Installing aftermarket atmospheric blow-off valves (BOVs for short) is nothing new for turbocharged vehicles, but new BOVs are an especially popular upgrade for the 2011 to 2012 F150 EcoBoost trucks. The factory blow-off valves don't really have all that great a sound, and can start to struggle to hold boost pressure in heavily-modified and aggressively-tuned EcoBoost F150s. While there are a ton of BOV options out there, one of the most popular is the Turbosmart Kompact Dual-Port BOV. These little guys drop right into place of the stock BOVs, have adjustable softness and firmness settings, and can handle high-powered applications with ease. While they do take some dialing in, Turbosmart's BOVs are a hassle-free and high-quality option for the EcoBoost trucks, so we got pair in for installation on our 2011 F150 EcoBoost Project Truck.
The factory intercooler on the 2011 to 2014 F150 EcoBoost F150s actually does a pretty decent job of keeping all that high-pressure, turbocharged charge air pretty cool, at least to a certain point. The small size of the intercooler itself coupled with a fairly standard core design causes it to get heat soaked fairly quickly, leading to a loss in overall performance for your 3.5L EcoBoost V6. An aftermarket F150 EcoBoost intercooler solves basically any heat soak problem and opens up the way for big power down the road with custom tuning and turbocharger upgrades. One of the better aftermarket intercoolers out there today is the Wagner EVO Performance Intercooler. The Wagner unit is one of the larger and more impressive intercooler options available for the 2011 to 2012 EcoBoosts and 2013 to 2014 EcoBoost F150s, and features a very large surface area with a noticeable "crook" tat allows it to still fit behind your truck's grille. The intercooler features a dual-pass core design with a large volume and is capable of solving the infamous EcoBoost F150's condensation issues with no other modifications. Needless to say, we were pretty excited to get this intercooler up and running on our 2011 F150 EcoBoost Project Truck.
Even though Diamond Eye is much better known for their huge selection of diesel exhaust systems, they do make a thing or two for the 2011 to 2014 F150s, including the 5.0L V8 trucks. The most impressive of their F150 offerings is their 4" Stainless Steel Single-Exit Kit, which was bound to have a mean sound and good power potential. Technically, this kit will fit EcoBoost F150s, 5.0L F150s, and 6.2L F150s, so of course, we thought it be nice to do an install and get sound clips of this system on our 2012 F150 5.0L FX4 Project Truck. We were a little worried about drone and rasp with a big 4" kit, but the Diamond Eye system sounded really good. It has a nice, deep tone with little to no high-pitch shriek that's common on larger systems. The kit sounded awesome and installation was an absolute breeze, even in comparison to some of our other single-exit exhaust kits. For its price, the Diamond Eye 4" kit is a nice-sounding bargain in a stainless steel package.
Our selection of 2011 to 2014 F150 5.0L Cat-Back Exhaust Kits certainly do loud and aggressive extremely well. In general, so do our good friends over at Flowmaster, but they can also do something bit more mild for the more refined F150 build. Meet the 2011 to 2014 F150 5.0L Force II Cat-Back Exhaust kit. This system gives your truck improved exhaust outflow and a more aggressive sound under hard acceleration, but is extremely well-mannered at idle or cruising and has a much quieter overall volume than Flowmaster's American Thunder cat-back system. While certainly less ferocious than many of our other cat-backs that we've so far tested, the Force II kit does have noticeable rumble when you hit the throttle. Being one of the more popular kits for these trucks, we grabbed one of our very own for install on our 2012 F150 5.0L FX4 Project Truck. One of the better features of this kit is that it comes with tubing that allows you to choose either a straight dual rear exit or dual side exit configuration, which makes it perfect for anyone who's on the fence about their truck's looks.
