Picking Up Power ID Motorsports tests Mustang intake manifolds on a 5.0-liter F-150 pickup By Steve Turner Photos courtesy of Ford Motor Company and ID Motorsports Of late we’ve been covering a lot of tests involving intake manifolds that fit the Coyote family of engines in Mustangs. From testing a Voodoo 5.2 intake on a Mustang GT 5.0-liter to testing a Ford Performance Cobra Jet intake on a Voodoo 5.2, we have seen some interesting stuff. However, did you ever wonder how these intakes might improve the Coyote-powered pickup in your driveway? We were certainly curious when our old friend Matt Alderman of ID Motorsports offered to share the results of the intake manifold testing on his personal It’s a two-wheel-drive 2015 5.0 F-150. He had used the truck to develop some naturally aspirated calibrations for customers and was looking to do more hardware testing. As you might remember, Matt was most recently the head calibrator a SCT Performance, but he has joined ID Motorsports to help the company expand into gas-powered vehicles. “Since ID has had great success with the diesel side, they have been doing some gas stuff over the years but doing both can be a very time consuming task. I have worked with Eric (Eldreth) on some projects over the years and we have built a great friendship,” Matt explained. “With this combination of events brought us to our conversation about doing gas tuning full time and really ramping things up. It was a difficult decision leaving SCT as I really enjoyed what I did there and the people I worked with. But I had to follow my passion and take on this full-time role. Since the start we have hit the ground running with multiple projects and lining up our new south division in Florida.” After tuning up the truck in naturally aspirated form, Matt wanted to sample the intake manifolds available from Ford Performance Parts before stepping the truck up to a supercharger upgrade. He adapted the truck’s MAP sensor to work with all these intakes, and tuned each combo for 93-octane winter-blend fuel from a station near ID Motorsports Maryland facility. “One of our first projects was the 2015 5.0-liter F-150. We wanted to get all the naturally aspirated testing done before our supercharger install. Given the great success with the Coyote engine in the Mustangs with intake manifold tests we have done, we wanted to do the same tests on the F-150,” Matt said. “We started with the stock Mustang GT intake to see if it would yield any gains up top. It did show some gains but also some loss down low. We did this test with the stock intake airbox. Next we moved to the Boss Intake. As expected we saw even more gains up top with some loss down low. With this intake we had to modify the stock air inlet for testing.” While the GT intake bested the stock truck manifold in the horsepower department, it gave up a lot of torque. On the other hand, the Boss 302 intake manifold (PN M-9424-M50BR; $825) picked up a huge chunk of power and gave up just a bit of torque at the peak. “Lastly we brought out our favorite the Cobra Jet intake. For this we had to call in a favor to our friends at Revolution Automotive. Adam Browne made us a custom intake tube to fit this intake manifold. When we got back we got right to testing. As expected with this one as well there was tremendous gain up top. We were able to crack the 400 rear-wheel horsepower with this combo. We were also able to continue to make power in the higher rpm range,” Matt said. “This intake made a compete transformation to the sound of the vehicle. It’s completely different on the street. Maybe with a little more cam work the low-end loss can be minimized.” The gains with the Cobra Jet intake (PN M-9424-M50CJ; $1,099) were definitely impressive. While the power increase was undeniable, it was interesting that the combo actually gained just over 1 lb-ft of torque with this racy, short-runner manifold. So, if you were curious how a stock 5.0-liter truck engine responds to different intake manifolds, you now have the answer. Matt plans to keep pushing this truck with power adders now and we can’t wait to see what he has in store next. The Coyote-powered F-150s, like IM Motorsports’ Matt Alderman’s 2015 two-wheel-drive example, feature an intake manifold specifically tuned to generate the most useable torque for the kind of duty a truck usually sees. Part of how Ford engineers prepare an off-the-shelf engine for a different vehicle platform is by tuning the intake manifold for its intended purpose. Where the truck intake is biased toward torque, the Mustang GT is designed to promote peak power. As we know, the Ford Performance Boss 302 intake manifold (PN M-9424-M50BR; $825) was originally designed to provide the air needed by the 7,000-rpm RoadRunner 5.0-liter engine that powers the 2012-2013 Boss 302 Mustang. The Ford Performance Cobra Jet intake manifold (PN M-9424-M50CJ; $1,099) was built for the naturally aspirated 2013 Cobra Jet drag car. It features 635 cubic inches of intake volume and is designed to support a racy, 7,750-rpm power peak. Ford engineers clearly did a great job with the F-150 version of the Coyote intake manifold, as the Mustang GT only picked up 4.02 horsepower at the peak, but dropped 9.75 lb-ft of torque. Interestingly, the Boss 302 intake manifold picked up far more power than the stock or Mustang GT intakes with a 36.51 horsepower gain at the peak, but it gave up less torque than the GT intake with a 7.7 lb-ft loss. At first blush, you wouldn’t guess that the Ford Performance Cobra Jet intake would be the hot setup for an F-150, but in the ID Motorsports testing it picked up peak to peak gains of 43.66 horsepower and 1.23 lb-ft of torque at the rear wheels. If you want to see how all the intakes compare with one another, you can do so here, and Matt also included the results of his hotter calibration on the stock F-150. With just a tuned, his truck picked up peak-to-peak gains of 22.39 hp and 17 lb-ft of torque at the wheels. Here’s a look at the sampling of the data comparing the Mustang GT, Boss 302 and Cobra Jet manifolds versus the stock truck manifold. As you can see, the Mustang GT gives up power and torque until the top end, while the Boss 302 and Cobra Jet only give up midrange performance to the truck intake while pulling so much harder at the top of the tach.