“BRACE YOURSELF” A new Maximum Motorsport roll bar is installed

In preparation for HPDE track days, a new Maximum Motorsport 4-point roll bar with harness mount, diagonal brace and low slung door bars are installed.  The old roll bar was strictly for show, and no safety or rigidity was provided.  Rob at Realspeed Automotive is taking care of the installation, which takes a lot of time preparing the car for mounting the bar properly.

First, stripping the interior and removing any mat or sound deadening material.


Then, welding reinforcements.



Maximum Motorsport‘s low slung door bars are fitted for hatchbacks and notchback only.  They don’t make ones for convertible…yet.  So, I ordered them anyway and had them “tweaked” to fit.



Finishing Touches

Part 3 and final installment.


With the motor in and running, only the finishing touches are left to do.


I didn’t notice this or read anything about this issue.  But, Dan the owner has a good eye and knowledge of road racing cars.  And he didn’t like the drive-line angle of the motor and trans.  If I had known or anticipated this issue, I would of took more pictures.  Therefore, I only have after photos.  But, the driveline angle was too steep, steeper than stock.  Thus resulting in a motor that sits high in the front, and the trans tail sitting low.  This is evident in swaps when the nothing is done, the motor tilts down at the firewall.  Ideal, would be an angle that was closest to level and weight distribution would be better as well.


Maximum Motorsport’s offers 1 inch and 1/2 inch k-member spacers.  We decided to start with 1/2 spacers, I didn’t want the k-member to sit too low on these NY streets.


A spacer was also added to the trans cross-member.




The final result with the 1/2 inch spacers was a stock driveline angle, and we were happy with that.  I was afraid the 1 inch spacers would drop the k-member too low.  Plus, by lowering the motor the more spacers added to the tie rod end connected to the spindle.  We didn’t feel confident enough of the strength under heavy cornering.


Probably the toughest part of the swap was installing the hydroboost brake system.  Finding one is easy, they’re all over eBay for cheap.  The issue here is, how to integrate a SN95 hydroboost to the fox-body?


The obstacle here is, the ends of each hydroboost do not match.  The end is a hoop that attaches to a pin on the brake pedal in the pedal assembly.  But the hoop on the fox-body is angled down and the SN95 is straight.  This is an issue if you try to mount the SN95 hydroboost to fox pedals.  It doesn’t reach and if you try and fab something, it would work at an angle and will create problems down the road.  Others have cut and welded the fox hoop onto the SN95 hydroboost end.  We tried this on a spare unit, and it did not work so well.  Rob was able to break the end off with hard pounding on the brake pedal.

rod ends hydroboost


Another option is to bolt in the SN95 pedal assembly into the fox.  Rob looked into this, but the Sn95 pedals bolt to the top of the steering column and the fox pedals bolt to the firewall.  This looked like a big custom fabrication.

Our final solution was to fabricate the SN95 brake pedal to fit the fox pedal assembly.  The pic below has both assemblies, the fox-body is on the left and the SN95 is on the right.  Notice each brake pedal, the fox is straight and the SN95 is angled.



With the fox brake pedal on the left and the SN95 is on right.  Notice the shafts on top, which house the pedal spring.  Because the fox is straight, the shafts are equal length on each side.  The SN95 pedal is angled, therefore the shaft is shorter on one side.  In order to fit the SN95 pedal on the fox assembly, Rob cut a section of the shaft off on one side.  By cutting the proper amount on the left side, the pedal mounts more to left.  This actually works out, because the pedal is angled to the right and the small pin below the shaft which attaches to the hydroboost, is now in the proper position.



Below is the SN95 brake pedal mounted on the fox-body assembly.





Next is re-fitting the fox-body pedal assembly to the firewall to accept the new SN95 hydroboost.  The opening needs to be grinded out a bit, and the four holes in the firewall for the mounting bolts don’t exactly line up like the old fox brake booster.  The holes need to be drilled out and expanded a little.  Spacers needed to be machined for proper fitment.

IMG_1329 IMG_3600



When the hydroboost was installed, the top fitting did not clear the windshield washer motor.


