Project Coyote Cobra Dyno Test - Snake, Battle,& Roll
Fighting off the bugs and rocking the rollers with our 5.0 SN-95
From the February, 2012 issue of 5.0 Mustang & Super Fords
By Michael Johnson
Photography by Michael Johnson
One aspect of this swap we...
One aspect of this swap we haven't covered up to this point is the gas pedal mounting. Since the '11 GT uses drive-by-wire, it doesn't use a conventional throttle cable--it uses a harness. Therefore, when you get the Control Pack from Ford Racing, this pedal comes with it and you have to come up with a way of mounting it accordingly. This was one operation Jake put off while working on other aspects of the swap, but the problem of how to mount it never left his thoughts. We had to go about mounting it in a way so it would function, but also look like it was supposed to be there.
When we last checked in on the Coyote Cobra saga, we showed you how the car started moving under its own power. As with every engine swap, there are always bugs to work out. Even though the Coyote Cobra was up and running, we were still a ways off from going full throttle. Since we were in unchartered waters, we were learning everything as we went.
Everyone who saw the engine in the car thought it must've been a tough swap. However, the Maximum Motorsports K-member made engine installation a breeze, and the BBK swap headers pretty much fell on the car. With the proper transmission crossmember from Kurgan Motorsports, the AMP Performance T56 Magnum conversion kit, including aluminum driveshaft, installed with zero drama.
Getting the actual engine and transmission in the car was easy; it was all the little stuff that threw us for a loop. That was when the real work, fabrication, and frustration set in. As we pointed out in the first installment, there were little victories each day after Lamotta Performance's Jake Lamotta set the drivetrain in place. Between the cooling system, oil-filter-relocation kit, power steering, power brakes, computer programming, and electrical gremlins, this swap was an adventure.
Once the car was running, we ran into an issue when the engine wouldn't accelerate the car. Jake and I traced everything we knew to check. We checked the oxygen sensors and the wiring to make sure they were getting power. SCT's Chris Johnson looked at everything, but he too came up empty. We even tried a spare Control Pack PCM from one of Jake's customer cars, but no change. We returned the PCM to Ford Racing, who found the software glitch and fixed it. Problem solved.
With that hurdle out of the way, we could set about getting the combination tuned on the Lamotta Performance Dynojet. We made an appointment to come back when Chris Johnson could tune the car. The tune was already pretty close, but Chris still had room to work with, and he made the necessary adjustments to get the Coyote Cobra running to its potential.
However, the car still had a problem shutting off when coming to a stop. After driving the car for a bit, when I would push in the clutch pedal or push the shifter into neutral, the engine would shut off. We thought Chris had the problem licked after our initial dyno testing, but I drove a couple miles away from Lamotta Performance,and it shut off on me. Back to square one with that problem, at least until Chris was at our Tampa office, where he tried a different route to help solve the problem. It's still rears its head occasionally.
We've had several roadblocks along the way with the car. We had an alternator power wire came loose from its connection. We fixed that only for S&R Performance to relocate the alternator to the other side of the engine, for which a new cable was made. We broke a clutch cable, which was a factory Ford unit. Pedal effort started to greatly increase, then I noticed the Magnum was harder to shift. One morning I adjusted the cable and took the car for a ride around the block. Shifting was much easier, as was pedal effort. Then pedal effort became way too easy when the cable snapped halfway around the block. Luckily I was able to coast right back into the driveway.
Driving a 17-year-old car every day is adventure enough, but when you throw in a new drivetrain and engine management system, there are bound to be hurdles. I've been called something close to daring for doing this swap to my daily driver, but why not do this swap to a daily driver? It makes sense.
Did I mention the Coyote Cobra is a royal blast to drive? In case you missed it, the car is so much fun to drive now it's unbelievable. It's fast, it's well-mannered, gets really good fuel mileage, and no one ever thinks it's supposed to be as fast as it is, which is probably the best aspect of the car. If you've ever wanted to do an engine swap, this is the one.
Horse Sense: Not only did I gain more power from adding the '11 GT crate engine, I also gained fuel economy. With the car's 3.73 gears and the Tremec T56 Magnum tranny's double-overdrive 0.50:1 Sixth gear, the car is capable of returning mid-20 mpg on the highway. That is, of course, provided I can keep my foot out of it, which has proven difficult.
Jake came up with having two...
Jake came up with having two brackets for the gas pedal--one for the pedal and one that bolted to the floor. Here you can see the bracket for the pedal. Jake ended up welding the two brackets together, attaching them to the floor, and then attaching the pedal to the upper bracket.
