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I4 2.3L EcoBoost Engine / Mods: Bolt-ons, Exhaust, Tuning Discussions of the inline-4 cylinder 2.3L turbo EcoBoost engine and engine/exhaust/bolt-on modifications.


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Old 11-25-2017, 06:50 PM   #1
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Any 15-17 EB owners thinking about getting 18 EB?

Wondering what other owners are thinking of doing. I am really quite torn. I have a 15 EB Premium I got in Nov 14. Starting to get up there in miles (61k) so looking at 18s. I am eyeing a GT but not sure its the best choice based n the fact I live in the northeast and will use the car as my DD year round and drive a ton of miles. I went to check out the 18s today and even 2 salesman tried to talk me out of a GT as a daily for winter use claiming the engine is too powerful to control in the snow especially up hills. I have driven my EB in the snow with snow tires and been ok, but I know the GT has a ton more power so maybe they have a point.

My big concern is reliability. Having suffered the famous Ecoboom at 27k I dont really want to have to worry about that again. Ford did repair fully under warranty but it took 4-5 weeks and was not a fun experience. I have seen no indications that ford has upgraded any of the engine internals to address reliability issues. Its too bad, they seemed to put a lot of effort into the upgraded coyote, but nothing but a slightly more aggressive tune to an engine that already has some reliability concerns.

Aside from that issue, it seems on paper like a loaded up EB would be a great DD. Was thinking EB/201A/10SPAuto/PP/Magnaride. That should be a fun setup. The question is, will it be as satisfying as a GT without the suspension upgrades. Two totally different experiences for sure. Of course there is also purchase price differences, insurance cost differences and gas cost differences. So the logical choice is another EB. But.... the EB would need at least an intercooler upgrade where as the GT really would not need anything except lowering springs.

Anyway just looking to see some other points of view and whether you would buy another EB, especially with what looks and sounds like a great GT refresh.
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Old 11-25-2017, 09:09 PM   #2
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I would say comparing the EB to the GT would be wrong. Both cars are incredibly different as a drivers perspective on it. I had both a 15 fully loaded GT MT, and my current EBM which is a premium without the electronics pack the GT had but otherwise similarly specced and MT, and I would say they are completely opposites. If you want great gas mileage and range but have enough power to get out of its own way the EB is the way to go hands down. Its cheaper on insurance, better gas savings, its a little more nimble and that is pretty much where it ends. IF you want a better driving experience then the GT is a better car, its linear power band, its actual power output, and of course the sound makes it a better road car.

With Ford beefing up the tuning on the EBM and giving you more power out of the box will appeal to those who do not want to tune the car afterward.

The question is what do you want in your car and go from there. My personal opinion may vary from yours and others so. You also have a general bias as you had a motor blow on you so inherently you are probably looking to get out of the 2.3 more than I would since my 16 EBM has been strong up to 42K so far.

I would say this. Get a Performance pack 18 GT with whatever trans you prefer. The 12inch display is nice but like My Color you will eventually get over the cool factor and just use it as gauges and think nothing of it later. Personally I feel the 12 inch gauge pack should be in the standard premium package not as an additional "extra" special premium package. Get the Mag ride if you want but really all you need is the base GT, with the 400a package for the 8" screen, performance pack for the brakes and wheels and spoiler (Note the PP suspension I believe is passed down to the standard base car now, at least shocks struts and sways bars.) and get the active exhaust. I think you will be very pleased with it, and get it in your choice of colors and be happy.

IF you need mag ride that's optional. Personally if I was going with the MT82 I would get the mag ride as its similar in cost to the 10speed auto option, but if I was getting the auto I would skip the mag ride. I am more practical and adding a complex suspension system when you can go with a good air ride, or coil overs later and save that money now is my feel for it. For me however I would not pay those premiums to get the 12" display, mag ride, active exhaust and the auto trans, your getting very close to the 50K range and I would just see a GT350 at 65k on a dealer lot and go what did I do later =)

My ride I have a persistent drive line vibration between 45 and 70 mph that I have not been able to sort out, and in a couple of weeks its going in the shop to ferret it out, if its not found then I will be looking for a used GT vert from 16 to 17 or ordering a 42K 18 GT coupe with the options above. (No mag ride or 12" display) just the necessities.
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Old 11-25-2017, 10:19 PM   #3
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For me the 201A or 401A are a must. In addition to the digital dash it comes with the heated steering wheel which i really want. I had one on my 2 cars before my mustang and honestly like that more than heated seats. I have a long commute and leave early in the AM so the heated steering wheel really helps.

