Ford Releases EcoBoost V-6 Teardown Video

Ford Releases EcoBoost V-6 Teardown Video

Ford has released video of the public teardown and inspection of a "torture tested" 3.5-liter EcoBoost twin-turbo V-6 used in the latest F-150.

In addition to the Mike Rowe-narrated footage, Ford also released new findings about the engine that answer several questions raised by our readers in our earlier coverage of this story.

Key findings, according to Ford:

  • Turbochargers: No visual issues with the compressor or turbine, which rotated freely.
  • Pistons: Rings spun freely and pistons showed no obvious signs of wear.
  • Carbon deposits: Nominal. Carbon deposits can vary based on quality of fuel used and when in the cycle the engine was stopped.
  • Cylinder leakdown test: The engine’s cylinders are pressurized with 100 pounds of air pressure to measure the sealing performance of the rings and valves. The results of the cylinder leakdown test ranged from 6 percent to 13 percent, well within manufacturing tolerances, and as demonstrated by the dyno test, had no affect on the engine's performance.

Why was the EcoBoost engine so clean? The comparative lack of engine sludge/grime indicates that the engine’s positive crankcase ventilation system and the recommended Motorcraft 5W-30 off-the-shelf synthetic blend motor oil worked in harmony to contribute to clean engine operation.

The PCV system essentially “recycles” crankcase gases back into the intake for reburning, which contributes to improved fuel economy and lower emissions.

In terms of oil consumption, the 2011 F-150 EcoBoost V-6 has a 10,000-mile oil change interval and includes an intelligent oil life monitor, which uses actual engine and vehicle operating conditions to calculate anticipated service intervals more precisely, depending on vehicle operating conditions, as follows:

  • Up to 10,000 miles: normal commuting with highway driving
  • 5,000 to 7,500 miles: trailer tow/high-load driving
  • 3,000 to 5,000 miles: short-trip usage, extreme temperatures

Instead of using a predetermined interval schedule (either by time or mileage), the IOLM tells customers through the truck's message center when to change the oil, based on their driving habits and engine operating conditions.

[Source: Ford]


So an engine with maybe only 400-500 hours has 13% leakdown? It’s still new...

The whole equivalent miles thing kills me...


You could hardly call them regular miles though... How else would you propose to measure the use of this engine? Dyno hours just dont easily convert to something tangible to average joe

I'm curious...have any of the other manufacturers ever attempted something of this nature in such a transparent manner.

Its good to see Ford is using some thought in its oil change strategies. The last GM I owned was an 03 Olds Alero. Changed the oil every 5k kms. I decided one oil change not to reset the oil life monitor just to see how long it would take to set it. About 60% of our driving was very short trips around town and the rest highway. It did not trip the light for 13,000kms. No way conventional oil would last that long under that kind of driving. Common acceptance is to change oil every 5k kms. All the new Chryslers use a OLM and its not uncommon to see the light come on before the 5k mark. Looks like Ford and Chrysler do it right.

3.5l is nice but to much power 365/420 16/22MPG
not just that but you have to go with the max tow f-150 (cost more)

please make a 3.0l 315hp/365lbs. 17/24MPG

and even a 4c 2.5l 280hp/310lbs. 18/26MPG

I'll have to ask my local dealership as to how the IOLM (Intelligent Oil-Life Monitor™) decides when I should change my oil.
Mine indicates a 5,000 mile oil change interval. It actually gives a percentage count down figure which correlates to 5,000 miles on the Odo.
I haven't looked at a 2011 yet so it might display differently than mine.
Puzzling considering the system does not have oil quality sensors.

The story indicates 165,000 miles on the engine. So 150,000 simulated dyno miles and 15,000 real world miles.
That is if you consider towing a trailer on a track for 24 hrs or racing Baja "real world" miles. (I had to throw that comment in so I don't get flamed)

Any reports released on oil degradation?
or how dyno hours correlate to actual miles on the ground??
(That question seems to be the biggest source of debate on this site)
Does that mean this engine received 55 oil changes?
(based on 3,000 mile interval)

@lou 3000 mile oil change interval... who changes their oil that soon? what a waste of oil! You might as well drain your gas tank at 50% and refill the whole thing while you are at it.

@ Kemo - extreme service recommendations
"3,000 to 5,000 miles: short-trip usage, extreme temperatures"
as per story or vehicle manual.
I would assume that the alleged life this engine(448AA) had experienced would qualify for extreme use ie.3,000 to 5,000 miles.
I picked that number to open discussion not trigger a bashfest.
See Bob - he likes bashfests.

