Last we left our 2011 F150 EcoBoost truck, it had just received a Daystar 2" leveling kit for its front end, and before that an aFe Stage 2 intake and 91 octane tune from an Edge CTS tuner and dash monitor. So, our truck is now sitting pretty and rocking pretty close to 500 lb-ft of torque at the crank. Instead of calling it a day, we decided to see how much more we could squeeze out of the 3.5L EcoBoost V6 under the hood of our truck with a little help from an aFe intercooler charge pipe and a BBK 73mm throttle body. No one could really give us a firm answer on fitments -- especially for the throttle body -- and we were a little concerned going in. Turns out we worry too much, and our truck got a nice bump in both horsepower and torque while still leaving some room for even more upgrades.
To be honest, we didn't even know what the heck the aFe charge pipe was or where it even needed to go when we first saw it way back when. Luckily we got pointed in the right direction and aFe generously threw one our way to put on our truck. Turns out, aFe's charge pipe comes out of your truck's intercooler and up to your throttle body to make that inbound airflow more efficient and less turbulent than the factory charge tubing. aFe says the system can get up to 10 horsepower and 12 lb-ft of torque over stock.
Next, we have BBK's throttle body. This was by far the iffiest part of our experiment. No one could give us a hard confirmation that it would even fit on the truck, much less work with aFe's charge pipe. Turns out, it works just fine -- if not absolutely great. Your stock throttle body measures 68mm in diameter. BBK's is 73mm, just enough to give you some better airflow without sacrificing velocity and low-end torque. Just like the rest of BBK's throttle bodies, this bad boy was a breeze to install and just by looking at it, you can tell it's a heavy-duty, high-quality piece of equipment.
The first step of the install was to make sure there was actually going to be an install in the first place. We test fit aFe's straight coupler over the throttle body and made sure that the charge pipe would still fit on. The coupler was a tight fit (hell, we almost didn't need a band clamp), but it fit on with a little work. Naturally, before actually beginning any install, disconnect your negative battery terminal and make sure truck is properly secured on either jack stands or your lift.
The other bit of good news for anyone who (like us) have the aFe Stage 2 Cold Air intake system installed is that you don't have to remove any of it's components to get at either the throttle body or the charge pipe, though it's much easier if you disconnect aFe's intake tubing from the upper factory turbo pipe.
The first step of our process was to remove the factory charge pipe from the throttle body. Then we disconnected the throttle body's wiring harness and set it aside. Chris then went to work loosening the four bolts holding the factory throttle body to the intake manifold.
Once all the bolts are removed, you can pull the throttle body off of the intake manifold and pop off the plastic tab that holds the throttle body wiring to the housing. Make sure to leave the throttle body gasket in the manifold. It will be reused.
Before we installed the BBK throttle body, we decided to use all this extra clearance to our advantage and get the aFe EcoBoost charge pipe in place. Turns out we overly cautious, but it all worked out.
So, the charge pipe. The first step is unhook the MAP sensor harness and completely remove the MAP sensor itself from the factory tubing for use on aFe's pipe. Then unhook the vacuum tube and detach the upper portion of the factory pipe from the throttle body (note our complete lack of throttle body).
With the upper portion detached, we went below and removed the splash shield to unhook the pipe from the intercooler outlet and pull the stock pipe from the truck. Chris had it all out in about ten seconds, before I even had time to step off the lift and line up a shot.
Now we installed the MAP sensor into the charge pipe. It's a tight fit, and we actually had to lube up the O-ring to get it properly seated without tearing it up. Make sure not to get any grease/lubricant on the sensor itself!
After getting the MAP sensor squared away, we slipped the humped silicone coupler onto the bottom end of the charge pipe and secured it with one of aFe's heavy duty #048 clamps. Those are some seriously nice clamps.
With the coupler on the charge pipe, we dropped the whole assembly in from above and then went under the truck to fit the coupler on to the intercooler (a shop light comes in very handy). You can technically do it from below, too, but if your truck's either on jack stands or just sitting in your driveway, then maneuvering the charge pipe could get "interesting," to say the least.
Now technically you're supposed to use that second #048 clamp on the throttle body coupler, but because the fitment was already so tight with the BBK throttle body, we decided to use it on the intercooler outlet. We left them fairly loose to help maneuver the top of the charge pipe into place.
Back up top, we reconnected the MAP sensor harness and vacuum tube to the MAP sensor and moved the pipe out of the way for the installation of the BBK Throttle Body.
We had left the aFe coupler on our throttle body from our test-fit, so we just dropped both back into place with the two smaller aFe band clamps. Chris screwed the throttle body back into the intake manifold and made sure it was secure.
Once the throttle body was secured, we moved the charge pipe back into position. With the help of a flat-head screwdriver, we fitted the coupler around the charge pipe and forced the pipe in as far as it could go.
From there, we just had to go around and tighten all our clamps and then reconnect the inlet tubing. Note that the BBK Throttle Body has a few sharp edges. As you can see, Chris found out the hard way. We double-checked our connections and got prepped for everyone's favorite part: the dyno run.
So, our prject truck was putting down 364 horsepower and 447 lb-ft of torque with the Stage 2 Intake and Edge tune. Our run with the throttle body and charge pipe showed 378 horsepower and 453 lb-ft of torque at peak, a gain of 14 horsepower and 6 lb-ft of torque and gained another pound of boost. By our pretty poor grasp of mathematics, our EcoBoost project truck is now putting down 435 horsepower and 520 lb-ft of torque at the crank. Not too shabby at all for a few bolt-on parts and canned performance tuning.
There's still plenty more to come fro our project truck, so check out its dedicated page on the regular to see what's next.
Check out our install video, too!: