The 5.0 Coyote Engine Manual. Since its debut in 2011, Ford’s 5.0 Coyote engine has swiftly established itself. It not only produces great performance and incredible sound, but it is also strong in terms of dependability and reliability. The 5.0 Coyote engine has powered both the Mustang GT and the F150 truck since 2011. It has gone through a few revisions throughout the course of its decade-plus existence, and it has gained horsepower every few years.
This manual will teach you all there is to know about Ford’s 5.0 Coyote engine. Everything from its history, specifications, and uses to its basic engine design, typical difficulties, and prospective performance enhancements is covered. This is your one-stop shop for anything you need to know about the 5.0 Coyote.
History of the Ford 5.0 Coyote Engine
The renowned 302 V8 engines of the 1960s inspired the present 5.0 Coyote engine. Ford’s first 302 V8 was designed for the GT40 race car competing in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. New laws called for a maximum displacement of 5 liters, therefore Ford stroked their 289 small block to 302 cid and used it. By 1968, Ford had converted the 302 into a production engine and began using it in vehicles such as the Mustang and F-series trucks.
The 302 cid V8 was also available in a few key variations, notably the Boss 302 and Carroll Shelby’s 302 from the 1968 Shelby GT350. The regular 302 was built every year except 1974 from 1968 to 1979. It was also known as the Windsor 302, owing to its production at the Ford Windsor facility in Ontario. The 302 was originally known as the 4.9 L V8, owing to its 4,942 cc displacement. Nonetheless, beginning in 1978, Ford began selling the 302 as the 5.0 L V8. Since then, the 302 V8s have been referred to as 5.0s, despite the fact that they were originally 4.9 Ls.
The 302 Cleveland V8, which was also marketed as a 5.0 L engine, was also available. The engine was exclusively manufactured and sold in Australia by Ford.
Ford produced the 5.0 HO (High-output) V8 from 1982 until 2001, albeit the designation HO was rather deceptive. Ford had not yet found out how to beat the 1980s pollution crunch, and the 5.0 V8 from the 1980s through the 1990s was severely underpowered. With the exception of the 1993-1995 Cobra model, it is rather simple to write off. In addition to Mustangs, Ford installed the 5.0 HO V8 in F150s.
Ford’s First 4.6 Modular V8 Engine
Ford debuted the 4.6 L modular V8 engine in 1991, which quickly replaced the HO 5.0. Ford originally used the new 4.6 L V8 in the Mustang GT in 1996, and it lasted until 2010. And also installed the new modular V8 in the F150 in 1997. The new modular V8 outperformed the previous 5.0 in both performance and design.
Ford launched the 5.0 Coyote engine, the second iteration of its modular V8, in 2011. Ford installed the new 5.0 V8 in both the Mustang GT and the F150 truck, where it will remain until 2022. The Gen 1 and Gen 2 Coyotes, like the older 5.0s, are slightly shy of 5 liters but were marketed as such by Ford. Ford bored out the Coyote by 0.3 inch in 2018, giving it a 5.0 L for the first time.
So far, Ford has been tight-lipped on the future of the 5.0 Coyote engine, but we do know it will return. Ford has promised the most powerful Coyote ever for 2024, with some expecting a Mustang GT with 500 horsepower. It’s too early to tell, but hopefully the Coyote will continue to howl for the foreseeable future.
