5.0 Coyote FAQ engine bay

5.0 Coyote Engine FAQ

Chandler Stark

Meet Chandler

Chandler is an automotive expert with over a decade of experience working on and modifying cars. A couple of his favorites were his heavily modded 2016 Subaru WRX and his current 2020 VW Golf GTI. He’s also a big fan of American Muscle and automotive history. Chandler’s passion and knowledge of the automotive industry help him deliver high-quality, insightful content to TuningPro readers.

Ford’s 5.0 Coyote engine has quickly made a name for itself since its 2011 debut. Not only does it produce magnificent performance and sound incredible, but it is solid for dependability and reliability. The Coyote is now approaching its fourth generation, and it can be a little confusing trying to keep all of the information about it straight. That’s why we’re providing an FAQ for the engine. We’ll cover all the basics about the Coyote, including general specs, a maintenance guide, a reliability assessment, and performance mods. Let’s get started.

5.0 Coyote FAQ engine bay
Credit: Malchick743 (ALJMW)/Wikipedia

Table of Contents

  • General 5.0 Coyote Engine FAQs
  • Basic Maintenance FAQs
  • Common Problems FAQs
  • Performance Mods & Tuning FAQs

General 5.0 Coyote Engine FAQs

What is the 5.0 Coyote Engine?

Ford’s Coyote engine is a 302 cid, 5.0 liter modular V8, which runs on petrol and is naturally aspirated. It is part of the Ford Modular engine family. Check our 5.0 Coyote engine guide for an in-depth breakdown of the engine.

How many variants are there?

In addition to the separate Mustang GT and F150 versions, there are versions for the Boss 302, Shelby GT350, Shelby GT, and a few other special Mustang variants, including the Mach 1 and Bullitts.

There are also three bored-out 5.2 L Coyote variants. The variants are the 5.2 L Aluminator XS, Voodoo, and Predator V8 engines, which are available as crate engines. The Voodoo powered the 2015-2020 Shelby GT350, and the Predator succeeded the Voodoo in the 2021+ Shelby GT500. They are covered extensively in the above-linked engine guide.

Why is it called the Coyote?

Ford gave the Coyote its name as an homage to the original four-valve Ford V8 from the 1960s. Race Car driver AJ Foyt drove the original Ford four-valve V8 during the 1967 Indianapolis 500, and he nicknamed it the Coyote ‘67. Though Foyt would soon race under his own team, the Coyote name stuck around. When Ford introduced the 5.0 Coyote V8 in 2011, they decided to pay tribute to Foyt’s original V8.

Engine Specs

EngineFord CoyoteFord Coyote
GenerationGen 1/2Gen 3
Model Years2011-20172018-2022
Displacement5.0 L (4,951 cc)5.0 L (5,035 cc)
Compression Ratio10.5:1; 11.0:112.0:1
Bore and Stroke3.63 in × 3.65 in3.66 in × 3.65 in
Valve TrainDOHC 32VDOHC 32V
Fuel SystemPort Fuel InjectionDirect & Port Injection
Head/Block MaterialAluminumAluminum
Horsepower Output360-435 horsepower395-460 horsepower
Torque Output380-400 lb-ft400-420 lb-ft

How old is the Ford Coyote engine?

Ford introduced the 5.0 Coyote engine in the 2011 model year. Ford started designing the engine in the mid-2000s, and the first production versions were built in 2010 for 2011 vehicles. It has stayed in production since then with no gaps, and appears poised to keep pushing into the future.

How many generations are there?

There are currently three generations of the Coyote engine, with a fourth generation expected to be unveiled in 2024. The first generation lasted from 2011-2014; the second generation from 2015-2017; and the third generation started in 2018 and is currently in production.

What changes have happened since its release?

Over the 5.0 Coyote’s three generations, there have been a number of changes. Most important was the addition of direct injection for the third generation, which massively changed the engine’s fueling. The intake manifold has undergone considerable changes too from Gen 1-3. Check out our 5.0 Coyote engine guide for an in-depth breakdown on all of the engine’s changes.

What vehicles have the 5.0 Coyote engine?

The 5.0 Coyote engine appears in the following models:

  • 2011-2022 Ford Mustang GT
  • 2011-2022 Ford F150
  • 2019-2020 Ford Bullitt Mustang
  • 2021-2022 Ford Mustang Mach 1

Variants of the 5.0 Coyote engine appear in the following models:

  • 2011-2014 Ford Falcon GT (Australia only, supercharged)
  • 2011-2020 Shelby GT350
  • 2012-2013 Ford Mustang Boss 302 (Boss 302 Coyote)
  • 2014-2022 Panoz Esperante
  • 2014-2022 Shelby GT
  • 2015-2022 Shelby GT500 (Supercharged)

Is it flex-fuel compatible?

