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F150 Engine Specs

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Contents
  1. 4.2L Essex V6 Engine
  2. 4.6L V8 Triton Engine
  3. 5.4L V8 Triton Engine
  4. 6.2L V8
  5. 5.0L Coyote V8
  6. 3.5L EcoBoost V6
  7. 2.7L EcoBoost V6
  8. 3.7L V6
  9. 3.5L V6
Shop F150 Engine Upgrades

Not matter how varied the F150 engine lineup becomes, the aftermarket will be there to provide power adders. The staples of the aftermarket like cold air intakes are ever present for a reason, but if you've already done your basic upgrades, you can delve into fuel upgrades and forced induction.

F150 Engine Upgrades

The workhorse of America has had a variety of powerplants throughout its history. While some of these engines have had more usage than others, it's important to understand what makes them tick, especially the rising popularity of Ford's EcoBoost. Below, we detail the main features of the F150 engine library.

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4.2L Essex V6 Engine

Production range: 1997-2008
Drive configurations: RWD
Cab configurations: Regular Cab

Built in Windsor, Ontario at the Ford Essex Engine Plant, this 4.2L V6 engine replaced Ford's 300 straight-six as the base F150 engine in 1997. Only available for RWD regular cab models, the new-to-the-F150 V6 used a 90 degree V design, overhead valves (still pushrod), iron block, and aluminum heads. With a bore of 3.81 in and a stroke of 3.74 in, the Essex V6 produced 205 horsepower and 265 lb-ft of torque.

The Essex V6 was discontinued for F150 use in 2008 and a V6 option did not re-appear into the F150 lineup until 2011.

While this engine isn't particularly fierce, it was overall reliable. Intake manifold and front timing cover gaskets were known to go bad with the earlier models of this engine, but later models seem to be fairly stout overall. In terms of modifying this engine - while reliable - it was never adopted by the aftermarket and thus nothing noteworthy was ever developed.

4.6L V8 Triton Engine

Production range: 1997-2010
Drive configurations: RWD and 4WD
Cab configurations: All

The 4.6L Triton V8 was introduced into the F150 lineup back in 1997. Replacing the trusty and reliable 5.0L pushrod V8, the 4.6L was an all-new design that did away with pushrod technology and placed a camshaft above each cylinder head. The single overhead camshaft design (SOHC) of the 4.6L brought about better efficiency, and the first 4.6L to be put in an F150 was rated at 210 horsepower at 4400 rpm and 290 lb-ft of torque at 3250 rpm.

Built using an iron block and aluminum heads, the 4.6L Triton has a bore and stroke of 3.552 in by 3.543 in, making it a nearly square engine. Manufacturing was done at both Romeo and Windsor engine plants, which resulted in some differences between 4.6L engines such as the main bearing design and cross bolt fastener, camshaft gears, crank and valve cover bolts. Each engine can be identified by the 8th character of the VIN or by looking at the engine serial number that is stamped on the block. Parts are not always compatible nor interchangeable between the two. After 2004 Ford began introducing Teksid aluminum blocks.

Debuting as a 2 valve per cylinder design, in 2004 Ford upgraded to a 3 valve (2 intake, 1 exhaust) 4.6L Triton. However, this engine was an option and the 2V continued to be the base V8. The addition of a variable camshaft timing system and a new motion charged intake alongside further programming and timing changes over the years left the 4.6L 2V producing 248 horsepower and 294 lb-ft of torque. 3-valve models finished with 292 horsepower and 320 lb-ft of torque.

Overall, the 4.6L is a very robust and reliable engine. Intake manifold problems plagued early model 4.6L V8s but this was rectified with a revised manifold in 2001.

In terms of modifications, the 4.6L engine is highly responsive to exhaust changes – particularly long tube headers. Porting the cylinder heads as well as using a more aggressive camshaft are other modifications that produce stout performance gains. Finally, above all else, the 4.6L works stupendously with a roots-style supercharger and a custom tune.

