From Dyno to Baja, Ford Seeks to Prove its New EcoBoost V-6 is Durable

 By Larry Edsall for

Ford really, really, really wants us to believe that its 2011 Ford F-150 EcoBoost, equipped with a twin-turbocharged and directly injected V-6 engine, can do the work of, well, of a V-8.

So it will take one of those trucks to Oregon, where it will pinch-hit for a log skidder and drag thousands of pounds of logs up steep grades. Then Ford will take that same truck diagonally across the country to Homestead, Fla., where the truck will tow a pair of Ford Fusion NASCAR race cars around the 1.5-mile oval track for 24 hours – at full throttle and stopping only for fuel and fresh tires.

Ford says you can watch all of that log hauling and race car towing for yourself on the website, with narration by Mike Rowe of Dirty Jobs.

And if you’re still not convinced, stay on the website and watch a video of that EcoBoost engine, the one from the truck that moved logs and race cars, being torn down to verify a lack of wear and tear.

Not that you’d substitute your pickup truck for a log skidder or run it around a racetrack pulling race cars at full throttle for 24 hours, but Ford wants you to be confident that a 2011 Ford F-150 EcoBoost will be capable of such an undertaking.

O.K., still not convinced? Well, how about this: Ford will take that same engine, the one that hauled logs and pulled full speed for 24 hours, and will race it in the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 off-road race in November. And while the truck will get beefed-up-to-Baja demands suspension, wheels and tires, as well as special racing safety equipment, the engine will remain box stock.

In fact, Ford promises that to prove the durability and reliability of all F-150 EcoBoost powerplants, the engine being used in the Baja truck was pulled at random off the line at the Cleveland Engine Plant.

“No special [engine] blocks or structural upgrades,” said Eric Kuehn, chief engineer for the 2011 F-150. “The engines going into our race trucks for the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 are the same engines going into the 2011 Ford F-150 that customers can purchase starting next year.

“We are fully confident that because of the strict testing the 3.5-liter EcoBoost truck engines underwent before we started manufacturing, it will take anything the desert can dish out,” he added.

By the way, that development included 1.5-million hours of analytical (computer) time, more than 13,000 hours of dyno testing – with more than 5000 of those hours at full turbo boost and more than 2500 hours at or above 5000 rpm, and more than 100,000 hours of vehicle testing “encompassing the full range of potential customer operating conditions.”

Ford F-150 marketing manager Mark Grueber said pickup truck buyers aren’t necessarily skeptical about the EcoBoost V-6. “They give us the benefit of the doubt. They know Ford trucks are built Ford tough,” he said.

“But it is a big change,” Grueber said, underscoring the scope of that change by noting that, “for 2011, one of our premier engines is a V-6 engine.”

Grueber says that because they are used in big diesels, pickup buyers are comfortable with such technologies as twin turbochargers and direct injection.

“The EcoBoost represents the future,” Grueber said, “and we’re the only ones in the market with anything like this.”

And for those who might take a wait-and-see approach, “we have V8s that are fantastic,” he said, adding that Ford is confident the early-adapters will gravitate to the EcoBoost” because of its combination of power, capability and fuel economy.

“But they want to know it’s going to be durable and tough,” he said, “so we’re going above and beyond in torture testing to erase any shadow of a doubt.”

In addition to the 2011 F-150 EcoBoost that already has hauled logs and pulled racecars, Ford will a second 2011 F-150 EcoBoost at Baja, where those trucks will race not on power-enhancing high-octane racing fuel but on standard pump gasoline.

This, however, is not really a handicap, Ford admits, because engineers figure that the fuel efficiency of the EcoBoost V6 will allow it to make one or two fewer fuel stops than its V8 competitors.

The EcoBoost V6 is rated at 365 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque, with 90 percent of that torque available from 1700 – 5000 rpm.




Now if they only made it available in the Raptor SCrew I'd be impressed...

Great job,FORD!

My only comment is that with all the testing and claims of capabilty, why is the EcoBoost not offered in the 2011 Raptor SuperCab edition. It produces more power and torque than the venerable 5.4L that is in the 2010 Raptor. Unless it is because Ford thinks it would hurt sales of the 6.2L engine. Hmmmmm.... My 2 cents.

I hope they at least plan on running a different intake system, if they suck up and silt into the turbos their race day is gonna be over real quick.

Ford is creating a lot of hype in their marketing strategy, and it’s working! I’m hoping to read some critical coverage of the EB test drive Mike will put together for us. Tell us the good and the bad Mike.

Looks impressive. I can't wait for the Baja footage.

