Coyote 5.0 Bolt-Ons - Air Alliance
Coyotes Breathe Better with Intake and Exhaust Upgrades from Ford Racing and BBK
From the February, 2012 issue of 5.0 Mustang & Super Fords
By KJ Jones
Photography by KJ Jones
When installed as part of...
When installed as part of an induction package or as a finishing touch for Coyotes that already have the intake and air tube, FRPP's blingin' and big (90mm) Boss 302 throttle body enhances a stock 302's rev window.
Sometimes in our quest for discovering new and better ways of improving Mustangs, we occasionally find ourselves right back at square one, testing pieces that we've evaluated in previous tech efforts. While revisiting certain parts may give the impression we're partial to those components for one reason or another, that notion couldn't be further from the truth. As we've explained in many tech reports that focus on improving a Pony's engine performance, the best results are usually gleaned when upgrades are made as a wholesale package instead of individually.
Improving airflow's volume and efficiency has been the best way to increase both horsepower and torque for Mustang engines for the nearly 47 years that Ford's Ponies have been pounding the pavement. As we've seen in other tests we've done with '11-'12 GTs, intake and exhaust upgrades definitely are the hot ticket for making such improvements on the new cars' high-revving 5.0 engines.
For this tech effort, we're grouping JLT's painted cold-air-intake system (PN CAI-FMG11-P; $349) and free-flowing mufflers, which our test Mustang had already been fitted with prior to this project; Ford Racing Performance Parts' wildly popular Boss 302 intake manifold (PN M-9424-M50BR; $424.95); BBK's long-tube headers/X-shaped crossover package (PN 16330; $669.99 and 1655; $249.99); and FRPP's latest offering for improved intake air, a super-sexy, 90mm throttle body (PN M-9926-M5090; $629.95).
Yes, save for the new throttle body, the lion's share of these bolt-ons have already been evaluated and detailed in past issues of 5.0 Mustang & Super Fords. However, since we haven't yet grouped these particular pieces as an ensemble, we connected with Muscle Motors of Chatsworth, California, to learn what this intake-and-exit air system's positives--and negatives--might be.
Muscle Motors acquired a brand-new '12 Mustang GT (with the six-speed automatic) in the fall of 2011, strictly for the purpose of experimenting with various naturally aspirated performance parts for the GT's stock 5.0. Of course, adding a CAI and after-cat setup is the unanimous starting point for such efforts. As the project moved onto the next logical leg (installing the Boss 302 intake and long tubes), we stopped by the shop and grabbed the following photos of technician Eddie Rios as he added the new pieces and tested their mettle on the shop's Dynojet chassis dyno.
Horse Sense: In a phone conversation with Editor Turner discussing results of this project, Steve mentioned the fact that Evolution Performance's results were a few ponies higher than the 395 that we ultimately made. Before you read further, it's important that you understand this new research was done with standard West Coast 91-octane fuel in the Mustang's tank. We considered upgrading to Rockett Brand's 100 octane, but decided against making the change as the tester is driven daily on pump gas. We should also point out the significant altitude difference between Evo's dyno Aston, Pennsylvania, locale and Muscle Motors' location in Chatsworth, California.
On The Dyno
This ledger of our dyno runs...
This ledger of our dyno runs depicts the performance of each bolt-on installed during our test session at Muscle Motors. It's important to note that the baseline data for this project represents power and torque produced with a JLT cold-air system, after-cat exhaust, and Eddie Rios custom tune already on the Mustang.
Where would we be without dyno testing? Without question, running a freshly modded Mustang on the rollers of a chassis dyno is the best way to see the pros and cons of various parts combinations, and we found some of each in the package we evaluated in this test.
Our test vehicle, Muscle Motors' '12 Mustang GT, came to us with only a JLT CAI, 3-inch after-cat exhaust pieces, and Eddie Rios tune in place. From a bone-stock baseline of 340.90 hp and 335.33 lb-ft of torque, these upgrades presented us with a starting point of 371.89 hp and 356.87 lb-ft of torque at the feet. Having previously performed this research, we knew going in that overall power gain would be minimal by simply adding the intake. The dyno confirmed this, and also our thought that torque would tumble quite a bit, too.
