Ford Motor Company's powertrain engineers will disassemble and examine the F-150 EcoBoost engine that has gone a distance equivalent of 160,000 miles and 10 years of rugged use. The engine will be torn down for long-term durability in front of an audience at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit on Jan. 15, 2011 at 11 a.m.
Such engine saw its first action on the dyno in July 2010. V6 engines programs manager Jim Mazuchowski said that customers will personally witness how the engine parts fared during tests that are "far more extreme than even the harshest-use customer could dish out."
Engineers subjected the engine to temperature and load extremes simulating nearly 10 years of use, a regimen tougher than any consumer could ever subject a truck to. Most engines, at this point, would be ready to be retired or rebuilt, but the EcoBoost testing engine was just beginning.
The EcoBoost engine was fitted on a regular production 2011 F-150 at the Kansas City Assembly Plant. It was then driven on the road and experienced some of the most severe use Ford engineers could come up with.
A significant part of the performance shown by the EcoBoost is due to the twin turbochargers that combine with the direct fuel injection to give a multitude of low-end torque. Its engine can deliver 365 horsepower available at 5,000 rpm. Around 90% of its engine peak with the 420 lb.-ft. maximum torque, one of the best in its class, is available at rpm’s from 1,700 to 5,000.
V6 engines program manager Mazuchowski shared that the best analogy for truck customers is that while the engine in the EcoBoost is gas-powered, it has similar characteristics and capability experienced from the diesel engines.
He added that the direct injection and the twin turbochargers provide a flat, broad torque curve making towing with a diesel easy and hard acceleration fun. The engine in the EcoBoost truck is able to save fuel due to the twin independent variable camshaft timing, or the Ti-VCT.
The Ti-VCT enables independent but precise variable control of timing for its intake valves and exhaust valves. In addition to helping save fuel, the Ti-VCT can also lower emissions especially in cases when the throttle has been partially opened.
Since it is possible to independently adjust the timing of the intake valve and the exhaust valve, this results in being able to maximize the fuel economy even when part-throttle. It also allows for optimized power when in full-throttle.
Capping off the advantages is the enhanced driveability and the improved responsiveness across its torque curve. Independent adjustment of intake and exhaust valve timing allows maximum fuel economy at part-throttle, while delivering optimized power in full-throttle situations.
An added benefit is improved driveability and responsiveness across the torque curve. The final stage of the teardown of the EcoBoost truck engine is known as the "Torture Test." This will involve a multipart series of documentaries shown on the web that started with the random selection of a 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine.
It was then made to endure what can only be said as equal to 150,000 miles or around 10 years of use on the dynamometer. This particular method allowed the replication of the duty cycle of even the harshest customer.
EcoBoost is an important part of the company’s plan to develop technologically advanced powertrains that have smaller displacement but high output and that are able to provide the needed performance as well as fuel economy.
Unlike the larger and less-efficient engines, the EcoBoost engines allow improved fuel economy of up to 20% and lower CO2 emissions by as much as 15%.
Aside from the turbocharging and the direct injection, the engineers at Ford also improved the technological capabilities of the EcoBoost by putting in a variable valve timing and providing a more precise control on all aspects of the engine. According to Ford, it has a minimum of 125 patents related to the EcoBoost technology.