Coyote Engine Bolt-Ons - Fly By Wire
Bolt-ons and a remote tune
From the July, 2012 issue of 5.0 Mustang & Super Fords
By KJ Jones
Photography by KJ Jones
While we know that taking cost out of any high-performance equation is impossible, we ask that you indulge us for a moment and think about how simple it is to make big steam with '11-'13 Mustang GTs. Seriously, with the new Ponies being just-plain badass from the get-go, the simplest route to radically improving rear-wheel power and torque is by spending about seven grand and bolting on any one of the popular supercharger or turbocharger systems that are designed for Coyote-powered 'Stangs.
We admit that at this point in the Coyote game, power adders are tough to beat. On the other hand, chasing performance the natural way is one aspect of 'Stangbanging that we really dig.
Don't get us wrong--coaxing wicked, all-motor performance from a 'Stang's Coyote powerplant certainly can be an expensive proposition in its own right, as custom camshafts, ported cylinder heads, and higher-compression short-blocks all carry handsome price tags. You can bet we'll eventually venture down the natural path to big 5.0 power. However, with affordable performance having the most appeal these days, our attention is focused on pulling the best out of the new 5.0 engines with naturally aspirated parts. And when it comes to making any internal-combustion powerplant perform better, enhancing/improving airflow is step one in the formula for achieving a positive change.
As seriously heavy breathers, the new 5.0 engines really thrive under the influence of a large volume and smooth flow of intake air, as well as improved exhaust flow. Based on data culled in past reports, it can be said Coyotes actually do well with the factory hardware (airbox, throttle body/intake manifold and exhaust manifolds). However, there also are some restricitons in the OEM components, and that's where the aftermarket pieces come into play.
With this effort, we're once again looking at an affordable group of bolt-on pieces that are designed to improve Coyote horsepower (at the feet, of course). This package includes a cold-air-induction system (PN 1768; 329.99) and all-new 85mm throttle body (PN 1821; $469.00) from BBK Performance, and a slick new after-cat exhaust kit from Flowmaster (PN 819112; $954.03).
Working with Ricardo Topete at GTR High Performance in Rancho Cucamonga, California, is becoming a routine practice for projects like this. Not only are Ricardo and his team well-versed in Ponies of all ages, they also are skilled installers. Ricardo's close association (for SCT calibrating) with Chris Jones of Blow-By Racing in Boca Raton, Florida, also brings a cool aspect to such efforts, as they become coast-to-coast endeavors in our pursuit of learning new things about Mustang performance.
Horse Sense: The hits just keep on coming with this new 5.0 Mustang, don't they? We're definitely big fans of the new Pony, but our passion for its forefathers will always be strong. For the 2012 version of our annual special issue, we're once again spotlighting the latest 'Stangs. However, if you also dig the cars that kicked off the S197 movement, be sure to catch 2005-2013 Mustang Performance on newsstands. It's goes on sale June 19, 2012, and like the other special reports we've published, it's definitely a must-have for your Mustang-mag collection.
While it's actually pretty...
While it's actually pretty cool to have so many bone-stock 5.0s around for product tests, we have to think forward to the future, when upgrades like those being presented here will make virgins Coyotes like this one rare.
Our bolt-on experience starts...
Our bolt-on experience starts with this cold-air-induction system from BBK Performance (PN 1768; 329.99). BBK's CAI is designed for use on both the '11-'12 GT and Boss 302 'Stangs without any modifications, and more importantly, without requiring any PCM tuning, as it's built to OEM mass air housing specs. Systems such as this are always intriguing, as the majority of aftermarket 5.0 CAIs require calibration to optimize the engine's air/fuel mixture.
Ricardo disassembles the OEM...
Ricardo disassembles the OEM airbox. Fasteners and the Induction Sound Tube from the stocker are retained.
The stock blade-style mass-air...
The stock blade-style mass-air sensor is transferred into the new CAI tube, which features a perfect-fit provision for the sensor.
This image shows you the difference...
This image shows you the difference in airflow that each inlet tube provides. The factory tube's curved design is much less efficient than BBK's straight, smooth aluminum piece. As a standalone upgrade or with additional mods, installing a CAI system is always one of the best first-moves to make with a bone-stock Pony.
