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Ford F150 Engine Cooling: Overview Guide

Ford F150 Engine Cooling: Overview Guide

We get it; your F150 is hot. There is a difference, however, between looking hot and running hot. High temperatures in your pickup’s engine only lead to problems, like sluggish performance or complete seizures. In either case, it’s frustrating and can cost you thousands of dollars. Thankfully, there are a number of simple and inexpensive upgrades you can make to your Ford F150 now that can save you from a headache down the road. Read on to learn about performance radiators, oil coolers, intercoolers, and more!

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Keeping your engine cool under hard loads is critical to your truck's longevity and preventing catastrophic engine failure. Upgrading your radiator or turbo cooling will ensure your truck doesn't buckle under the pressure.

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The Benefits of an Aftermarket Radiator for your Ford F150

Throwing some modifications at your F150’s engine can result in some seriously high engine temperatures. Without proper cooling, those upgrades can either result in hindered performance or worse—like constant overheating or engine failure. Here’s what makes aftermarket radiators a necessity in the eyes of true builders:

More efficient cooling: Duh, radiators are meant to keep your truck running cool. Aftermarket radiators, however, offer improved cooling over OEM units, often through increased coolant capacity and surface area for air to pass through. This means cooler temperatures for your truck, and a lot of it—some manufacturers claiming as much as 30%.

Opportunity to extract more performance: Cooler temperatures allow for higher performance from your engine, plain and simple. With a cooler running truck, you have more room to modify. Who doesn’t want even more ponies?

Aftermarket Radiator Offerings for Your Ford F150

Not all radiators are created equal. Different sizes, materials, and fitment affect the performance and proper application of these radiators. That said, it’s important to decide what kind of cooling your truck will need before ordering one up. Here are a few on the market:

Mishimoto Performance Aluminum Radiator: Fitting 1993-2003 models, the Mishimoto Performance aluminum radiator is a great upgrade for your Ford F150. It’s a direct bolt-on replacement, which means no modifications are required, and it’s said to improve cooling by 30%. The kit includes a high-pressure radiator cap as well as a magnetic drain bolt to capture any debris.

Roush Supercharger Radiator Upgrade: Roush Performance offers a few different aftermarket radiators, which are all designed to work specifically with their supercharger systems. The kits feature an all-aluminum construction for increased coolant volume and cooling potential.

The Benefits of an Aftermarket Oil Cooler for your Ford F150

If hammering on your modified F150’s gas pedal is a common happening, equipping your pickup with an aftermarket oil cooler might save you some money in the long run. Here are the benefits of using an aftermarket oil cooler:

Longer lasting oil: By lowering oil temperatures, you can drastically slow the degradation of the oil you have in your pickup’s engine. High oil temperature can break down oil at a faster rate, either forcing early oil changes or poor lubrication of your F150’s engine components.

Higher performance from your engine: Is your F150’s engine souped up? If it is, chances are the modifications made to the power plant have caused the oil temperatures to rise, which can hinder its true performance. Adding an aftermarket oil cooler will keep the temperatures down and horsepower up.

Peace of mind: It can be dangerous when your oil temperatures rise to high levels by causing oil starvation, an issue that can lead to engine seizure. An aftermarket oil cooler will keep temperatures from getting out of hand, and potentially save you from a serious repair bill.

Dropping Intake Air Temperatures with Aftermarket Intercoolers

Looking for a quick, inexpensive upgrade for your Ford F150’s EcoBoost? Aftermarket intercoolers are simple, direct replacement parts that significantly reduce the air intake temperature and deliver more oxygen-rich air to your pickup’s engine, which will boost its performance.

  • Lower temperature and more oxygen-rich air for your engine
  • Easy installation
  • Inexpensive upgrade

Adding a Transmission Cooler to Your F150

Too much heat is a bad thing, but especially in your pickup’s automatic transmission. An easy way to add insurance to your pickup is equipping it with a transmission cooler, which could save you in a sticky situation. Most kits are a universal fit and include a small radiator with an additional fan to prevent the transmission fluid from reaching unsafe temperatures.

  • Cheap insurance
  • A must for hard-worked, automatic transmission F150s

Other Accessories to Keep Your F150 Cool

Radiator Hose Kits: Aftermarket radiator hoses are more beneficial than you may think. High-performance hoses are built with a strong silicone construction and heat-resistant fibers to reduce the temperatures in your truck. And besides, colored hoses will add some style when you open the hood.

  • Reduced heat
  • Better construction than OEM for improved durability

Intercooler Pipe Kits: Are your flimsy, stock intercooler pipes showing their age? A direct bolt-on upgrade for your EcoBoost F150 is an aluminum intercooler pipe kit, like those offered by Mishimoto Performance. Aftermarket kits considerably increase the internal flow within your intercooler, which helps reduce the temperature of your pickup and boost performance.

  • Added horsepower
  • More torque
  • Easy Installation

Expansion Tanks: Additional expansion tanks—also known as catch cans— are important on highly-modified trucks, especially while racing. Catch cans help keep your F150 cooler by holding extra coolant for your pickup to use, and will trap any excess coolant before spilling on the ground.

  • Offers additional coolant capacity
  • Simple installation
  • Great for the racetrack
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