The Ultimate 3.5 EcoBoost Engine Reference. The Ford 3.5 EcoBoost engine first appeared in numerous Lincoln and Ford vehicles. It was immediately adopted by the Ford F-150 in 2011 before spreading to many other vehicles. In most applications, the 3.5L twin turbo V6 engine produces 355-450 horsepower. The Ford GT, on the other hand, features a 3.5L EcoBoost engine with 660 horsepower. Finally, the 3.5 EcoBoost is a strong engine with numerous applications in the Ford and Lincoln lineups.
Furthermore, the Ford 3.5L V6 provides an excellent blend of fuel economy, emissions, and dependability. The 3.5 EcoBoost’s dual turbo design makes it simple to tune, tweak, and upgrade for significant power gains. When it comes to the Ford EcoBoost engine, there’s a lot to unpack. This article covers everything there is to know about the 3.5 EcoBoost, including difficulties, reliability, tuning and upgrades, specs, and more.
Ford 3.5 EcoBoost Specifications
The following are the specifications for the Ford 3.5 EcoBoost engine:
*The compression ratio in the first generation EcoBoost engines is 10.0:1. For the second generation engines, this was increased to 10.5:1. Certain high-output models, such as the Ford Raptor 3.5L EcoBoost, maintain the lower 10.0:1 ratio.
The 3.5 EcoBoost moniker is straightforward; 3.5 indicates the 3.5L displacement, while EcoBoost refers to Ford’s family of turbocharged, direct-injection gasoline engines. This 60° V6 engine has two turbos and a DOHC with variable cam timing (VCT). The engine’s weight is reduced by using an aluminum block and head.
All of these specifications add up to 310-660hp and 350-550 lb-ft of torque. However, the majority of Ford 3.5L V6 models produce between 355 and 450 horsepower.
The Ford Transit van has 310 horsepower, yet the Ford GT supercar has up to 660 horsepower. It should be noted that the Ford GT 3.5 EcoBoost has several enhancements to enable the significant power increase over the normal EcoBoost engine.
What Vehicles Make Use of the Ford 3.5L V6?
The following Ford and Lincoln cars use first-generation 3.5L EcoBoost engines:
- From 2010 through 2019, Ford Flex
- MKS 2010-2016 Lincoln
- MKT 2010-2019 Lincoln
- Ford Taurus SHO 2010-2019
- Ford Explorer Sport & Platinum (2013-2019)
- 2011-2016 Ford F-150
- Ford Expedition 2015-2017
- Lincoln Navigator 2015-2017
The 2nd generation 3.5L twin turbo V6 is available in the following models:
- Ford F-150 models from 2017 to present
- Ford Expedition from 2018 till the present
- Ford F-150 Raptor (2017 and later)
- From 2018 till the present, Lincoln Navigator
- Ford GT (2017-present)
Not only do the second-generation engines have higher power and torque, but Ford also improved reliability. If you want to buy a car with the 3.5 EcoBoost engine, you should understand the differences so you can make an informed decision. In the following part, we’ll look at some of the differences between the first and second generation 3.5L engines.
3.5 EcoBoost 1st versus 2nd Gen
This will all be connected throughout the article. However, it’s worth noting that the original 3.5L twin turbo V6 is still a fantastic engine. However, no engine is flawless, and there is always opportunity for development. In essence, Ford did not execute the second-generation improvements since the original variety is subpar. The update was merely a means to improve an already excellent engine.
The following changes have been made to the second generation Ford 3.5 EcoBoost engine:
- Port fuel injection has been added.
- Rapid updates
- Wastegates with electronic actuators
- turbine wheels that are lighter
- increased turbine vane angles
- Updates to the timing chain system
- System of two chains
- The chain side plates have been thickened.
- Two sprockets
- Camshafts with hollow shafts
- Changes to the VCT phaser design for increased reliability
- Increase in the volume of the piston oil squirter
- Automatic start/stop
More information on the EcoBoost upgrades may be found on Wikipedia. It’s an excellent site for more information on the EcoBoost changes from the first to second generation. Nonetheless, we will delve a little deeper into these improvements as well. Why is the 3.5 EcoBoost upgrade so significant? What effect does it have on performance, dependability, and tuning/aftermarket potential?
Why Are 2nd Generation Updates Important?
The original EcoBoost solely used direct injection (DI). It is a high-quality fuel system that improves power, emissions, and fuel efficiency over typical port injection (PI). Direct injection, on the other hand, has a few faults of its own. More on this when we talk about 3.5 EcoBoost issues and reliability. Including port injection helps to eliminate those issues.