@MMP - I agree about the hype but it is generating tons of interest and that will help sell trucks.

This is great and all but I want to see the test were this thing is towing a 10000 or excuse me 11000lbs trailer (rated) through the mountains of Co vs Fords own and the V8 competition! To me that would be say something bout durability! I know not everyone tows that much but not many people Baja there trucks neither! For me real world scenarios prove more than anything about a trucks ability to last a long time with minimal maintenance that most customers will provide!

Hey OXI,

Is this good enough for you?

This thing is sick!!

Ford is really hyping that eco boost...better live up to the hype.Meanwhile the Flex (lighter) gets under 18 average mpg ! You know what happens when they add too much hype,turns out to be a turd ! This comes from a multiple Ford product owner !

Count me out,I will never buy a vehicle with green leaves on the side ! I am 100% against anything saying its so-called green !! Pure B.S !! Are they going to get Al Gore to hawk this thing ?

I love that trucks are getting so many improvements. However, to make the biggest gain in fuel economy, weight should be reduced as much as possible. Fords have traditionally been much heavier than their much as 400-500lbs. That may not be a bad thing if the customer is getting more value and utility from the added mass. Yet, sometimes more is not better; it is waste.

This is why I get ammused when I see comparisons between brands of trucks with unequal GVW talking about which engine/drivetrain is better. To compare on an even field, all vehicles should have same GVW in all applications of test. Of course that is not realistic for MPG, but it will measure drivetrain performance equally.

Furthermore, to improve mileage, transmissions should be designed to deliver the maximum amount of torque from the engine. Torque cnverters in automatic transmissions have effiency losses due to it being a fluid pump. A new double-clutch transmission may be the solution. The same torque as a manual Transmission is available but with the benefit of the stronger planetary gearing. I would love to see a manual transmisssion with planetary gears - strong, but without any complexity that would cause potential failures.

@ Mike

We REALLY need to see a LD shootout between the three top Ford engines, Ram, Broken Tailgate and the GM 6.2L. (We can see the ford 3.7 agianst the GM 5.3L LOL)

Any chance it will happen? When?

Excellent! Great idea and great looking truck in Baja trim - take that Toyota!!!

Payload and tow rating are not nearly high enough to handle Al!

We're talking F550 minimum.

@TRUCKGUY-----------Brilliant idea kid!!!!!! +1

I am not to worryed about the engine ware, its how the Turbo performs under load and stop and start condidtions!
An how long the turbo can last!

Now one slip up of the turbo can ruin a engine!

Ford needs to give us cost estimates on how much it would cost out of warranty to buy just the turbo itself!

When buying trucks, especially used no matter the brand, always I mean always go to the garage not the showroom first, the mechanic will come near telling the truth than a showroom salesmen!

Turbos costing over $2,000 bucks makes me want a V8!

In business realibilty beats efficency anyday!!!!!!

Gooey, the Flex has the aerodynamics of a breadbox and the NA V6 doesn't get much better mileage. The Ecoboost Flex is also AWD only IIRC. Trucks have th is thing called a transfercase that makes them 2wd. Helps mileage.

The kind of durability I question is longevity.5-6 years from now at 100K miles will that turbo still be alive or will it come apart and inject pieces and parts everywhere? Chrysler's 2.2 turbo was a good idea and powerful,but turbos needed to be replaced often,and those where cars not RAM pickups! I guess that mistreatment by owners and lack of maintenance will turn the EB V6 into a molten pile of aluminum.
By the way EB originally meant "Early Bronco"(66-77),not Eco Boost.I think the Eco Boost family will go away in a few years due to lack of interest.

I've got 180,000 miles on my turbo in a Ford F-250, a friend has 360,000 in his ford van. Ford alone has used millions of turbo's in the last 10 years, don't you think we would have heard something if they were problematic?

Sure is a good thing that Electronic Fuel Injection never caught on. Can you imagine what would have happened if people came across a bad batch of fuel and screwed up the O2 sensors; total melt down.
Or that pesky coil-on-plug ignition. And lets not even mention those overhead cams [shudder].
I am especially glad that we never allowed aluminum blocks and heads out of prototype stages... can you imagine what would have happened when the blocks blew up from all that pressure? And you thought Firestone Tires on Explorers was bad.
Variable Valve Timing, gratefully, was just a passing fad... One missed oil change interval and that piece of hocus-pocus was destined for that scrap heap.

