2.7 EcoBoost Cold Air Intake Upgrade
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The 5 Best Ford 2.7 EcoBoost Performance Upgrades

Jake Mayock

Meet Jake

Jake is a founder of 8020 Media and TuningPro. He has over a decade of experience in the automotive industry including parts sales, writing, DIY modifications & repairs, and more. Jake is currently converting his N54 to a single turbo and building a Miata track car. He’s an experienced, hands-on automotive enthusiast who delivers in-depth, well-researched content.

The 2.7 EcoBoost produces pretty good power numbers from the factory. But extra power is always fun and there are some simple bolt-on modifications that can really open this engine up. A handful of bolt-on mods can take the 2.7 EcoBoost to 400whp+, with potential for 500whp+ with some more sophisticated mods.

Breaking past the 425-450whp mark is going to require upgraded turbos. And from there things get a bit more advanced. This guide is going to focus on simple bolt-on modifications to get to the ~400whp mark, including: intakes, tuning, downpipes, intercoolers, and fueling upgrades.

1st Gen vs. 2nd Gen Performance Differences

One of the most important upgrades to the second gen engines was the addition of port injection in combination with direct injection. This dual fueling system means that the 2nd gen engines can handle more power without the need for expensive fueling upgrades. However, it also makes upgrading the fueling system less costly and easier if you want to run E85 fuel or meth injection.

Additionally, the 2nd gen 2.7 EcoBoost engines received electronic wastegates and lighter turbine wheels, ultimately making the turbochargers more efficient. With both of the changes, the 2nd gen engines will usually make around 25-50rwhp more than the first gen engines with the same modifications.

5 Best 2.7 EcoBoost Performance Upgrades

  • Intake / Cold Air Intake
  • Downpipes
  • Flash Tune
  • Intercooler (FMIC)
  • E85 / 93 Octane / Methanol Injection

If you would rather consume this content via a video, check out our 5 Best Ford 2.7 EcoBoost Performance Upgrades video below:

1) Cold Air Intake

2.7 EcoBoost Cold Air Intake Upgrade

An upgraded intake system is our first recommended upgrade for the 2.7 EcoBoost. Upgraded intake systems provide more air flow to the engine which in turn improves turbocharger efficiency and “opens up” the engine a lot more.

While the stock intake system is sufficient for lightly modified 2.7’s running stock boost levels, the intake starts to become highly restrictive once additional boost is added. When you add more boost pressure, usually through a flash tune, the turbocharger has to work harder to compress air to a high pressure level. When you add a cold air intake, more air flows into the engine which increases the pre-turbo air pressure, therefore increasing turbo efficiency by requiring it to work less.

On a stock engine an upgraded intake system will have pretty modest power gains. However, those power gains are amplified when you add an intake in conjunction with a tune. Bone stock you will probably see power gains around the 5whp level, whereas when combined with a tune you will likely see closer to 10whp gains.

Upgraded Intake Benefits

  • Cool intake sounds
  • Faster turbo spool
  • Improved turbo efficiency
  • Small MPG improvements
  • Increased airflow
  • 5-10whp gains

CVF Intake Upgrade

Price: $299 (5% off with code TUNINGPRO)

Buy Here: Ford F-150 2.7 EcoBoost CVF Dual Filter Intake Kit

There are a lot of intake upgrades available for the Ford F-150 2.7 EcoBoost engine. However, there is one intake system that we believe is the best all-around option: CVF. The CVF dual-filter cold air intake utilizes an open-design and two intake filters. Thanks to this design it’s able to outflow the factory intake by 65%. You’ll also notice some awesome turbo and induction sounds.

The Livernois intake is also a great upgrade for the 2.7L EcoBoost. However, at $499 it’s quite a bit pricier than the CVF dual cone intake system. Livernois designs, tests, & manufacturers all their products in the US so they come at a bit of a premium. Anyway, if you’re not set on the dual cone intake from CVF then look no further than Livernois.

2) High-Flow Downpipes

Downpipes are part of the 2.7 EcoBoost exhaust system and bolt directly up to the turbochargers. Once you have an intake system and are pulling more air into the engine, you now have more air you need to get out of the engine.

The stock downpipes have large catalytic converters on them that are highly restrictive for exhaust flow. With a tune and an upgraded intake you will start building increased turbo back-pressure from all the air building up because the stock downpipes are too restrictive to efficiently handle the excess airflow.

Back-pressure is terrible for turbochargers. Without getting into the technical details, turbo spool is better when there is a greater pressure drop between the inlets and the outlets. Ie. it is harder for the turbo to spool when the back-pressure, or air pressure post turbo is higher.

Upgraded downpipes increase exhaust air flow, improving turbo spool and efficiency by reducing back-pressure. And therefore, increase horsepower and torque.

Downpipe Upgrade Benefits

  • 10-20whp (when combined with a tune)
  • Better turbo spool
  • Reduced turbo back-pressure
  • Slightly louder exhaust note

For more detail on downpipe upgrades check out our full 2.7L EcoBoost F150 Downpipe Upgrade Guide.

Otherwise, check out this awesome high-flow catted downpipe upgrade from CVF. As with the CVF intake we discussed, CVF downpipes also deliver an exceptional value and quality. Their 2.7 EcoBoost F-150 downpipes feature 400 cell cats to allow you to pass emissions testing and visual inspections. The pipes are made from T304 stainless steel and are 100% mandrel bent and fully TIG welded.

