Top 5 Ford F-150 EcoBoost Mods

Top 5 Ford F-150 EcoBoost Mods

Last Updated August 8, 2023 | Alison Smith

If you own a Ford F-150, you are in possession of one of the best-selling trucks of all time! While the F-150 may hold the title for one of the best pickups in the history of American trucks, that means there is an abundance of them on the road. A great way to make your light-duty pickup stand out from the rest is by installing aftermarket F-150 mods! Certain F-150 upgrades can not only enhance the performance of your truck, but they can also give your pickup a more aggressive look and sound. There are so many options when it comes to upgrading your F-150, it can be difficult to decide which mods you should add first. That’s why the crew at CJ Off-Road put together a video on the top five modifications for your F-150 EcoBoost!

Here’s our list of the top 5 F150 mods:

  1. Oil Separator
  2. Cat-Back Exhaust
  3. Cold Air Intake
  4. Intercooler
  5. Programmer

Whether you plan on doing some hardcore off-roading or just want to improve the performance of your truck, these are some of the best F-150 upgrades to start with!

Also check out some of our top recommendations based on your F-150’s generation!

Oil Separator

UPR Dual Valve Oil Separator Ford F150

Even if you aren’t looking to enhance the performance or efficiency of your Ford F-150 EcoBoost, the very first thing we recommend is installing an oil separator. Whether this is the only aftermarket F-150 mod you make or the beginning of many, an oil separator is an important component as the EcoBoost engine creates a lot of blow-by through the Positive Crankcase Ventilation, or PCV, system which can lead to oil accumulating in the engine. Since they are direct injection, the fuel injectors don’t spray fuel on the intake valves to clean them off, which can create carbon buildup.

Carbon buildup is detrimental to the engine, potentially causing poor performance and engine damage. Oil separators are going to catch that oil and prevent it from getting into the engine, which is important to keeping your F-150 EcoBoost running smoothly. The oil separator will replace the factory PCV hoses and catch the oil from the PCV system through a filtering process, capturing the oil until you are ready to drain it. An oil separator is not only one of the best F-150 EcoBoost mods you can make to ensure optimal engine performance, but they are also relatively inexpensive and simple to install. Even if you don’t plan on making any other aftermarket F150 upgrades, an oil separator is definitely going to be worth the investment by increasing the longevity of your engine and preventing any future damage.

Cat-Back Exhaust

Borla True Dual Side Exit Cat-Back Exhaust Ford F150

While an oil separator is one of the best F150 upgrades you can make to protect your engine, the first real performance modification that we suggest to install on your truck is a cat-back exhaust system. Some people might suggest adding a cold air intake before the exhaust system, but it’s better to get rid of all that air before adding more. Cat-back exhaust systems are going to increase performance in addition to enhancing the sound note and appearance of your Ford F-150 EcoBoost. Depending on the type of cat-back exhaust, some installations will be more complex than others. Opting for a cat-back exhaust is one of the top F-150 EcoBoost mods you can make as it can increase both horsepower and torque numbers while giving your truck an aggressive sound. Whether you’re looking for a single or dual cat-back exhaust for your Ford F-150, CJ Pony Parts carries a huge selection of exhausts that can take your build to the next level!

Cold Air Intake

aFe Magnum Force Stage 2 Pro Dry S Cold Air Intake Ford F150

Along with cat-back exhausts, swapping out the factory cold air intake for an aftermarket component is one of the most popular F-150 modifications. With better-flowing tubing and air filters, your truck can breathe in more air, subsequently boosting the power and efficiency of your EcoBoost engine. Typically, filters that come with aftermarket cold air intakes are washable so you can reuse them rather than replace them once they get dirty. They will either utilize the factory air box or come with their own air inlet that lets them draw in cold outside air.

Not to mention, cold air intakes allow you to hear induction noises and the turbo spool up, which isn’t exactly a performance benefit, but it sounds pretty awesome. Cold air intakes are a great bang for the buck and usually super easy to install. Even if you don’t want to invest in a full exhaust system replacement, installing a cold air intake can give you a little extra kick!


