How To Engine Swap | Dropping a Coyote Motor in a Ford F-100

Every brand has fans, and all of them have a motor enthusiasts want to stuff under the hood. For Dodge guys it’s a Hemi, and for Chevy guys, it’s usually an LS. But when it comes to Fords, it’s all about the Coyote.

There are lots of reasons why. It’s a 5.0L engine that Ford has been building in one form or another since 1968, which gives it history. It offers rock-solid performance and reliability, and there are tons of options for improvements should you want to go even faster. Basically, it’s a great power plant for the money, which is why many F-100 owners decide on one to get their trucks down the road. The problem is that it seems like it’s difficult to install. There’s the wiring and computer to worry about; plus, can you even keep the front suspension stock? So many questions. 

Jason Noel and the team at Fat Fender Garage not only know the Coyote well, but they have a ton of F-100 knowledge. They know these trucks inside and out, which is why they bought a ’71 F-100 with the intention of installing a Coyote into it. The goal here was a little different from the norm, though. They wanted to keep the stock power steering box and front suspension, and make it as affordable an option as possible so that everyone can do it.

To make this setup happen for yourself, you can buy a Coyote with a 6R80 package directly from Ford, but it comes with a very steep price tag. On top of that, you’ll have to pay extra for essential components like a driveshaft, headers and accessory drive system. All of these parts can dramatically raise the cost of an already pricey package. In this story, Fat Fender Garage shows how to do the swap on a more modest budget. Keeping the price tag down, you can acquire a low-mileage Coyote/6R80 driveline combo from a 2011-present Mustang GT. Though you can pull one from an F-150, the Mustang GT version has more power and the stock headers will fit the frame rails of an F-100. We’ve seen these packages sold in local salvage yards for around $6,500-8,500, which is more affordable than buying new.

To that end, Fat Fender Garage developed a series of mounts that allows customers to drop a Coyote into their very own trucks worry-free. Not only does it locate the engine in the correct place, it does the same for the transmission, making the installation go a lot smoother. If you want info on the other parts and pieces they used to get it moving, they can help you out there, too. Give them a call, because they’re the experts, after all. 

But before you do, take a peek at this installation of a Coyote engine in their ’71 F-100. It’s a beast. 

Fat Fender Garage
1385 N. Recker Rd.
Gilbert, AZ 85234

Here’s the truck in its more-or-less original form, complete with a worn-out V-8. The Fat Fender team is going to fix that problem.
To free up some room, the hood came off first and was placed in a safe area.
With the grille and core support removed, there was plenty of room to remove the engine.
Fat Fender Garage sells a complete adapter kit for these trucks, too. It includes engine and transmission mounts for a perfect fit. This saves a bunch of time on an installation like this one.
Fat Fender uses a Power by the Hour Performance kit that allows you to mount a transmission cooler and shift linkage to the automatic transmission to ease the installation process.
To ensure that the truck would function well, the team added power brakes to the system, plus they rebuilt the power steering box.
With the fenders removed for a little bit of extra breathing room, the team set the motor into the frame for the first time. This Coyote/6R80 combo came from a 2013 Mustang GT that had only 59,000 miles on it.
The stock transmission tunnel isn’t big enough to handle the 6R80. To make it work, the team did a bit of trimming.
Fortunately, the high transmission hump from a manual or 4×4 transmission does provide enough clearance, so installing one will give you a factory appearance.
Here are the Fat Fender Garage engine mount adapters up close and personal. They make the process much easier.
The driver’s side Mustang GT header will clear the factory power steering box, and a small heatshield slips between the two for protection.
The passenger-side header needed a bit of work to fit. Fortunately, it’s not a lot, just a bit of grinding on the top of the frame.
The transmission cooler was positioned under the passenger side floorboard for a stealthy look that’s functional.
The transmission cooler uses a few spacers to provide the best airflow possible.
SoCal Speedshop in Phoenix provided the high-output electric fan, and it fit perfectly with the radiator in the core support.
A Ford Mustang has electric power steering. It takes a kit, like this one from KRC, to convert it to work for the F-100.
Installed, the KRC kit looks clean and simple.
The KRC kit includes a remote reservoir that was mounted to the radiator.
To keep things simple, they used the stock engine and transmission harness and a standalone power harness from Power by the Hour. This also meant that the computer needed to be located low and up front.
The Power by the Hour harness includes the power block and relays for the fan, which they mounted under the dash.
Fabricating the custom intake tube took a little planning and forethought. A breather port was welded in place, as well as an MAF bung on the underside.
The easiest part of the entire process was installing the accelerator pedal. One of the bolts even lined up with a hole in the firewall.
The fuel for the system is stored in a new Tanks Inc. fuel tank. It includes baffles and an intake fuel pump that works with the Coyote.
Here’s the finished product. The cold-air intake needs to be powder-coated and a few other details worked out, but it runs and is good to go.

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