Why some engines sound the way they do | Know It All with Jason Cammisa | Ep.02

Sound is a vital part of the internal-combustion-engine experience, as well as many engine arrangements have their own unique audio.

There are numerous reasons that, yet one of one of the most important factors in an engine's sound is just how equally the exhaust pulses get to the tailpipes. Evenly spaced exhaust pulses often tend to cause higher-pitched, smoother audio. Erratically spaced pulses in deeper, a lot more complicated, as well as angrier noise.

In this episode, nerdy automobile journalist Jason Cammisa gives a simplistic review of the science behind this, explaining how the consistency can be determined by the crankshaft or the exhaust– and offering examples of each.

He covers 4-cylinders (the Honda S2000's equal-length headers contrasted to the Subaru WRX STI's burble), V6 engines (the Nissan VQ versus Ford EcoBoost), V8 (the Ferrari flat-plane crank V-8 versus an American cross-plane V8), V10 engines (the Lamborghini Gallardo even-fire V10 versus the LP560's odd-fire, which seems like 2 5-cylinders), as well as the Mercedes-Benz V12 with equal-length headers versus the manufacturing facility exhaust.

Adhere to Jason for more understandings on Instagram at @jasoncammisa

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36 Replies to “Why some engines sound the way they do | Know It All with Jason Cammisa | Ep.02”

  1. All you have to do is put equal length headers on your Subaru and it will sound like a Civic. Best subtle dig I’ve heard in a while, well done.

    1. @Katanarama but what I also want to know is how it worked on old cars. I know with today’s car a computer can shut off air, fuel or spark at a preordained limit. But how’d it work for cars of the 60’s and 70’s. I know that this topic wouldn’t fill a episode but with related topics it can fill 5-6 minutes

    2. @Richard Moore back in the day they had clever solutions for this, the ignition could be cut off in a car with a rotor / distributor using centrifugal force, when it reached that amount it would cut off

    3. @Katanarama I believe in most applications it shuts off both spark and fuel because fuel cutoff can’t react quickly enough on its own and if you only cut spark and continued to pump fuel into the combustion chamber when spark resumed you might get a nasty bang.

    4. @Buford sure they did. old vw beetles and buses could take a rev-limiting rotor for the dizzy. say 4800 rpm to keep them from over revving in lower gears.that would have been in the 60s. retarding the spark at higher rpm is quite easy as well. and, then there are actual “governors”. mechanical devices. they have been around for centuries

  2. Hmmm, that sped up human imitation of a cross plan v8 sounds familiar, i wonder were i’ve heard it before, maybe done with drums?

    1. well the intro to hot for teacher sounds like a cammed v8 so i can see how that could be done

  3. That Carmudgeon episode where you discuss the best examples of each engine configuration just HAS to happen.

  4. Hagerty is doubling down on keeping me entertained while I wait for their tow truck. truly innovative insurance.

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