Equipment wise either way I will go 10 speed auto. If I go EB I can afford the PP and Magnaride, not so if I go with a GT. I would get the active exhaust though. SO I would spec them out:

EB Premium/201A/Auto/PP/Magnaride
or
GT Premium/401A/Auto/Active exhaust

I think the PP EB and GT (Non PP) have similar components. Adding Magnaride will also upgrade some other things in the suspension. It should handle well in multiple situations.

GT I think would be more reliable, sound a whole lot better and obvious have more power. But not sure I really NEED more power. Also I would not really feel the need to mod the engine in any way in the GT. EB it would be intercooler and catch can.

If reliability was NOT an issue it would be EB without another thought. But I have to weigh that in.
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Old 11-25-2017, 11:39 PM   #4
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Considered a 17 V6?
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Old 11-25-2017, 11:44 PM   #5
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Nope. Want 10 speed auto and digital dash. And leather, sync 3 etc. a lot of things you can’t get in a v6.
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Old 11-26-2017, 01:10 AM   #6
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Haven't owned a mustang, but I have all the bells and whistles, sans recaro's, coming on my 18 EB. (Prem, PP, 201A, Safe&Smart, Security, Shaker, Magneride...)
I figured I'd either get that, or a 301 GT with the fun engine. For a daily driver, I preferred the fully loaded with smaller engine and better gas/insurance. I don't track it, and probably will only throw a CC on it until the warranty wears out, then only the occasional bolt ons. I'm not going to be looking to make a 450HP EB.

Seems I'm/we're the minority on the forum.
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Old 11-26-2017, 08:37 AM   #7
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Considering 90% of Ecobooms were third party ECU tuned, I don't see any reliability issues with stock, non ECU tuned 2.3 engines. These engines can be found in multiple Ford, and Lincoln vehicles and they are simply not failing in stock form in numbers that are abnormal.

If you modify a car (ECU) and the engine fails it is not a Ford reliability issue.

I am not going to trade my 15 for an 18.
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Old 11-26-2017, 10:57 AM   #8
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Considering 90% of Ecobooms were third party ECU tuned, I don't see any reliability issues with stock, non ECU tuned 2.3 engines. These engines can be found in multiple Ford, and Lincoln vehicles and they are simply not failing in stock form in numbers that are abnormal.

If you modify a car (ECU) and the engine fails it is not a Ford reliability issue.

I am not going to trade my 15 for an 18.
Game set and match..

+1
+2

I wish we knew every tuner that blew um up..

So back to the question !! coyote made some fine points in what he wrote the one item of interest to me is the gas millage with a calm foot I get thirty two per gallon, and full mode's in my 16" even in lead foot mode" twenty two,and Hard to to get anywhere close with gt..

Sound gt gets it
Handling Ecostang
Millage. Ecostang
Styling is dead heat comes done to wtf your going for !
2.3 is a great engine in the form it is in ..I hope this helps

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Old 11-26-2017, 11:31 AM   #9
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I went to check out the 18s today and even 2 salesman tried to talk me out of a GT as a daily for winter use claiming the engine is too powerful to control in the snow especially up hills.
Not to put too fine a point on it, but this is bulls--t. First, the EcoBoost can smoke the tires on dry pavement, so traction in the snow will be no different than with a V8. Second, traction control is standard on ALL models of Mustang; when engaged, you can put the pedal to the metal and the computer will not allow the drive wheels to spin. If the computer won't allow the drive wheels to spin how does having more power make it harder to drive in the snow?

