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Old 09-16-2011, 12:49 PM   #1
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Default Ecoboost PSA: Intercooler/Lower Bumper Grille

For those of you that have or are thinking about installing a grille in the empty space in the the lower bumper of your new F150 with an Ecoboost engine, think again, and ask someone who truly knows about engines if the grille is a good idea.
Air/Air intercoolers need as much air flow as possible. I've seen many billet grilles which look as though air has no problem getting through to the IC. Not true. At 70+mph, airflow is SIGNIFICANTLY reduced. It is true that it will not cause catastrophic damage, but optimal performance WILL NOT be achieved.
With respect to the intercooler being damaged, it is possible, but not likely. Your windshield is about 40 times more likely to get damaged, but I have yet to see someone put a grille or screen in front of their windshield. The Ecoboost is a performance driven engine. Performance does come at a price, and if that price includes a new intercooler (again highly unlikely) then so be it. Dont hinder the performance of your fancy new truck by overeacting to a problem that really doesn't exist.
For your own peace of mind, call an Audi or Subaru shop and ask them about blocking your intercooler. I did.
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Old 09-16-2011, 01:32 PM   #2
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i read on another site an official reply from Ford that suggested against covering that void with a protector, as it could result in overheating and intercooler damage which would not be covered under (do i dare say) factory warranty. i think the covers look good, but that is one mod i have no plans on doing. it's a very slight mod that will probably have no illeffect, but i'm not going to find out on my truck.

i'm not hating...no need to open fire...i come in peace...just stating an opinion.
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Old 09-16-2011, 02:28 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ecoscrew
i read on another site an official reply from Ford that suggested against covering that void with a protector, as it could result in overheating and intercooler damage which would not be covered under (do i dare say) factory warranty. i think the covers look good, but that is one mod i have no plans on doing. it's a very slight mod that will probably have no illeffect, but i'm not going to find out on my truck.

i'm not hating...no need to open fire...i come in peace...just stating an opinion.
Not sure if you read my post but we are in agreement. Ford could have designed the front bumper to be a little more attractive, but I am not willing to hinder performance in exchange for esthetics. I can't say for sure if the grilles are all that bad, but why take the chance? A dented intercooler is a whole lot different than a punctured one, and I have yet to see any posts (with pictures) to confirm this will even happen.
Hopefully neither of us will regret our decision to skip the grille. I think our chances are pretty good.
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Old 09-16-2011, 02:30 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by P150 View Post
For those of you that have or are thinking about installing a grille in the empty space in the the lower bumper of your new F150 with an Ecoboost engine, think again, and ask someone who truly knows about engines if the grille is a good idea.
Air/Air intercoolers need as much air flow as possible. I've seen many billet grilles which look as though air has no problem getting through to the IC. Not true. At 70+mph, airflow is SIGNIFICANTLY reduced. It is true that it will not cause catastrophic damage, but optimal performance WILL NOT be achieved.
With respect to the intercooler being damaged, it is possible, but not likely. Your windshield is about 40 times more likely to get damaged, but I have yet to see someone put a grille or screen in front of their windshield. The Ecoboost is a performance driven engine. Performance does come at a price, and if that price includes a new intercooler (again highly unlikely) then so be it. Dont hinder the performance of your fancy new truck by overeacting to a problem that really doesn't exist.
For your own peace of mind, call an Audi or Subaru shop and ask them about blocking your intercooler. I did.

Under normal driving conditions I don't see any difference in intake temps. with the grill on or off. Have not checked it towing yet. The temps are read off of the ODBII port.
Did you do some testing to come up with this statement? (At 70+mph, airflow is SIGNIFICANTLY reduced.) And the Audi/Subaru shop is the place to call for Ford Ecoboost info?
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Old 09-16-2011, 02:36 PM   #5
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I've been following this one for a while now and have come to the decision to leave it open as well. Insurance comes in many forms. For some it was putting something in the hole to protect the IC. For me it is leaving it open to get max air in so I don't cook anything. If something other than air gets through the hole, I've got auto insurance with a low comp deductable.
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Old 09-16-2011, 02:40 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by P150 View Post
Not sure if you read my post but we are in agreement. Ford could have designed the front bumper to be a little more attractive, but I am not willing to hinder performance in exchange for esthetics. I can't say for sure if the grilles are all that bad, but why take the chance? A dented intercooler is a whole lot different than a punctured one, and I have yet to see any posts (with pictures) to confirm this will even happen.
Hopefully neither of us will regret our decision to skip the grille. I think our chances are pretty good.
i did and was concuring with you.


