Project F-150 Ecoboost – Making Serious Power with Garrett’s Powermax Twin Turbo and Intercooler Upgrade

Next Shawn edited the boost maps and the fuel and spark tables. We wanted to keep near-stock boost levels but to take advantage of the Garrett Turbos fast spooling and free-flowing wheels with much greater efficiency.  The process was pretty long and complicated with Shawn being very careful.  When you pay to tune late model cars, you really get your money’s worth.  You also need to beware of hacks on these cars as the level of knowledge needed is quite high.

We were not able to get accurate data of just the intercooler power numbers on our SuperFlow dyno due to what the ECU was doing to the maps after installing the new Garrett intercooler. So what we have above are the stock numbers without the intercooler and turbos on our SuperFlow dyno (bottom line), the power numbers at stock boost levels with the new Garrett intercooler and turbos without all the power limiting magic of the stock ECU (middle line), and the power numbers with all the Garrett parts and Church’s custom tune.

Power with only removing the torque limiting parameters of the stock ECU at stock boost levels is largely due to the cooler intake air temps and a reduction in backpressure.  If you recall, with the superior Garrett intercooler we saw charge air temps that were cooler than stock. This sort of reduction is power that may actually be easier on the engine!

With our light tune, our truck put out a whopping 431 whp and 454 lb/ft of torque! A huge 173 whp and 116 lb/ft improvement over stock. Shawn said that with some minor changes like high flow downpipes and a more power-oriented tune we could expect up to 500 whp on pump gas!

When driving the truck, it was transformed with tons of newfound power and torque.  Even though the Garrett turbos are larger, there was no perceptible increase in turbo lag.  The response to transient throttle movement was still as good as stock as well!  This is probably due to the greater efficiency of Garrett’s aero and better matching to the engine’s performance requirements.

In conclusion, the combo of the Garrett intercooler and turbos is an all-around win win and highly recommend.  If you have an Ecoboost truck, these items are must gets!

Sources

Garrett Advancing Motion

Church Automotive Testing

12 comments

  1. I’m currently shopping for an Ecoboost F150, the stock intercooler setup just does not makes sense to me. First, with the acres of real estate on the front of an F150, why did they feel the need to put the licence plate right in front of the intercooler opening, covering 80% of it? Second, shutters? really? I mean I understand shutters on a radiator for warm up, but on an intercooler? And I don’t buy the aero benefit… with as much penny pinching as oems do, there’s no way that minuscule aero benefit could justify the price. My money is on the condensation build up Ford suffers with on their turbo cars. But to me thats like using pain killers to deal with a broken bone rather than casting it… I do kinda like the idea of fan on the intercooler tho… prolly helps with low speed high load situations that a truck could see..

      1. With the amazing prevalence of turbochargers on vehicles these days, and every tuning company offering a “stage 1” tune that increases boost pressure and fuel delivery, it makes me wonder how many other platforms fall victim to insane intake temperatures when pushed like this. All of the twin turbo German stuff, the turbo 4pot 2.0 everythings etc.

    1. AJ Hartman built a 3.5EB SN95 with the MT82. I bet it’s a riot!
      I wish the package was a little smaller. It would be a fun swap engine if the bay is wide enough.

      1. And then got boned by dyno procedures… ah, NASA.

        But yeah, again, it seems fun. I wonder if the Link GDI ECU would run one of these well.

  2. Did I miss you testing the new intercooler with the same aftermarket tune you ran on the OE turbo/intercooler setup that increased the temps a bunch? If not, did you and what where the temps?

  3. Jeeezlus, power is waaay too easy these days. 435whp on a Superflow on pump gas through a truck drivetrain wasn’t something you could bolt on without sacrifice (comfort, driveability, etc). Now? No problem, hell, you could even finance the parts! 🙂

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