5.4L V8 Triton Engine

Production range: 1997-2010
Drive configurations: RWD and 4WD
Cab configurations: SuperCab and SuperCrew

Introduced alongside the 4.6L in 1997, the larger 5.4L is similar in many regards. It too is a 2 valve per cylinder, single overhead camshaft, iron block, aluminum head design using multi-port injection. The 5.4L has the same bore of 3.552 in. but increases the stroke to 4.165 in, which required a taller deck height of 10.079 in. The original version of this engine is factory rated at 260 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque.

An upgrade to 3 valves per cylinder, alongside the addition of a variable timing system, were added in 2004 and saw the 5.4L power numbers jump to 300 horsepower. Unfortunately whilst these power gains were welcome, the design of variable timing system left a lot to be desired and led to many premature VCT failures (indicative of clicking noises at startup or low RPM). In many cases, the engines could continue to run and operate without issue, but the occasional catastrophic failure of the chain adjustors or cam phasors would lead to bent valves and a total rebuild. Another area of concern is the spark plugs. Originally, Ford did not tap the plug holes deep enough and the plugs could blow out, occasionally taking a chunk of head with them. Furthermore, Ford used 2-piece spark plugs that would get stuck in the head and then break in two, leaving the bottom portion of the plug in the head. A special tool was developed to remove broken plugs and a revised plug and thread insert were implemented to help mitigate this problem.

Like its 4.6L sibling, the 5.4L - despite the VCT issues (and there isn't really a fix for them, just routine replacement of the components before they go bad - approximately every 80,000-100,000 miles) - is overall a reliable workhorse. Modifying this engine in the F150 world is not as prevalent as the 4.6, but the 5.4 will also benefit from similar enhancements. Exhaust and intake upgrades, alongside an ECU tune, will surely breathe more life into the engine; and if you really need a big boost in power, a roots-style supercharger will easily do the trick.

6.2L V8

Production range: 2010-present
Production models: Raptor, select F150, Superduty F250, F350
Drive configuration: 4WD

In 2010 Ford introduced a 6.2L engine as the power plant for their all new, off-road oriented Raptor pickup truck. Made to compete with the larger Dodge/Chrysler 5.7 Hemi and GM 6.0 LS-series, the 6.2L has a deep-skirt iron block with cross-bolted main caps. The cylinder heads and pistons are an aluminum design. It is an overhead cam engine with variable cam timing (VCT) technology and has a unique 2 spark plug per cylinder arrangement. It is a large displacement engine with a large footprint. Bore and stroke are 4.015 in by 3.74 in respectively, and actual bore spacing is a wide 4.53 in (as compared to the 5.4L spacing of 3.937 in).

The inaugural version of this motor produced 411 horsepower and 434 lb-ft of torque in the Raptor. In 2011, Ford introduced this engine into the Superduty lineup, replacing the 5.4L. In Superduty configuration, the 6.2L produces 385 horsepower and 405 lb-ft of torque. For the unveiling of the new Superduty in 2017, Ford made some programming changes to the 6.2 V8 and was able to squeeze out an extra 30 lb-ft of torque.

Like its other modular brethren, the 6.2L is quite reliable. It does not suffer the same VCT issues as the 5.4. Upgrading the intake and exhaust system alongside a new tune will help the 6.2L produce some more power, but will also move said power up the RPM range which may not be ideal for those that still need to tow/haul heavy loads.

5.0L Coyote V8

Production range: 2011-present
Production models: All
Drive configuration: RWD and 4WD

2011 brought about some major changes at Ford. Seeking to produce an engine that could develop similar power as the larger GM and Chrysler V8 truck engines, Ford designed and released the all-new 5.0L dual overhead cam V8. Built at the Windsor, Ontario engine plant, this engine has a similar physical footprint as the 4.6L/5.4L that it replaced. Notable characteristics of the F150 Coyote are its aluminum engine block and cylinder heads, forged steel crank and pistons (with piston cooling oil jets), cast iron exhaust manifolds, and external front-mounted oil cooler.

