The F150 5.0 Turbo Kit Installation Instructions

The F150 5.0 Turbo Kit Installation Instructions. The Ford F150 truck is one of the most reliable and high-performing American trucks on the market today. Ford’s 5.0 L Coyote V8 engine, which debuted in the F150 in 2011, is one of the best F150 engines. The engine provides an excellent blend of horsepower and dependability, while it is slightly underpowered in factory condition – particularly in the F150. The 5.0 Coyote engine in the Mustang GT produces 50 more horsepower than the F150 while producing roughly similar peak torque. While supercharging is the most common upgrade path, we’ll look at some F150 5.0 turbo kits today.

That’s right, this isn’t your typical F150 forced induction guide; instead, we’re ditching the supercharger and installing a turbo – or two – to see what happens. If you want to supercharge your 5.0 Coyote, read our 5.0 Coyote supercharger instruction. There are just a handful F150 5.0 turbo kits on the market right now, but they offer a lot of bang for your dollars.

This tutorial will teach you all you need to know about F150 5.0 turbo kits. We’ll start with the fundamentals of turbocharging engines before moving on to the benefits, required supporting changes, and Coyote power restrictions. Finally, we’ll look at and review the few available F150 5.0 turbo kits on the market. Let’s get this party started.

The F150 5.0 Turbo Kit Installation Instructions


F150 5.0 Turbo Upgrade Fundamentals

Let’s start with the basics: what is a turbo, how does it operate, and what are the major components of a turbo system? A turbocharger, often known as a turbo, is essentially a gas-powered air compressor for your engine. Turbos compress ambient air from outside the car before it enters the engine. The compressed air is referred to as “boost” since it increases the engine’s power output.

Mechanical turbochargers use exhaust gasses from the engine to power the compressor. There are also electric turbos that use an external motor to operate. However, those are uncommon and impractical for use on a standalone 5.0 Coyote build.

The turbocharger(s), wastegate, blow-off valve, intercooler, and intercooler piping are the key components of a turbo system. The journey begins with ambient air outside the car, which is drawn into the turbo via the intake system. The compressed air is then injected into piping attached to the output, where it travels to the intercooler.

The air exits the intercooler and flows via the remaining pipe into the throttle body. It travels from the throttle body to the intake manifold and then to the engine. The air is pushed out of the engine and into the exhaust headers after the exhaust stroke. The turbos are mounted immediately on top of the exhaust headers, and the gases power a turbine that rotates the compressor wheel. The cycle then begins again.

Blow-off Valves, Wastegates, and Intercoolers for the Ford F150 Coyote

When the throttle blade closes while the car is not accelerating, the blow-off valve releases the compressed air from the system. This keeps air from returning to the turbo and causing compressor surge, which can eventually ruin your turbo. The wastegate regulates boost pressure by diverting unwanted exhaust gases away from the turbine. Wastegates can be external or internal, with higher boost applications often gated externally and low boost applications gated within.

Intercoolers, like superchargers, are optional for turbo systems. The intercooler’s purpose is to cool the compressed (or charged) air. Compressing air enhances its temperature, thus turbos are quite hot. Hot air, on the other hand, is the polar opposite of power since it lacks oxygen and can cause knock and detonation. Intercoolers lower the temperature of the air, allowing for more oxygen and improved performance and knock protection.

Intercoolers, also known as heat exchangers, are classified into two types: air-to-air coolers and water-to-air coolers. Heat from the boost is transferred to the atmosphere by air-to-air coolers, whereas heat from the boost is transferred to water by water-to-air intercoolers. Air-cooled intercoolers are less expensive and easier to install, but they do not function as well. It’s a disputed trade-off that is very dependent on build level. The higher the build quality, the better the performance of a water-cooled intercooler.

Advantages of the F150 5.0 Turbo Upgrade

The following are the primary advantages of an F150 5.0 turbo upgrade:

  • +100 to 1,000 hp and torque
  • Significantly improved power band
  • enhanced throttle response
  • enhanced towing capacity

The most significant advantages of an F150 5.0 turbo upgrade will be in terms of performance. Depending on the size of your turbos and how many you have, you might expect to see moderate to severe power boosts. With a good turbo configuration, you may expect to get at least 100 horsepower on the bottom end. The sky is absolutely the limit on the upper end, with many 2,000+ horsepower turbo-Coyote designs. With a turbo, you won’t only see better peak numbers; the entire power range will be more strong and useable.