Yes, all generations of the 5.0 Coyote are flex-fuel compatible. However, it needs to be tuned to accept any quantity of ethanol above E15. In addition, you will likely want to add larger injectors on the Gen 1-2 Coyotes to handle the extra fuel. On the Gen 3s, with direct injection, all that is required is a flex-fuel sensor and tune to run E85 safely.

Is the Coyote drive-by-wire or cable-actuated?

The Coyote is drive-by-wire, meaning the throttle is controlled by an electronic signal rather than a cable. Some people complain this hurts performance due to slow response, but it performs very well on the Coyote without major issues.

What transmissions do Coyote-equipped vehicles use?

The 5.0 Coyote Mustang GT has used the Getran MT-82 manual transmission for all years. The automatic transmission option in the Mustang GT was the 6R80 from 2011-2017, and the 10R80 from 2018-present. The F150 has only had automatic transmissions, and it used the same 6R80 before upgrading to the 10R80 in 2018.

5.0 Coyote vs Ford 3.5 EcoBoost

The 5.0 Coyote is a completely different animal than the 3.5 EcoBoost. The EcoBoost is V6 and has twin-turbos, compared with the naturally aspirated V8 Coyote. For a full look at the differences, check out our 5.0 Coyote vs 3.5. EcoBoost engine comparison.

Maintenance FAQs

How often are oil changes recommended?

Oil changes should be performed every 5,000 miles, or at 3,000 if you are an aggressive driver or heavily modded. Synthetic oil is recommended.

What is the basic maintenance schedule?

  • 5,000 miles: Oil change, check fluids, check belts/hoses, tire rotation.
  • 15,000 miles: Replace engine air filter, inspect cabin air filter, inspect brakes, inspect spark plugs
  • 30,000 miles: Flush transmission fluid, flush power steering fluid, change spark plugs
  • 60,000 miles: Flush engine coolant, inspect timing belt

All items are repeated for each inspection, so your 60,000-mile service also includes the 5k, 15k, and 30k services, too. Forced induction applications and modded engines will want to effectively cut the maintenance schedule in half for most items and do them at half the interval. This is because mods and boost strain the engine components much faster and harsher than the stock tune.

Does the maintenance schedule change if it’s modded or tuned?

Yes, forced induction applications and modded Coyotes will want to effectively cut the maintenance schedule in half for most items and do them at half the interval. This is because mods and boost strain the engine components much faster and harsher than the stock tune.

Do all vehicles have the same maintenance schedule?

Generally speaking, yes, the F150 and Mustang GT follow the above-listed maintenance schedule. The only change will be if the car is tuned, which as we stated will need much smaller service intervals.

What weight oil is recommended for the engine?

The service manual recommends 5w20 synthetic oil. While that’s fine for stock or lightly modded applications, those with moderate to highly modded Coyotes will probably want a heavier 5w30 oil.

The reason is oil shearing. High oil temps for a sustained period of time lead to oil shearing, which reduces its viscosity. A heavier-weight oil will stand up better to more abuse and power. Ford even puts 5w50 oil as standard in their Boss 302, GT350, and GT500 models – which all use Coyote variants.

Do the late variant engines need walnut blasting for the GDI?

While most vehicles with gasoline direct injection (GDI) need walnut blasting, the 5.0 Coyote does not. The additional port injection cleans the valves and removes the carbon.

Engine Common Problem FAQs

Is the Coyote engine reliable?

All things considered, the 5.0 Coyote V8 is a very reliable engine. It can handle basic bolt-on mods without problem, and is not prone to any massive issues. There are many Coyote engines that have exceeded 200,000 miles without any problems.

How many miles can the 5.0 Coyote engines go?

There are many 100,000+ mile Coyote engines, and a ton of 200,000+ Coyote engines. Even with moderate towing, the Coyote’s lifespan is not drastically shortened. Don’t fool yourself, the Coyote is one stout beast.

How expensive is the engine long-term?

Overall, the Coyote is a pretty low-cost engine for the most part. Gas mileage isn’t great, but that is really the one area of complaint. The bumper-to-bumper warranty from Ford covers 3yr/36,000 miles, and the powertrain warranty is 5yr/60,000 miles. These are pretty standard time and mileage periods within the industry. Most Coyote owners will see average to low ownership costs on stock Coyote engines.

What are the most common Coyote engine problems?

The top 4 most common Coyote problems are engine ticking, faulty automatic transmission, oil pan and oil gasket, and rattles. Check out our Coyote common problems guide for a more comprehensive breakdown.

