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Upgrading an EcoBoost Mustang’s Turbo System

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Nothing beats the whine of forced induction. Upgrading your EcoBoost Mustang's turbos will not only net you more power, but also give you something else to listen to aside from your radio.

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In 2015 Ford introduced the 4 cylinder 2.3L turbocharged EcoBoost (EB) engine for the S550, adding a whole new way to modify a Mustang and make power. Making power with an EcoBoost Mustang is different than making power with a V6 or V8 Mustang and this guide will go over the best way to do that: modifying an EcoBoost Mustang Turbo System.

What is an EcoBoost Mustang Turbo System?

An EcoBoost Mustang Turbo system is comprised of all the various components that are unique to the EcoBoost Mustang engine. These parts include:

  • The Turbocharger
  • The Intercooler
  • The Intercooler Piping (hot side & cold side)
  • The Downpipe

These parts are what makes the EcoBoost Mustang what it is, giving it that V8 beating power. By upgrading the turbo system, you can go further than the stock 310 HP 320 TQ and get into Shelby GT350 power territory. 

2015-2017 EcoBoost Turbo Kit
Turbo Kit

Upgrading the Turbocharger

The EcoBoost Mustang’s turbo is the key component of the 2.3L EB Mustang engine and what gives it potent power. The stock turbo is a twin-scroll IWG turbocharger that provides decent low-end pull with a quick spool and a broad, linear torque curve. The twin-scroll design helps the stock turbo to have little to no spool time, giving you boost that is almost instantaneous. 

Replacing the stock turbo with a larger turbo will give you increased horsepower and torque. A larger turbo will allow you to funnel more air into your engine, turning the boost up and making you more power. It is important to consider if you’ll want to stay with a twin-scroll setup that has a linear powerband or go to a single-scroll setup that has greater potential for more horsepower.

2015-2017 EcoBoost Mustang Aftermarket Turbocharger
Aftermarket Turbocharger

Upgrading the Intercooler

Upgrading the intercooler of your EcoBoost Mustang is an important step in modifying the Turbo system, as the intercooler helps keep performance consistent and your turbo functioning properly. The intercooler takes all of the air your turbo produces and cools it off, making it denser and allowing your engine to take in more of it. 

An upgraded EcoBoost Mustang intercooler can increase your stock horsepower by as much as 20 HP and when paired with an aftermarket Mustang turbo it can increase horsepower by even more depending upon the turbo setup. Aside from the power gains, an aftermarket intercooler is a necessity when upgrading the turbo for that consistent and reliable performance from your turbo. 

When upgrading the intercooler, you may need to upgrade the intercooler piping as well; not all aftermarket intercoolers require it, but even if they don’t, it is still a smart mod to make. The intercooler piping pulls in the hot air from the turbocharger (hot side piping) and puts out the cold air from the intercooler and sends it into the engine (cold side piping). Replacing the intercooler piping with aftermarket piping can improve the flow of air, making your turbo run more efficiently.

Black Intercooler Kit for 2015-2017 EcoBoost Mustangs
Black Intercooler Kit with Polished Piping

Upgrading the Downpipe

While the turbocharger and intercooler help to feed your EcoBoost Mustang’s engine more air, the downpipe helps to get rid of that air and free up the flow of your exhaust. The downpipe is like the header of the EcoBoost engine and if you are trying to up the power by adding boost with a custom tune or add more air displacement with a bigger turbo, than you’ll want to modify how all of that air can get out of the engine. 

Allowing your exhaust gases to flow more freely, an aftermarket downpipe will increase your horsepower and torque while giving you a more aggressive exhaust note. Downpipes are an effective mod for both stock turbo and aftermarket turbo cars and will deliver a huge performance increase of 20 horsepower and 20 torque in most applications.

Catted Downpipe for 2015-2017 EcoBoost Mustang
Catted Downpipe

Other Mods To Make Your Turbo System More Efficient

When modifying your EcoBoost Mustang’s turbo system you’ll also want to consider modifying the:

  • Fuel injectors
  • Spark plugs
  • Cat-Back system
  • Suspension and Brakes

When you’re upping the power on any build, especially with an EcoBoost Mustang, you’ll want to make sure the engine is getting enough air and fuel. Without extra fuel to mix with the extra air from an upgrade turbo system, your Mustang will be starving and cut out on the top end. With improved fueling, you’ll also want to swap out the spark plugs for aftermarket ones that can provide a better spark and more consistent performance. 

Upgrading the cat-back system will further free up the exhaust flow of your Mustang and allow you to pickup a few more horsepower, while give you an even louder exhaust setup. Finally, you’ll also want to consider upgrading the suspension and brakes to better handle this extra power. When you upgrade the turbo system and start making another 50-100 horsepower and/or torque, you’re going to want to be able to rein all of that in with improved handling and stopping power.

2015-2017 EcoBoost Mustang with a Cat-Back Exhaust System
Cat-Back Exhaust Installed
Fitment includes: 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, EcoBoost