5.0 Coyote Intake Manifold Guide

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 released their famed 5.0 Coyote engine in 2011, installing it in the S197 Mustang GT and the 13th Gen F150s.

While the 5.0 Coyote is a pretty good stock performer, it is capable of so much more. One of the most effective ways to increase horsepower is a 5.0 Coyote intake manifold upgrade. The stock intake manifold performs suitably for stock power levels and average builds, but an aftermarket intake manifold can really help with top-end power. You will gain horsepower while shedding weight and improving efficiency.

This guide will cover everything you need to know about upgrading your 5.0 Coyote intake manifold. We’ll talk about what intake manifolds are, and we’ll cover the benefits of upgrading. We’ll also look at the improvements Ford has made to their stock intake manifold over the years. Finally, we’ll give you recommendations of the top 5.0 Coyote intake manifolds on the market to choose from. Let’s get started.

5.0 Coyote Intake manifold cobra jet
Credit: Ford Performance

What is a Ford 5.0 Coyote Intake Manifold?

Intake manifolds are the part of the system that sits directly on top of the cylinder head, and is the most visible part of the Coyote engine bay. The intake chain starts with the intake filter and tubing, which attaches to the  Coyote throttle body. The throttle body attaches to the intake manifold, which then attaches directly to the cylinder head.

The stock 5.0 Coyote intake manifold has gone through several revisions. The Gen 1 manifold lasted from 2011-2014, before getting upgraded for Gen 2 in 2015-2017. According to Ford, the Gen 2 manifold got new charge motion control valves (CMCV) to partially close off port flow at lower engine speeds. The effect was to increase the air charge tumble and swirl for improved air-fuel mixing, resulting in better fuel economy, idle stability, and lower emissions.

The Gen 3 manifold released in 2018 is far superior to either the Gen 1-2 5.0 Coyote intake manifolds. It flows much better, due to improved design, and far outperforms either the Gen 1-2 manifolds by a wide margin.

Manifold Parts

There are a few important parts of the 5.0 Coyote intake manifold that we’ll mention here first. The plenum is the “top” part of the intake manifold, and is usually the area you will see the brand/logo. Connected to the plenum on Coyote intake manifolds are eight individual runners or ports – one runner per cylinder – with four per side. Inside of the runners are butterfly valves that open or close to determine how much air flows into the cylinders.

While it’s not part of the intake manifold, the throttle body is also important. The throttle body controls how much air flows into the intake manifold from the intake or turbos/supercharger. Similar to the valves in the manifold runners, throttle bodies have a throttle blade that opens/closes to determine airflow. On 5.0 Coyote engines, it’s common to get a larger throttle body when getting a larger intake manifold. Some throttle bodies also have dual blades for more optimized flow control and better drivability – though they sacrifice some performance.

Intake Manifold Runner Control DTCs

One of the most common problems with Gen 2-3 Coyote intake manifolds is the dreaded P2005, P2006, P2007, and P2008 DTC codes. The codes mean that the charge motion control valves have a stuck open or stuck closed intake runner flap in one of the banks. The ECU controls the CMCV position, and when the malfunction is detected a Check Engine Light is set.

The CMCVs (also known as intake manifold runner control valves IMRC) are in the intake manifold. Basically, CMCV failure is when the ECU is unable to control the opening and closing of flaps in the runners. They can either get stuck open, or more likely stuck closed – choking the engine of air.

Some of the causes of the P2005/6/7/8 codes are:

  • Intake manifold runner that is clogged and/or failing
  • Wiring harness failure
  • Intake manifold runner control solenoid failure
  • Poor electrical connections

What are the symptoms of the P2005/6/7/8 codes?

  • Check Engine Light
  • Poor engine performance
  • Limp mode
  • Failure to maintain idle
  • Misfiring

If you have the IMRC DTC codes, the solution is to fix the wiring harness/electrical connection and clean or replace the runners. Also, changing the CMCV solenoids and actuators can solve the problem. If you have a Gen 2 engine, you can always upgrade to the improved next gen manifold.

The Gen 3 intake manifold will fit the Gen 2 engines, however it’s not a perfect setup. We’ll get into the details later, but if you go this route you will have to get your car tuned. You can also get a performance intake manifold to replace the stock one, which will also require tuning.


The other option for the IMRC/CMCV DTC is to go with a IMRC/CMCV delete kit. The Gen 2-3 intake manifolds can be fitted with deletes to remove the problem. This is a necessary mod when swapping Gen 3 intake manifolds onto Gen 1-2 cars.

However, this isn’t a mod to do lightly. IMRC deletes basically keep the runner flaps open at all times, which can be detrimental to low-end torque. Still, it will improve top-end performance. You will need a tuner to turn off the CEL, so keep that in mind with a delete kit.

