Selecting the Right Coyote Intake Manifold
Selecting the right coyote intake manifold
Friday evening and a freight truck just pulled up outside your house. Down comes the lift gate with a giant crate. Oh great! It’s not Christmas but it might as well be as the heart for your project has just arrived.
Below the box top and beneath the billows of packing paper lies your pride and joy; a factory fresh long-block complete with a warranty. Depending on your flavor, one of these late-model engines could be an LS-variant, LT1, or Coyote. Regardless of the selection most of these factory composite manifolds just don’t look that great. Not to fret with regret, there’s a solution for everyone out there. In this segment, we will be reviewing the popular intake manifolds available on the market, what they look like, their dimensions, and what to expect from them.
The Stock GT Manifold
Ford did a fantastic job engineering the stock Coyote 5.0 intake manifold. The long runners-in-a-box–style GT manifold creates a delicate
balance of horsepower and torque. The relatively small 302ci displacement from the Coyote typically creates peak torque around 5,200-5,500 rpm. Its low profile design places the runners into the valley of the engine. With the plenum cover attached, the overall height increase above the top of the valve covers is less than 2 inches.
There are two different types of GT manifolds.
The 2015-2017 secondgeneration Coyotes included Charge Motion Control Plates built into the intake manifold. The
2018 direct-injected 5.0 has the best long-runner manifold design yet is still very new to the market. The easiest way to tell if your engine is equipped with this newer manifold is the gaggle of vacuum lines on the backside of the plenum. Unlike first-generation IMRCs, these plates are designed to fold flat in the runner to reduce restriction under acceleration. The plates increase port velocity under low engine speeds, which help increase torque.
Overall height of a 2011-2014 stock intake manifold (measured from the cylinder head flange) is 5.74 inches.
It goes without saying that any intake manifold upgrade should be accompanied by chassis dyno tuning by a professional. This is more important on 2015-plus crate engines because all aftermarket variants (except for the GT350 plenum) eliminate the functionality of the Charge Motion Control plates and thus will result in a check-engine light. This
can be easily remedied during the tuning process without any negative side effects. The one manifold we will not be talking about today is from the GT350, since we are after manifolds that will bring a better visual appearance to the engine bay of your project.
The main manifolds we will be discussing today include:
Ford Performance Parts BOSS 302, PN M-9424-M50BR
Ford Performance Parts Cobra Jet, PN M-9424-M50CJ Edelbrock Victor II, PN 7180 Holley Sniper (Street Series), PN 829031
Ford Performance Parts BOSS 302
We will start things off with the first performance manifold introduced for the Coyote engine platform: the BOSS 302. Equipped as the factory intake manifold for 2012-2013 BOSS 302 Mustangs, this intake manifold will increase the Coyote’s effective powerband by 1,000 rpm and add about 35 hp. This means that with a proper tune the 5.0 will steam past 7,400 rpm with stock camshafts. Expect about a 17 lb-ft of torque loss due to the 2.85-inch shorter runners. Although the runners on the BOSS 302 manifold are shorter, the manifold itself is still taller than the GT manifold by 2.35 inches. This is because the GT’s “runners in a box” manifold features a longer, tapered runner.
The composite BOSS 302 manifold has a classic design with its long stripes on the top of the plenum.
The factory composite manifold has a clean construction. Installation is straight forward and simple … given you have the additional hood clearance. Most air intakes will adapt to the raised inlet by being clocked slightly and the stock 2011-2017 throttle body will directly transfer. Also, the intake manifold’s purge valve will be relocated off the manifold. Ford also offers a molded foam injector cover upgrade (PN M-9680-BOSS) that covers up the injectors and associated heater core lines.
Overall height (measured from the cylinder head flange) is 9.93 inches back, 9.16 inches front.
Ford Performance Cobra Jet
To squeeze every ounce of power from your Coyote engine, the Cobra Jet ranks as one of the top manifolds to buy. The overall construction of the CJ manifold is very similar to the BOSS 302, though sits slightly shorter due to the lack of the raised stripes running down the manifold.