We've come a long, long way over the past 140 years (or so, automotively speaking)... I'm confident the Turbos will last, the Engine itself will survive, and the real-world fuel economy will be far greater than a large-displacement V8 wearing similar power ratings.
Small-Displacement, Direct Injected, Forced Induction engines are not and will not be a passing fad. It's time to get used to the idea.

How is all that grandstanding from Ford supposed to show us how durable these engines are? I bet you could take any truck for sale on the market right now and do all the same things that Ford is doing and at the end the engines would be running. Even the lowly 4.3, 3.7l, and 4.2 from GM, Ram, and Ford. Yeah they would be a lot slower but still. Modern engines are extremely durable, even more so when maintained properly. No amount of testing can duplicate the wear and tear inflicted by a neglectful owner.

apologies if this is redundant but the pricing is up there for the 2011 f-150. you can configure a truck with the base v6 or 5.0 V8. XL Reg Cab V6 MSRP $22,415.

Again, sorry if this is common knowledge about the pricing.

Just go to a Ford Dealership and ask the Power Stroke Mechanics on how good Turbos have been in the 2000s decade!!!!!

I also remember the 4 cyclinder turbo coupe and 4 cylinder Svo Mustangs that were going to replace V8s!

If the competition uses V8s and the fuel milieage is close the simple V8 will win in pickups, the V8 engine in trucks is here to stay!

P.S I have a 1999 Ford F 150 been constantly replacing coil on plug packs that you think are so great! According to blogs I am not alone!!!!!!

I think the Turbo will hold up just fine. The one thing about this turbo is it will be water cooled not oil cooled. You will be able to shut the truck off without having to let it cool down like the turbos of yesteryear. They took the turbo that will be used on this motor and ran it to the point of melting... it was bright orange and then shut the engine off and the turbo was fine afterwords. This and other news bits about this motor can be found right on this site. The turbos on this motor are designed to last 150,000 miles for those who don't know.

if they really want to impress people ,warranty it for 200,000 miles . Anyone thinking that todays engines are infallible should do more research in the USED car market- ford modular blowing spark plugs out of there holes , dodge still can't build a reliable trans , Chevy's ecotec hydraulic tensioner for the timing chain stick because of lax oil changes and the motor will self destruct, there diesels still have issues. ALL motors are good when brand new let's see them do the same testing with over 100,000 miles of your average person's maintenance thats the true test

That same water cooled turbo is what is in the Power Stroke that is giving all the problems with oil and water mix!

On the comment on coil packs (a well known prob), "P.S I have a 1999 Ford F 150 been constantly replacing coil on plug packs that you think are so great! According to blogs I am not alone!!!!!!"
I learned early on with my '02 5.4 F150 these weren't good c/packs. So after two of mine failed, I replaced all of them with after market ones and runs much better and I don't worry anymore when I make long trips. With 150k miles on it, overall very happy.
As for the Ford testing of the EB, the data will be valuable. Not only the good but whatever fails they can study early enough in its product cycle to correct things and move forward. Better for us buyers.

My Buddys 97 ford van had 880,000 kms on a v6 engine original. 4.2L


Well actually when I raced my 86 Toyota pickup the motor already had 120,000 miles on it as well as the trans. pulling 35's...

But yes it is a sweet looking truck, no rear lower shock mounts below the axle line, skid plates in critical areas...

And it runs on premium gas, right? Sure can't imagine anything less. Had a 2003 SRT4 and a 87 Shelby Z with a MP computer that let it run 15 psi boost instead of 12, cars, yeah, I know, but look at the power per inch. The SRT4 was mighty stout for a little 2.4, didn't need a bunch of shifting, good torque for its size. But now the EB more torque per inch, and you think that wont stress it? Those little cars that were required to run pre. gas might only move a GVWR of 3800 pounds, compared to a potential 17,000? Good luck!

And...the pictures of the engine don't quite match other pictures on this sight. Wonder what all the race version got added, even though it is supposed to be stock? I read they have a 10,000 mile oil interval. While I'll admit the 3,000 mile oil chage is a waste of alot of oil for most folks, 10,000?? That will have people thinking that even though they might drive it hard (hauling, racing) or live on a dirt road, or go offroad alot in dusty condtions, it will still be OK to go 10,000. Yeah, right. Differant intervals for differant conditions. How many Qts of oil does it use, anyway, 7? 8?It's just part of the numbers game Ford plays. They want you to think it's ok to tow 11,000 plus with a 5800 pound truck...just big numbers FORD puts ot to get attention. Now they will get the attention of the people that can't slow them down going downhill, or the ones that get plain sucky mileage cause for that weight, they might as well be driving a 3/4 ton diesel from (take your pick)

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