2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0 Coyote Engine
For The First Time Ever, The Mustang Gets Its Own V-8-And We Get The Inside Story On Its Birth
So, while 90 percent of Ford engines will boast boost by 2013, having the Mustang GT engine make power the conventional way costs less and better fits its market. Furthermore, as we'll see later, the Coyote team found ways of gaining much of the EcoBoost fuel economy and efficiency gains with zero extra cost. We think a crisp, naturally aspirated revver like the Coyote was definitely the right call for the Mustang, and think it will remain a fresh alternative in an increasingly turbo world.
Speed was also a hallmark of Coyote development. By the time Coyote had been approved there were only two years in which to design and build it-a full year less than normal. And a looming deadline can focus your thinking.
Gary Liimatta noted, "For this engine the decisions were made very quickly ... We had a very strong technical team, a small team with strong leadership. I just wanted to emphasize that all of the decisions in this program were made quickly because we had a philosophy of, 'We have to hit 400 horse' ... that aligned all of our activity. Everything that supported 400 horse went in, and ... if it didn't support the goal it didn't make the cut. And so we were very quick and nimble."
Even so, the hands-on work can only be hurried so much. The rest came out of the engineers' hides. Months of overtime and weekends went into make this engine happen in a hurry. So if you ever meet a Coyote engineer, be sure to say thanks.
Regardless of budget or time constraints, to reach their goals the Coyote team knew they would need every wrench in the toolbox. Gary described the teams strategy: "The power targets we had for the engine weren't going to be achieved by not trying to cover just about everything we could cover to make horsepower. So we looked at every single element. We canvassed our colleagues on what they had done, did benchmarking of our competitors, looked at SAE papers, partnered with some of the guys that are running NASCAR teams. 'How do you make horsepower?' 'What are some of the areas you look for over and above the usual cams and valves and all that sort of thing?"
Because of the rapid time line-two years is smoking the tires on the design, and validation and tooling of a new engine-the Coyote team pioneered a consolidated design and testing procedure. Traditionally engine development is a linear, three-year process. The new engine is designed, computer modeled, built as a prototype and dyno tested. Then revised engines are built, put in vehicles and tested, and then the engine is refined yet again, calibrated and finally makes production.
For Coyote there wasn't enough time to neatly lay out all the steps end-to-end. Luckily, computer modeling and rapid prototyping capabilities have grown so powerful that software can stand-in better for iron and aluminum than even two years ago. Therefore the initial design and computer modeling were telescoped on top of each other. Simultaneously, surrogate engines were built to test specific aspects of the new 5.0. Surrogate engines are running engines built from almost anything handy that sort of represent the final engine, but designed to test just one narrow aspect of the final engine. Real Frankenstein's monsters, surrogate engines did not represent the new engine in detail and had no future other than as development hacks.
EPD Supervisor Jeff Kolodziejczyk was the man with his hands on the surrogate engines. A snowmobile racer and two-stroke tuning specialist after hours, Jeff put his wrenching experience to use cobbling together and dynoing Four-Valve V-8s, mainly from GT500 parts.
"The surrogate level was my favorite level of the program," he explained. "I say that because we're basically all enthusiasts, we [the Coyote team] all have race backgrounds of one form or another and this was like, 'go ahead and do what you'd like to do at home. Look at aftermarket parts, use what parts you have, put it together as quickly as possible, demonstrate you can meet the functional objectives.'
Jeff had "some old spray-bore blocks laying around" at Ford and combined them with production GT500 heads. From the FRPP catalog, he selected the aggressive 4V High Lift Camshaft Kit and initially set the compression ratio at a low 9.66:1 "and walked it up from there." A deep-sump oil pan was built and it was off to the dyno.