It’s really a mod done for those looking at adding forced induction. If you’re planning on boosting your Coyote, with either a turbo or centrifugal supercharger, and are keeping the stock manifold, CMCV are smart upgrades. If your Coyote is stock and naturally aspirated, stick with the CMCVs. They won’t noticeably hinder performance and will aid with low-end torque and fuel economy.

5.0 Coyote Intake Manifold Upgrade Benefits

  • +10-40 whp (depending on other mods)
  • Decreased intake restriction and improved flow
  • Louder exhaust volume
  • Improved power band

The biggest benefit to upgrading the intake manifold is going to be the power increases. On smaller builds, you can see gains of 10-20 whp. Larger builds, those above 600 whp, can add 20-40 whp with an upgraded and better-flowing manifold. Depending on which manifold you choose, you will either get better low-end torque or better top-end horsepower.

It’s impossible to give precise numbers for gains, because every setup is different, but these are averages from Coyote builds. Depending on the manifold, you might see a slightly decreased power band at the expense of better top-end power.

Finally, you will likely see an increase in exhaust volume following the installation of a larger intake manifold. It won’t be drastic, like installing a cat back, but the volume will definitely be louder.

Mustang GT 5.0 and F150 5.0 Intake Manifold Swapping

LIke we said, depending on the 5.0 Coyote intake manifold, you can either prioritize low-end torque or top-end horsepower. It’s not a common mod by any means, but if you are looking to change the characteristics of your Mustang GT to have more low-end torque, swapping on a F150 5.0 Coyote intake manifold is an option. You will see a reduction in horsepower, but a bump in torque – especially on the low end.

At the same time, if you’re looking for your truck to breathe a little breather at the higher RPMs, swapping a Mustang GT 5.0 Coyote intake manifold is an option. You’ll sacrifice some towing capacity and low-end response, but you’ll definitely feel the difference past 5,000 RPM.

If you do plan on swapping Mustang GT and F150 Coyote intake manifolds, you will need a tune. The F150 and Mustang GT manifolds both got the same Gen 2-3 improvements, although with slightly different designs, so make sure you check what Gen you are getting before installing. As we mentioned earlier, Gen 2s will swap onto Gen 1s, but with no performance gains and non-functional CMCVs. See below on Gen 3 to Gen 1-2 swaps.

Ford 5.0 Mustang Gen 1-2 to Gen 3 Manifold Upgrade

5.0 Coyote intake manifold stock
Credit: Ford Performance

One of the most common upgrades for Gen 1-2 5.0 Coyote Mustang GTs and F150s is swap on a Gen 3 intake manifold. The Gen 3 intake manifold far outperforms the Gen 1-2, and it is pretty much a direct fit. However, you will need a couple of things to make sure your car performs well after it is on.

Number one is tuning. If you put a 2018+ Coyote intake manifold on a 2011-2017 Coyote engine, you have to get custom tuning done. If not, your car will run rough, possibly put itself into limp mode, and will struggle to idle. You will also eventually get misfiring and other issues.

If you are swapping a Gen 3 manifold onto a Gen 2 engine, you will want to get VMP Performances PNP CMC harnesses in order to retain use of the Gen 3 CMCV / IMRC / CMRC system. This will not work on the Gen 1 engines because those manifolds did not originally have a CMCV system. You will need to get them disabled, either through your tuner or with a delete kit.

Gen 1s require IMRC lockouts and CMCV actuator deletes. Gen 2 requires IMRC lockouts and modification to the wiring harness to work with the Gen 3 CMCV actuators.

A Gen 3 to Gen 1-2 swap is a solid upgrade for both the Mustang GT 5.0 and F150 5.0 Coyotes. You will see improvements everywhere in the power band, especially on the top end. Getting the Gen 3 manifold ported will offer even bigger gains, and should definitely be considered.

5 Best 5.0 Intake Manifolds

5.0 Coyote intake manifold Boss 302 full
Credit: Ford Performance
  • Ford Cobra Jet
  • Ford GT350
  • Edelbrock Victor II
  • Holley Sniper
  • Ford Boss 302

These intake manifolds combine the best in price, performance, quality, and aesthetics. While there are literally dozens of different manifolds available, these are the top options if you’re looking to upgrade. We included both Ford Performance and iconic brands like Edelbrock and Holley for the best and widest possible selection.

1) Ford 5.0 Cobra Jet Intake Manifold

Price: $1,500.00

Purchase Link: Cobra Jet Intake Manifold

Our top suggestion for upgrading the 5.0 Coyote intake manifold is the Ford Cobra Jet manifold. There are two generations of the Cobra Jet, with the most recent one being released in September 2022. The Cobra Jet manifold is the best for top-end and high-RPM engine performance. They are meant for drag racing applications, as they do sacrifice some low-end torque for superior top-end horsepower.

