Brett LaSala’s Coyote Makes 1,600 Horsepower With OEM Heads

Sometimes, you just want to make a metric crap-ton of horsepower. Not because you’re competing in a class, or trying to one-up someone, but rather, because you can. That is exactly the position Brett LaSala, a Mercedes Benz Technician out of the Tampa, Florida area, found himself in when he undertook his current engine project, a twin-turbo second-generation Coyote engine for his S197 Mustang.

“The ‘Snot Rocket’ is a real street car with a full interior, factory body panels and glass, and a 3,700-pound race weight,” says LaSala. “Our goal for this build was 1,500 horsepower at the wheels. We realized really early in the first dyno session that we would exceed that pretty easily.”

Designed to be driven on the street as well as making passes down the quarter-mile, LaSala took into account that the power would be moving through a 6R80 automatic transmission, which he has upgraded and modified himself, “with upgraded clutches and some billet parts.”

Built by the team over at Fast Forward Race Engines in New Port Richey, Florida, an OEM aluminum Coyote block serves as the basis for the bullet. The stock cylinder liners were machined out and replaced with heavy-duty, ductile iron sleeves from Darton. An OEM 3.65-inch stroke crankshaft has been used, while Manley Performance I-Beam connecting rods were chosen to handle the big power.

Hanging off the end of the connecting rods are a set of custom Diamond Racing pistons, which have been built to FFRE’s specifications in the stock bore diameter, making for a stock 302 cubic inches of displacement. Adorning the pistons and keeping the combustion inside the cylinders is a set of Total Seal Advanced Profiling piston rings. King Racing bearings are used in both the main and rod journals and keep everything rotating smoothly, even under the harshest of conditions.

While these pistons are stock diameter and compression ratio, they are completely custom slugs, spec’d out by FFRE and brought to life by Diamond Pistons, to handle 35 pounds of boost, and making insane four-digit horsepower.

While the OEM oil pan is reused on this stout short-block, billet oil pump gears have been installed, and a Modular Motorsports Racing billet timing set keeps the four cams marching to the same beat, while an ATI Super Damper keeps everything operating smoothly and resonance-free.

Moving up top, there are even more OEM components used than in the short-block. Starting with OEM Gen 2 Coyote castings, the ports are left completely untouched. The four camshafts are OEM Coyote cams, but have had the variable cam timing locked out. OEM Camshaft followers and hydraulic lash adjusters have been proven to be up to the task, so are used in LaSala’s build.

Surprisingly, the only aftermarket parts in the cylinder heads are 1mm oversized intake and exhaust valves from Manley that have been fitted to the OEM combustion chambers, and PAC Racing valvesprings which have been installed to better control the valves at increased RPM, even with the stock camshafts.

While the camshafts may be stock, the timing parts sure aren’t. With MMR’s billet cam phaser lockout and timing adjusters, billet chain guides and tensioners, and heavy-duty chains, the sometimes-challenging area of the engine is bulletproofed.

“We chose not to port the heads and to use OEM camshafts in order to keep as much low-end power – under 6,000 rpm – as possible. I have to launch under 4,000 rpm with my transmission, due to the 4.17 first gear ratio,” LaSala explains. “And, as you can see, the stock cams really make great power.”

Sitting atop the heads is a Plazmaman billet intake manifold that is as much art as it is science. While it would be a aesthetic sin to put a stock throttle body on a Plazaman intake, LaSala compromised with a powdercoated OEM drive-by-wire throttle body which has been converted to a V-Band attachment.

The pinnacle of the engine combination is a custom JFab twin-turbo kit, featuring a pair of 64mm Precision Turbo 6466 CEA ball-bearing turbochargers. Individually, each turbo is capable of supporting 900 horsepower thanks to all of their advanced features like the billet CEA compressor wheel, CEA turbine wheel, and ported compressor cover.

The Precision Turbo CEA 6466 ball-bearing turbos have ported compressor covers, billet 64mm compressor wheels, and both the the compressor and turbine wheels benefit from CEA design, for a rating of 900 horsepower per turbo.

The JFab custom hot-side features individual exhaust manifolds for each turbocharger, and V-banded downpipes which feed into the exhaust system. The cold side features a custom fabricated intake tube which interfaces with the modified OEM throttle body and houses the mass airflow sensor.

Providing fuel to the combination are a set of Injector Dynamics ID2000 fuel injectors, which are rated at 2235cc/minute at 43.5 psi fuel pressure, and can operate effectively at 95-percent duty cycle. They also have the ability to be used at up to three times the standard fuel pressure, for a whopping 3700cc/minute of potential flow. That may seem like an extreme amount of flow, but it is needed to support the engine’s diet of E85 on the street, and Ignite 114 E90 at the track and dyno.

The ID2000s are fed by a custom triple-fuel-pump hat, with three Walbro 465 liter-per-hour “twin turbine” fuel pumps moving a whopping 368 gallons of fuel per hour, before the voltage booster ups their operating voltage, further increasing their output.

Surprisingly, even with the Plazaman billet intake manifold and Injector Dynamic ID2000 injectors, the ignition system remains OEM. That’s asking a lot of factory components, and that they work is a huge testament to the quality of today’s factory ignition systems.

With the ever-increasing popularity of E85 as a performance fuel, it comes as no surprise that it powers LaSala’s beast. “I chose to run ethanol because it is a great pump fuel for making big power on,” says LaSala. “There is E85 all over the Tampa area, so it’s easy to get, and I can switch in the Ignite 114 for the track with no tuning changes.”

Controlling the fuel and spark – from the stock ignition system, it should be noted – is the factory Ford ECU, which has been tuned by Sai Li of Li Tuning and Racing. With the full output of the twin-turbochargers reaching 35 pounds of boost, the engine puts down 1,636 horsepower and 1,335 lb-ft of torque – to the wheels.

While 1,600-plus horsepower is a simply mind-boggling number, especially when you consider the number of OEM parts which have been used in the combination, it is a strong testament to the awesomeness of the Ford Coyote powerplant.

With a whopping 1,636 horsepower and 1,335 lb-ft of torque to the tires, the engine itself is making closer to 1,800 horsepower, when you factor in the driveline losses seen on a chassis dyno. A truly awesome effort, made even more impressive when you consider the number of OEM components used in key areas of the build.

About the author

Greg Acosta

Greg has spent over a decade in automotive publishing as Senior Editor of Race Pages magazine. In his free time, he is a firearms instructor and volunteer in the police armory.
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