Specifications for the 5.0 Coyote Engine
Vehicle Applications for the Ford 5.0 Coyote Engine
The 5.0 Coyote engine is found in the following vehicles:
- Ford Mustang GT 2011-2022
- 2011-2022 Ford F150
- Ford Bullitt Mustang 2019-2020
- Ford Mustang Mach 1 2021-2022
The 5.0 Coyote engine is used in the following models:
- 2011-2014 Ford Falcon GT (supercharged exclusively in Australia)
- Shelby GT350 model years 2011-2020
- Ford Mustang Boss 302 (Coyote) 2012-2013
- Panoz Esperante 2014-2022
- Shelby GT model years 2014-2022
- Shelby GT500 (5.2 Voodoo/Predator) 2015-2022
Fundamentals of Ford 5.0 Coyote Engine Design
The Ford Coyote of the First Generation
The first generation 5.0 Coyote engine has a cast aluminum block and head, identical to the previous modular 4.6 L V8 engine. It has a bore and stroke measurement of 3.63 in 3.65 in (92.7 mm x 92.2 mm), giving a total displacement of 302.1 cid. Technically, the first and second generation Coyotes were slightly under 5 liters – at 4.951 L – though they were extremely near. The 4.951 L becomes a 5 after rounding, so we’ll give Ford a pass on this one.
The new modular 5.0 has a lot in common with its predecessor, the 4.6 L. For assembly purposes, the deck height and bore spacing remained same, but a new forged-steel crank was added. Oil jets have also been added to cool the hypereutectic pistons, something the 4.6 L did not have. The valve train is DOHC, with four valves per cylinder for a total of 32 valves. It also has a drive-by-wire throttle rather than a cable-actuated throttle, which some hardcore racers dislike.
The Gen 1 cylinder head flows well and is responsible for the amazing top-end performance of the 5.0 Coyote engine. Twin Independent Variable Cam Timing (Ti-VCT) was a new feature for the 5.0 Coyote engine. With the addition of Ti-VCT, the power band became bigger and smoother, while cylinder pressure was reduced and the lobe separation angle was increased. Without going too scientific, a larger lobe separation angle increases usable power while decreasing low end torque and overall performance.
The plastic composite intake manifold decreases engine temperatures, and sequential multi-point fuel injection is standard on the first generation 5.0 Coyotes. The first-generation Mustang GT 5.0 Coyote engines were rated at 412-420 horsepower and 390 ft-lbs of torque by Ford.
Improvements to the Second Generation Ford Coyote
For the 2015 model year, Ford updated the 5.0 Coyote engine. Some of the most significant alterations were made to the cylinder heads, which now have larger exhaust and intake valves and are more efficient. The valve train springs have also been reinforced, and Ford has altered the intake/exhaust cams for the Coyote. Higher RPM horsepower is maintained through a rebalanced crank and stiffer connecting rods (from the Boss 302 Coyote).
With the addition of charge motion control valves (CMCV), the intake manifold was also changed for enhanced flow. The CMCVs improved emissions and fuel economy by allowing for more stable air-to-fuel ratios while idling. Because of the larger valves, the piston tops were also rebuilt with deeper holes. The top 11 mm of the head bolts were reinforced to assist withstand power better.
Ford also increased the power of the Mustang GT’s second-generation Coyotes. Power increased from 420 to 435 horsepower, while torque climbed from 390 to 400 ft-lbs.
Fueling Enhancements for the Third Generation Ford Coyote
Ford debuted the third version of the 5.0 Coyote engine in 2018, with significant advancements. The installation of a high pressure gasoline direct injection fuel system (GDI) was by far the most significant. On the Coyotes, Ford merged the new GDI technology with the previous port fuelling system, and both are used.
GDI fuel systems operate at significantly higher pressure rates than conventional port fuelling systems. High pressure gasoline pumps pressurize fuel at 2,000-3,000 PSI, which is 50 times more than port fuelling systems. Instead of injecting atomized fuel upstream, GDI injects it directly into the combustion chamber. This enables extremely precise fuel injection timing, which significantly cuts emissions while improving fuel efficiency and performance.
Improvements to the Third Generation Ford Coyote
Another significant gain was the compression ratio, which increased from 11.0:1 to 12.0:1 thanks to the new GDI system. Ford also increased the bore size of the 5.0 Coyote engine from 92.7 mm to 93 mm (3.63 in to 3.66 in). The Coyote’s overall displacement has now surpassed 5 L for the first time, clocking in at 5.035 L. In addition, instead of utilizing sleeves, Ford used Plasma Transferred Wire Arc (PTWA) to coat the cylinders, which helped reduce weight.
