While drawing some inspiration from the mid-rise for the GM LS engines, these intakes were designed with functionality and aesthetics in mind while attempting to mimic OEM power bands without any losses. – Anthony Coles, Holley Performance
Since it’s introduction for the 2011 model year, the Coyote 5.0 engine has reinvigorated fans of Mustang performance like nothing else since the pushrod 5.0 HO’s return to prominence in 1982, and the addition of EEC-IV EFI in 1986. And for good reason. Like its pushrod predecessor, the Coyote just works. This engine responds well to bolt-ons and forced induction, and the stock long-block can support power levels the old pushrod 5.0 only dreamed of. Add a better rotating assembly and valvetrain, and the Coyote becomes a beast which is easily capable of four-digit power numbers and reliable performance.
The aftermarket has seen a boom with the Coyote as well. Much like the 5.0 craze of the 1990s, Mustang fans can’t get enough of this engine. Performance parts selection runs the gamut with all the usual players involved. However, something we haven’t seen the aftermarket do much with on the Coyote is the intake manifold, although there have been a handful of choices from Ford, including the Boss and Cobra Jet/Ford Performance manifolds, and now the GT350 piece. Aside from a custom-built manifold, however, no one has taken on producing a better manifold for the Coyote outside of the Blue Oval.
With that said, it makes sense that one of the first out of the gate with a new aftermarket manifold for enthusiasts is Holley Performance. Specializing in high-performance induction solutions for more than 100 years, Holley shifted in the last decade from focusing on carburetors and those associated parts to more of a total performance company, including solutions for EFI.
We’re diggin’ the finish on this Holley Sniper EFI intake manifold.
Fabricated Looks, Sportsman Pricing
We spoke with Holley’s Anthony Coles about the design of this intake manifold, and asked why Holley chose to get into the market for Coyote intake manifolds after all this time. “These intakes were designed to be marketed to the grassroots and mild, to mid-range street performance crowd. The intakes are built using 3 mm thick aluminum with visible welds. This gives the look and feel of a custom-fabricated intake manifold at a fraction of the price,” Coles told us.
If you’re familiar with Holley’s late model intake manifolds for other EFI applications, as well as what many aftermarket hand-made, sheetmetal intakes look like, you’ll quickly recognize many of those attributes on this manifold.
“Our research found that the public really gravitates to the look of a sheetmetal-style intake,” Coles continued. “The biggest challenge was in the choices we had. Either a super high-end manifold that offers many more performance benefits at a hefty price tag. Or, they could choose an eBay part that gave them the look of a custom manifold, but may not have the engineering and the build quality to provide the desired performance.”
“The new Holley intake is intended for naturally aspirated vehicles, although we have more than a dozen intakes out in the field for long-term testing,” Coles added. “The design will accept most aftermarket throttle bodies for the Coyote, and Holley is currently developing a spacer to allow the intake to accept the stock throttle body as well.”
Speaking of massive amounts of air, check out all of the space in this intake manifold.
“While drawing some inspiration from the mid-rise for the GM LS engines, these intakes were designed with functionality and aesthetics in mind while attempting to mimic OEM power bands without any losses,” Coles said.
The throttle body feeds a large plenum which supplies air to individual runners for each cylinder. Those runners measure 2.4 x 1.5 inches, and are 7.6 inches in length.
“Compared to a stock Coyote manifold the runners are slightly shorter with a slightly different taper than the OEM manifold, which helps improve higher RPM velocity,” Coles added. “The power band is lengthened on the top end by 200 to 300 rpm. Our initial testing found that the power curve is very similar to that of the Boss intake.”
Holley’s Anthony Coles said this intake is compatible with low boost applications and higher boost applications, but that anything over 10 to 12 psi isn’t recommended. Holley is currently in development of another intake for boosted applications that will accept those higher boost levels.
Holley is including all of the pieces and parts necessary to install this manifold. “Our goal was to offer this manifold as a complete package with the intake manifold, fuel rail kit, gaskets, and mounting hardware all in one box,” Coles said. “The goal is to produce a good looking, quality product, from a brand and company consumers are familiar with, and have confidence in its design and engineering.”
According to Coles, those parts will include a fuel rail kit that can support 700 to 750 horsepower with the included -08 AN fittings and crossover lines.
The starting point is a lightly modified ’15 Mustang GT.
UPR Products was one of the first to get its hands on Holley’s first intake manifold for the Coyote. The company is working to develop a complete swap kit for ’11-’16 Mustang GT owners that want to use this manifold. UPR’s Steve Gelles brought out his 2015 Mustang GT to be the test mule for this installation.
Gelles’ car features many bolt-on mods that most of us would upgrade, including a cat delete pipe from Mak Performance, a Corsa Performance axle-back exhaust, and a JLT Performance cold air intake. Jon Lund, Jr. of Lund Racing handled the remote tuning duties, and the guys over at Power By The Hour swung the wrenches for the installation, and also handled all the dyno time for before and after testing.
