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Plan B - 3.7-to-Coyote in a 2012 Coupe

Table of Contents

Why is this called "Plan B"? Well, my original plan ("Plan A") was to buy a 2010 V6, and install a stroker pushrod motor with a radical cam and dual-quad intake. Additionally, I was gonna rip out the computers and interior, put in a roll cage, and call it a race car. It (the motor/trans swap) would cost about the same as the swap described here, but the additional hassle regarding annual inspections in Texas pretty much makes that plan unrealistic. If I lived in a non-inspection state, such as Arkansas, this wouldn't be an issue at all.

It should be painfully obvious to even the most challenged of you reading this that performing a swap like this is a) a huge undertaking, and b) costs a lot (some would ay prohibitively so). I agree with both points. However, who here wants to sacrifice their existing car, which might be paid off, not to mention already significantly modded? We all know that selling (or trading in) your modded car to get a GT will not allow you to recoup the cost of the mods, and unless you kept your OEM parts, you'll have to pay to put OEM parts back on your car. When I modded my car, I couldn't sell the V6 suspension stuff, and I still have most of the body parts (but wish I could sell them). I know *I* certainly don't have the room to store all that crap.

In the end, it's a trade-off. You pay for the swap, or you pay for the loan and then RE-MOD your new GT to the same level your V6 was modded. I'd rather do the swap myself (because I have a LOT of money tied up in my V6), and that's why we're all here.

What's Involved?

There are several related systems that also have to be considered:

  • Engine
  • Exhaust
  • Transmission
  • Cooling
  • Electrical
  • Fuel
  • Air Conditioning

You may have noticed that I didn't mention suspension, brakes, or rear end. The reason is because all of those components are not necessary to perform the engine swap, and the V6 parts were used on past or current GTs. All of this means that as long as you drive with these components somewhat less than optimum suitability in mind, you should be fine until you get around to upgrading them. As it is, I am of the opinion that the factory brakes (yes, even with just a V6 in the car) are sub-standard with regards to the abuse exerted on them under performance driving conditions, and for that reason, the brakes should be the very FIRST thing you upgrade after changing to a V8.

So here's the parts list (sans the engine and transmission). I still have some questions regarding some of the components, and I made notes on components where I couldn't find a price or definitive info. Notably, I couldn't find any pricing/availability on the pedal cluster (necessary to acquire the clutch pedal for the transmission swap). Tousley simply doesn't list them that I could find. I may have to rely on the salvage yard for that particular assembly.

Final reminder - since we're going from a V6 to a V8, you should assume (as I have) that you can keep NOTHING under the hood from the old V6 drivetrain except maybe the main fuse box and the battery.


Essentially, you have to decide how to proceed. By far, the least expensive way would be to buy a salvaged 2011-2014 GT or Boss 302, preferably one that's been rear-ended but not rolled. Even side-impacted wouldn't be a bad choice as long as it was behind the doors. The key is that you want the drivetrain to be as intact as possible. With a donor car, you have EVERYTHING you need to complete the drivetrain swap, and as long as you didn't pay more than $5,000 for it, you can absorb the cost of replacement parts with relatively small additional impact on your wallet.

The other option is to simply buy everything new. This involves an amazing list of parts, mostly due to the size and scope of the list. Certainly, you could buy many of the parts from a salvage yard for a lot less than buying them new, but there are certain parts that you simply shouldn't do that with. I'm speaking of the wear items, like the starter, air conditioning compressor, clutch, radiator. The last thing you need is to have to replace one of these items because you used a salvage part instead of springing for a new one.

Additionally, the GT has known weaknesses. The MT82 transmission seems to be a real trouble spot, the oil pump gears are less than sturdy under harsh conditions, and the single core radiator is just barely adequate for the job. The information below provides the OEM stuff as an option, but I also included recommend upgrades since the new drivetrain is not in the car - yet. You'd be wise to consider those upgrades.

The info below doesn't include salvage prices for anything because it's impossible to estimate. You simply have to go down to your local salvage yard and ask them how much they want. For that reason, I only list the parts and how much they'll cost new. You can assume that a salvage yard will ask 25-50% less (depending on the part).

Finally, I separated out the engine and transmission from the rest of the parts because they are the big-ticket items.

