The How to Ford F-150 3.5 EcoBoost Intake Upgrade. For good reason, cold air intakes are one of the most popular engine modifications. This is especially true for turbocharged engines such as the Ford F-150 3.5 EcoBoost. Intakes provide significant power improvements as well as numerous other advantages. Cold air intakes are also quite affordable, making them a popular alternative. We cover the benefits of intakes and identify some of the best F-150 3.5 EcoBoost cold air intake alternatives in this article.
F-150 EcoBoost Intake Performance Upgrade
The Ford 3.5 EcoBoost intake works well with stock engines and stock boost. When you start modifying and altering the F-150 EcoBoost, though, the intake gets restricted. Raising boost and power necessitates a significant increase in airflow, which can quickly overwhelm the Factory intake system. Cold air intakes for the 3.5L dual turbo engine are capable of meeting the demands. Among the advantages of Ford 3.5 EcoBoost cold air intakes are:
- Gains in torque are comparable.
- Maintenance is simplified.
- faster turbo spool
- Sound enhancements
Again, on factory pickups, the stock F-150 EcoBoost intake is quite effective. In such circumstances, an intake improvement may result in little to no power gains. But, once the 3.5L engine has been adjusted, an intake will most likely provide 5-10whp. Those who push the limits of the EcoBoost turbos or opt for enhanced turbos may see 10-15whp. Torque gains are also comparable. Another enhancement is faster turbo spool. That may not be visible, however, because the F-150 3.5 turbos are already quick to spool.
A proper cold air intake system can also save space and make maintenance easier. Most 3.5 EcoBoost intake upgrade filters are simple to clean and maintain. In our perspective, another fantastic benefit of intake mods is improved sound. You’ll probably hear a lot more turbo and induction noises.
Designs for 3.5L Twin Turbo Intakes
Okay, we’re all guilty of it. Cold air intakes have been used to describe 3.5 EcoBoost intake improvements (CAI). A cold air intake redirects the stock intake piping to a lower location outside the engine bay. The goal is to draw in as much chilly air as possible. Most Ford 3.5 intake improvements, however, aren’t true cold air intakes. Even if they are true CAI, they are useless on turbo engines.
After passing through the filters, the air is sent via extremely hot turbochargers. As the turbos compress the air, it warms up. The F-150 3.5 EcoBoost intercooler then cools it. The temperature entering the intake filters has very little to no effect on the ability of the intercooler to cool the charge air. Cold air intake is a catch-all word for performance intakes.
Nonetheless, the entire purpose of this topic was to move us to the next. The primary distinction between 3.5 EcoBoost intake improvements is between open and closed systems.
F-150 3.5 Intakes: Open vs. Closed
An air-box is not used in an open air intake design. The intakes may still have some type of housing, but they remain open to the engine bay. They will generally draw in warmer air, especially at idle. On turbo engines, though, it’s a moot point. Closed intakes use an air-box to keep the filter out of the engine compartment.
For the 3.5 EcoBoost, we prefer an open intake system. We’re from BMW, where open dual cone intakes have been the standard on twin turbo engines for over a decade. They often provide the best flow, the loudest induction and turbo sounds, and are frequently less expensive.
Regardless, most high-quality intake systems for the Ford F-150 EcoBoost will provide comparable performance gains. Those looking for more power will, however, find the most potential in an open dual intake for the 3.5L EcoBoost. A closed intake may be the ideal option if you do not want loud induction sounds.
Best Cold Air Intakes for Ford F-150 3.5 EcoBoost
We’ll go through some of our favorite cold air intake choices for the Ford F-150 3.5 EcoBoost in this section. But first, a few notes before we get started. This is far from an exhaustive list. There are numerous intake choices for the F-150 EcoBoost engines. We’re simply highlighting a few that we believe provide an excellent value for money, quality, and performance.
Also, different years of the F-150 require different intakes. 2011-2014, 2015-2016, and 2017+ vehicles each have their own fitment. We may connect to a few things that are only available for a given year. We’ll also let you know if certain F-150 EcoBoost models don’t have access to any intake systems. But, always double-check fitting before purchasing anything. That being said, let’s take a look at some of the top F-150 3.5 EcoBoost cold air intake improvements.
