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Old 01-13-2021, 12:51 PM   #1
George Wright
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Default Dennis Wydendorf's FGT/M 1990 T-Bird



Dennis and I began the process of installing a Coyote 5.0 liter engine in his 1990 T-Bird in Late December of 2019.
His T-Bird, just like mine utilized a 351 Cleveland engine for many years. I converted my 1996 T-Bird to Coyote power in 2012.
Since both of these cars were built by Dennis and myself back in the mid 1990s, they were both very similar. We decided it was
easier to just remove and duplicate all of the "Coyote" unique parts from my T-Bird. This included the 2 piece motor plates,
the step headers, the mid plate, modifications to the transmission cross member, electric water pump drive bracket and
alternator bracket. We were off to a good start, but the pandemic slowed us down since I had to work on the T-Bird by myself
for about six weeks. In the mean time Jimmy Ronzello (JRP) was assembling the race engine for the T-Bird and Joel (Joel's on Joy)
was building the C4 transmission. The engine and transmission were dropped off at my shop at the end of April. I installed the
engine and transmission, but I still need to make up the EFI wiring harness and re-wire the T-Bird. We finally finished up the
in late May and were able to go out and test on May 30th. We had drive by wire issues that kept disabling the throttle.
We were only able to get one run partial run under full throttle. We changed out the drive by wire pedal and the drive by wire
throttle body and went to test again on June 7th. We made several full throttle runs and then decided to swap one of the two
components in question back. We chose to swap back the throttle body since it was a lot easier to change then crawling up
under the dash and changing the throttle pedal. We went to make another test run and again after we did the burnout the
throttle went into limp mode. This time we did not shut off the main power and I was able to connect my code reader and
determine that ECU was throwing a code that said the throttle blade was sticking. I then realized that we were probably
getting too much heat in the throttle body since we had an aluminum aftermarket intake manifold on the engine. In fact I
realize that I had to use gloves to handle the hot throttle body when changing it earlier. That was it for the day so we did
not make any more runs. For our next test session Dennis fabricated a nylon plastic spacer to go between the aluminum intake
and throttle body. Dennis also fabricated an adapter so we could use the 80 mm throttle body on a Coyote Voodoo intake manifold.
This is the intake that comes on a Shelby GT-350 5.2 engine. It uses a 90 mm throttle body, therefore the need for an adapter.
At our next test session in August we found that the Voodoo intake was faster that the fabricated aluminum intake
manifold that we started out with. I had also used that aluminum intake on my 96 Mustang GT/G car and had never had a chance to try
anything else, but was always skeptical about it. Our last test session for 2020 was in October and we went 10.92 at 125 miles per hour.
For 2021 we will change to radial tires and optimize the rear gear ratio for the rollout. The engine in this car is very basic.
It has stock camshafts and VCTs. It uses an OEM ECU and I use SCT software to modify the calibration. Dennis will start off by
racing this car in 2021 at NMCA events and Great Lakes Stock Super Stock events. Over time we will work with this engine as is
and focus on tuning. Eventually we will get a Holley ECU, lockout the VCTs and replace the stock camshafts with aftermarket
camshafts.











More photos at: http://9500rpm.com/FGTMTBird/index.html



In car video from US 131 Motorsports Park on October 17th 2020.[/QUOTE]
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Last edited by George Wright; 01-13-2021 at 12:56 PM. Reason: images
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Old 01-15-2021, 09:42 AM   #2
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Default Re: Dennis Wydendorf's FGT/M 1990 T-Bird

Nice Build , was the T-bird at FGT/M weight of 3725 when you tested? It will be interesting to see just how far you can improve while still retaining the Stock ECU and active VCT phasers , as that copperhead ECU has lots of tables and parameters to play with, worth experimenting with vs shelling out the $$ for aftermarket. Good to see a low dollar approach....
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Old 01-15-2021, 12:28 PM   #3
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Default Re: Dennis Wydendorf's FGT/M 1990 T-Bird

The car weighed 3500 pounds when we were testing. So at that weight it actually falls into FGT/K. That said it would not be under the NHRA index, but would still run under the NMCA index in FGT/K. This coming year we may change the weight around and see which class it works best in. So far the only upgrades to the engine are Manley rods vs the OEM powdered rods, billet lower timing gear, billet oil pump rotors, ATI balancer and BOSS 302 valve springs (75 lbs. seat pressure). All of these modifications were really for durability and not performance. The cylinder heads are untouched, they still have the factory valve job. Dennis should be able to compete in NMCA and GLSSA as is. We will continue to work with what we have here before we build another engine for it.
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Old 01-15-2021, 04:41 PM   #4
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Default Re: Dennis Wydendorf's FGT/M 1990 T-Bird

George, is there anybody that replaces the drive by wire on the TB to mechanical?




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Old 01-15-2021, 04:56 PM   #5
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Default Re: Dennis Wydendorf's FGT/M 1990 T-Bird

Yes. I have had AccuFab modify at least five Coyote drive by wire throttle bodies to mechanical/cable throttle bodies. I use a mechanical/cable throttle body on my FS/G CobraJet stocker. Ford made two different Coyote 80 mm DBW throttle bodies. One is gold and the other is silver. The gold throttle bodies can be converted.
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Old 01-15-2021, 05:38 PM   #6
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Default Re: Dennis Wydendorf's FGT/M 1990 T-Bird

I would personally like to thank George Wright and Jimmy Ronzello for their efforts on this project. I would have stumbled through much more than I did without their help. George has been the motivating force for me to do this. This was definately a low budget build but it was an exersize in spending money wisely without going to cheap, less reliable products. I could have been faster with the 351c to start with but it would have been alot more maintenance. This engine and trans combo is designed to be as trouble free as possible, allowing me to be able to concentrate on tuning and going fast instead of fixing engine and trans problems. I would also like to thank Joel for building a great trans.
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Old 01-18-2021, 08:25 AM   #7
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Default Re: Dennis Wydendorf's FGT/M 1990 T-Bird

Nice build !

Hey George:
Who makes that adaptor in the engine pic to use the cogged pulley on the Coyote water pump ?
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Old 01-18-2021, 10:55 AM   #8
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Default Re: Dennis Wydendorf's FGT/M 1990 T-Bird

George made the original one by welding a moroso water pump drive bracket to another piece of steel to locate three bolts off the front of the front cover. I then took that bracket and traced and cut out of a single piece of steel. We plan to make some on a water jet but havn't got around to it yet. The adapter for the front of the water pump to the pulley was machined by me but maybe George can chime in about another source, there is one commercially available.
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Old 01-18-2021, 11:53 AM   #9
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Default Re: Dennis Wydendorf's FGT/M 1990 T-Bird

look at a Brinn 38030 pulley you might have to massage it to fit your application but you can make it fit I'm sure--it uses a 28 tooth belt so you are going to have to get the corresponding tooth count on the drive pulley -FED 387
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Old 01-18-2021, 06:03 PM   #10
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Default Re: Dennis Wydendorf's FGT/M 1990 T-Bird

Wonder if this would be ok ? Used on the 2016 Cobra Jet Race Car from Ford. would it fit down to the Gen 1 2011- 14 Coyote? slick deal and not expensive as the Meziere Unit at $800..

https://performanceparts.ford.com/part/M-8501-M50CJ16
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