Primary sources of parts are:

  • Tousley Ford Parts
  • American Muscle (discount already applied to prices)

Let's face it - this is how we all want to do it - with a brand new engine, that's never been abused by a past owner. You have a few choices, (Boss 302, GT, Aluminator). Since this swap is about the 5.0, we'll avoid talking specifically about the other more expensive options, but be aware that ALL of them are applicable to this swap because they're all 5.0 Coyote engines.

Essentially, you have two options - a motor directly from Ford, or one from Ford Racing. I have no idea how complete the motor is from Ford. Tousley prices it at $5600, but they don't mention whether or not it has the various sensors and tubes that the Ford Racing version appears to have. The Ford Racing crate engine sells for $700 more ($6300). Because it's a known quantity, that's the one I would choose.

The parts list below includes the crate motor.

Engine
Description Manufacturer Source Price
5.0 Crate Engine Ford Racing American Muscle $5921.00
Engine Cover Kit Ford Racing American Muscle $123.00
Engine Mounts (pair) Ford Tousley Ford $156.00
Engine Support Brackets Ford Tousley Ford $81.00
A/C Bracket Ford Tousley Ford $0.00
P/S Bracket Ford Tousley Ford $0.00
Oil Filter Ford Tousley Ford $15.00
TOTAL$6296.00

Recommended Upgrades

If you're gonna do a swap like this, you want to do as much stuff to the motor as you can before installing it, because it's MUCH easier to do before the motor is in the car. The primary cause of catastrophic engine failure is loss of oil pressure and restriction/loss of cooling. Unfortunately, BOTH of these are very real possibilities in a Coyote engine.

One aspect of the 5.0 motor that is universally regarded as a weak point is the oil pump, or more specifically, the oil pump gears. Under normal driving conditions, the OEM gears are usually adequate, but who among us doesn't drive a bit more aggressively? You don't want the oil pump to fail at ANY time, but especially during at high RPM. You won't be able to react fast enough (once you realize there's a problem) to avoid doing even more damage to the engine.

Another weakness of the motor is that the motor as delivered does not adequately circulate coolant to the back of the heads. The most obvious side-effect is that cylinder #8 runs hot, and the ECM doesn't properly account for it because the cylinder head temperature sensor is on the other (passenger) side of the motor. For this reason, it is HIGHLY recommended that you install the coolant kit from MMR. It's cheap insurance when you consider the cost and time involved in this swap (and you certainly don't want to melt #8 in a brand new crate motor.

Engine Upgrades
Description Manufacturer Source Price
Oil Pump Gears MMR MMR $300.00
Head Cooling Mod MMR American Muscle $230.00
TOTAL$530.00

Anecdote: - I had a guy at a Ford dealer tell me that CAI kits were the cause of cylinder #8 melt-downs because the CAIs (even with a tune) were causing a lean condition that adversley affected the #8 cylinder. This claim, of course, is a crock of shit. Everyone - even Ford - knows there's a cooling problem, and the MMR kit addresses that problem.

OEM Airbox or CAI?

This part of the engine deserves its own sub-section simply because of the number of options available to you. The most ubiquitous mod performed on a Mustang (both the V8 *and* V6) is a cold air induction (CAI) kit. Most of the time, the person who installs a CAI also buys a hand-held tuner. Since we're putting a V8 into a V6, NOT getting a tuner would be - well - stupid. For this reason, I include the tuner as a necessary part with the air intake assembly.

There are two basic choices regarding the air intake. You can either use the OEM air box and attaching parts, or you can get a CAI. They are very close in price, and you HAVE to get one or the other, so it's up yto you as to which one you get. Given those facts, I'd go CAI. At that point, it becomes an academic argument as to WHICH CAI to purchase. The top 3 contenders are Steeda, JLT, and Airraid, but there are others available. The one and only comparison I found that involved a coyote motor was performed by Steeda, and it's worth noting that THEIR CAI rated tops in horsepower (with *their* tune). I'm not claiming they gamed the comparison, but it is notable.

As you can see below, it's CHEAPER to get the CAI/tuner kit than it is to get the OEM parts with a tuner.

