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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Baja ECOBOOST Torn Down at Detroit Car Show

Torture Tested Ford F-150 EcoBoost Engine Gets Torn Down at Detroit Car Show NAIAS

Ford EcoBoost engine teardown

Exactly as promised, Ford sent a couple of technicians to the show floor at the 2011 Detroit Auto Show in front of a live audience to disassemble the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine that was torture-tested for the equivalent of a few hundred thousand miles of rigorous duty on the dyno and in the engine bay of various F-Series trucks.

How'd it fair? Rather well, we'd say, and it managed to churn out 364 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque on the dyno after all the abuse it took. That matches up rather well with the factory ratings of 365 horses and 420 lb-ft.

As you might expect, there was a good amount of carbon build-up on the piston crowns and the valves – think of how much dust was surely ingested over the course of 1,062 miles of the Baja 1000 race, which this engine took part in, finishing first overall in its class – along with a 13-percent loss on one cylinder during the leak-down test. All other initial measurements were well within factory tolerances, and Ford will continue testing each individual piece from this engine to ensure its durability.



In November, we reported news about Ford’s EcoBoost Race Truck finishing the Baja 1000 in 38 hours and 20 minutes. The truck racked up 1,061 miles finishing the desert race. No doubt that is an impressive feat, given that less than half of the competition, many with modifiedengines, finished the race last year.

Ford has used the race to prove the durability of the EcoBoost engine. If you think a grueling 1,061 mile desert race is the whole story behind the EcoBoost’s durability though, think again. The process began with the random selection of an EcoBoost engine off the line at Ford’s Cleveland engine assembly plant.

Then the engine was put through an equivalent of10 years – 163,000 miles – of harsh usage on the dynamometer that included shock testing with rapid cooling to minus 23 degrees and heating up to 235 degrees.

Then, it was installed in a 2011 F-150 to work as a log skidder in Oregon, where it towed 110,000 pounds of logs. If that wasn’t enough, it was then used to tow a 11,300 pound trailer continuously for 24 hours at a high-speed NASCAR track, averaging 82 mph and racking up 1047 miles in the process. Finally, before being sent for installation in the F-150 race truck, it was used to compete in a steep-grade towing competition, where it bested the other entrants from Chevrolet and Dodge.

The engine was then stored, not to be opened until a public teardown at the North American Interna and they are a definite validation of the EcoBoost engine’s durability. After the teardown, the engine managed to produce just one less horsepower – 364 – than its official rating. It produced the same amount of torque, at 420.

All the tolerances were within factory standard and the only noticeable element is a 13-percent loss of compression in one cylinder, an impressive figure considering the absolute abuse this engine has been put through.

The race has stood as a huge validation of the EcoBoost and Ford’s developmental capability with the engine. Eric Kuehn, chief engineer of the 2011 F-150, commented that “The Baja 1000 is always a tough race, and many of our customers and enthusiasts saw this event as the ultimate challenge…..it was an outstanding opportunity to showcase the 3.5-liter EcoBoost truck engine’s durability. We took an engine that’s stock and essentially 10 years old, and raced on the same course with highly modified competition with up to 800 horsepower.”

The engine will remain on display at the North American International Auto Show until January 23rd. Following that, the engine will be sent to Ford’s powertrain laboratory for an inspection and analysis of each part.



Previous Story


Baja 1000: Ford F-150 EcoBoost Race Truck Finishes in 38 Hours


In our opinion, one of the best engines to come out recently has no doubt got to be Ford’s EcoBoost V-6. The EcoBoost tag has been heavily marketed and it lives up to the hype, providing V-8 power with V-6-like fuel economy.

The technology is being spread all across the Ford lineup, with 4-cylinder models coming to the 2011 Ford Explorer and 2012 Ford Focus and the V-6 making its way to the best-selling Ford F-150.

Truck buyers are a loyal bunch and also most likely to stick with what is dependable – a lot are bought for use aswork trucks, after all. Ford is aiming to convince truck buyers of EcoBoost’s reliability with an impressive finish at the Baja 1000.

Ford is serious about the EcoBoost powertrain – want proof? Check out the process Ford went through with the engine. The 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 powering the Baja 1000 race truck was randomly selected off the line at Ford’s Cleveland Engine Plant.


To test its durability, it was put through the equivalent of 10 years – 150,000 miles – of harsh usage on the dynamometer. Then, it was installed in a 2011 F-150 to work as a log skidder in Oregon. If that wasn’t enough, it was used to tow a 11,300 pound trailer at high-speed NASCAR track and then to compete in a steep-gradetowing competition, where it took place.

Only then was it installed, without modification, into the F-150 EcoBoost race truck for the grueling run. The truck crossed the finish line of the 1,061 mile desert race in just 38 hours and 20 minutes. Last yea, less than half of the competition, many with modified engines, finished the race.

Ford is intent on proving the durability of this engine and they think the Baja 1000 helped do the trick.
Eric Kuehn, chief engineer of the 2011 F-150, says: “The Baja 1000 is always a tough race, and many of our customers and enthusiasts saw this event as the ultimate challenge…..it was an outstanding opportunity to showcase the 3.5-liter EcoBoost truck engine’s durability. We took an engine that’s stock and essentially 10 years old, and raced on the same course with highly modified competition with up to 800 horsepower.”

Ford learned a lot about the EcoBoost engine along the way and the plan to learn even more after. The engine powering the truck will now be sent to Ford’s powertrain laboratory for a teardown and inspection. The engine has impressive horsepower and torque figures, producing 365 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque.

Baja Racing News.com