For those wishing to produce a lot of power with the Ford 3.5L twin turbo engine, port injection is also crucial. DI is quite expensive and difficult to upgrade, but PI is easy and inexpensive. It makes it simple to meet the high fuel flow requirements of E85, turbo upgrades, and other major modifications.
The Ford 3.5L V6 dual turbos now spool faster and generate greater peak boost thanks to turbo upgrades. The timing chain changes were designed to address issues with some initial 3.5 EcoBoost engines. Hollow cams save weight, the VCT phaser update addresses earlier issues, and the piston oil squirters provide more capacity for improved cylinder cooling.
Finally, the second generation EcoBoost boasts a slew of noteworthy improvements. The first-generation 3.5L EB is still reliable, although Ford’s revisions rectified many of the most problematic areas. Turbo upgrades and the addition of port injection are also beneficial for those wishing to modify and enhance the 3.5L V6 to the next level.
3.5L EB Ford Performance
The stock performance of the 3.5L V6 EcoBoost is difficult to cover in a single article. Of course, performance varies depending on the vehicle in question. AWD, 4WD, transmission, features, and a variety of other factors can all have an impact on 0-60, 1/4 mile, and other performance metrics. Nonetheless, here is some performance information for the 3.5 EcoBoost:
2011 F-150 SuperCrew: 6.2 seconds to 60 mph / 14.8 seconds at 95 mph in the quarter mile
2021 F-150 Tremor: 5.3 seconds from 0 to 60 mph / 13.9 seconds from 100 mph 1/4 mile
The 2011 F-150 numbers originate from this Motortrend article, while the 2021 F-150 numbers are from Car & Driver. The 3.5L EcoBoost engine was used in both F-150s tested. Even the 2011 figures for the huge, hefty SuperCrew model were remarkable. In the Ford F-150, the 2021+ 3.5 EcoBoost produces 400hp and 500 lb-ft of torque. It’s nearly a second faster to 60mph and a quarter mile faster while trapping 5mph faster.
Meanwhile, the 3.5L twin turbo V6 drives the Ford GT to 60 mph in 3.0 seconds, with a 1/4 mile time of 10.8 seconds @ 134 mph. It just goes to illustrate how much promise the 3.5 EcoBoost has as a performance engine.
F-150 Towing Capacity 3.5
Towing performance, like stock performance, is highly dependent on the specific 3.5 EcoBoost in question. For the most part, the F-150 3.5L V6 twin turbo has provided best-in-class towing. When comparing the 2021 F-150 3.5 EcoBoost to its competitors, the Ford F-150 has a significant advantage:
- 3.5L EcoBoost F-150: 14,000 lbs.
- 5.7L HEMI V8 Ram 1500 with eTorque: 12,750 pounds
- 6.2L V8 Chevy Silverado 1500: 13,300 lbs
Even when compared to the massive 5.7L HEMI and Chevy 6.2L V8, the twin turbo EcoBoost has a higher towing capacity. Given that the 2021 F-150 3.5L EcoBoost engine produces 500 lb-ft of torque, it makes sense. The HEMI engine produces 410 lb-ft of torque, while the 6.2L Chevy engine produces 460 lb-ft. The 3.5 EcoBoost also outperforms Ford’s own 5.0L Coyote, which has a towing capacity of 13,000 pounds in the F-150.
The 3.5 EcoBoost continues the trend for other car classes. For example, the 3.5 EcoBoost engine in the 2021 Lincoln Navigator has best-in-class towing capability. The point is, this dual turbo V6 is a very capable engine in terms of both horsepower and towing.
Modifications and Upgrades for the 3.5 EcoBoost Engine
It’s time to get into some of the more interesting aspects of the Ford 3.5 twin turbo V6 EcoBoost engine. Turbo engines frequently leave a lot of power on the table, and this 3.5L engine is no exception.
On factory turbos, a few simple bolt-ons can boost the 3.5 V6 to 450-500whp. The second generation EcoBoost is even capable of 600+whp and 650+wtq without the need for turbo improvements. The following sections go over some of the greatest 3.5 EcoBoost performance upgrades for achieving these outrageous statistics.
However, engine modifications for the 3.5 EcoBoost have been covered in numerous articles. The goal of our Ultimate 3.5 EcoBoost Guide is to take a comprehensive look at the 3.5L V6. Rather than rewriting thousands of words on each individual modification, this will be a fast rundown of Ford 3.5 EB changes and upgrades. Check out the links in the following sections for further information and particular upgrade specifics.
