Check out Function Factory Performance’s 2016 Ford Ecoboost Mustang. She came with full factory options and we had modified our Mustang for the 2016 SEMA show. Our Mustang is equipped with Full Bolt Ons, or FBO, which consists of the following:

Whenever we mention “bolt-on,” it quite literally means that. To qualify as a “bolt-on” the component cannot be inside the engine or fabricated on the vehicle.

If you are reading this, you most likely have just gotten your hands on a new Mustang EcoBoost and you might even be a first-time pony car owner. There is a lot of information out there and sadly for every good article or post, there are 100’s of misleading or ridiculous claims by others.

However, you are in great hands. We promise to be unbiased as we dive into modifying your EcoBoost. We have personally put our Ecoboost Mustang through every sort of hell imaginable from track time, autocross, many drift events, and road trips. We have the highest respect for each car enthusiast and their build as we are all different. From laying down a quick pass on the quarter mile drag strip to laying frame at a show, we should all show each other respect as everyone has different goals when it comes to modifying their vehicles and Mustangs.

Let’s do the damn thing!

Intercooler / Charge Pipes

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Tuners, serious car builders, and enthusiasts have all spoken and come to an agreeance that what holds the Ecoboost Mustang back is the OEM intercooler. With that said, we went ahead and replaced the stock intercooler on our Mustang. The OEM unit is just enough to handle the stock boost levels with some mild track use. Our Mustangs can handle around 7 minutes of hard circuit racing before the engine begins to suffer from heat soak.

After minute 7, you’re just stuffing hot boost back into the engine. Back-to-back dyno results have shown power loss with each pull. To get scientific with it, what’s happening is a condition known as “heat soak.” Heat Soak is when the intercooler becomes so hot it is unable to cool the charged air coming from the turbocharger which transfers more and more hot air into the engine. The hotter the air, the less power the engine is willing to make.

To combat the heat created by the engine and turbo, the only option is to replace the stock intercooler with a much larger aftermarket intercooler. There are many different options ranging from near OEM size to in your face oversized cores. Regardless of whatever intercooler you choose, it will be better than your stock unit.

Most aftermarket intercoolers will feature polished aluminum end tanks which will hold higher boost levels while looking pretty opposed to the nasty OEM plastic tanks. All aftermarket intercoolers will feature a much larger core that is wider and thicker than a snicker. The larger core will allow hot charged air from the turbocharger enough time to cool down. Cooler temps mean happy combustion which means more power for you.

When I first strapped my Mustang down to the dyno with no tune and just an aftermarket intercooler, I saw an increase of over 20 wheel horsepower! The 20 additional horsepower was consistent throughout the dyno pulls.

My Recommendations:

Road racing, big turbo, and drifting applications

Autocross, drag strip and daily driving applications

Tuner / Tune

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The second modification to consider is crucial to your entire performance and lifespan of your Ecoboost Mustang. Purchasing a tuning device is hands down, the “best buy” you can do for your Mustang.

There are multiple tuning devices for the Mustang, our ONLY recommendation is the Cobb Accessport V3. The COBB is able to exploit our ECU’s in the most advanced way possible and allows your tuner, full control of your fuel and ignition. Before you think you’re a tuning god and want to tinker with this device, you can’t. To access and build tuning maps you must be a certified Cobb “Pro-Tuner.” The EcoBoost ECU is one of the most advanced ECU’s on the market and must be treated with the highest respect and care. Failure to do so will ultimately lead to engine failure. Make sure you choose a tuner that you trust, our recommendation is PD-Turning for all your Ecoboost pro tuning needs. We do not recommend OTS tunes.

With bolt-ons and tune, it is reasonable to see over 55 wheel horsepower increase with an additional 80-foot pounds of torque. With the extra power from the bolt-ons and a more aggressive timing map, your Ecoboost is able to breathe better and produce power more efficiently.

Our Recommendations

Lowering Springs / Coilovers

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One of the most popular mods in the Mustang world is lowering springs and coilovers. Lowering Springs are an inexpensive way to offer instant gratification. Most springs provide a one-and-a-half-inch drop which is safe for most driving conditions. Not only do they add a whole new look to your Mustang but they also reduce the vehicle’s center of gravity which allows it to handle better.

Coilovers are a more track dedicated option but offer more control and adjustability when it comes to fine-tuning your suspension. Your entry-level coilover will include ride height adjustment and rebound. These adjustments are more than enough for the weekend warrior. Being able to adjust ride height is a massive advantage as the lowering springs are set to a static height.

