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


Check out Part 1 of our All-Natural Coyote build!

So you've already done the basic bolt-on mods to your '11-up GT, and you're wondering which direction to take it next. The intake swap, headers, exhaust, gears, and tune put you in the high-11s, but you still want more. Well, you could always save up a few grand to do the blower or turbo install (like most would expect you to do), but that will set you back a few thousand dollars at once, even if you install it yourself.

The other option, though certainly not as flashy, is to step outside the box and stay NA. That's what we've chosen to do with the white '14 GT seen on these pages. You could do it all at once, like we're doing, or one or two changes at a time as you can afford it. That's the beauty of staying NA. That is, of course, until you decide that you want to build a stroker. But we're not going there on this project—at least not now.

Last month, we transformed JMS Chip & Performance's completely stock '14 GT into a mild street/strip performer using only bolt-on components. The automatic GT had gone a best of 13.24 at 107 mph in stock form, and after a CAI; FRPP CJ throttle body; and intake, headers, exhaust, gears, and tune, it went 11.94 at almost 117 mph. We chose those particular mods because those are the mods that most people do first.

So what's next? We've been in the 10s with stock suspension on a '13 GT (see “Our One-Day DIY Roush Install” series), sure, but there's something to be said for shaving every tenth possible off your 60-foot times, especially when you're staying NA. So, we've turned to Lakewood Industries for a slew of its components for this GT—we're basically throwing the catalog at it. OK, not really, but we're doing shocks, struts, rear upper and lower control arms, lower control arm relocation brackets, and an adjustable Panhard bar.

We also wanted to free up some horsepower by swapping camshafts. We had considered leaving the stock cams for this two-part series, but decided that it wouldn't be a fair assessment since cam swaps are becoming very popular on Coyotes, especially when companies like Comp Cams are making no spring required (NSR) camshafts. We opted for the XFI Stage 3 NSR versions (PN 191160; $1,514.86), which are Comp's most aggressive NSR cams for the Coyote. The profile consists of 0.492/0.453-inch lift, 236/239 degrees duration at 0.050, and are designed to operate best between 1,900 and 7,200 rpm, with the strongest gains from 5,500 to 7,200 rpm. They require a limiter kit, which we also sourced from Comp.

And in order to take full advantage of the new higher power band, we decided to take the step of swapping out the torque converter. We chose the Pro Series Stage III 258mm converter (PN 38-13-05) from Circle D Specialties. This 6R80-specific converter features a custom CNC, billet-aluminum front cover, and your choice of five stall speeds, ranging from 3,000 to 4,200 rpm. We chose the 5C, the 4,000-4,200-stall version. This sweet piece will set you back $1,100, but it's well worth the price.

Since the driveshaft was already out for the converter swap, why not ditch it for a lighter one-piece carbon-fiber part? We called on The Driveshaft Shop for one of its CV-equipped pieces (see A Dynamic Solution sidebar in this story). We also added a bolt-on driveshaft loop from Stiffler's. To top it all off, we turned to LatemodelRestoration.com for a set of its new SVE drag wheels and tires.