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My big concern is reliability. Having suffered the famous Ecoboom at 27k I dont really want to have to worry about that again. Ford did repair fully under warranty but it took 4-5 weeks and was not a fun experience.
Clearly, your personal experience colors your viewpoint; I doubt anything anyone can say to you at this point will sway your opinion of the EcoBoost. I've seen no compelling evidence to suggest the EcoBoost engine is any less reliable than the V8. There are literally millions of these engines operating around the world trouble-free. One example is the 2.0 EcoBoost in my wife's Escape, which has nearly 70K miles on it. We've had no issues at all, having performed only the recommended maintenance on it. As far as I'm concerned, the engine is a little jewel; it runs exactly like it did when we drove it off the lot--it's smooth, powerful (0-60 in just over 7 seconds), quiet, and returns a remarkable 28-30 mpg.
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Old 11-26-2017, 12:29 PM   #10
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Clearly, your personal experience colors your viewpoint; I doubt anything anyone can say to you at this point will sway your opinion of the EcoBoost. I've seen no compelling evidence to suggest the EcoBoost engine is any less reliable than the V8. There are literally millions of these engines operating around the world trouble-free. One example is the 2.0 EcoBoost in my wife's Escape, which has nearly 70K miles on it. We've had no issues at all, having performed only the recommended maintenance on it. As far as I'm concerned, the engine is a little jewel; it runs exactly like it did when we drove it off the lot--it's smooth, powerful (0-60 in just over 7 seconds), quiet, and returns a remarkable 28-30 mpg.
I dont have an issue with all EB, just the ones in the mustang. Not sure we can compare an EB in an escape or fusion. Different applications and parts. Prior to this I had a Fusion Titanium with an EB. It was fine for 50k, no issues.

I am absolutely NOT ruling out an 18 EB. It has a ton going for it. But it has some weaknesses too. At the very least you probably need a catch can and intercooler. Neither adds power but both will help protect from issues. I do not think I would tune it. Maybe a Ford Performance tune if they ever come out with one. A big part of my decision will be how they feel. I am waiting to take an 18 EB, auto with Magnaride for a test drive when i can find one in the area. Then hope to follow right up with driving a GT. That will probably be a mistake, lol as I am sure it will pull a ton harder. Also it sounds flat out amazing with active exhaust. Thats one thing that really stood out when I saw the GT yesterday. However I dont generally spend much time about 4k RPM, so will be interesting to see how they both feel 0-30-40ish.

The 2 configs I am looking at are probably 5k in price difference, which is significant but not undoable. BUT the GT will cost more to insure and based on some numbers I ran probably 80-100 more in gas a month. That is significant. I have a feeling I will end up with an EB again. Maybe I will get an add on warranty to cover me to 100k just to be on the safe side.
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Old 11-26-2017, 04:03 PM   #11
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I dont have an issue with all EB, just the ones in the mustang. Not sure we can compare an EB in an escape or fusion. Different applications and parts.
I think you can. The 2.0 EcoBoost is a small displacement, direct injected, turbocharged engine incorporating built up bottom end components to improve durability, twin independent variable valve timing, and a cylinder head with a fully integrated exhaust manifold, which with a twin-scroll turbo all but eliminates turbo lag. Sound familiar? I believe Ford used the 2.0 EcoBoost as a technology test bed for the 2.3.

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I am absolutely NOT ruling out an 18 EB. It has a ton going for it. But it has some weaknesses too. At the very least you probably need a catch can and intercooler.
I would agree that an improved intercooler is a beneficial addition for the 2015-2017 EcoBoost Mustangs (I don't know about the 2018) in high-performance applications. If you plan to take your Pony to the track or tune it you probably need to start with an IC upgrade. For ordinary, everyday commuting, however, the stock IC works fine. When heat soaked you can certainly expect to give up some power, but how much power do you really need in situations where the IC gets heat soaked (stop-and-go highway, light-to-light city, etc.)?

I know that many aftermarket parts sellers recommend a catch can, but I've yet to see any evidence one is a necessity for the EcoBoost Mustang. The oil sump capacity is nearly six quarts, which is huge for a 2.3L engine. Assuming you follow the recommended service interval, 5.7 qts is more than enough capacity to hold in suspension all the contaminants you'll get in a catch can. I've done extensive research on this topic, and I've yet to see a good argument demonstrating a need for a catch can on this engine. It usually comes down to "I don't want that stuff in my engine. Keeping it out MUST be better!" The bottom line is there's no data to support the need for a catch can, or to suggest the factory research on oil contamination and service interval was inadequate. The engineers torture test these engines far beyond anything they're likely to see in normal service, including running them with oil at less-than-recommended levels and far beyond the recommended change interval.