Taking the test 'Stang's automatic transmission into account, we believe the main reason for the skewed statistics (minimal gain/decreased torque shown in FRPP1 data) after this mod is the intake's shorter runner length--a design that definitely promotes freer airflow, but clearly doesn't manifest itself until rpm starts heading well beyond the normal range for most street use. It keeps going until it maxes out around 7,500. (Seriously, only the most maniacal 'Stangbangers on the planet are blasting through the streets at seven grand on a regular basis.)
Despite the beauty of Ford Racing's new 90mm throttle body, which wonderfully complements the intake from a visual perspective, the additional 10 mm of diameter only increased our 'Stang's rear-wheel power and torque up by just a little bit (FRPP2 data). While we believe there may have been a little more power and low-end improvement on tap with continued camshaft tuning, the previously installed CAI and custom tuning done during that procedure really are the boons in this setup. Eddie uses SCT's tuning software to calibrate the '11-up Mustang's Copperhead PCM.
Of course, the performance of these parts--especially the intake/throttle-body combo--will take on another dimension (that shows really significant high-end gains) when they're used in conjunction with Boss 302 cylinder heads, and tuning, or as support hardware for a power adder.
As we anticipated, the exhaust side of our experiment (FRPP/BBK) brought a sizeable increase in power at the wheels, and restored quite a bit of the torque that was lost with the increase in intake air.
This experiment further qualifies facts we learned in earlier tests involving intake and exhaust air for Coyote 5.0 engines. For stock engines, adding CAI, exhaust, and tuning is the fast trip to impressive rear-wheel power gains.
While Ford Racing's Boss 302 intake manifold is firmly established as a solid 5.0 eyecandy upgrade that's worth a few horses (at the sake of street-necessary torque), it's mainly a visual pleasure when used as a basic bolt-on. However, with that said, we think both induction pieces are perfect for Coyote setups that will see longterm use in the upper-rpm range (like Roadrunner/Boss 302s), especially in Mustangs used in road-race, drag-race, or standing-mile-type events.
Muscle Motors of Chatsworth,...
Muscle Motors of Chatsworth, California, literally purchased a '12 Mustang GT solely for the purpose of testing new performance parts. Since the shop's initial tests highlight induction and exhaust pieces, we jumped into the mix with our collection of parts just after JLT's CAI.
Eddie Rios is the one-and-only...
Eddie Rios is the one-and-only technician at Muscle Motors, handling all of the bolt-on and dyno tuning duties each day. The intake swap is our first effort in this project. We've covered details of this procedure in past reports. After disconnecting the fuel lines/rails, cold-air tubing, and assorted electrical wiring (throttle body), Eddie zaps 10 fasteners that secure the manifold and lifts it from the engine.
Eddie sets the Boss 302 manifold...
Eddie sets the Boss 302 manifold in the exact same space that the stock intake occupies, and tightens its 10 bolts.
Fuel, electrical, and purge-valve...
Fuel, electrical, and purge-valve reconnections are made (a small aluminum bracket is fabricated for the valve and attached to the engine block, just below the intake), and the OEM throttle body is bolted back on for our intake-only test.
Installing the Boss throttle...
Installing the Boss throttle body requires using a jumper harness (PN M-9926-M50; included w/throttle body) and billet spacer that is specific for Boss 302-intake applications (PN M-9474-M50B; $56.95). The throttle body can be used without the spacer. However, going that route requires port-matching the intake, and making a gasket and/or using high-temp RTV to create a good seal.
Here's a visual example of...
Here's a visual example of the big difference 10 millimeters makes. On the left is Ford Racing Performance Parts' Boss 302 throttle body, which measures 90 mm (diameter), and the Coyote's stock, 80mm 'body.
