Marc Christ
Brand Manager, Modified Mustangs & Fords
December 17, 2013
Photos By: Lisa Murrah


Check out Part 2 of our All-Natural Coyote build!

Since the '11 Mustang was released in 2010, we've been adding boost—for good reason, since the venerable Coyote loves it. A simple one-day blower install can give you a roughly 50-percent power gain, and that's without modifying anything else on the car. Add sticky tires and you're in the low-11-second range with ease. There are over a dozen supercharger kits for '11-up 5.0L Mustangs, and any of those will give you similar results.

But what if adding boost isn't your style and nitrous is out of the question? Thankfully, there are plenty of aftermarket parts available to give your Coyote a serious power boost without actually adding boost. Granted, this isn't the trendy thing to do, and assembling the just-right combination could make your head spin. So we've decided, with the help of JMS Chip & Performance, to do it ourselves. Besides, we're curious to see the results, and we're sure you're interested, too.

Even though NA builds tend to be milder than blown builds, it's still possible to go overboard. So where do we draw the line? Well, our goal is to make as much power as we can and go as quickly as possible without spending an outrageous amount of money, all while maintaining reasonable driveability. So, we've decided to do a two-part installment.

This month (Part 1), we're doing basic bolt-ons; next month, we'll do some more in-depth mods without disturbing the stock long-block or the transmission's internals. Our basic bolt-ons consist of Ford Racing Performance Parts' new Cobra Jet intake manifold, matching FRPP throttle body, a cold-air kit, Stainless Works long-tubes and full exhaust, and FRPP 4.10 gears. We'll top all of that off with a JMS/SCT tune by Monty Johnson, spin the rollers on the dyno, and hit the track.

Our test subject, a stripped-down automatic '14 Mustang GT, will serve JMS as a testbed for the Lucedale, Mississippi-based shop. But before it had a chance to loosen even one bolt, we had the chance to get involved. Since your author has wanted to do an NA build for a while anyway, this was the perfect opportunity.

In stock trim, the snow-white GT laid down 360 rwhp and 356 lb-ft of torque. With a JMS/SCT tune, it picked up 13 rwhp and 12 lb-ft of torque, bringing the new peak to 373/368. After all of the parts were installed and re-tuned by Johnson, peak output was up to 413 rwhp and 356 lb-ft of torque.

Peak torque output was lowered by the larger-plenum/short-runner design of the Cobra Jet intake and long-tube headers, but it was still better than stock, and power output was up by 53 rwhp, all with basic bolt-ons. The under-the-curve power gains were huge, especially in the higher-rpm range, where power was up by as much as 65 rwhp.

At the track in stock trim, it went 13.24 at 107.68 mph. With the tune loaded, it went a best of 12.69 at 111.50 mph. After the components were installed, the JMS crew went back to Hub City Dragway. After a mild 1.80 60-foot, it ran 11.94 at 116.98 mph—over a second improvement in e.t. over stock.

Next month, we'll install a Circle D torque converter, Comp Cams NSR camshafts, some suspension components, and a driveshaft from The Driveshaft Shop. We'll get back on the dyno and make another visit to the track. We're shooting for 10s at this point, and we don't think it's out of the question. Check back next month for the rest of the build.

JMS tech Chris Hood began by removing the stock cold-air intake.
1. He then removed the stock intake manifold.
2. This is our first test of the new Ford Racing Cobra Jet intake manifold (PN M-9424-M50CJ; $995). It’s standard on the 5.0L-equipped Cobra Jets but is available through Ford Racing Performance Parts. It’s tuned to make peak horsepower at 7,750 rpm, and has a flow rate of 1,797 cfm, according to FRPP.
This is our first test of the new Ford Racing Cobra Jet intake manifold (PN M-9424-M50CJ; $995). It’s standard on the 5.0L-equipped Cobra Jets but is available through Ford Racing Performance Parts. It’s tuned to make peak horsepower at 7,750 rpm, and has a flow rate of 1,797 cfm, according to FRPP.
3. Clearly, the oval inlet of the CJ intake is much more capable (right) than the stock intake and throttle body. It’s also not much taller, and will fit under a stock hood.
4. Hood transferred the stock fuel rails to the CJ intake manifold and bolted it in place.
5. A few mods must be made to emissions hoses for installation; the instructions are included and easy to read.
6. The FRPP Super Cobra Jet oval throttle body was next. This single-blade throttle body (PN M-9926-SCJ; $679) is machined from billet aluminum and uses OEM gears to prevent bind.
7. The throttle body pigtail must be re-pinned.
8. To complement the better airflow into the engine, we called Stainless Works (SW) for its stainless steel long-tube headers (M11HDRCATX; $1,590). This headers and X-style midpipe kit features 17⁄8-inch primary tubes and high-flow catalytic converters, and will attach to the factory after-cat exhaust system if you wish.
9. We went ahead and opted for SW’s matching 3-inch stainless steel exhaust system (PN M12CB3HDR; $890), which features the same high-grade 304 stainless steel design as the headers, as well as double-wall polished tips.
We went ahead and opted for SW’s matching 3-inch stainless steel exhaust system (PN M12CB3HDR; $890), which features the same high-grade 304 stainless steel design as the headers, as well as double-wall polished tips.
10. Hood removed the stock exhaust system, including the stock exhaust manifolds.
11. He then installed the SW headers. The engine must be supported from underneath to do this job properly.