'Cuda vs Hellcat Sound Wars - Dodge Challenger Forum: Challenger & SRT8 Forums
SRT Hellcat 6.2L Supercharged (2015 - ) Would you like the BLACK KEY or the RED KEY?

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post #1 of 50 (permalink) Old 06-08-2018, 07:45 AM Thread Starter
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'Cuda vs Hellcat Sound Wars

I was listening to an episode of *****in' Rides recently and was amazed at the difference between the 1973 340 'Cuda and the 2015 Challenger Hellcat that they compared. The 'Cuda had been punched out to a 416 and the two cars received exhaust cutouts. But with the exhausts open or closed, it was unanimous, both to Dave Kindig and his cohort Kevdog (and to me as well), that that Cuda sounded like angels singing compared to the modern muscle.

So I 'm sitting here wondering: why? I know a lot about engines, but not so much about just what creates the harmonics of sound.

The two engines sounded different in a number of ways, with the Cuda sounding, as Dave put it, more "Gnarley." But another thing that stood out on the show confirms something I've thought about many times before:

Why is our modern HEMI so slow to return to idle when ya take your foot off the gas? What's going on with the fuel system that causes this?

IT SOUNDS ALMOST LIKE THE THROTTLE IS NOT BEING FULLY RELEASED.

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post #2 of 50 (permalink) Old 06-08-2018, 07:56 AM
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A few thoughts: did the Cuda have headers? Did the Hellcat? Did the Hellcat still have cats? Both those things will dramatically affect the sound. So will a big cam, which I’m assuming the Cuda had.

As for the revving, there are probably a couple things at play here. One is the flywheel (or flexplate if it’s auto) may be much heavier on the Hellcat. More rotating mass means a slower revving engine. It could also be programmed by Dodge to rev down more slowly for drivability. I’m not an engineer, but it seems logical that if it loses RPM too fast, it will get out of its optimum power band more easily.
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post #3 of 50 (permalink) Old 06-08-2018, 08:20 AM
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I bet the "slow throttle return" is programmed in to cut down on the amount of raw gas going through the exhaust. I could be wrong. Also remember ours are limited to a dead rev of 4k, the old ones are not and rev higher and sound meaner, also the exhaust acoustics may be affected by an X pipe differently than they are by an H pipe, but that would only affect the sound with the cutouts closed.
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post #4 of 50 (permalink) Old 06-08-2018, 08:54 AM
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I bet the "slow throttle return" is programmed in to cut down on the amount of raw gas going through the exhaust. I could be wrong. Also remember ours are limited to a dead rev of 4k, the old ones are not and rev higher and sound meaner, also the exhaust acoustics may be affected by an X pipe differently than they are by an H pipe, but that would only affect the sound with the cutouts closed.
I think you are probably right about the slow throttle return. Likely an emission's thing. The new cars sound just fine to me.

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post #5 of 50 (permalink) Old 06-08-2018, 09:27 AM
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The delayed return to idle is as pallen stated to reduce emissions. It goes back to the 70's where cars had mechanical idle delay solenoids or some other mechanical means. Once ECU controlled engines became the norm the delay was programed into the ECU.
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post #6 of 50 (permalink) Old 06-08-2018, 01:39 PM
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Check out the exhaust sound on this 340 'Cuda. Music to my ears!




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post #7 of 50 (permalink) Old 06-08-2018, 02:32 PM
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Man, those were the days! Beautiful car! Sounds awesome.


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post #8 of 50 (permalink) Old 06-08-2018, 04:31 PM Thread Starter
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A few thoughts: did the Cuda have headers? Did the Hellcat? Did the Hellcat still have cats? Both those things will dramatically affect the sound. So will a big cam, which I’m assuming the Cuda had.
Pretty sure neither had headers, that the cats were still onboard the Hellcat, and the the 340 did not have a big cam. I don't think it had the lumpy idle that Cuda 340's sample video depicted.
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post #9 of 50 (permalink) Old 06-08-2018, 04:38 PM
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Small Block Mopars for some reason just sound awesome!
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post #10 of 50 (permalink) Old 06-08-2018, 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by garyahouse View Post
Pretty sure neither had headers, that the cats were still onboard the Hellcat, and the the 340 did not have a big cam. I don't think it had the lumpy idle that Cuda 340's sample video depicted.
Oh.....I wouldn't be so sure about the 340 vs 412 and cams one wild/ one not.

The 340 STROKED to make 412ci will sound less radical with the same cam profile due to displacement. the 412 could actually have a very carzy high lift/long diuration cam and sound very tame vs the small displacement motor.

I run a stroked 383 SBC ithe cam I'm running sounds pretty healthy but it's not even close to as racy sounding as it will sound in a 350. If it could be used in a 327 or even really old school 283 it'd be an EXTREME fender shaker.

Roller cam profiles vs flat tappets are part of this sound thing too. The ability of a roller cam to open higher and lengthen duration with less overlap between exhaust and intake is another reason newer engines can make the same or even more power without sacrificing the vacuum at idle so plainly obvious when you hear that truly racy cam.

The old engines sound racy because they are.......they stumble and shake at low RPM because it's been sacrificed entirely to make peak power newer engines don't struggle to make and they don't have to give away all the bottom end to make top end power.

I miss the sound too.......but I don't miss the horrid MPG or the very short power band that won't get started in a small block at much less than 3000RPM.
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