Check out the photos for details on the install, but note it was much less difficult than we imagined. Once equipped with the new cams, we employed the SCT software to dial in the air/fuel mixture, and ignition and cam timing. Given the complexity and sheer number of drop-down menus on the factory computer, great care must be taken to ensure repeatable back-to-back runs. Ignition timing changes (for instance) required changes to every one of the 32 different ignition tables. The data logging was a valuable tool to ensure both cam and ignition timing remained constant for all of the testing.
After swapping the cams, the motor fired up instantly (always a good sign), then (after tuning) produced 498 hp and 441 lb-ft of torque. That represented gains of 36 hp and 31 lb-ft of torque, though the cams sacrificed small torque losses (15 lb-ft) below 3,900 rpm. Given our limited dyno time, it is possible that we may have been able to tune some of those losses back out, but even those were a small price to pay for the impressive gains through the rest of the rev range.
After running the cam test, it dawned on us that the Coyote was still equipped with a stock airbox. Given that an air intake is usually one of the first modifications made to a new 5.0L Mustang, it seemed only natural that we replace the stocker on our killer Coyote. JLT Performance was kind enough to supply an air intake system for the new Mustang.
The air intake featured a molded plastic air tube that easily out-flowed the stock box thanks to a sizable change in inside diameter, a gentle radius, and use of a free-flowing air filter. The combination was easy to install, but required tuning for optimized performance. Once installed, the motor produced 515 hp and an amazing 450 lb-ft of torque (an impressive specific torque output given the displacement).
Having bested the 500hp mark in normally aspirated trim, we starting thinking about what it might take to reach 600 hp. After all, we have ported heads, wilder cams, and even different intake manifolds yet to try. After that, we look forward to more boost with a turbo system, then possibly a forged rotating assembly, and even an increase in displacement. Stick around--our Killer Coyote is just getting started.
13 It was necessary to depress...
13 It was necessary to depress then lock the tensioners prior to installation. Using a vice, we employed a small Allen wrench to lock the plunger in place.
14 Here is a shot of the...
14 Here is a shot of the completed cam install with the phasers, timing chain, and tensioners all in place. After rotating the motor to ensure everything was happy and in its proper place, we installed the front cover, damper, and water pump.
15 Cam installation required...
15 Cam installation required programming to optimize performance. A big thanks goes to Ken Christley at Kenne Bell for his help. Once the tune was finalized, it was supplied to the hand-held unit for loading in the factory computer. The X3 Power Flash from SCT was also used to data log the variables during each run. That data was used to facilitate further tuning.
16 Run with the new Comp...
16 Run with the new Comp Stage 2 cams, the 5.0L Coyote produced 498 hp and 441 lb-ft of torque—up from 461 hp and 410 lb-ft. Those are serious gains from a simple cam swap.
17 Next up was a new air...
17 Next up was a new air intake from JLT Performance. The air intake system featured a molded intake tube, high-flow air filter and the necessary couplers and clamps for installation. The molded intake tube even featured provisions for the factory PCV hoses.
18 Airflow testing indicated...
18 Airflow testing indicated that the stock 80mm throttle body flowed 957 cfm compared to just 772 cfm for the factory air inlet system. If anything was restricting the airflow, it was definitely the air intake system. Given the change in tube diameter from stock to JLT, it was necessary to alter the MAF scaling to properly tune the engine. After dialing in the air/fuel, we were rewarded with 515 hp and 441 lb-ft of torque. That is serious power from a stock 5.0L equipped with cams, headers and an air intake.
Ford Racing 5.0L-Stock vs. Comp Stage 2 Cams
The graph illustrates that the Comp Stage 2 cams offered some serious power gains. The cam swap increased the power output from 462 hp and 410 lb-ft of torque to 498 hp and 441 lb-ft of torque. There was a slight drop in power below 3,900 rpm, but we feel tuning may have reduced or eliminated the losses altogether. The big gains from 4,000 rpm to 6,700 rpm (and beyond) more than offset the small losses.
After swapping the cams, we realized that the factory air box was still in place. We suspect the gains offered by the cams may have been even greater had we installed the air intake first. Regardless, installation of the JLT air intake in place of the factory air box netted sizable gains for such a simple bolt on. The JLT air intake improved the power output from 498 hp and 441 lb-ft to 515 hp and 450 lb-ft of torque. How cool is a 5.0L motor that pumps out over 500 hp (normally aspirated)!