Excellent write up originally done by @WooBoost. We have cleaned it up a tiny bit to make the useful information more current.
This is a discussion on Official FAQ Thread (1st Gen Ecoboosts; 2011-2014) within the F150 Ecoboost Chat forums, part of the F150 Ecoboost Forum category; Making a FAQ thread. Goal is to have this answer everyone’s general questions and if new threads get started relating to information in here, the ...
Making a FAQ thread. Goal is to have this answer everyone’s general questions and if new threads get started relating to information in here, the mods will delete them.
Note-This document has not been typed professionally. It was done quickly and there are probably errors. You’ll be ok though.
Any suggestions on additions, PM me. I don't want this to turn into a 100 page thread, just a reference thread.
The goal for this is to have this answer everyone’s general questions. If the moderators feel that a member created a new thread asking a question that is clearly answered in the FAQ, the thread will be deleted.
THE MOST IMPORTANT THING. Run the best oil, 5W-30 and change often, do not go over 5k per oil change. Some great oil recommendations is Mobil EP (gold bottle), Pennzoil Ultra, Pennzoil Platinum, Royal Purple, and AMSOIL. Make sure you run a Motorcraft filter ONLY. Mobil EP or AMSOIL (Eao17) filter are designed as well as Motorcraft, but have synthetic media inside.
DI engines have more fuel in oil, fuel dilution. If you get too much dilution, your oil will not be viscous enough and you will damage engine. Many of us are doing oil analysis to monitor ours.
There is also an issue with noise on start up. This is an ongoing process. You will get a code P0006 and be low on power and the one cam is more than 6 degrees out of timing. So far this seems to only be showing up on 11’s and some 12’s. The dealer will currently replace the timing chain if you are under warranty(emissions) and have the code, however the noise still continues after. As of June 2015, the new idea is it might have to do with the VCT solenoids making the noise. Ford should have used two timing chains, like the MOD motors, but too late for that.
1 Catch Can:
Do you need a catch can? No, you do not absolutely need one.
Should you get a catch can? It's up to the owners discretion, but can't hurt. It significantly helps water/oil build up in intercooler and thus being sucked into engine. When it is sucked into engine, it hurts combustion and if enough gets in, it will throw the wrench symbol on the display and you lose all power temporarily.
The factory PCV pushes the blow by (from combustion) through the intercooler when in boost/WOT, instead of PCV line. This is why oil/liquid builds up in your intercooler, as it condenses from the air running over intercooler (the catch can works in similar fashion). If you run a catch can, it will have the air flow of PCV system go through it at all times, in vacuum and in boost, thus fixing the flawed stock PCV system.
A popular misconception is that a catch can will prevent valve coking. It will NOT. This is another issue all in itself.
Other options include drilling a 1/16th hole in the stock intercooler at the lowest point, typically done on the drivers side. This is technically a boost leak but it is so small, it is fine. You can plug the hole with a screw or whatever you choose if you would like. Nothing should get sucked into the hole.
If you are stock and have over 15,000 miles, it would be best to pull the stock intercooler out and drain everything that is potential in it and also change your spark plugs.
Will a catch can void warranty? According to law, no. The part has to be proven to have caused another factory part to fail. That being said, dealers seem to be able to do whatever they want. One of the catch can systems gives you the option to drill a hole so the system is pulling from both turbos. Drilling a hole will not cause any damage. Do it correct and seal it correct. The passenger intake tube, where hole is drilled, can be easily removed. The clamp screw head is facing towards the wheel through the fender well. Undo it and pull off turbo, drill hole on work bench and reinstall.
2 Spark Plugs
The latest plug is Motorcraft SP-534 and comes pre-gapped at .030. If the truck is tuned then gap between .025 to .028. This works best than anything aftermarket, run this plug. They came factory on 13/14. The 11/12s had a different plug and a much larger gap. This large plug gap also contributes to potential misfires and a general decrease in performance/MPG. Spark plugs should be replaced every 30,000-40,000 miles, even sooner if tuned.
