The Guide to Tuning a 5.0 Coyote Mustang GT

The Guide to Tuning a 5.0 Coyote Mustang GT. The Ford Mustang GT S550 is one of the most popular and powerful race cars on the market today. The 5.0 Coyote V8 engine delivers more than 400 horsepower right out of the box. It operates admirably in stock form, but tinkering is required to really wake it up. A decent Mustang GT tuner is a must-have mod for the 5.0 Coyote.

Tuning increases horsepower everywhere. The throttle response improves, the top end becomes more strong, and the power band becomes considerably smoother. Tuning alone can provide 15-25 horsepower/torque to Mustang GTs. Furthermore, if you have any other bolt-on mods, tuning is essential for both safety and performance.

This tutorial will teach you all you need to know about selecting the best Mustang GT tuner for your project. We’ll start with the fundamentals and go over everything from terminology to advantages and risks. Finally, we’ll look at the best Mustang GT tuners available.

The Guide to Tuning a 5.0 Coyote Mustang GT

5.0 Coyote Mustang GT Tuner Fundamentals

While a Mustang GT tune may sound intimidating and ominous, as we’ll show you, it’s actually quite simple – and necessary. Engine tuning is one of the best performance mods for practically any automobile, but it doesn’t get much attention outside of enthusiast circles. A tune can provide more horsepower, a wider powerband, compensate for other modifications, and improve fuel economy.

Mustang GT tuning modifies parameters in the engine’s Electronic Control Unit (ECU), which regulates how the engine works. Tuning most commonly affects air-to-fuel ratios (AFRs), ignition timing, camshaft timing, and fuel pressure in naturally aspirated engines.

Tuners frequently lean out AFRs in order to gain more power. While every setup is different, most Mustang GTs on pump gas will aim for an 11.9:1 AFR (.81 lambda) at WOT. When the automobile is supercharged, the ratio increases to roughly 11.5:1 (.78 lambda) at WOT. Because it is prone to knocking, the 5.0 Coyote prefers to run richer than many other engines.

To improve horsepower, a few degrees of ignition timing advance are frequently applied at WOT. The timing on the original Coyote is already somewhat advanced, so tuners can only increase a few degrees before encountering knock. For extra top-end power, camshaft timing can also be advanced a few degrees. Fuel pressure is frequently increased to allow more fuel into the cylinders, which results in more power.

Because Ford already made the stock Mustang GT tune quite formidable out of the box, the gains aren’t as significant as in some other cars. However, a tune is still a good upgrade for the Mustang Gt.

5.0 Mustang GT Tuning: Custom vs. Canned

There are two kinds of Mustang GT tunes: bespoke tunes and canned melodies. In reality, both are personalized tunes to some extent, but canned tunes are far less appealing. As we’ll explain, we strongly recommend bespoke tuning for the Mustang GT over any prepackaged sounds.

Custom tuning entails investing in a handheld tuning device and collaborating with a custom tuner. In most cases, the tuner will supply a “base map” with basic calibrations. The user installs the base map onto their automobile using the portable tuner and uses it to “datalog” some of the engine’s parameters while driving. After that, the consumer uploads the datalog from their gadget to their computer and emails it to their tuner.

The tuner then considers the datalog information, creates a new tune, emails it to the customer, and the process repeats again until the tune is deemed finished – usually after a few changes.

Canned tuning only includes the first step. A consumer buys a handheld tuning gadget with a canned tune on it and installs it in their car. There is no review process, and the map on the device is not a base map but a final map.

As you can undoubtedly tell, bespoke tuning outperforms canned tune. Canned tracks are created using typical Mustang GT performance rather than your unique vehicle. Because not all cars react the same way to modifications and tuning, you’re out of luck if yours does.

Custom tuning, on the other hand, allows a competent tuner to see how your automobile reacts to precise changes. Mustang GT tuners may fine-tune your vehicle to be as safe as possible while producing the highest horsepower.

Mustang GT 5.0 Coyote Tuning Devices

The BullyDog, SCT, and BAMA tuners are among the most popular handheld tuning devices available for the Mustang GT. Different tuners use different programmers, and the majority of them only use a few. Before purchasing a handheld device, confirm that it is compatible with your tuner. Most tuners offer the devices they use, so you can most likely obtain it from their website.

