The Ford F150 2.7 EcoBoost was introduced in 2015 as a 315hp, 350lb-ft twin-turbo V6 engine. The 2nd Gen “Nano” EcoBoost was introduced in 2018 and is an evolution of the 2.7 Ecoboost.
Among the additions were a high pressure EGR system, lightweight cams, an electronic turbo wastegate, and port injection along with direct injection. The second-generation 2.7 EcoBoost engine makes 335 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque and is found in Ford F150s and Broncos made from 2018 to 2021.
While these numbers are impressive for a 2.7-liter V6, a few simple bolt-on upgrades will significantly improve performance. Adding a few bolt-on upgrades can boost the 2.7 EcoBoost’s power to 400 hp or more, and it’s possible to reach 500 hp or more with even fancier upgrades.
Upgrading the turbos is required to get the power up to and over the 450whp mark. The focus of this guide will be on bolt-on upgrades to reach the 400whp mark. Furthermore, this information applies to any vehicle powered by the 2.7 EcoBoost engine, not just the F150 and Bronco. A few Lincoln models are also included in this category, as are the Edge Sport/ST and Fusion Sport.
5 Best 2.7 EcoBoost Performance Upgrades
- Intake / Cold Air Intake
- Flash Tune
- Intercooler (FMIC)
- E85 / 93 Octane / Methanol Injection
Full bolt-on or “FBO” status is achieved with the aforementioned mods. A cat-back exhaust or full exhaust systems are not included in this list of upgrades because they are not necessary. There will be very little benefit from an exhaust system when it comes to increased exhaust power because downpipes will provide nearly all of it. You won’t suffer any harm by installing an exhaust system in its entirety, but the gains in performance are not worth the cost of such a large piece of metal.
1st Gen vs. 2nd Gen 2.7 EcoBoost Performance
As can be seen from the power figures, the second-generation 2.7 EcoBoost received numerous improvements in terms of performance. The addition of port injection in conjunction with direct injection was a significant upgrade.
Increasing power necessitates consuming more fuel. Fuel pumps and injectors used in direct injection engines can only handle a certain amount of power before failing and needing to be replaced. Upgrades to the fuel system can be quite expensive as well.
These engines can handle more power without expensive fueling upgrades thanks to the 2nd generation 2.7’s dual fueling system. However, if you want to use E85 fuel or meth injection, it makes it less expensive and easier to upgrade the fueling system.
Electronic wastegates and lighter turbine wheels were also added to the second-generation 2.7 EcoBoost engines, further improving the efficiency of the turbochargers. As a result, with the same modifications, the 2nd generation engines typically produce 25-50 rwhp more than the 1st generation engines.
1. 2.7 EcoBoost Cold Air Intake
The 2.7 EcoBoost’s first recommended upgrade is a new intake system. A more efficient turbocharger and more “open” engine are a result of improved intake system air flow.
For mildly modified 2.7’s running stock boost levels, the factory intake system is adequate. However, as boost is increased, the stock intake system becomes extremely restrictive. The turbocharger has to work harder to compress air to a high pressure level when you increase boost pressure, usually through a flash tune. Increased intake air flow increases the pre-turbo air pressure, resulting in less work for the turbocharger when you install a cold air intake.
Upgraded intake systems on stock engines will only result in modest increases in power. Adding an intake and a tune increases power, but the increase is magnified. In stock form, you can expect to see power gains of around 5 whp, while with a tune, you can expect gains of around 10 whp.
Open vs. Closed Intake Upgrades
To avoid any misunderstanding, intakes have a variety of names. Intakes such as cold air, performance, ram air, and so on will be visible. Don’t worry about whether or not it’s a “cold air” intake; they are all the same.
Open air intakes and closed air intakes are the next differences you’ll see. Open intake systems have the filter exposed to the engine bay’s atmosphere. Closed systems keep the filter out of the engine bay’s corrosive air.