Depending on the F150 5.0 turbo kit you purchase, you’ll also have a greater towing capacity for your truck. Anyone who has towed a large amount of weight will tell you that almost any truck can tow; the difference is how quickly and easily it can climb and descend inclines. Towing jobs will be easier with an F150 5.0 turbo package, helping you to move more weight more efficiently.

Keep in mind that a turbo will most likely alter the characteristics of your Coyote engine. Horsepower will be valued over torque, so if towing is an issue, make sure you have a configuration that can deliver quick and consistent boost, which is normally a twin-turbo layout. Single-turbo installations are still viable, but you’ll need your tuner to ramp up the boost early for rapid torque.

Supporting Mods for the F150 Coyote Turbo Upgrade

Before installing an F150 5.0 turbo kit, make sure your truck has enough supporting mods. Without further assistance, your turbo setup will not work as well as it should, sacrificing dependability and performance. We’ll discuss the Coyote’s power limits later; for now, we’ll concentrate on extra air and fueling tweaks.

The first step will be an intake. The stock intake will not work with a turbo, and most kits include a turbo-specific intake. All basic bolt-on mods should also be completed – though this is a little different with a turbo setup. You won’t need headers because your turbo kit includes them, but you may need a new cat-back.

If your package does not include one, an aftermarket 5.0 Coyote intake manifold is a wise addition for a turbo. A larger throttle body is also recommended. For forced induction engine construction, catch-cans and air-oil separators are good investments. Internally, larger injectors are required, with their size determined by the amount of boost and the type of fuel used. Going flex fuel and utilizing E85 will deliver significant power improvements with good knock protection on Coyotes. Flex fuel kits are easily adaptable on 2015+ F150s and are excellent investments for turbo configurations.

Finally, tuning will be required to support forced induction. If you need tuning help, consult our F150 Tuner Guide.

F150 5.0 Turbos: Twin or Single?

Now comes the big question: single or double turbo? The solution will be determined by your power objectives and truck usage. As previously stated, if towing is a major problem, a twin-turbo configuration is likely to be preferable. Twin-turbos can be configured sequentially, with one smaller for fast response and one larger for top-end power. They can also be set up in parallel, with both producing equal boost pressure.

A twin-turbo arrangement is the way to go if you truly want to blast out massive horsepower. Twin F150 5.0 turbo kits are used in some of the world’s largest 5.0 Coyote builds.

Single-turbo installations are much more basic and are appropriate for mild builds that don’t perform a lot of towing. There will be a significant increase in horsepower and torque, but the setup will be considerably simpler. When you double the number of turbos, you double the complexity, including tuning. A single-turbo configuration is definitely perfect for you if you only want a good power boost without going overboard.

The F150 5.0 Turbo Kit Installation Instructions

Power Limits of the Turbo 5.0 Coyote Engine

The 5.0 Coyote can take a hit and has gotten stronger with each iteration. The first generation is thought to be capable of sustaining 650 wheel-horsepower, however this is the high end. You can go a bit further, but it becomes a gamble after that. Even at these power levels, you’ll want to make some internal supporting mods, such as an oil pump gear exchange, and the internals will be pushed to their limits.

The second generation 5.0 Coyote engines are a little more powerful, with 750 wheel horsepower. At this point, you should absolutely improve the internals, as well as other supporting mods such as a better cooling system.

The third generation Coyotes are still rather young, but they appear to be capable of even more. Many third-generation 5.0 Coyote engines have produced more than 900 wheel horsepower with stock internals. We wouldn’t encourage trying it, but it has been demonstrated to be capable. You’ll most likely want a totally built block with all supporting mods, but the Coyote can consistently produce 1,000 wheel-horsepower on appropriate builds.

Top 3 F150 5.0 Turbo Kit Upgrading Options

Now, here are our top three F150 5.0 turbo kit upgrades:

  • Single or Twin-Turbo On3 Performance Kits
  • Hellion Twin-Turbo Engine Kit
  • F150 5.0 turbo kit customized

Unfortunately, there are only a few F150 Coyote turbo kits on the market, so options are limited. The two most common kits are from On3 Performance and Hellion Turbos, and both are excellent. You can even create your own custom turbo setup. We’ll go through a few things to keep in mind while embarking on such a project.

1) F150 Coyote On3 Performance Single or Twin Turbo Kit

Price: $3,450+ for a single turbo; $4,750 – $5,500+ for a twin turbo.

