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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all,

First time poster here. Just picked up a 2018 3.5l ecoboost with 13,000 miles on it. I don't have a ton of spare spending cash right now, but I would love to hear your input on what mods/improvements I should make to ensure a long lasting, clean running engine. I already plan on getting a catch can right away and installing that. At some point down the road I'll do an intake and exhaust for some moderate performance gains, but right now I'd really like to know what I should be doing for preventative measures to keep this truck running tip top. Any turbo mods/upgrades to make sure they last as long as possible? Thanks in advance!
 

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Fair warning, you will soon reckon that the long-time Ecoboosters have discovered that conventional thinking doesn't apply.

Catch cans, intakes, exhaust...... Are exactly the list that "newbies" arrive assuming it's a logical start. When in reality they DON'T apply to your new truck. Especially if you have "limited funds", since there's almost zero return on investment. Zero!

Instead :

Upgrade the factory suspension cheaply and take the "Buick" out of your truck. (dampers)

And the next lowest hanging fruit is software.

But as mentioned above, the MOST important thing to do with these motors is lots of fresh oil and filters. Ignore Ford's recommended long oil change interval.

OH, and finally, an Italian tuneup occasionally after all Temps are up to normal. Let her rip through the gears at max boost

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2013 race red SCrew 4x4 air lift bags
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Good to know. I haven't looked up anything about oil or quantity yet, so what would you recommend for oil brand and oil change intervals?
Lots of discussion about this, check out other threads for additional information.

I've been using Valvoline modern engine oil. 1. It's cheap, $15-20 for 5qts
2. It's a name brand full synthetic


The motorcraft filter is typically the recommended one.

I'm not an advocate for mods, these engines produce amazing power and the same amount of torque as a turbo diesel from 15-20 years ago. The 2nd gen addresses some the short comings, overall reliability is pretty good.
Unless you're towing....heavy and often, stock is going to be your best for longevity.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Lots of discussion about this, check out other threads for additional information.

I've been using Valvoline modern engine oil. 1. It's cheap, $15-20 for 5qts
2. It's a name brand full synthetic


The motorcraft filter is typically the recommended one.

I'm not an advocate for mods, these engines produce amazing power and the same amount of torque as a turbo diesel from 15-20 years ago. The 2nd gen addresses some the short comings, overall reliability is pretty good.
Unless you're towing....heavy and often, stock is going to be your best for longevity.
Good input. Thank you. I'm coming from the 20 year old diesel mindset. I have a 2000 F250 7.3l with 370k miles on it so I'm no stranger to upgrades and mods, but I guess my mindset is "old school" for modern day trucks
 

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Good input. Thank you. I'm coming from the 20 year old diesel mindset. I have a 2000 F250 7.3l with 370k miles on it so I'm no stranger to upgrades and mods, but I guess my mindset is "old school" for modern day trucks
If you're dead set on mods, tuner. Everyone recommends 5 star. Do your homework and find a good fit and reviews.
Based on other members, exhaust, intake, and catch can (gen 2) are a waste. The catch can in general are debated. As for performance exhausts, they sound like a Pontiac Grand Prix with a 3.8 and bad exhaust...a wet fart. To each their own though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
If you're dead set on mods, tuner. Everyone recommends 5 star. Do your homework and find a good fit and reviews.
Based on other members, exhaust, intake, and catch can (gen 2) are a waste. The catch can in general are debated. As for performance exhausts, they sound like a Pontiac Grand Prix with a 3.8 and bad exhaust...a wet fart. To each their own though.
Hahaha. Yeah I would agree on the exhaust unfortunately. The sound isn't great. I've already heard a lot about 5 star so I'll definitely do more research on them. As far as a catch can goes, it sounds like they aren't as important but I guess they still can't hurt? Sounds like most people are telling me to save my money though which isn't a bad thing to hear.
 

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Good input. Thank you. I'm coming from the 20 year old diesel mindset. I have a 2000 F250 7.3l with 370k miles on it so I'm no stranger to upgrades and mods, but I guess my mindset is "old school" for modern day trucks
I too came from the 7.3 & 6.0 diesel Era. Never thought I'd EVER drive one of them HALF trucks. Lol

Now the whole family has switched over, after all ridiculing me for it at first.

Your new truck is an aluminum no-rust super comfortable BEAST with amazing torque. It ain't your dad's F150.

Just enjoy it and get to know it for a while. I suggest trying a few tankfulls of 93 octane and Sport mode on transmission and see what you love and what you miss. Then approach the upgrades.

Like I said earlier, I don't like how they ride like a car. My SuperDuty upbringing might be why. But I need it to be a truck. So shocks and sway bars were a HUGE improvement for me personally.

And yea, I tuned it early on and the return on investment is CRAZY. The thing has amazing untapped potential in software.

