Michael Johnson
Associate Editor, 5.0 Mustangs & Super Fords
January 5, 2012

When we last checked in on the Coyote Cobra saga, we showed you how the car started moving under its own power. As with every engine swap, there are always bugs to work out. Even though the Coyote Cobra was up and running, we were still a ways off from going full throttle. Since we were in unchartered waters, we were learning everything as we went.

Everyone who saw the engine in the car thought it must've been a tough swap. However, the Maximum Motorsports K-member made engine installation a breeze, and the BBK swap headers pretty much fell on the car. With the proper transmission crossmember from Kurgan Motorsports, the AMP Performance T56 Magnum conversion kit, including aluminum driveshaft, installed with zero drama.

Getting the actual engine and transmission in the car was easy; it was all the little stuff that threw us for a loop. That was when the real work, fabrication, and frustration set in. As we pointed out in the first installment, there were little victories each day after Lamotta Performance's Jake Lamotta set the drivetrain in place. Between the cooling system, oil-filter-relocation kit, power steering, power brakes, computer programming, and electrical gremlins, this swap was an adventure.

Once the car was running, we ran into an issue when the engine wouldn't accelerate the car. Jake and I traced everything we knew to check. We checked the oxygen sensors and the wiring to make sure they were getting power. SCT's Chris Johnson looked at everything, but he too came up empty. We even tried a spare Control Pack PCM from one of Jake's customer cars, but no change. We returned the PCM to Ford Racing, who found the software glitch and fixed it. Problem solved.

With that hurdle out of the way, we could set about getting the combination tuned on the Lamotta Performance Dynojet. We made an appointment to come back when Chris Johnson could tune the car. The tune was already pretty close, but Chris still had room to work with, and he made the necessary adjustments to get the Coyote Cobra running to its potential.

However, the car still had a problem shutting off when coming to a stop. After driving the car for a bit, when I would push in the clutch pedal or push the shifter into neutral, the engine would shut off. We thought Chris had the problem licked after our initial dyno testing, but I drove a couple miles away from Lamotta Performance,and it shut off on me. Back to square one with that problem, at least until Chris was at our Tampa office, where he tried a different route to help solve the problem. It's still rears its head occasionally.

We've had several roadblocks along the way with the car. We had an alternator power wire came loose from its connection. We fixed that only for S&R Performance to relocate the alternator to the other side of the engine, for which a new cable was made. We broke a clutch cable, which was a factory Ford unit. Pedal effort started to greatly increase, then I noticed the Magnum was harder to shift. One morning I adjusted the cable and took the car for a ride around the block. Shifting was much easier, as was pedal effort. Then pedal effort became way too easy when the cable snapped halfway around the block. Luckily I was able to coast right back into the driveway.

Driving a 17-year-old car every day is adventure enough, but when you throw in a new drivetrain and engine management system, there are bound to be hurdles. I've been called something close to daring for doing this swap to my daily driver, but why not do this swap to a daily driver? It makes sense.

Did I mention the Coyote Cobra is a royal blast to drive? In case you missed it, the car is so much fun to drive now it's unbelievable. It's fast, it's well-mannered, gets really good fuel mileage, and no one ever thinks it's supposed to be as fast as it is, which is probably the best aspect of the car. If you've ever wanted to do an engine swap, this is the one.

Horse Sense: Not only did I gain more power from adding the '11 GT crate engine, I also gained fuel economy. With the car's 3.73 gears and the Tremec T56 Magnum tranny's double-overdrive 0.50:1 Sixth gear, the car is capable of returning mid-20 mpg on the highway. That is, of course, provided I can keep my foot out of it, which has proven difficult.

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On The Dyno

Once we sorted out the PCM issue, we were able to dyno the car at Lamotta Performance on its in-house Dynojet. SCT's Chris Johnson tuned the car for us, making subtle changes to get us to 400 hp at the rear wheels. Some may have thought it should make more since '11 GTs are making upwards of that number.

However, remember the Coyote Cobra has a power steering pump on the car, whereas the '11s have electric power steering. Plus, the Coyote Cobra has a 2-1/2-inch exhaust, and Jake Lamotta had to make concessions with the car's X-shape crossover in order for it to work. We'd like to try a more optimum X-shape crossover pipe and see what we can do about an after-cat exhaust. Until then, I am more than happy with the 400hp at the rear wheels.

Unfortunately, at the time of the car's build, it was summer in Florida, which means getting to the track when it's not raining is a challenge. We made attempts, but the weather and or track closings kept us from getting real numbers for this issue. We will get the car to the track and report the numbers as soon as we get them.

All I know is I kept up with an '11 Shelby GT500, and have dusted many a car that would have shown the pushrod 5.0 its taillights. That is because, as you can see, the Coyote Cobra roughly makes almost 150 more horsepower now than it did with the push-rod combination under the hood. Plus, it now has a 7,000-rpm redline, not 5,300. Can you say fun? I knew you could. Plus, the look on people's faces when they see what's under the hood is priceless.

Pushrod 5.0Coyote 5.0Difference
RPMHPTQHPTQHPTQ
2,400116.93255.89149.68327.5532.7571.66
2,500125.14262.89157.72331.3532.5868.46
2,600130.57263.74163.92331.1333.3567.39
2,700135.06262.75170.64331.9235.5869.17
2,800139.48261.63180.44338.4640.9676.83
2,900145.98264.36192.15347.9846.1783.62
3,000154.87271.13201.79353.2746.9282.14
3,100164.30278.37209.99355.7745.6977.40
3,200172.50283.11217.61357.1645.1174.05
3,300181.50288.85224.81357.8043.3168.95
3,400188.60291.32234.12361.6545.5270.33
3,500194.36291.65242.54363.9548.1872.30
3,600200.33292.27250.73365.8050.4073.53
3,700207.20294.13257.59365.6550.3971.52
3,800213.98295.76264.13365.0750.1569.31
3,900220.28296.64268.53361.6348.2564.99
4,000227.04298.10272.84358.2545.8060.15
4,100232.79298.17275.82353.3343.0355.16
4,200238.17297.82287.76359.8449.5962.02
4,300242.08295.69300.90367.5158.8271.82
4,400245.68293.31313.52374.2367.8480.92
4,500248.13289.65318.66371.9270.5382.27
4,600250.62286.09321.67367.2871.0581.19
4,700252.75282.27326.19364.5173.4482.24
4,800254.23278.28330.80361.9676.5783.68
4,900253.75273.04339.28363.6785.5390.63
5,000n/an/a346.37363.84n/an/a
5,100n/an/a354.93365.51n/an/a
5,200n/an/a361.12364.74n/an/a
5,300n/an/a369.28365.94n/an/a
5,400n/an/a374.98364.70n/an/a
5,500n/an/a379.90362.79n/an/a
5,600n/an/a376.96353.54n/an/a
5,700n/an/a374.03344.65n/an/a
5,800n/an/a375.50340.03n/an/a
5,900n/an/a378.53336.97n/an/a
6,000n/an/a381.62334.04n/an/a
6,100n/an/a382.35329.20n/an/a
6,200n/an/a388.89329.43n/an/a
6,300n/an/a390.51325.55n/an/a
6,400n/an/a396.05325.02n/an/a
6,500n/an/a401.03324.04n/an/a
6,600n/an/a402.21320.07n/an/a
6,700n/an/a398.56312.43n/an/a
6,800n/an/a400.06308.99n/an/a
6,900n/an/a389.39296.39n/an/a
7,000n/an/a387.71290.90n/an/a
7,100n/an/a387.08286.45n/an/a