How to swap a Coyote Engine into Your Fox Body and Early Mustang

Without question, Ford’s 5.0L Coyote is one of the most impressive American V8 engines ever produced. Introduced in 2011 with 412 horsepower, the “new” 5.0L gave the Mustang a 112-horsepower upgrade over the 4.6L 3-valve that powered the 2005-2010 GT. And with 7,000-plus rpm capabilities and 390 lb-ft of torque, the Coyote was a real weapon in the pony car wars.

The new “5.0L” (as compared to the pushrod small-block 5.0L) was an instant success, giving the Mustang 12-second quarter-mile power, high-rpm for amazing road course power, and most importantly, it the DOHC high-low heads made it ripe for performance upgrades and perfect for engine swaps, too.

It didn’t take long for enthusiasts to retrofit older Fords with the 5.0L modern power and for many, the Fox chassis Mustang was the obvious choice. Of course, retrofitting a new engine into an older chassis comes with challenges, and that’s why Holley and Hooker Black-heart have developed specific Coyote Swap Solution Kits.

These kits and associated parts and accessories take the guesswork out of installing a Coyote in a Ford that never came with one. Not only do the kits help with installation, they allow you the chance to get right to work, without worry about fabricating special parts, or requiring the factory K-member to be changed. Holley has essentially solved common problems with engine mounting, exhaust, wiring and even fuel injection.

Which Coyote ?

If you’re unfamiliar with the Ford Coyote, fear not, we’ll get you up to speed. First and foremost, there are three generations of Coyote and dimensionally they are all the same. Ford’s first Coyote, dubbed the Gen 1, was installed in the 2011-2014 Mustang GT and it produced 412 (2011-12) and 420 horsepower (2013-14), with 390 lb-ft of torque. Features include 11:1 compression, four valves per cylinder and variable cam timing. The Gen 1, like all Coyotes to follow, uses the same engine mounting locations and engine-to-transmission mounting as the previous “modular” engine family, a plus for swapping.

One of the biggest assets is weight, as the all-aluminum Coyote engine is relatively lightweight at roughly 420 lbs. dressed! The width can create challenges in vehicles with a narrow engine bay, but by using specific Hooker Blackheart Coyote mounting components, it will bolt onto a Fox K-member, or directly to an SN95 K-member using standard mod motor mounts. Both cases require the use of the modified Low Profile Coyote Oil Pan.

In 2015 Ford released the Gen 2 (2015-2017), which was upgraded with improved cams, stiffer springs, larger valves, and cylinder heads with revised ports and combustion chambers. The short-block received new pistons that have valve reliefs designed to work with the larger valves, and lastly, there’s a new forged crank designed for extra stability at increased rpm.

It’s important to note the CMCV valves on the Gen 2 and Gen 3 intake manifolds will not clear the firewall on Fox Body cars and will need to be deleted/locked out by the user, or the intake manifold will need to be changed to a Boss intake or similar. The CMCV valves do clear the firewall of SN95 cars when a stock K-member is used (specific aftermarket K-members may, or may not provide the same fore/aft engine position needed to ensure clearance). The modified oil pan is only directly compatible with Gen 1 and Gen 2 engines; the Gen 3 engines use a different oil pump/pick-up tube that would need to be retrofitted back to the Gen 1/Gen 2 style pump/pick-up tube .

The Gen 3 is the latest version, found in the 2018-present Mustang GT, and Ford once again turned up the volume adding Direct Injection and 12:1 compression. The Gen 3 is rated at 460 horsepower in the GT and there’s a higher-output version (480 horsepower) found in the Mustang Bullitt and upcoming 2021 Mach 1. This version utilizes the Shelby GT350 intake manifold along with revised engine calibration from Ford.

If you’re on the hunt for a Coyote to swap into your project, it should also be noted that the 5.0L Coyote can also be found in the venerable F-150 (2011-present), with the current truck variant making 395 hp. Truck-born Coyote engines lack a windage tray in the oil pan, they use a half-point lower compression, have different cams, and the intake manifold is designed for improved torque at lower rpm rather than peak high-rpm power. So, if you’re building for performance, consider it a necessity to swap these parts, along with adding billet oil pump gears to maximize power and reliability. Holley has great options for stepping up the power, from its Sniper intake manifolds to high-flow Hooker Blackheart exhausts.

Most importantly, when the time comes to up the power, the sky is the limit. Old-fashioned bolt-ons like a cold-air intake, headers and an intake swap can net 500 crank horsepower on a naturally aspirated Gen 1 or Gen 2. And a simple bolt-on blower can get you to 700 or more horsepower!

With roughly 10 years of production, sourcing a Coyote isn’t difficult. New engines can be found in many places, including Ford Performance Parts and aftermarket rebuilders, and used engines can be found in salvage yards, donor cars or wherever you may dig one up.