Price: $749.99 (5% off with code TUNINGPRO)

Buy Here: F-150 2.7 EcoBoost CVF Downpipe Upgrade

3) ECM Tuning

Generally speaking we recommend combining an intake and downpipes with a tune. However, a tuner or programmer by itself is probably hands down the best bang for the buck mod you can get on your 2.7 EcoBoost. A tune by itself can generally add 40-70whp and 60-100wtq. When you combine this with an intake and downpipes, you can see closer to 100whp and 130wtq when running the most aggressive map.

Most of the power gains from a tune come from increasing the boost pressure, or psi, of the turbochargers. By increasing boost pressures, the air being sent into the engine is more pressurized and therefore creates more combustion and more power.

The reason we recommend intakes and downpipes in conjunction with a tune is because all the power comes from the turbochargers. And bringing in more air and reducing turbo back-pressure are the best ways to maximize gains while minimizing the stress placed on the turbos. Aside from these being complimentary performance mods, they are also reliability mods and will help improve the lifespan of your turbos.

Tuner Benefits

  • 40-70whp+
  • 60-100wtq+
  • Multiple maps for towing, performance, fuel economy, etc.
  • Plug and play and can be turned on and off easily

4) Front Mount Intercooler (FMIC)

2.7 EcoBoost FMIC Upgrade

FMIC, or intercoolers, cool the air after the turbocharger has compressed it, before the air enters the engine. The stock 2.7 intercooler is adequate for stock boost levels but is still prone to heat soak during towing or heavy driving.

While the power gain benefits are nice, intercoolers are in reality more of a reliability modification. Heat doesn’t just kill performance, it also kills engines. Upgraded FMIC’s will reduce the chance of engine knock as well as keep engine temps lower which is better for the internal components of the engine as well as the head, block, and turbochargers.

Most FMIC’s are simply larger than the stock intercooler and therefore have more surface area to cool air. An upgraded intercooler will prevent heat soak when running above stock boost levels and provide more power as the air entering the engine is cooler.

Upgraded FMIC Performance Benefits

  • 10-20whp gains
  • Decreased likelihood of engine knock
  • More consistent performance

Best 2.7 EcoBoost FMIC Upgrades

Price: $1,999

Buy Here: F-150 CVF Titan FMIC Upgrades

5. Fueling: E85, 93 Octane, Methanol Injection

Although the 2.7 EcoBoost can run on 87 octance, we certainly don’t recommend it for tuned Ford’s. If you are running a tune we recommend using 91 or 93 octane. Using higher octane gas will provide some horsepower gains but will also generally allow you engine to run smoother and healthier than on lower octanes.

Outside of higher octane fuel, one of the best power adders is running E85 fuel. However, ethanol fuel requires approximately 30% more fuel per burn cycle. This means that your fuel pump, injectors, and fueling system need to pump 30% more fuel than they would otherwise. Long story short, it puts a lot of stress on your fueling system.

Running 100% E85 will require some fueling mods, but can provide power gains from 30-40whp. On the 2.7 EcoBoost the stock fueling system can handle E30, with E50 being the maximum amount we’d suggest.

Methanol injection is the last fueling mod to mention. Meth injection can give 40-60whp gains but is certainly a more advanced mod. Meth injection is a separate fueling system so it can be used in conjunction with the stock fueling system to provide additional fueling. It is generally most beneficial when you are running your stock fueling at 100% capacity and still need additional fueling. Methanol injection is an advanced topic so we will cover it in further detail in a separate article.

Summary

While the F150’s and Bronco’s with the 2.7 come with solid power numbers from the factory, their twin-turbo setups make additional power easy to come by. Adding an intake and tune alone can provide an additional 80whp and full bolt-on setups can provide an additional 100-125whp over stock levels.

The first four mods we discussed in this article: intake, tune, downpipes, and FMIC will produce numbers somewhere in the ballpark of 400-425whp. Stacking on ethanol fuel or meth injection can take the 2.7 upwards of 450whp. To break the 500whp mark, upgraded turbos will be necessary.

These four mods are really the cornerstone to additional modifications. Running upgraded turbos, advanced fueling, etc. should all come after you have these base bolt-on modifications.

What mods do you currently run on your 2.7 EcoBoost? Also checkout our 2.7 vs 3.5 EcoBoost performance post and 2.7 EcoBoost common problems post.

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6 Comments

  1. Great article.I bought my first Ford because of GM does not make a performance sedan.I like it so far but the electrical system forces me to turn off the radio to save the battery.I used my Chevys as an escape pod…in the att.garage,I would get in the car and crank the hell out of the Bose…I will try a tune and intake and look for a Chevy SS

    1. GM doesn’t make a performance sedan? The Cadillac V and Blackwing series rank among the best sports sedans on the market. Used ATS sedans are also a good option.

  2. I was amply impressed, with my new Ford F150, 4X4, FX4 Off Roader! It is equipped with the 2.7 V6, Twin Turbos! It has more get-up, than my first, Ford Mustang, Mach I, V8!

  3. All the 2.7 engine mods and details are great, but don’t forget about your lubricants and transmission. For a 2015 2.7 F-150, the only transmission cooler upgrade that uses all original mounts and hoses is Mishimoto. Lifetime warranty and a quality product with detailed, easy to follow video install instructions. Amsoil isn’t cheap, but in my opinion is the best protection money can buy for all your fluid needs.

    Engine and transmission cooling mods to keep up with performance are important in my book. Maybe the team at Tuning Pro’s can test and list some.

  4. I really just wanted better mpg while protecting turbos. Started with just the CVF recommended cold air intake on 2017 2.7L. Gas mileage went down from 20.8 mpg to 17.1 consistantly after almost 1 year. Bummer, now I wil again invest in a tuner to try & get that mpg back up…hope it works or I’m just out $1000 I could have left stock & bought fuel?!

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