is Go: How a Ford Coyote L V8 Swap Compares to the LS V8 and Why You Should Do it
When it comes to modern V8 swaps, the General Motors LS engine is the undisputed king—having made their way into just about every type of vehicle under the sun.
But what about the Ford side? Developed specifically to combat engines like the GM LS3, the Ford liter “Coyote” engine has now been on the scene for a decade, winning over countless enthusiasts as the powerplant of the Mustang GT since
But is the Coyote a good candidate for a swap into an older car? Let’s take a look.
In DOHC We Trust
While they are both modern American V8s, the Coyote is a very different engine from the ones GM uses. At liters it’s significantly smaller in displacement and also uses an overhead cam design vs the OHV setup on the LS and LT engines.
The DOHC design of the Coyote has both advantages of disadvantages. The biggest disadvantage when it comes to a Coyote swap is going to be its physical size. With it’s big, wide heads, the Coyote is going to be a tighter fit than a traditional small block in a lot of engine bays.
On the other hand, most would agree that the Coyote is a bit more “exotic” than those OHV V8s, not just in the way it looks, but in the way it performs too. The Coyote loves to rev, and with a redline of 7, RPM on the earlier engines and 7, RPM on the later ones you get a V8 that behaves much more like a “sports car” engine than a traditional OHV V8—pulling hard all the way to redline.
Powerful & Plentiful
There are a few different versions of the Coyote that have been produced with the Mustang GT engine first appearing with horsepower back in Small changes to the engine over the years have improved it, including the higher output Boss variant introduced in
For the Mustang GT, the output of the was raised to horsepower and the most recent addition of direct injection which has bumped output up as high as horsepower in cars like the Mustang Bullitt and the upcoming Mach 1.
Not to be forgotten is the truck-grade engine that is available in the F Designed more for utilitarian use, the truck Coyote makes up to horsepower with its tune favoring low end torque rather than high RPM zest. Nonetheless it’s still a potent engine that is plentiful on the secondhand market.
Speaking of the used market, pull-out Coyote engines aren’t hard to find, with running setups starting at around $4, for an early s variant going up to $, range for an almost new Mustang GT pullout with low miles and a transmission.
While on the subject of transmissions, the Coyote shares its basic dimensions with the older Ford and modular engines, so there’s no shortage of bell housing and other options to run a variety of transmissions—both manual and automatic.
Not to be left out is the Ford Performance lineup of Coyote crate engines, which includes a horsepower model straight out of the current Mustang GT. It’s hard to ask for much more for a restomod project.
But if you do want to go further, Ford Performance also offers a Coyote-based liter “Aluminator” crate engine that makes horsepower and revs to 7, RPM, sharing a lot of its DNA with the “Voodoo” engine used in the Shelby GT and GTR.
In addition to that, Ford Performance also offers a number of different harness and PCM options that take all of the headaches out of getting a Coyote swap and running. Or if you’ve got an extra large budget, you can even buy a complete, ready to run package complete with engine, computer and a six-speed manual or our ten-speed automatic transmission.
When it comes to fitting a Coyote into an older vehicle, there’s also a decent amount of aftermarket support there, although the width of the engine can often require a new clip when dealing with an early Mustang or similar car.
If you are looking to put a Coyote into a Mustang, the job is even easier, with motor mounts, headers, oil pans and cooling systems all available to get a modern up and running without an excess amount of work or custom fabrication.
Will a double overhead cam Coyote swap ever be as cost effective and simple as an LS swap? Probably not. But for a Ford owner who wants a modern, high tech V8 that stays true to the blue oval there is no other choice.
And should you go through with it, your high horsepower, high revving valve V8 will add an entirely new level of excitement to your project.
Having experienced the fun of this engine in my own Mustang GT, my biased opinion is to go for it.
Ford Mustang GT V8 could rev to rpm
When the Ford Mustang was introduced earlier this year, the Motor Company promised that the revised LM V8 under the hood of the newest pony car would pack more power and rev higher than any Mustang GT before it. To be specific, this is exactly what the first Mustang press release said about the Mustang GT:
“Ford’s legendary liter V8 engine has been thoroughly reworked. It is more powerful and revs higher than any Mustang GT before. This power increase was achieved with the first application for Mustang of Ford’s new dual-fuel, high-pressure direct injection and low-pressure port fuel injection on a V8 engine – delivering robust low-end torque, high-rpm power, and improved fuel efficiency.”
Since then, the automaker hasn’t offered any clues as to how much power the Ford Mustang GT will offer, but an image floating around the internet seems to prove that the redline rev limit will be somewhere in the area of 7,rpm.
Mustang GT 7, Redline
I am not sure where the image originated, but there is a shot of the Ford Mustang GT tachometer and on that gauge, the redline range begins right around 7,rpm. We don’t know the exact number, but there is no question that the redline range of the Mustang is further “up” the tachometer than the previous models.
