Built for high-powered Coyote projects, Ford Racing’s new 5.0 block is stout where it counts
By Steve Turner
Photos courtesy of Ford Racing
Quite honestly Ford’s TiVCT 5.0-liter engine—codenamed Coyote—flipped a massive reset switch in the world of Ford performance. If you didn’t have a Coyote engine under your hood, you either wanted one, or you wanted your combo to run that hard. It is a robust performer right out of the box, and like its predecessors, it has taken to bolt-on performance mods like a racer to a starting line.
Having been deeply involved in the reporting of this engine’s debut, the early word out of the factory was quite conservative. To hear the engineers say it, the stock Coyote was pretty maxed out and might not hold up to performance much beyond the factory parameters.
Fortunately, that couldn’t be further from reality. Modified stock long-blocks have posted impressive performance numbers. Likewise, completely built engines with mega power adders have crested the hallowed four-digit milestone, and put down record numbers in all manner of racing sanctions. Most amazing is how all this has been accomplished with stock blocks.
As the performance envelope is continually pushed, it was clear there was a need for a more robust foundation for these ultra-performance combinations. Fortunately, our friends at Ford Racing had their fingers on the performance pulse and were busy developing a new racing block for those in need, and it is now available for order for friendly neighborhood Ford Racing dealer.
“The Coyote engine has shown tremendous performance potential and in the vast majority of situations the stock block is quite capable, but for the most extreme builds we saw a need for a block with more material around the cylinder bore,” Jesse Kershaw, Drag Racing Parts and Competition Manager at Ford Racing, said. “This adds stability under high cylinder pressures and in the event of a tuning issue the material could save the block and require only a re-sleeve.”
Working with the stock architecture, Ford Racing engineers bolstered the areas most prone to failure in extreme circumstances to create a new Coyote race block, known officially as the Mustang GT 5.0-liter 4V Ti-VCT Aluminum Performance Block (PN M-6010-M50R; $2,950).
“We didn’t change anything with the bottom end because we did not see the need, but we did add material all the way around the cylinder bore by making the water jacket smaller,” Jesse explained. “On the intake, or valley, side of the deck surface we added a strut to the casting that supports the sidewall of the cylinder. On the exhaust side we did not use the strut for fear of it restricting coolant flow too much, but we did significantly downsize the water jacket to beef up the cylinder on that side.”
Like the stock block, it is based on a low-pressure-cast 319 aluminum with pressed-in thin-wall iron liners. It features the familiar 92.2mm bores size and cross-bolted, nodular-iron main bearing caps. It even equipped to retain the factory piston oil squirters, should you desire them. Also, in a sign that Ford Racing knows its customers, the engineers added a feature to make a racer’s life easier.
“Lastly we added a drain plug so that coolant—or water for race cars—can more easily be drained. This is especially common in race cars to prevent freezing and cracking because they use water,” Jesse said. “The smaller water jacket may not make this block ideal for road-racing applications, but assuming those are largely naturally aspirated, the production block is a fine piece.”
Interestingly, most of Ford Racing’s race blocks are cast in specialty facilities, but the more robust Coyote block is a true factory effort.
“This block is very different from our pushrod blocks because we were able to produce it in the OEM production facilities,” Jesse said. “The castings came from the OE supplier and the machining happens on the normal production line, although the first batch of blocks were tagged with bright blue paint so they didn’t get mixed up. Our pushrod blocks are done outside current Ford production lines.”
Of course, before unleashing this new part on the racing world, Ford Racing put some sample units in the hands of select racers for durability testing.
“We had five or six beta testers that gave us real-world feedback on the block. It was a cross-section of different power adders in dedicated race cars as well as street cars,” Jesse explained. “We also did some internal testing and validation but we never do anything internally as extreme as the aftermarket does. Real world feedback helped us sign off on the product.”
Knowing the block is stronger is one thing, but putting an exact horsepower limit on it is anyone’s guess. Suffice it to say, this block is the strongest basis to build your next Coyote project. So, if you plan on adding a power adder or two and pushing the limits of performance, this is the unit for you.
“Ford Racing doesn’t have an advertised figure but we have beta-tested it with numerous engine builders for feedback and the results were great,” Jesse said. “At these power levels and rpm, the tune-up is so critical that no block is indestructible, but we’ve seen good things. Chris Holbrook’s Coyote-powered Super Stocker has one of these blocks and he has run 7.90s without a hiccup. We’ll take that!”
So will we!