I could tell if you were in the video or not. You should have pointed to yourself and gone "Thats me Thats me!!" like that lady on the State of the Union last night.


I do, as I use my truck for work. I use full synthetic on my Cobra and change that every 5k or depending on the color of the oil.

It is also good to drain the gas tank due to moisture/condensation.

You think right, you just don't apply it.

"Why was the EcoBoost engine so clean?"

Because it only has 400-500 hours on it. Thats probably equal to 15,000-16,000 miles.


If you are depending on color of oil to change oil, you are being mislead by your "understandings"


the system does monitor the oil quality, rather it knows the temp, duration, and load on the engine(given rpms vs speed) an from there they can calculate oil degradation.

i love how the ford video don't tell you about the 13% leak goes to show ford don't tell the holy story their still sneaky who knows what else they never said anything about they just try to make it look good so you'll buy it then need to reseat the valves every 150,000 miles ford junk

Wrong. There was no leak. A 13% leakdown is normal. You don't even know what a leakdown test is or what the percentages means.

Leakage is given in wholly arbitrary percentages but these “percentages” do not relate to any actual quantity or real dimension. The meaning of the readings is only relative to other tests done with the same design of tester. Leak-down readings of up to 20% are usually acceptable while greater than that requires a repair.

13% is over half way i wouldn't want any more then 5%

How do you think this test compares to Toyota's Tundra deconstructed? I'm not trying to play brands here, I'm a Ford guy. Just curious how people view Toyota's less hyped PR "test" compared to this. Is one more impressive or meaningful in your eyes?

It had already had a lifetime of heavy miles on it. Plus all of the torture tests and the Baja (equal to 200-300k of street driving.)

No engine will have perfect sealing with zero percentage loss. Five to 10 percent loss indicates an engine in great condition. A well seasoned engine will be between 10 and 20. Above 20 percent loss and it may be time for a rebuild. 30 percent?

So at 6% and one at 13% it has performed as advertised or better than advertised because it could go another 150k.

This will be my last comment...a post from the other thread.

I was involved with the first 3.5 Ecoboost prototytpe engine builds during my tenure in Ford Advanced engine as well as many others such as the 4.6 Mark VIII, 4.6 -4V DOHC Mustang and a litany of other powerplants. I was also the Primary Engineering Technologist that rated many Ford engines after test, including the 3.5 Ecoboost. Being a V8 fan for many years, I can honestly say the final 3.5 Ecoboost is indeed very impressive and showed virtually no visible or measurable wear on any internal component. And understand this baseline of durability is the bench mark for all Ford engines. As far as the 13% leak down, this could have been due to a piece of transient carbon becoming lodged between a valve and seat during the teardown process and would have likely cleared up during a restart. Believe me this is one tough dude. Test drive an Ecoboost Flex that can tear up the 1/4 mile in 13.7 seconds @ 104 MPH and you'll be impressed. Not bad for a cool looking people mover.

Also forget about MDS as Ford was working on this back in the 70's but instead developed engines that are far superior W/O the complicated controls required for such a system.

And believe me, a dyno test is pure torture on any engine as a vehicle could never apply the same continious load intensity.
Posted by: Henry Neubauer | Jan 23, 2011 3:41:36 PM

@ Tim Wikipedia a great tool but its not perfect. I read your link and while it was pretty much bang on its not 100%. The link says that the percentages do not relate to any actual dimension or quantity. Thats wrong, the percentage is based on the amount of air escaping from the cylinder. If you use 100 psi to test it then 13% leakage means the cylinder can only keep 87psi in the combustion chamber. But the thing is when you do a compression test or a leakdown test you are looking for balance. If all cylinders are at 5% for example then you are good. If all cylinders are at 13% then the engine is worn. If one cylinder is higher than the rest then you have a bad or weak cylinder.

Note from above: "As far as the 13% leak down, this could have been due to a piece of transient carbon becoming lodged between a valve and seat during the teardown process and would have likely cleared up during a restart"

This ecoboost starting to really bore me.

I love how people are still stubborn and doubt the quality of the Ford 3.5L EcoBoost engine. Ford went out of their way, like no other company has ever done, and publicly performed these tests to show people how durable this motor is. Perhaps Ford should have saved their time and money by not doing these torture tests? I suppose the term; Seeing is believing, is meant for people that are able to see? No disrespect to the blind.