Torque them to 11ft-lbs DRY. You do not need anti-seize as the plugs have an applied coating, however a LITTLE would not hurt. Antiseize does change torque ratings. If you are using a torque wrench, you will be having MORE torque applied.
To change plugs — Always change on cold engine. Pull red clip with finger nail down. Push tab in on connector body, push up and then pull off. Undo bolt holding COP in place. Pull COP out. I will remove COP when engine is warm, typically easier, then wait to cool down to do spark plugs. With COPs out and spark plugs still in, blow engine off with compressed air and then each individual hole, as you do not want dirt falling in engine. Apply a SMALL amount of dielectric grease to inside of COP boot and plug body. Install in reverse order. Boots can be replaced separately from the whole COP. You could have damage to boot which could cause a misfire too.
Meth (methanol) is an engine injection system. View it as a liquid intercooler. Some drag cars will run meth injection only. The benefit of this is it will keep the engine and CAC air cooler, which will give you more power. This is not something you need. Some claim it will help clean the valve tops on our DI engines, but there has been no proof of this. This is more of a performance option. Research more if you would like.
4 CAC (aka: Intercooler)
The Ford Ecoboost set-up uses a Charge Air Cooler or CAC to cool/compress the air going into the turbos. Our stock ones are very small and thin, thus not keeping the air as cool as an quality aftermarket one. For optimal performance the IAT (intake air temp) needs to be low. When encountering higher IAT, your engine will, via computer, pull timing and power to prevent detonation.
There have been a handful of Ford TSBs for intercoolers and design changes through 11-14. Make sure you have the latest TSB which will be no fins and a new PCM flash (there have been a couple PCM updates)
Do you need an aftermarket intercooler? No. If you are towing heavy or like performance, get one. Aftermarket units are significantly larger, thicker and have less pressure drop.
5 Driveline Vibrations (driveshaft)
This 'normally' occurs on trucks equipped with the 6.5' bed. The two piece units have more problems than single piece units. Fixes are carrier bearing/shim and raptor transmission mount. This piece is stiffer. It is normal on our trucks to have a slight harmonic vibration at speed and depends on your truck at which speed. Do your research here.
There are TSBs to help this problem. Check TSB sticky thread. Some even have had driveshaft replaced by Ford.
The main fix here is if you constantly hear a bang noise. Ford put a low friction coating on the splines that slide into the transfer case. It does not work properly, so the driveshaft slides by force, creating a bang noise. The dealer (or you) can pull out the driveshaft and grease these splines to fix problem. Later years had these greased stock I believe.
6 CAI/ Cold Air Intake/intake tornadoes
A cold air intake(CAI) is more for noise. The stock OEM unit is designed remarkably well and pulls cold air already and very efficiently. You may get 5hp from an aftermarket CAI but at their high prices ($200-$400) for something that mainly amplifies turbo noise, that is not a very economical purchase. If you insist, this should be one of the last mods done to your truck and typically only if you are really pushing the ponies up with other major supporting modifications.
The whirly fins inside the intake lines are for noise only, this is according to someone who claims to work for the manufacturer of these. I guess they are supposed to have the air spinning a bit before entering turbo, thus creating less turbo noise? You can remove them or keep them in, it does not matter, MPG will not change. You will hear a bit more turbo noise (witchcraft) with them removed.
7 Blow Off Valve (BOV) Mod
Called VTA, vent to atmosphere.
Not sure what is involved on 2011/2012, they are different systems.
The 13/14 has a single electronic BOV(ebov) mounted on the driver side intercooler. It has a hose on it going into the intake tube. If you want to hear a loud “PSSHHHHH” remove this hose and cap the protruding end on the intake tube with a proper rubber cap and zip tie.
On engines with a MAF, you would need a retune as the PCM has accounted for all the air in the system, our trucks DO NOT have a MAF and are speed density based. You will not be running lean or anything else doing this mod. It is safe to do and easily reversible.
