Enhance the Performance: How to Bulletproof a 3.5 EcoBoost

Bulletproof – I guess this word sounds like something is under attack, right? Hold on! In the context of vehicle engines, bulletproofing refers to having a noticeable amount of reliability. If you bulletproof the engine, it will provide better acceleration and fuel economy than the stock engine. The same thing goes for the 3.5 EcoBoost engine.

But do you know how to bulletproof a 3.5 EcoBoost? In short, the engine needs several upgrades and modifications. For instance, you can replace leaking turbos and cracked exhaust manifolds. Also, you can upgrade the cam phasers or install a JLT air/oil separator to increase engine longevity. Sometimes, tuning the engine parameters can yield significant power gains, especially for turbo engines.

Car lovers like you (and me) always look to push our vehicles to the limit without compromising the engine’s longevity. Bulletproofing is an excellent idea to do so. I suggest you read the discussion to armor your 3.5 EcoBoost engine.

Is It Possible to Bulletproof a 3.5 EcoBoost Engine?

Ford introduced the 3.5 EcoBoost v6 gasoline engine for the first time in 2007 (1). It is indeed a marvel of modern engineering, combining power, efficiency, and cutting-edge technology. Besides, it incorporates turbocharging, direct fuel injection, and TiVCT to deliver a performance that belies its size.

The most notable vehicles with 3.5 EcoBoost are F-150 pickup truck, Lincoln Navigator, and the Explorer SUV (2). Overall, it offers an engine’s impressive power and torque output with a larger displacement.

Do You Really Want to Bulletproof the 3.5 Ecoboost Engine?

Surely, you can modify or upgrade it for better performance. Despite its capabilities, this engine has some common issues like power loss, rough idling, engine misfiring, oil leaks, and carbon accumulation (3,4,5,6,7). So, you can solve these problems by bulletproofing the machine.

Like any mechanical component, the Ecoboost needs proper care and maintenance for optimal performance and longevity. And guess what? Bulletproofing is a more helpful maintenance procedure. It protects the engine against harmful substances.

More precisely, you can replace, install, or modify to optimize the engine’s components to maximize its potential. For example, you can replace the factory turbos with a Garrett PowerMax Stage 1 Bolt-On Twin Turbo to enhance the power output (8).

How to Identify If Your 3.5 EcoBoost Needs Bulletproofing

As you see, bulletproofing is possible for a 3.5 EcoBoost engine; you can start planning about it. But before that, you must identify if your machine really needs this procedure.

Suppose the engine holds contaminants during oil changes, air intake modifications, or the road debris enters it. In that case, you can face issues like engine knock, poor fuel efficiency, and increased oil consumption (9). At this point, bulletproofing can work perfectly. So, you can consider them as signs to bulletproof your car engine.

How to Bulletproof a 3.5 EcoBoost Engine: Steps to Follow

Now, I will share the complete method of armoring a 3.5 EcoBoost engine. It may consist of several steps.

Pre-Bulletproofing Steps

I mean, you should not jump and start the process. First, you need to conduct a thorough inspection of the engine. It may involve:

  • Taking engine apart
  • Measuring all the clearances
  • Properly end-gapping the rings
  • Straightening out the cylinder walls by precision honing

You must ensure that the tolerances are all correct for high performance. Some questions may come to mind naturally, like these:

  • What may happen?
  • What might go wrong?
  • What difficulties may occur?

Essential Bulletproofing Modifications

You can follow these instructions to bulletproof the 3.5L EcoBoost.

Mod – 1: Upgraded Intercooler

Intercooler cools the charge air, makes it denser, and provides more engine combustion oxygen. When you upgrade it, it lowers intake air temperature (IAT) and offers better airflow from the turbochargers to the engine (10).

Some good intercoolers are the aFe Bladerunner Intercooler and the Mishimoto Silver Intercooler.

Mod – 2: High-Flow Downpipes

High-flow downpipes are another essential modification for bulletproofing your 3.5 EcoBoost. Well, they replace the restrictive factory downpipes. By doing so, they can optimize the exhaust flow for gains in both HP and torque. Moreover, this optimization lowers exhaust gas temperatures and keeps exhaust back pressure convenient.