OEM Air Intake
Description Manufacturer Source Price
Air hose Ford Tousley Ford $51.00
Air hose clamps (pair) Ford Tousley Ford $9.00
Airbox assy Ford Tousley Ford $273.00
Air intake duct Ford Tousley Ford $26.00
SF3/X3 Tuner Bama American Muscle $356.00
TOTAL$715.00

CAI w/ tuner
Description Manufacturer Source Price
CAI w/ SCT3 Tuner + life tunes Steeda American Muscle $658.00
TOTAL$658.00

Totally Optional Upgrades

If you're gonna do a swap like this, you want to do as much stuff to the motor as you can before installing it, because it's MUCH easier to do before the motor is in the car. To that end, I recommend the following parts:

If you want something more juicy than a bone stock 5.0, and you're a drag racer, consider installing a set of Comp Cams. They'll give you more top-end and sacrifice the bottom end. The same goes for the Boss 302 cams (less bottom end). If you're a road racer, you're better off with the OEM cams and a tune. Both option cam sets require adjustments to your valve train, so make sure you do the appropriate research regarding these items.

Engine Optional Parts
Description Manufacturer Source Price
Comp Cams (set of 4) Comp American Muscle $1500.00
Boss 302 cams (set of 4) Ford Tousley Ford $456.00
TOTAL$1956.00

(These cams aren't included in the total at the end of this page.)


This is the only really hard choice you have to make. The bottom line is that you can't keep anything from your V6 between the engine and the rear end. NOTHING. You MUST upgrade your transmission and driveshaft. Your choice lies between selecting an automatic or a manual transmission, and this choice depends on what you're going to do with the car. If you're drag racing (or ironically enough, driving the car like an old woman), the automatic is probably your best choice. If you're a corner carver, a close-ratio manual transmission is the way to go.

In my case, I'm converting to a manual transmission because I like road racing and have absolutely no interest in stoplight-to-stoplight stuff.

Automatics

Let me start off by saying that if you're drag racing, an automatic is THE way to go. With an improved stall converter and a tune, the OEM automatic transmission should be more than adequate. I'm not at all interested in this type of racing, but in the interest of completeness, I did some investigating, and the price of both the 3.7 and 5.0 OEM automatic transmissions is the same ($4200). That does not mean, however, that they aren't the same, but I strongly doubt that they are since Tousley specifies engine size for the part. In fact, I suspect the changes are probably found in the valve body.

The OEM torque converters are most definitely different, so expect to buy one of those as well ($419). As long as the motor/trans isn't in the car, you should seriously consider an aftermarket converter that fits your needs. They're almost double the price of the OEM part. I haven't done any research on what's available, but expect to pay AT LEAST $700 for something that suits your needs. As far as I know, there are no aftermarket alternatives to the OEM transmission itself, and I don't think anyone is making a performance valve body for the transmission. I leave this research to those interested in pursuing it.

Finally, you're going to need a new flex plate for the 5.0 ($30) and a shift control cable ($29). That will bring the cost of your automatic to at least $5000 (if you get an aftermarket converter).

Manual

If there was ANY part of this swap that you wanted to be absolutely sure of, it's the transmission. You don't want to spend time under the car fixing something that Ford (or a previous owner screwed up. Historically, the OEM MT82 transmission has exhibited a certain level of unreliability, even under the most sedate driving conditions. To put it bluntly, I don't have any faith in it. Furthermore, Ford (Tousley) sells the MT82 for $2500, but it is unclear as to what comes with it. Most certainly, you still need to buy a mount and/or crossmember, and a shifter. You may even need to buy a bellhousing and spacer plate. All in all, I don't feel that this is a viable choice, but have no fear - there is a suitable (and yes, more expensive) alternative.

Hurst Driveline Conversions has a ready-to-install, bellhousing-to-yoke Tremec T56 transmission specifically for use in the S-197 GTs for $3500. It even comes with a Hurst shifter! It simply can't get any better than that. Like the crate motor, it's a known quantity, and comes with a bellhousing, a spacer plate, a transmission mount/crossmember, and a yoke to accept a S197 driveshaft. It's also available in both a close and wide ratio configuration.

Getting a non-OEM transmission would normally cause a certain amount of consternation regarding the bell housing, cross member, and other attaching parts, but thankfully, Hurst provides the exact solution to our problem. My advice is to consider this option.

NOTE: The costs of either an automatic (with torque converter) or a Hurst Magnum XL manual transmission (with clutch parts) are pretty close to the same, with the automatic just barely edging out the manual (probably because I didn't thoroughly research it to find all the GT-specific things you need to do to make it work). This makes it up to the car owner what he should choose.

Another aspect of the transmission swap is the driveshaft. It would be sheer lunacy to put in an OEM driveshaft, but in the interest of completeness, I included it in the list below. The smart move would be to install an aluminum one-piece drive shaft because it's a) lighter, and b) more durable.

