-inches, .620-/.612-inch lift, and a lobe separation angle of 114 degrees.

The Stage Three Mongoose Cam is for those looking to add up to 30 horsepower to their LS cylinder head setup. The specs for the Stage Three camshaft are a duration of 232/244 at 0.050-inches, a lift of .629-/.612-inch with a lobe separation angle of 112 degrees.

Each of the three grinds is machined from a billet steel core and is suitable for factory displacement engines ranging from 5.7 to 6.2. The installation will require using a three-bolt style cam gear and bolts.

To create power for a normally aspirated LS-based engine, look at these collaborative head and cam combinations from Air Flow Research.

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Todd Silvey

Todd has been a hardcore drag racing journalist since 1987. He is constantly on both sides of the guardwall from racing photography and editorship to drag racing cars of every shape and class.
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