A special right-angle fitting was found and saved the build!

DSC03525 DSC03527 DSC03532

I had a custom heat shield fabricated from a single piece of aluminum.


The Maximum Motorsport strut bar’s passenger arm was cut, bent and welded back to clear the hydroboost.

DSC03523 DSC03520

The engine cover was notched out to fit the strut bar.



Every fits, and pieces were powder-coated.


By replayman Posted in Motor

Coyote Swap: Engine Install

Click on Video Page to see Part 1


Time to install the coyote.  Real Speed Auto wanted to install the engine already bolted onto the k-member, from the bottom.  Some swaps have had success this way, but as we found out.  They were drag cars that had the front sway-bar mounts cut off from the chassis.  My car, or anyone else that plans on running a sway bar will have to install the motor the conventional way…from above.  The motor is just too wide to maneuver around these mounts.


Nothing out of the ordinary here, everything drops into place and fits nicely.  Be sure to tape up the sides of the shock tower, so you don’t scratch any paint.  Rob had one tip he got from NMRA Coyote Stock racer Mike Washington….replace the rear bolts that hold the rear mounting plate in place when lowering the engine.  Use shorter or cut down the supplied bolts, otherwise you will be unable to fully loosen and remove them when the engine is in place.  There is not enough room behind the firewall to unthread them all the way.


Once everything is secured and tightened down, Rob ensures the k-memeber is square.


The accessories I plan on using is straight from the Ford Racing catalog.   I ordered the Boss 302 alternator kit and power steering bracket along with the new coyote engine from LRS.

Boss alternator

What we didn’t know…was the power steering bracket mounted the power steering pump so low, it interfered the sway-bar.


This causes a problem for me, my mustang needs to have a front sway-bar in order to handle extremely well.  Others have completely eliminated the front sway-bar, some used shims or fabricated a custom front sway-bar.  We did some research and found Power By The Hour coyote engine swap bracket kit.  This kit allows you to use 1996-2010 Mustang alternator, power steering and AC compressor on the coyote engine.  It comes with everything needed except accessories, this meant returning the Boss alt. & ps bracket.  Now I had to find a ’96-10 ps pump and alternator.

power by the hour

The power steering pump is an easy junkyard find or eBay purchase.  The alternator I wanted new or rebuilt, so Rob got me one at a local shop.  After trying various casings, we had to go with the SN95 alternator.  The issue here is…the PBH kit has the alternator mounted upside down and in reverse.  because it is upside down, the factory mounting points are open and the alternator would fall or creep, no matter how tight you torque it down.  L & L Auto Electric  came up with this fix…pictured below.


DSC03371 DSC03363

After bolting everything up and checking clearances, the PBH kit looks like the right way to go.  And, I have the option of adding AC if I wanted to.


Rob mounted the fuse box inside the passenger kicker panel





The new coyote ecu, is mounted in the passenger side fender.  A custom mounting plate was fabricated and powder-coated to look nice.



Upper radiator hose is from a 2011 Mustang GT that needed to modified and the lower was a custom hose


The lower radiator hose is a custom job.



The cold air intake is semi-homemade.  I Steeda velocity stack was used, cut/welded to fit properly on a right-angle adaptor.


Power steering overflow


Coolant overflow


Coyote Swap: Engine Bay Clean Up & Motor Prep


Removing the old 5.0 pushrod motor and drivetrain was the easy part of the swap…the hard part was still to come  But while we were waiting for all parts to arrive it was a good time to clean up the engine bay.   A great part of other builds is the extensive time and talent put into smoothing the engine compartment.  This looks great and clean, but unfortunately adds up to an already expensive bill.  To do it right and have it look good, a lot of time is required.  I decided to I needed to do something, it would be a shame to have a new motor in a dirty old engine bay.  So we sent out the car to a local shop, and had the bay cleaned up, a few ugly holes filled and sprayed with Dupont “Hot Rod Black”, a paint that is supposed to harden and become strong and chip resistant.


old parts old parts

All parts are removed and carefully sorted and placed as to what stays, and what goes



The oem pan is removed and the Boss 302 oil pan is installed



My mustang comes back looking awesome.  It is not the “show car” look, but I am very, very happy with it.  I think it will look oem as if the fox-body rolled out with a coyote motor black in 1991 .