The Cobra Jet manifolds have shorter intake runners for better top-end performance, as well as a larger plenum volume than stock. They can handle up to 20 PSI reliably and are great for boosted builds. The Gen 1 and Gen 2 Cobra Jets, unfortunately, perform almost identical to each other. The Gen 2 has a larger plenum and runners, but actually fits under the hood better than the Gen 1s.

Ford Cobra Jet 5.0 Compatibility

The Cobra Jet manifold is compatible with the Gen 1-3 Coyote engines, but there are some modifications required. All Cobra Jet installs require tuning, regardless of the generation. For a Gen 1 upgrade, you’ll need the CJ intake, larger throttle body, LMR installation kit (for EVAP), and the factory strut tower bar will need to be removed/replaced with a Boss 302 compatible bar.

For a Gen 2 upgrade, you will need all of the above for a Gen 1 swap, but it won’t clear the stock ‘15-’17 hood. You’ll need either an aftermarket hood, or lower engine mounts. The Gen 3 swap is the same as the Gen 2, except you need the dual-blade throttle body.

On a totally stock Coyote engine, you probably won’t see huge gains above 10-15 wheel-horsepower. However, when you start adding more fueling and exhaust mods, the manifold really starts to shine. If you’re looking at building a Mustang GT 5.0 drag racer, the Cobra Jet should be high in consideration for your pick.

Ford 5.0 Coyote Intake Manifold Summary

The Ford 5.0 Coyote engine is one of the top V8 motors on the market today. If you really want to make some serious horsepower out of it then intake manifolds are a great mod. You’ll see a considerable improvement to horsepower and torque output, while also making your engine more aesthetically pleasing and lighter.

We looked at a couple of different 5.0 Coyote intake manifolds in this guide, and they are all very solid. The Cobra Jet, Boss 302, and Edelbrock intakes are all best suited for top-end performance builds, and will sacrifice some low-end torque. In addition, the Edelbrock and Boss 302 intakes are both the go-tos for boosted and nitrous applications. The Holley Sniper looks amazing, but is probably best suited for lower range builds without boost.

The GT350 manifold is a great upgrade for Gen 1-2 Coyotes, but is not a huge improvement over the Gen 3. Finally, upgrading a Gen 1-2 5.0 Coyote intake manifold to a Gen 3 is a very popular route with outstanding gains. You really can’t go wrong with any of these manifolds, as they are all top options and performers.

What intake manifold are you thinking about picking for your build and what goals are you looking to achieve? Let us know in the comments below!

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  1. We have a number of F-150 Gen 2 pickups with cracked intake manifolds. Dealership has no line of sight on delivery for replacement. Seems to me the Gen 3 intake may be the right way to go given these are work vehicles. I don’t know who to contact regarding a tune to correct the manifold differences.

  2. Hello, I ran across your article by LUCK! I’m one of the unfortunate recipients of a p2019 and p2007 code on a 16 F150 w/5.0. I was very bummed to find out these stock manifolds are nearly impossible to get. It seems that the GT350 would be the best solution. We have a good private tune shop in town. Am I correct that all I need is the manifold, an 87mm GT350 throttle body, a tune and I’ll be back in business? I called the shop today and they are going to give me an approximate labor charge, I’m to get all parts necessary. Thank you, any advice is very appreciated.

    1. Greg,
      I believe so, looking at Ford’s website and some install videos it should mate up. Additionally, you can get a throttle body adapter to reuse the stock TB if you prefer. Here is a video of the swap from YouTube, does not appear to complicated.


      All the Best,

  3. Loved the information you provided. I have a 2017 F150 5.0 with a broken runner shaft and want to upgrade to a Gen 3 manifold. What is needed beyond a new manifold and a tune? It would be so nice to be able to buy a kit for this upgrade.
    Thank you!

    1. Dennis,
      With a second Generation F150 manifold, you will need IMRC lockouts and modification to the wiring harness to work with the Gen 3 CMCV actuators. That’s in addition to the tune and new manifold.
      All the best,

  4. Hello. I have a 2017 F 150 with the 5.O L . I beleive it is a Gen 2 ? Still Has the steel oil pan.
    What is the best option for me ? I do not need any added perfomance .

    1. Bill,
      Yes, with a 2017 F150 you should have the Gen 2 version of the manifold. If you do not need any added performance, the best bet will be to replace with a new OEM version. The OEM version will provide the best fit and if you can find them used (but still functioning) they will be the cheapest option, too.
      All the best,

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