They increased the head bolt strength to 12 mm and gave the cylinder head larger intake and exhaust valves. For the first time, cam phasers were fitted on the exhaust cams, and a new intake manifold was added. Ford also incorporated higher lift exhaust and intake cams, as well as stronger valve springs than the previous generation. The cylinder head casting was also upgraded to flow as well as the GT350s’ 5.2 L Voodoo. All of this contributed to a redline of 7,500 RPM.
Because of the redesigned valves, the piston tops received deeper cut outs, and the crank was rebalanced for higher-RPM performance. When the gen 3 Coyotes were first released, Ford rated them at 460 horsepower and 420 ft-lbs of torque. Ford has the Coyote rated at 450 horsepower and 410 ft-lbs of torque in the Mustang for 2022.
Generational Ford Coyote Parts Compatibility
As expected, the Coyote’s repeated versions have resulted in a variety of compatibility difficulties. Some parts are compatible throughout generations, whereas others are not. In general, interoperability is best between Gen 1 and Gen 2 devices.
Both the intake manifolds and cylinder heads for the Gen 1 and Gen 2 Coyotes are interchangeable. Using the improved heads on the Gen 1s, however, necessitates the use of the Gen 2 head gasket. The redesigned Gen 2 manifold also fits the Gen 1, but there is no discernible power boost, according to Ford. The Gen 1 manifold fits the Gen 2 block as well, but visibly performs worse.
Cams and chain drives are not fully interoperable between Gen 2 and Gen 1 systems. The Gen 1 cams can still be utilized if you put Gen 2 heads onto a Gen 1. However, Gen 2 cams cannot be used without the corresponding phasers, which cannot be adapted to the Gen 1 system, rendering Gen 2 cams incompatible. The valve springs, on the other hand, can be replaced.
The oil return on Gen 2 blocks requires an oil filter adaptor. Internals from Gen 1 can be used in Gen 2 blocks, but the oil filter adapter must be used.
The Gen 3 cams and chain drive are incompatible with the Gen 2 or Gen 1 cams and chain drive. Furthermore, the reinforced Gen 3 valve springs are too tall to accommodate the Gen 1 or 2 valve trains.
5.0 L Coyote Crate Engine from Ford
Ford offers a crate version of the 5.0 Coyote engine in addition to their factory engines. The crate version, which is nearly identical to the production version, is intended for custom builds. The crate 5.0 Coyote engine costs little over $10,000 and does not include a harness, PCM, mounts, engine cover, or alternator.
Variants of the Ford 5.0 Coyote Engine
5.0 L F150 Coyote Model
The F150’s 5.0 Coyote variation is extremely comparable to the Mustang GT’s normal Coyote, however it is more focused on low-end torque. Compression on the Gen 1 and Gen 2 F150 Coyotes was lower than on the Mustang Coyotes, at 10.5:1.The first two generations also received new camshafts, exhaust manifolds, and cylinder heads, which increased low- and mid-range torque at the expense of top-end power.
Ford altered the intake somewhat for the Gen 2s to boost induction and shift the air source from the fender to the grille. The majority of the Mustang Coyote’s Gen 3 improvements were carried over to the F150 Coyote, including the larger bore, addition of GDI and PTWA, and higher compression ratio.
The Coyote Boss 302 Variant
Ford produced various varieties of the Coyote, including a few bored out models. From 2012 to 2013, the first variation was the Boss 302 Roadrunner. The Boss 302 Coyote Roadrunner was a high-performance variant of the normal Coyote, producing 444 horsepower and 380 ft-lbs of torque. It received new connecting rods, ported heads, and an intake manifold, as well as higher lift cams and stronger valve springs. The new manifold was fully ported and featured shorter runners for improved performance.
