Ford EcoBoost tuning and mods are topics we find ourselves writing about often. The 2.7 & 3.5 EcoBoost are awesome engines that offer a lot of performance from the factory. However, they also leave a lot of untapped potential on the table. A 2.7 EcoBoost tune is likely the single best upgrade for those wanting even more performance. In this article, we discuss 2.7L V6 EcoBoost tunes & tuning along with cost, power gains, and more.
2.7 EcoBoost Tune Basics
Tuning is among the most common performance upgrades for many engines. That’s especially true when it comes to twin turbo engines like the Ford 2.7 EcoBoost. A simple tune can unleash a lot of extra power, and also helps maximize power gains from other mods.
The idea behind tuning is to re-write engine parameters in the powertrain control module (PCM). A 2.7 EcoBoost tune can effectively modify ignition timing, boost, fuel delivery, and more. With the right tuning there’s tons of power on the table by simply changing a few of these parameters.
Boost pressure is a large reason turbo engines have so much potential with tuning. Car manufacturers use more turbo than is needed for the factory power output. This does help with things like reliability, efficiency, and fuel economy. It also means it’s easy to turn up boost, modify engine parameters, and get huge horsepower gains with a simple tune.
Ford 2.7 Piggyback vs Flash Tunes
Piggyback vs flash tunes could be a lengthy topic and a full article of its own. However, we’ll avoid getting too technical in the interest of time. Flash tunes actually re-write the data on the PCM (essentially the cars computer). They allow for very precise control over all engine parameters, and each tuner can dial things in to their liking. It requires a tuner device to actually load the new tune to the PCM.
Then there are piggyback tunes. The JB4 tune from Burger Motorsports is an excellent example. A piggyback 2.7 EcoBoost tune doesn’t actually change any of the data or programming on the PCM. Instead, they’re simple plug and play installation and connect to either the PCM directly or a few various sensors.
Ultimately, both tunes accomplish the same end goal but go about it in different ways. Piggyback tunes manipulate certain signals before they’re sent back to the PCM. For example, it could change the boost signal to tell the turbos to run higher boost but the PCM still sees stock boost levels. Modern computers in cars are very quick and capable. It will quickly realize more fuel flow is needed due to the higher boost (even though it doesn’t know boost is higher).
There isn’t a perfect answer as to which is better, and it depends on your specific needs and goals. We really like the 2.7 EcoBoost JB4 tune. We’ve run their piggyback tunes on many of our BMW’s for over 8 years with great success. Some hate the idea of piggyback tunes, and prefer the flash tuning route.
2.7L V6 Tune vs Tuner
Tune vs tuner is fairly straight-forward, so we’ll be quick here. Sometimes it can seem a bit confusing if you’re new to the tuning world. Tune and tuner are often thrown around interchangeably. Here’s a quick breakdown:
- Tune – the software/file that re-writes the PCM data
- Tuner – Usually refers to a tuner device. Might also refer to a person or company who tunes engines
Tunes are simply the file or software that’s uploaded to the cars computer. A tuner usually refers to a tuner device. This is what allows you to actually load the tune to the PCM.
F-150 2.7 Tune Benefits
Horsepower gains are undoubtedly one of the primary benefits of tuning the 2.7L twin turbo V6. That’s not the only benefit that comes with a 2.7 EcoBoost tune, though. Some benefits include:
- Improved overall powerband
- Maximize gains from other mods
- Better fuel economy
- Better throttle response
2.7 EcoBoost tunes can offer about 40-70whp and 60-100wtq with no other upgrades. That’s a lot of performance benefit from a single mod. It’s also not just about the peak power and torque gains. They’re available through much of the RPM range, and you’ll likely also notice better throttle response.
Tunes also allow for better power gains from additional mods like downpipes, intakes, intercoolers, and more. A 2.7 EcoBoost tune is also essential for bigger upgrades like turbos, E85 fueling, etc. Point is – tunes are the best starting point when it comes to modding and upgrading your F-150.
We threw in better fuel economy above, which is possible with the right tuning. However, if you’re tuning for power and using that new-found power you’ll likely lose some fuel efficiency.
Twin Turbo V6 Tuning Risks
Of course, increasing boost and horsepower does come with some inherent risks. More power and more boost will put additional stress on the engine and turbo – assuming all else equal. Manufacturers build in headroom for good reason, and part of that is to help with reliability and efficiency.
Anyways, the Ford 2.7 EcoBoost engine is a pretty strong engine from the factory. A proper, quality tune likely won’t pose a huge risk to reliability or longevity. The general rule still applies, though. More power, boost, and heat will cause more stress and increase the chance of things going south.
It’s always important to have the proper supporting mods if you want to run more aggressive tunes. Upgrades like downpipes can help reduce heat and pressures while FMIC’s help with cooling. Check out our guide about the best 2.7 EcoBoost upgrades if you’re looking for more than just a tune.
Best Ford 2.7 EcoBoost Tuners
Now that the basic info, benefits, and risks are out of the way let’s jump into some of the best tuners for the 2.7 EcoBoost. It’s necessary we add a few quick notes before moving along, though. This is by no means an exhaustive list of all the great tunes available for the 2.7L twin turbo F-150. Plenty of great tunes and tuners exist, and one isn’t better than another for every single person.
