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New exhaust on 390 fe?...preferences please

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by kingdesgn, Dec 29, 2011.

  1. kingdesgn
    Joined: Nov 11, 2010
    Posts: 254


    I'm wanting to place a new exhaust system on my 390 fe. It's running the oem cast iron headers. What exhaust system sounds the best on these ol' 390s?
  2. young'n'poor
    Joined: Jan 26, 2006
    Posts: 1,280

    from Anoka. MN

    I have a 352 fe, but I have the origianl manifolds and duals with 2 thrush glasspacks and it sounds great. Nice and throaty and raps real well, but idles fairly quiet and doesn't drone on the highway. 2 1/2 inch pipes with no h pipe or crossover and 2 inch pencil tips out the back.

    If it wasn't winter id record some noise for you, but the car is stored now...
  3. Ole don
    Joined: Dec 16, 2005
    Posts: 2,915

    Ole don

    Last edited: Dec 29, 2011
  4. T_Bird Guy
    Joined: Oct 6, 2006
    Posts: 225

    T_Bird Guy

    I have a 390 FE in my 1962 Thunderbird and I am using the cast iron manifolds into 2 1/4 inch exhaust. The mufflers are flowmaster and after the rear axle I am running 3 inch exhaust. It has a nice deep sound.

  5. I ran 2.5 from the manifolds to the bumper on my Galaxie. Thrush turbos, it rumbled. Sounded like a Galaxie going down the road.
  6. hooker headers, 2 1/4 pipe into 12 inch cherry bomb glass packs, 2 1/2 inch rolled tips and it sounds good. This is on a 352.

    When I swap my 352 for a mild 390 its going to be keeping the same exaust.
  7. tommy
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 14,758

    Member Emeritus

    If you are talking about the stock 352 cast iron manifolds (I call them bricks), I'd step up to headers.


    I made my own because I wanted the old time 60s look. The stock manifolds are about the most restrictive manifolds ever. Getting rid of them has to be the best upgrade you can do to the exhaust and I'd certainly do that first. That is where the bottleneck is going to be and adding a high flow system after the bottleneck seems like a waste to me. I know mine are not state of the art technology but they have to be better than stock 352 manifolds.

    Mine will be 2 1/4" also. I'm not racing anybody and won't be hitting high RPMs
  8. Heo2
    Joined: Aug 9, 2011
    Posts: 661


    I have the factory cast shorty headers
    2 1/4 with crosover pipe and Mercedes
    115 rear mufflers just before the bumper
    quiet till you step on it
  9. Moneymaker
    Joined: Sep 19, 2011
    Posts: 320


    If it is just a cruiser and you simply want it to sound cool, in my oppinion it is very tough to beat the sound of a FE big block Ford with rear mount Smitty's glass pack muffers and 6 inch chrome slash tips.
  10. junkyardjeff
    Joined: Jul 23, 2005
    Posts: 7,669


    If its going on the car in your picture you can get the manifolds from a late 60s 390 that are made for larger pipes,back in 79 when I put a 69 390 in my 65 galaxie I found out about the different sizes of the manifolds. I had a brand new exhaust put on when it had the 352 and the pipes were too small for the 69 manifolds so I had to use the original 352 manifolds,dont know if all 390s had larger pipes then a 352 or there could have been a pipe size change after 65.
    Joined: Jan 6, 2012
    Posts: 32

    from LOUDON, TN

    Here at CHERRYBOMB we actually offer 6 different types of mufflers! From the original glass packs to our "no cruising drone/high flo" Vortex. CHERRYBOMB offers a muffler for every sound you are looking for, Chambered/GOT IT, Traditional Hot Rod/GOT IT, Builder kits, and even hardware. Check us out at We have a ad/link on Jalopy Journal home page
  12. A set of full length tubes will let the FE wrap up like a small block.
    Mufflers? I've always loved the sound of Cherry bomb glasspacks.
  13. mgtstumpy
    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 8,362


    I ran Tri-Y tube headers on the 390 in my '66 Fairlane (Had to as I had no room for OEMs when I converted to RHD) coupled with a balance pipe and a 2 1/2" system with turbo mufflers. Great sound.
  14. I have 2.5 pipes with Dyna Max turbo mufflers, sounds good and throaty but not too loud for cruising.
  15. That is clean oldguard. I like it.