Dyno Results for the Ford 3.5L V6 EcoBoost – Horsepower and Torque
*Burger’s Dynamo A 2018 Ford Raptor is tuned with a JB4 tune. Except for the JB4 tune and a little E85 mixture (E20) in the final two dyno runs, the truck is fully stock.
Basic Bolt-On Mods for the Ford 3.5 V6
The following are the greatest starting points for power improvements on the Ford 3.5L EcoBoost:
These four easy bolt-on modifications are an excellent place to start for any EcoBoost. For additional information on these mods, see our post on the Best Ford 3.5 EcoBoost Bolt-on Performance Upgrades. The links in the bullet list above take you to mod instructions for each of the mods.
The 3.5L twin turbo engine may produce 425-500whp with minimal bolt-on modifications using pump gas. The first generation EcoBoost will be on the lower end, while the second generation will produce 40-60whp more with the same upgrades.
To take things to the next level, more aggressive tuning and higher-quality fuels are required. You might try race gas, methanol injection, or ethanol (E85). E85 is the ultimate fuel for producing massive power, and it is with this fuel that the EcoBoost can produce 550-600whp.
However, ethanol places a strain on the fuel system. Full E85 requires approximately 30% more fuel flow, requiring costly fuelling modifications on the 1st gen DI only engine. The port injection system on the newer 2017+ 3.5 EcoBoost is much easier to replace.
Upgrades for the 3.5 EcoBoost Turbocharger
Finally, the 3.5L EcoBoost enhancements listed above should provide more than adequate power for the majority of owners. This is especially true if you use high-quality fuel, such as E85, which may support 550+whp. But there will always be others who demand more. Here come the 3.5 EcoBoost turbo improvements.
The Ford 3.5 EcoBoost turbocharger update isn’t only for increased power. The stock turbos are powerful, but they run out of gas on the high end. Making 500+whp puts a lot of strain on the stock turbos, so upgrading is an excellent method to make the power easier.
With turbo improvements, the 3.5 EcoBoost can produce 650+whp. If you want to make that type of power, it’s not cheap. Additional cooling modifications, transmission enhancements, tires, axles, and other options are likely to be considered. More information on power improvements, prices, hazards, and supporting mods can be found in our 3.5 twin turbo upgrade guide.
However, it is also critical to examine the engine’s safety and health. That much power can be taxing on the engine and other components. Is the 3.5L twin turbo V6 capable of withstanding the abuse, or do you need to upgrade the internals? Let’s get started and talk about it.
How Much Power Can the 3.5L Twin Turbo V6 Handle?
If you’ve read our dual turbo upgrade guide, you’re probably aware of the Ford 3.5L EcoBoost engine’s limitations. Under 550whp, it’s a fairly capable engine with good reliability. Below that power, the 3.5 EcoBoost engine rarely encounters severe issues.
However, a good tune and supporting mods are required. Throwing 550+whp at the engine without a quality setup is not a smart idea. We strongly advise running hefty E85 mixtures at that power level with all fuelling mods to support the fuel flow. You’ll also need cooling upgrades and other modifications to sustain the increased boost, heat, and stresses.
Pushing beyond 550whp is where things start to get dicey. It’s difficult to place a cap on any engine, let alone the Ford 3.5 EcoBoost engine. Some may give up before 550whp, while others may maintain 600+whp for the long haul. All else being equal, higher boost and power will put more strain on the 3.5L V6.
Typical Ford 3.5 EcoBoost Issues
The Ford 3.5 EcoBoost F-150 nearly appears too wonderful to be true. It has the best towing capacity in its class, terrific performance, and loads of aftermarket potential. There must be a disadvantage, right? There aren’t any significant disadvantages to the 3.5 dual turbo V6 engine.
The Ford 3.5 EcoBoost engine also has a high level of dependability. However, no engine is perfect, and there are no exceptions here. While the Ford 3.5L V6 is dependable, there are a few common issues with the engine (like with any internal combustion engine). Among these issues are the following:
- System of ignition
- Carbon accumulation
- Problems with the timing chain
- Leaks in the engine oil
Problems with the Ford 3.5L Twin Turbo V6
Each of these difficulties will be discussed briefly in the following sections. Again, the goal of this tutorial is to provide a comprehensive overview of the 3.5L EcoBoost engine. If you want more information about these concerns, see this 3.5 EcoBoost common problems article.
1. Ignition System Ford 3.5
The ignition system’s primary focus is on spark plugs and ignition coils. The Ford 3.5L turbo engine rarely has actual flaws or faults with these components. Twin turbo engines, on the other hand, can be particularly hard on plugs and coils.
