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How to Build A Bullet-Proof Coyote Engine For 1000-Plus Horsepower
With the release of the Coyote, Ford perfected the modular engine platform. Available for the past seven years, enthusiasts have done virtually everything there is to do with the powerplant. It has run 6s in the quarter-mile, won numerous road racing championships, and piloted drifters to podium finishes.
In earlier segments, we covered the block prep needed to reliably make more than 1,000 horsepower in a Ford Coyote engine. That was but a sneak peek of the intentions for this engine. Now, HOT ROD's first Coyote engine build is ready to be assembled.
We turned to longtime Mustang engine builder, Tim Eichhorn, of MPR Racing Engines in Boynton Beach, FL, who has a successful history building big-power Coyote.
Tim balanced the brand-new, Ford Performance Boss 302 crank for the rotating assembly. There are currently no affordable aftermarket cranks for the Coyote because the factory 4340 forged steel stocker is plenty strong. Tim mentioned that even the old crank would be fine, but there is peace of mind in a zero-mile unit.
MPR is segregated into three shops under one complex. One shop is reserved for disassembly and hot tanking, another for machine work, and the third for final assembly. Both the machining center and assembly room are climate-controlled to hold everything to tolerance. Ari Birchfield handled the finish hone on the sleeved block to assure the piston-to-wall clearance would come in at the required .005-inch. Next, the crank was placed on the lathe to get a second keyway cut.
The final block-machining operation was to clean up the mains with an align hone. Once the hone was completed, Tim spent a good 30 minutes deburring the block. "There's a ton of sharp edges on the Coyote block and we make sure to knock them all down," he explained. "We even find casting flash in the oil galleys and make sure they are all cleaned out." After deburring, the block was hot tanked, installed on an engine stand, and rolled to the assembly side of the shop.
Tim's son, Tyler Eichhorn, prepped the GT350 heads, pounding the factory valve guides out and installing proprietary, bronze valve guides along with Ferrea 1.470-inch, stainless intake valves and 1.250-inch exhaust valves. Next, he installed the COMP Cams valvesprings and lightweight tool steel retainers. Tool steel retainers have an increased fatigue life over titanium variants, and since the retainers are small on this overhead cam configuration, there were minimal weight savings to be had.
With the cylinder heads complete and the block cooled down to room temperature, the short-block could be assembled. First, Tim assembled the main caps with the ARP main studs and standard Clevite MS-2292H bearings to check main bearing tolerances. Since this was a brand-new crank and only a slight cleanup was required on the block's main journals, the standard diameter bearings fit perfectly.
Now it was time to file fit the JE Pro Seal 1.0/1.2/2.8mm ring pack. While a 1.0mm ring might seem small for a big power build, the ultra-strong, carbon-steel ring will be durable and reduce engine friction. After fitting, the rings were mated to a set of JE custom pistons with a 10:1 compression ratio and some additional material engineered into the symmetrical skirt, FSR (forged side relief) due to the quadruple digit power goals.
Additional options included JE Pistons' Tuff Skirt coating and Electroless Nickel (EN) coating, which hardens the piston, reflects heat like a thermal barrier, and helps prevent micro welding in the ring grooves if detonation occurs. A thicker-wall wrist pin with a DLC-coating was used for even more strength.
The pistons were hung on Wiseco BoostLine connecting rodsthe first set of the new line of boost-ready 5.933-inch modular rods to leave the factory. The rods are not an H- or I-beam design but rather a new, three-pocket design that offers a claimed 60 percent increase in bending strength over an H-beam. As the name implies their application is big-horsepower, power-adder engines. Clevite CB-1442HXNK coated bearings, with plus .001 extra clearance were installed, and 75 ft-lb of torque provided the correct .052-inch of rod bolt stretch. MPR's oil squirter block-off plates rounded out our short-block assembly.
Before continuing to the cylinder head work, there were a few bits needed for the front of the engine. The F-150 oil pump assembly is different from the Mustangs and needed changing. Both pumps come from the factory with powdered-metal gears that are prone to fail under a variety of conditions. To alleviate this problem, Livernois Motorsports supplied a set of billet gears. Another component that has been known to fail in high horsepower (primarily supercharged) applications is the main timing gear that drives both the left- and right-side bank's timing gears. MPR has its own billet version that is a direct swap for the weak, stock part.
Proceeding to the deck of the block, Tim installed 11mm, ARP head studs. This engine was from a 2013 F-150 where Ford reduced the size of the head studs from 12mm to 11mm for that model year. They have since gone back to the 12mm variants. The heads were installed with JE Pro Seal MLS head gaskets. Because the block and heads had been decked, final compression calculated in at 10.68:1
COMP Cams supplied CR-series, stage-three blower cams that are plenty aggressive by mod-motor means. The CR-series requires the use of stiffer valve springs and uses a lobe design similar to 2015 and newer Mustangs. On naturally aspirated engines we've seen the CR-series cams pick up over 50 horsepower at the crank over factory Mustang cams!
Under the cams are a host of kits from Ford Performance. Previously, buying components for the Coyote was a pain. Now, Ford Performance has come out with a variety of kits designed for new and rebuilt Coyote engines. One includes all 32 rockers; another, all 32 lash adjusters; even a front drive kit includes everything from cam gears and chains to guides.
An MPR lock-out plate was used to remove all the unnecessary components from the VCT gears. All in all, a reduction of about four pounds was removed from the valvetrain! The cams were locked out at a 110-degree intake centerline and a 113-degree exhaust centerline. This will ensure the engine remains streetable. Livernois Motorsports supplied a set of billet aluminum primary chain guides as the stock, plastic guides can deflect and cause over a 10-degree variation in cam timing.
The Final Bits
After degreeing the cams, Tim removed the soft, checking springs and install COMP Cams valve springs and cams. New, Boss 302 timing tensioners were installed, and the front of the engine was sealed up with a Ford Performance Mustang front cover. An ATI damper, already cut for two keys, was installed on the crank snout. It features a 20-percent overdrive and 10-rib configuration that will spin accessories faster than stock. Finally, a Ford Performance oil pan installation kit, and a Moroso increased-capacity, fabricated-aluminum oil pan, closed off the bottom end.
With the engine complete, it will soon be time to head to Westech Performance's engine dyno to see how much power it can make!
Boost To Come
Wait, what? Yep, there will be a CSU blow-through carb atop this Coyote. And, to help support our 1,000hp plus power goals, a Vortech YSI-B will add copious amounts of boost.
- F-150 used block
- Darton sleeves by Race Engine Development
- Ford Performance Boss 302 crankshaft
- Wiseco 5.933-inch length BoostLine connecting rods
- Custom JE pistons with EN coating, skirt coating, and DLC pin
- MPR Engines oil squirter block off plates
- Livernois Motorsports billet oil pump gears
- MPR Engines billet chain drive gear
- ARP main studs and damper bolt
- Clevite main and rod bearings
- Moroso fabricated aluminum oil pan
- ATI Cobra Jet 20 percent OD damper
- JE Pro Seal head gaskets
- MPR Racing CNC'd cylinder heads factory F-150
- Comp Cams valve spring kit with tool steel retainers
- Comp Cams Stage III CR-Series blower cams
- Ferrea oversized stainless intake and exhaust valves
- ARP 11mm head studs and cam tower bolts
- Ford Performance lash adjusters, rockers, chains, tensioners, and front cover
- MPR Engines camshaft lockout plates
- MPR Engines heavy-duty secondary timing chains
- Livernois Motorsports primary chain guides
ATI Performance Products