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

  1. Caveman Tony


    Way to go. Good job making a V8 sound like a stock Honda.

    I hope those headers made a ton of power, but probly not. Think about THIS; Why does a Chevy with 180 headers sound better AND totally different?

      1. Caveman Tony

        I’m good dude! 3-yr-old and a 9-month-old and a mortgage up here in Masshole-land…. so vacations are tough. Few and far between. But I do miss AZ.

  2. keezling

    Signature sound of the GT40, which sounds great. Otherwise, give me the traditional V8 sound like God intended!


    Ford used a similar system on the GT40, while the Cobras had side pipes.
    Motorsport journalists would note how the Cobras sounded rough compared
    to the GT, even though they used similar engines.

    1. CTX-SLPR

      Why would it need to? The whole point of the flat plane crank is to even out the exhaust pulses, exactly what the headers do already.

  4. tw

    It sounds like a 4 plane crank of course , I don`t like the sound of side pipes either , it splits the rumble of the 8 cylinders apart , and make the engine sounds more sloppy .

  5. Greg

    Reminds me of dirt track racing in the 70s, the sidewalk superintendants in the stands explaining the cars had 6 cylinders. I like it.

  6. Bill Greenwood

    Back in the early 80’s, a a few West Coast Stock/Super Stock racers went that route on 428 ‘Stangs and 427 Fairlanes. Definitely not a great sound. Every once in a while I notice the odd class racer still running them. Hard to miss with the pipes crossing under the pan.

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