The area around the injector has been smoothed out for better airflow and the strut tower brace recess has been removed. But perhaps the biggest change is the GT500-style oval throttle body. With oval tubing taking up more real estate and harder to fabricate than round, this might be a limiting factor if there’s not sufficient clearance
between the front of the engine to the radiator. Also, the move to a GT500style throttle body is required.
The Cobra Jet manifold is all business; it offers a different, racier look when compared to the BOSS 302, though is constructed of the same quality. This manifold will be good for 10-15 more horsepower and torque over the BOSS 302 while revving around another 100 more RPM. The same injector covers listed for the BOSS 302 will also work on the Cobra Jet.
Overall height (measured from the cylinder head flange) is 9.76 inches back, 8.96 inches front.
Edelbrock Victor II
If you’re looking for a staple aftermarket brand’s manifold for your street rod, the Edelbrock Victor II might be your choice. Externally, the Victor II resembles a similar look to the BOSS 302 but this manifold is made from cast aluminum and its stripes are machined into the casting. While we haven’t tested the Victor II, we would suspect that the slightly longer runners would put this manifold close to the BOSS 302 horsepower with torque similar to the GT manifold. This would also be on par with Edelbrock’s power claims. The Edelbrock manifold will accept all the stock emission provisions, fuel rails, and throttle body.
For those that want to get sneaky, Edelbrock cast in direct port nitrous bosses onto the bottom of the manifold for those daring to add a little spray into the mix.
Overall height (measured from the cylinder head flange) is 8.09 inches back, 8.24 inches front.
Holley Sniper (Street Version)
Coming in as the shortest overall manifold in the aftermarket bunch is
the Holley Sniper intake manifold. Also offered in a larger race version, as well as in black or polished, this manifold gives a fully fabricated look. Hand welded from 1/8-inch-thick T-6061 aluminum, Holley’s manifold features a short runner configuration that’s designed for top end horsepower. Unlike the other manifolds in the lineup, the Holley manifold does not feature a tapered plenum design. Exposed trumpets in the plenum allow for the Sniper manifold to sit shorter without sacrificing a lot of low end torque.
Holley does include an adaptor to accept the stock throttle body but doesn’t have provisions for the factory crankcase hoses and is probably best paired with a set of valve cover breathers. A variety of NPT ports tapped into the bottom of the manifold allow for brake booster and ancillary vacuum hookups.
Overall height (measured from the cylinder head flange) is 6.73 inches back, 6.82 inches front.
The stock 2011-2014 GT manifold features a runners-in-a-box design that incorporates a long, tapered runner. From the head’s flange to the top of the manifold is only 5.74 inches tall, which allows the GT manifold to sit low for maximum hood clearance.
The tallest to shortest manifolds side by side: The BOSS and Cobra Jet’s overall heights are similar: 9.93 and 9.76 inches, respectively. The middle man is the Victor II with a maximum rear plenum height of 8.24 inches. The shortest of the bunch is Holley’s Sniper that doesn’t feature a tapered plenum and comes in at 6.82 inches measured at the manifold’s raised logo.
The BOSS 302 intake manifold was the first performance manifold made for the Coyote engine platform. It was offered on the 2012-2013 BOSS 302 Mustangs and its short runner construction increases top-end power and the upper rev limit.
The Ford Performance Cobra Jet manifold is all business. A simple top plenum design eliminates the factory strut bar recess to increase volume. This manifold is a smidgen shorter than the BOSS 302 due to the lack of raised accent stripes.
The claim to power fame with the Cobra Jet manifold is the oval-style GT500 throttle body. This will require an oval to round transition intake pipe and the clearance in front of the engine to go along with it.
The stock manifold fills the valley of the Coyote engine while the BOSS stands tall above it. The stock throttle body and breather lines are a straight swap to this manifold.
Edelbrock’s Victor II is built from cast aluminum and is currently the only cast Coyote manifold on the market. It’s a direct bolt-on and retains all the same functionality as the stock manifold.
Semi cross ram–style runners extend into the lower plenum like the Holley Sniper but with more taper. The runners are longer than the BOSS 302 (9.81 inches) and Cobra Jet to help preserve low-end torque.
The Victor II also has stripes running down the length of the manifold but they are machined into the top and not raised like the BOSS 302.