Larger open air intakes increase the amount of air that the engine can move because of this. Because they are exposed to hot engine bay air, the only drawback is that they will bring in slightly warmer air. Because they are contained within boxes that can only hold so much air at a time, closed systems tend to draw in cooler (a couple degrees cooler) but provide less airflow improvement.
Our preference is for open air intakes because the extra airflow outweighs the slight increase in air temperature. Because the air is heated by the turbocharger and then cooled by the intercooler before entering the engine, the slightly higher temperatures have little impact.
Open or closed doesn’t really make a difference unless your goal is 500whp or more. Either one will do the job and produce roughly the same amount of power.
2.7 EcoBoost Upgraded Intake Benefits
- Cool intake sounds
- Faster turbo spool
- Improved turbo efficiency
- Small MPG improvements
- Increased airflow
- 5-10whp gains
Best 2.7 EcoBoost Intakes
- Open Air: JLT Systems
- Closed: S&B, Roush, Banks Power
Many choices are available, but these two stand out as the best. Again, these are purely personal choices. All brands will perform similarly and offer similar performance advantages in the majority of cases. It’s more important to upgrade your intake than to pick a specific brand.
2. 2.7 EcoBoost Downpipe Mods
2.7 EcoBoost’s downpipes connect directly to the turbochargers and are part of the exhaust system. Once you’ve installed an intake system and are sucking in additional air to the engine compartment, you’ll find that you have an increased demand for engine output.
The exhaust flow is severely restricted by the stock downpipes’ large catalytic converters. Because the stock downpipes are too restrictive to effectively handle the additional airflow, after installing a tune and an upgraded intake, you’ll notice increased turbo back pressure as a result of the extra air building up.
Turbochargers hate back pressure. Without delving too deeply into the nitty-gritty details, a larger pressure drop between the inlets and outlets improves turbo spool. In other words, a higher back-pressure, or air pressure after the turbo, makes it more difficult for the turbo to spool.
By reducing back pressure, upgraded downpipes improve turbo spool and efficiency. As a result, increase the engine’s output in terms of horsepower and torque.
Catless vs. High-Flow Catted Downpipes
Downpipes improve performance by reducing back pressure. The 2.7 twin-turbo V6 has two downpipe upgrade options: catless or high-flow catted.
Catless downpipes eliminate the exhaust system’s most restrictive component, the catalytic converters. The most power can be gained by using catless downpipes because they reduce back-pressure the most. Catless downpipes have the drawback of being illegal because of how they affect emissions. Catless downpipes, on the other hand, will not allow you to pass emissions.
Even though they are illegal in some states, high-flow catted downpipes still reduce back pressure. A catted downpipe is going to be about 5whp less powerful than a similar setup without one. Due to the high cost of catalytic converters, they are also more expensive by about $250-$450.
2.7 EcoBoost Downpipe Mod Benefits
- 10-20whp (when combined with a tune)
- Better turbo spool
- Reduced turbo back-pressure
- Slightly louder exhaust note
3. Ford 2.7L EcoBoost Tuners
In general, an intake and downpipes are best used in conjunction with a tune. A tuner or programmer, on the other hand, is probably the best bang for your 2.7 EcoBoost buck mod. By itself, a tune can typically produce gains of 40-70whp and 60-100wtq.. When using the most aggressive map, you can see power gains of up to 100whp and 130lb-ft of torque when using this setup.
The majority of a tune’s power gains come from increasing the turbochargers’ boost pressure, or psi. Increasing boost pressures pressurizes the air going into the engine, resulting in more combustion and therefore more power.
Because the turbochargers generate all of the power, we recommend intakes and downpipes in addition to a tune. It is possible to maximize gains while decreasing turbo stress by bringing in more air and reducing turbo back-pressure. In addition to being performance upgrades, these are also turbo reliability upgrades that will help them last longer.
2.7 EcoBoost Performance Tuner Benefits
- Multiple maps for towing, performance, fuel economy, etc.
