Gen 3 Stage 3 Ford Coyote Engine - Engine Builder Magazine

Gen 3 Stage 3 Ford Coyote Engine

Fast Forward Race Engines has been pushing the envelope on Ford's Coyote engine for quite a while. We stopped in to visit the shop, which won our 2023 Engine of the Year honors, and got the details to FFRE's bread and butter short block – a Gen 3 Stage 3 Ford Coyote. Check it out!

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Over the last couple years, we’ve gotten to know and work with the team at Fast Forward Race Engines in New Port Richey, FL. Owners Joe and Gina Irwin have run the shop for roughly 20 years, and today the shop has a focus on domestic V8 engines and V10 platforms, but the real specialty continues to be the Ford Coyote engine. That Coyote work has really shined through recently evidenced by the record-breaking performances of a few customers, namely Brett LaSala and his ‘Snot Rocket’ Mustang.

The shop has pushed the envelope so far that the Coyote engine in Brett’s Mustang was named Engine Builder magazine’s Engine of the Year in 2023. While we were in Florida for Sick Week 2024, we made a stop at Fast Forward to tour the shop in person and catch up with Joe and Gina. While we were there, they were in the process of assembling a Gen 3 Stage 3 Coyote, so we got the full details for this Engine of the Week.

“This is our bread and butter short block,” Joe Irwin says. “This is what we sell the most of. This is what all of our wholesalers sell here. This starts life as a Gen 3 block that we get from Ford. We obviously check it and validate that it’s a good usable core. It has a coolant crossover that we block off, and then we bore it for sleeves. We use a LA ductile iron sleeve on this short block. We use a Ford Performance crankshaft and we use a Manley I-beam rod and Manley piston. This particular engine has a flat top piston in it, which would yield around 10:1 compression. This one’s destined for some big power.

“We surface this thing and then we install a stainless o-ring wire. The o-ring wire is only sticking up .002”-.003” proud. It’s designed to use a multi-layer steel head gasket.”

According to Joe, this Gen 3 Stage 3 Coyote is good to 1,500-1,600 wheel horsepower and you could use it with just about any cylinder head. You could use a GT 350 cylinder head, a Gen 3 or a Gen 1.

“If you use a Gen 1 cylinder head, you need to use a different head gasket with it,” Irwin warns. “It has to be a head gasket that’s designed for a Gen 1, but this short block could go in any generation Coyote and make 1,500 wheel horsepower, no problem.”

Fast Forward Race Engines typically sets up the Gen 3 Stage 3 Coyote combo in two different variations – with a dome piston that yields 11:1 compression (depending on the heads used) or with a flat top piston that yields 10:1 compression.

“There’s not a whole lot of horsepower difference between all of the cylinder heads,” he says. “Some of them, like this Gen 3 cylinder head, would be direct injection, so it would have a direct injection pump that would mount to the top of it. The earlier Gen 1s and Gen 2s were just a normal head, non-CNC ported. Then, you could go to a GT 350 or a GT 500 head that’s ported from the factory and bolt it right on and go and have a 9,000 rpm capable engine just like that.”

Joe says his customers use this Gen 3 Stage 3 Coyote for applications that range from daily driving to heavy-duty drag racing, drag and drive, and no time grudge racing.

“This same short block can do a lot of different things – it’s a great little piece that works really well,” Irwin says.

Engine of the Week is sponsored by PennGrade1Elring – Das Original and NPW Companies. If you have an engine you’d like to highlight in this series, please email Engine Builder Editor Greg Jones at [email protected].

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