Is the 5.0 "better" than the 4.6? - Ford Mustang Forum

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post #1 of 67 (permalink) Old 10-18-2016 Thread Starter
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Is the 5.0 "better" than the 4.6?

Last year there was a discussion on 5.0 vs 4.6 when a new member was deciding on what year Mustang to purchase. The 5.0 is a great engine, but the 4.6 should not be overlooked - plenty of power, good weight ratio in an S197, easily modded, economical price, reliable.

For those who have a 4.6, but are feeling they missed out by not getting a 5.0, here is a video of me drag racing a 5.0 in my 2010 GT 4.6. (Wife's first time videoing me racing, so camera angle is awkward.) This was legally on a track, not in Mexico, and both our starting lights dropped at the same time. No, he never caught me or gained ground back... Was on a hot day at the American Muscle Show in PA this summer and I ran a 14.01 on this pass (with my trunk full of all the gear, coolers, etc. we had brought). Enjoy.




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post #2 of 67 (permalink) Old 10-18-2016
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Is the 5.0 "better" than the 4.6?

Why did yours only run a 14.1? Why did a new 5.0 do worse than a 14.1? What was your trap speed?
Neither are all that easily modded are they? What's on the aftermarket other than cams, blowers, and bolt-ons?

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post #3 of 67 (permalink) Old 10-18-2016
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Just read the about the gear and coolers. Was it 300 lbs worth gear?


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post #4 of 67 (permalink) Old 10-18-2016
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A 4.6 with minor bolt-ons can run with a stock 5.0 but I suspect that in that video, the other driver was probably enjoying the sun and sipping pina coladas during the run.
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post #5 of 67 (permalink) Old 10-18-2016
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"Schools" running 14 seconds
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post #6 of 67 (permalink) Old 10-18-2016
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Is the 5.0 "better" than the 4.6?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fourdegrees11 View Post
"Schools" running 14 seconds




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post #7 of 67 (permalink) Old 10-19-2016 Thread Starter
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It was 105 degrees that day. This was my third pass. I ran 14.058 at 98.87 and he ran 14.151 at 100.05. My best pass of the day was 13.957. I am running 3.31 gears right now.

Point though is the 5.0 had 100 horses on me and they did him no good. Driver and traction with a 4.6 were worth more then those extra horses.

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post #8 of 67 (permalink) Old 10-19-2016
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Is the 5.0 "better" than the 4.6?

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Originally Posted by dt2010gt View Post
It was 105 degrees that day. This was my third pass. I ran 14.058 at 98.87 and he ran 14.151 at 100.05. My best pass of the day was 13.957. I am running 3.31 gears right now.

Point though is the 5.0 had 100 horses on me and they did him no good. Driver and traction with a 4.6 were worth more then those extra horses.

Was it his third time out as well? I was thinking that the 400 + hp cars would be closer to 12 seconds than 14 even on a hot day, 200 hp cars run high to mid 14's, so do 300 hp front wheel drive sedans these days. That video didn't exactly help sell me on a new mustang, 4.6 or 5.0.
You're right about the traction and the better driver winning a drag race though.


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post #9 of 67 (permalink) Old 10-19-2016
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It's all about the driver, obviously in this case. A Bugatti Veyron could run 14 seconds with right (wrong) driver...

With the right driver 2011+ Mustangs are in another performance class. Tell yourself whatever you want to sleep better at night with your 4.6 cars

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I own a 4.6 and I have to say yes, the Coyote is a better engine, overall . . . it makes more power, with a nice broad power band, and still gets about the same fuel economy. Time will tell if it might not be as long-term reliable as the 4.6; and it does have some other issues such as the cylinder 8 overheating problem, and they do tend to overheat on a road track (I have never had that problem with my 4.6) . . . but overall yes it is "better"

That said, the 4.6 is no slouch . . . yesterday I went to a track day and the Coyote guys in my run group (intermediate) could not catch me. Then I had an instructor drive my car and he took 4 seconds off my best lap time (and just about scared the crap out of me in the passenger seat, LOL). He said that time was only 4? seconds slower than his time in his Boss on slicks if I remember correctly. (my best time 2:00, his time in my car 1:56, his time in his Boss 1:52)
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Coyote > 4.6L...period.
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There's no dispute that the 5.0 is a better, more powerful engine than the 4.6. However, unless the car is set up properly to handle ~100hp more and the driver is skilled enough to take advantage of it, that extra power is almost useless.
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Is the 5.0 "better" than the 4.6?

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Originally Posted by Bullitt95 View Post
There's no dispute that the 5.0 is a better, more powerful engine than the 4.6. However, unless the car is set up properly to handle ~100hp more and the driver is skilled enough to take advantage of it, that extra power is almost useless.


It didn't look like there's much to getting a stock s550 auto down the track. There are always a handful at the local 1/8 mile track and they seem just to leave the line pretty drama free and get decent times for street cars. They're usually some of the quickest stockish street cars that are there. They run low to mid 8 seconds and each pass pretty much looks like the last. It looks almost like it's just a point and shoot operation with the autos, the manuals not as much.


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post #14 of 67 (permalink) Old 10-20-2016 Thread Starter
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[QUOTE=JBert;8625018
...
That said, the 4.6 is no slouch . . . yesterday I went to a track day and the Coyote guys in my run group (intermediate) could not catch me. Then I had an instructor drive my car and he took 4 seconds off my best lap time (and just about scared the crap out of me in the passenger seat, LOL). He said that time was only 4? seconds slower than his time in his Boss on slicks if I remember correctly. (my best time 2:00, his time in my car 1:56, his time in his Boss 1:52)[/QUOTE]

On the street how fast is fast enough? The Police don't care if you are in a 4.6 or a 5.0 or a Honda, doing 80 is doing 80 or racing is racing...

I think it was Parnelli Jones that was sad when Ford dropped the 289 HiPo and started putting big blocks in the Mustang and said it was a shame as the 289 was the engine that could have won LeMans (24 hour race). Jbert's experience reminds me of this.

I like the idea that my car is a GT and has a 281 (not a 289 as Ford sold Shelby America the rights to that years ago) which is essentially a modern version of the 289, the first V8 in the Mustang. It has plenty of power, enough to get me in trouble, handles well and looks great.

The 4.6 is great engine with lots of potential. Having a 5.0 does not guarantee you can beat every 4.6 out there. In the game of my-dad-is-tougher-than-your-dad there are a few surprises still.
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I wouldn't put the Coyote as a development from the 4.6 in the same category as moving to the FE from the small Windsor back in Parnelli's day. As a road course kind of enthusiast since I first started driving, I never cared all that much for big-block amounts of weight up front (150 lbs or more, 289 to 390) together with the long stroke approach to getting displacement. In those respects, the Coyote isn't exacting nearly the same penalties (though I still don't care for its 3.65" stroke combined with a 7000 rpm redline, the current fascination with stroker motors be damned).

Coyote vs 4.6L is probably a "diminishing returns" discussion, where the additional hundred or so HP buys you a less than proportionate performance improvement. Considerably less than proportional on a road course, where you aren't accelerating (forward) all of the time.

If things like internal inertias and vibrations are also considered, a DOHC/TiVCT upgrade to the 4.6 just might have ended up being a better engine in an overall sense than either the 3V or the Coyote, at roughly a 390 HP level. Makes me wonder if that was an initial thought that got overridden once somebody figured they were close enough to the magic 5.0 displacement number (and the 302 before that) to reach for that at the same time.


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