Part 2: We finish installing a Ford Performance Parts Coyote Power Module
Since we introduced the Ford Performance Parts Coyote Power Module package we’ve been busy installing a 5.0L Coyote V-8 and 6R80 automatic transmission in a fat Ford, specifically a '41 woodie.
We’ve sung the praises of the Coyote on numerous occasions, and rightfully so. The sophisticated four-cam V-8 produces 435 hp effortlessly and gets great mileage doing it. The all-aluminum V-8 is light at 445 pounds but it’s certainly not petite thanks to heads that house two cams each.
At first glance, with the engine and trans sitting on the floor, this swap looked like a daunting task, and tech center manager Jason Scudellari was seen scratching his head on several occasions. Like any engine swap there are a number of factors to take into consideration, but the most critical are room for a radiator and an effective fan and the space needed for an exhaust system—primarily on the left where steering components have to fit. Virtually all other obstacles, such as oil pans, filters, crossmember interference, and so on are easily overcome, but if an adequate cooling system won’t fit and there’s no room for the exhaust and steering to be routed, it’s time to rethink the entire plan.
Making room for the Coyote in our
woodie was handled by installing a Direct Sheetmetal recessed firewall (see the Apr. ’18 issue) that allowed the engine to be positioned back far enough to eliminate any interference issues and provide plenty of room for the U.S. Radiator aluminum radiator, electric fan, and shroud. However there is another issue that often has to be resolved and that has to do with the accessories driven off the front of the engine.
The Coyote has the alternator attached to the engine with a fixed bracket on the front cover and in some early cars, such as ours, there is often a clearance problem between the alternator and the front suspension/steering components
(on later cars or with more engine setback this may not be a problem). Another issue is the power steering pump, or lack of one. As the Mustang uses electric power steering there is no provision for a conventional power steering pump and hanging extra brackets on the crowded nose of a Coyote seemed to be virtually impossible but Vintage Air found a way. Their Front Runner drive system mounts the power steering pump with the pulley facing to the rear, thereby aligning it with the other pulleys and idlers in the system.
While the Vintage Air Front Runner accommodates the power steering pump and the A/C compressor, the stock Ford alternator position still posed a problem as it interfered with the upper control arm. The solution was to steal a page from the Vintage Air playbook and mount the Powermaster alternator facing to the rear on a custom bracket. The only other clearance issue was the stock oil filter/cooler assembly. It was swapped out for a remote filter adapter mount from Ford Performance Parts, M-6881-M50A.
Although the Coyote is wide up top the only real challenge that presented was running the exhaust. Unfortunately neither the OEM cast-iron truck manifolds or the tubular headers used on the Mustangs would fit. However, Patriot Exhaust offers compact tubular headers that fit the tight confines of our chassis and include bungs for the necessary oxygen sensors on each bank. After the driver side header was in place new U-joints and shafts were used to connect the steering column and rack-and-pinion steering. All the steering components came from Flaming River.
With all engine fitment issues resolved, dealing with the 6R80 transmission was next. As we detailed last month, Scudellari and tech center assistant Christian Arriero modified the X-member. And while the 6R80 isn’t particularly long for a six-speed, it is larger in width and height than the three-speed automatic it replaced so modifications to the original floor and trans tunnel were also required. One of the peculiarities of the Ford Performance Parts Coyote Power Module 6R80 is the lack of a conventional splined output shaft. Instead these transmissions have a four-bolt flange that means the slip joint must be built into the driveshaft. That chore was capably handled by Inland Empire Driveline.
As the 6R80 has overdrive ratios of 0.87 in Fifth and 0.69:1 in Sixth, the subject of the wagon’s 3.08:1 rear gear ratio had to be addressed.
By comparison, the Coyoteequipped Mustangs use 3.15:1 rear gears with the six-speed automatic and 27-inch-tall tires. Oddly enough our wooden wagon and a new Mustang both weigh around 3,700 pounds but our vintage Ford is about as aerodynamic as a railroad boxcar and it runs 31-inch-tall 7.50R16 Coker Nostalgia Radial Blackwalls on the rear (5.50R16 on front) so we opted to bump the ratio a bit and installed a 3.70:1 gearset from Currie Enterprises.
Once the running gear was in place, the tech center team turned its attention to the fuel and electrical systems. The fuel system must be return-style only that maintains 55 psi and Ford Performance Parts suggests an in-tank pump to reduce the possibility of pump cavitation. The Coyote Power Module instructions point out that cavitation is essentially localized boiling caused by a reduction in pressure on the inlet side of a pump (basically the pump is being starved for fuel). This condition results in fuel vapor bubbles, which will reduce the volume of fuel the pump is capable of delivering to the engine. For this reason, it is always best to either have the pump inside the tank immersed in fuel or in the case of an external pump gravity fed, which will increase the pressure on the inlet side of the pump. In applications where an external fuel pump is used a very coarse (typically around 100 micron) filter on the inlet side of the fuel pump and a finer (typically around 10 micron) filter on the outlet side of the pump should be used. A paper filter is not recommended on the inlet of the fuel pump because it can cause a restriction in fuel flow leading to cavitation.
One of the truly outstanding features of the Ford Performance Parts Coyote Power Module is the integration of the engine and transmission management systems— that means the performance of the engine’s ignition, fuel system, and transmission are all coordinated just like a brand-new Mustang. In addition, this sophisticated electronic control system allows for such advanced features as paddle shifters and push button start/stop. While all that sounds like wiring would be a nightmare, the wiring harness for the engine and transmission are truly plug-and-play. To further simplify the electrical system installation, Ford Performance Parts includes what is called the Power Distribution Box that connects directly to the supplied wiring harness and contains all relays and fuses needed for the engine, air conditioner, and cooling fan control included in the kit.
Ford Performance Parts has invested a considerable amount of effort in both the manual and automatic Coyote Power Module kits, they are well thought out and expertly executed.
And by integrating the management of the engine and transmission in one controller the operation of the automatic version is absolutely seamless. The end result of our efforts is a classic example of a street rod with 435 reliable, trouble-free horsepower on tap with a silky smooth overdrive automatic. It’s a combination that is just as comfortable on a local cruise or cross-country trip—we’d say that’s a pretty good combination.
Superstition Restorations finished the installation of the Direct Sheetmetal recessed firewall and prepped it for paint.
After the primer the firewall was painted matte black. Due to interference with the front suspension, the stock Coyote oil filter mount/cooler assembly was removed.
This remote oil filter adapter from Ford Performance Parts was used to plumb a remote oil filter mount. This is the six-speed 6R80 transmission—note the four-bolt flange on the output shaft.
Part of updating the '41 was the conversion of the stock instruments to electronic operation.
A clean power supply and good grounds are required for all the electronics to operate properly, so we used a Painless battery cable kit.
Stainless pipes from Patriot connect the headers to the JBA 304 stainless mufflers. The trans mount is from the Roadster Shop. And while it can’t be seen, fluid manifold from Bowler Transmissions allows AN cooler lines to connect with the 6R80.
An electronic throttle pedal eliminates the need for a cable and must be used with this system. Ron Mangus covered the new floorboards with carpeting.
1-2 This is the end result of our Ford Performance Parts Coyote Power Module installation—the cool look of a vintage woodie on the outside with the latest powertrain technology on the inside. To drive the engine-mounted accessories and add a power...