For all the doubters and non-believers...just sit back and watch Ford run away with all of the awards/accolades from magazine, and Internet site, tests of this motor!

Ask a mechanic what test he runs first to check an engines mechanical well being first-it will almost always be a commpression test. I only break out my leakage tester once I have i discrepancy in the commpression test and need to know what I am losing it to. This also makes sure your not tearing down an engine for just to clean a flake of carbon off a valve. The only time I do a leak test first is when I already suspect what the problem is on a poorly running engine.

@ Gil

I think that Tundra deconstructed is more impressive and more relevant--they didn't "simulate" anything and they didn't swap the engine between vehicles--all the same components were tested as a unit.

It was an actual complete pickup that accumulated actual miles doing actual real-world activites.

I don't think people understand that the engine on the dyno is not like it was revving in neutral. They do put stress on it like a real transmission and "real world" driving would put on any engine.

yeah ecoboost crap is a bore over rated hardy better mpg then a v8 over priced time to move on to something cooler and better

I love this website don't get me wrong but it is at least slightly biased towards Ford. The Dodge Ram edged out the Ford F-150 to be the top-rated pickup in Strategic Vision’s 2010 Total Value Index ( I am still waiting for this story to be posted on the news feed Mike Levine. I'd appreciate it if it was. Thanks.

@chevy guy

Well you better not look at GM because they don't have a damn thing going on over there.

Ram Man:

How is biased towards Ford? Let's go over the various awards that were posted. The last award posted was for Ram, then MT for Chevy Truck of year, then one for Ford, one that Ram/Ford both won, HD shootout, CR for Chevy, Ram MT truck of Year, etc.

Now I'm skipping down and see Stragetic Vision's Quality award for 2009 going to the 2009 Ram posted in July 2009. Ford won for 2010 back in July 2010 and no story was posted - do you think this make this site biased against Ford?

What Allpar failed to mention is if Mike posts a story it is just going to be how F150 beat Ram for the top quality, 250 F350 won for total quality in HD. If he does value, two winners, Ram virtually tied with F150 for value and F250/f350 winners for heavy duty. I'm sure he will post it if it is newsworthy but it won't be all about Ram like you were expecting.

Competitors beware: VW/Audi, Ford and Hyundai may take your breath away, says Strategic Vision
The 2010 Total Value Awards
Despite Hyundai's targeted and rising success, Volkswagen of America (with Audi) leads all corporations with seven models being segment leaders as well as the most of any Luxury brand with Audi A8, TT Coupe, A5 and Q7. Strategic Vision's Vice President Christopher Chaney noted: “Ford Motor Corporation's ranking ahead of American Honda Motor is quite an accomplishment, especially considering that just eight years ago they ranked last among all corporations. Ford Fusion ranked first among the popular mid-size cars, and Ford also had class leaders with Lincoln MKT, Flex, F150 and F250/350.” Chaney continued, “It's certainly not that other manufacturers have completely fallen, it's that the bar is being raised with the buyer ultimately winning.”

Going back to oil changes... here's a tribute to the 3,000 mile changes.

But seriously, guys, I do know people who've done tests of cars with conventional oil after 10,000 miles and the lab found the oil was still good, and the engine teardown revealed that 100,000 miles on "extended" changes had no problem. Oil today is not the stuff we used 30 years ago.

what dav said is correct. the tundra tear down was done in the real world with real work without toyota until the end during the tear down. all toyota did was hand over the truck n let the ranchers use it as they would their other trucks.

in fords case, "most" of their test are done in a controlled setting where ford had continuous monitoring of it's status. we don't know what or if ford did anything to the engine each time they had it removed from truck to truck. they could/couldn't have tweeked it here n there, we don't know that. we can't say ford didn't either bcuz they had continuous access to the truck after each event/test. fords test have always been questionable. though it is a great marketing gimmic that'll catch a lot of attention.


I don't know about anyone else, I do my maintenance every 3000mi on my truck. It has 150,000 of trouble free miles.

When stuff breaks, people like to blame the brand when in reality it was due to lack of maintenance.

This reflects all models.

All of these; "Ford: Conspiracy Theories", comments are keeping me on edge! I am (like all these doubters) waiting for Ford to come out and say; "Just kidding! We did not do any of these torture tests!",...NOT!