1) Intake 3.5 EcoBoost CVF Dual Filter
CV Fabrication, abbreviated CVF, is a young company in the EcoBoost enhancements space. Despite its youth, CVF has already created a name for itself in the industry. They have some fantastic, high-quality improvements for the 3.5 EcoBoost at rock-bottom costs. This also applies to their 3.5 EcoBoost dual-filter cold air intake.
To enhance flow, the intake system incorporates two 8-layer 3.5′′ dry filters and an aluminum tube with an H-pipe. This F-150 CVF dual intake outflows the factory intake by 45% and 65%, respectively, for 2012-2014 and 2015-2016 models. It also has a heat shield and a lifetime warranty from CVF.
This CVF 3.5 EcoBoost intake, with its twin open intake design, provides excellent flow and power improvements. It’s difficult to go wrong with this F-150 intake kit at $299.99. We are strong admirers of CVF products, so we took the time to get to know the company. As a result, we were able to obtain a 5% discount code for our readers (TUNINGPRO).
2) Upgraded Livernois Motorsports 3.5 EcoBoost Intake
When it comes to Ford, Mopar, and GM automobiles, we’ve mentioned Livernois Motorsports several times. All of their goods are designed, tested, and manufactured in the United States. While the Livernois team creates some amazing items, the intake systems are certainly not cheap. At $499.99, it is far from the cheapest option on this list.
Its cold air intake features a one-piece rotationally molded air box and a revised intake tube. The clear view cover on the 3.5 EcoBoost intake looks fantastic as well. Again, the Livernois intake comes at a cost, but it’s a well-designed and high-quality alternative.
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3) aFe Stage 2 Dual Cold Air Intake System for the Ford F-150
This option may be slightly more expensive than other F-150 EcoBoost intake options. Nonetheless, we appreciate this product because of its dual filter design, which provides around 44-92% (depending on year) greater flow than stock. Depending on your needs, a 3′′ or 3.5′′ system is available. It has an open intake design that will provide plenty of flow and sound. For individuals who don’t want too much induction noise, aFe also offers an intake system cover.
Additionally, aFe has various single filter systems that are slightly less expensive. They’re good selections if your budget is limited and you don’t require as much flow. We’re sticking with the dual filter system, though, because of its performance potential, cool looks, and improved sound. All 2011+ F-150 EcoBoost versions have aFe options.
Price: ~$480 – $585
4) F-150 3.5L Cool Air Intake S&B Filters
Another major player in the aftermarket air intake and air filter industry is S&B Filters. We’ve had wonderful luck with S&B Filters twin cone intakes on our BMWs for a long time. This, however, is a closed intake system, as opposed to the prior possibilities. It will continue to provide good flow, sounds, and performance. However, it is unlikely to be as capable as open systems (especially the aFe or CVF dual filter options).
However, S&B creates excellent goods, and this 3.5 EcoBoost cold air intake kit is reasonably priced. In our opinion, this is one of the best options for a closed intake system. You can also select from a variety of filter options, making this a versatile kit for a variety of applications.
Summary of the F-150 3.5 EcoBoost Cold Air Intake
For good reason, performance intake systems are among the most popular aftermarket additions. They provide an excellent blend of performance, sound, and pricing. This is especially true for the 3.5 twin turbo EcoBoost engine, which relies heavily on airflow. With tuned and altered F-150 3.5L engines, power improvements can be as high as 10-15whp peak.
We prefer open intake systems because they typically provide the best flow and sound improvements. However, with a minor tune or upgrade, open and closed systems will provide comparable benefits. Those seeking maximum flow should think about a twin filter open system.
CVF has some great intake choices for the F-150 EcoBoost. Their twin intake technology provides some of the most significant airflow gains available on the market. aFe, K&N, and S&B are well-known industry brands, and it’s difficult to go wrong with these products. Regardless of your preference, mod away and have fun! The Ford 3.5 EcoBoost is a fantastic twin turbo engine that reacts nicely to simple bolt-on modifications such as a cold air intake.