Dennis and I began the process of installing a Coyote 5.0 liter engine in his 1990 T-Bird in Late December of 2019. His T-Bird, just like mine utilized a 351 Cleveland engine for many years. I converted my 1996 T-Bird to Coyote power in 2012. Since both of these cars were built by Dennis and myself back in the mid 1990s, they were both very similar. We decided it was easier to just remove and duplicate all of the "Coyote" unique parts from my T-Bird. This included the 2 piece motor plates, the step headers, the mid plate, modifications to the transmission crossmember, electric water pump drive bracket and alternator bracket. We were off to a good start, but the pandemic slowed us down since I had to work on the T-Bird by myself for about six weeks. In the mean time Jimmy Ronzello (JRP) was assembling the race engine for the T-Bird and Joel (Joel's on Joy) was building the C4 transmission. The engine and tansmission were dropped off at my shop at the end of April. I installed the engine and transmission, but I still need to make up the EFI wiring harness and re-wire the T-Bird. We finally finished up the in late May and were able to go out and test on May 30th. We had drive by wire issues that kept disabling the throttle. We were only able to get one run parial run under full throttle. We changed out the drive by wire pedal and the drive by wire throttle body and went to test again on June 7th. We made several full throttle runs and then decided to swap one of the two components in question back. We chose to swap back the throttle body since it was a lot easier to change then crawling up under the dash and changing the throttle pedal. We went to make another test run and again after we did the burnoout the throttle went into limp mode. This time we did not shut off the main power and I was able to connect my code reader and determine that ECU was throwing a code that said the throttle blade was sticking. I then realized that we were probably getting too much heat in the throttle body since we had an aluminum aftermarket intake manifold on the engine. In fact I realize that I had to use gloves to handle the hot throttle body when changing it earlier. That was it for the day so we did not make any more runs. For our next test session Dennis fabricated a nylon plastic spacer to go between the aluminum intake and throttle body. Dennis also fabricated an adapter so we could use the 80 mm throttle body on a Coyote Voodoo intake manifold. This is the intake that comes on a Shelby GT-350 5.2 engine. It uses a 90 mm throttle body, therefore the need for an adapter. At our next test session in August we found that the Voodoo intake was faster that the fabricated aluminum intake manifold that we started out with. I had also used that aluminum intake on my 96 Mustang GT/G car and had never had a chance to try anything else, but was always skeptical about it. Our last test session for 2020 was in October and we went 10.92 at 125 miles per hour. For 2021 we will change to radial tires and optimize the rear gear ratio for the rollout. The engine in this car is very basic. It has stock camshafts and VCTs. It uses an OEM ECU and I use SCT software to modify the calibration. Dennis will start off by racing this car in 2021 at NMCA events and Great Lakes Stock Super Stock events. Over time we will work with this engine as is and focus on tuning. Eventually we will get a Holley ECU, lockout the VCTs and replace the stock camshafts with aftermarket camshafts.
|My T-Bird along with Dennis's T-Bird in my shop.||Coyote 5.0 Liter moch up engine ready to drop in car.||Coyote 5.0 Liter engine located in car with 2 piece motor plates.|
|Charlie Downing dropped by to check out the new project.||Header tubes 1 thru 3 are newly copied/fabricated. Header tube 4 is from my T-Bird.||New header tube 4 moched up ready to weld.|
|Header tubes 5 thru 8 fabricated.||C4 moch up transmission in car.||Mid plate bracket fabrication.|
|Driver side mid plate bracket moch up.||Passenger side mid plate bracket moch up.||Block plate modified with extendd ears to bolt up to mid plate brackets welded in car.|
|Oil filter would not work with the Mustang oil filter adapter. We used a truck adapter without the oil cooler. We still had to notch the crossmember.||Aeromotive EFI return style regulator.||AN 8 fuel line for EFI return line.|
|Race engine was built by Jimmy Ronzello. This engine still uses OEM camshafts and variable camshaft timing. This was very much a budget build and uses most OEM parts.||Race eigine being lowered into the T-Bird.||Engine bolted in and driver side header installed.|
|C4 race transmission built by Joel's on Joy. Features a 7 inch convertor, reverse pattern valve body and an electic clean neutral.||I constructed a receiver box and fastened it to the top of my transmission jack to keep the C4 transmission from sliding off the transmission jack.||C4 race transmission installed in the T-Bird.|
|Intake tube wih air meter and mass air flow sensor are necessary since the OEM ECU use mass airflow strategy.||Original 2012 Mustang OEM body harness with PDB (power distribution box).||In the process of removing unnecessary wiring from the body harness.|
|OEM body harness transformed into an EFI harness to be installed in the T-Bird.||Near completed harness ready to install in car and connect to switch box, tach, two step and ODB connector.||Lower housing of PDB was fastened to T-Bird inner fender panel.|
|This OEM Mustang Dash cluster will be connected via a jumper harness to the ODB connector to read out the two step setting and adjust it.||Built a second two step setter box for Dennis's T-Bird. This box interfaces into the ECU to adjust the two step setting much like the original Cobra Jets used the steering wheel speed control buttons to adjust the two step.||OEM Coperhead ECU processor. I will be using SCT software to modify fuel curve, timing, etc.|
|Intake and throttle body now installed on engine.||Alternator tensioner bolted on to motor plate. The altenator would not clear the k-member when installed in the original position on the engine.||Alternator and serpintine belt installed. Yes, the alternator can spin backwards and still work.|
|Moch up of radiator hoses.||Bracket to mount electric motor to drive water pump.||An aluminum coupler was fabricated to provide a temperature sensor port.|
|Engine installation completed.||Waiting to make a test run at Milan Dragway.||Staging at US 131.|
|Dennis machined up a plastic throttle body spacer to isolate the heat throttle body from the hot aluminum intake manifold.||Dennis also made an adapter to put an 80 mm throttle body on the Voodoo intake. This intake ended up working better than the aftermarket aluminum intake.|
In car video from US 131 Motorsports Park on October 17, 2020.