Install soon to come!


car & motor

Almost ready


rob wiring

In the meantime, the VHX Dakota Digital dash gets wired.


SVE adaptor

In the order from Late Model Restoration, I got the SVE pedal adaptor bracket.  This is required for fox-body swaps, to properly locate the accelerator pedal that comes in the FRPP harness & control pack kit.


bracket mod

A slight mod is needed, the tab is cut to fit.  Otherwise this interferes with the transmission tunnel.



Installed and clearance is good.  Although, Rob had to make 3 small cuts in the carpet and use 3 screws to keep the carpet down and away from the gas pedal…just to ensure nothing catches.  It is also notable, that the gas pedal is more forward the the oem pedal.  This is immediately noticeable when driving, i is not bad but take a little getting used to.


IMG_3496 IMG_3505 bell housing

BBK full length ceramic swap headers get installed…along with clutch, bell housing and fork.


car & motor

Almost ready!

Coyote Swap: Delivery Day

delivery motor

The motor arrives right on time and I’m like a kid on Christmas morning.  I decided to order all my swap parts from Late Model Restoration, I have dealt with them before and the have great customer service, a good return policy and great prices.


Rob w/parts parts
More gifts arrive…parts required for the swap. Which I will go over later in this blog, plus modifications we did.


Tremec TKO500 spec clutch

Along with the coyote, a new driveline is required.  Probably the most popular swap is the use of the T56 transmission.  In my build, I was unable to find a good deal on one.  But came across a great deal on a rebuilt Tremec TKO500 with a 26 spline input shaft.  I went with a Spec stage 2 clutch & plate with a Spec billet steel “lightened” flywheel.


BBK x-pipe BBK headers

BBK ceramic headers and x-pipe.  Couplings are needed to cut and re-fit the x-pipe, as it needs to be shortened to fit my Borla cat-back.


hoses fuel sending unit fuel

New hoses are needed and my 255 lph high pressure fuel pump is sufficient, but decided to fully convert to a 8AN fuel line.  So a new regulator plus filter is needed along with welding new fittings on the sending unit.


power by the hour alternator

Here was our first obstacle, I originally ordered the FRPP Boss 302 alternator kit and power steering bracket.  We would later find out, this did not work on my swap.  The power steering was too low and interfered with the sway bar.   Other swaps did not use a front sway bar and others fabricated a new mount or sway bar all together.  Maximum Motorsport sells an adjustable rear which can be used for this.  I decided to purchase Power by the Hour Coyote Swap Brackets.  This uses a SN95 alternator, power steering pump and air conditioning….for now I am using the AC delete pulley.  An issue we had with the SN95 alternator, was the mounting points.  The two top stock mounts are opened, because it is mounted on top and this works with the way it is bolted on a 4.6.  But they way it mounts on the coyote, with this new kit, the alternator is upside down.  The alternator is pushed down by the belt and the open mounts cannot properly hold it up.  So the solution was to weld and enclose the mounts…pictured above.


hydroboost pedals

Along with new parts, a few used items are needed.  The fox-body brake booster does not fit in the engine compartment with the monstrous coyote engine.  In order to have power brakes, a hydroboost conversion is required from a later SN95 1994-2004 Mustang.  You also need the pedal assembly, luckily everything is easy to find online or at local junkyards.


vhx dakota oil pans

Installing a coyote requires a new dash, since the gauges work off the old 5.0 EEC IV ecu, which is gone.  So it was either a custom Auto Meter gauge cluster or the new Dakota VHX instrument bezel.   Another option was to replace the coyote oem oil pan.  I purchased the BOSS 302 oil pan for its oil baffle and its prevention of oil rushing to the front under hard braking.   The Boss 302 is pictured above on the left, notice the rear is missing a platform compared to the oem on the right.


