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2004 Ford Mustang GT - Never Enough
TJ Lapinski swaps boost for a Coyote in his quest for 10s.
In the world of automotive warfare, the Ford-versus-Chevy battle is one that never seems to end.
No self-respecting Ford guy would be caught dead at a GM dealership, which leads us to ask, who buys their beloved Mustang from a Bow Tie dealership? But that's what TJ Lapinski from Baltimore, Maryland, did before diving into this Coyote-swap project.
"My wife and I were looking for a car that I could have fun with. We walked into Koon's Chevrolet in White Marsh, Maryland, and a 2004 Competition Orange Mustang GT caught my eye. When I inquired about the car, a salesman informed me someone was taking it on a test drive. When the customer returned, they were not sure about the car. They left the dealership, and I told the salesman it's mine—let's sign the paperwork. A little later I was driving home in my new toy."
Being new to the Mustang scene did not mean TJ was naïve to how well these cars respond to aftermarket bolt-ons. Within the first couple months, the '04 had all the usual items, such as a new intake plenum, throttle body, cold-air intake, gears, and full exhaust. With these parts installed, TJ was able to pilot the GT to a 14.0 in the quarter. While this is a respectable time, the horsepower desire had overtaken him.
The next logical step was to add a Kenne Bell 2.1L blower. With the addition of the blower and 10 psi, it was time to see what the '04 was laying down on the rollers. The modded GT pulled 430 rwhp and the new setup allowed TJ to achieve a 12.0 pass. But as you could imagine, the extra performance only temporarily satisfied his horsepower desire.
About a year passed and tragedy struck when the stock block called it quits. After some soul searching, the decision was made to purchase an MMR 900 long-block. This would allow TJ to get it back up and running with the added benefit of extra boost. With the new motor installed, the blower was cranked up and boost was increased to 14 psi. This netted 470 rwhp and an 11.8 quarter-mile time.
During the winter of 2011, TJ decided he wanted even more power out of the Two-Valve. "I was at the point that I needed to do heads/cams with a fuel system or upgrade the 2.1 L Kenne Bell to a 2.8 L. That being said, I could not help but be amazed at the power the new Coyote 5.0 was making."
His thought process quickly changed from upgrading the Two-Valve to finding something he could put a Coyote in. "I was online and found an '89 Fox for $2,000," he told us. "My idea was to do a Coyote swap into that and sell my '04. I drove the '89 around for a couple weeks, but it didn't take long to realize I missed power steering and brakes. So I kept thinking to myself, why would I want to drive an '89 with no amenities when I have an '04 with power everything and leather seats?"
There was no longer a need for the '89, so it was sold. And he was back to finding an appropriate donor car for the Coyote swap. It was at this point that TJ came across a Bullitt that already had a Coyote in it. Instantly, he thought of his Comp Orange GT. "I started considering what parts would be needed and contacted Adam Browne at Revolution Automotive in Baltimore. We sat down and started talking, got a parts list together, and from there it was a done deal. I pulled the MMR long-block and Kenne Bell, and sold them." This made room for the Coyote to power the GT.
Surprisingly, the list of essential parts was short. It started with a Coyote crate motor and engine control pack from FRPP. The Control Pack consists of a PCM, MAF sensor, O2 sensors, harness, drive-by-wire gas pedal, and a power distribution module. The next items needed were an alternator kit and power steering bracket, followed by a Lethal Division X return-style fuel system and BBK long-tube headers attached to a matching 3-inch X-style exhaust.
With the essentials out of the way, it was time to install some extras. Completing the Coyote 5.0 down below was a Moroso oil pan and a 4-inch JLT cold-air intake on top. The mill sits on a UPR K-member, and coilovers were added to further lighten and improve the front suspension. The rear benefits from UMI upper and lower control arms, Mach 1 springs, and Strange 10-way adjustable shocks. TJ also went with a taller 4.56 gear that was swapped into the existing Eaton posi to turn the 31-spline axles.
Due to the GT seeing a lot of track time and anticipated faster timeslips, body rigidity became a concern. To address this issue, SR Performance full-length subframe connectors were added, along with a Maximum Motorsports roll bar. The original 3650 transmission would bolt right up to the Coyote, but Revolution elected to rebuild it first. The decision was also made to add an Exedy Mach 400 Stage II clutch and pressure plate.
While performance was important to TJ, body mods were also on the list of things to do. The front bumper and hood were replaced with Terminator pieces. The rear bumper had the word "Mustang" filled and smoothed, and the decklid was shaved to match the clean look. Finishing the body mods were blacked-out 5.0 fender badges and a black 3M vinyl roof wrap.
Wheels of choice on TJ's '04 are Weld Racing RT-S rims, powdercoated mirror black. Up front are 15x4-inch hoops with Nexen 165/80-15 tires. On the rear are 15x10 rims with Mickey Thompson 28x11.5-15 E.T. Streets.
With the car back together and running, it was time to see what Revolution could get out of the Coyote. Final numbers were 434 rwhp with 409 lb-ft of torque. These numbers allowed T.J. to pilot his GT to a personal best of 11.0 at 125 mph with a 1.58 60-foot. "I'm shooting for a 10-second pass, all motor."
With cooler weather approaching this winter, we bet TJ will accomplish his goal. Considering TJ's past history with the '04, his personalized tag describes him perfectly. It's NVR NUF!