By far the most common F150 5.0 turbo kits are the On3 Performance single and twin-turbo kits. Their twin-turbo setup has been used in vehicles with over 2,000 horsepower (Mustang GT). It also holds the American F150 record for the quickest quarter mile for trucks manufactured between 2011 and 2019. Needless to say, the On3 Performance F150 5.0 turbo kit is extremely powerful.

The single-turbo system is a 76 or 78 mm On 3 Performance turbo with a cast or billet wheel and journal or ceramic ball bearing. It includes an intake manifold, race intercooler, as well as all essential tubing and equipment. It’s a tough system that can produce power estimates ranging from 550 wheel horsepower to over 1,000 horsepower. The turbos can be either 7875 or 7675, and the bare bones system starts at $3,450.

On3 6466 or 6766 billet wheel journal or dual ball bearing turbos are used in their twin-turbo kits. It also includes a manifold, a full race air-to-air intercooler, and all other required parts. Depending on the size of the turbos (64, 66, or 72 mm), power ranges from 600 to 1,200 wheel horsepower. This is a significant improvement above the stock 330 horsepower.

The On3 Performance kits are both dependable and well-liked in the Coyote community. The On3 Performance kit has been used in numerous proven builds, and it holds numerous American and international records. You will not be disappointed if you take this approach.

2) Hellion Twin Turbo Kit for Ford F-150 Coyote

Price: $8,995

Apart from the On3 Performance setups, the Hellion twin-turbo kit is the best option for the 5.0 F150. Hellion is known for their outlandish builds, and their F150 5.0 turbo kit is no exception. It has dual Borg Warner 57mm EFR 7163 turbos that produce more than 550 wheel horsepower without breaking a sweat.

The Hellion kit includes a large 4.5″ intercooler as well as all essential piping and parts. It isn’t as configurable or powerful as the On3 Performance kit, but it still packs a punch. The smaller 57 mm turbos spool quickly, delivering rapid torque while maintaining top-end power.

The Hellion’s twin turbos are low-placed beneath the engine, as opposed to the On3’s, which are situated on top and in front. The Hellion system definitely adds some stealth to your truck, as all that is visible is the intake.

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3) F150 5.0 Turbo Kit Custom

While the On3 Performance and Hellion F150 Coyote turbo kits are both excellent, American hot rodding is all about creativity and one-of-a-kind creations. Furthermore, if you don’t like the On3 or Hellion turbo options, you’ll need a custom kit to make it work.

You’ll need the following components to build your own turbo kit: turbocharger(s), intercooler, piping, exhaust manifold, and engine tune. The turbos will be determined by the size of your setup. Smaller builds will most likely require 55-57 mm turbo(s), whilst larger projects would require 67-72+ mm blowers. You must also ensure that your turbos have wastegates and blow-off valves.

Any 5.0 Coyote build should include an intercooler, which is optional but highly recommended. You’ll also need bespoke plumbing installed to link everything. Twin-turbo configurations will be far more difficult to design and build, but will provide significantly more power. You’ll need to replace the naturally aspirated headers with a turbo-manifold regardless of your setup.

Finally, if you intend to use your custom kit for an extended amount of time, you will undoubtedly require some form of custom tuning setup. A stand-alone ECU system and a custom tuning application, such as HP Tuners, are almost certainly required with a custom package.

Contact a reputable performance shop if you’re genuinely considering a custom single or twin-turbo F150 5.0 Coyote build. They’ll be able to point you in the correct direction, and if they want to help with the construction, you can collaborate on the design.

Summary of the F150 5.0 Turbo Upgrade Guide

While turbochargers aren’t the most common forced induction method for the F150 5.0 Coyote, they are a viable option. Depending on the arrangement, single or twin turbos, fueling, and supporting upgrades, the Coyote V8 can produce 500-2,000+ horsepower.

Unfortunately, there are only two turbo kits available for the 5.0 F150, but both are excellent options. The single and twin-turbo On3 Performance F150 kits are the most configurable and produce the most power. If you want to go over 1,100 horsepower, the On3 kit will get you there.

The Hellion twin-turbo kit still performs admirably, though not as well as the On3 kits. The smaller Hellion turbos will spool faster and produce more power earlier, but they will not be able to compete with the larger On3 kits on the top end. Still, the Hellion is more than capable for a moderate F150 build.

The other alternative is to go with a custom turbo kit, and we discussed where to start with that. Whatever your objectives are, the Coyote V8 is a very capable engine that loves to eat boost.