Note: going VTA for an extended period of time has shown to cause premature eBOV failures on the 2013/2014 models.
It could void warranty. If you do this, do it right. UNHOOK NEG BATTERY. You could damage EPAS (electronic power steering) hitting from suspension with hammer. Check all drive line angle afterwards. You will lose MPG's because of the extra rotational weight and rolling resistance of the bigger tires typically associated with a lift. You will also put more wear on CV joints.
9 Grinding noise 4x4
The 4x4 IWE will have problems sometimes. Usually can be identified by grinding in 2wd but goes away while in 4x4, or grinding in 4x4 and front wheels will not rotate. Check these and or have dealer replace. Another problem people seem to have is not knowing how electronic shift on the fly 4x4 works. You have to roll a bit for it to fully engage. I prefer to do it with no throttle applied (engaging or disengaging). It makes a pop noise on both occasions. Make sure you work the system at least once or twice a year. Do not do it on dry cement if possible. On cement, only have it engaged going straight. Our traditional 4x4 systems are not an AWD system. If you turn on dry payment with it engaged, it creates a binding in driveline system as the tires cannot slide and could break something.
Make sure you have the latest Sync update. You can update it yourself via a thumb drive. With latest update MFT should not have any problems.
If you have issues with Sync and your APIM needs replaced, there has been an extended warranty to 5 years from purchase date (regardless of mileage).
The a/c system is not very good on these trucks. You can wrap the FAT line in the engine bay with pipe insulation to help a little bit. Also point the vents UP. Tint and sunshield in window will also help.
This depends on driving habits. MPG DROP OFF A CLIFF WHEN THE INTAKE GOES POSITIVE, IE BOOST. That being said it is hard to stay out of boost as these engines were designed to be in boost almost instantly so the power is there for towing.
To help MPG:
-In town, below 40mph, lock out of 6th and even 5th using select shift (depending on what gearing you have). You click the down arrow in Drive and it will only allow transmission to go up to whatever gear you choose. This helps prevent engine lugging, changing gears often and going into boost
-Do the proper mods above(spark plugs, intercooler upgrade/cleaning, catch can) to ensure your engine is running optimally.
-Run good gas
-On interstate (depending on gearing) do not go past 75. I prefer to stick around 65 or so.
-The MPG display is COMBINED. You could be getting 25 on interstate but the reader will show your avg of 13. For those with the digital display on dash, you can view last 5-30min mpg to get a real idea
-do not put big tires on truck
Tuning will change the engine and transmission parameters to increase performance and power. This is done by rewriting the PCM code with a plug in device. For our trucks, the SCT X4 is the most commonly used and sought after because it can be used to store custom tunes from custom programmers. This can void warranty if it is found to be the cause of the engine/transmission failure.
A TSB is a Technical Service Bulletin, if you ever seem to have a problem here would be the first place to look. There are repairs out there for most of the common problems. The TSB number can be found on this website: http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/owners/SearchSafetyIssues
*2009-2014 Lug nut size is M14 x 2.0 (Hex size 21 mm). Should be torqued to 150 Ft/Lbs
Last edited by milesej05; 05-15-2019 at 07:12 AM. Reason: Specified model years and facelift for some of the old out-of-date information.
My Build Thread w/ Oil info https://www.f150ecoboost.net/forum/6...tml#post243541
Official Blown Engine thread https://www.f150ecoboost.net/forum/3...ne-thread.html
Official FAQ threadhttps://www.f150ecoboost.net/forum/6...aq-thread.html
Excellent write up originally done by @WooBoost. We have cleaned it up a tiny bit to make the useful information more current.
2013 Ingot Silver SuperCrew XLT - Texas Edition, 3.5L EcoBoost, 3.31 e-locker, AEM drop-in filter, Self-fabricated grill insert, AVS low-profile vent shades, Falken Wildpeak A/T3W 265/70/18, BakFlip G2 tri-fold bed cover