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How to Coyote Swap a Fox Body Mustang


This article will provide a complete overview of the parts and pieces to consider when swapping a Coyote engine into a Fox Body Mustang. The focus will be on the needed components to fit the engine, providing plenty of clearance for the oil pan, rack and pinion, headers, and other major components.

In this article, we will be discussing these parts:

Why Are Coyote Swaps Popular?

Before we begin, we should discuss why the Coyote engine is a popular choice for engine swaps. Much of its popularity comes from it being fuel-efficient, reliable, and that it simply produces a lot of power. Fox Body Mustangs are a great platform for Coyote engine swaps due to their lightweight body and wide adoption of other aftermarket support. The wide availability of aftermarket components, such as suspension, allows the Coyote engine to take full advantage of its power and torque, resulting in a car that is both fast and fun to drive.

Choosing the Right Coyote Engine

The Coyote engine has been through four generations of development since it was first introduced in the 2011 Mustang GT. Each generation has brought its own unique improvements and performance gains.

First Generation Coyote Engine (2011-2014)

  • Displacement: 5.0L
  • Horsepower: 412 hp
  • Torque: 390 lb-ft
  • Compression ratio: 11.0:1

Second Generation Coyote Engine (2015-2017)

  • Displacement: 5.0L
  • Horsepower: 435 hp
  • Torque: 400 lb-ft
  • Compression ratio: 11.5:1

Third Generation Coyote Engine (2018-2023)

  • Displacement: 5.0L
  • Horsepower: 460 hp
  • Torque: 420 lb-ft
  • Compression ratio: 12.0:1

Fourth Gen Coyote (2024-Present)

  • Displacement: 5.0L
  • Horsepower: 480 hp
  • Torque: 420 lb-ft
  • Compression ratio: 12.0:1

Selecting the Proper K-Member for a Coyote Swap

The QA1 MUK01 and MUK02 K-members are the proven foundation for the Coyote swap, providing solid and reliable tubular construction for engine mounting. The lower mounting position of the adjustable rack and pinion mount allows clearance for aftermarket oil pans without the need to space the engine up and works great with SN95 spindles. This is especially important for Fox Body Mustangs, which have limited space under the hood.

The QA1 K-member is designed to work seamlessly with QA1 control arms, Proma Star coilover struts and caster camber plates. If your ultimate goal is to reduce your 60-foot time or improve your handling ability on the backroads or autocross track, QA1 has the right combination for you.

Engine Mounts for Coyote Swaps

A unique feature of the QA1 K-member design is its interchangeable engine mount brackets. Whether you've had your QA1 K-member installed for years or are planning your next build, upgrading to Coyote mounts is a simple bolt-in process. QA1's 52114 engine mount brackets and Prothane's P/N 6-504BL polyurethane engine mounts are all you need for your Coyote swap. Other engine configurations are also supported, with details available on

Coyote Swap Oil Pans

We have found success with Holley oil pan part number 302-50, as they are designed specifically for Coyote swaps in Fox Body Mustangs. The low profile front pan geometry allows ample clearance with the power rack and pinion while maintaining the stock 8 quart oil capacity.

Headers for a QA1 K-Member

Ultimate Headers offers 321 stainless steel Coyote swap headers (p/n 473041) designed specifically for QA1 Mustang K-members and Ford 6R and 10R automatic transmissions. If your engine has a Gen 1 Coyote starter, you'll need to upgrade to a Gen 2/3 starter for header fitment.

Other Components and Consideration

After successfully mounting the engine, there are a few more important things to consider as you prepare for your Coyote engine swap. Working with your favorite Mustang performance parts dealer will make the process much easier.

Other considerations include:

  • Choosing a transmission (and transmission crossmember) that suits your performance goals
  • Tunnel clearance or modifications with larger, modern transmissions
  • A custom length QA1 driveshaft may be needed based on your transmission choice
  • Many choose to remove the factory oil cooler to free up space for the steering rack and eliminate the risk of mixing oil and coolant
  • Engine and transmission controllers with associated wiring harness
  • Upgraded fuel system to support the higher horsepower and fuel flow requirements
  • Hydro boost or manual brake upgrades for added performance and engine bay space

In Conclusion

Coyote swaps are a popular option for Fox Body Mustang owners who are looking for a reliable and powerful engine upgrade. QA1 K-members are a great choice for this swap, providing easy bolt-in engine mounting and upgraded suspension with QA1 suspension components.

Holley oil pans are designed specifically for Coyote swaps in Fox Body Mustangs and provide factory like fit with upgraded baffling. Ultimate Headers’ Coyote swap headers are designed to work with QA1 Mustang K-members and Ford 6R and 10R automatic transmissions.

Other important considerations for a Coyote swap include choosing a transmission that suits your performance goals, engine and transmission controllers and an upgraded fuel system.

With careful planning and execution, a Coyote swap can be a rewarding experience that results in a Fox Body Mustang with a significant boost in power and performance.

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