The handling characteristics of coilovers are much more significant than lowering springs as the shocks have been valved to the springs they were fitted with.

Our Lowering Spring Recommendations:

Our Coilover Recommendations:

Exhaust

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So you’ve grown tired of your silent little Ecoboost and you want her to sound more aggressive? Since it is a 4-cylinder, if you cheap out on your exhaust system you will regret it. Most custom systems will never truly achieve the sound that a mass-produced exhaust can and will give your Mustang. Depending on how much you want your neighbors to hate you, there are many options to purchase and you can’t go wrong with most. First and foremost we do not recommend straight pipe unless you are making over 500 WHP+ or enjoy tractor sounds.

The largest determining factor of sound is going to the size and length of the mufflers used. Not be confused with a resonator, mufflers for the S550 EcoBoost can either be placed in the middle section or rear of the exhaust. For most of you that are on the stock turbo, this will be a huge factor as some enjoy the turbo whistle while some do not.

The system we have on our EcoBoost is the Full-Race Motorsports Race Type Exhaust system, featuring a middle placement, short Thermal Research muffler, v-band clamps, and high-quality coated stainless steel piping. We have been told by 100s of people that this is hands down the best sounding exhaust for our cars. Recently, we have switch out our exhaust for the extremely lightweight Tomei Titanium single exit exhaust. This exhaust weights a total of 13 pounds and offers the highest performance due to its 3” inch single exit design. The look is not for some, but if you’re looking for the best this your calling.

The system that we have found to be cost-effective and still yields a sexy sound is undeniably the MBRP street and race systems. Starting at $584, the MBRP cat-back system is unbeatable for the price, sound, and fitment. Want a more stealthy look? MBRP offers the street and race version with black tips for a different look.

My Recommendations:

The best budget exhaust:

We recommend the T409 MBRP if your Mustang lives in a state with high humidity or on the coast. This material will resist corrosion. 

 

Wheels

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Depending on what Ecoboost trim you purchased or leased, your car will either come equipped with 18-, 19- or 20-inch wheels.

As a note, our Mustang’s have much thicker wheel studs than most other vehicles. You will need to take this into account when purchasing wheels. If you are wanting a JDM style wheel, you must have the manufacture or a wheel shop redrill your wheels to the proper size.

We went with a very aggressive Yokohama Advan GT, Premium Edition, 19-inch, 5-spoke wheel design. They feature an extra deep concave face with a massive lip. What makes the Yokohama’s on our Mustang truly unique is that they are a one-piece, aluminum forged wheel. These are Yokohama’s deepest Advan GT’s as we ordered ours with a +15 offset.

Offset is the position of the wheels mounting point relative to the center of the wheel. This is extremely important to know when purchasing wheels for any car. It will dictate where the wheel will ultimately end up. Either being inside the fender, near the fender, flush with the fender or “poking” out of the fender. Your choice of offset is entirely dependent on what look you are trying to achieve. We are a firm believer that it will make or break the entire look of your Mustang.

There are many different wheel designs out there but the most common are variations of  5-spoke 5-spoke splits, multi-spoke or mesh designs. Wheels can come in a 1, 2 or 3-piece design. For most, a 1-piece flow form is going to be your best bet. Not all 1-piece wheels will be inexpensive, often 2- and 3-piece wheels will range from $850 to over $2000 per wheel depending on your customizations.

When choosing a size, again, it is entirely relative to the use of your Mustang. I only recommend staying with 18’s if you’re serious about track use. You will be able to use taller tires to fill your wheel wells resulting in more grip. We personally went with 19-inch wheels as we do daily our Mustang on R-Comps and street tires, we find the pricing of 19” tires to be fair compared to 20” tires.  Getting into the 20-inch range, the price will begin to rise but with the correct spoke design, they can be pulled off exceptionally well on your pony car.

SAFE OFFSET & WIDTH GUIDE

For A “Safe” Look

  • Offset +45 to +35
  • Width: 9- to 9.5-inches

Damn Decent Looking

  • +32 to +25
  • Width 10- to 11-inches

Big Talk Offsets

  • +25 to +15
  • Width 10- to 13-inches

Blow Off Valve

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As a kid, a blow-off valve was something I had always wanted if I ever owned a boosted vehicle. Lucky for us, we have some remarkable bolt-on solutions that take no more than 30-minutes to install.

If you are unfamiliar with blow-off valves, or BOV’s, I’ll take you on a quick, crash course to helping you understand them. One thing I’ve noticed about novices and boosted cars, they can get the terminology mixed up. A blow-off valve and a wastegate are two, completely separate items and have two critical jobs.

