"I grew up in Detroit, Michigan, and my favorite cars are '68-'71 muscle cars. I had been wanting a muscle car for some time, and after years of owning vans and station wagons, I got permission from the boss," Kirk Johnston explains. "It was my son's idea to buy a Bullitt. It was the plan for me to buy it and sell it to him later. That hasn't worked out yet."
Sound great, however, it wasn't all sunshine for Kirk. After buying his '01 Bullitt from a Mustang collector in Mobile, Alabama, in 2005, Kirk loved the car, but he wanted more performance. He added a supercharger, which amped up the powerband. However, there was a storm on the horizon for his supercharged 4.6 combo.
If rainy days get you down, then Florida is not your spot. There are stretches when we'll get torrential downpours on a daily basis. The results of these rains can often be lake-sized puddles. Turn down an unfamiliar street and you can be met with water deep enough for a boating excursion, and certainly deep enough to hydro-lock your Mustang's engine as the supercharger rams water into the cylinders.
That kind of rainy day will definitely get you down. However, in the case of Kirk Johnston's '01 Bullitt, there was an all-aluminum lining to his hydro-locked 4.6-liter cloud. Kirk was paid up on his insurance premiums, and the resulting check proved enough to support a replacement engine. Not just any replacement engine, but a Ford Racing Performance Parts Coyote crate engine and matching Control Pack brains and wiring.
"Why would I want to put 11-year-old technology in the car?" Kirk mused. "I always liked naturally aspirated cars, going back to when I was a kid. I wanted to have plenty of power naturally aspirated without the supercharger."
Yup, if you're gonna sulk over a ruined engine, there's nothing that can turn a frown upside down like 412 hp and 7,000 rpm worth of 5.0-liter engine. Of course, buying the engine and supporting hardware is one thing. Getting it all into the car is quite another, especially during Kirk's time of need. You see, his car was one of the first cars to undergo such a swap in late 2010. To that end, Kirk turned to S&R Performance in Tampa, Florida, for the swap. "My son, Blaine, knew about S&R, and said 'Dad, you need to go there."
Being a mechanical engineer with a penchant for Mustangs, Blaine knew the shop had a reputation for a multitude of engine swaps across all manner of vehicle platforms. S&R turned its capable staff loose on the project producing the results you see here. However, this was more than just ordering the right swap parts and installing them. Late last year there were no such parts available. But these were minor obstacles for the S&R crew. They simply made their own parts. Fabricator Hendrik Kuyt created a set of custom long-tube headers that joined the Coyote to the extant MAC ProChamber exhaust.
Meanwhile, Brian Humlicek manned the CNC machine at S&R to create the necessary brackets to mount the factory Bullitt accessories to the front of the Coyote.
"We used the '11 GT compressor because the '01 compressor did not line up with the serpentine drive on the crank pulley. With the new compressor installed, I just made custom A/C lines, and we were in business!" S&R's Taylor Durdan explains. "...As far as the power steering and alternator, we developed a bracket system and used our in-house CNC machine to produce it. The Coyote's alternator resides where we needed the P/S pump to go, so we fashioned up a one-piece bracket that bolted to the alternator mounts and then the pump bolted into place. This allowed us to not only retain power steering, but in the case of Hydroboost-equipped Mustangs, we kept power-assist brakes."
Of course, to get that far required a bit more custom work, as S&R revamped the stock oil pan to clear the UPR K-member and stock power steering rack. "I ended up cutting off this front 'sump' area of the 5.0 pan, but left the entire mounting flange intact. I then removed the front half of the 4.6 pan but kept its flange attached. Using the mounting hole of bolt flanges as a guide, I carefully mated the two halves," Taylor explains.
"This left me with the deep rear sump of the Coyote pan, but with the clearance of the 4.6 pan I needed in order to fit the motor around the subframe and steering rack. I supplied the dimensions and pictures to Moroso, and the company now offers a 'swap' pan for this motor."
With the physical challenges of the swap overcome, the trick was to mate the Control Pack with the factory wiring harness. "I found myself removing the factory harness that ran from the stock ECU through the fender, and up to the engine harness connector. I removed all unneeded wiring and retained any other necessities.
"The problem with interfacing the '01 Bullitt with the '11 Coyote is the gauge cluster. Ford Racing makes its Control Pack extremely easy to wire in ... I could have just run that and left all other OEM wiring intact, but to me, that would have been subpar work. I wanted an OEM-style connection, so the sensors and ECU wouldn't communicate with the Bullitt cluster. I ended up using an earlier model '95 GT cluster, since it's straight analog."
One final hurdle was fitting the Bullitt with a return-style fuel system, as required by the Control Pack. "Aeromotive was extremely helpful in that they have -AN fittings that work on the OEM quick disconnect lines," Taylor explains. "I was able to retain the large factory fuel rails, yet still have custom lines that, paired with an Aeromotive regulator, made fueling easy. You will however, have to install a fuel return line and modify the fuel pump 'hat' with a fitting in order to do so..."
In practice, Kirk Johnston's Coyote Bullitt has appropriately moved to a higher caliber. It still runs and functions like a stocker, but it revs and pulls like a freight train. Where the stock '01 Bullitt was one of our favorite New Edge cars from a handling perspective, it was cursed with only 5 more ponies than its GT siblings. But with a Coyote 5.0 on board, Kirk's Bullitt laid down 400 hp at the wheels an S&R's in-house Dyno-Mite chassis dyno.
"It was cool looking," Kirk said of the Coyote. "Until it was tuned, it didn't show me what it could do. Now it has power from the get-go in every gear."
5.0 Tech Specs
Engine and Drivetrain
Low-pressure cast 319 aluminum; pressed-in, thin-wall iron liners
Forged steel, fully counterweighted and induction-hardened
Powered metal forging, I-beam, no balance pad
Hypereutectic, short-skirt, flat-top w/four equal valve reliefs; moly friction-reducing coating; oil-jet cooled
DOHC, four camshafts, independently adjustable timing
Aluminum, four valves per cylinder
Constant cross section, long-runner single-plane (single-scroll); molded composite w/upper section colored; front throttle body mount
Aeromotive fuel pump and regulator w/factory fuel rails
Custom S&R Performance long-tube headers w/MAC Power Chamber exhaust
Tremec T-3650 w/stock Bullitt 11-inch clutch and a short-throw shifter
8.8-in w/3.27 gears
Copperhead PCM w/S&R Performance custom tune
'95 Mustang cluster w/stock Bullitt gauge face
Suspension and Chassis
K-member UPR Products
A-arms UPR Products
Struts UPR Products coilover
Springs UPR Products coilover
Brakes Custom-painted, dual-piston, aluminum calipers w/330mm vented rotors
Wheels Stock 17x9-in Bullitt
Tires Fuzion 245/45-17
Shocks Stock Bullitt
Springs Stock Bullitt
Control Arms Stock
Brakes Single-piston calipers w/296mm vented rotors
Wheels Stock 17x9-in Bullitt
Tires Fuzion 245/45-17
Kirk told us the 4.6 is OK, but it’s just not the same. “It’s only a little bigger, but it
Kirk’s brakes are still largely stock, but they do sport drilled and slotted rotors.
Like the exterior of Kirk’s car, the interior is just about like Ford built it. Keen eyes
Here is the Coyote 5.0 looking right at home between the shock towers of Kirk’s ’01 Bullit
While the swap looks great from up top, here is where all the real work took place. You ca