Flowmaster is one of those exhaust companies that has never let us down. Their kits just sound good and are some of the most popular 2011 to 2014 F150 5.0L Cat-Back Exhaust Kits. Their most aggressive kit is part of their classic and utterly awesome American Thunder Series of exhaust systems, which are built from the ground up to add a deep, throaty roar to your engine. The American Thunder kits are already some of the most popular systems for the Mustang GT's 5.0L Coyote V8, so we were all itching to get this awesome kit up and running on our 2012 F150 5.0L FX4 Project Truck. Luckily, the American Thunder kit met and exceeded all of our expectations and was easily one of the better-sounding kits that we've put on our truck so far. What's even better, Flowmaster includes enough tubing to give you the option of either a straight rear exit or split side exit configuration that's perfect for anyone on the fence on how they want their truck to work.
You can always trust Magnaflow to put together one heck of an exhaust kit. They may not be the loudest or flashiest systems among our 2011 to 2014 F150 5.0L Cat-Back Exhaust Kits, but they provide a great sound, excellent fit, and awesome quality in one package. For the more mellow of those among the F150 crowd, we recently installed and tested the 2011 to 2014 F150 5.0L Magnaflow Single-Exit Cat-Back Exhaust Kit on our 2012 F150 5.0L FX4 Project Truck. Fit and finish were both very impressive, as is expected of our good friends over at Magnaflow, while the sound of this system was clean and mellow. When you step on the gas, you hear a nice roar, but get almost nothing at idle or at cruising. The Magnaflow single-exit kit is perfect for anyone who wants more go than show in a high-quality, 409 stainless steel exhaust system.
This kit was one of our most-requested systems since we started our on this cat-back exhaust testing endeavor, and it's by far one of the most unique systems in our massive 2011 to 2014 F150 5.0L Cat-Back Exhaust Kit Arsenal. The Magnaflow Turn-Down Kit is a classic "dumped" exhaust system that doesn't use any visible tips. Instead, the kit comes with a turn-down exhaust tip and very short muffler and tubing that drops exhaust gasses right in front of your truck's rear axle. The kit's no-tip look is actually pretty awesome and it gave our 2012 F150 5.0L FX4 Project Truck a very mean and clean look. The kit also had a great sound, but if you're expecting a booming, ferocious sound, they you're setting yourself up for disappointment. This kit has a deep, mellow sound that is all Magnaflow. So, if you want a more mellow exhaust with one of the cleanest looks out there, this is the kit for you, and you can't argue with its price point or quality.
There are plenty of F150 5.0L exhaust kits that have a great sound, because, well, it's actually pretty hard to make these trucks sound bad. That being said, finding one with the awesome looks to set your F150 apart from the rest of the crowd with one of the most aggressive appearances on planet is a rare find indeed. That's where the Gibson Metal Mulisha® cat-back exhaust kit comes in. This big, bad 4" diameter cat-back system produces a great sound thanks to its performance muffler design and comes standard with an absolutely massive 6" diameter black ceramic exhaust tip that comes decked out in the Metal Mulisha® skull logo in silver. The kit has a big, tough look and gives your truck a clean, aggressive sound with practically no drone at idle or cruising. This is one kit that is sure to catch everyone's eye and we went ahead and got it installed on our 2012 F150 5.0L FX4 Project Truck.
Even though our 2012 F150 5.0L FX4 Project Truck came with a set of side steps, they weren't exactly the most stylish or well-built things in the world. It's a good thing then that N-Fab makes a nice set of Nerf Bar Steps to serve as suitable replacements. These nerf bar have dropped steps and are made out of welded tubular steel with a powder coat finish that makes them look awesome and also much stronger than the stock plastic over metal steps. N-Fab's F150 Nerf Bar Steps are heavy-duty pieces of hardware and pretty easily bolt-on right in place of the stock steps using the factory mounting points under the truck. We really have nothing to complain about with these steps. Installation was extremely painless and the final look is awesome. The steps are very sturdy and have far less give than the factory steps. In the end, this was a great upgrade, and here's our install guide to help prove it.