Mod – 3: Catch Can System

What is a catch can system? Well, this system captures the PCV (Positive Crankcase Ventilation) blow-by before it can pool in your intercooler. It prevents oil vapor from coating the engine’s intake tract or degrading the fuel octane. Upgrading or replacing the catch can is a critical component in the bulletproofing process.

Mod – 4: Upgraded Turbos

Twin turbochargers are central to the 3.5 EcoBoost’s ability. They can provide substantial power with minimal lag. The problem is that stock turbos can get overwhelmed under increased boost or heavy use. So, upgrading it and enhancing its power and performance is possible.

Garrett PowerMax Turbo Upgrade can be a good upgrade for you F-150 3.5L EcoBoost engine (11, 12).

Mod – 5: Cam Phasers

Replacing the cam phasers can help reduce noise levels and improve the engine’s timing (13). It will be helpful for efficient combustion and power supply from the engine.

Mod – 6: Drivetrain Upgrades

You must upgrade the transmission and drivetrain to control the additional torque as engine power increases.

Some drivetrain upgrades are stronger axles, limited-slip differentials, and performance driveshafts. They can transfer the increased power effectively to the wheels without causing any damage to the engine.

Mod – 7: Tuning the Engine

If you tune the engine, it can increase the horsepower, torque, acceleration, and even fuel economy of the engine. Hence, tuning may include modifications like bigger tires, suspension lifts, heavy accessories, and large bumpers.

Remember that these modifications may decrease the engine’s longevity (2). Alternatively, you can tune it safely by adjusting torque correctly and applying the proper lubricant on bolts and studs.

Post-Bulletproofing Care and Maintenance

For sure, you may think that’s all you have to do for bulletproofing a 3.5 EcoBoost engine. But wait! There are a lot of things to do after upgrading the components. Once you have made all these modifications, you should focus on regular maintenance.

Let me start with an example. Always use the right oil to keep the engine functional. Plus, you may prevent fluid leaks by checking the engine regularly. Like most professionals, I suggest you change the oil every 5,000 miles (14).

Do you use low-quality average oils? If so, use synthetic oil (from quality brands) to prevent any issues from developing. These lubricants can withstand high temperatures. Also, they provide consistent lubrication under stress.

Next, maintain your driving habits in a safer way for the 3.5 EcoBoost engine. I know you want maximized performance. But it stresses the machine a lot. So, avoid aggressive driving and driving at high speeds for extended periods.

Never forget to test all interior and exterior lights for proper operation. Moreover, you can avoid tire wear by maintaining adequate pressure.

Risks of Bulletproofing a 3.5 EcoBoost Engine

Pushing the boundaries is always tempting, isn’t it? But it has some downsides, too. For instance, excessive power can put additional stress on your drivetrain. It may cause premature wear and tear. Again, aggressive tuning can impact emissions. They may not pass official inspections. In this case, you must maintain balance and reliability by bulletproofing the EcoBoost engine.

Sometimes, modifications to an engine or its components may void the warranty. Yet it mostly depends on your dealership’s policy. In this case, you should consult them first before changing anything. You can also ask them for the best components for performance upgrades.

Final Words: How to Bulletproof a 3.5 EcoBoost

That’s it! Wasn’t it easy to understand and follow?

For sure, you have learned how to bulletproof your favorite 3.5L EcoBoost engine quickly.

It is more than a mere upgrade- it is an entirely new journey. Throughout the procedure, you must focus on a foundation like oil, cooling, and fuel and inspect the underlying issues. Besides, regular maintenance, monitoring, and responsible driving are also important for bulletproofing.

Performance suspension components like coilovers, sway bars, and strut braces, can improve the vehicle’s handling and stability. So, you can control the increased power better from a bulletproof 3.5 EcoBoost.

Additionally, upgrading brake components like larger rotors, high-performance pads, and multi-piston calipers can be another good idea. For any power failures or timing problems, it will be better to quickly take the vehicle to the dealership or a licensed repair shop.

Thank you so much for your precious time.

Leave a Comment