Coyote swap in the fox-body

Anyone that knows me or if you’ve read my posts…knows I have become a fan of road racing and auto-cross.  I guess I grew out of sort of my drag race phase and have enjoyed competing in SCCA Solo II events and HPDE track days.  
I’ve enlisted my 1991 LX as an experiment or test mule, to come up with the perfect balance of performance and handling. But I also need it to be reliable and fun to drive. Cars like the Boss 302 and Camaro Z28 have been very popular now, and have everything you need to be a weekday cruiser or a weekend track car.

My ’91 LX already fitted with an independent rear suspension, coil overs and disc brakes. All that is needed, is a new motor. What better than the new Ford Coyote engine? Coyote swaps are becoming common now-a-days, especially in fox-bodies. I usually like to be different, but I just couldn’t resist this project.  As this build progressed, it became much different than all the others.  That is why I wanted to share my experience.  As I realized, or more so my builder, Rob at Real Speed realized…not all Coyote swaps are the same.  Many have been done already and write ups on forums are easily available.  But, many of these swaps are done differently due to time restrictions, budgets or goals.  My goal was to have a good reliable daily driver afterwards, and able to drive back and forth from the track, with no issues.  Real Speed wanted a car to showcase their talent and expertise, a car worthy of their reputation.

I will try my best to get into detail with pictures and explanations of all the different parts and modifications done to complete this swap. In the meantime I will explain what I referred to earlier when I said, “not all coyote swaps are the same”. Many of the other swaps that were done, we’re done for drag cars.  Much different and much easier.  An example, is this video on PowerBlockTV.   This coyote swap looks so easy, but like many others, this fox has NO power steering, NO power brakes. And the ONLY reason they were able to lower the car onto the motor & k-member, is because the front sway-bar mounts were cut off.  Meaning…the car was not running a front sway-bar, because it was a drag car. Which is understandable, but not for my daily driver. With the factory mounts in place, it is not possible to lower the car onto the motor, the mounts hit the heads…the coyote is too wide.  I need power power brakes and steering.  And these were the main obstacles Rob incurred during the build.
So to begin, I’ll start with a basic shopping list to get an idea of what’s in store for anyone interested in tackling this project.  You can also check out this spread sheet from “Built To Cruise”.  It is very elaborate and has prices and links.  This ;its below is a basic starting point, it will either scare you away or intrigue you.  I don’t have every little nut or bolt listed but just the main parts.

  • Coyote engine
  • Control pack
  • 4.6 motor mounts
  • 4.6 Swap k-member
  • SVE pedal bracket
  • Headers & mid-pipe
  • 4.6 starter
  • Fuel regulator & connector
  • Radiator hoses
  • SN95 power steering pump
  • Alternator
  • Accessory brackets
  • SN95 hydroboost
  • SN95 pedals
  • Transmission
  • 4.6 bell housing, plate & hardware
  • Clutch kit & fork
  • Crossmember
  • Shortened driveshaft
  • New dash cluster

And that just about covers it.  At least for the big stuff.  There are many smaller bits needed and a lot of time and some fabrication.  All which I will talk about later.  Check out my YouTube Channel for my videos.

Plasti-Dip rims today

Because my car required a different offset in the rear due to the IRS, I had to get a 2nd set of Bullit rims from a S197…to match the front Bullit rims on my car that are from a SN95.  This left me with full set of matching Bullit rims as a spare set.  I plan on getting a set of R-Compound racing tires for these rims for track use and really wanted something different than the identical kind I drive on now.  Strapped for cash, I decided to just change the color of the spare set and be done with it.

Lately, I’ve been reading up on this rubber spray called Plasti-Dip.  There’s a lot of videos on Youtube and sites like Dipyourcar…that showcase this spray.  It seems pretty cool, and there’s a lot of pro’s to it…so I decided to give it a try on my spare set of Bullit rims for my LX.  I tend to like the matte black look and it hides the brake dust perfectly, and price difference to powder-coating is way cheaper.  I could also paint my rims, but that is more permanent, and still requires a lot of prep work and scuffing, that permanently ruins the wheel.  Plasti-dip just needs a clean surface and bonds to all materials, including chrome lips, very easily.  Best of all it peels off and the wheel is as it was before, in perfect condition.  I went out to Home Depot and purchased 3 cans for $8 each and started spraying.