Bore and stroke are nearly square at 92.2 mm x 92.7 mm, with deck height and bore spacing remaining the same as that of the 4.6. An all new 4-valve DOHC cylinder head was implemented with a separate intake and exhaust cam that can be controlled independently through the powertrain control module (PCM). This was the first time Ford use its Twin Independent Variable Cam timing in a V8 engine. With a compression ratio of 10.5:1, the first gen F150 Coyote V8 produced 360 horsepower and 380 lb-ft of torque.

2018 saw some key improvements to the F150 based Coyote. A port and direct injection fuel system was implemented and bore size was increased to 93 mm with a spray-on bore liner replacing conventional cylinder liners. Compression ratio jumped and is now at a whopping 12:1 (while still running on regular 87 gasoline). All of these changes, alongside some tweaks to the computer parameters, has increased power output to 395 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque.

The 5.0L Coyote responds voraciously to a good tune – which also happens to be one of the most cost effective performance upgrades. Alongside more power and torque, an aftermarket tuner will revamp the diluted factory throttle input settings and really wake up the truck.

3.5L EcoBoost V6

Production range: 2011-present
Cab configurations: All
Drive configuration: RWD and 4WD

Perhaps more intriguing than 360 horsepower out of 5.0L is 365 horsepower out of 3.5L – and only six cylinders. Debuting alongside the 5.0L Coyote for F150 use was the 3.5L twin-scroll turbo EcoBoost V6. Boasting seriously impressive numbers, this new engine was the first in Ford’s push for a smaller, more efficient engine lineup (that can still pack a serious punch).

The first gen F150 EcoBoost is a 60-degree, V6 Duratec design with aluminum block and cylinder heads. Bore and stroke measure 92.5 mm x 86.6 mm, respectively. Featuring direct injection, dual overhead camshafts with variable timing, and two Borg-Warner turbochargers (mounted in parallel), this lower displacement powerhouse churns out a peak of 420 lb-ft at only 2500 RPM using a max of 13.5 psi of boost.

This is the first direct injection engine ever put in an F150, and it is capable of producing fuel pressures from 200 up to 2150 psi in order to deliver proper atomization. With a compression ratio of 10:1, this highly advanced fuel system is a large reason the engine can still run on 87 octane without fear of detonation.

Unfortunately, the use of this direct injection system has also led to some issues with the EcoBoost engine. Because the fuel is now sprayed directly into the cylinder head, the valves can accumulate carbon (where in a port injected system, the action of the fuel passing over the valves act as a cleaner) which can hamper performance and even require significant engine service early on.

Ford has been quick to recognize and take action. In 2017, Ford updated the 3.5L EcoBoost with an additional port injection fuel system to work in conjunction with the direct injection. With both these systems, the engine can still achieve the performance of a direct injection motor with the cleaning abilities provided by port injection. Other changes include new super lightweight Mar-M-247 alloy turbo vanes, 2.5 psi boost increase, revised camshaft profile, dual primary cam chains, start-stop technology,  and a compression ratio increase to 10.5:1. With these changes and the accompanying PCM algorithmic adjustments, this latest gen 3.5L EcoBoost engine produces 375 horsepower and 470 lb-ft.

Also for 2017 was the introduction of the 3.5L EcoBoost HO. Intended for use in the Raptor and select up-scale F150 Limited trim models, this high output version of the standard EcoBoost ups power to 450 horsepower and 510 lb-ft. Differences over the standard 3.5L EcoBoost include changes to the turbo compressors, cast steel exhaust manifolds, true dual exhaust, and PCM calibration changes. One other major change is the design of the piston, which drops the compression ratio back down to 10:1.