Cold-air installation is straightforward...
Cold-air installation is straightforward and does not require any fancy fab work or pieces that are not provided by BBK. The system is clean and can be bolted into a stock '11-'13 Pony in less than a half hour.
A provision for reattaching...
A provision for reattaching the stock Induction Sound Tube is included in the cold-air inlet, but positioned down-low/out of sight, which brings a Coyote's throaty roar inboard and keeps the installed CAI looking sano.
After CAI installation and...
After CAI installation and a spin on the dyno to learn the system's effect on Phil's stocker, bolting on this new 85mm throttle body from BBK (PN 1821; $469) is the next task. This body is the latest in BBK's Power Plus Series and fits '11-'13 Mustang GTs, Boss 302s, and even Ponies fitted with 3.7 V-6 engines.
This image accentuates the...
This image accentuates the difference between BBK's big body (left) and the OEM 80mm unit. BBK CNC cuts its piece from 356 aluminum and loads it with OEM-style features such as double-sealed bearings, an O-ringed throttle shaft, and injection-molded plastic gear assemblies. BBK's unit is a direct plug-and-play upgrade that doesn't require wiring mods or adapters of any sort.
Here's a look at Flowmaster's...
Here's a look at Flowmaster's complete and all-new '11-'13 5.0 Mustang after-cat exhaust system (PN 819112; $954.03). This setup is comprised of mandrel-bent, 409 stainless-steel tubes and all of the necessary hardware.
It still intrigues us that...
It still intrigues us that the '11-'13 Mustang GT exhaust is so involved, with various steps (down and up) in its diameter. For the uninitiated, this is one side of the OEM H-pipe, which is reduced to 2.25-inch diameter on both sides, before returning to its largest size (3 inches).
While the factory's already-restrictive...
While the factory's already-restrictive resonators (left) include crushed sections that further limit exhaust flow (the inside diameter of these pieces is approximately 2 inches), Flowmaster's after-cat pipe is 3 inches through and through.
Of course, the chassis dyno is always the final proving ground for the performance evaluations we bring you. Philip Zotti's spankin'-new '12 GT (5.0/six-speed manual) is our lab subject this month, and the bone-stock Pony actually did well in its initial run on the rollers. (The 'Stang's 382 rwhp is among the highest rear-wheel baseline marks we've seen in similar Coyote-based tests performed on GTR High Performance's Dynojet.)
As we expected, we saw modest gains with each individual piece. However, as a whole--and with a custom 91-octane PCM calibration from Chris Jones of Blow-By Racing--our selected components really shine on Phil's stock Pony, surging it into the all-hallowed 400hp zone without a whiff of artificial air.
Flowmaster's mandrel-bent system is a completely bolt-on deal. Ricardo installs the after-cat tubing using basic tools, as there's no cutting or welding required.
American Thunder Series mufflers...
American Thunder Series mufflers round out the exhaust side of our package. While bolting the cans on a new GT is easily handled on the solo, Ricardo and GTR's Eddie Zapata work as a team to ensure the position and alignment of each muffler is spot on.
Tuning isn't anything new,...
Tuning isn't anything new, but we have to say we've enjoyed being a part of the remote Internet connection between GTR High Performance and Blow-By Racing. Via email, Blow-By's Chris Jones sends custom PCM calibrations (built around Chris' deep library of pump-gas and race-fuel tunes for various engine/power adder packages) to Ricardo, which are then transferred into our project 'Stang via an SCT XCal 3 programmer. For similarly equipped GTs like Phil's, Chris basically makes small changes in base fuel and timing tables, as well as doing away with the factory's conservative rev limit (6,300 rpm).
Tuning isn't anything new,...
Tuning isn't anything new, but we have to say we've enjoyed being a part of the remote Internet connection between GTR High Performance and Blow-By Racing. Via email, Blow-By's Chris Jones sends custom PCM calibrations (built around Chris' deep library of pump-gas and race-fuel tunes for various engine/power adder packages) to Ricardo, which are then transferred into our project 'Stang via an SCT XCal 3 programmer.
For similarly equipped GTs...
For similarly equipped GTs like Phil's, Chris basically makes small changes in base fuel and timing tables, as well as doing away with the factory's conservative rev limit (6,300 rpm).