Quote:
Originally Posted by z06 View Post
Under normal driving conditions I don't see any difference in intake temps. with the grill on or off. Have not checked it towing yet. The temps are read off of the ODBII port.
Did you do some testing to come up with this statement? (At 70+mph, airflow is SIGNIFICANTLY reduced.) And the Audi/Subaru shop is the place to call for Ford Ecoboost info?
that's cool you can read your IA temps. my guess it won't change much, but it could be easier to attract paper or other items that wouldn't squeeze into the bumper hole. if you monitor the IAT, i wouldn't be concerned.
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Old 09-16-2011, 02:40 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by z06 View Post
Under normal driving conditions I don't see any difference in intake temps. with the grill on or off. Have not checked it towing yet. The temps are read off of the ODBII port.
Did you do some testing to come up with this statement? (At 70+mph, airflow is SIGNIFICANTLY reduced.) And the Audi/Subaru shop is the place to call for Ford Ecoboost info?
This. Air to air intercoolers do no rely on air flowing over them to cool air temps. It's the job of a FMIC to basically uncompress the air and this is how it cools the air charge, not by air flowing over it. I've not datalogged my Ecoboost air temps yet, but I've done it extensively on the FMIC on my mustang. I even have a nitrous spray bar mounted in front of the FMIC on my mustang it makes very little difference at all...about 4 degrees.
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Old 09-16-2011, 02:50 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by z06

Under normal driving conditions I don't see any difference in intake temps. with the grill on or off. Have not checked it towing yet. The temps are read off of the ODBII port.
Did you do some testing to come up with this statement? (At 70+mph, airflow is SIGNIFICANTLY reduced.) And the Audi/Subaru shop is the place to call for Ford Ecoboost info?
Audi and Subaru are two of the best in the business as far as boosted engines, and have been using intercoolers for years in their high performance vehicles. If you can do the mental gymnastics to see the logic in that then good luck to you in general. This is not new technology. Ford definitely studied other platforms before integrating them into the Ecoboost. These engines are not "magic", they are simply well thought out and engineered.
And what "temps" are you referring to? The intercooler cools the highly compressed air used for combustion. Your engine won't heat up, it just won't receive the proper ingredients for detonation, thus decreasing performance.
But sure, go for it.
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Old 09-16-2011, 03:01 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheKurgan

This. Air to air intercoolers do no rely on air flowing over them to cool air temps. It's the job of a FMIC to basically uncompress the air and this is how it cools the air charge, not by air flowing over it. I've not datalogged my Ecoboost air temps yet, but I've done it extensively on the FMIC on my mustang. I even have a nitrous spray bar mounted in front of the FMIC on my mustang it makes very little difference at all...about 4 degrees.
Lol. Block the airflow to your radiator and let me know how that works for you. An intercooler is nothing more than a heat exchanger. If there is no air to transfer the heat into then where exactly do you think the heat will go? It needs airflow, period.
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Old 09-16-2011, 03:02 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by P150

Audi and Subaru are two of the best in the business as far as boosted engines, and have been using intercoolers for years in their high performance vehicles. If you can do the mental gymnastics to see the logic in that then good luck to you in general. This is not new technology. Ford definitely studied other platforms before integrating them into the Ecoboost. These engines are not "magic", they are simply well thought out and engineered.
And what "temps" are you referring to? The intercooler cools the highly compressed air used for combustion. Your engine won't heat up, it just won't receive the proper ingredients for detonation, thus decreasing performance.
But sure, go for it.
+1.

The EB is nothing new.'it's a turbocharged gas engine. Same as Audi, vw, Subaru, 80's k-cars, turbo coupes, saabs and even the old school GTP's.

Last edited by TonyB.; 09-16-2011 at 03:05 PM.
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Old 09-16-2011, 03:02 PM
 
 
 
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