Must-Do Mods for the 2015-2020 F150 5.0L V8
For many in the Ford camp, the turbo Ecoboost motors are the way to go. With gobs of torque, respectable efficiency, and enormous tuning potential, there's no surprise that their popularity has exploded since their debut in Ford's ever-loved F150. That being said, for some, there's no replacing the feel of a V8 in a big American truck.
Enter Ford’s 5.0L Coyote engine. Making its debut in the Mustang, the Coyote was modified for a torquier application in the F150. The F150's 5.0L receives a lower compression ratio (10.5:1), intake camshafts with less duration, cast iron exhaust manifolds, and revised cylinder heads. In the truck, the latest version of Ford's Modular F150 V8 engine delivers a healthy 345hp and 350 ft-lbs of torque to the wheels.
2019 Ford F150 STX
Owner Shawn Jones is one of those aforementioned, it's-gotta-have a V8 guys. Upon purchasing his 2019 F150 STX, he began modifying the vehicle for a combination of improved power, speed and aesthetics. With a few improvements in key areas, he’s well on his way into a street-style build, and has the numbers to back it up.
Get the Right Tune
His first mod to the vehicle was the Lund Racing tune and nGauge unit installed by D&G Racing. As with most tunes, these changes to the factory setup offer more horsepower and torque, improved throttle response, and increased shift firmness in automatic transmissions. Paired with the right supporting mods, this is an extremely efficient and easy way to make power.
Cold Air Intake
To compliment the tune, Shawn replaced his factor airbox with a PMAS cold air intake. While not required, an aftermarket cold air intake is recommended for optimum efficiency with the Lund tune. This unit works with existing aspects of the F150’s stock intake system to deliver more airflow while increasing horsepower and improving throttle response.
Shawn kept the exhaust enhancements simple. Working with a local shop, he deleted the OEM muffler and resonator to open things up and also add a little volume to the exhaust note of the Coyote engine.
The next step for this F150 was to lower the truck for a more engaging, planted ride and the accompanying aesthetics. Shawn turned to longtime truck suspensions experts at Belltech. Using their F150 Stage III lowering kit, the front has been lowered three-inches while the rear comes down four-inches for a nice, level drop.
Wheels and Tires
To no one’s surprise, the stock wheels and tires were also quickly replaced, giving way to gloss black 22x9.5" Niche Vice wheels wrapped in 285/45/22 Nitto NT420V tires. The NT420V is an attractive tire with a unique tread pattern that offers high-performance driving all year-round so it was a perfect fit for this daily driver project.
It's All in the Numbers
Looking at the numbers, Shawn's truck put down 390hp and 400 ft-lbs of torque to the wheels, a healthy increase of around 50hp and 50 ft-lbs of torque over the stock numbers. His fastest quarter mile pass so far is 13.4 seconds @101 mph, and he believes that the number could dip into the higher 12's with better conditions. Stock F150 5.0 numbers look to be in the low-mid 14s, so shaving more than a second off of that time is respectable for just these few mods.
Shawn's next steps for this truck will be a ported ‘18+ Mustang intake manifold, catless Y pipe, headers and a more aggressive tune. He hopes that will provide more top-end torque and a higher rev limit. His goal for the truck is to achieve 450hp and 475 ft-lbs naturally aspirated.
Ultimately, equipping a modern F150 with the 5.0 V8 is probably more of an exercise in sentimentality than anything else these days. But trucks will always carry an emotional aspect for owners, and part of that is tied to the thump and feel of a naturally aspirated V8. The modern 5.0L checks those boxes, while also offering opportunities for increased power, speed and smiles per gallon.
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