Tuning the EcoBoost 3.5L V6 in your F-150
What’s this tuning an EcoBoost engine all about? For that I’d like to look to any of the big three’s diesel engines. Most of you probably know, that simply by reprogramming the ECU, commonly referred to as “installing a tune”, massive power gains can be had. Thought this was limited to just diesel engines? Think again. This is true for all turbo-charged engines. Ford’s EcoBoost is no exception here. In stock form it it already produces a whopping 365 horsepower and 420 ft-lb’s of torque, which is already more than GM’s new EcoTec3 5.3L V8 with its 355 horsepower and 383 ft-lb’s of torque. But some of you may, understandably, want to outdo your Chevy-driving friends even more. For that you can install a tune from a company like Livernois performance, you stand to gain immense amounts of power that Ford has left on the table. Compared to running stock, with 87 octane pump gas, with a 93 octane tune you stand to gain 80+ horsepower and 100+ ft-lb’s of torque. Insane right? Don’t believe me? Just watch the video below.
It is simply amazing how much power you can gain for right around $600, gaining this much power that cheaply should be a crime, but it’s not (at all). No naturally aspirated (non-turbo or supercharged) vehicle will come close to having that much to gain with so little investment. As you saw in the video above, you’ll leave a stock EcoBoost in the dust, you can bet you’ll be faster than your friends new EcoTec3 as well. I can of course understand if you are weary of a modification that add’s as much horsepower as this one does, why wouldn’t Ford have just given it to us from the get-go? There could be a number of reasons. But this is a fact with any turbo-charged engine out there, for one reason or another car manufacturers leave power up for grabs and most people tune them with much success for more power. Installing a tune is not without risk, but tune’s from reputable companies like Livernois have excellent reliability and stellar customer support.
Worried about GM’s lofty new best-in-class MPG claims? Which are 16/23 vs the Ecoboost at 16/22 (cty/hwy). It’s not a big difference, but still, you may want to gain something in this department as well, on top of the extra power, an added benefit of “tuning” an EcoBoost motor is an increase in MPG’s as well. Still waiting to buy a truck? Then there is also good news in the MPG department, Ford is planning on shedding 700 pounds for its 2015 model year F-150, compared to the current model. They are also planning on active shutters in the grill and possibly even in the wheels. This plus the weight savings should gain Ford some major miles per gallon. On top of that they also plan on releasing a new generation of their EcoBoost motor, which will include start/stop technology to cut down even further on gas use.
In conclusion, the point I am making is that the EcoBoost 3.5L V6 can still very much hang with GM’s new pride and joy, the EcoTec3. Especially if you aren’t shy of a very simply upgrade to add copious amounts of horsepower, torque and you may even gain a mile per gallon, that is, if you manage to use the skinny pedal sparingly. Another point to take away here is the fact that this power adder is available for a very low amount of money. To get the same results with a naturally aspirated engines would cost $4,000+ easy. Am I telling you have to install this tune? No, I am not. But buying a truck with the comfort of knowing that so much more power can be had so easily is worth a lot in my opinion. You never know what the future might bring you in towing or hauling needs!
UPDATE (3/7/2015): 5-Star has tuned the 2.7 liter EcoBoost V6 in the 2015 F-150, read more here.
UPDATE (3/10/2016): Check out Stephen’s truck here, he managed to get power up to a staggering 482 horse power at the wheels!
UPDATE (3/10/2016): For reviews of 3.5 liter EcoBoost air intakes, take a look over here.