The image above shows the tachometer of a Ford Mustang GT and as you can see, the redline range begins just past 6,rpm and at 7,rpm, the driver will hit the rev limiter. Figure that with the Mustang GT making its peak horsepower at 6,rpm, there is really no need to wind the motor much past that point, so the gap between 6, and the 7,rpm rev limiter is there to allow the engine to rev slightly past the peak power range. Once you hit 7,rpm, the rev limiter kicks in and the car effectively loses power.
In the images of the Ford Mustang GT tachometer, the “warning range” (which runs from 6, to 7, in the current Mustang GT) is smaller, seemingly beginning just before the 7, mark while the actual rev limit point is around 7,rpm or so.
What does this mean?
Well, it obviously means that the L V8 in the Ford Mustang GT will rev higher than the engine in the models, but Ford wouldn’t increase the redline rpm and the rev limit simply to do so. This increase in peak engine speed almost surely comes with an upwards shift in the powerband, so where the Mustang GT reaches its peak of hp at 6,rpm, the Mustang GT might reach its peak output closer to 7,rpm. With peak horsepower levels (rumored to be anywhere from hp) being reached at 7,rpm, that 7,rpm redline would allow that “extra space” between the top of the powerband and the rev limiter.
More importantly, the higher redline and presumably higher peak horsepower range will lead to a larger powerband, so from the point where peak torque is reached (4,rpm in the current models), the new Mustang will pull harder for a longer period of time between each shift.
Unfortunately, Ford still won’t offer up any details on the Mustang GT V8 engine, but with the model year rapidly approaching – it shouldn’t be long before we learn all of the key details of the newest Mustang GT.
Ford Mustang GT First Test Review
It was the best of times, it was the best of times. I'm just saying, any summer that includes more than one American muscle car is a good summer.
I've been hooning around … ahem, "enjoying" … Motor Trend's long-term Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 whenever its caretaker, Scott Evans, is called away on business. Hoo boy, that Z/28 is something special. However, it requires your full, complete, careful attention at every turn. Fun but not quite my cup o' tea. Just before a long weekend, however, keys to a Camaro SS 1LE landed in my lap. Hmm, a little like the Z/28 but without that razor's edge. Had the Z/28 desensitized me with its lovely powerband and ridiculously stiff but eager chassis? I thought maybe all those lower-spine impacts had taken their toll.
Then out of happenstance, I took a Mustang GT back to Motor Trend HQ. This was a Mustang with the Performance package, Recaro leather sport seats, and retina-searing Triple Yellow exterior paint. All told (plus a few packages) it was a $46, Mustang GT in the proper arrangement: six speeds and three pedals.
Holy skip shift, Batman. You mean I can use second gear whenever I want to? A performance car with a manual transmission that lets me decide when to shift? Sure, it's a $ fix for the Camaro or Corvette, but why do I have to fix my brand-new car? I could take Scott Evans to lunch and leave a generous tip with the $ I didn't have to spend.
The interior is nice, too. Get in a fifth-generation Camaro (even the SS 1LE), and you're reminded constantly that you're sacrificing for performance. In the Mustang, not so. A swath of material that looks like engine-turned aluminum cuts a handsome horizontal line across the cabin, the armrests are padded leather and adorned with yellow contrast stitching, the instruments and gauges are high-quality and look nice, and fun details such as "ground speed" on the speedometer complete the feel. The interior makes you feel like you're in something special.
If you're thinking this painfully yellow Mustang GT is looking a little familiar, that's because it is. Just a year ago Christian Seabaugh wrote a First Test about a Mustang GT with the Performance package. What's different between the two cars? Well, mine had a black-painted roof (a $ option), auxiliary turn signals integrated into the hood vents, and Sync 3, the latest iteration of Ford's infotainment system. Performance is in the same ballpark, though the posted slightly quicker numbers.
While the turn signals integrated into the hood vents are a neat touch, Sync 3 is the big news for Ford touts new hardware, new software, a better touchscreen, easy destination entry, and enhanced voice recognition. But how well does it work? Sync 3 has all the usual bases covered but scored a few bonus points in my book for smartphone integration. Not only was there a more detailed screen for Spotify (and no doubt others) but I could also use voice commands to launch the app on my phone, browse my playlists, and select one to suit my listening desires.
Voice commands are still a little bit clunky, though. It's not unlike registering for classes with a touch-tone system, and rather limited since you have to use certain verbiage to get particular outcomes. You can do quite a bit, but you won't be holding any conversations with your Ford.
Our testing regimen revealed that compared to the 'Stang, it was business as usual for the Ford: hp and lb-ft of torque from the liter Coyote V-8 with a six-speed manual sending the power rearward through a rearend that spins a pair of series Pirelli P Zeroes. Sixty mph comes in just seconds, the quarter mile in at mph flat. Slamming on the brakes will haul the yellow coupe to a stop from 60 in just feet. A lap around our figure eight took just seconds at g average.