Some of it simply comes down to personal preference, ease of install, etc. That said, we’re listing a few of the tunes we believe offer a great balance of price, quality, and performance. Whatever route you go there are a few key things to look for in choosing the right 2.7 EcoBoost tunes.
Always ensure you’re working with an experienced and trusted tuning company or person. Tuning can be very risky if it’s not done right. Don’t trust Joe from down the street to tune your 2.7L V6 just because he tuned a couple of his own cars back in the 1990’s.
1) F-150 2.7 EcoBoost JB4 Tune
It’s fair to call us a little biased on the JB4 piggyback tune since we’ve been running them for over 8 years. They originated around the time of the popular BMW N54 twin turbo engine in 2007. It’s largely the engine that started the JB4 as well as our own blogs. There’s a reason the JB4 became so popular in the turbo BMW world, though.
The 2.7L EcoBoost JB4 is easy to install, and it comes with 7 different maps (tunes) that you can change on the fly. No need to re-flash the entire PCM as with a flash tune. There are even E85 compatible maps, you can set boost limits by gear, data-log, read and delete codes, and so much more. In essence, the JB4 offers it all in one simple and easy to install package.
One big benefit of piggyback tunes is that they’re hard to detect during dealer visits if uninstalled. Once you flash the PCM the dealer will always be able to tell. Anyways, we don’t have time to run through all the awesome features and benefits of the JB4 2.7 EcoBoost tune. If you’re just looking for a tune and a few simple bolt-ons it’s a great choice. Those wanting 500+whp on larger turbos, 100% E85, etc should probably stick with traditional flash tunes.
Buy Here: Ford F-150 2.7 EcoBoost JB4 Tunes
2) Ford 2.7 EcoBoost SCT X4 Tuners
SCT is a popular choice when it comes to tuner devices in the American car world. The device starts at $399 and comes with several base flash maps. Base maps are a good starting point before potentially moving to a custom tune (which we’ll discuss in a couple sections).
Anyways, the 2.7 EcoBoost X4 tuner from SCT is a good choice. A backlit display makes it easy to data-log and view real time data. It can store up to 10 custom tune files, too. The 2.7 twin turbo tuner also allows you to adjust the speed limiter, rev limiter, idle, and more. It’s a popular tuning device at a fair price, so it’s hard to go wrong with SCT X4 tunes.
Buy Here: SCT X4 Tuner Device
3) 2.7 V6 EcoBoost Livernois
The Livernois EcoBoost tuner is another popular option for the Ford 2.7L engine. As with the SCT option, the screen allows for easy data-logging, viewing data in real time, and more. This device starts at $599 and comes with some pre-loaded tunes as well. Livernois offers custom tuning, but we’re unsure as to whether or not the price includes any custom tuning.
We’re less familiar with Livernois than we are with the JB4 or SCT X4. It’s still a great looking tune for the price, especially if it includes some custom tuning at the $599 price point.
Buy Here: Livernois F-150 2.7 EcoBoost Tuner
4) 2.7L Twin Turbo Custom Tuning
Alright, now it’s time to talk a little bit generically about custom tuning options for the Ford 2.7 EcoBoost. This doesn’t apply to the JB4 piggyback as it’s not a flash tuner. However, with the SCT or Livernois tunes you have the option to get some custom tuning work done. You’ll need the tuner device to start.
The base tunes that come with the tuner devices are typically developed on a shop/test car. However, not all 2.7L V6 engines will respond the same to tuning. There can be differences based on elevation, mileage, natural wear & tear, and much more. Essentially, these base maps aren’t dialed into your specific truck or use. They’re just generic tunes meant to work for any 2.7 EcoBoost engine.
That’s where custom tuning comes into play. You can work with a tuner to dial in a tune specific to your truck, goals, conditions, etc. You might pick up some better power, get a better towing tune, or whatever you’re looking for.
Careful opting for a custom tune too soon, though. You’ll need to work with the tuner (and likely spend more money) each time you want to make any changes or add additional mods. As such, a custom tune is usually the last piece to the puzzle once you have everything else done.
2.7 EcoBoost Tune Summary
The Ford 2.7 twin turbo EcoBoost is a great all around engine. While the 3.5L engine has the advantage the 2.7 EcoBoost still delivers excellent performance. It also leaves plenty of potential on the table that can be unleashed with a simple tune.
Power gains of 40-70+whp and 60-100+wtq are possible with just a tune. To realize gains on the higher-end you’ll need quality fueling like 93 octane or E85 mixtures. Other benefits include maximizing gains from other upgrades, better throttle response, and possibly better fuel economy.
We’re big fans of the JB4 2.7 EcoBoost tune, and believe it’s a great option for many. It’s simple to install and offers tons of features, including on-the-fly map changes. Those looking for a flash tune can find great options in both the SCT X4 and Livernois tuners. Consider custom tuning as the final piece to the puzzle if you’re looking for the ultimate performance gains from a flash tune.
What’s your experience with 2.7 EcoBoost tuning? Are you considering a tune?
Looking for even more power and mods? Check out our best 2.7 EcoBoost mods guide