The Guide to Upgrading the Downpipe on a Ford 2.7 EcoBoost F150. Upgraded downpipes are one of the top mods on our list of the top 5 best mods for the 2.7 EcoBoost. While the first and second generation 2.7 EcoBoosts produced 315hp and 335hp, respectively, you may wish you had chosen the F150 with the 3.5 EcoBoost. Or maybe you just want a little more oomph.
One of the best performance mods for the 2.7L F150 is upgraded downpipes. Downpipes are a component of the exhaust system and are the most restrictive component of the entire system. Downpipe upgrades will reduce backpressure and free up horsepower, resulting in 10-20whp gains.
We’ll go over the performance advantages of upgraded downpipes, catless vs. high-flow catted options, and some of our favorite F150 downpipe brands. The fitment of the brands we mention will be tailored to the F150, but this guide is also applicable to the Ford Bronco and other vehicles equipped with the 2.7 EcoBoost.
What exactly is a downpipe? F150 2.7 EcoBoost
You’ve probably heard of exhaust manifolds and their performance counterpart, headers, if you’ve owned an older F150. Headers then connect to the catalytic converters. On turbocharged engines, the exhaust manifolds bolt to the turbochargers, which then bolt to the downpipes. The catalytic converters are housed in the downpipes.
Catalytic converters, whether turbocharged or naturally aspirated, are the most restrictive component of any exhaust system. Because the cats are in the downpipes, the downpipes generate a lot of backpressure. Because the downpipe bolts directly to the turbo, backpressure has a significant impact on the turbocharger’s efficiency.
Backpressure has an effect on the ability of a turbine wheel to spool. The ideal exhaust system produces a lot of pre-turbo pressure while producing no post-turbo pressure. While this isn’t possible without removing your entire exhaust system, upgrading the downpipe can help remove a significant amount of backpressure. As a result of upgrading the 2.7 EcoBoost downpipe, the turbos become more efficient, resulting in more power generation.
This not only increases power, but it also reduces stress and thus improves the reliability of the 2.7’s twin turbos.
Advantages of the 2.7 EcoBoost F150 Performance Downpipe
- Gains of 10-20 watts
- Gains of 10 to 20wtq
- Improved turbo spool
- Enhanced turbo efficiency
- Backpressure has been reduced.
- Reduce the temperature of the exhaust gases.
- Minor sound enhancements
Downpipe power gains are primarily the result of reduced backpressure within the exhaust system. The lower backpressure improves the efficiency of the turbos, resulting in more power production. It also leads to more dependable turbos.
Overall, the lower the post-turbo pressure, the greater the power gains. This is significant because you will be deciding between catless and high-flow catted downpipes, which we will discuss further below.
Downpipe Gains for 2.7L EcoBoost Gen I vs. Gen II
The 2.7L Nano, like the 3.5 EcoBoost, received an upgrade in 2018. Along with the existing direct injection, this upgrade included port injection. It also got a new EGR system, a lighter cam, lighter turbine wheels, and an electronically controlled wastegate for the turbochargers.
Because of the fueling upgrades, the second generation 2.7s are capable of producing more power overall. In addition to downpipe power gains, the 2nd generation engines will produce slightly more horsepower and torque gains as a result of turbocharger upgrades. The lighter turbine wheels enable the turbos to spool up faster and run more efficiently. The benefits of reduced backpressure are greater because the turbine wheels are lighter.
While the differences in power gain are minor, we wanted to point out that the 2018+ F150s are slightly more powerful than the 2015-2017 models. Additionally, to achieve the upper range (+20whp) of power gains, you will also need to combo the downpipes with an intake and tune.
Catless 2.7L F150 vs. High-Flow Downpipes
Catless or high-flow catted downpipes are the two options for performance downpipes. The catalytic converters are completely removed, as the name implies. While technically illegal in terms of emissions, removing the cats completely results in the least amount of post-turbo backpressure. Catalytic converters are retained in high-flow catted options, but less restrictive cats are used to improve flow and reduce backpressure.