Wheels before

Wheels plast-dip

1st coat


After 4 coats



Had to also spray the inside of the barrel





Custom Splitter For My Mustang Fox-body

A big thing on the new Mustangs lately is a front splitter.  Although, not very functional as they’re supposed to be, everybody seems to appreciate their aesthetics.  Maybe only on the Boss 302 Leguna Seca Edition, does the large splitter help down force, on much of the GT’s and Shelby’s, they just look cool.

I decided to give it a try on my ’91.  No aftermarket companies make one for the fox-body, as it is relatively new in popularity.  I purchased a new 2010-2012 Roush front splitter from LRS.  Because it is for a S197 I knew it would not fit properly, especially the sides.  So, it would have to be trimmed somewhat.


I was able to get the car on the lift at RealSpeed Auto, and we centered, lined up, and drew lines where we needed to trim.



Use a some kind of cutter, multi-tool or jigsaw and cut away.


Use a light sander to clean edges



We used all the original mounting points on the splitter, and just drilled holes in my bumper.  All locations we were able to slip our hand and add a nylon locking washer to secure it.  Just one screw up front is screwed in the bumper without a nut.  It is very sturdy and holds very well.




I have to find some kind of black rubber trim for the sides.  Up close the sides look like they were cut, a piece of trim would hide that and look a bit better.




Hooker car bar

A rare roll bar find

I first saw this roll bar on a fellow forum members Stang.  I immediately noticed it was different from the all the 4-point roll bars you see on foxbody verts.  The rear legs do not go into the back seat, hindering a backseat passenger comfort.

As I inquired about it, I discovered it is the Hooker Competition Car Bar #18617HKR and that it is no longer available.  After several months of combing the internet and classifieds, I found one for sale in Rhode Island fro $125.  The guy was parting out his vert and was gracious enough to ship it to me.  Installation instructions are still avialble at Jegs for downloading here, but it was a lot harder than just bolting it in….as it fits ’83-’93 Mustang verts.  LOL!

This roll bar is a 4-piece/4-point design. It is constructed of 21/4 O.D. .125 wall steel tubing with 3/16 attaching plates.  But it is NOT meant for roll-over protection and NOT NHRA 0r SCCA certified.  It strictly for show.  Altough it is very heavy and sturdy, the rear legs do not touch the floor and are at such a narrow angle that it would not enable the bar to withhold the cars weight if it ever flipped.

Hooker car bar

First thing I did was have the bar powder coated semi-black at Action Powdercoating.  The pictures below show how the how the legs bolt in and where the rear legs attach to the support frame.  So far it’s pretty basic with all the panels out of the way.

Roll bar

Roll bar

Roll bar

Roll bar

The main hoop is bolted to the floor.  I decided to bolt in instead of weld.  I really like this bar and it was so hard to find.  I would definetly keep it if anything happened to the car.
Roll bar

Roll bar

And the hard part…fitting the rear panel and seat belt feeder.  The instructions have your relocate the bolt that mounts the seat belt 1/2″.  Unfortunately, my car had the plastic Styling Bar and a piece was cut out to mount it.  Even if I could, I dont think it would work.  I think the instructions were for earlier cars, this was real a tight fit and we had to use a plate to re-locate the mounting bolt as seen in the pic above.  Then you have to be very good at measuring to cut out the hole in the panel, again the instructions had a template to trace….but it was for pre-’91 models only.  LOL.  FYI, the factory 5×7 speakers no longer fit, but maybe a set of 4″ speakers could be fabricated to fit.
Roll bar

Roll bar

Roll bar

And finished….job well done!  It was really wort it.  The bar only cost me $125, but after shipping costs and powder coating, I am very happy.  I think it looks really good compared to other bars, especially the plastic styling bar.   You’ll also notice in the pics below, a wind deflector I found online.  It is from Love The Drive, and fits great, plus really works.  My wife loves it, it really cuts down on wind in the front.
Roll bar & wind deflector

Roll bar & wind deflector

Roll bar & wind deflector

Roll bar & wind deflector

Roll bar & wind deflector