New Edge Mustang Coyote Swap: Easiest Engine Mod in the World?

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Youtuber makes a very persuasive argument showing why you should swap the modular 4.6-liter with a modern 5.0. 

Nothing in life is easy. It’s the oldest cliche in the book, but the older you get, the more you realize it’s true. As far as car modification goes, Mustangs have always ranked among the “easier” cars to build. But even a project that seems easy can go sideways pretty quickly. That’s why we were skeptical at the outset of this video. Posted by YouTuber Foxcast Media, host Caleb Richards discusses swapping a 5.0-liter Coyote V8 into a New Edge Mustang.

For starters, this is a great idea. The 1999 to 2004 New Edge is crude by today’s standards, but it’s light, cheap, and there’s a huge aftermarket for it. In GT form, the New Edge ‘Stang with its modular V8 came with 260 horsepower from the factory. Considering that crate Coyotes crank out over 430 horses, this is a quite the upgrade.

2003 New Edge Mustang

Richards has already posted several videos dropping a Coyote into Fox Body Mustangs. And with their already iconic reputation, that makes sense. But New Edge cars are just beginning to be appreciated, and luckily, he says the swap here is even easier. Compared to the Fox, he praises the New Edge’s stiffer chassis, better brakes, and better suspension. Think of it this way: In terms of a project car, it’s like the suspension and brake work have already been done for you.

4.6-liter Modular V8 in 2003 New Edge Mustang.

Dream vs. Reality

Then he gets to the engine. Brake, power steering, and A/C lines are all up and out of the way, so there’s no rerouting needed. The cross member is nearly identical to modern Mustangs, so it doesn’t need any modification there. It even fits on the same motor mounts. “This is a super, super easy car to swap,” Richards says, “compare it to a Fox Body, where everything’s got to change.”

But don’t go thinking that this is a weekend project just yet. Because nothing really is that easy. While a Coyote bolts up to New Edge-era transmissions, you’d need to have a background in electronics to get automatics to play nice. If you’re swapping a manual car, it would be easier, but you’d still have to upgrade the clutch, flywheel, and probably get the internals rebuilt before you took your first drive. Then there’s the fact that the Coyote will need a series of adaptors to work with the older Ford’s wiring. What’s more, no one is building gauge clusters for this swap, so if you want your speedometer and ancillary instruments to work, you’re on your own.

2003 New Edge Mustang

At the end of the day, however, a Coyote-swapped New Edge is worth it. Richards estimates that you can build a 4.6 liter Modular to high heaven and it still is going to struggle to break 400 horsepower. “They are great engines, they are reliable, and they can be fast,” he says. “They can make good power. But in the grand scheme of things, it just makes 100 percent more sense to go ahead and drop a Coyote.”

While we absolutely love the S550, there’s something irresistible about dropping a new engine into an older, lighter Mustang. “At the end of the day,” Richards says, “a ’99 to 04 car with a Coyote swap is going to be a very good handling, very good running, very comfortable, very enjoyable car. You will love it.” We think we already do.

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James Derek Sapienza has worked as a writer and editor in the world of automotive journalism since 2015.

He has a BS in History at SUNY Brockport, with a focus on American popular culture. A fan of the classics with a special interest in German cars, he is a proud owner of a 1991 W124 Mercedes. He is a frequent contributor to Mustang Forums, MBWorld, 5Series, Rennlist, and more.

Sapienza can be reached at [email protected]

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