Power-hungry owners of the 2005-2010 Mustang may have a dilemma on their hands if they’re ready to sink some serious cash and labor into their cars. They could install a leading aftermarket supercharger kit on the 4.6-liter 3-valve V8, or step up to a Coyote swap, and install the 5.0-liter Coyote V8 that became available in the 2011 Mustang.
With the basic tune it can blow the tires off whenever I want. — Justin Pawlak, pro drifter
“I think it would have been fun to do a full build on a Three-Valve,” says Pawlak. “But that Coyote motor is a great engine and in the end was a better choice.”
Coyote engines are starting to show up more frequently in salvage yards and online classifieds. Ford Racing Performance Parts also offers a few different crate versions of the Coyote, including the beefed-up Aluminator series. The 5.0-liter DOHC engine has already found its way into street rods, early F-100s and some Cobra replicas, although the latter is quite a tight fit with the wide valve covers. First-generation Mustang owners are also discovering that the shock towers need significant surgery before the Coyote can squeeze in, but Fox-body swappers are having less frustrating issues to solve.
As always, it’s somewhat of a balancing act between money and resources, especially involving a late-model platform. However, fear of the Coyote swap shouldn’t be a consideration when starting with the S197 chassis. The engine has the same mounting points as the 4.6L, it’s just a matter of addressing a few details.
“This swap could be done in a weekend,” promises Pawlak.
Potential for 675 horsepower
This build had to provide both street manners and track prowess, so Pawlak started with the base Coyote engine, which is rated at 420 horsepower, and added a ROUSH Performance Stage 1 supercharger kit for an estimated 575 hp with 505 lb-ft peak torque. ROUSH also offers upgrades that can boost the power to upwards of 675 horsepower using a different blower overdrive pulley and more aggressive calibrations in the PCM. The engine will be backed with a Spec clutch, Tremec 6-speed, and beefed-up 8.8-inch rear axle. Fuel will be sent from an Aeromotive A1000 sending unit mounted in the stock tank. The project car also involved a complete suspension makeover with a full roll cage built by Pawlak’s shop Hot Line Performance, BMR K-member, custom control arms, Race Tech Services knuckles, Feal coil-overs, ROUSH brakes and, of course, Falken tires.
The Coyote crate motor needed a few modifications before it was ready to mount the supercharger and install in the car. The ’06 Mustang has a belt-driven power steering pump but the 2011-’15 Coyote Mustangs have an electric power steering system. A Ford Racing adaptor bracket was installed on the right side. Pawlak also carried over the ’06 steering rack.
“That was one of my concerns before starting this project. But then I found out Ford Racing already has the bracket,” says Pawlak. “Just mount the 05-09 pump to that bracket and all the lines meet up.”
A Ford Racing alternator kit was also used to locate the alternator on the left side. Finally, some minor grinding is required to relieve a few high points on the front cover to clear the supercharger drive assembly.
Coyote Crate Engines
The standard Coyote crate engine (center photo) that Pawlak used is an all-aluminum 5.0-liter (302 ci) DOHC V8 with a nearly square 3.63 x 3.65 bore/stroke ratio. From the factory it’s rated at 420 horsepower at 6,500 rpm with 390 lb-ft peak torque at 4,250 rpm. Internals include forged-steel crankshaft and rods with hypereutectic pistons. Compression ratio is 11.0:1, and the engine comes with an 8-quart oil pan. The 4-valve heads retain the factory Ti-VCT but a PCM to control the fuel, spark and cam timing is not include. Engine weight is 444 pounds.
The Aluminator crate engine (left photo) is basically a Coyote with some aftermarket durability built in. It features Mahle pistons, Manley H-beam rods with ARP 2000 bolts and Boss 302 connecting rod bearings. Two versions are available: a naturally aspirated model with 11.0:1 compression ratio (PN M-6007-A50NA) and one with a 9.5:1 compression ratio designed for boosted applications (M-6007-A50SC). Both have front covers already modified for supercharger installs.
Finally, there’s the Aluminator XS crate engine (M-6007-A50XS) rated at 500-plus horsepower. It has all the Aluminator upgrades plus more aggressive cams and valve springs, improved oil pump, 12-quart oil pan, Cobra Jet intake, Boss 302 damper and larger fuel injectors.
“Everything is explained in the ROUSH instructions – where to mark it, where to grind it,” says Pawlak. “To be honest, it was a little intimidating at first because I had a brand new crate engine and then I’m told to grind on the front cover.”