To increase the potential of the NA Coyote, we ordered a set of Comp Cams XFI Stage 3 NSR camshafts (PN 191160; $1,514.86) and phase limiters (PN 5493; $71.90). The profile consists of 0.492/0.453-inch lift, 236/239 degrees duration at 0.050, and are designed to operate best between 1,900 and 7,200 rpm, with the strongest gains from 5,500 to 7,200 rpm.
1. At JMS Chip & Performance, technician Roy Snelgrove tackled the camshafts by first removing the timing cover and valve covers, followed by the timing chains and camshaft retaining caps.
2. Snelgrove then installed the new camshafts, lubricated the lobes, and reinstalled and tightened the caps.
3. He then installed the phaser limiters. These are required with the installation of these camshafts.
4. After reinstalling the limiters, timing chains, timing cover, and valve covers, he topped them off with Comp’s coil covers (PN 288; $254.63)
5. Snelgrove and Chris Hood then tackled the trans extraction by first removing the stock driveshaft.
6. The two lowered the 6R80 automatic transmission for the torque converter swap.
7. Our converter of choice for this project is the Circle D Specialties Pro Series Stage III 258mm converter (PN 38-13-05). It features a custom CNC, billet-aluminum front cover and your choice of five stall speeds, ranging from 3,000 to 4,000 rpm. We chose the 5C, the 4,000-to-4,200-stall version. This will allow us to launch at a higher rpm, which will help our 60-foot times tremendously, and we’ll be able to take full advantage of the higher operating range of the cams.
8. Here’s the Circle D piece next to the stock one. If there’s one thing that was holding us back in Part 1, it was the limitations of the converter.
9. After reinstalling the transmission, Hood installed the driveshaft using the supplied hardware.
10. Stiffler’s sent us one of its bolt-on driveshaft loops (PN DSL-M03; $120), which requires no welding, cutting, or drilling, and fits all ’11-up GTs, manual or automatic.
11a. Hood installed the driveshaft loop using the supplied hardware.
11b. Hood installed the driveshaft loop using the supplied hardware.

A Dynamic Solution

Since we're going bolt-on crazy trying to squeeze as much e.t. out of this NA Coyote as possible (without going overboard), a lightweight driveshaft swap was a must. And when it comes to carbon-fiber units for the '11-up Stangs, The Driveshaft Shop knows a thing or two. It manufactures shafts in aluminum, steel, chromoly, and carbon fiber, and has been doing it over 30 years.

We chose carbon fiber for this build and took a behind-the-scenes look at how a carbon fiber driveshaft is made, being curious. The raw carbon-fiber tubing is cut to length, bonded to the billet ends (one end is a CV joint), and balanced at over 9,000 rpm, ensuring no vibration issues. We opted for the off-the-shelf shaft for our application (PN FDSH23-C-CV1; $1,249.99), but the company will build you a custom shaft for your street or race car.

The Driveshaft Shop’s dynamic balancer spins the shaft at over 9,000 rpm to ensure its shafts will not cause a vibration.
Builder Matt Hayes is seen here cutting the carbon-fiber tubing to size for our driveshaft.
Here are the billet-aluminum ends that bond to the shaft with a high-tensile bonding agent.
After spinning on the balancer, Hayes installed the required weights to balance our carbon-fiber driveshaft.


12. Lakewood Industries supplied its 70/30 struts and 50/50 shocks to help improve our 60-foot times. The struts (PN 40517) run $179.95 each, and the shocks (PN 40305) will set you back $64.95 each. The installation also required the Ford Racing upper strut mounts (PN M-18183-C; $159).
13. Hood swapped the stock springs onto the struts and installed the assemblies.
14. He also removed the stock shocks and replaced them with the Lakewood pieces, which are direct bolt-ins.
15. Lakewood also sent us its rear upper control arm (PN 20705; $115.95), double-adjustable rear lower control arms (PN 20105; $295.95), and adjustable Panhard bar and brace kit (PN 20405; $239.95).
16. Hood adjusted the control arms to stock length and installed using factory hardware.
17. Chip Khan then installed the Panhard bar, which was also set to stock length.
18. LatemodelRestoration.com sent over its new SVE wheel and tire kit (PN WTK-1007S4653D; $1,589.99). They are available in dark stainless, black, and chrome. We chose dark stainless. The ultra-light drag wheels are wrapped in 185/55-17 Racemaster tires on the front and Mickey Thompson 275/60-15 drag radials on the rear.
19. Here’s a shot of the fronts installed. They clear the stock GT brakes, both front and rear, except Brembos.
With tuning handled by JMS Chip & Performance’s own Monty Johnson using SCT software, the GT laid down 433 rwhp and 353 lb-ft of torque on the dyno. Not bad, considering it’s an automatic and is now equipped with a loose converter—a ton of fun on the street, for sure.
At the track, the weather wasn’t favorable since it was hot and muggy. Still, our NA GT was still able to pull off an 11.28 at 117.78 mph with a much-improved 1.52 60-foot. With better weather, 10s aren’t out of the question. Not bad for an NA automatic GT!