Love It Or Hate It? This Ford 289 Has 180-Degree Headers and Sounds…Different

Love It Or Hate It? This Ford 289 Has 180-Degree Headers and Sounds…Different

When we saw the video below of a little 289 Ford V8 built to FIA vintage racing specs, we figured hearing the Ford small block sing to 7,500 RPM would be a fun exercise in mechanical music. We got a little bit of a surprise when the dyno pull started with respect to the noise that the engine was making. Why? This little guy is equipped with 180-degree headers! You can see a couple of the pipes crossing under the oil pan and you can certainly hear the difference between this setup and a typical situation with two headers and collectors. Some love the 180-degree header sound and others have no use for it at all.

So what’s the advantage to these complicated things? They help the low and mid-range torque of engines like this 289 because of their awesome scavenging abilities. By running the pipes in the optimal configuration to scavenge, the engine can breathe better and therefore make more power. The 180-degree name of the headers does not come from a reference to their shape or layout but rather because the firing pulses of the engine are hitting the collector every 180-degrees.

So what’s the verdict? Love the sound? Hate the sound? Take it or leave it?

Watch the video below – This Ford 289 has 180-degree headers and sounds different!

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6 thoughts on “Love It Or Hate It? This Ford 289 Has 180-Degree Headers and Sounds…Different

  1. Tubbed Pacecar

    Well, I’ve heard 180 degree headers on a SBF before (South African GT40 Kit car with SBF stroker), and to me, the engine in the vid sounds horrid compared to the one in the GT40, which is # 2 on my list of most amazing exhaust sounds, #1 being a Cobra Kit car with a 427 SOHC through sidepipes.

  2. PT

    sure runs clean, but it sounds like an inline 4 cylinder; wonder what the cam specs are like.
    FE’s sound awesome with 180 degree headers.

  3. Bill Greenwood

    I first heard these on a West Coast super stocker (Ford) back in the 80’s. Didn’t make my heart soar. It’s also why the sound of a GT40 has never moved me in the same fashion as the same engine in a Galaxy.

  4. Ty

    Built a set of 180 for a Boss 302 in a Super modified years ago. Wish I ad recorded it. I loved the sound. It was better than this.


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