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Bully Dog Tunes The Ford EcoBoost

Originally Published in Trailer Life Magazine

Ford’s EcoBoost gas engines have really ignited the truck scene with their twin turbochargers producing high torque and horsepower numbers, allowing them to produce exceptional output for their relatively small size, along with substantially better fuel economy than the naturally aspirated engines they replaced. The 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 has been popular with half-ton pickup truck buyers who want a vehicle they can afford to drive every day, but also has some towing guts for the weekend. Often, though, when owners hitch up to a heavy trailer, they still wish for a little more power. It’s the nature of many drivers – more than enough never seems to be enough. 

Bully Dog’s team of experts demonstrated the company’s EcoBoost modification products at its annual Dog Days of Summer event recently, where two identical Ford F-150s equipped with the 3.5L EcoBoost engine competed against each other. One was left completely stock, and the other was outfitted with Bully Dog’s Rapid Flow Cold Air Intake and GT Gas tuner. A gain of 83 horsepower was seen on the dyno, and during the towing challenge, the results were dramatic. Bully Dog products enabled the EcoBoost to easily overpower the stock truck and win a 500-foot dirt drag race pulling a trailer by several truck lengths. Other competitive products were also featured at the event.

The Bully Dog Rapid Flow Cold Air Intake’s “fully enclosed injection molded air intakes are made from high-grade polyethylene. As with all our air intake projects we wanted to produce a product that would provide the best cold airflow possible to increase the performance of the truck,” says Craig Sandstrom, Bully Dog intake engineer. “One of our main focuses was pulling situations, as these trucks perform great under load. Bully Dog’s injection molding process allows it to produce a very accurate product that fits perfectly to the stock mounts every time, making it look part of the truck. We also use an eight-layer filter to provide maximum filtration while continuing to maintain high airflow rates.”

The GT Gas tuner controls fuel delivery, boost and spark timing to optimize horsepower and torque. Bully Dog’s Rapid Flow Stage 2 intake systems are designed to reduce incoming air temperatures by drawing denser air from cooler external air sources, rather than hot under-hood air. It also employs a high-flow air filter to reduce restriction, and improve the appearance of the engine bay. Real-world results include improved fuel economy, more horsepower and torque, and lower cost of ownership. It also enhances that deep engine growl and adds the aesthetics of a customized engine bay.

Pablo Ongini, an engineer who worked on the Bully Dog/Ford EcoBoost project said, “Right from the start the aim was to get the most power possible out of the EcoBoost engine while maintaining the safety parameters set by the manufacturer. Bully Dog is proud to be first to market on many applications and we were determined to do the same with the EcoBoost. We set out to produce a tune that would provide the best performance possible for all situations — especially towing. Our most recent tuning will increase performance by at least 59 horsepower and 70 lb-ft of torque, while increasing boost by 5 to 6 psi.”

Raising stock turbo peak boost pressure provides a considerable maximum power gain when combined with increased air-fuel delivery and optimized ignition timing. The California Air Resources Board executive order number approval is still pending, so keep that in mind if you live in an area with smog checks. Bully Dog also offers performance products for a wide variety of other brands and models. For more information call 888-844-6260 or visit www.bullydog.com.

Stop-Start Technology

With vehicle manufacturers scrambling to meet upcoming Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards (35.5 mpg by 2016 and 54.5 mpg in 2025) start-stop systems are likely to be introduced to mainstream non-hybrid vehicles. A recent survey conducted by Johnson Controls in several U.S. cities found that most respondents liked the idea of stop-start technology, which is capable of reducing fuel consumption by about five percent on average. Stop-start technology shuts off the engine when it would normally idle, and then restarts it as the brake pedal is released or the clutch is engaged. While many American drivers are still not familiar with stop-start systems, once they learn how it works and the potential benefits, the survey found that 97 percent of respondents said they would accept it. Expect to see it on more vehicles soon.

Study Finds E15 Fuel Can Damage Engines

The American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AF&PM) has reported that a study it carried out conflicts with the U.S. Energy Department’s research results that allowed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s approval of E15 fuel (85 percent gasoline/15 percent ethanol) for sale and use in model year 2001 and newer light-duty motor vehicles, subject to certain conditions.

According to AF&PM results from high-mileage tests, the E15 damaged two out of eight vehicles tested. “The Coordinating Research Council’s objective scientific tests have found disturbing evidence that increasing the amount of ethanol in gasoline higher than the current 10 percent causes serious damage to automobile engines,” according to a statement issued by the AF&PM. “The study shows that a significant percentage of cars tested suffered engine damage when refueled with 15 percent ethanol. These are cars the EPA has approved to run on E15.”

This study adds concern that ethanol blends higher than 10 percent may damage certain vehicles and outdoor power equipment engines such as generators that are not designed to run on it. Some manufacturers are labeling gas caps on new vehicles with warnings against using ethanol blends higher than 10 percent.

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