An internal or external wastegate is going to regulate boost pressure. This is done by “boost reference.” When the spring “sees” a set amount of boost via vacuum hose, let’s say 10 pounds of boost, for example, the wastegate valve will open and release all the extra exhaust gases through it.

The Blow-off valve on the Ecoboost Mustang is on the “hot” side of the charge piping, meaning the charge pipe before the intercooler. As the turbo begins to spool and boost levels rise, that magical power making air is being fed through your charge pipes to the intercooler and into the throttle body. When it’s time to let off and slow your roll, the throttle plate slams shut even though the turbo is still spinning. Unlike the wastegate, the blow-off valve opens when the throttle is in the “off” position.  As soon as the BOV sees vacuum or negative air pressure, it evacuates as much of that extra boost inside the charge pipes being generated by the still spinning compressor blades.

We have set our spring much stiffer so that the blow-off valve will open and quickly slam shut. This produces the heavenly noise called “compressor chatter” not to be confused with compressor surge. Surging occurs on the throttle, not off.

Turbosmart and Go Fast Bits have created an OEM replacement valve that releases boost to the atmosphere. That will give you the WOOSH or PSH sound. Cheap, easy and a super fun item. If you’re ballin out of control, you most likely bought an intercooler with custom charge pipes giving you the option for a custom flange. The most common being TiAL, Turbosmart, and HKS. Regardless of your choice, all options will sound awesome, definitely turn heads and most importantly a blow-off valve will protect your turbocharger.

My  Recommendations:

NEW 2015-2020 Ford Mustang FAQ

Will I need a tune with a catted or catless (OFF-ROAD USE ONLY) Downpipe?

In a short answer no, but you will 99% run the risk of an engine check light as the o2 sensor is detecting unusual flow through the catalyst element. A performance difference is noticeable through a butt dyno and rollers. To achieve maximum performance, we recommend our custom Cobb Protune that can be found at this link. Function Factory Performance and PD-Tuning will not turn off any and all MIL Check engine lights. Tapering with any emissions device is illegal for both the vendor and the end-user. If you intend to purchase an off-road Downpipe, you assume all risk and the cars intended use is race track only. 

Will a cold air intake gain or lose power? 

We noticed extremely mixed reviews on cold air intakes for the Mustang Ecoboost. The best combo that has been factually and scientifically proven is the Airaid tube combined with the K&N drop-in filter. We personally prefer a cold air intake as it enhances the sound of the turbocharger but it may come at a small sacrifice of power. Many dyno results prove otherwise. Regardless of your choice, you will be pleased with a cold air intake purchase, if you are looking for the absolute most power then follow our recommendation. 

What the heck is all this Ecoboom talk?

The term Ecoboom was coined in a fantastic place called Facebook and forums. Users were experiencing catastrophic failure in rods 2 and 3 or spun bearings. Our 3-year conclusive answer is quite simple, no one is providing their full story behind each failure. There are many theories out there with one being much notable, low-speed pre-ignition. 99% of failures are happening below 4500 RPM and NOT at full throttle. LSPI can be attributed to many things and one of them to note is the type of oil you may be using. Function Factory Performance and Ford OEM only recommends synthetic 5w30 oil. We only trust Motul 8100 or 300v in our Ecoboost as it is subjected to extreme temperatures, constant rev limiter and long wide-open throttle exposure down many race tracks. 

Second, to note is tuning. There are many solutions out there such as the Ford Performance tune, Cobb OTS, Tune+, Unleashed Tuning and our preferred choice of tuning, PD-Tuning. 

Does “Ecoboom” happen? There is no denying that freak accidents happen in OEM applications, cars will have their issues and many other manufacturers are experiencing these freak accidents, but is this common? Clearly not.

Last but not least, we have to point the finger at the end-user. There are too many variables for us to ever know and we firming believe most “Ecoboom” cases that make the spotlight never fully come clean. Some tune features MAP slot and if the customer runs the wrong MAP slot with improper fuel, they are at risk. That is just one example that could always be a possibility. 

At the end of the day, you as the end-user assume all liability when modifying your vehicle. 

What are the limits of the OEM parts? 

