Tom Wilson
February 16, 2010
Photos By: Dale Amy, Courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Key challenges during the surrogate phase were the intake and exhaust manifolding layout and runner length; camshaft selection; and lubrication. From an enthusiast's perspective, this is where the Coyote got its howl. Fundamental architecture changes were possible, or as Jeff put it, "During this phase, particularly testing this engine on the dyno, we had good opportunity to influence the design."

In fact, Jeff and Adam were simultaneously running their phases of the Coyote program-one in hardware and the other in software-yet constantly comparing results and cross-verifying and improving their work as they went. Not much later Adam and Jeff would work with those laying out the Coyote's architecture, while continuing to develop and validate the Coyote's fundamental power-making ability.

In short, Coyote development more exploded in several directions instead of a connected straight-line series of dots. It was a tumultuous, tiring effort, but it worked. In just 16 months the first Coyotes hit the dynos in January 2009. "The first engine out of the box in the development cell ran for 800 hours, and that's Performance Run, and so it was a very good success," says Gary.

"And our first engine went to map, and for us, we were just very proud of that-it was good enough for map right out the door. We thought it was impossible when we first started off." Going to map means the engine was good enough to have its core combustion personality set in stone. Once mapped, the fundamental engine would be frozen and the long validation and calibration work would begin.

Besides meeting the performance goals the Coyote had to pass all of Ford's standard durability tests. These dyno sessions are incredibly brutal, always far exceeding what any rational customer would do to his engine, and occasionally surpassing what is physically possible in a car.

We observed some of this internal combustion water-boarding, and for anyone with a foot-pound of mechanical sympathy it isn't pretty. Engines run fatigue cycles equivalent to 62 Daytona 500 races. Others replicate customer drive cycles for 1,000 running hours to include 1,000 cold starts, plus hitting its peak torque and power for sustained periods. That test alone runs 100 hours a week for two and a half months.

We witnessed another torture session where the engine was run at WOT for several minutes, the headers glowing just a hint of red, then the engine shut off and after several seconds of sitting, -20 degree ice water was forced through the cooling system. Frost formed on the test rig as the engine was about frozen to death, then the ice water stopped, the engine started and after a handful of seconds idling was taken back to max rpm, max load for another heat cycle up to 225 degrees. Each complete cycle takes about 10 minutes, and the engine must survive days of these non-stop thermal shocks.

Most incredibly, "It can't be on its last legs at the end of the test," says Mike. "It can't be that it hasn't seized yet, we need to see crosshatching on the cylinders, no full-face ring wear, leak down needs to be below, oh, eight percent; it has to be very, very functional and could go do it again, quite frankly."

Be assured, this is one team, and engine, that has gone the extra mile to produce a no-excuses Mustang V-8.

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