Ford Authority

Ford EcoBoost Engines Shouldn’t Be Aggressively Tuned: Video

In the past, Brian Makuloco – a Ford technician and purveyor of the YouTube channel FordTechMakuloco – has made quite a few videos about the Ford EcoBoost line of engines and its unique quirks and known issues, many of which he admits are even frustrating for him, personally. From leaks to turbo issues and the need to change oil frequently, Makuloco has shared some truly valuable information with Ford EcoBoost owners thus far, and now, he’s back with yet another cautionary tale pertaining to tuning this line of engines as well.

2019 Ford F-150 Tuned 3.5L V6 EcoBoost Engine Failure 002

This new video came about after a customer brought their 2019 Ford F-150 to Makuloco’s shop when its twin-turbocharged 3.5L V6 EcoBoost engine blew up as the owner was trying to pass another vehicle on the road. With just 137k miles on the clock, that isn’t something that typically happens, but in this case, there’s a very good reason why – the EcoBoost powerplant was treated to an “aggressive” tune, according to Makuloco.

2019 Ford F-150 Tuned 3.5L V6 EcoBoost Engine Failure 003

In addition to that tune, this F-150 has an aftermarket intercooler and bigger fuel injectors, but otherwise, the bottom end is stock, and so are the turbos. Regardless, the extra power those mods – specifically the tune – generated in this case also put a ton of pressure on that stock bottom end, which resulted in some seriously catastrophic damage, as Makuloco covers in detail here.

Aside from rods exiting the block in rapid fashion, there’s a pile of parts in the oil pan, plus bent valves and other signs of massive damage to be found in this poor engine. While Makuloco doesn’t go into detail about what, exactly, took place inside there, he’s quite adamant that the tune is to blame, which means that those looking to do the same thing to their Ford EcoBoost powerplants may want to go with something a bit more conservative – or, at least, secure a tune from the Ford Performance catalog itself.

We’ll have more interesting videos like this to share soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authorityfor the latest Ford F-Series news, Ford F-150 news, and continuous Ford news coverage.

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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  1. David Dickinson II

    These engines are already squeezed for efficiency. I wouldn’t add any more strain either. The pictures of that poor engine are hard to look at.

  2. John

    Just put the Coyote and Predator in them all from the factory.

    1. Steve w

      I like it!

    2. rapturd

      Too bad the 5.0 isnt standard. Add a SC and your over 700hp

  3. John

    Ecoboom never disappoints

  4. cj

    They give enough problems when drove easy….Ford should drop these….and that help cut warranty cost and make customers happy…hope they put a variant of the 7.3 pushrod in the F 150….

  5. Jeff Hamilton

    I have a 2013 supercrew 6.5 box. Bone stock and I run it on 87 octane. Best towing vehicle I have ever owned. Torque is all in way low in the rpm range so you don’t have to buzz the stew out of it. I get 14l/100km combined over the last 6000 km, including towing and city driving. That’s about 17mpg for those who don’t habla metric. My truck hauls firewood, tows my boat and a camper. It gets used off road. Decent fuel economy and performance doing what a half ton is intended for. If you tow over 8000lbs on a regular basis, get a 3/4 ton or larger. If you want a hotrod, get a V8 from any manufacturer, add a turbo or supercharger kit and even at low boost levels you should be happy. To squeeze something that’s already squeezed is asking for trouble.

    1. Seagulls

      I run a 21 f150 5.0. It’s perhaps the sweet spot engine for the F150. Almost as economical as 2.7, capable of towing hard and heavy loads.
      I’ve tow and reckon above 8k you should jump to f250.
      Mine isn’t getting any tune, I want it to last.

  6. Joe Schmo

    Wait so a high mileage engine with some aftermarket parts tuned to within an inch of its life on a stock bottom end… blew up?

    WEIRD. yep, must be a bad engine design…

    1. Andrew Henthorne


  7. Jimmy Trammell

    I have a 2013 F-150 fully loaded it has got 327,000 mi on it it’s a EcoBoost 3.5 I keep the oil changed only thing I’ve done to it is put a water pump on it spark plugs change oil and drive the s*** out of it

    1. Brad

      I have the same truck as you and have had smooth sailing too, the key is CHANGE THE OIL!!! These engines need clean oil to operate for extend lifetimes….. How easy could it be!!! If you want a hotrod, and I have some, then don’t complain about em breaking down when you beat em!!

  8. Jack Eliot

    Dumbest thing I’ve read today. My stage 2 ecoboost raptor has given no issues and runs like a raped ape. My fiesta st is dynoed at 370 at the wheels on the stock bottom end with a big turbo, e85 and supporting fuel mods. This article is no more than boomer comment bait about how “these trucks ain’t what the used to be” and how there’s “no replacement for displacement”. And the comment that Ford needs to go back to the 7.3? LOL are you frickin kidding me? How incredibly dumb. My raptor gets 17 mpg putting nearly 600 at the crank, my fiesta I’d pushing 31 psi on the stock bottom, and my gtr will gladly walk anything you throw at it. Let alone 5.0s, 392s and hellcats.

  9. Dan Trillo

    Just give me a. Stock 5.0

  10. Charles Lowe

    I wouldn’t have purchased my F150 if I couldn’t get it with twin turbo 2.7L. My 2019 F150 is on track to get larger injectors with a E85 tune that will allow me to turn up the wick on the stock turbos. Not that it needs it, I have towed 6500lbs quite a bit. No issues. I did run 91 octane though when towing the through the Ozarks.


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