Because catless downpipes eliminate all of the restrictions imposed by cats, they provide the most power gains. Because they still have some restriction, high-flow downpipes typically produce 5-8whp less. However, the tradeoff is that your car will remain legal and pass emissions testing.
High-flow options continue to be a significant improvement over OEM downpipes. Catless options are ideal for people who use their car for track purposes or who want to push serious power. High-flow options are ideal for those who want to increase power without breaking the law or worrying about emissions testing.
The only other disadvantage of high-flow downpipes is their higher cost. Catalytic converters are more expensive than catless downpipes, which are simply hollow steel pipes, because they use rare earth metals.
Overall, catless provides the best power gains and the best value for money. High-flow boosts power while keeping your car legal.
Related : The Top 5 Dodge 5.7 HEMI Performance Upgrades
Best F150 2.7 EcoBoost Downpipes
Due to increased emissions scrutiny, finding catless downpipes is becoming increasingly difficult. While most high-flow catted downpipes are legal throughout the United States, make sure to check with your state to see if they are legal. Emissions regulations vary from state to state and some high-flow cats are still illegal in states like California.
Remember that 2015-2017 F150s have a different downpipe fitment than 2018+ models, so make sure you order the correct set before purchasing. Some downpipes are suitable for both generations, while others are designed differently for each.
1) Best Value for Money: CVF 2.7 EcoBoost F-150 Downpipes
CVF provides excellent catted downpipes for the Ford 2.7L EcoBoost engine. This item is made of T304 stainless steel, has a 3′′ diameter, and 400 cell cats. CVF F-150 downpipes are mandrel bent, TIG welded, and backed by a lifetime warranty. The point is, the product quality is undeniably present.
Add in a low price of $750, and it’s difficult to go wrong with the CVF 2.7 EcoBoost downpipes. It’s a little more expensive than catless downpipes, but it’s a steal for catted pipes. We like CVF products in general, and their F-150 downpipes are no exception.
In addition, we established a relationship with CVF and were able to obtain a 5% discount code for our readers. Use the code ‘TUNINGPRO’ at checkout to receive 5% off your CVF order. Look no further if you’re looking for high-flow downpipes for your F-150 2.7L engine.
Price: $749.99 (or $712 with coupon code TUNINGPRO).
2) Downpipes Made of Stainless Steel: Stainless Works or aFe Mach Force
Stainless steel downpipe sets for the 2.7 EcoBoost are available from aFe and Stainless Works. These will typically last longer and will not rust as quickly as aluminum downpipes. In terms of design, performance, and price, both of these downpipes are very similar. Both use EPA-approved catalytic converters and 3′′ piping, just like the SPD product. According to aFe, their downpipes require custom tuning.
3) Catless Downpipe Options for the Ford F-150
Catless downpipes are available from aFe Power for the 2.7 EcoBoost. Finding them for sale online from a reputable website, on the other hand, is extremely difficult. Finding a used set on the forums is your best bet for catless options.
Another disadvantage of catless options is that finding a shop to install them will be difficult as well. Most shops have stopped installing illegal exhaust components because they face fines if caught. So you’ll either have to do it yourself or pay someone under the table to install them.
Summary of the 2.7L F150 Downpipe Upgrade
Overall, upgrading your F150 downpipes is one of the best 2.7 EcoBoost modifications you can make. You can expect to gain around 15whp and 15wtq with high-flow catted downpipes and up to 20whp and 20wtq with catless downpipes with a tune and an intake.
High-flow options are strongly advised because they produce solid power gains while eliminating the emissions headache. In terms of sound, neither catless nor high-flow options will produce a particularly loud exhaust note. You’ll notice a slightly deeper exhaust note and a little more noise under acceleration and at idle, but it’s not a huge difference.
We only recommend catless downpipes for track use and pushing the power envelope. If you want to push the power envelope, however, you should start with the 3.5 EcoBoost rather than the 2.7.
While they can get quite pricey, adding 15whp for $800 is quite cheap in terms of $/hp. This makes downpipes an excellent performance mod for those looking for a little more power and a slight improvement in exhaust noise.