What are the 5.0 Coyote Intake Manifold Runner Control issues?

The 5.0 Coyote intake manifold runner control (IMRC) issues are related to the Gen 2 and 3 Coyotes, primarily the Gen 2s. When Ford redesigned the intake manifold in 2015, they added charge motion control valves (CMCV), which is a version of IMRC. These valves have a tendency to get stuck open or closed from time to time, which throws a DTC. Check out our F150 intake manifold runner control guide for an in-depth look at the problem.

How does modding affect the 5.0 Coyote’s reliability?

Ford’s 5.0 Coyote is still a very reliable engine after its modded – within reason. Obviously, massive 1,000+ horsepower builds aren’t meant for longevity, but a moderate build won’t be too big a deal.

The most important thing is to make sure you are keeping up on the accelerated maintenance schedule. Neglecting things like oil changes and spark plug changes will severely reduce a modded Coyote’s longevity.

Engine Performance Mods and Tuning FAQs

What is the stock 5.0 Coyote’s zero to 60 mph time?

Mustang GTs have produced the fastest zero to 60 and quarter mile times for the 5.0 Coyote engines. The Gen 3 5.0 Coyote Mustang GT blasts from zero to 60 mph in just 4 seconds. Various versions are slightly faster, with the supercharged Predator variant of the Coyote the fastest at just 3.4 seconds.

What is the stock 5.0 Coyote’s quarter-mile time and mph?

The stock Coyote can hit the low 12s at the quarter mile at 118 mph in the Mustang GT. The top of the line Shelby GT can do it in 11.4 seconds at a gaping 132 mph. Not too bad from a mass production small block.

What’s the highest horsepower record?

So far, there have been multiple 2,000 horsepower Coyotes, and even a 3,000 horsepower Coyote has been created. These aren’t your standard 5.0 production blocks, though. They are bored out to 5.8 L, are massively reinforced, and utilize massive twin-turbos. While it’s not what you’ll get in the Mustang GT or F150, it shows what the power plant is ultimately capable of.

How much power can the 5.0 Coyote engine handle?

Ultimately, it depends on the generation and build, but the Coyotes can definitely take some power. You should feel pretty safe pushing out 600 wheel-horsepower out of any generation Coyote. There are some stock Coyotes in the 800 and even 900 horsepower range, though they don’t last long. Check out our 5.0 Coyote engine guide for a full breakdown of the Coyote’s limits.

What does full-bolt-ons mean for the Coyote?

Full bolt-on mods are considered an upgraded cold air intake, long-tube headers, ECU tuning, and intake manifold. With full bolt-ons, the Coyote can be expected to make 450-500 wheel-horsepower, depending on fuel octane and ECU calibration.

Can the Coyote take forced induction with its high compression ratio?

Surprisingly, yes. The Gen 1 and Gen 2 Coyotes are both at 11.0:1 compression (F150 10.5:1) and the Gen 3 Coyotes are 12.0:1. That’s pretty high for a boosted motor, but the Coyote can take it.

What are the top mods for the Coyote engine?

The top mods for the 5.0 Coyote engine are cold air intake, long tube headers, ECU tuning, and E85 fueling. Check out our top 5.0 Coyote bolt-on mods guide for a more in-depth look.

What is the best 5.0 Coyote intake?

The top 5.0 Coyote engine cold air intakes are the JLT, Roush Performance, and aFe intakes. Check out our 5.0 Coyote upgraded intake guide for more info.

What is the best 5.0 Coyote intake manifold?

The top 5.0 Coyote intake manifolds are the Ford Cobra Jet, Ford GT350, Edelbrock Victor II, Holley Sniper, and Ford Boss 302 intake manifolds. Check out our 5.0 Coyote intake manifold guide for more info.

Who is the best 5.0 Coyote tuner?

The top 5.0 Coyote tuners are Livernois Motorsports, Lund Racing, Palm Beach Dyo, OZ Tuning, Wengerd Performance, and All Motor Research Labs. Check out our Mustang GT tuner guide and F150 tuner guides for more info.

What are the best 5.0 Coyote headers?

The top 5.0 Coyote headers are from American Racing Headers, BBK Performance, Kooks, and Flowtech. Check out our 5.0 Coyote headers upgrade guide for more info.

What is the best 5.0 Coyote supercharger?

The top 5.0 Coyote superchargers are from Roush, Whipple, Kenne Bell, Paxton, and VMP Performance. Check out our 5.0 Coyote supercharger guide for more info.

What is the best 5.0 Coyote turbo kit?

The top 5.0 Coyote turbo kits are from On3 Performance and Hellion. Check out our 5.0 Coyote turbo kit guide for more info.

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