Ford F-150 3.5 EcoBoost Intake Upgrade Guide: Step By Step

3.5 EcoBoost Intake Upgrades

One of the most popular engine mods is cold air intakes, and it’s not hard to see why. When it comes to turbocharged engines, this is especially true. There are numerous advantages to using intakes, including increased power.

Cold air intakes are a popular choice because they’re affordable. We’ll go over the advantages of cold air intakes for the Ford F-150 3.5 EcoBoost in this guide.

F-150 EcoBoost Upgraded Intake Performance

Stock engines with stock boost perform well with the Ford 3.5 EcoBoost intake. The intake on the F-150 EcoBoost becomes restrictive after you start fine-tuning and modding it.

Boost and power gains necessitate a significant increase in airflow, which can quickly tax the stock intake system. 3.5L twin turbo engine cold air intakes are efficient enough to meet the requirements. Ford 3.5 EcoBoost cold air intakes have a number of advantages.

  • 0-15whp
  • Similar torque gains
  • Easier maintenance
  • Quicker turbo spool
  • Sound improvements

The stock EcoBoost intake on a stock F-150 is quite effective. If this is the case, a performance intake upgrade will be ineffective. An intake will add 5-10whp to the 3.5L engine once it’s tuned. The EcoBoost turbos can be pushed even further by installing aftermarket turbos or using a performance tuner.

The magnitude of the torque increase is also very similar. Another enhancement is the acceleration of the turbo spool. However, it is unlikely to make a difference because the 3.5-liter turbodiesels in the F-150 already spool up quickly.

Good cold air intakes save space while also simplifying maintenance. The majority of the 3.5 EcoBoost intake upgrade filters are simple to clean and keep in good working order. condition. In our opinion, sound enhancements are yet another fantastic perk of intake mods. More turbo and induction noises are likely to be heard.

3.5L Twin Turbo Intake Designs

We’ll admit it – we’ve all done it. Intake upgrades for the 3.5 EcoBoost have been referred to as cold air intakes (CAI). The stock intake piping is rerouted to a lower location outside the engine bay with a cold air intake.

Aim for the coldest air possible when pulling in the air. There are some cold air upgrades for the Ford 3.5, but the majority aren’t. Even if they are genuine CAI, turbocharged engines don’t need them.

3.5L Twin Turbo Intake Designs

After passing through the filters, the air is sent through a series of extremely hot turbochargers. The turbos compress the air, which raises the temperature. The Ford F-150 3.5 EcoBoost intercooler is used to further cool the engine.

The intercooler’s ability to cool the charge air is almost completely unaffected by the temperature entering the intake filters. In terms of performance intakes, cold air intake is most often used as a colloquial term.

Anyway, the entire purpose of this discussion was to set us up for the next one. An open or closed system is the primary distinction between 3.5 EcoBoost intake upgrades.

Open vs Closed Intakes

An air-box isn’t required with an open air intake system. Even if the intake still has a housing, the intakes are no longer sealed off from the rest of the engine. When they’re idle, they’ll bring in warmer air. In the case of turbocharged engines, however, the debate is moot. With a closed intake, the air filter is protected from the engine bay by an air box.

For the 3.5 EcoBoost, we prefer an open intake system. Open dual cone intakes have been the standard choice for twin turbo engines at BMW for the better part of a decade. They have the best flow, the loudest induction and turbo noises, and are frequently less expensive than other options.—

In any case, the majority of high-quality Ford F-150 EcoBoost air intake systems will provide similar performance gains. The open dual intake for the 3.5L EcoBoost, on the other hand, offers the most potential for those looking to make more power. Closed intakes are a good option if you don’t want to hear any induction noise.

Best F-150 3.5 EcoBoost Cold Air Intakes

We’ll go over some of our favorite Ford F-150 3.5 EcoBoost cold air intake systems in this section. Before we get started, though, a couple of things to keep in mind. This list is far from complete.

F-150 EcoBoost engine intakes can be customized in a plethora of ways. We’re just highlighting a few that strike a good balance between cost, quality, and usability here.

In addition, the intake systems for different years of the F-150 must be customized. Models from 2011 to 2014, 2015 to 2016 and 2017 and later all have different fitments. There may be a few products listed here that are only available for a certain year.

We’ll also let you know if any specific F-150 EcoBoost intake systems aren’t available. However, before making a purchase, make sure the item will fit your needs. That being said, let’s talk about the best cold air intake upgrades for the Ford F-150 3.5 EcoBoost.

1) F-150 aFe Stage 2 Dual Cold Air Intake System

F-150 aFe Stage 2 Dual Cold Air Intake System

It’s possible that this EcoBoost intake system will cost more than other F-150 EcoBoost intake systems. However, we appreciate the dual filter design of this product, which increases flow by 44-92 percent (based on year) over stock.

Depending on your requirements, you can choose between a 3′′ and 3.5′′ system. Intake flow and noise will be no problem with this open intake design. For those who don’t like the sound of induction, aFe makes an intake system cover.

The single filter systems from aFe are a bit less expensive. When money is tight and you don’t require as much flow, these are good options. However, we’re sticking with the dual filter system due to its high performance potential, stunning visuals, and superior audio. All F-150 EcoBoost models from 2011 onwards are covered by aFe’s options.

2) K&N 3.5 EcoBoost Performance Cold Air Intake Kit

K&N 3.5 EcoBoost Performance Cold Air Intake Kit

K&N is probably a household name by now. They’re probably the most well-known manufacturer of aftermarket air filters and intake systems in the industry. In addition, the cost of their 3.5 EcoBoost intake kit is very low. It has a single large filter and an open intake design.

With that said, the K&N F-150 EcoBoost air intake is a simple, yet highly effective, addition to your truck’s performance. It’s hard to go wrong with an intake system from one of the most well-known and respected manufacturers when it’s only $299.99.

3) S&B Filters F-150 3.5L Cold Air Intake

S&B Filters F-150 3.5L Cold Air Intake

S&B Filters is another well-known brand in the aftermarket air intake and filter market. BMW dual cone intakes from S&B Filters have worked flawlessly for us in the past. This system, on the other hand, has a closed intake.

It’ll still have good flow, sounds, and overall performance, so it’s a no-brainer. However, it is unlikely to be as effective as open systems (especially the aFe dual filter option).

S&B makes excellent products, and this 3.5 EcoBoost cold air intake kit is no exception. This is one of the best options if you want a closed intake system. Several filter options are available, so this kit can be customized to suit your needs.

F-150 3.5 EcoBoost Cold Air Intake Summary

There’s a good reason why performance intake systems are so popular as aftermarket upgrades. They strike a good price-to-performance ratio in terms of both sound quality and price.

In particular, on the 3.5-liter EcoBoost twin turbocharged engine, airflow is critical. Tuned and modified F-150 3.5L engines can produce power gains of up to 10-15whp at the wheels.

Open intake systems are the ones we favor because they provide the most significant gains in both flow and sound quality. Open and closed systems, on the other hand, will provide similar benefits with only minor tweaks. A dual filter open system will provide the most flow for those who desire it.

For the F-150 EcoBoost, aFe has a plethora of fantastic intake options. Intake systems are available with one filter, two filters, or four filters. If the open intake noises bother you, an intake system cover is an option.

K&N and S&B are well-known manufacturers in the industry, so choosing their products is a no-brainer. Whatever you decide, have a great time modding! When it comes to basic bolt-on upgrades like a cold air intake, the Ford 3.5 EcoBoost is an excellent choice.

Up Next: Best Ford 2.0 EcoBoost Performance Upgrades

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