The Ford Mustang 2.3L EcoBoost Updated Intake Guide

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The Ford Mustang 2.3L EcoBoost Updated Intake Guide. One of the best first changes you can make to your Mustang 2.3L is an improved intake system. Upgraded intakes on turbocharged engines, such as the 2.3 EcoBoost, deliver much higher performance benefits and horsepower gains than naturally aspirated engines.

When comparing power gains to the expense of an updated intake, an intake has one of the lowest $ per horsepower of any alteration. Furthermore, when combined with a tune, such as the Burger Motorsports JB4, and other upgrades (such as modified downpipes), the performance gains multiply because enhanced airflow is the cornerstone of power development.

The Ford Mustang 2.3L EcoBoost Updated Intake Guide

2.3 EcoBoost vs. ‘Performance Intake’

Intake terminology has gotten quite perplexing in recent years. When looking for an enhanced intake system for your Mustang, you’ll definitely come across terms like “cold air intake,” “performance intake,” “ram air intake,” and a slew of others.

Cold air intake is most commonly associated with Japanese automobiles in which the intake air filter is placed lower to the ground, typically within the front bumper. This form of intake assumes that air further away from the engine will be colder. The location of the intake on a turbocharged engine, on the other hand, is somewhat less significant.

What is more crucial is the difference between open and closed intake systems. That being said, the nomenclature of the intake system on the 2.3 Mustang is largely immaterial.

Performance Intake Systems: Open vs. Closed

An intake system is deemed “open” when its air filter is totally exposed to the engine bay and not contained. A closed system, on the other hand, will have the filter encased within a housing or box.

Because there is less restriction around the filter, open intake systems will deliver increased air flow to the 2.3 EcoBoost. While closed systems generate slightly less airflow, the air sent into the intake system is more pressured.

Closed intake supporters will argue that an open intake will draw in warmer air. According to open intake fans, the confined aspect of a closed system results in reduced air flow. Both of these statements are correct. We prefer open intake systems since the higher airflow allows for more changes, but increased intake temps don’t matter on turbocharged engines with intercoolers, especially if the intercooler is modified.

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Overall, the variations in performance between the two are negligible. If you intend to add any modifications, we recommend the open intake. The final argument I’ll offer is that open intakes generate more noise and have a wonderful “whooshing” sound that a closed system does not have.

Advantages of Mustang 2.3 EcoBoost Improved Intake

The following are some of the advantages of a Mustang 2.3 EcoBoost cold air intake:

  • Gains of 5 to 20 watts
  • Gains in torque ranging from 10 to 25 lb-ft
  • Increased turbo efficiency is the result of improved airflow and less obstruction.
  • Increased throttle responsiveness
  • quicker turbo spool
  • Excellent “whooshing” intake/engine sound.

On standard engines, the factory Ford Mustang 2.3 EcoBoost intake is effective. As a result, power gains will most likely be on the low side if your Mustang has no other modifications. Nevertheless, when you begin to tune and add other modifications, airflow requirements grow. With the right modifications, a Mustang cold air intake can produce improvements of 10-20whp.

An intake improvement for the 2.3 EcoBoost will also increase throttle responsiveness and turbo spool. This advantage is minor, but some people may perceive a difference. An intake improvement can also offer some fantastic turbo and induction noises.

Mustang 2.3 EcoBoost Intake Systems That Work

There are numerous intake choices available for the 2.3 EcoBoost Mustang. We’ll go through some of our favorite inputs from reliable brands. Having said that, most intakes are essentially the same and don’t differ significantly from manufacturer to manufacturer. The most critical decision is whether you want an open or closed intake.

Please keep in mind that some intakes are designed to fit both 2015-2017 Mustangs and 2018-2021 Mustangs. We only link to one intake system, therefore please make sure you get the correct intake system before purchasing.

1. Cold Air Intake Mustang 2.3 JLT

The JLT Cool Air Intake is an open intake design for the 2.3 EcoBoost Mustang. The intake does, however, include a heat shield that wraps around the exterior of the intake to protect it from the high temperatures generated by the engine block.

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The JLT Mustang intake features a 5′′ filter and hooks up to the factory 2.25′′ turbo inlet. A great extra feature is that the intake steps up to 4′′ pipe, making it compatible with a larger turbocharger and larger inlet sizes. The filter is manufactured by S&B, one of the top quality filter producers in the world.

JLT claims that the intake adds 15-20whp. While manufacturer-stated power gains are not usually reliable, we feel gains of more than 15-20whp are possible when combined with a tune, such as the Burger Motorsports JB4.

Price: $329

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2. Roush Cold Air Intake System – 2.3 EcoBoost Mustang

The Roush intake is an open air design for 2015-2017 vehicles. The intake design on 2018-2021 models has been somewhat revised to be a closed intake design. One of the most significant advantages of Roush items is that they do not violate any factory warranties because they are manufacturer-backed.

The open and closed systems both bolt to the stock intake position. According to Roush, the intake is 74% less restrictive than the factory system. Roush dyno data show over 30whp and 28wtq improvements from the intake system alone, with no further changes.

The identical “step-down” coupler is available from Roush for use with improved turbochargers.

Price: $400

3. Intake System K&N 2.3 EcoBoost

K&N is a well-known name in the performance intake and filter sector. It is one of the less priced choices for the 2.3 Mustang, costing $300. The K&N intake, like the JLT, is an open-air system with a heat shield to protect the filter from hot engine block temperatures.

The filter is shorter and wider than the other systems’ filters, but it delivers the same benefit of enhanced airflow over the original system. K&N claims a 19whp increase in horsepower. The design and fit are identical for all 2015-2021 vehicles, and installation is a simple bolt-on. Fitment varies slightly between 2015-2017 and 2018-2021, so be sure to purchase the correct fitment intake system.

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Price: $300

The Ford Mustang 2.3L EcoBoost Updated Intake Guide

Summary of the 2.3 Mustang EcoBoost Upgrade Intake

The greater the amount of air taken into the engine, the greater the pre-turbo air pressure, implying that the turbocharger does not have to work as hard to compress the air. The advantage of an improved intake on a turbocharged engine is incredible. Improved airflow decreases obstruction and enhances turbo efficiency, allowing for faster turbo spool and more responsive throttle.

If you intend to tune your 2.3 EcoBoost, you must install an intake. When the turbo boost pressure is increased, more air is sucked into the engine and the turbo is compressed. Your turbo will be overworked trying to compress the air to greater boost levels with a restricted stock intake. As a result, power gains are reduced and the turbo is less reliable.

There is no wrong answer when it comes to enhanced intake systems. They all do the same thing: they force more air into the engine. Again, we prefer open air systems, but closed systems function just as well and have no power or performance constraints.

The most crucial aspect is to upgrade your standard intake and increase airflow, not the brand or type of intake you choose.