We give the OEM long block about a 6/10 when it comes to handling performance. To better understand why we don’t hail this engine, we must travel back to the days of the Mazda Protégés and Speed 3. The design has been around for over a decade with the cylinder block being nearly the same but Ford designed and entirely new headifold, GDI and timing system. Personally, we believe Ford should have designed an entirely new engine from the ground up, but because of cost-cutting measures, the Ford Mustang Ecoboost engine suffers from the following that Honda’s do not. If you want to run excessive boost and make huge power, the first thing you will break is the weak cylinder walls, if you manage to keep the walls intact, the connecting rods will be doing their best to exit your block and visit Pluto. If you managed not to Voyager 9 your entire block at this point, your pistons will be having a Chernobyl like meltdown and ultimately destroying the cylinder walls, valves, and head. 

We have seen bone stock long blocks makeover 500 wheel horsepower. That doesn’t mean we’ll ever recommend or do this to your stock engine. Even with our turbo kit, we will limit most Ford Ecoboost engines at 460 wheel horsepower. We have had zero failures at this power level, it is a acceptable number for a larger turbo upgrade or nitrous. This number is enough to propel your Mustang into the mid-tens if the conditions are met, correct suspension geometry is dialed in and slicks are used. 

The stock clutch has been known to go 10s. Our clutch did not hold up as we drift our car constantly. The disc would get extremely hot and clamping force was not as responsive. Competition Clutch built us two custom twin disc clutches that are available for purchase for our hardcore customers. They handle drifting with ease and violent drag launches with confidence.

We manage to break our stock axles drifting on Toyo R888rs on the rear. If you’re looking to go low 11s to mid-10s we highly recommend replacing your rear axles with GT350 axles or driveshaft shop drag axles. 

The Getrag MT-82 transmission is the same as the Mustang GT. Don’t let the name fool you as this transmission is not as bulletproof as we thought. After a very violent spin out on the race track, we managed to break the shifter assembly. This seems to be a very common failure on all MT-82’s. We now have engagement issues into reverse and 5th gear. 2nd gear lockout seems to be a very hot topic while drag racing. To fix this issue, we recommend upgrading to the MGW or Barton shifter assembly. 

The stock brakes on Non-PP cars are acceptable when auto crossing or road racing they become less than acceptable. We highly recommend upgrading to PP 4 pot calipers/brakes, GT Brembos or GT350 brakes for all racing needs. PP and GT Brembo calipers will work with the OEM brakes cylinder but GT350 will not. Additionally, look awesome if you have aftermarket wheels. It is IMPORTANT to replace the OEM brake fluid with Motul RBF 600 or 660 if you plan to do any track days. The OEM fluid will only last a few laps, it’s not worth putting your new Mustang into a wall over a 20 dollar item. Get it changed now!

The bushings on this car are designed for normal driving. They show their true weakness on a race track. The car becomes a giant marshmallow as you try and swing the weight around apex to apex. If you’re looking to seriously track your Mustang we recommend switching every single arm to a Delrin or spherical bearings to eliminate the loose feeling. If you’re a drag racer, It is not an option to stop the hop or you’ll be losing valuable 60’ times. Purchase a Steeda rear lockout kit to stop that hop and truly put your power down to the ground. 

What is the best sounding exhaust? 

This is by far the most controversial topic in the Mustang Ecoboost community. If you don’t already know, our cars come equipped with “headifold” meaning the head has been designed to dump directly into the turbocharger which reduces lag and emissions. There is a huge consequence of this design.. the sound. Let’s face it, this isn’t the best sounding engine but exhaust manufacturers have done their best to really achieve a tuned and toned sound. 

Our recommendations are below.

Full-Race Motorsports Race type exhaust 

Features a unmistakable note with a larger turbo. 6/10 loud on idle and 8/10 loud at wide-open throttle. The muffler has been moved to the center changing the sound dramatically. This is by far the most unique sounding exhaust. Expect extremely loud backfires, pops, and gurgles. 

Our most competitively priced fatback exhaust and on the best sounding list is the MBRP T409 Race Catback. It features 2 rear mufflers and a decently loud note at wide-open throttle. The crackles are nice and not too obnoxious. This is the best enthusiast sounding exhausted in our opinion. 

The most powerful, lightweight and on our best sounding list is the Tomei Expreme single exit cat-back exhaust. 

What is the loudest exhaust?

 

Where do I get the “Ecoboost” badges?

 

What will void my warranty? (This applies to all vehicles)

 

What hood options do you have? 

 

I want to change my grille, whatchu got?

 

Got any stripes?

 

Do I really need a catch can? 

 

I am serious about racing my Ecoboost, what is the first thing you recommend? 

 

How can I run 10s?

 

What bolt-in turbochargers are available? 

 

What wheel specs should I buy?

 

Help, my Pirelli’s are dying, what tire do you recommend I replace them with? 

 

How can I put my Mustang on a diet and start weight-reducing?

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