- Plug and play and can be turned on and off easily
Best 2.7 EcoBoost Tuners
- SCT X4
- Cobb Accessport
4. Front Mount Intercooler (FMIC) – 2.7L V6 EcoBoost
After the turbocharger compresses the air, FMIC, or intercoolers, cool it down before it enters the engine. Stock boost levels require the 2.7-liter intercooler, but it can overheat when towing or under heavy use. Intercoolers are excellent mods because of their high level of dependability.
Increasing boost puts more strain on the turbocharger, which generates more heat. A heat soak occurs when the turbos generate too much heat and the intercooler is unable to adequately cool the incoming air.. Because the intercooler can’t keep up, you end up blowing warm air into the engine. Drive your truck hard enough and you’ll notice it starts to become weaker or slower with each pass. Heat soak has caused this.
An improved FMIC is the best solution for heat soak. Because they’re larger, aftermarket intercoolers have a larger surface area to cool air over the stock unit. When using higher boost levels than stock, an upgraded intercooler will keep the engine from overheating and provide more power because the air entering the engine is cooler.
Upgraded FMIC Performance Benefits
- 10-20whp gains
- Decreased likelihood of engine knock
- More consistent performance
Despite the fact that intercoolers have the potential to increase horsepower, their primary purpose is to improve vehicle reliability. Heat is a performance killer, but it is also a death sentence for engines. It is better for the internal components, head, block, and turbochargers when FMICs are upgraded because engine knock and temperature are reduced.
Best 2.7 EcoBoost FMIC Upgrades
- CVF Titan
- Agency Power
- Cobb Tuning
- Wagner Tuning
While there are a large number of FMICs available, surface area is the most critical feature to consider. The more surface area an intercooler has, the more cooling capacity it has. A larger intercooler is required for the full-on 2.7 EcoBoost conversion. Everything bigger than stock is perfect unless you also plan to upgrade your turbocharger.
5. Fueling: E85, 93 Octane, Methanol Injection
Despite the fact that the 2.7 EcoBoost can run on 87 octance, we don’t recommend it for Fords that have been tuned for maximum performance. If you’re running a tune, we recommend 91 or 93 octane for your tank. While using higher octane gas will give you more power, it will also make your engine run more smoothly and efficiently than when using lower octane.
Running E85 fuel is one of the best power boosters besides using higher octane fuel. Ethanol fuel, on the other hand, necessitates about 30% more fuel per cycle of combustion. You’ll have to use 30% more power to get the same amount of gas out of your fuel system. To put it another way, it places a great deal of strain on your fueling equipment.
Some fueling modifications will be required if you want to run 100% E85, but you can expect power gains of 30-40whp. The stock fueling system on the 2.7 EcoBoost can handle E30, but we recommend using no more than E50.
The final fueling modification to discuss is methanol injection. However, meth injection, which can produce gains of 40-60whp, is a more complex mod. It is possible to use the meth injection fueling system in addition to the stock fueling system to provide more fuel. When your stock fueling is at 100 percent capacity and you still need more fuel, this is when it’s the most useful. A separate article will be written to go into greater detail on methanol injection.
Ford 2.7 EcoBoost Performance Upgrade Summary
While the 2.7-liter Ford F-150s and Ford Broncos already have good power numbers, their twin-turbo setups make it easy to add more. An intake and tune alone can add 80whp, and complete bolt-on setups can add 100-125whp to your car’s base power.
Modifications such as the intake, tune, downpipes, and FMIC (which we discussed in this article) will result in power gains of 400-425whp. Adding ethanol fuel or meth injection can boost the 2.7’s power to 450 whp. Upgraded turbos are required to reach 500whp.
If you’re new to modding, starting with a tune is a good place to start. Once you’ve gotten your feet wet, you can add an intake and downpipes to the mix for even more power and dependability. If you regularly drive with high boost and want to get the most out of your engine, an FMIC is the next logical step after these three modifications.
Additional mods can be built on top of these four foundational changes. It’s only after you’ve made these basic bolt-on modifications that you can consider running more powerful turbos, more advanced fueling, and so on.