Given the electrically controlled and turbocharged nature of this engine, aftermarket PCM tunes take the cake in regards to adding more performance for the best value.

2.7L EcoBoost V6

Production range: 2015-present
Cab configurations: All
Drive configuration: RWD and 4WD

Derived from the success of the 3.5L EcoBoost V6, Ford pushed the envelope once more and delivered a 2.7L V6 EcoBoost to the F150 lineup for 2015. This lower displacement engine certainly has fuel efficiency in mind – but don’t let that distract you. While it may seem hilariously small for a full-size truck, it punches way above its size – pushing 325 horsepower and 375 lb-ft of torque with the use of twin turbochargers.

Using a compacted graphite iron block with a bore and stroke of 3.27 inches, this is a 60 degree V6 that uses direct high pressure fuel injection and variable intake and exhaust cam timing. Sealing off the aluminum cylinder heads are aluminum pistons, connected to the forged steel crankshaft via offset I-Beam rods. Just like the larger 3.5L, this 2.7L has piston cooling jets that squirt oil on the bottom side of each piston.

The second generation of this 2.7L EcoBoost was released in 2018. Changes for this model include the addition of a port injection fuel system (to work alongside the direct injection system and prevent carbon buildup on the intake valves), variable capacity oil pump, a new EGR system, an electronic wastegate, dual camshaft chains (original design only used one) and small PCM tweaks. All of this has resulted in the same horsepower rating of 325, but a 25 lb-ft increase in torque, bring this mighty mouse up to 400 lb-ft at 2750 RPM.

As with the 3.5L, more power can be massaged out of the 2.7L EcoBoost with a custom tune. With only 4 years of production under its belt, the 2.7L EcoBoost is still a relatively new engine. However, since its inauguration, there have been no frequent and significant reports of engine malfunction.

3.7L V6

Production range: 2011-2015
Cab configurations: All
Drive configuration: RWD and 4WD

A naturally-aspirated 3.7L V6 was put into the F150 lineup back in 2011, giving would-be buyers a V6 choice once more since the disappearance of the Essex V6 back in 2008. While nowhere near as powerful as the EcoBoost or 5.0L V8, this Duratec based 3.7 V6 boasted 302 horsepower and lb-ft of torque at a 10.5:1 compression ratio.

It is a dual overhead cam engine with an aluminum block and cylinder heads with 4 valves per cylinder. Sequential port fuel injection delivered EPA numbers of 16/21/28 mpg on a 4x4-equipped F150. The reasonable fuel economy numbers made this engine an attractive option for fleet buyers purchasing a base model truck.

In terms of extra modifications and upgrades, this engine was never really adopted by the aftermarket. Cold air intakes, tunes, and cat-back exhaust systems do exist for this engine and are capable of netting an additional 20-30 horsepower (combined).

3.5L V6

Production range: 2011-2015
Cab configurations: All
Drive configuration: RWD and 4WD

The 3.5L TI-VCT (twin independent variable cam timing) V6 appeared in 2015, replacing the 3.7L V6. Ever looking for better fuel economy, Ford downsized their only naturally aspirated V6 option to 3.5L and 282 horsepower. While displacement, power, and torque dropped by a small margin, fuel economy numbers improved to 18/24/20 mpg combined. Also keep in mind 2015 was the year that Ford introduced the aluminum F150, which is 700 lbs lighter than its predecessor. Thus, this smaller 3.5L is more or less capable of delivering the same driving performance as before due to the aforementioned weight savings.  

Being an aluminum block, aluminum head engine with port injection and coil-on-plug ignition, it is quite a reliable engine that has any significant faults yet to be discovered. Like the bigger 3.7L, there is no large aftermarket presence; therefore modifications are limited to the basics such as a cold air intake and basic performance tune.

Fitment includes: 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, Base, XL, XLT, Lariat, Lightning, King Ranch, Harley Davidson, STX, FX2, FX4, Limited, PLatinum, Raptor