The Boss 302 was the first 5.0 Coyote with a redline of 7,500 RPM, which was quickly adopted by the normal version. The valve train was redesigned to be lighter and stiffer, and the piston-cooling jets were deleted. The rotating assembly was strengthened to ensure good mileage and RPM performance. Ford also installed new race crank and rod bearings, as well as an oil cooler, on the Boss 302.
Ford designed the 302 for both performance and longevity, hoping to create a vehicle capable of roasting tires for far over 150,000 miles. While most Boss 302s would never see that kind of mileage, there’s no denying the engine’s strength.
Variants of 5.2 L Voodoo, Aluminator, and Predator
In addition to the Boss 302, Ford manufactured three other Coyote models with 5.2 L engines. The first advancement was the 5.2 L Voodoo V8, which Ford used in the Shelby GT350/R from 2015 until 2020. The Voodoo has a flat-plane crankshaft rather of a cross-plane crankshaft, which results in more power from a lighter rotating component. Because of the crank, the firing order is somewhat altered, allowing for greater exhaust scavenging.
The intake manifold, cylinder heads, and camshafts are all new for the Voodoo, and they’re designed for improved flow (manifold/heads) and more lift (cams). The valve train has also been enhanced. The Voodoo has an incredible 8,250 RPM red line, which is 750 RPMs higher than the ordinary Gen 2 and 3 Coyotes. The naturally aspirated Voodoo has 526 horsepower and 429 ft-lbs of torque, according to Ford.
Ford phased out the Voodoo in 2021 and released the new 5.2 L Predator. The Predator reverts to the Voodoo’s cross-plane crank rather than the flat-plane crank. Ford also equipped the Predator with a 2.65 L Eaton TVS Supercharger capable of producing 12 PSI of boost. To compensate for the supercharger, compression on the Predators is substantially lower, at 9.5:1.
As a result of the new crank, the red line on the Predator slid back down to 7,500 RPM. Nonetheless, the new supercharged Predator produces 760 horsepower and 625 lb-ft of torque.
The 5.2XS Aluminator
Finally, Ford offers the Aluminator 5.2XS, a 5.2 L crate version of the Coyote. The Aluminator features a cross-plane crank and fully forged internals to produce 580 horsepower and 445 ft-lbs of torque. It’s naturally aspirated, with a compression ratio of 12.0:1, and uses Cobra Jet Mustang and Shelby GT350 parts.
The Aluminator received the Cobra Jet intake manifold and two bore throttle body from Ford. The GT350 block, oil pan, and cylinder heads are also included, as are high performance cams. It is Ford’s most powerful naturally aspirated crate engine to date, and it is a true beast.
Common Issues and Reliability of the 5.0 L Coyote
If you prefer to ingest this information visually, watch our Ford 5.0 Coyote Common Problems video below:
Overall, the 5.0 Coyote engine is dependable and powerful. It does not have many typical flaws or malfunctions, and it normally runs effectively without serious troubles for long distances. Having said that, the engine is far from ideal, and there are some typical issues with it. We’re not suggesting you’ll have a problem with any of them, but if you do, it’ll most likely be one of them.
Engine ticking, automatic gearbox issues, and the oil pan and gasket are the most prevalent 5.0 Coyote engine problems. Although the transmission is linked to the engine, it remains a source of concern for many 5.0 Coyote owners. The engine ticking sounds may be due to the adoption of direct injection beginning in 2018. Some people mistake direct injection for a problem because it sounds louder than normal port injection.
Jerky shifts, missing gears, hanging gears, and slow shifting have all been reported with the 2018+ 10r80 automatic transmission. Most of them are fairly reliable, but a few have experienced troubles that necessitated a PCM reset. Take a look at our top four most common 5.0 Coyote problems for a more in-depth look at the 5.0 Coyote’s dependability.