Before mounting the gas pedal,...
Before mounting the gas pedal, Jake decided to shorten the actual pedal and attach our existing Cobra pedal cover. I purchased the car with the pedal covers already on the car, and the '11 pedal would've looked out of place without the cover on it. Plus, with the cover on it, you wouldn't know Jake cut the factory pedal at all.
Here are the two brackets...
Here are the two brackets welded together with the lower bracket attached to the floor. Jake will use the upper bracket with the three bolts for the pedal assembly. Jake welded the bolts to the underside of the upper bracket and used corresponding nuts to attach the pedal assembly to the upper bracket.
Here's the finished pedal...
Here's the finished pedal installation. Jake really put a lot of effort into getting the correct pedal angle so there wouldn't be any interference between the pedal and the carpet/floorboard. It was a fine line between getting it right and totally fumbling the whole setup. Jake nailed it. I can tell a difference between the factory Cobra pedal and the Control Pack pedal, but if I were to ever let someone else drive my car, they would be none the wiser.
Revisiting the Control Pack...
Revisiting the Control Pack PCM location, here's a better shot of its location. Since the factory '11 Mustang GT's PCM is located at the front passenger side of the engine compartment, that's where the engine harness ends up at as part of the crate engine. Naturally, it made more sense to find a similar location for the Control Pack PCM. That's why Jake chose the inner fender/framerail area. Since the upper radiator hose and air intake are on this side of the engine compartment, space is at a premium, and with an 18x9 wheel and tire in the wheelwell and the cold air intake ending up in the inner fenderwell, this side of the engine compartment/inner fenderwell is crowded.
When S&R Performance in Tampa,...
When S&R Performance in Tampa, Florida, performed a Coyote swap in a '01 Bullitt, the shop located the Control Pack PCM in this manner. S&R routed the cold air intake towards the battery and then straight down behind the radiator, which meant it had room to locate the PCM accordingly.
If you don't have some already,...
If you don't have some already, you may want to buy stock in an oil company--you're going to be supporting a large part of their annual sales. We filled the engine with Quaker State 5W20 oil. The Coyote takes eight quarts of oil, so budget accordingly, and don't come up short. You won't want to burn up your new Coyote because you didn't put enough oil in it.
To make sure we would have...
To make sure we would have some resemblance of rear grip, we contacted American Muscle for new Sumitomo treads. With the 18x10 GT4 wheels out back, we went with 285/35 Sumitomo HTR Z IIIs. The Sumitomos do the best they can at maintaining grip, but even with these new treads, the Coyote still breaks them loose even from a roll when I punch the throttle in Second gear. It's 100-percent fun. However, one thing I really like about the Sumitomo HTR Z IIIs is their durability. These tires last quite a while, and that's even on a daily driven car like the Coyote Cobra.
See the '11 GT compressor...
See the '11 GT compressor way down there? Getting the A/C fully-operational has been a task in and of itself. We're currently working with a Tampa-area A/C shop to help us solve this problem. It looks like we'll have to get fittings for the '11 compressor and either have custom lines made, or get '96-'98 Cobra A/C lines and have the fittings mated to them, in order for it to work. We're still working on that aspect of the build and once we do, you'll read about it here.
Once we sorted out the PCM issue, we were able to dyno the car at Lamotta Performance on its in-house Dynojet. SCT's Chris Johnson tuned the car for us, making subtle changes to get us to 400 hp at the rear wheels. Some may have thought it should make more since '11 GTs are making upwards of that number.
However, remember the Coyote Cobra has a power steering pump on the car, whereas the '11s have electric power steering. Plus, the Coyote Cobra has a 2-1/2-inch exhaust, and Jake Lamotta had to make concessions with the car's X-shape crossover in order for it to work. We'd like to try a more optimum X-shape crossover pipe and see what we can do about an after-cat exhaust. Until then, I am more than happy with the 400hp at the rear wheels.
Unfortunately, at the time of the car's build, it was summer in Florida, which means getting to the track when it's not raining is a challenge. We made attempts, but the weather and or track closings kept us from getting real numbers for this issue. We will get the car to the track and report the numbers as soon as we get them.
All I know is I kept up with an '11 Shelby GT500, and have dusted many a car that would have shown the pushrod 5.0 its taillights. That is because, as you can see, the Coyote Cobra roughly makes almost 150 more horsepower now than it did with the push-rod combination under the hood. Plus, it now has a 7,000-rpm redline, not 5,300. Can you say fun? I knew you could. Plus, the look on people's faces when they see what's under the hood is priceless.
|Pushrod 5.0||Coyote 5.0||Difference|