Finally, you need to swap out your clutch/brake pedal assembly (and associated wiring harness). I don't know what's involved with the wring harness, but after a year of searching, I finally found a part number (in October 2013) and a price for the pedals. WOOT!

OEM Transmission & Driveshaft
Description Manufacturer Source Price
Manual Transmission Ford Tousley Ford $2500.00
Transmission mount Ford Tousley Ford $51.00
Transmission cross-member Ford Tousley Ford $99.00
Shifter assy Ford Tousley Ford $131.00
Shifter knob Ford Tousley Ford $21.00
Flywheel, clutch plate, disc Spec Tousley Ford $649.00
Flywheel bolts UNK Unknown $0.00
Throwout bearing/slave cylinder Exedy American Muscle $170.00
Clutch master cylinder Ford Tousley Ford $123.00
Clutch hydraulic lines Ford Tousley Ford $47.00
Shifter boot Ford Tousley Ford $35.00
Various Bolts N/A Tousley Ford $30.00
Driveshaft Ford Tousley Ford $650.00
Clutch/Brake pedal assembly (part# cr3z2455a) Ford Tousley Ford $127.00
TOTAL$4633.00

Aftermarket Transmission & Driveshaft
Description Manufacturer Source Price
Magnum XL T56 Transmission Kit (w/ shifter) Hurst Driveline Conversions Hurst $3600.00
Flywheel, clutch plate, disc Spec Tousley Ford $649.00
Flywheel bolts UNK Unknown $0.00
Throwout bearing/slave cylinder Exedy American Muscle $170.00
Clutch master cylinder Ford Tousley Ford $123.00
Clutch hydraulic lines Ford Tousley Ford $47.00
Shifter boot Ford Tousley Ford $35.00
Various Bolts N/A Tousley Ford $30.00
Driveshaft (aluminum) UNK American Muscle $724.00
TOTAL$5378.00

What a can of worms this is. There are hundreds of possible combinations of parts available. I simplified it to include either all OEM parts, or mostly aftermarket stuff. I would personally probably end up with a mix between the two.

OEM Exhaust
Description Manufacturer Source Price
Exhaust manifolds (come on motor) $0.00
Catalytic converters (pair) Ford Tousley Ford $575.00
Front Pipe Ford Tousley Ford $123.00
Exhaust pipe clamps (pair) Ford Tousley Ford $76.00
Exhaust Pipes (pair) Ford Tousley Ford $390.00
GT500 Mufflers (pair) Ford Racing American Muscle $309.00
Exhuast manifold gaskets (pair) Ford Tousley Ford $36.00
Cat converter gaskets (pair) Ford Tousley Ford $33.00
Hangers and clamps Ford Tousley Ford $100.00
TOTAL$1642.00

Aftermarket Exhaust
Description Manufacturer Source Price
Ceramic Long Tube Headers BBK American Muscle $611.00
Offroad Shorty X-Pipe BBK American Muscle $224.00
Exhaust pipe clamps (pair) Ford Tousley Ford $76.00
Exhaust Pipes (pair) Ford Tousley Ford $390.00
GT500 Mufflers (pair) Ford Racing American Muscle $309.00
Hangers and clamps Ford Tousley Ford $100.00
TOTAL$1710.00

Cooling is a simple affair. You either upgrade the radaiator, or drop in an OEM single-core part. My personal preference is to upgrade, mostly because I live in Texas. Where it's hot. Where it's DAMN hot.

OEM Cooling
Description Manufacturer Source Price
Radiator Ford Tousley Ford $151.00
Cooling fan (with shroud) Ford Tousley Ford $132.00
Upper radiator hose Ford Tousley Ford $38.00
Lower radiator hose Ford Tousley Ford $29.00
Coolant reservoir Ford Tousley Ford $55.00
TOTAL$405.00

Aftermarket Cooling
Description Manufacturer Source Price
Radiator Mishimoto 3-core American Muscle $260.00
Radiator Fan Mishimoto American Muscle $80.00
Upper radiator hose Ford Tousley Ford $38.00
Lower radiator hose Ford Tousley Ford $29.00
Coolant reservoir Ford Tousley Ford $55.00
TOTAL$462.00

Everything beyond this point is essentially limited to OEM parts, but must be listed so that you're aware that I'm aware that it must be swapped out as well. It is my fervent hope that this kind of stuff is easily retrieved from a donor salvage vehicle.


