: Why does each engine have a different, signature sound?



I~LUV~Caddys8792
03-20-07, 11:47 PM
The other thread about pistons reminded me of a question I had wanted to ask for a long time. What makes one engine sound totally different from another similar engine?

Take for example three OHV, pushrod, 16 valve V8's, the Chevrolet 5.7L, Cadillac 4.9L and Ford 5.0L. They all have very distinctive sounds, you know by the sound that they're all V8's, but you know they're very different. Why?


The first things that came to my mind were valve size, shape of the heads, shape of the manifolds, bore & stroke, etc etc.

slk230mb
03-21-07, 12:18 AM
Type of exhaust manifold, cats, mufflers, exhaust diameter,...

danbuc
03-21-07, 12:34 AM
Design......

A Ford 302 doesn't sound like a Chevy 302 because they use different shaped pistons, combustion chambers, valves, intake/exhaust ports,..ect. Every element that goes into the design of an engine can affect the sound it produces. That's why most engines (even similar design/displacement/ect) do not sound the same. The smallest change can affect the sound produced by an engine.


Edit: I wouldn't factor exhaust components into the sound bit so much, especially on older motors. A Chevy 350, and a Ford 351 Windsor will still sound different even with both using nearly identical sets of Hedman 1 5/8" to 3" long tube headers and Flowmaster Delta 40's. Exact same exhaust system, but both will still sound different. If you've ever been to the drag strips....one will notice that under high load, Ford motors have a tendency to pop, while Chevy's do not. Chevy's and Chryslers always seemed to have a smoother sound, not as raspy as the Fords. Just throwin' that out there.

hardrockcamaro@mac.c
03-21-07, 04:45 PM
Different firing order too maybe?

illumina
03-21-07, 04:51 PM
Compression ratio.

fleetwood76
03-21-07, 05:22 PM
Bore / stroke ratio also, two motors with the same displacement can have a totaly different "feel" and behaviour, and sound.

jolle

Blackout
03-21-07, 05:52 PM
Different firing order too maybe?
DING DING DING!!!! WE HAVE A WINNA!!!! That's what makes up a distinct engine noise. If you have a brand new Mustang GT, a previous gen Mustang GT, a Foxbody GT, etc. all of them sound exactly the same even though they all have different engines. It's all in the firing order

dkozloski
03-21-07, 06:19 PM
It's the opening rate of the exhaust valves that gives high performance DOHC engines their crackling exhaust note. Pushrod motors have a booming sound because the valve opening rates are much slower. The difference between four into one compared to crossover 180 degree exhaust systems is astounding. Even firing sixes are the smooth and mellow sound. 60 degree V-12's have that Ferrari sound. H-24's sound like ripping canvas. Here's a V-16 clip. This car is owned by a British rock star and he hired his recording crew to make it. http://www.billzilla.org/BRM-pushstart.mp3 This car was built in 1953, 1.5L (90 cu.in.) and puts out 550HP at 12,000 RPM.

Spyder
03-21-07, 07:01 PM
Dkoz...FIVE HUNDRED FIFTY hp out of 90 ci? CRAP almighty! I'm impressed...

What's the torque output, d'ya know?

Blackout
03-21-07, 07:21 PM
Dkoz...FIVE HUNDRED FIFTY hp out of 90 ci? CRAP almighty! I'm impressed...

What's the torque output, d'ya know?It's probably like a Honda. 110 tq @ 99,000 rpm

Cadillacboy
03-21-07, 07:30 PM
I love dinstinctive engine sounds so you can hear what car is passing lol
Other than that let's not go far away just look at post 2000 Northstar engines have a different sound due to different intake and such like that.

danbuc
03-22-07, 12:05 AM
I can't really hear my engine all that much over the exhaust note from the Corsa. Not a bad thing though.