Eddie Rios worked our project...
Eddie Rios worked our project Mustang extensively on Muscle Motors' Dynojet chassis dyno, trying to pull every bit of power and torque from its moderately modified Coyote 5.0. Eddie uses SCT's Advantage III tuning system for '11-'12 Mustangs' PCM calibrations.
Electrically, the connector...
Electrically, the connector for the stock throttle body's wiring harness is replaced with a new mating connector that comes with the throttle-body jumper harness. Using a small screwdriver (which works fine when a formal pin-extraction tool is not available), Eddie removes wires from the OEM connector and reinstalls them in the new piece, then attaches the new connector to the engine harness. The jumper harness itself is now attached and routed to the throttle position sensor and electronic throttle control motor on the Boss throttle body.
A 3.5- to 4-inch silicone...
A 3.5- to 4-inch silicone coupler is required for linking the throttle body with JLT's CAI tubing. Thanks to Josh Deeds of Deeds Performance (www.deedsperformance.com) for having this piece when we really needed it, along with a 4-inch clamp to keep the hose secure.
No performance gains here....
No performance gains here. We just figure with all of the Boss treatments the engine is getting, adding Ford Racing's blue Boss 302 coil covers (PN M-6P067-M50B; $99.95) is a nice touch to give the project a completed look.
Our lab rat was tested on...
Our lab rat was tested on Muscle Motors' Dynojet chassis dyno. Boss 302 intake-only and intake/throttle-body runs were performed back-to-back, before moving over to the shop's twin-post hoist for the BBK long-tube headers upgrade.
The long-tube header installation...
The long-tube header installation is the hard part of our tech project. Swapping the exhaust manifolds on a Coyote 5.0-powered Mustang GT is no easy task if you're working alone and without the luxury of a twin-post hoist. As we've explained in previous stories that include replacing headers on '11-'12 'Stangs, dropping the K-member is the best way to gain full access to fasteners and create plenty of room for moving exhaust pieces out and in with minimal fight.
Eddie removes the stock Coyote...
Eddie removes the stock Coyote headers. The factory short-tube-style pipes are stainless-steel tubes that are welded together in a Tri-Y design. While they're actually pretty effective on stock 5.0s, we recommend making the change to long-tubes for maximum exhaust efficiency, especially when power adders are being considered as a future upgrade.
With the Mustang raised high...
With the Mustang raised high enough, and the K-member/steering assembly and front sway bar out of the way, BBK's long-tubes can be positioned and cinched down with no problem. Most of the OEM studs are retained. However, there are a few tight areas that require bolts (which are supplied) for securing the headers. The ceramic-coated, mild-steel tubes we're using measure 13/4 inches and feature a 3/8-inch flange. BBK also offers long-tubes in 304 stainless steel, as well as chrome.
There are four oxygen sensors...
There are four oxygen sensors on Coyote-powered Mustangs. When installing long-tubes, wiring harnesses for the sensors technically must be extended by about 12 inches. However, while extensions are supplied, we discovered it's easier (and OK) to simply dislodge the stock harness from its clip on the transmission and attach the factory wiring to the frontmost oxygen sensors. Sensors for the X-shaped crossover tube do need the extensions.
Some may consider using an...
Some may consider using an X-shaped crossover with catalytic converters a sacrilegious act. Despite this sentiment, we still elected to bolt BBK's 3-inch catted X in place on Muscle Motors' Pony for this test. As you see in this comparison, while the new pipe (left) is much shorter, its high-flow converters are right at the flange, similar to their position on the factory H-pipe.
Eddie hangs the BBK X. This...
Eddie hangs the BBK X. This is a direct-fit effort when used with the company's long-tube headers, as the system utilizes ball-and-socket-type flanges. BBK's all-new, post-X exhaust pieces were still in development at the time of our test, so previously installed exhaust hardware is retained.
With all elements in place,...
With all elements in place, our project GT's engine compartment now has a Boss-like look that will definitely score points at a car show.