Yeah, like chevy guy posted. "It is time to move on to something cooler and better". Question on that though; Will we have to wait for a long time? My guess is yes, we will be waiting for a long time for "something cooler and better" if way have to wait for Chrysler and General Motors.

For those that do not want to wait, like myself, Ford has got it going on right now!

All of the manufacturers do stringent testing. People no longer tolerate substandard quality and reliability. the internet speeds up the dissemination of information so flaws come to light extremely fast. Even small or totally random incidents can be blown completely out of proportion. Frivolous law suits and profiteering mercenary class action suits abound.
Ford already did all of the testing on these engines.
They new it would survive the "torure" testing.
Truck guys are consevative and reluctant to embrace a V6 in a truck - especially one billed as a "premier" engine.
The whole EB Torture Test was a very brilliant PR strategy.

It would be too risky for Ford to "fake" the whole test by tearing down the engine between tests.
Guys talk about this test like this is the only engine ever made that was thoroughly tested. Does that mean they did not test the 3.7, or 5.0 or 6.2?
Ford did a good job building this engine and the other new ones and they've done a great job promoting it.

To quote from a previous entry "“Ford Motor Corporation's ranking ahead of American Honda Motor is quite an accomplishment, especially considering that just eight years ago they ranked last among all corporations".

That pretty much sums up why I like the current batch of Ford products. It also explains to me why the "torture" test was a PR move - Ford has worked too hard to become the best by releasing a questionable product.




Very well said!

From everything I have read and seen about the EcoBoost engine, I'd buy one for sure. But then again I like the 5 liter engine too. Between both engines, the one that I'd buy would come down to how big of trailer (how much weight) I would expect to tow.

Try not to waste all your trust fund on Natty Lite.

Why are they only putting a 26 gallon fuel tank on the Ecoboost, and 36 gallon on the 5.0.

@tw - doesn't that depend on the configuration? ie. crewcab, extended or reg. cab? I believe it was an option on the crewcab.

The 36 gallon tank is not an option on any Ecoboost truck, yet. There have been some Ford marketing and engineer folks who have said "it will be available". No one has clarified what that means yet.

I just gotta say that 13 % leak-down at 16,000 miles is not normal,... and is unacceptable. Just like the "mechanics" tearing down the Eco-Boost without having proper PPE in front of a crowd,...unacceptable,....just like Ford not having enough parts to build the new F-150,....unacceptable. This is a typical Ford blunder. Nice,..real nice,.......At least in recent history when GM ramps up production of the HD pick-ups to meet demand, THEY HAVE THE PARTS TO BUILD THE PRODUCT! Strong work Ford,...real strong.....

leak down correlates to compression. u lose 13% in leak down, u lose 13% in compression. it's the same % of air escaping from the cylinder that shouldn't have, it's just tested differently. fords way of calling it a "leak down" is just another way of avoiding the compression test. makes it harder for peeps to compare exact numbers when not given a exact number.

uh huh. You don't seem to have a clue of the difference between the two tests. Leak down is a measurement of time and pressure. Compression is a measure of a cycling combustion chamber pressure. In other words a 13% leakdown loss would likely not register on a compression test at all. A compression test is more accurate to test engine wear, and if found you would then step up to a leakdown for diagnosis.

the same % lost during a leak down is lost during compression. a cylinder don't just seal itself up during compression. quite lying to urself.

Ok. Let me dumb this down for you. A compression test measures how much pressure the cylinder forms on the compression stroke. It is measured in fractions of seconds. A leakdown test measures how much pressure the cylinder can hold over x number of minutes. Let's say the leakdown test was ten minutes to equalization. How much air do you think leaked out of the cylinder in 1/10th of a second? Maybe .001%? That would not even register on a compression test. It's not rocket science my friend.

Put down Ford all you want people. You are not the customer base that Ford is after. Ford's customers are the ones that have, an open mind and, an appreciation for constant improvements in technology.

Ford's sales will still continue to grow and dominate even with the stubborn people in the world!

You people keep grasping at straws. The EB engine will be a fine piece of engineering, time will tell this. Just redundant banter to me.

And to the guy questioning the teardown of the Tundra vs the teardown of the EcoBoost, a Ford F150 owner myself, I still must say I am more impressed with the Tundra's teardown strategy to be honest. I like their testing strategy on the truck better, real world, ranchers, then disassemble the WHOLE truck.

But, I still give Kudos to Ford for doing the EB torture test, I think they knew it would hold up just fine before the testing though, like Lou said.

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