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2nd Generation Ford F-150 3.5L EcoBoost Engine

Guide to 2nd Generation 3.5L EcoBoost Engines

After six years of success in the Ford F-150 powertrain lineup, the First Generation 3.5L EcoBoost V6 turbocharged engine was retired after the 2016 model year, and a new, more powerful EcoBoost replaced it. This revised engine, known as the 2nd Generation 3.5L EcoBoost engine, joins the Ford F-150 powertrain lineup for the 2017 model year. It provides an array of improvements that not only increased power, but also reliability.

Just like the first generation engine, however, the second generation maintains the 3.5L EcoBoost’s record of delivering best-in-class performance, even against rival manufacturers using engines with almost twice the displacement. In this post, our guide to the 2nd Generation 3.5L EcoBoost engine, we’re going to explain how it’s all possible. We’ll cover Second Generation 3.5L EcoBoost specs, engine design changes, and performance information . We’ll also go into detail about the differences between this engine, and the previous one and how they translated into greater reliability.

2020 Ford F-150 Raptor
Photo taken from Ford Media

The 2nd Generation EcoBoost Meets the Ford F-150

After two years of sporting a new body style featuring military-grade aluminum exterior paneling, the Ford F-150 gets a revised 3.5L EcoBoost engine in 2017. This engine, the 2nd Generation 3.5L EcoBoost engine, raises the bar even further, providing greater fuel efficiency, more power, and even improved reliability. In addition to this engine, a high-output version was also introduced.

The new High-Output 3.5L EcoBoost Engine debuted on the 2017 Ford Raptor and later was added to 2019-2020 Ford F-150 Limited trucks. This engine took the 2nd Gen EcoBoost engine to new heights, and delivers a whopping 450 horsepower and 510 lb.-ft of torque making this one of the most powerful trucks available. Since it’s release, the High-output 3.5L EcoBoost engine is also now available in Ford’s other vehicles like the 2022 Ford Expedition Timberline Edition.

2019 Ford F-150 Raptor
2019 Ford F-150 Raptor. Photo taken from Ford Media.

2nd Generation 3.5L EcoBoost Specs

Engine Years2017-2022
ApplicationsFord F-150 & Ford Raptor
Configuration60-Degree V6 DOHC
Displacement3.5 Liters (213 cubic inches)
Cylinder Bore3.64″
Cylinder Stroke3.41″
Compression Ratio
2017-2022 Standard Output
2017-2022 High Output
See Below
10.5:1
10.0:1
Firing Order1-4-2-5-3-6
Engine Block MaterialAluminum
Cylinder Head MaterialAluminum
ValvetrainRoller Finger Follower
Ignition SystemCoil on Plug
Fuel SystemTwin-Port and Direct Fuel Injection
Air Delivery/AspirationTwin turbocharged and intercooled. Electronic wastegates were added in 2017+ models
Horsepower (Standard Output)
2017-2020
2021+
See Below
375 Horsepower @ 5,000 rpm
400 Horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
Horsepower (High Output)
2017-2022 Raptor
2019-2020 Limited
450 Horsepower @ 5,000 rpm
Torque
2017-2020
2021+
See Below
470 lb.-ft @ 2,500 rpm
500 lb.-ft @ 3,100 rpm
Torque (High Output)
2017-2022 Raptor
2019-2020 Limited
510 lb.-ft @ 3,500 rpm
Recommended Fuel
(Standard Output)
Regular Unleaded
Recommended Fuel
(High Output)
Premium Unleaded
Engine Oil Capacity6 Quarts (5.7 Liters)
Engine Oil Type/Recommended Engine OilMotorcraft SAE 5w-30 Synthetic Blend Motor Oil
XO-5W30-Q1SP
Recommended Engine Oil FilterMotorcraft FL-500-S

2nd Generation 3.5L EcoBoost Engine Design & Information

Similar to the First Gen Ecoboost, the second Generation has a V6 configuration and uses a Dual Overhead Camshaft engine design. 3.5 Liter EcoBoost Engines use an aluminum for both the engine block and the head that have been proven adequately durable, despite the high numbers produced by these engines. These engines use direct fuel injection and turbocharging to provide diesel-like performance. Peak torque is reached very early in the RPM range and maintained for a long duration, making these engines a great choice for individuals who tow frequently.

