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S550 Mustang Crate Engine Options Explained

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Sometimes a replacement engine is necessary. As they say, there's no replacement for displacement. Despite the S550's new status, engine swaps are still a very real and possible upgrade.

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Replacing your 2015+ Mustang’s engine can either be a labor of joy or one of dread; either you popped your block or you want to up the ante with your build. Regardless, you have multiple crate engine options available for you to choose from. This guide will give you a rundown of what your S550 Mustang crate engine options are and what you need to know before you swap the block.

American Muscle

What is a Crate Engine & Why Would I Want to Buy One? 

A crate engine is a drop-in replacement motor that can be either bigger, smaller, or the same size as the one that was in there before. Crate engines are typically ready to run and can be swapped right into your Mustang. While there are production, factory offered crate engines you can buy, there are also non-factory offered crate engines from Ford you can buy and drop into your S550. 

The main reasons for needing a crate engine are to replace something that broke or to upgrade to something better. Usually, crate engines are the go to choice for when you blow your engine/damage your block as they are a simple drop-in replacement option. However, crate engines are also an ideal choice for enthusiasts who are looking to really crank up the power on their build. There are a lot of crate engines available that deliver a substantial amount of power right out of the box and can handle even more power with ease.

What are the Different 2015+ Mustang Crate Engine Options?

For a 2015 Mustang you can drop in:

  • Any of the modular Ford engines
  • The coyote engine
  • A voodoo (GT350) engine
  • Supercharged and naturally aspirated versions of the 5.0
  • The 2.3L Mustang EcoBoost engine

With the 2015 Mustang, you can swap in and out any and every one of the engines offered from the factory, whether it be an EcoBoost, V6, GT, or GT350 engine. You can make them all work and pump out serious power in your S550 Mustang.

Video: Coyote 5.0L 4V Crate Engine Review

What Other Mods Do You Need When Adding a Crate Engine to Your S550 Mustang? 

When dropping a crate engine into your 2015 Mustang there are a few other supporting mods you will want to figure out to ensure the swap is perfect and complete. Some of those mods you’ll need to consider are:

  • Motor mounts
  • Exhaust system
  • Transmission
  • Engine control pack/wiring harness

When the crate engine gets dropped in, it needs to be securely held in place. While your build will more than likely already have motor mounts, you may want to consider upgrading them to a polyurethane mount that better absorbs the vibrations of the engine. 

Depending on what engine you had in your S550 prior to the crate engine you are dropping in, you may need to upgrade the exhaust system to accommodate the new engine. Namely, if you are adding (or reducing) the number of cylinders you have under the hood. Even if you are swapping one V8 for another V8 that is compatible with your stock/existing exhaust system, dropping in a crate engine is an excellent opportunity to upgrade the exhaust system, especially with a set of long tube headers

2011-2017 GT Mustang with Long Tube Headers

Most of the transmissions offered with the S550 Mustang would all be compatible and suitable for whatever crate engine you may be swapping in. Despite that, if your plan for your build is to add big power then you may want to replace the trans for a more stout one and can withstand high horsepower abuse. Even if you do decide to stick with the stock transmission, when you have the engine out (and before you swap in the new one) you may want to upgrade any of the transmission parts, especially if it is a manual. While the engine is out, you may want to consider upgrading the clutch and flywheel, or flex plate and torque converter for automatic owners.

Lastly, you may need to consider adding an engine control pack/wiring harness. Depending if the stock S550 wiring harness got trashed with the old engine, you may need another one to make all of the electronics and monitoring work properly. This is a rare occurrence and required part for 2015 Mustang owners doing an engine swap/crate engine upgrade.

2015-2017 GT Mustang Engine Control Pack Wiring Harness
Coyote 5.0L 4V Engine Control Pack/Wiring Harness

Differences Between S550 Mustang Crate Engines & Engine Blocks

The key difference between 2015 Mustang crate engines and engine blocks is crate engines are a turn-key, ready to run setup, while engine blocks are just the bare block—that means no pistons, crank shaft, heads, cams, rods, valves, etc. Crate engines are the hassle-free engine upgrade as they are ready to go as soon as they are hooked up. Engine blocks are the foundation on which you would build the rest of your engine; they provide you with a plug and play template to create the engine of your dreams. 

Fitment includes: 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, GT, V6, EcoBoost, ShelbyGT350

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