Tech: 2015 Mustang EcoBoost Bolt-Ons

0 2015 EcoBoost Mustang Tuning Featured

’Boost Basics

Revolution Automotive embarks on an EcoBoost S550 build with SCT tuning and JLT induction mods

By Steve Turner
Photos courtesy of Revolution Automotive

Lost in the recent excitement about V-8-powered performance Mustangs is that the EcoBoost 2015 Mustang might just be the most intriguing offering in the lineup. We believe that, so far, the aftermarket has only scratched the surface of the performance possibilities offered by the 2.3-liter Gas Turbo Direct Injection engines in these cars.

Revolution Automotive’s Adam Browne worked through this part of the project in reverse, starting with the mods and custom tuning and working back toward the stock parts and calibration. This allowed him to dial in his tunes and then see how they compared with the stock output. All the runs were made on his in-house Dynojet 224X LC. The car was running 93-octane fuel, and the air temps in the shop ranged from 55-65 degrees.
Revolution Automotive’s Adam Browne worked through this part of the project in reverse, starting with the mods and custom tuning and working back toward the stock parts and calibration. This allowed him to dial in his tunes and then see how they compared with the stock output. All the runs were made on his in-house Dynojet 224X LC. The car was running 93-octane fuel, and the air temps in the shop ranged from 55-65 degrees.

That said, the crew at Revolution Automotive in Baltimore, Maryland, have a new 2015 Mustang project designed to push the EcoBoost envelope. To get things started, main man Adam Browne worked on custom tuning to support JLT Performance’s new cold-air intake. He worked his way back from this combo to the stock configuration to learn how the car reacted.

While tuning is crucial on all modern Mustangs, apparently the computer that controls these turbocharged Mustangs sets the limit on the car’s output no matter what the mods are.

Don’t be fooled by the Performance Pack GT wheels, Rev Auto’s EcoBoost test bed is a Premium model with an automatic and 3.31 gears. Adam Browne tested a series of custom tunes, value files (base tunes from SCT Performance), and stock calibrations in conjunction with the stock and JLT Performance cold-air intake.
Don’t be fooled by the Performance Pack GT wheels, Rev Auto’s EcoBoost test bed is a Premium model with an automatic and 3.31 gears. Adam Browne tested a series of custom tunes, value files (base tunes from SCT Performance), and stock calibrations in conjunction with the stock and JLT Performance cold-air intake.

“All of the Ecoboost Mustangs use a torque-based logic, so if in the calibration you are requesting 400 Newton Meters the ECU will deliver that amount to the flywheel; If things are set up properly,” Adam said. “This comes into play when adding less-restrictive parts like a JLT Intake. We know that it flows more than the factory intake system but if we are only requesting the same 400 Nm then that is what the ECU will deliver.”

Clearly that means working up a proper calibration to sync the mods with the target output is more important than ever for maximizing an EcoBoost combo. Adam did this work using SCT Performance software and hardware.

“That being said the gains from tuning are huge!” he said. “With our custom tune and the stock intake it made 285 rear-wheel horsepower and 335 rear-wheel torque, with the JLT Intake it went to 288 rear-wheel horsepower and 339 rear-wheel torque.”

You can watch the car run on the dyno right here:

Along the way to these gains, Adam took the time to log and study the inlet air temperatures. He learned that heat soak is an issue with EcoBoost Mustangs.

Though Adam worked his way back from the JLT CAI and custom tuning to the stock configuration, we are presenting the data in a more traditional fashion, going from the stock setup through the modifications. In stock form it put down 212.51 horsepower and 285.65 lb-ft of torque, but it’s worth noting that the car was heat-soaked by the time of this run, so Adam says the baseline was a little down on power.
Though Adam worked his way back from the JLT CAI and custom tuning to the stock configuration, we are presenting the data in a more traditional fashion, going from the stock setup through the modifications. In stock form it put down 212.51 horsepower and 285.65 lb-ft of torque, but it’s worth noting that the car was heat-soaked by the time of this run, so Adam says the baseline was a little down on power.

“The lesson learned from all our of testing is that the Downstream Intake Air Temps (IAT2) get out of hand quickly with back-to-back pulls… You can see how the Downstream Intake Air temps start at 140 degrees and end at over 190 degrees by the end of the pull,” Adam explained. “This is with the hood open and a fan in front of the car as well. Wait until we have some 100-degree days this summer! All of this heat translates into lower power from decreased ignition timing and the hotter, less dense air charge.”

With that in mind, the next modification for the Rev Auto EcoBoost Mustang is one of Full Race Motorsports’ intercooler upgrades and a high-flow downpipe to open up the exhaust. We will document the results from that testing right here, so stay tuned. For now, however, enjoy the gains Adam achieved with the tuning and induction mods.

Speaking of heat-soak, it is really interesting to examine how quickly the inlet air temps increase on the EcoBoost car. Granted this is running on the dyno with just a fan, so there’s not as much air passing over the car as when it is traveling down the road. However, the ambient temps inside Revolution Auto were only 55-65 degrees. As you can see here, the inlet temps start out around 140 degrees and spike to 190 degrees.
Speaking of heat-soak, it is really interesting to examine how quickly the inlet air temps increase on the EcoBoost car. Granted this is running on the dyno with just a fan, so there’s not as much air passing over the car as when it is traveling down the road. However, the ambient temps inside Revolution Auto were only 55-65 degrees. As you can see here, the inlet temps start out around 140 degrees and spike to 190 degrees.
If you aren’t familiar with value files, they are like jumping-off points for tuners. Matt Alderman, the head calibrator at SCT Performance, creates these base files, which tuners can use as a starting point to build custom calibrations. It’s interesting to see what the value files did for both the stock configuration and with the JLT CAI. Both were way ahead of the heat-soaked baseline, with the JLT and value file adding peak-to-peak gains of 54.04 horsepower and 27.79 lb-ft of torque.
If you aren’t familiar with value files, they are like jumping-off points for tuners. Matt Alderman, the head calibrator at SCT Performance, creates these base files, which tuners can use as a starting point to build custom calibrations. It’s interesting to see what the value files did for both the stock configuration and with the JLT CAI. Both were way ahead of the heat-soaked baseline, with the JLT and value file adding peak-to-peak gains of 54.04 horsepower and 27.79 lb-ft of torque.
After Adam worked his custom-tuning magic on the car, the gains grew even more with the stock and JLT inlets. Clearly the JLT CAI and the Rev Auto tune offered the biggest peak-to-peak gains over the baseline pull. This combo picked up 73.10 horsepower and 53.54 lb-ft of torque at the wheels over the baseline run.
After Adam worked his custom-tuning magic on the car, the gains grew even more with the stock and JLT inlets. Clearly the JLT CAI and the Rev Auto tune offered the biggest peak-to-peak gains over the baseline pull. This combo picked up 73.10 horsepower and 53.54 lb-ft of torque at the wheels over the baseline run.
Now, if you stop by the front page regularly, you know that we like to dig into the numbers a little deeper by sampling the data at 100-rpm increments. While the graphs present all the available data points, the charts will often illustrate those under-the-curve gains that you actually feel. As you can see, the gains move into the high double digits in a hurry when comparing the JLT Performance CAI and Rev Auto custom tune to the baseline run.
Now, if you stop by the front page regularly, you know that we like to dig into the numbers a little deeper by sampling the data at 100-rpm increments. While the graphs present all the available data points, the charts will often illustrate those under-the-curve gains that you actually feel. As you can see, the gains move into the high double digits in a hurry when comparing the JLT Performance CAI and Rev Auto custom tune to the baseline run.

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