Swap It – Installing A Coyote

Engine swaps are nothing new to Ford enthusiasts for street, track, road race, autocross or even street rods and kit cars. And just about any power level is reachable, especially when you modify one with boost, compression or with nitrous oxide. As with any engine swap, the first area of concern will be physically mounting the engine in the vehicle.

“Hooker Blackheart Coyote swap systems help with providing the means to install a Coyote engine on the stock K-member, including the retention of the stock steering shaft, for those who wish to do so,” said Tim Grillot, engineering director at Holley Performance. “It also helps with optimization of the U-joint working angles on the Coyote swapped vehicle; providing header options (for stock and aftermarket K-members) that are compatible with both manual and automatic transmissions and providing 2.5-inch and 3-inch X-crossover equipped exhaust system options that connect directly to the collectors of the Hooker Blackheart headers,” he added.

According to Grillot, “the most common problem associated with performing a Coyote swap in a Mustang is the effect the varying engine placement recipes used by aftermarket K-member companies has on header fitment/compatibility. The Hooker Blackheart Mustang Coyote swap system addresses this by maintaining the same engine position regardless of the K-member used. Hooker Blackheart engine and transmission mounting components are available to provide this consistent mounting geometry for installations using a stock, Maximum Motorsports, AJE, or Team Z Motorsports K-member.”

The Hooker Blackheart Coyote swap systems were designed around the use of a common crankshaft centerline and transmission bellhousing fore/aft position, which is shared with the mounting geometry of the stock Ford engine being removed from the Mustang. This benefits the user by permitting a Coyote engine to be installed on the stock K-member (Fox Body or SN95/New Edge specific), while permitting changing/upgrading to an aftermarket K-member or a different transmission later without having to reconfigure the alignment of the drivetrain components, or replace the headers (applies to the 1-3/4-inch primary sized headers only, the 1-7/8-inch and 2-inch headers can only be installed with the AJE and Team Z Motorsports K-members).

Of course there is a wide range of transmission choices, and the Hooker Blackheart transmission cross members will work with most popular units. This includes Powerglide, 4R70W, 6R80, TKO, T45, TR3650 and T56 Magnum transmission. This doesn’t exclude other transmissions, but these are the ones that were test fitted.

“The headers and exhaust systems that are part of the Hooker Blackheart Mustang Coyote swap systems are compatible with all the above mentioned transmissions,” stated Grillot, “So replacement or modification of them will not be required to perform a transmission change in the future, as long as a Hooker Blackheart transmission crossmember is used to install the transmission. And Holley is also here to help, with a dedicated tech line available to offer general compatibility assistance. More detailed engineering support is provided through the web forum by the specific Hooker Blackheart engineer who developed these systems.


Coyote Engine Swap Boss Intake

Fox body Coyote swaps are very common and Holley offers a host of products to ease the transformation and help you find maximum performance.

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There are three generations of the Ford 5.0L Coyote V8 ranging from 412 horsepower to 480 stomping ponies. Crate versions are also available with even more power.

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Holley’s new Gen1/Gen2 Coyote oil pan makes your Fox body Mustang swap easier. The oil pan design maintains the oil capacity of stock Mustang Coyote oil pan (8 qt. nominal) to ensure adequate oil supply in all street performance and factory-stock type racing applications. The new design installs using stock Coyote engine gasket/baffle assembly to provide factory-like sealing and baffling/windage characteristics. A proprietary design pick-up tube/O-ring and lower sump baffle plate are included. The new low-profile front pan geometry permits Coyote engine installation on stock 1984-2004 Mustang K-members (1984-1995 K-members require the use of specific proprietary design Hooker Blackheart engine mounting brackets) and specific aftermarket K-members from AJE, Team Z, Maximum Motorsports, and UPR for 1979-2004 Mustangs. The steel construction is hand-welded for strength, longevity and good looks. The zinc plated finish provides corrosion resistance on the inside and outside of the pan.

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A unique item is the Holley EFI Coyote Twin Independent Variable Cam Timing Control. This unit allows you to unlock the full potential of your high-revving power Coyote plant with the Plug and Play Coyote Ti-VCT Control Module. It includes a Coyote Main Power Harness, Coyote Ti-VCT Main Harness (558-110), Coil Drivers, and USCAR Injector Harness. It is easy to install and allows plug-and-play operation with Holley EFI Dominator or HP ECU and Coyote Ti-VCT Controller. The unit can also control Ti-VCT down to 400 rpm, it has user-programmable tables that enable the end user to fine-tune aftermarket Ti-VCT compatible camshafts, it offers commanded timing matched within 1 degree, and main harnesses come terminated with Ford TPS and IAC Connectors, making it easy to convert from a DBW Throttle Body to a Manual Throttle Body, if desired. It’s also important to note that Ford made a mid-run production change to the VCT system on Gen 1 Coyotes. That means there are two different Holley kits for Gen 1 engine and a 3rd kit for Gen 2 engines.

