Tech: 2015 Mustang EcoBoost Bolt-Ons

0 2015 Mustang EcoBoost Bolt-Ons Featured

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Revolution Automotive revs up its EcoBoost project with bolt-ons

By Steve Turner
Photos courtesy of Full Race Motorsports and Revolution Automotive

With the arrival of the EcoBoost option, the Mustang has a factory turbocharger again. As we know, OE power adders open the door to easy modifications much wider. Just ask owners of Terminators and GT500s. Even the mid-’80s SVO had upgrade parts available, but its viability as a modded car was overshadowed by the bolt-on friendly 5.0-liter V-8.

The headliner of Revolution Automotive’s EcoBoost upgrades is this intercooler ($799) from Full Race Motorsports in Phoenix, Arizona. It features optimized fin thickness and louver pitch and tapered, low-volume endtanks. The former maximize efficiency, while the latter reduce turbo lag. It also includes 2 ½-inch charge pipes with high-grade silicone couplers and quality clamps. It is available with an optional black anodized coating for an additional $150.
The headliner of Revolution Automotive’s EcoBoost upgrades is this intercooler ($799) from Full Race Motorsports in Phoenix, Arizona. It features optimized fin thickness and louver pitch and tapered, low-volume endtanks. The former maximize efficiency, while the latter reduce turbo lag. It also includes 2 ½-inch charge pipes with high-grade silicone couplers and quality clamps. It is available with an optional black anodized coating for an additional $150.

While today’s 5.0-liter certainly gets most of the headlines because it takes to modifications like a duck to water, the EcoBoost Mustang presents the most legitimate case for another version of the Mustang to modify that we have had in a long time.

That’s definitely what Revolution Automotive’s Dasan Holloway had in mind when he picked up his 2015 Mustang EcoBoost. Soon, he and Rev Auto’s main man Adam Browne put together a plan to boost the car’s performance with some well-chosen mods and a healthy dose of Adam’s tuning prowess via SCT Performance software and hardware.

The foundation of this phase of modifications was a larger, more efficient intercooler to lower and stabilize the turbo discharge temperatures. Doing so will allow for performance that is both increased and more consistent. With that in mind, the Rev Auto team turned to the Ford EcoBoost experts at Full Race Motorsports.

Any intercooler install on a modern Ford requires removing the front bumper cover. There are numerous fasteners holding it in place, so take your time. And, be sure not to forget the two hidden in the wheel well at the upper corners of the fascia. If you try to pop the nose off without removing these, you will break the tabs.
Any intercooler install on a modern Ford requires removing the front bumper cover. There are numerous fasteners holding it in place, so take your time. And, be sure not to forget the two hidden in the wheel well at the upper corners of the fascia. If you try to pop the nose off without removing these, you will break the tabs.

“Full-Race began working with prototype EcoBoost engines in 2010. We began by developing prototype turbo kits for the 3.5 F-150 EcoBoost and 2.0-liter Focus ST/Fusion,” Geoff Racier, Mechanical Engineer, Designer, and CEO at Full Race, said. “This 2.0-liter program was later turned into the Mustang twin-scroll.”

Since that time, Full Race has rolled out a number of products for EcoBoost Fords, and they event built a sweet EcoBoost Mustang for last year’s SEMA Show that featured an upgraded turbo kit and more. Part of that kit is a new intercooler, which Rev Auto chose for its Mustang project, as the factory turbo can quickly heat soak and deliver discharge temps 50 to 70 degrees above ambient.

As with the majority of aftermarket intercoolers, installing the Full Race unit means removing the factory Active Grille Shutters. These are meant to block off the intercooler at highway speeds to maximize fuel economy. They are great for that, but they do limit airflow across the intercooler core as a result. The larger intercoolers leave no room to retain them.
As with the majority of aftermarket intercoolers, installing the Full Race unit means removing the factory Active Grille Shutters. These are meant to block off the intercooler at highway speeds to maximize fuel economy. They are great for that, but they do limit airflow across the intercooler core as a result. The larger intercoolers leave no room to retain them.

“The Full-Race intercooler is very consistent, and under the identical conditions we have seen 15 to 20 degrees max above ambient,” Geoff added. “Cooler air is more dense and improves combustion while lowering EGT. There is no performance benefit to hot charge-air temps on a turbo engine.”

In addition to the intercooler, the Rev Auto crew also replaced the factory downpipe with a high-flow unit from Woodbine Motorsports. So, with cooler inlet temps and a freer flowing exhaust, Dasan’s Mustang just needed a calibration.

“From a tuning perspective there weren’t that many changes, I turned off the Active Grille Shutter enable switch since it gets deleted with the Full Race intercooler, and I also made some minor tweaks to the torque tables and adjusted for the high flow exhaust,” Adam explained.

With the new cal in the PCM, Adam hit the dyno and could immediately see the fruits of his labors. The larger Full Race intercooler was definitely doing work.

