Stuart Broad bowled Michael Clarke for 187 to claim his 200th Test wicket before Australia declared their first innings on 527-7 shortly after tea on day two at Old Trafford.
Broad became the 15th Englishman, and second youngest after Sir Ian Botham, to reach the milestone but the runs kept coming for the tourists in the third Ashes Test, Brad Haddin (65no) and Mitchell Starc (66no) helping themselves to half-centuries.
Clarke and Haddin put on 62 in good time either side of lunch and it was something of a surprise when Clarke deflected a short ball onto his stumps. The Australia skipper's effort spanned 314 balls, included 23 fours and is the highest of his five Ashes hundreds.
England spinner Graeme Swann, who had removed Steve Smith (89) and David Warner (5) before lunch, completed his 17th five-wicket haul in Tests with the wicket of Peter Siddle (1), who was bowled aiming into the leg side.
But Starc joined Haddin in a boundary-filled, eighth-wicket stand of 97 in 19.3 overs as each of England's frontline bowlers - Swann (5-159), Broad (1-108), Tim Bresnan (1-114) and James Anderson (0-116) - ended the afternoon session with more than 100 in the runs conceded column.
Clarke called his batsmen in four overs after tea, giving Australia plenty of time to try and make some inroads into England's top order before the close.
Australia resumed on 303-3 at the start of day two and, in bright sunshine, Clarke and Smith batted throughout the first hour with few alarms to extend their fourth-wicket partnership to 214 - before Smith suffered a rush of blood to deny himself a maiden Test hundred.
He came down the pitch to Swann and miscued a big heave into the leg side. Jonny Bairstow, at midwicket, made a steepling catch look easy.
Warner, recalled for his first appearance of the series after serving a ban for punching England's Joe Root in a Birmingham bar earlier in the summer, was given a hostile welcome by the Manchester crowd.
He lasted only 10 balls. Swann found the left-hander's outside edge and Jonathan Trott at slip took the catch after it looped up via wicketkeeper Matt Prior's thigh.
Warner, who hit his pad with the bat at the same moment the ball made contact with his outside edge, was convinced he had not hit it and - after a discussion with Clarke - wasted Australia's last DRS review in a futile attempt to overturn umpire Tony Hill's decision.
Australia are 2-0 down in the series and need victory in Manchester to keep alive their hopes of regaining the Ashes.