Emissions
Description Manufacturer Source Price
Purge control valve Ford Tousley Ford $11.00
Vapor Cannister Ford Tousley Ford $113.00
Vent control solenoid Ford Tousley Ford $68.00
Connector hose Ford Tousley Ford $30.00
Rear/left oxygen sensor Ford Tousley Ford $47.00
Rear/right oxygen sensor Ford Tousley Ford $47.00
Front/left oxygen sensor Ford Tousley Ford $94.00
Front/right oxygen sensor Ford Tousley Ford $94.00
TOTAL$504.00

Electrical
Description Manufacturer Source Price
PCM (can't find it for sale anywhere) Ford Tousley Ford $0.00
ECM Ford Tousley Ford $212.00
Battery Cable (pos) Ford Tousley Ford $159.00
Boss 302 Alternator kit Ford Racing American Muscle $285.00
Premium Power Wire Kit PA Performance American Muscle $50.00
Starter Ford Tousley Ford $212.00
Engine Wiring Harness Ford Tousley Ford $229.00
ECM (depends on 4-character code?) Ford Tousley Ford $215.00
MAF Ford Tousley Ford $68.00
Ignition coil Ford Tousley Ford $38.00
PCM (do I need this?) Ford Tousley Ford $0.00
Oxygen sensor upper (on engine?) Ford Tousley Ford $0.00
Oxygen sensor lower (on engine?) Ford Tousley Ford $0.00
Cam pos sensor int (on engine?) Ford Tousley Ford $0.00
Cam pos sensor exh (on engine?) Ford Tousley Ford $0.00
Crank pos sensor (on the engine?) Ford Tousley Ford $0.00
Speed sensor (on trans?) Ford Tousley Ford $0.00
TOTAL$1468.00

Air Conditioning
Description Manufacturer Source Price
Condenser assy Ford Tousley Ford $193.00
Compressor assy Ford Tousley Ford $279.00
Compressor Stud Ford Tousley Ford $1.00
AC Tube assy Ford Tousley Ford $37.00
Front AC Hose assy Ford Tousley Ford $39.00
Rear AC Line assy Ford Tousley Ford $55.00
AC Line assy Ford Tousley Ford $67.00
Mounting bracket(?) Ford Tousley Ford $0.00
TOTAL$671.00

Fuel System
Description Manufacturer Source Price
Fuel pump Ford Tousley Ford $190.00
Fuel pump controller Ford Tousley Ford $45.00
TOTAL$235.00

Now for the hard numbers - this is the part that SWMBO (She Who Must Be Obeyed) must approve:

OEM Category Totals
Description Price
Engine$6296.00
OEM AirBox$715.00
Emissions$504.00
OEM Exhaust$1642.00
OEM Transmission$4633.00
OEM Cooling$405.00
Electrical$1468.00
Air Conditioning$671.00
Fuel System$235.00
GRAND TOTAL$16569.00
Optional Category Totals
Description Price
Engine with Reliability Upgrades$6826.00
CAI/Tuner$658.00
Emissions$504.00
Aftermarket Exhaust$1710.00
Aftermarket Transmission$5378.00
Aftermarket Cooling$462.00
Electrical$1468.00
Air Conditioning$671.00
Fuel System$235.00
GRAND TOTAL$17912.00

I made the mistake of running this page during testing and looking at the bottom line. Almost $18K (if I have to buy EVERYTHING new). I have to admit that I'm somewhat disheartened. After trade-in, I only paid $18.5k for my car. The bottom line - Can you do the swap? Yes. Is it worth your time and money? Only if you have the disposable cash on hand. If you're planning on doing it a piece at a time, good luck.

If you allotted $1000 per month to the project, it would take you a year and a half to complete, and if one thing is true about hot-rodding, it's this - if EVERYBODY in the household is not 110% behind you on the project, then time is your enemy, and the longer it takes to complete a hot-rdodding project, the less likely it is to be completed by you. You'll end up selling everything at a loss because a baby is about to be born, or you want to buy a house, or you have to pay for legal expenses for a troubled family member, or some other reason.

In my humble opinion, the ONLY way this is feasible is if you find a salvage GT that has an intact drivetrain. That way, you have the motor, exhaust, and transmission. Scarfing these out of a wrecked car will save you a buttload of money. My advice is to be careful not to buy a flood damaged car if you avoid it at all. Once water gets into the engine, you have to pay to tear it down and rebuild it.

Unless I get REAL lucky by June 2013 or so, this idea is toast, for me at least.