5.0 Coyote Power Capacity
The 5.0 Coyote can take a hit and has gotten stronger with each iteration. The first generation is thought to be capable of sustaining 650 wheel-horsepower, however this is the high end. You can go a bit further, but it becomes a gamble after that. Even at these power levels, you’ll want to make some supporting mods, such as an oil pump gear swap, and the internals will be pushed to their limits.
The second generation 5.0 Coyote engines are a little more powerful, with 750 wheel horsepower. At this point, you should absolutely improve the internals, as well as other supporting mods such as a better cooling system.
The third generation Coyotes are still rather young, but they appear to be capable of even more. Many third-generation 5.0 Coyote engines have produced more than 900 wheel horsepower with stock internals. We wouldn’t encourage trying it, but it has been demonstrated to be capable. You’ll most likely want a totally built block with all supporting mods, but the Coyote can consistently produce 1,000 wheel-horsepower on appropriate builds.
Check out our 5.0 Coyote Supercharger upgrade guide for a more in-depth look at how much the engine can handle. We lay down everything you’ll need for builds with 650 horsepower or more.
Performance and Upgrades for the Ford 5.0 Coyote Engine
Ford’s 5.0 Coyote engine has long been known for its performance, producing over 400 horsepower out of the box in the Mustang GT. The 2022 Mustang GT has 450 horsepower, and the 2024 Mustang is said to have 500 horsepower from the same engine.
However, this is only stock performance; the true test of an engine is how well it runs with aftermarket modifications. Fortunately, the 5.0 Coyote passes with flying colors, and it has a thriving aftermarket modifying industry. Modding options for both the F150 and the Mustang range from cool air intakes to huge superchargers.
Modifications for the 5.0 Mustang GT and 5.0 F150
The following are the most popular mods for the 5.0 Mustang GT and F150:
- Fresh Air Intake
- Headers for Long-Tube Vehicles
Tuning is the most effective approach to increase horsepower and torque on the 5.0 Coyote engine. Without any other modifications, tuning will result in 20-45 wheel horsepower. If you have an F150, tuning your 5.0 Coyote will increase towing capability and compensate for other bolt-on changes you have on the car. More 5.0 Coyote tuning information can be found in our Mustang GT tuning guide or F150 tuning guide.
Cold air intakes and long-tube headers are the most popular bolt-on upgrades for the 5.0 Coyote. Both increase airflow to the engine, resulting in more horsepower and torque. Long-tube headers add 10-25 wheel-horsepower with tuning, while intakes contribute 5-20 wheel-horsepower. Tuning will surely improve your results, and some intakes and headers absolutely require tuning for safe performance. For a more in-depth look at Mustang Coyote improvements, see our Mustang GT intake guide and Mustang GT headers guide. We also have a comprehensive list of the best bolt-on performance mods for the Coyote Mustang GT.
Supercharging is the way to go if you want to significantly increase the power of your 5.0 Coyote engine. Depending on the size of your blower, you may easily add 100-500 horsepower to the Coyote engine. As previously stated, you should absolutely consider supporting mods and updating the internals with supercharged builds. We have a supercharging the Mustang GT tutorial that you may use to aid you with your project.
Summary of the Ford 5.0 Coyote Engine
Overall, the 5.0 Coyote engine is an excellent small block V8 with excellent performance. To go with the 400+hp engine that screams down the streets, it delivers a throaty V8 tone that sounds thunderous and raspy. While it is not a completely bulletproof motor, it has few issues and high reliability. It is also capable of supporting some substantial builds, with some 5.0 Coyote engines producing 1,000+ horsepower on stock internals.
Ford has stated that the 5.0 Coyote will be available for at least a few more years, and all signs are that performance will only improve. We’ll have to wait and see what Ford has in store for 2024 and beyond, but it’s expected to have at least 500 horsepower.
Tell us about your experiences with the Ford 5.0 Coyote engine. Do you possess a Mustang GT or F150 powered by the Coyote V8, or are you thinking about getting one? In any case, please let us know in the comments section below.