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

The other two gaskets you should get are for the oil drains. Then install the turbos in the reverse of the removal process.

The new turbos flow drastically better than stock and have a greatly different boost curve. For safety, we had our truck’s ECU re-calibrated at Church Automotive Testing.

Church uses a Dynapack wheel hub dynamometer.  Church prefers this type of dyno, because they feel that it can load the engine very accurately to mimic road conditions. On the Dynapack, the power absorption units bolt directly to the wheels.  The thing on the stand sticking in the exhaust pipe is the dyno’s air-fuel ratio sensor.

Having proper airflow is critical for the engine’s safety and to get proper charge air temperatures on intercooled engines.  Church also diverts a decent amount of airflow under the car to prevent the exhaust from getting too hot and cooking off things.

Shawn Church started to tune our car using the HP Tuners tuning suite.  HP Tuners allows full tuning of the cars many parameters.  Modern ECU’s are quite difficult to tune and are beyond the scope of most people even with aids like HP Tuners.  Our goal was not to tune the car for the maximum power, but to keep close to stock boost levels with safe air-fuel ratios and ignition advance to show what the turbos alone could do.

It became apparent during the first pull that some serious tuning was going to be needed as the car went into a power limiting mode right away.  Here Shawn modifies one of several torque-limiting tables that needed to be manipulated so the car would even run properly.  You pretty much need experience and know exactly where to make changes.  Shawn was showing us the possibilities to edit this function and the number of editing possibilities was pretty mind-blowing!  It would be really hard to know which torque tables were needed for safe operation and which needed to be changed.

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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