That chore is about the only need for power tools. Of course, air ratchets and cordless drills will make the job much easier, but for the most part a good set of metric wrenches, electrical wiring tools, engine hoist, floor jack and jack stands are all that’s needed. As noted in the shop photos, Pawlak installed the engine from below using a vehicle lift. There are reports on the Internet that some installations have been very difficult trying to drop the engine down from the top. Headers have to be removed and in at least once situation, the stock K-member had to be loosened and dropped to provide enough room for the engine to be positioned properly. So, while it’s possible to complete this swap in a driveway with jacks and a cherry picker, access to a vehicle lift will definitely save time and possibly a lot of frustration.
The Coyote’s intake manifold and fuel system are completely replaced by the supercharger kit. The ROUSH system includes an intercooler with a standalone coolant system that features a pump, reservoir and heat exchanger. The Roots-style, positive-displacement supercharger is a R2300 TVS series with twin 4-lobe, 160-degree-twist rotors. It comes with a twin 60mm throttle body, ROUSH-designed upper and lower intake manifolds and high-flow fuel rail with 47-pound injectors.
“It’s a very inclusive kit and very easy to install. I just bolted it back on the engine,” says Pawlak, admitting that the job was considerably easier with the engine out of the car. (A full story on installing the supercharger kit in a late-model Mustang can be found by following this link.) “There was a lot of stuff I didn’t have to do because I was starting with a crate motor. But everything is labeled and easy to understand. The quality of the kit is second to none.”
Going in from below
Making the Coyote crate engine swap a real plug-and-play project is the Ford Controls Pack. Even if you pulled a 5.0L engine from the salvage yard and took the late-model PCM, it may not mate with the other computers in the car. The control pack includes a new PCM with a performance calibration along with a power distribution module that takes care of relays for fans and other accessories. Again, the instruction manual is easy to follow with clear illustrations.
The PCM is set up to work with a return fuel line. Pawlak installed a new Aeromotive sending unit in the stock tank and routed -8 AN lines to satisfy the engine’s thirst.
Getting the Wiring Right
Here’s are Pawlak’s notes on the wiring modifications necessary for his swap:
- For getting the gauges to work you need to connect the HS CAN ( ) and (-) from the controls pack to the OBDII port on on the factory chassis harness: HS CAN ( ) to HS CAN ( ) and HS CAN (-) to HS CAN (-).
- For getting the speedo to work we connected the transmission OSS via a pigtail harness from the (Tremec) to the trans plug on the ECU, which will be from the factory harness: (key C) pin 3 for signal return and pin 41 for sensor ground.
- For getting the oil pressure gauge and sensor to work you need to wire the GN/WH wire from the Coyote engine harness to pin E-25 on the ECU plug (key E).
“Had I left it all alone, the new PCM would bolt right up to the factory location,” says Pawlak. “There are some small wiring adjustments needed, some re-pinning a couple wires to tap into the CAN bus. Also to hook up the oil-pressure and speed sensors.”
The bigger, more powerful engine also required a cooling upgrade, so Pawlak installed a Ford Racing radiator, shroud and fan. Because the heater core was removed, Pawlak did have to modify one of the coolant lines to maintain the correct circulation through the engine.
The Ford control pack is designed for a manual transmission, which Pawlak wanted from the start for drifting exhibitions. For those desiring an automatic, the best bet is a stand-alone conversion using an older model transmission – and that would be recommended for street-rod or musclecar applications. A late-model automatic requires the matching PCM and harness, which again can complicate matters when hooking up to the wiring in a modern Mustang. Pawlak is going with a Tremec T-56 Magnum 6-speed behind a SPEC clutch. The ’06 project car came with a manual transmission but Pawlak replaced the entire hydraulic clutch system for peace of mind and even upgraded to GT500 slave cylinder and Ford Racing hard line. The current 3.55:1 gearset will also be replaced with a 3.73:1 ring and pinion mounted to a FR500S differential with the axle housing being located with a Whiteline watts link.
A finishing touch is a ROUSH Extreme Performance Catback exhaust.
“It’s such a crisp-sounding car, a real impressive sound,” says Pawlak, who would know the sound of a wicked engine as his drift car sports a Roush-Yates 410 Ford V8 built off the famed engine builder’s sprint-car platform and makes around 870 horsepower with 700 lb-ft peak torque. “Right now with the basic tune it can blow the tires off whenever I want. It’s definintely spirited driving and a ton of fun to drive.”
Future considerations after initial break-in include a Roush Stage 2 or 3 upgrade that drives the supercharger harder and modifies the tune. It’s also slated for a few dyno runs to confirm power numbers.
“I’m looking at 625 to 650 at the rear wheels,” vows Pawlak.