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Hahaha. Yeah I would agree on the exhaust unfortunately. The sound isn't great. I've already heard a lot about 5 star so I'll definitely do more research on them. As far as a catch can goes, it sounds like they aren't as important but I guess they still can't hurt? Sounds like most people are telling me to save my money though which isn't a bad thing to hear.
They do make good power and mpg, when you keep it out of boost.
You're coming from 235hp 500 lb-ft tq to 375hp and 470 lb-ft. With power close to your previous truck, it might be wise to spend some time with it to see if or what the trucks short comings are.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I too came from the 7.3 & 6.0 diesel Era. Never thought I'd EVER drive one of them HALF trucks. Lol

Now the whole family has switched over, after all ridiculing me for it at first.

Your new truck is an aluminum no-rust super comfortable BEAST with amazing torque. It ain't your dad's F150.

Just enjoy it and get to know it for a while. I suggest trying a few tankfulls of 93 octane and Sport mode on transmission and see what you love and what you miss. Then approach the upgrades.

Like I said earlier, I don't like how they ride like a car. My SuperDuty upbringing might be why. But I need it to be a truck. So shocks and sway bars were a HUGE improvement for me personally.

And yea, I tuned it early on and the return on investment is CRAZY. The thing has amazing untapped potential in software.

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Thanks Snake! Definitely some worthy advice. I'm gonna miss the diesel life but at least I still have some turbos to help hold me over lol
 

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They do make good power and mpg, when you keep it out of boost.
You're coming from 235hp 500 lb-ft tq to 375hp and 470 lb-ft. With power close to your previous truck, it might be wise to spend some time with it to see if or what the trucks short comings are.
Alright, torque numbers are close. The HP isn't in the same class.
The only thing I wish I would have done was rear air bags. If you haul heavy and often, get em.
 

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Snakebitten: would you please expand on the ROI is crazy?
Thank you,
Cheapest 100HP you can buy.

For my 60+ years of living on the planet, fellas that wanted to increase the performance of their motor have never had it easier.

Think about it..... You can leave what's under the hood 100% oem, and in fact, not even raise the hood!

Just plug into the ODB port from the driver's seat and upload 100HP.

Like I said, it's CRAZY

Modern man is getting harder and harder to impress. Lol

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Agree on the tune for the OP. Also agree with Snake on the last question. I ran untuned for 2 years and wish I had done it sooner. About a 6 minute sit in your truck, and a smoke, and you're up and on your way.

And unfortunately Snake, it's the age of entitlement. People want to sit on their ass and reap the rewards. Fortunately for us, it's never been easier to add HP to a car/truck. As long as you're good with the $400 give/take investment in pure joy. I'm as big a vice ridden degenerate as the next guy, but the tuner was a good buy!
 
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I replaced a 2016 F150 SCrew 2.7EB with a 2018 F150 SCrew 3.5EB. As stated above, the 2.7 with a $500 investment (SCT x4 tuner + tunes from Stage 3/5 Star) was silly fast, with a 93 octane tune. The 3.5, also with a 5* 93 octane tune is just ridiculous. 500+ HP and nearly 600 tq. (flywheel), it'll run 12s all day long, otherwise bone stock on OEM tires. I went ahead and did the intake (Airaid CAI with dry filter), because it has a removable panel, so you can really hear the motor, in the winter, but can put the panel back on to keep the heat from the engine bay out, during the warmer months. Also, as stated before, OEM exhaust is the only way to go. I learned the hard way, by putting a Magnaflow catback on the 2.7 and it sounded like a high school rice burning Mitsubishi...not a good thing, for sure. The stock exhaust (and some say intake) are plenty good for 95% of the general public's needs.

The 2.7 pulled a 6K lb. trailer, stock, with no problems. The 3.5, also stock, doesn't even know it's back there... You got a hell of a truck. Tune it and be done :)
 

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It's whatever you want to do really.. Some go out and go balls out and get all the can, drill the hole, tunes, exhaust, intake....

I'm a wuss and have not done anything to the motor, except 4-5,000 mile oil changes with Pennzoil Platinum and MC filter. On my first test drive with my 13, I was sold... I traded in the old 97 with the 5.4 and 255,000 miles on it, still running great, but dang... I missed the old V8 growl initially, but have come to like the quiet of the Eco and the goobs of torque at such low rpms..

I think "working" these things is a key too.... Don't just lug it around all the time.. It needs to be opened up and it needs to tug a load as far as I'm concered.. I have towed a TT with the 13 it's whole life during the summer and now I'm towing an even bigger and heavier TT (not as big and heavy as other's on here either!)

But, in the end, do what you want and enjoy... I'm just saying I haven't done all those things and I'm not dissapointed at all. I've done some minor suspension and brake "upgrades", but overall, after 86,000 trouble free miles, I'm still happy..

Good luck!

Mitch

 
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