Another popular option is an application known as HP Tuners. HP Tuners is a whole system, not simply a handheld device. You buy a gadget that connects into your automobile and can communicate with it, and you tune it with the HP Tuners program. You must also purchase credits from them for your specific vehicle. Many tuners will recommend that you purchase an HP Tuners system rather than a handheld tuner because they provide more functionality. Again, consult with your tuner before making any purchases.

Some tuners also sell their own branded tuning devices. Typically, these devices are only compatible with your specific make and model, as well as your specific tuner. This is distinct from other handheld devices, which are typically adaptable to a broader range of vehicles and tuners.

Terminology for 5.0 Mustang GT Tuners

Before we proceed any farther, we should probably clarify tuning terminology. The terms “tune,” “tuning,” “tuned,” and “tuned” are occasionally used interchangeably, but they describe significantly different phenomena. Furthermore, E-tuning is a broad term that is frequently used.

  • Tune/Map – The program or file that is flashed to your ECU.
  • Tuner – 1) The person or company who sets the engine parameters in the tune file.

2) The portable device that is used to flash or piggyback your ECU.

  • Tuning – The process of altering the settings of an engine.
  • Tuned – A vehicle that has had a bespoke or canned tune installed.
  • Custom tuning, often known as e-tuning, is the process of having a tuner tune one’s car via email conversation.

Don’t be discouraged if you mix these up when you first start learning about the procedure. If you ever have a doubt about what something means, you can always look it up here.

Benefits of Ford 5.0 Coyote Mustang GT Tuning

Some of the advantages of a Mustang GT tune are as follows:

  • +20-40 HP/Torque (with simple tune)
  • 100+ hp/torque (with other modifications)
  • Power band has been improved.
  • Data Logging Capability
  • Viewing and Clearing DTC Codes
  • Engine Monitoring in Real Time
  • Getting the Most Out of Mods

The most significant benefits from a Mustang GT tuner will be in terms of horsepower and torque. The 5.0 Mustang gains roughly 20-40 hp/tq with simply a tune. Tuning also improves the powerband of the 5.0 Coyote V8. It provides higher low-end torque and power that lasts until redline.

By no means are power gains the only advantage of a Mustang GT tuner. You can also check DTC codes and, in most cases, clear them. Another significant advantage of tuning is the ability to log and monitor your engine. Most Mustang GT tuners include “data logging,” which lets you to capture a snapshot of your engine’s performance while driving.
To spot problems as early as possible, you can check to verify if everything is working properly. For example, if your AFR is wrong, it could suggest that you have a leak in your system. Your Mustang GT tuner can advise you on what to look for.

Another important feature of tuning is the ability to maximize the gains from other mods. Installing upgrades like a cold air intake or headers increases power, but tuning is required to take advantage of the improved airflow and lower backpressure. Flex fuel is a popular Mustang GT alteration, and tuners may give specific E85 maps with leaner AFRs and greater ignition/cam timing for increased power.

Risks of Tuning a 5.0 Coyote Mustang GT

Now that we’ve discussed the advantages of a Mustang GT tuner, it’s time to discuss the disadvantages. One of them is self-evident, but the more power you add to your engine, the shorter its lifespan. A few simple alterations, such as a tune or headers, are unlikely to reduce the longevity of the 5.0 Coyote engine. However, once you exceed 50-60 horsepower/torque over stock, things become more dangerous.

Furthermore, a “bad” tune can harm your engine and even cause it to blow up. Inexperienced tuners that add too much ignition/cam timing, make AFRs too lean, or fail to correctly identify leaks and faults will quickly turn your Mustang GT into a very expensive paperweight. That is why it is critical to only receive tunes from trustworthy and skilled tuners, such as those on our list.

The final risk of modifying a Mustang GT is dealing with dealerships and warranty work. It is generally assumed that if you flash tune your automobile, the dealership will be able to tell. Many dealerships will use the availability of aftermarket tuning software to deny engine warranty claims. To be fair, they have some reason for doing so.