The 5.0 Coyote is by far one of the easiest Ford engines to swap an intake manifold on. With this being a pre-production unit from Holley, and Gelles also opting for a few other changes, there are some additional parts involved here that areavailable with the intake kit from Holley. The guys at UPR Products can set you up with everything needed to complete this install in your garage or at a shop of your choosing in just a few hours.
“The manifold will eliminate the factory PCV and SMOG lines,” Gelles said regarding the install. “I wanted to keep the connection from the PCV to the manifold and still have it a closed vacuum system. To keep the system closed, we used UPR braided hose that ran to the belly of the manifold which has a built-in vacuum block.” We also used this with the single valve catch can (PN 5030-98) to ensure a tight seal and keep all the oil and moisture out of the manifold.
To begin the installation, the JLT cold air intake is removed. As illustrated below, the installation is pretty much a direct R&R procedure and the swap was completed in less than three hours.
“We were able to keep the UVR (Emissions Regulator) by re-routing it under the manifold to the vacuum block as well,” Gelles said. “This way it stays emissions friendly. We also added a check valve to the vacuum booster to clean up the lines.”
Next up was removing the factory intake manifold.
He continued, “The Holley manifold is designed to work with a 90 mm throttle body, so we ended up having to use Power By The Hour’s throttle body spacer, which allowed us to bolt up the stock throttle body.
The manifold sits about one-inch lower once it is installed and will work with any stock-style intake tubes. The one used on this was a JLT CAI that was on the car with the stock manifold.
“This manifold is a great substitute to the Cobra Jet (CJ) or Boss, as it clears the factory 2015 hood and strut tower brace,” Gelles relayed. “The total cost is half what a CJ or a GT350 intake manifold would be. We installed a set of the UPR adjustable motor mounts (PN 3013-17) just to be sure that there would be clearance. They are not needed though.”
“One thing I had to do was get my hands on a set of fuel rails with a stock fuel line adapter, as it will not work with the factory rails,” Gelles said. “I reached out to FORE Innovations for the stock line adapter and Lethal Performance for a set of its Coyote Division X Fuel Rails (PN DX-2250). The manifold’s placement for the fuel rails will work with any stock style injector or ones with spacers.”
Once the previous intake manifold was removed, the new Holley piece bolts into place flawlessly.
Putting It To The Test
Numbers don’t lie, and the Holley Sniper EFI intake manifold makes some respectable numbers.
Prior to the install Gelles’s 2015 GT spun the Power By The Hour dyno up to 411.5 horsepower and 385.8 lb-ft of torque. After the installation horsepower was up considerably with the car making 440.9 horsepower at the rear tires, a gain of 29.3 horsepower. Similar to what we’ve seen with Boss intake manifold installs, the car traded some torque for the horsepower gains with torque dropping to 373.1 lb-ft, a loss of 12.6 lb-ft.
Additonal Parts Required
Car owner Steve Gelles compiled a list of all the parts he used to install the Holley manifold. Keep in mind, his install was on a pre-production part and at the time of this writing Holley was working to finalize its installation kit, which is now completed.
UPR Adjustable Motor Mounts
UPR Single Valve Catch Can
Lethal Performance Coyote Fuel Rails
FORE Innovations Stock Fuel Line Adapter
Power By The Hour 52 lb/hr Coyote Manifold Spacers and Injectors
You may have wondered about the installation of 52 lb/hr fuel injectors with this story. Gelles wants the option of running the car with Flex Fuel or E85 as he continues to make modifications. As a result, he had Lund Tuning whip up a flex fuel tune as well.
Taking a deeper look at the dyno sheet we can draw a few interesting conclusions. Throughout much of the dyno test the Holley intake appears to be neck-and-neck with the stock manifold, but it’s at 5,300 rpm where it really starts to shine. From there — all the way to the redline — the Holley intake outright blows the doors off the stock part. By 6,000 rpm the stock manifold is making 380 horsepower and appears to be falling off, while the Holley part is just getting going and making at least 40 more horsepower here, showing 420 horsepower on the graph.
The stock intake gets one last gasp at 6,500 rpm where it kicks out its peak 411.5 to the Holley intake’s 435 hp. However, at 7,200 rpm, near the end of the test, where the stock manifold was making 370 hp and had been dropping off for some time, the Holley part continued to make power at this RPM, and that is where its peak of 440.9 hp occurred — a difference of 70.9 hp at peak RPM. Post-install, this Holley intake manifold definitely hits that company’s goal of race-inspired styling, as well as satisfying the owners with solid power gains.
“The car drives like stock from light to light and you can feel the difference over 5,000 rpm,” Gelles says. “It’s like a whole new car at higher RPM, and because of that, it’s hard to stay out of it now because of how much fun it is.”
All in all, this new manifold is a quality piece and is clearly a worthwhile upgrade for any S197 or S550 Coyote 5.0.
The new Holley Sniper EFI intake manifold really gives Gelles' Coyote-powered Mustang a new, custom look.