5.0 Mustang & Super Fords
Engine Swap Guide - Heavy Rotation
Easy guide for efficient engine swapping.
For a great many years now, our primary business has been to inform you about the latest appearance and perforamnce mods for Mustangs. Yes, we understand there are some virtues in keeping things factory stock. However the staff here at 5.0&SF really is all about the upgrades; especially those that center on the action that takes place beneath a Pony's hood.
As the cover announces, engine swaps are the theme of this month's issue. And, as veteran readers know, swaps are a popular topic we've covered with stories ranging from providing details on replacing four-cylinder and V-6 engines in Fox Mustangs with 302s, 351Ws and even big-block 460s. The same type of focus also has been given to modular-engine exchanges, as rotating those bullets among the various Pony platforms is just as popular. While there are tons of viable swaps that can be pulled off, we're looking at some of today's popular trade concepts in this report; of which many are centered on Ford's modular engines.
Leading off our rundown is the latest craze; transplanting a Coyote 5.0 engine. This swap by far is the hottest of its kind right now. As a matter of fact, installing the new '11-'13 5.0 in other 'Stangs and Fords is so hot, the NMRA has even added a Coyote-only eliminator to its heads-up drag-race lineup for 2012. This speaks volumes to the general optimism about the modular 5.0's future.
Of course, the tried-and-true pushrod swaps (four-cylinder-to-5.0, 5.0-to-351W or 460) will never be forgotten, as they were ground-breaking advancements in Mustang technology years ago; a swatch of the proverbial fabric from which modifying late-model 'Stangs was made. We've covered details on those engine transfers and others, and suggest you consult our website for refresher info. Again, a majority of the engine exchanges being performed today involve modular powerplants, and the supporting equipment and thought that's required for completing the task.
As you'll see while reading through the following photos and captions, highlights in this report are focused primarily on the hot mod-motor swaps. Limited space in the magazine unfortunately prevents us from providing every granule of information on every swap. However the overviews presented here definitely will give you a good awareness of how cool and do-able a radical engine swap can be.
Horse Sense: There's no denying today's underhood action is the most exciting since Ford hit us in the head with supercharged Condor 5.4-liter engines, which power '07-'12 Shelby GT500s. By all rights, V-8s definitely are the cornerstones of late-model, fuel-injected Mustangs. And as such, we really dig it when we see 'Stangbangers put 4.6-, 5.0-, 5.4-, and 5.8-liter powerplants, in Mustangs that Ford never intended.
5.0 Coyote Fox/SN-95
Installing a Coyote 5.0-Liter, DOHC engine in any late-model Mustang is, without question, the hottest engine swap in our hobby right now. As we anticipated it would, the Fox-body/SN-95 transplant became an instant favorite, which was made possible by Ford Racing Performance Parts offering Coyote engines and all their necessary wiring as affordable, turnkey/plug-and-play packages. The coming together of Coyotes and lightweight '79-'95 Mustangs creates instant driving fun, based on a power-to-weight ratio that teeters on ridiculous (before hop-up mods on the new 5.0 even occur), and the overall coolness of seeing a modern-day 5.0 engine in a Pony that once had swagger with a pushrod versions of the 5.0.
Initial efforts at mating old with new, pioneered by Mustang shops such as Kurgan Motorsports in Georgia, Christian France of High Flow Fuel in Southern California, and LaMotta Performance (owner Jake LaMotta spearheaded the Coyote swap in Associate Editor Mike Johnson's '94 Cobra) in Florida, were fraught with nuances that are part of exploring new territory in late-model Mustang technology. Such pieces as K-members and power-steering brackets, as well as interfacing with the factory wiring system, all needed sciencing out. One thing we learned the crate engine does not include, is an engine plate (block protector), so remember to purchase one through your Ford dealer before going to install the engine.