It is not Ford’s fault if an untrained Mustang GT tuner blows up your engine with incorrect calibrations. If you intend to tune your car, you should be prepared to take all hazards, which may include the purchase of a new engine. It’s not a significant deal for modest projects, but as you increase the power, you also increase the risk.

Tuning & Modifications for the 5.0 Mustang GT

A significant advantage of using a Ford Mustang GT tuner is that if your car is not factory and has other modifications, tuning may adjust for these and enhance power output. Modifications such as cold air intakes, headers, or an exhaust offer a little horsepower on their own, but when combined with tune, you can see an even bigger power boost.

Tuning will also help you ensure that your mods are working properly. When you change the airflow, such as by adding an intake or headers, your AFRs change. Custom tuning is required to ensure that they remain within the safe range.

Tuners can use upgrades that boost airflow and fueling to increase ignition timing, which results in increased power. Tuning is required if you want to get the most out of your bolt-on mods.

Top Mustang GT 5.0 Coyote Tuners

Here are our picks for the top 5 Mustang GT tuners:

  • Motorsports at Livernois
  • Racing by Lund
  • Dyno Palm Beach
  • Tuning by OZ
  • Wengerd Efficiency

The following are the top 5 Mustang GT tuners in terms of pricing, performance, customer service, and dependability. This is not a full list of 5.0 Coyote tuners, as there are many more, but it does represent the best options. Our price estimates include both the equipment and the tune itself.

1) 5.0 Coyote Tuning by Livernois Motorsports

Price: $599.00

The Guide to Tuning a 5.0 Coyote Mustang GT

Livernois Motorsports from Dearborn Heights, Michigan is our top choice for a Mustang GT tuner. Livernois Motorsports, located just miles from the Ford factory in Dearborn, is one of the greatest Mustang GT tuners on the market. They provide bespoke tuning for any 2015+ Mustang GTs equipped with the 5.0 Coyote engine.

Mustang GTs from 2011 through 2014 will receive 24 horsepower and 22 ft-lbs of torque. Livernois’ unique tune for the 2015-2017 Mustang GTs will produce 50 wheel horsepower and 43 wheel ft lbs of torque. Livernois’ tune adds 40 wheel-horsepower and 37 wheel-ft-lbs of torque to the 2018+ Mustang GTs, which have more horsepower stock than previous years. Both of these are based on 93 octane gasoline. These are significant improvements from a single tune, and the entire power band is vastly improved.

Livernois Motorsports, which is one of the top options in the Mustang community and has been in the performance game for a long time, employs their own patented tuning equipment called the “MyCalibrator.” They are also one of the least expensive solutions on our list because they do not require the purchase of an additional tuner. The MyCalibrator is already included in the purchase price.

2) Lund Racing Coyote 5.0 Tuning

Price: $699.00 – $1,199.00

Lund Racing is our second recommendation for Mustang GT tuners. Lund has long been a fixture in the Mustang GT tuning world, and their work on the 5.0 Coyotes is outstanding. They do not have their own unique gadget and instead rely on HP Tuners tuning equipment.

Lund Mustang GT tunes may adjust for a variety of modifications, such as bigger cams, ethanol fuel, intakes, and injectors. They are excellent choices for any build level, from a basic tune to cammed out ethanol monsters. They are also capable of handling supercharged/turbocharged and nitrous applications.

The price with Lund is higher than with some of the others — and it’s a $500 premium for boosted automobiles — because they demand the purchase of HP Tuners credits and equipment. However, because Lund provides solid performance, the price is easily justified if you’re serious about tuning. Lund Racing should be at the top of your list, especially if you have a vast mod list.

In terms of pricing, they are in the middle of our list. Part of this is due to the additional cost of the tuning device, but they are still quite reasonable – especially given their reputation.

3) 5.0 Coyote Tuning at Palm Beach Dyno

Price: $655.00 – $2,049.00

Palm Beach Dyno is our third recommendation, and it is perhaps the most popular Mustang GT tuner on the list. PBD has been providing Mustang GT songs for years and has received rave reviews. Customers praise PBD tuned 5.0 Coyotes for their big performance boost and excellent drivability.

