Modding upgrading and tuning the Ford Ecoboost engine!

Modifying and improving: "Ecoboost Modifications"

Ecoboost Modifications Guide

How to modify and upgrade the Ford Ecoboost

"Comprehensive guide to tuning the Ford Ecoboost engine!"

Popular tuning sites like TorqueCars are frequently getting emails asking about how to improve the Ecoboost from people wanting to know what are the greatest Ecoboost power upgrades. So let us look into Ford Ecoboost parts and outline the best modifications on this great engine and point out some frequent tuning mistakes along the way.

The Ford Ecoboost make a good tuning project and with the ultimate uprated parts like ECU maps, turbo improvements and camshafts you will really increase your driving pleasure.

Car Tuning Tips will review and look at Ecoboost tuning and outline the premier modifications for your car.

Just because particular tuning mods are appear in lots of Ecoboost projects it doesn't mean its worth having, we shall concentrate on the best tuning mods that will give your Ecoboost the best power gain for you money.

Without us subscribing to the mentality of 'if it's shiny and makes more noise it must be good' you seem to get in many tuning magazines and on car forums'.

Ecoboost induction kits

Improving air intake on the Ecoboost

You need air matched to fuel for an engine to work. If there is not enough fuel then it will run lean, if there is little flow of air it runs rich losing power and potentially damaging the engine. We'll pick up on fuelling later in this article but for now we shall look at air supply.

So it's important to any engine modification project to pull more fuel and air into your Ecoboost but this has a knock on effect with the air flow sensor.

You'll commonly see there is a limit in the air flow sensor MAF/MAP on the Ecoboost when a lot more air is being sucked into the engine.

We see 4 bar air sensors coping with quite large power gains, whereas the OEM air sensor sapped bhp and torque at a much lower level.

Intake manifolds transmit the on the suck phase from the filter and allow it to be drawn into the engine cylinders with fuel for the squish phase.

Structure and flow characteristics of the Headers can make a big improvement to fuel engine efficiency on the Ecoboost.

Many mass produced engine air intake manifolds are needing an upgrade, although some makers provide reasonably well designed air intake manifolds.

Fitting big valve kits, carrying out port work and head flowing will also boost bhp and torque, and as an added benefit will make space for a greater bhp and torque increase on other upgrades.

Ecoboost performance cam tips.

Some Ecoboost engines respond better to extreme camshaft durations check your engine on a rolling road.

The engine timing and injectors and fuel pump also have an effect on the power gains you'll achieve.

Extending exhaust or intake durations can alter the power band and on most engines the exhaust and intake durations do not need to match, although most cams and tuners use matched pairs there are some advantages to extending the intake or exhaust durations.

The cam profile plays a big part in the engines power output so cam upgrades make quite a large difference. The intake and exhaust durations will alter depending on the chosen cam profile, so large engines power gains are on offer for cam upgrades.

NB: Fast road camshafts usually increase the bhp and torque through the rpm band, you could drop a little low end torque but the high end rpm power will improve.

Motorsport camshafts, increase the high end rpm power band but as a result the car will not idle smoothly and low end power nearly always suffers.

A Competition cam makes it harder when driving in heavy traffic.

You should ideally optimize your power band to your typical driving style so for a car driven daily stick with a mild fast road Ecoboost cam

Stage 1, 2 and 3 mods for the Ecoboost

Before we break the best tuning upgrades down into stages of tune, let's list the most effective tuning upgrades for you.

  1. Suspension Upgrades - always improve your cars handling
  2. Brake Upgrades - Even before adding power improve those brakes
  3. Intake - make sure the intake is not restricted, use filters and intake upgrades to improve this
  4. Exhaust - as with 3 ensure there is not restriction in the exhaust, cats are the usual bottleneck
  5. Tunes - remapping, piggyback ECU's and aftermarket ECU's can all make decent gains
  6. Fuelling - when you've increased power you'll need to match this with more fuel
  7. Turbo upgrades - Improving the intake with a large turbo and better flowing intercooler will be the biggest power gain you'll see (but one of the most complex).

This video guide to tuning cars is a great starting point to work from in your project.

Stage 1 Ecoboost parts:

Panel air filters, Sports exhaust manifold, Fast road camshaft, Remaps/piggy back ECU, Drilled & smoothed airbox, Intake headers.