These parts will most likely wear out much faster on the 3.5 EcoBoost than on a standard normally aspirated engine. This is especially true if you’ve begun customizing and enhancing the Ford 3.5L V6.
2. 3.5L EcoBoost Carbon Accumulation
Carbon buildup is a problem that only direct injection engines face. DI immediately sprays fuel into the cylinders. All engines create some natural oil blow-by, which enters the intake ports and frequently adheres to the back of valves. Port injection sprays fuel into these intake ports, cleaning away any carbon deposits.
This isn’t an issue for later engines because Ford installed port injection to the 2nd Gen 3.5L EcoBoost. There’s a lot that goes into carbon build-up, so read the thorough problems guide for additional information.
3. Timing Chain Issues
Another notable issue with older EcoBoost engines is the timing chain. We reviewed some of the modifications intended to increase timing chain dependability in the first vs second generation EcoBoost segment. They appear to have been an effective remedy for the 3.5 EcoBoost because timing chain difficulties are uncommon in later engines.
4. Oil Leaks in a Ford 3.5 EcoBoost
Finally, oil leaks are a rather regular issue on older Ford 3.5L EcoBoost engines. The same could be stated for nearly any older engine with 100,000 or more miles. Engines have a lot of seals, gaskets, o-rings, and other parts that wear out over time.
As a result, 3.5 EcoBoost oil leaks aren’t limited to first-generation engines. They are simply older and more prone to oil leaks in the short run.
Is the 3.5 EcoBoost Trustworthy?
Yes, the Ford 3.5 dual turbo V6 EcoBoost engine is dependable in general. Despite a few small shortcomings, even the early 3.5 EcoBoost engines provide good reliability. If the timing chain fails severely, it might be a costly repair and potentially cause other harm. That’s pretty much the only criticism leveled regarding the Ford 3.5L V6 engine.
Carbon buildup isn’t a huge issue and rarely creates serious difficulties if left unchecked. The ignition system is mostly a cost of ownership for a strong, twin turbo engine. Finally, oil leaks are caused by the nature of older, high mileage engines rather than any recognized design defects.
Outside of the timing chain, the 3.5 EcoBoost has no significant defects or concerns. Ford also did an excellent job of addressing some of the early difficulties with the 2017+ 2nd generation engines.
Related : The F-150 3.5L EcoBoost FAQs
How Long Will the Ford 3.5 V6 Engine Last?
The lifespan of the Ford 3.5 EcoBoost is around 250,000 kilometers. That’s an impressive lifespan for a high-performance 3.5L twin turbo V6 engine. Of course, the lifetime of EcoBoost is dependent on a variety of things. The prospect of gaining huge power through upgrades may appear appealing at first. Constant abuse and higher-than-stock power, on the other hand, can limit the 3.5 EcoBoost’s lifespan.
With basic bolt-on mods and adequate tuning, it shouldn’t be a major issue. However, the possibility of increasing boost and power is always present. Remember this before you unleash 500+whp on the Ford EcoBoost engine.
Otherwise, one of the fundamental keys to the 3.5 EcoBoost’s high life expectancy is maintenance. Replace fluids on schedule, address problems as they arise, and use high-quality oils. If you do all of this, the Ford 3.5L V6’s lifespan could reach 250,000 miles.
The luck of the draw does influence life expectancy, but we have little control over that. Maintain and repair your vehicle as needed, and hope for the best. If you do, the 3.5L EcoBoost can travel 300,000 miles or more.
Summary of the Ford 3.5L V6 EcoBoost Engine
The Ford 3.5 EcoBoost engine is amazing from beginning to end. The EcoBoost’s 3.5L dual turbo V6 engine produces outstanding horsepower and torque. The engine is also used in Ford’s 660hp Ford GT supercar. It clearly demonstrates how highly Ford regards their 3.5L EcoBoost engine.
Ford updated the engine even further in 2017 with the 2nd generation. The original 3.5 EcoBoost engine is still a fantastic engine. The upgrades, on the other hand, made the 3.5L V6 even more powerful and dependable. If you want the most dependable and capable EcoBoost engine, you should definitely select the upgraded engine.
While the 3.5 EcoBoost gives excellent performance out of the box, it has a lot more potential with a few tweaks. With E85 fueling, a tune and inexpensive bolt-ons can boost the twin turbo V6 to 500-600whp. Turbo upgrades can boost the engine’s performance even more, but these pricey improvements are not for the faint of heart.
What’s strange is that the Ford 3.5L engine has no serious downsides. The 3.5L EcoBoost also has good reliability and is free of major design flaws or concerns. The 3.5 EcoBoost may travel 250,000 miles or more with proper maintenance.