Aftermarket Ford F150 Intercooler

With an aftermarket cat-back exhaust and air intake, your engine is already going to be able to breathe significantly better. But, if you want to take it up another notch, then we recommend investing in a new F-150 intercooler! The factory intercooler does an adequate job, but an aftermarket component is going to provide even more cool air to your engine compartment. An upgraded intercooler will reduce intake temperatures for more dense air, leading to more power!

Boasting more efficiency and better airflow rates, intercoolers can be installed relatively quickly and typically use the same factory mounting locations as the stock intercooler. Most intercoolers will work with the factory charge pipes but if you want to take it a step further, you can also upgrade the hot and cold side charge pipes. As one of the top F-150 mods, an aftermarket intercooler will enhance airflow and cooling capabilities, providing a boost in performance as well as efficiency!


Programmer Ford F-150

If you complete any F-150 upgrades, then you’re going to want to invest in a programmer to help all of those new components work together harmoniously. With options ranging from basic to advanced, a programmer will allow you to tune your Engine Control Unit, or ECU. Even if you have a completely stock truck, a programmer can help you get a bit more power out of your F-150. A programmer will allow you to improve fuel economy, increase horsepower, change top speed limiters, log important data, read diagnostic codes, store custom tunes, monitor critical engine parameters, and much more! Some include Wi-Fi capability so you can easily update the programmer via the cloud.

If you really want to know what’s going on with your truck at all times, a programmer can provide the important details and information that you need to get the best performance as possible from your F-150. In relation to programmers, the aFe Power Scorcher GT Tuner Module can increase your truck’s turbo boost and throttle response, which in turn will increase the horsepower and torque. Whether you opt for a programmer to help all of your aftermarket Ford F-150 mods work in conjunction together or if you simply want to give your stock truck an extra boost, a programmer is an extremely beneficial tool that will allow you to extract the most power from your pickup!

2009-2014 F-Series Pickups

Between the 2009 and 2010 F-150, the braking improved, and then between the 2010 and 2011 F-150, the steering improved. While everyone’s happy that Ford continues to improve America’s favorite pickup, no one likes to feel like they missed out on something great by buying right before a major improvement.

Thankfully, there’s an aftermarket for that. You can easily give your 2009, 2010, or 2011 F-150 a major brake upgrade, and improving your F-150’s handling with suspension upgrades is easy and gives you more options for customization.

On the other hand, if you got a 2012, 2013, or 2014 F-150 but wish you’d gotten in while the engine still had a little more roar, there’s no need to settle for a quieter exhaust. You can find exhaust systems that are fifty state legal for your F-150, or go all-in for a snarl, with a resonator delete kit.

2015-2020 F-150s

If you own one of the 2015, 2016, or 2017 F-150s that came right before 2018’s facelift, don’t worry, a more aggressive grille is still a possibility for you. And 2018 and 2019 F-150s can also find a grille that suits them and their intended truck use a little better. Off-roading F-150 owners may get a lot of use out of a grille with a light bar. Even if you purchased an F-150 with a front-facing camera, there are still plenty of grille options available for you.

Front bumper modifications are another great way to modify the front-end of your F-150, whether you want to give your truck a little color with a great set of D-Rings, or add a seriously heavy-duty bumper to help protect the front of your truck while giving it an aggressive look.

Adding a grille is a great way to improve the face of your F150, but if you’re the type who rides their truck fast, people are more likely going to be staring at your bumper. High-quality rear bumper upgrades can make sure that your back-up sensors function well. For our SEMA F-150 we used a Honey Badger Rear Bumper, which has some great stats to recommend it for 2015-2018 F-150s.

The F-150 is a great truck, no matter which year you bought, and no matter where your build is starting, CJ’s has the parts to get you to the next step in your design.

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This article was researched, written, edited, and reviewed following the steps outlined in our editorial process. Learn more about CJ's editorial standards and guidelines.