The other issue that many cite as justification for a catch can is carbon deposits on the intake side of the intake valve. This was an issue for early adopters of direct injection technology, but I believe Ford adequately addressed it with a new oil specification (to reduce the kinds of additives that cause carbon deposits), and changes in valve and fuel injection timing. Ford injects a small amount of fuel during the exhaust stroke during valve overlap (when exhaust and intake valves are open simultaneously), some of which goes to the intake side of the intake valve, where detergents in the fuel keep that side of the valve clean. If someone has any data showing carbon build up to be an issue for the 2.3L EcoBoost (or any EcoBoost for that matter) I'd like to see it.

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A big part of my decision will be how they feel. I am waiting to take an 18 EB, auto with Magnaride for a test drive when i can find one in the area. Then hope to follow right up with driving a GT. That will probably be a mistake, lol as I am sure it will pull a ton harder. Also it sounds flat out amazing with active exhaust. Thats one thing that really stood out when I saw the GT yesterday. However I dont generally spend much time about 4k RPM, so will be interesting to see how they both feel 0-30-40ish.
I think you'll find the EcoBoost has more torque in the rev range where you spend the most time for daily driving. And as you noted, you won't get to enjoy that amazing V8 exhaust note--which I acknowledge is far superior to any boosted 4 cyl--until you get up above 4K, which is where the V8 fuel mileage suffers the worst.

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BUT the GT will cost more to insure and based on some numbers I ran probably 80-100 more in gas a month. That is significant.
This. These factors are deal killers for me when it comes to the V8. I grew up driving V8 cars. My first car was a Satellite Sebring with a Mopar 318--super fun to drive. But the fuel mileage sucked. Granted, fuel was only $.35/gallon then, but I was a lot poorer then too!

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Maybe I will get an add on warranty to cover me to 100k just to be on the safe side.
If it gives you peace of mind, go for it. I think you'd be better off saving your money, especially since it probably won't cover the engine if you tune it anyway. I think you'd be better off setting aside a few dollars every month to cover any repair expenses. If you set aside $100 per month for 60 months (the term of the original warranty) you end up with $6K, which will pay for a new short block. Put it in an interest bearing account and you'll get there even faster. The beauty is YOU get to collect interest on the money instead of the company that sells you the extended warranty. If you never end up needing the money for repairs before you sell the car (which I believe is a good bet), then you're richer by 6K + interest + whatever you would have spent for the extended warranty. That's a no-brainer for me.
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Old 11-26-2017, 04:10 PM   #12
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BUT the GT will cost more to insure and based on some numbers I ran probably 80-100 more in gas a month. That is significant. I have a feeling I will end up with an EB again. Maybe I will get an add on warranty to cover me to 100k just to be on the safe side.
It will cost more in gas for sure, how much depends on driving style and how much is city vs highway.

Insurance is questionable - my '17 GT was less than $5 a month difference to ensure vs my '15 EB.
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Old 11-26-2017, 04:21 PM   #13
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As a person who goes for base models, the '18 EB offers nothing new for me, and actually loses two things my '17 has (Grabber Blue and cloth Recaros). Arguably, being able to spec Sync 3 on base models is the only new feature I fancy.

Having spent time in my friend's '18 GT, that exhaust is intoxicating in sport/track mode. If I had to get an '18, it'd be a GT.

Reliability, I've had a cylinder head replaced under warranty and the experience hasn't lowered my expectations or enjoyment of my EB at all. I still have no regrets after 20k miles.
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Old 11-26-2017, 05:30 PM   #14
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Reliability, I've had a cylinder head replaced under warranty and the experience hasn't lowered my expectations or enjoyment of my EB at all. I still have no regrets after 20k miles.
Can you tell us why they had to replace the head?
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Old 11-26-2017, 06:41 PM   #15
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Can you tell us why they had to replace the head?
I started having bad head gasket symptoms (like the Focus RS) at 19k miles (sweet exhaust smell, misfires and rough idle on cold start. The dealer found coolant in cylinder #2 but couldn't find the cause of the leak so they replaced the cylinder head and I haven't had any problems for the last thousand miles so far.

I've been tuned since at least 1500 miles and my mods are in my sig and not extreme by any means. As such, I am very fortunate to have a great relationship with my dealership that we were able to work this out. Because tuned or not, there's no reason why coolant should be leaking into the combustion chamber so early.
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