Tuning tips and articles Engine tuning Transmission tuning Care care Intake & exhaust mods Improve handling Forums

Stage 2 Ecoboost parts:

induction kit, Ported and polished head, fuel pump upgrades, Sports catalyst & performance exhaust, high flow fuel injectors, Fast road cam.

Stage 3 Ecoboost parts:

Internal engine upgrades (head flowing porting/bigger valves), Twin charging conversions, Crank and Piston upgrades to alter compression, Competition cam, Engine balancing & blueprinting, Adding or Upgrading forced induction (turbo/supercharger).

The Ecoboost engine blocks respond well to upgrades and thanks to their popularity there are increasing numbers of mods and performance parts around.

ECU flashing allows a tuner to to establish the full potential of all the parts you've done to your Ecoboost.

You will typically expect to see gains of approximately 20-30% more power on turbocharged vehicles and you can expect to see around 15% on NASP engines, but your mileage usually differs on the parts you've carried out and the condition of your engine.

Turbo modifications on the Ecoboost

To get a turbo working on a NASP engine there is a lot involved, from lowering compression ratio to improved fuel supply and mapping, so we have found a great guide to helpavoid the common pitfalls or end up with an unfinished project because you were not told what you were getting into by doing this on the Ecoboost.

The more air you can get into an engine, the more fuel it can burn and uprating the induction with a turbocharger upgrade makes massive power gains.

If the engine has a turbocharger upgrades are giving better power gains and we find turbo charged engines use strengthened components.

There are common areas of failure for every engine, with some being over specified and some just sufficiently able to handle stock power

It is important to find these limitations and install higher quality crank and pistons to survive the power.

We see many drivers spending a lots of money on turbocharger upgrades on the Ecoboost only to watch the engine catastrophically fail on it's first outing after it's used in anger.

Big upgraded turbo units often suffer no power at low rpm, and small turbo units spool up much more quickly but won't have the peak rpm power band gains.

Thankfully the market of turbo chargers is always moving on and we are seeing variable vane turbo chargers, permitting the vane profile is altered according to speed to lower lag and increase top end performance.

Twin scroll turbo chargers divert the exhaust gases into 2 channels and direct these at differently designed vanes in the turbo. They also improve the scavenging effect of the engine.

Beefing up the air intake by adding a supercharger or additional turbo will help you achieve very large bhp and torque gains, although more challenging to configure. We have this feature on twinchargers if you want to read more.

Tips about fuel supply on the Ecoboost

Don't forget to ramp up the fuel system when you are increasing the torque - it makes the car more thirsty. At this point we flag up the need to be generous with your injectors flow rate.

The rule of thumb is to add another 20% when specifying an injector, this takes into account injector deterioration and allows a little spare capacity should the engine require more fuel.

Don't forget that different fuel grades will usually require different settings, a high octane fuel will burn more efficiently than lower octane fuel for example. A car will trim fuel supply to keep within the ideal air fuel mix but at the extreme ends you may need to adjust your injector capacity, or the mapping or you'll get flat spots and potential lean or rich fuel issues..

Recommended Ecoboost performance exhaust upgrades

You only need to to increase your exhaust system with an upgraded one is if the current exhaust is creating a restriction.

On most factory exhausts you should find that the exhaust flow rate is good even on modest power gains, but on a serious tuning project with a big boost in power you will certainly need to get a better flowing exhaust.

Please dont run with the biggest exhaust you can source this will reduce the exhaust flow rate - the best for power gains are usually between one and a half to two and half inches. Your exhaust design, the bend angles and construction are what have more effect on flow rates than your pipe width to a certain extent. So the exhaust design is a big factor.

Typically exhaust restrictions come around the emissions filters installed, so adding a faster flowing sports alternative will help avoid this restriction.

Decat pipes (NB:catalysts reduce harmful engine emissions) is illegal in most countries and regions.

Faults issues and things to look out for on the Ecoboost

Like most engines an Ecoboost, should have few issues if it gets properly serviced and looked after.

We cannot stress enough the need for oil changes with the correct grade of oil on the Ecoboost, failure to do this will exacerbate engine wear, on a tuned Ecoboost this is more important than ever and close attention should be paid to your maintenance schedule.

If you are interested in learning more or getting impartial tuning advice for your Ecoboost why not pop over to the forums at TorqueCars where you can chat about Ecoboost tuning options and read about others projects who may be planning to do similar modifications on their Ecoboost.

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