We're pretty big fans of Starkey Products. Their lighting kits are always high-quality, fit great, and always have everything you need for a clean install. While they're better known for their OEM-style fog light kits for the Mustangs, they've made the jump over to F150s and Super Duty's with this excellent Complete Backup Light Kit. The kit comes with a pair of Rigid Industries D-Series Off-Road LED lights, a stock-style rear fog light switch, and a complete set of wiring for then entire system. Even though Starkey's kit is semi-universal, it comes with instructions and everything you need to get a pair of powerful reverse lights or rear-facing work lights to your truck with practically no hassles. Both ourselves and the guys down at Extreme Performance were pretty impressed with this kit and we highly recommend it.
A given shop's project truck just really isn't a project truck without a ton of aftermarket lighting. While our 2012 5.0L FX4 project truck is already decked out with a decent amount of lighting hardware, we decided to go all the way crazy with it by adding a 50" LED light bar. Naturally, we turned to our friends and cross-town neighbors over at Rigid Industries and their excellent 50" SR-Series light bar. With our light bar choice narrowed down, we just needed a way to mount it, so we grabbed a set of N-Fab Roof Mount Brackets to give the light bar a nice, high perch in a fairly subtle package. The N-Fab brackets also come in at a pretty low price, making them a bit more enticing over an aftermarket front bumper or other front light bar mounting system. The good news is that our light bar and bracket setup looks pretty good. The bad news is that the actual install was a bit of a process. Still, N-Fab's brackets are a low-cost and good-looking way to mount up a light bar and Rigid's SR-Series light bar is a great way to get some serious off-road lighting potential.
We know we teased the ProCharger supercharger systems for the 5.0L V8 F150s way back in November, and a ravenous horde of truck owners have been chomping at the bit to get at even the slightest scraps of information that we could get on these awesome supercharger systems. Well, the day has finally come and the final details of ProCharger's F150 5.0L centrifugal supercharger systems are finally in our hands, and the news is even better than what we originally announced. ProCharger now offers a High Output Intercooled kit and a Stage 2 Intercooled kit for the 5.0L truck, bot of which are available as complete systems or tuner kits for your convenience. The High Output Complete Kit gives your 5.0L Coyote V8 a total of 530hp crankshaft horsepower, while the Stage 2 Complete kit brings total crank horsepower up to 590hp. These kits give your F150 a power output that's equivalent to nearly any other roots-style blower on the market at a much lower price with an easier install than just about any other forced-induction system available for the 5.0L F150s.
The 2014 F150 Tremors are looking to be the performance street truck that we've all been waiting for since the SVT Lightnings died out back in 2004. This standard cab, 6.5ft bed F150 variant is being powered by the 3.5L EcoBoost V6, giving it a ton of power (and a bunch of easily-reached power potential) in a small, lightweight package. While a smaller truck is a very good thing when it comes to power-to-weight ratio, finding exhaust systems that will bolt-on to its very small 126" wheelbase is a pretty big problem. Most of our F150 EcoBoost Cat-Back exhaust systems bolt on to either 145" or 157" wheelbases, some with a minor amount of trimming, meaning that the 2014 Tremor trucks may be left out in the cold. However, there are a few cat-back systems in our arsenal that will fit onto the Tremor F150s with only a little cutting to help these pickups put down as much power and sound as they can muster.
A few months ago, we here at Stage 3 and the folks over at 5-Star tuning came up with a light-weight version of our classic Loyalty Tunes program that offered free retunes for six months with the purchase of a 5-Star custom tune or package. That program spent the off season bulking up and getting crazy and both ourselves here at Stage 3 Motorsports and the good people over at 5-Star tuning are pleased to announce that we are now offering a full-blown Lifetime Tunes program for the F150s where you can get free retunes for life on your powerful 2004 to 2014 F150 on 5-Star custom tunes and parts purchased from Stage 3. So, if you want to custom tune your bone stock truck, but don't want to pay for a retune when you throw on a bunch of parts down the line, a Stage 3 tuner or tuning package with 5-Star's custom tunes is now your best bet on the market.