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Of course you’ll need a powerful engine control system and Holley offers the Terminator X and X Max Coyote systems to support the Coyote platform with Ti-VCT. Terminator X features real-time fuel learning, high-impedance injector drivers, integrated 1bar MAP sensor, and there are four programmable inputs and outputs. These are ideal for electric fans, boost control solenoids, progressive nitrous control, and much more. Terminator X ECU comes fully loaded with base maps for common Coyote engine combinations to get your car up and running quickly. The included 3.5-inch LCD touch screen handheld contains an easy-to-use calibration wizard as well as tuning and gauge display functions. Included also is Holley EFI’s industry-leading support, easy-to-use software suite that allows full laptop access/compatibility for advanced users.

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Engine and transmission installation can be intimidating, but Hooker has you covered with the Blackheart line of engine swap system components. There are two different engine swap transmission crossmembers offered for 1982-1993 Ford Mustangs, which provide an efficient way to install Ford Coyote (or other) engine swaps. Each are designed specifically for use with Hooker Blackheart engine mounting brackets/methods and provide high-clearance exhaust arches that directly accommodate the tube bend geometry of the Hooker Blackheart headers and exhaust systems developed for engine swaps in these cars. They are CAD designed to optimize strength, stiffness and component/exhaust system clearances and powder coated steel construction provides effective and attractive transmission support solution for many popular transmissions. All installation hardware included.

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Hooker Blackheart Engine Mount Brackets for 1984-1995 Mustangs make it easy to get a Coyote bolted to the stock K-member in your Foxbody. They are fabricated from steel and powder-coated black for superior strength and corrosion resistance. These mounts are part of a complete coyote swap system for a Foxbody or SN95 Mustang. They are designed for Coyote installation in a 1984-1995 Mustang with stock K-member, while placing the crankshaft centerline at the stock V8 engine location providing optimal U-joint angles and transmission fitment. They are built from steel to provide high-strength and powder coated for long-term corrosion resistance.

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Good-flowing exhaust is a must on any Coyote swap and Hooker has a range of headers for all power levels. These 1-7/8-inch long-tube headers are made from 304SS and fit 1979-1993 Ford Mustangs. They feature 1-7/8-inch primary tubes with 3-inch formed merge collectors and are engineered to offer premium fitment on vehicles equipped with an AJE MU-40-UM* or Team Z TZM-KM-Swap* engine K-member. *Installation requires the use of Hooker Blackheart 71221026HKR (for AJE MU-40-UM K-member) or 71221027HKR (for Team Z TZM-KM-Swap K-member) engine mounting brackets. These are well-suited for use in NMRA Coyote Modified class racing, and are bolt-in compatible with T45, TKO 500/600, T56 Magnum, MT82, Powerglide, 4R70W, and 6R80 transmissions, when installed with Hooker Blackheart engine mounting brackets and transmission crossmembers. They also fit with stock 2011-17 Mustang Coyote and Moroso 20571 Coyote oil pans and are designed for use with stock Mustang or Ford Performance Coyote starters. Other features include, lightweight, 18-gauge, mandrel bent, 304 stainless steel construction maximizing strength and durability, long transition header collectors feature merge spears for maximum flow and increased exhaust velocity, 3/8-inch thick, CNC waterjet header flanges are used for strength and maximum sealing surface, O2 sensor bungs are included in each header collector, 100-percent quality hand-welded construction for strength, longevity and good looks, tube geometry designed for maximum clearance and hassle-free installation, plus all hardware is included and they carry a manufacturer’s limited lifetime warranty.

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Along with headers, Hooker Blackheart offers matched exhaust systems for high-quality fit, great flow and excellent sound. Hooker Blackheart’s line of Engine Swap exhaust systems is designed to offer the best-available ground clearance, best fit and easy installation. The stainless steel exhaust system features an X-pipe designed crossover that offers bolt-in compatibility with Hooker Blackheart engine swap crossmembers, mounts and headers. This rear exit header-back system uses factory mounting points for stock like fitment and will clear OE or aftermarket adjustable upper control arms. Furthermore, it’s designed to work with Hooker Blackheart Ford Coyote Engine Swap headers as part of a complete integrated solution (70101350-RHKR, 70101351-RHKR, 70103317-RHKR, 70103318-RHKR, 70103319-RHKR), features a full 3-inch diameter system for maximum flow/horsepower potential, Constructed from lightweight, 18-gauge, mandrel bent, type 304 stainless steel for maximized strength and durability, has optimized bend geometry to provide clearance for wide rear wheels/tires (in the factory wheel well), it utilizes factory mounting points for factory-like fitment, includes all necessary installation hardware for a hassle-free installation and has a manufacturer’s limited lifetime warranty.



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If your Coyote is staying between the Mustang fenders it was born into, but you have big power plans, Holley offers multiple drop-in fuel pump modules to help get you there. These pumps, available for 2011-2017 Mustangs, are available in 350 LPH, 510 LPH, and 1050 LPH ratings.