Probably, the first straight pipe Ford Mustang came into being shortly after the Mustang was launched. Indeed, car modifications have been around for as long as cars. For good reason too! It’s great fun to customize your car. Also, a well-sorted exhaust system can sound pretty good. That being said, the gritty, gritty tones of Ford’s block-cam V8 are gone. It’s time for some hard truth. A straight-drive Coyote 5.0 V8 doesn’t sound right.
Ford’s modular V8 engines sound harsh and extremely annoying
Not to single anyone out unfairly, but all of the fine folks behind the Mustang Lifestyle Youtube channel have a video that pretty much describes this phenomenon.
In the video, the hosts each have an exhaust shop building them a straight pipe exhaust system. At least, that’s what the title says. Probably, the vehicle still has catalytic converters installed, and the shop just performed a simple muffler deletion. It is, in this case, quite bad.
Old-school architecture comes into play with an older Windsor V8 engine, as found in classic Mustangs. This means the engine has a single camshaft in the middle of the block and tappets driving the valve train. This, like Chevy’s engine to date (except for a handful of Cadillac applications and the new flat V8 in the Corvette C8 Z06), creates the low, throaty growl we’re used to associating with classic sounds. V8 muscle cars.
However, the Ford Coyote 5.0 uses a dual overhead cam assembly like all Ford Modular V8 engines. Each cylinder head has two camshafts which control the valve timing. While this assembly is more efficient and allows for the creation of substantial horsepower (let’s forget the C8 LT2 pushrod V8 exists for a second here), it just doesn’t sound as good as a pushrod V8. It looks fantastic in slow motion, and even from inside the cabin, as seen in the video. At higher revs, however, the Coyote breaks down into an annoying throaty whine, reminiscent of the dreaded Nissan VQ35 V6 sound, just a bit deeper.
Maybe it’s the DOHC design, maybe it’s the fact that the Coyote has a different firing order, or maybe it’s something else. Either way, you cut it, though; it doesn’t sound good.
Ford Coyote 5.0 is not a lost cause, however
There’s a reason the title of this video isn’t that Coyote engines sound bad in general. Explicitly, the problem lies with people who delete the muffler or hook up their exhausts. Especially when using small diameter exhaust pipes.
There are, however, a handful of aftermarket exhaust solutions that provide a nice sound to Coyote powered vehicles. As much hot water as this suggestion may bring, think of a Ford Coyote 5.0 as a Honda engine. They may look pretty good, but the exhaust system needs special attention.
That’s not to say straight-piped from an LS or other V8-powered car is a good fit, either. A good exhaust system is a wonderful thing. Do you know what makes an exhaust sound really good? A turbocharger or two. There is something to consider.
Ultimately, the Ford Mustang is a fantastic car, and the Ford Coyote V8 is an incredible engine that produces great power, has a remarkable amount of aftermarket support, and is very reliable. However, they just don’t sound as good with a loud exhaust. Sorry.
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