There's a give and take going on. The independent rear suspension setup definitely improves the car's handling, but the weight gain slows it down, and on the track there's more pitch and roll than we'd like. Looking back into the archives at a Ford Mustang GT with the Performance package we tested confirmed some suspicions: mph in seconds, quarter mile in seconds at mph, and a figure eight of seconds at g average. Weight difference? pounds per our scales in the old-timer's favor.
If you lined up with an "old" Mustang at your local drag strip (let's pretend it's stock, too) we're talking more than just a nose ahead. The older and lighter Mustang will be trying to show you some taillights. Just don't eat a big meal beforehand.
When the road gets twisty, though, the tables get turned. With my wife in the passenger seat and my daughter in the back, I pointed the long yellow nose toward Wrightwood by way of Angeles Crest highway.
At 45 mph in fourth gear on the twisting two-lane, the Mustang positively saunters. It's not just that it's not being pushed. You feel relaxed. The heavily bolstered Recaro seats hug you tightly, which adds to the feeling of confidence. This is the Grand Touring part of the Mustang GT being fully realized.
I dropped the ladies off at a picnic area with a scenic overlook and took the Mustang up the road a ways to push a little harder. Third gear and a more generous right foot brought the ground speed up along with my heart rate. It's not just about straight-line performance and highway pulls anymore. Muscle cars have entered the era of handling. With a wife and daughter waiting to head back down the mountain, I wasn't about to see exactly how high those limits were. Plenty to have fun with, though.
On the way home I put it in sixth, cranked the tunes, and activated the adaptive cruise control. The Mustang GT will purr along happily in top gear, but when there's too much variance in traffic speeds, I found third or fourth to be best. With the adaptive cruise control activated (it's not quite as good as Mercedes-Benz's system but far better than Mitsubishi's) the Mustang GT will brake down to about 5 mph and deactivate the system with a loud beep. It won't stall the car, and it does the auto-brake routine well.
If you're searching for every last tenth of an advantage on paper, you may find something that's faster than the Ford Mustang GT. Maybe something cheaper. But if you enjoy the experience as much as the performance, the Mustang GT is the whole package, with an exhaust that's muscular when exercised, a controlled ride, and an interior you don't have to make excuses for.
|Ford Mustang GT|
|PRICE AS TESTED||$47,|
|VEHICLE LAYOUT||Front-engine, RWD, 4-pass, 2-door coupe|
|ENGINE||L/hp/lb-ft DOHC valve V-8|
|CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST)||3, lb (54/46%)|
|LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT||x x in|
|QUARTER MILE||sec @ mph|
|LATERAL ACCELERATION||g (avg)|
|MT FIGURE EIGHT||sec @ g (avg)|
|EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON||15/25/19 mpg|
|ENERGY CONS., CITY/HWY||/ kW-hrs/ miles|
|CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB||lb/mile|
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We're getting a lot more information from the big reveal of the Ford Mustang Shelby GT Our Senior Editor Jason Cammisa is there, and after speaking to Ford engineers, he's finding out that the GT is definitely not a GT replacement. This is a whole different animal.
Let's start with the flat-plane-crank V8 engine: the configuration allows for a RPM redline (as you can see below), compared to the RPM limit of the GT or the Mustang GT's RPM cap. The cylinder walls do get the same sort of plasma coating that the old GT did—a rare similarity in a vehicle otherwise radically different in purpose.
Ford engineers ultimately made the power they wanted ( hp) while overcoming some serious NVH issues. In general, flat-plane crank V8s have balance and vibration challenges, and the GT's large engine exacerbates that issue. They benchmarked the Ferrari California as an NVH target, as it was the only other front-engined vehicle with a flat-plane crank V8. The most difficult issue proved to be emissions. A flat-plane crank engine will breathe better, and to take full advantage of it you want long runners—that means moving the catalytic converters downstream, where they take longer to heat up and become effective. That meant more work for the emissions compliance engineers—but it paid off.
After all, this is the most powerful naturally-aspirated Ford engine, ever. Here's how it sounded as it rolled onstage—wicked:
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The GT is the first Mustang ever to achieve zero aero lift. That's thanks to the aero work the company did to the GT the ducted belly pan, the front splitter, and the reduced ride height compared to a normal Mustang. Even the hood ducts are engineered to reduce lift at high speed. The hood was also lowered, which meant that engineers had to construct a new short-strand nylon carbon composite brace that serves as the radiator core support and braces the front end. The engineers left it exposed, and also won't hide away the V8 with a plastic cover. Both are functional art, and both should be seen.
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Mustang gt redline 2016
Oh, Mom, I'll go, just let me lie down for a couple of minutes. Through my sleep, I muttered. Okay, we'll be waiting for you near the entrance on a bench.2015-2017 Mustang Redline Tuning QuickLIFT Plus Hood Strut Kit Installation
I moved closer. Dad slept as if nothing had happened. His chest rose and fell regularly, nothing foreshadowed his imminent awakening, which gave me the opportunity to play. My hand was light on his knee and gently moved up to the tasty place.
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