Sitting under the radiator, the stock intercooler is modestly sized. Clearly there is some room for improvement with a larger, more efficient core.
Sitting under the radiator, the stock intercooler is modestly sized. Clearly there is some room for improvement with a larger, more efficient core.

“From there we just let the intercooler do its job. Comparing the stock intercooler to the Full Race after two back-to-back pulls. The stock intake air temps started at 129 degrees and rose to 170 degrees during a Fourth-gear pull,” Adam added. “The Full Race intercooler started at 93 degrees and only rose to 111 degrees; also on a Fourth-gear pull. Both runs were made at operating temperature and from 2,000 to 6,000 rpm.”

The cooler temps allowed Adam to get a bit more aggressive with the timing.

As you can see in the gallery below, the Rev Auto team took thorough measurements to compare the stock and Full Race intercoolers. The Full Race core is about a half inch thicker, 5 ½ inches taller, and an inch narrower. Even with its larger dimensions, it is a direct replacement for the factory unit, as it mounts securely to the frame in front of the radiator.
As you can see in the gallery below, the Rev Auto team took thorough measurements to compare the stock and Full Race intercoolers. The Full Race core is about a half inch thicker, 5 ½ inches taller, and an inch narrower. Even with its larger dimensions, it is a direct replacement for the factory unit, as it mounts securely to the frame in front of the radiator.

“This allowed for increased ignition timing (average of 2 degrees and more consistent power. Since the intake air temps were stable we never reached a temp where the ECU started pulling timing,” Adam said. “The next move is to further refine the combination at the track. There is still a lot of unlocked potential in the calibration. We have been doing R&D on our auto car and another manual EcoBoost car to make sure we have both sorted.”

Yes, tuning the new Mustangs—especially the EcoBoost versions—is a tough task. The programming is far more complex. There are more tables to adjust, and some of the factory tables are still hidden from aftermarket tuners. However, with the mods and Adam’s tune installed, it was time to hit the track, and the results were quite promising.

Since the Full Race intercooler sits further away from the turbo and throttle body, it includes new 2 ½-inch, bead-rolled charge pipes. High-quality silicone couplers and clamps accompany them.
Since the Full Race intercooler sits further away from the turbo and throttle body, it includes new 2 ½-inch, bead-rolled charge pipes. High-quality silicone couplers and clamps accompany them.

“The EcoBoost Mustang is a very straight forward car to drive at the track. You do have to hold the e-brake to get the car to leave under any boost though,” Dasan said of his modded ride. “Although we are still working on the calibration the car managed to run a 12.6 at 107 on 93 octane while closing the throttle body to limit the power.”

It should be interesting to see how well this car runs as Adam further refines the cal to keep that throttle open, but for now keep reading to see the mods added to Dasan’s Mustang.

The Full Race intercooler mounts rigidly to the frame using the inboard fasteners for the factory cross brace.
The Full Race intercooler mounts rigidly to the frame using the inboard fasteners for the factory cross brace.
Here’s how the discharge tube mounts to the factory throttle body using the silicone couplers and spring-loaded hose clamps.
Here’s how the discharge tube mounts to the factory throttle body using the silicone couplers and spring-loaded hose clamps.
Here’s the two-piece discharge pipe that feeds boost from the turbo to the intercooler.
Here’s the two-piece discharge pipe that feeds boost from the turbo to the intercooler.
The Woodbine Motorsports downpipe eliminates the catalytic converter for racetrack use and features larger smoother piping. It is a two-piece affair so it can mate with the stock cat-back or a larger aftermarket unit.
The Woodbine Motorsports downpipe eliminates the catalytic converter for racetrack use and features larger smoother piping. It is a two-piece affair so it can mate with the stock cat-back or a larger aftermarket unit.
Revolution Automotive’s EcoBoost Mustang still runs the factory cat-back, so they installed the Woodbine downpipe with the proper adapter pipe.
Revolution Automotive’s EcoBoost Mustang still runs the factory cat-back, so they installed the Woodbine downpipe with the proper adapter pipe.
After installing the parts, the Rev Auto team reinstalled the front fascia on Dasan’s 2015 EcoBoost Mustang. Then Adam Browne hit the company’s in-house Dynojet to tune the factory PCM for the mods.
After installing the parts, the Rev Auto team reinstalled the front fascia on Dasan’s 2015 EcoBoost Mustang. Then Adam Browne hit the company’s in-house Dynojet to tune the factory PCM for the mods.
With the bolt-ons and tuning, the Rev Auto EcoBoost Mustang put down impressive peak numbers at the rear wheels of 308.94 horsepower and 351.53 lb-ft of torque. It did so thanks to over 25 pounds of boost.
With the bolt-ons and tuning, the Rev Auto EcoBoost Mustang put down impressive peak numbers at the rear wheels of 308.94 horsepower and 351.53 lb-ft of torque. It did so thanks to over 25 pounds of boost.

Intercooler Comparison Gallery

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