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It’s no secret that we’re a huge fan of the Coyote engine, can you blame us? The Coyote engine is an incredibly stout platform; and the team at Ford has managed to keep it relevant since its release in early 2011 as the primary powerplant for the Mustang GT. We’d wager that the Coyote isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

Mustang fans will know that the ‘first generation’ of the Coyote engine produced a respectable 412 horsepower and 390 lb-ft of torque at the flywheel from the factory for the ‘11-’12 GTs; while the later ‘13-’14 models saw a bump in horsepower to 420. But what enthusiasts may not know, is that Ford learned a ton of information on the Coyote engine from the Mustang GT’s older brother, the ‘Roadrunner’ powered ‘12-’13 Boss 302.

We’ve built plenty of Coyote engines in the past in our previous project cars, such as Project Wild E Coyote.

During the development of the second generation Coyote engine, found in the 2015 and later Mustang GT, the engineers at Ford incorporated many of the Boss 302 program’s improvements to achieve a better-breathing and more capable Mustang engine.

In the scope of this article, we’ll be highlighting the improvements in the second generation Coyote engine, and explain why enthusiasts may want to choose a second-gen Coyote for their next engine swap project. If you’ve noticed a trend of high horsepower 2015+ Mustang GTs, then you’ll know there’s a good reason for them.

In A Nutshell

Our former 2011 Mustang GT 'Project Wild E Coyote' ran a built factory Coyote engine up to 1,000 crank horsepower.

Our former 2011 Mustang GT ‘Project Wild E Coyote’ ran a built factory Coyote engine up to 1,000 crank horsepower.

For those of you looking for a condensed version of why the second generation Coyote engine is far superior than the first one, we’ll accommodate your anticipation now. In short, the second generation Coyote engine incorporates many of the positives from the ‘12-’13 Boss 302 ‘Roadrunner’ engine. Hence why the current ‘15+ Mustang GT is rated at 435 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque at the flywheel, bringing it closer to the Boss 302’s 444 horsepower and 380 lb-ft of torque.

Some of the major changes include: larger intake and exhaust valves, revised intake and exhaust camshafts, stiffer valve springs for high RPM operation, new cylinder head castings, sintered forged connecting rods from the Boss 302, redesigned pistons, a rebalanced forged crankshaft, a new composite intake manifold, and a new pair of variable intake camshaft mid-lock phasers. But like everything else in life, there’s more to this story than what’s on paper (err, screen?).

The changes made in the second generation Coyote engine are meant to operate in a mechanical symphony with one common goal, and that’s to breathe better. On a side note, the stronger components incorporated such as the revised pistons, sintered forged connecting rods, rebalanced forged crankshaft, and the improved cylinder heads, haven’t added an ounce of weight to the previous generation Coyote engine. Albeit, the all-new second generation can handle nearly twice the pressure of a forced induction system than the previous one, making this Coyote platform the more desirable engine.

The changes made in the second generation Coyote engine are meant to operate in a mechanical symphony with one common goal, and that’s to breathe better. On a side note, the stronger components incorporated such as the revised pistons, sintered forged connecting rods, rebalanced forged crankshaft, and the improved cylinder heads, haven’t added an ounce of weight to the previous generation Coyote engine. Albeit, the all-new second generation can handle nearly twice the pressure of a forced induction system than the previous one, making this Coyote platform the more desirable engine.

The Nitty Gritty

A cutaway version of the first-gen Coyote reveals some of the changes incorporated in the second-gen right away.

A cutaway version of the first-gen Coyote reveals some of the changes incorporated in the second-gen right away.

The cylinder heads are so damned good on the second generation Coyote, that they actually flow the same as the CNC ported ‘12-’13 Boss 302 heads. How cool is that? And the best part is, enthusiasts can use the second generation Coyote cylinder heads on a first generation engine block, though you will need a second-gen head gasket due to the oil feed hole. The second-gen cylinder heads also provide a straighter path to the new valves, creating a less-restrictive intake and exhaust flow pattern for the combustion chamber.

While not radical by any means, the revised camshafts have an increase of 1-mm of lift for both sides, but there’s a good reason for this. The second generation Coyote engine uses the same valve springs from the Boss 302, allowing for higher cylinder head pressure and higher RPM operation.

Be aware, if you’re going to use revised camshafts from the second-gen Coyote engine, you’ll need the revised phasers, primary chain, and crank-sprocket as a matched set, as they can not be used on a first-gen Coyote engine’s chain-drive.

Be aware, if you’re going to use the revised camshafts from the second-gen Coyote engine, you’ll need the revised phasers, primary chain, and crank-sprocket as a matched set, as they can not be used on a first-gen Coyote engine’s chain-drive.

It’s also important to note that the second-gen Coyote engine’s VCT are a new design for the chain-drive, as they needed additional clearance for the revised VCT solenoids (as well as the aforementioned head gaskets). The mid-lock phasers, as well as the IMRCs from the updated manifold can not be controlled through the ’11-’14 Mustang ECU. However, you can get a pair of ’15+ Coyote lobe designed camshafts that are formulated to work on a first generation Coyote engine on the aftermarket.

While the second generation Coyote engine’s revised intake manifold is compatible with the first generation, Ford has mentioned that there are no prominent gains from this upgrade. This is mostly because of the revisions made for the second-gen Coyote engine’s intake manifold, which mainly consists of the addition of charge motion control valves for better emissions and low-speed idle situations.

Wrapping Things Up

Find out how the second-gen Coyote engine stacks up against the all-new 5.2-liter Voodoo engine in the Shelby GT350 here.

Find out how the second-gen Coyote engine stacks up against the all-new 5.2-liter Voodoo engine in the Shelby GT350 here.

The final bits of information to cover is the revised engine block found in the second generation Coyote platform. The new block consists of an added oil return. The second generation Coyote engine block can be used with any of the first generation components, albeit this block does feature the addition of a return passage that helps divert oil from the oil filter adapter. It’s also important to note that the new engine block uses 11mm head bolts as well.

The revised cast pistons feature a deeper valve relief (3.472cc in the first-gen vs 4.451cc in the second), though they do not increase the compression which remains 11.0:1. And while the redline remains at 7,000 from the factory, you can bet with a custom tune that the new Boss 302 valves with their 300/760 N/mm spring load at open and close (265/650 N/mm spring load at open and close for the ‘11-’14 Coyote engine) can handle plenty of abuse.

In closing, it’s obvious that the second generation Coyote engine is far more superior than the first. It’s a stout platform, and with so many Coyote powered ‘15+ Mustangs planting more than 700 rear-wheel horsepower on a stock engine, it’s clear the Coyote platform is a force to be reckoned with when boosted. We just love that Ford made it that much easier for enthusiasts to Boost their Mustang straight from the factory, don’t you?

We've seen what the factory Coyote engines can do, but what about a billet aluminum Coyote engine block?

We’ve seen what the factory Coyote engines can do, but what about a billet aluminum Coyote engine block?