It’s been about 3 to 4 months since I decided to embark upon the mission, and lemme tell ya, it’s not cheap. Hopefully, it will be worth it in the end.
First, there’s the car. In July of 2000 I purchased a rather rare (albeit, mundane), Spring Feature Mustang GT. This car has been through a lot. At over 170 thousand miles, countless customizations, many road trips and mostly good times, it’s not a car I’m willing to part with anytime soon.
Over the years I’ve explored a few options toward the goal of making it faster — but mostly, just safer. As each new Mustang model year rolled by, I witnessed more power to the GTs — and then in 2011, something amazing happened. Ford went all-out. Dual overhead cams, variable valve timing — piston oil squirters! The Coyote emerged as a world-class engine.
An engine that would bolt right into my car (well, more on that later) and exceed the horsepower rating of the 2003-2004 Terminator Cobras, all the while more efficient and lighter than said legendary motors.
And so I began exploring what this “swap” would take — at first with enthusiasm. Each revelation was a downer. The 1999-2004 Mustangs contain quite a few “hidden” compromises, it seems. Each of the items I uncovered made me realize that this is no ordinary swap — it’s quite involved, for that matter. What I really realized though, was that each of the items required to swap to the Coyote was something that would be a definite step in the right direction for my aging 2000 GT.
The fuel system, the front suspension and k-member, the gauges and the exhaust would all be problematic. While Ford had made the Coyote within the space and form-factor boundaries, the SN95 Mustangs have some serious limitations that would have to be addressed in order to do the swap properly.
I realized after doing quite a lot of research and reading about other people’s endeavors (nightmares for some), that I was in for a real ride attempting this swap. It hasn’t been done for a lot of 99-04 GTs, for that matter. I’m certain that some of the reasons for this have to do with cost — for quite a lot less money you can buy a blower kit or a nitrous bottle and get some serious boost. You get that boost at the cost of efficiency and you don’t get a warranty — and you don’t really improve the overall solution of what the car could be (my opinions here — worth exactly what it’s costing you to read this page).
Either there were not that many people talking, or there were not a lot of people doing the swap — in any case, it’s fairly fresh ground as of the writing of this post. I also realized that I was uniquely in a space to try it myself. Little known fact here: although my job entails enterprise-class deployments of software and a specialization with free software (Linux in particular) — I happen to possess a degree in mechanical engineering. And I have friends — one in particular, a certified Ford mechanic with a similar enthusiasm for SN95 Mustangs.
I wanted to do this swap for a host of reasons:
- I would learn a lot about my car.
- Due to the above, I be in a better space to modify it further later in the life of the vehicle.
- Efficiency: The new motor appears to be 20-30% more efficient than the old one.
- Horsepower: It’s way more powerful than the engine that came in the car, stock.
- Balance: Taking weight off the front of the car will potentially vastly improve the weight distribution of the car.
- Warranty: I get a two-year, 24k mile limited warranty on a car that effectively has none at the moment.
- Opportunity: I get a chance to improve the little things about the car that have aged due to the advancement of automotive tech in general over the years.
For all of the above reasons, I’m setting forth here. All of the experiences will be documented and compiled into a book form for those of you that want to attempt something similar.
This will be the location where you can come and read about what is going on next — coyotify.com is meant to be a community site. Those of you that want to post experiences and talk about what’s going on are very welcome.
My next blog post will talk about site policy and intentions further than this short teaser — for now, know that I’m on a journey, and you’re all welcome to come along for the ride.
Brace yourself, there’s some choppy pavement ahead…