Palm Beach Dyno can tune almost any Mustang GT setup you can think of. Most mod-lists can be tuned with cams, ethanol, forced induction, and intakes. They also provide versatility with their tuning gadgets. PBD employs both SCT and HP Tuners, allowing the customer to choose whichever they choose.

They provide a variety of tuning options for both naturally aspirated and boosted engines. The first level allows for the fewest alterations, while the top level allows for nearly any mods on the car. Palm Beach Dyno is a reliable Mustang GT tuner regardless of your build level.

PBD’s pricing is a little all over the place. Basic naturally aspirated tunes are comparable to our other options, but forced induction tuning is more expensive. This is due in part to the higher cost of the tuning device, but it is also simply more expensive. It’s crucial to remember that their name and reputation might justify this.

4) OZ Tuning Coyote 5.0 Tuning

Price: $699.00 – $1,249.99

The Guide to Tuning a 5.0 Coyote Mustang GT

OZ Tuning is another well-known tuner in the Mustang GT world. They only use HP Tuners and can handle any type of modification. Their basic Alpha tune is suitable for bolt-ons like as heads and intakes, whilst their Alpha Advanced tune is suitable for cammed and ethanol builds. OZ Tuning also handles forced induction tuning and has Roush supercharged tunes.

Their tunes prioritize both racing and everyday driving, providing you with the best of both worlds. If your ambitions necessitate it, you can also get tuned expressly for racing. They are well-known in the Mustang GT tuning world and have received rave reviews from the majority of their clients. OZ Tuning is one of the best tuners on the market in terms of power and performance.

In terms of cost, OZ Tuning is near the bottom of our list. They do necessitate the purchase of HP Tuners credits and a tuner, however this is included in the price of the tune. We wouldn’t call them a low-cost alternative because they provide a good product and have reasonable forced induction tuning. OZ Tuning is only available for Coyote Mustangs built after 2018.

5) Wengerd Performance 5.0 Coyote Tuning

Price: $598.00 – $998.00

Wengerd Performance is our ultimate recommendation for Mustang GT tuners. Wengerd only tunes Mustang GTs and Mach 1s with the 5.0 Coyote engine, so you know they know what they’re doing. They have received positive feedback and have been a part of several spectacular Mustang GT builds.

Wengerd, like the others, can adjust for setups with additional bolt-on mods, but some of them are more expensive. They can also do supercharged systems and have a long list of superchargers that they have previously calibrated. Wengerd is only available for Coyote Mustang GTs built after 2015.

In terms of pricing, Wengerd is tied with Livernois as the most affordable option for naturally aspirated tuning. They do not have a proprietary tuner, unlike Livernois, and instead use/sell HP Tuners devices. Still, given how inexpensive their songs are, this doesn’t add much to the price. However, don’t be fooled by the low price. Wengerd is still a top Mustang GT tuner, and your car is in capable hands.

Related : The Guide to the Chrysler Conquest/Mitsubishi Starion

Summary of Ford 5.0 Coyote Mustang GT Tuning

Overall, tuning the Mustang GT is an excellent way to improve factory performance and power. A tune will make the automobile considerably more responsive while also increasing horsepower and torque throughout. Mustang GT tuners will add 20-40 hp, and with other supporting tweaks, it can offer much, much more.

Livernois Motorsports, Lund Racing, Palm Beach Dyno, OZ Tuning, and Wengerd Performance are our top Mustang GT tuners. They all have comparable performance and are well-regarded in the Mustang GT tuning community. Livernois Motorsports is the only choice that has its own proprietary tuning device, and all others require the purchase of one separately. They are all reasonably priced, with the final amount largely determined by your mod-list.

The Livernois Motorsports tuning option is our favorite of the group. They provide the most affordable bespoke tuning while significantly improving power output and drivability. The Livernois procedure is quite fast, and they can also assist with other performance enhancements.

Are you thinking of tuning your Mustang GT for extra horsepower and torque? Have you had your 5.0 Coyote tuned yet, and are you getting good power?