OffThaHorseCEO
03-22-07, 10:34 AM
since we're on the topic i will say, i hate ford but i loooooove the sound of a mustang, especially souped up mustang they have this distinc sound where one can pass by and i will know its a mustang without looking at it

Cadillacboy
03-22-07, 11:36 AM
since we're on the topic i will say, i hate ford but i loooooove the sound of a mustang, especially souped up mustang they have this distinc sound where one can pass by and i will know its a mustang without looking at it

LOL, I wouldn't agree more :highfive:

dkozloski
03-22-07, 04:38 PM
Dkoz...FIVE HUNDRED FIFTY hp out of 90 ci? CRAP almighty! I'm impressed...

What's the torque output, d'ya know?
I don't know what the torque output is but I do know that the power curve was so steep that the car was almost undrivable. Even Juan Fangio had trouble with it. If it ever got the lead the other drivers couldn't pass it because the exhaust was so loud they couldn't stand it. If you play that sound file through a 5.1 sound system turned up as loud as it will go you'll get some idea. The guy that owns it will get it out on the track and people tell him it can be heard at least five miles away.

Cadillacboy
03-22-07, 04:49 PM
I don't know what the torque output is but I do know that the power curve was so steep that the car was almost undrivable. Even Juan Fangio had trouble with it. If it ever got the lead the other drivers couldn't pass it because the exhaust was so loud they couldn't stand it. If you play that sound file through a 5.1 sound system turned up as loud as it will go you'll get some idea. The guy that owns it will get it out on the track and people tell him it can be heard at least five miles away.

JMF was a legend but when he was racing there was no such safety systems called ESP,TCS,PSM whatever it is .You know those systems help drivers handle with their cars better way but still you wouldn't override physical rules lol
I mean he could have put up with what you say if today's safety systems had been invented in that era .:hide:

I~LUV~Caddys8792
03-22-07, 08:37 PM
since we're on the topic i will say, i hate ford but i loooooove the sound of a mustang, especially souped up mustang they have this distinc sound where one can pass by and i will know its a mustang without looking at it


Hell Yeah! Those 4.6L Ford motors sound so nice!

Blackout
03-22-07, 09:47 PM
Hell Yeah! Those 4.6L Ford motors sound so nice!Yeah they do. If there is one thing Ford has over GM it's that their 4.6 is by far the best sounding domestic engine we have IMO

I~LUV~Caddys8792
03-22-07, 09:57 PM
Yeah they do. If there is one thing Ford has over GM it's that their 4.6 is by far the best sounding domestic engine we have IMO


Well I dunno if I'd say that...I assume you've heard an early Northstar at WOT. That IMO is the best sounding american motor ever. I'd say the 4.6 is the best sounding american SOHC engine ever.

Blackout
03-22-07, 10:11 PM
Well I dunno if I'd say that...I assume you've heard an early Northstar at WOT. That IMO is the best sounding american motor ever. I'd say the 4.6 is the best sounding american SOHC engine ever.I've driven Northstar powered cars from when the motor first came out to as late as 2001. The Northstar is a hell of a motor but it didn't really do much for me at WOT (sound wise). Now driving my buddies 2001 Mustang Cobra with a Borla cat-back exhaust:worship: it sounded as if god was speaking directly to me

I~LUV~Caddys8792
03-22-07, 10:25 PM
Ah, true, that SOHC 4.6 (or is '01 the DOHC S/C 4.6? No, wait...that didn't come out until '03), with a good aftermarket exhaust, sounds a lot more like a muscle car than the Northstar does.

Blackout
03-22-07, 10:33 PM
The Cobra's had the DOHC while the GT's got the SOHC. The Cobra's have been DOHC since back in 1995 or 96 when they first put the 4.6 in it

I~LUV~Caddys8792
03-22-07, 10:37 PM
Ohhh wait, now it makes sense. The 99-01 Cobra had the 320 hp DOHC motor, then they didn't make one in '02, then when it came back out, it was the Supercharged DOHC 4.6 at 390hp.