    Whats the scoop with the radaitor?
  16. i think getting the mufflers out of the back would get rid of the drone:cool:

    find some room underneath and stuff some glasspacks and then run some tailpipes out the rear:Dand you should get some RAP due to having real tailpipes, would be a interesting test;)
  17. Howdy shocker, the radiator is a Griffith unit, I am done with stock radiators on old cars, the last several I have done, I had to do the dance with, you know, take it in to get it rodded and they either tell you it's to far gone yet charge you $100.00 or we can keep the old one for the charge( brass value) or they repair it for several hundred only to have a car that runs on the hot side in the Oklahoma heat, last summer we has months of 110-117 degree heat and it will test the best. So, these dats I pick out the best I can find, gulp as I pay the price and enjoy the cool driving.
  18. kingdesgn
    Joined: Nov 11, 2010
    Posts: 254


    I want to keep it stock ... It's not a race car .... I just want it to sound like a 390fe big block. Nice rumble at idle and when I get on it, it sounds like what it is.
  19. 390Merc
    Joined: Jun 29, 2008
    Posts: 659

    from Indiana

    I have a 64 with a 390/4spd and dual straight pipes all the way out the back with no mufflers. It is really not that loud and sounds good. It has a cool roar just above 2500 rpm at cruising speed but the faster you cruise the quieter it gets, until you can't hardly hear it at all! Of course its loud when you lay into it, but it never sounds trashy like a lot of cars do with no mufflers. I found a factory h-pipe with a crossover pipe connecting the two sides that bolts directly to the exhaust manifolds. That even quieted it down a bit more.
    Another 64 I have is a 352 with a mild cam and duals. For mufflers, I'm actually using what I believe are resonators from the late 80's or early 90's Mustang GT. They look like a stainless steel glasspack about a foot long. Very throaty deep sound but racks off when you are on it. I have had people come up to me and say "Whatever you do to this car, don't ever change that sound!"
  20. R Pope
    Joined: Jan 23, 2006
    Posts: 3,309

    R Pope

    Stock FE manifolds are awful! Dump them for any kind of headers, or the pricey cast OEM jobs. The gas mileage increase alone is worth it.
    My first '64 Merc Marauder had 2 1/4 pipes with a crossover and the mufflers were behind the rear end. Sounded great with the stock oval mufflers. The one I have now will get 2 1/2 pipes and 'packs.
  21. MeanGene427
    Joined: Dec 15, 2010
    Posts: 1,475

    from Napa

    [FONT=&quot]A few years ago I had the 406 car out, and at the time it had the 14:1 427 in it, .660 Delong cam, Milodon gear drive, cross-ram with two 650's, and the 3" exhaust with straight-thru truck resonators- it ain't real silent, and with a solid left engine mount, the whole car shakes at idle. So I'm stopped at a red light coming into town, and a Rabbit convertible pulls up behind me. After a few seconds, this incredible chick jumps out, perfect Farah Fawcett racehorse legs in very short side-slit shorts, short tank top, great tan, and comes up and starts waving her arms and yelling at me- "DO YOU REALLY THINK IT'S FAIR TO SUBJECT OTHER PEOPLE TO THE NOISE OF THIS CAR???" She was so mad she never noticed that "The Girls" had escaped from her skimpy top and were helping give me hell...
    Speechless, I was :eek:

  22. kingdesgn
    Joined: Nov 11, 2010
    Posts: 254


    Man ... great story! I've been listening to galaxies that have 390s running flos and it sounds great.

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