The 5.0L Ti-VCT Coyote block is a durable machined casting right out of the box. It can easily withstand outrageous amounts of power courting the 600- to 800-hp mark. The 5.0L Ti-VCT block shares the same bore spacing (3.937 inches or 100 mm), deck height (8.937 inches), bellhousing bolt pattern, and external dimensions as the 4.6L SOHC and DOHC engines. Bore size was increased to 3.629 inches (92.2 mm) along with an increased stroke of 3.649 inches (92.8 mm), which was still a “square” engine design with identical bore and stroke. Where the Ti-VCT 5.0L block differs is in an entirely new design with heavier webbing and other internal improvements intended to support greater power output from modest displacement.
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When the Coyote was introduced for 2011, Ford said, “This aluminum block was developed for optimized windage and oil drainback under lateral conditions and high-RPM use, such as a track-day outing,” meaning this was an engine designed specifically for performance. Ford added, “Increased main bearing bulkhead widths and nodular iron cross-bolted main bearing caps with upsized bolts were also employed to accommodate the significant performance increase.”
The Ti-VCT engine employs a rugged aluminum block with paper-thin iron cylinder liners. Because the Coyote’s iron cylinder liners are quite thin, this block must be sleeved with thicker cylinder liners for all-out racing in the 800- to 1,500-hp range. Modular Motorsports, as one example, offers racers the Pro Mod Coyote block with extra-thick ductile iron cylinder liners that stay put, ensuring block integrity. You can build one of these thick-cylinder bore blocks for the street if you’re an avid weekend racer. Thick cylinder liners are a good life insurance policy for a block already able to take extreme punishment. Cylinders can be bored as high as 3.700 inches to achieve 5.2L.
Holbrook Racing Engines offers its own thick-cylinder-liner Coyote block as well. Holbrook can take your block or an existing block from stock and set you up with an improved thick cylinder block, which can also be bored to 3.700 inches.
Rugged block architecture is what holds this engine together. Main bearing webs are thicker and heavier, allowing for performance extremes from enthusiasts and Ford product planners. This means the basic Coyote block can stand up to naturally aspirated performance demands, supercharging, nitrous, direct injection, and more. It can be said with confidence that this block will withstand more than 1,500 hp when sleeved with the thicker ductile iron cylinder liners mentioned earlier.
With this new block come advances in crankcase ventilation known as “bay-to-bay” breathing. Ford engineers located venting in the main webs designed to allow the freedom of air scavenging without robbing power. The result is a more positive ring seal, which helps efficiency and power. Gone is the Modular’s coolant tube down the middle of the valley. Instead, coolant is routed through the front of the block, leaving plenty of room for exotic induction systems and superchargers.
Block Modifications and Improvements
Although Ford has come up with a virtually bulletproof engine block capable of withstanding outrageous amounts of power, it does have its weak spots. Coyote blocks suffer from cylinder wall failures due to excessive heat issues, primarily in high-boost situations. Modular Motorsports offers a Head Cooling Mod Kit (455478), an easy bolt-on that improves coolant flow where it is needed most at the back of the engine.
If you’re planning more than 800 hp you should opt for a sleeved block from Modular Motorsports or Holbrook Racing, which are purpose-built blocks for racers. These blocks are machined for the thicker cylinder liners, and they can be bored to a displacement as high as 5.2L. Thanks to the way these sleeves are configured in the block, they’re virtually indestructible, which means they can withstand 1,000 to 2,000 hp. This is a remarkable statement for a lightweight aluminum block. Ford has never produced a stronger block; you can build your Coyote with confidence knowing it will stay together.
Traditional engine building technique applies to the Coyote block. As with any other production casting, you can expect to find flaws that can lead to engine failure. Deburr the block and remove any casting flash in your block preparation. Remove stress risers than can lead to cracking and failure. Thoroughly examine oil and cooling passages and chase them to remove debris that can do engine damage. Oil galley passages should be massaged to eliminate turbulence. All bolt holes should be chased for more accurate torque readings during assembly.
5.2L Coyote/Voodoo Block
The 5.2L Voodoo block looks like the Coyote block at first glance. It is, in fact, a different block with larger 3.700-inch (94-mm) sleeveless cylinder bores. When you think of sleeveless cylinders in an aluminum block, it sparks memories of Chevrolet’s sleeveless Vega 4-cylinder engine, which suffered from grave durability issues. Such is not the case with Ford’s state-of-the-art DOHC V-8. Cylinder walls are finished using the Plasma Transferred Wire Arc (PTWA) coating process developed in a cooperative effort between Ford and Flame-Spray Industries. The result is a super tough, lightweight, low-friction surface also used on the 5.4L DOHC engine in the Shelby GT500. This process sheds 8.5 pounds from the 5.2L Voodoo block.
PTWA is nothing new in the aerospace and heavy-equipment industries. However, it is surely new for Ford Motor Company. PTWA uses compressed air along with high-intensity electricity to create an extremely hot, 35,000-degree F plasma jet that coats the aluminum cylinder wall. This, of course, is an oversimplification of the PTWA process. Suffice it to say, PTWA gets the weight out and durability up by spraying on the sleeve as a coating instead of inserting an iron sleeve. Where this process gets challenging for Ford is the amount of time spent per cylinder. PTWA is a very time-consuming process and is therefore costly. The PTWA process takes more time than just inserting an iron sleeve. This is something Ford and Spray-Flame are working on at press time.
Ford recommends a 500-mile break-in period with the new 5.2L engine to achieve good ring and bearing seating. Break-in with the PTWA cylinder bores is the same as with traditional ductile iron bores. Periodic hard acceleration in third or fourth gear at speed helps seat the rings. Keep revs conservative (under 6,000 rpm) when you’re wearing in the rings. Change the break-in oil at 1,000 to 1,500 miles. Then, opt for a good synthetic 5W50 engine oil. Keep in mind the 5.2L Voodoo engine calls for 5W50. However, the 5.0L Coyote uses 5W20.
If you’re impressed with the 5.0L Coyote block, the 5.2L Voodoo block is even more impressive, with thicker main webs within an even stronger casting. Ford Performance Parts will have a 5.2L Coyote block available by the time this book comes off the press, which means the sky is the limit for your S197, S-550, or F-150 engine project. It means greater displacement, thanks to a larger bore size. In fact, the new 5.2L Coyote block from Ford Performance makes it possible to get more displacement from the 5.0L’s stroke without the thicker sleeves, which cost, on average, $1,000 if you’re doing a 5.0L block. This is a nice alternative to a bored thick-sleeve 5.0L block because you get more displacement without having to sleeve.
Written by Jim Smart and Posted with Permission of CarTechBooks