A History of Ford’s Ecoboost Engines
Born from the long-standing partnership between Ford and Mazda, the Ecoboost engine is a direct injected, turbocharged engine with dual independent variable valve timing that is lightweight, reliable and makes power easily. The Ecoboost engine was originally a derivative of the Mazda LF configured with Ford’s head, manifold and fuel systems. In fact, the only similarities between the two is the block. The first Ecoboost was built for the F-150 in 2011 making 360hp and 420 lb/ft easily outperforming the 5.4L V8 of its time. Today you can find Ecoboost engines in every Ford vehicle ranging from a 1L three cylinder all the way to the twin turbo 3.5L V6.
What engines are compatible with our swap kits?
While we plan to support more Ecoboost engine options in the future, our swap kits are currently compatible with the 2.0T and 2.3T four cylinder engines. These come in a variety of vehicles across Ford’s lineup as well as Land Rover, Lincoln and Volvo. To simplify the variations, we like to think of these in three distinct flavors.
Gen 1 2.0T (2011-2015): Almost exclusively in transverse orientation, this is the original four cylinder developed by Ford and is rated from 160 - 252 hp from factory. These can be found in the Ford Escape, Explorer, Edge, Fusion, Focus (to include ST), Taurus, Lincoln MKZ, MKC
Gen 1 2.3T (2015+): Debuting in 2015 in the Ford Mustang and Lincoln MKC, the 2.3L four cylinder is a stroker variant of the 2.0T with a 94mm forged steel crankshaft vs an 83mm cast steel crankshaft on the 2.0T. Featuring a twin scroll turbocharger and significant fortifications, this is the highest output four cylinder engine in the Ecoboost family and is rated from 270 - 350 hp from factory. These can be found in the Ford Bronco, Edge, Explorer, Focus RS, Mustang, Ranger, Lincoln MKC and Corsair.
Gen 2 2.0T (2015+): Introduced with the second generation Ford Edge, Gen 2 features a higher compression ratio of 10.1:1 vs 9.3:1, twin scroll turbocharger, and oil and fuel systems upgrades. This allows it to deliver more low end torque than its Gen 1 counterpart and is rated around 250 hp from factory. These can be found in the Ford Bronco Sport, Edge, Escape, Fusion, Maverick, Lincoln MKZ and MKC.
What are the differences between 2.0T and 2.3T?
Both variations of the four cylinder Ecoboost engine are incredibly similar, but there are key differences that may help you decide which to purchase for your project.
Closed deck head design
Cast steel crankshaft, 83mm stroke
Found almost exclusively in FWD vehicles.
BorgWarner K03 turbo from factory
Forged steel “I-beam” connecting rods
Open Deck head design
Forged steel crankshaft, 94mm stroke
Found in FWD and RWD orientation
Garrett turbo from factory
Upgraded high pressure fuel pump and injectors
New intake manifold with increased plenum volume and larger throttle body diameter
What kind of power can they support?
Being turbocharged, Ecoboost engines can make big power very easily. The two biggest hurdles in doing so initially come down to two factors: turbo and fuel.
300whp - Generally considered the upper limits of the stock BorgWarner K03
375whp - Stock turbo has been replaced but this is where the stock fuel system, HPFP, and internals will be reaching their limits.
450whp - Internals have been upgraded, stock HPFP has been replaced with a higher flow aftermarket pump.
500whp+ - Supporting turbo reaching these power levels has been installed, LPFP and injectors have been replaced. Auxiliary fuel system may be necessary.
350whp - Generally considered the upper limits of the stock Garrett turbo
400whp - Stock turbo has been replaced but this is where the stock fuel system and HPFP will be reaching their limits.
500whp - Generally considered the upper limits of stock 2.3T internals
500whp+ - Internals and supporting turbo reaching these power levels have been installed, HPFP, LPFP and injectors have been replaced.
Which transmissions are compatible?
Currently our kits support the use of E36/E46 Getrag/ZF 5 and 6 speed transmissions. The NC Miata transmission is a direct swap, however this should be limited to low horsepower applications due to transmission strength. The Getrag MT82 that comes with the Ecoboost Mustang is quite a large transmission and depending on the application, may require transmission tunnel clearances to fit properly. We plan to support other transmission combinations in the future but currently do not as of the time of this writing.
What do I use for an engine wiring harness?
While we exclusively use the Ecoboost Mustang harness for our applications coupled with our chassis side patch harness and fuse panel, it does not mean that you have to as well. If you are experienced in automotive wiring and have a penchant for DIY projects, you could use the donor vehicle wiring harness and make any changes you might need. However, this is no light undertaking as many connections will need to be altered, replaced or added. If this is beyond your current skill level, we sell our own wiring harnesses and adapters here.
What are my ECU options? Which standalone ECU?
The simplest answer to this question is to use the OEM Ford ECU from the donor vehicle. Many of these can be tuned using HPTuners software and a list can be found here. Ford’s ECUs provide excellent control and a surprising amount of features for an OEM product. In terms of standalone units, currently some of the only ECUs that provide direct injection control include the MoTeC M142 or M182, Syvecs S-GDI4, or Link’s Force GDI. For the most bang for your buck, the Link ECU is certainly the most value for the money.
Is there any cutting or fabrication required?
We have designed our kits for BMW and Nissan chassis with an entirely bolt-in install in mind. That being said, Ford’s HPFP extends off the rear of the engine and as such some cutting may be required. For example, in a BMW E36 some of the false firewall will need to be trimmed near the HVAC blower motor to account for the fuel pump needing to fill this area. Rest assured, these trims are non structural and minimal to keep your project as intact as possible.
Can I retain air conditioning/power steering?
At the time of this writing, our swap doesn’t support AC retention but it is something we’re looking to integrate in the future. However, our swap does support retaining your vehicle's OE power steering solution with minimal work. A supporting bracket and accompanying belt will allow for the use of your current power steering pump.
Have further questions we didn't answer above? Contact us today!