Because of the smaller displacement and more efficient design, these engines are typically much better on fuel than naturally-aspirated engines like the 5.0L V8 engine also used in Ford F-150s. This is especially true in the second generation EcoBoost engine as it benefits from aluminum exterior body paneling that reduces a lot of weight, in addition to a number of weight-saving mechanical changes made to these engines for this generation.

The Second Generation 3.5L EcoBoost features a number of major mechanical improvements that help increase power and reliability. After years of production of the First Generation and seeing what the flaws were, Ford responded by engineering practical solutions and making the necessary improvements to make a better 3.5L EcoBoost engine. Key changes to the 2nd Generation engine include valvetrain improvements, an updated turbocharger design, new fuel system, and the addition of Auto Start-Stop technology. The engines lower-end also benefits from durability enhancements.

3.5L EcoBoost V6 Engine Maintenance
2nd Generation 3.5L EcoBoost Engine. Picture taken from Ford Media.

Updated Valvetrain

An updated Twin Independent Variable Cam timing system improves reliability while still giving greater control of the camshafts, effectively increasing fuel efficiency and power output. Second Generation EcoBoost engines benefit from a more durable dual-chain cam drive system than the single chain found on the outgoing first gen engine. This dual-chain cam drive system also helps in reducing noise, vibration, and harshness of this engine.

Hollow camshafts, along with a new roller-finger valvetrain replace the old Direct Acting Mechanical Bucket valvetrain (DAMB) system found in first gen engines and reduce engine weight by as much as four pounds. Other valvetrain durability improvements were also made, including Hydraulic valve-lash adjusters, intake, and exhaust valves.

New Turbocharger System

A major factor in the improved capabilities and acceleration of the 2nd Gen 3.5L EcoBoost is a revised turbocharger design. Maximum boost increased thanks to a set of new turbochargers. Turbine wheels use Super ally Mar-M-247 which is stronger, lighter, and increases responsiveness. An electronic waste gate was also added.

Twin-Port and Direct Fuel Injection

2nd Generation 3.5L EcoBoost engines benefit in reliability and performance from a new fuel system that uses both Twin-Port and Direct Fuel Injection. In this system, two injectors are used per cylinder. One injector is present on the intake port, where air is introduced to the cylinder. The other injector is located within the cylinder itself. By working together, these injectors create greater fuel efficiency, power, and even lower emissions. This design also helps to significantly reduce the amount of carbon build-up experienced in these engines, which is one of the most common 3.5L EcoBoost Problems.

Auto Start-Stop

2nd Generation EcoBoost engines were given the controversial Auto Start-Stop standard feature. While this is a feature pretty much mandated by the EPA, it does decrease idle times because the vehicle is shut off when at a stop during operation. The result is lower CO2 and supposedly better fuel economy. When in 4WD or while towing, this feature is disabled.

Lower End Durability Improvements

To further improve the 3.5L EcoBoost engines reliability, second Generation engines were given a more robust lower end. A new upgraded crankshaft, bearing system, and more stout connecting rod undercuts help support the higher output of the new engine.

Other Changes

  • Variable Displacement Oil Pump
  • partnered with a new 10-Speed Automatic Transmission
2nd Generation 3.5L EcoBoost Engine
Photo taken From Ford Media.

10-Speed 10R80 Transmission Joins the 3.5L EcoBoost

Despite the number of upgrades giving to the 3.5L EcoBoost engine for its 2nd Generation model, there is another critical factor that makes the newer F-150s with the EcoBoost engine more desirable and capable. 2nd Gen EcoBoost engines in 2017+ Ford F-150s are mated to a 10-Speed Automatic Transmission that really boosts performance and provides a smoother ride.

This new transmission is known as the 10R80 transmission, and it is still being used to this day in the Ford F-150. It uses high-strength steel and aluminum alloys/composites allowing it to be lightweight, yet durable. The 10R80 transmission puts all this new found power to the ground and optimizes towing performance and fuel efficiency.

The 10R80 automatic transmission uses a wide-ratio span and optimized gear spacing. Three overdrive gears improve fuel efficiency in both city and highway driving environments. Max tow capacity at 12,200 is maintained in instances as well. Ford F-150s with this engine also benefit from an advanced tow/haul mode. A newly introduced electronic control system uses real-time adaptive shift-scheduling algorithms to select the right gear at the right time. This includes skip-shift and direct downshifting.

10-Speed 10R80 2nd Generation 3.5L EcoBoost Automatic Transmission
Picture taken from Ford Media.

2nd Generation 3.5L EcoBoost Performance

The Second Generation 3.5L EcoBoost engine, when found in the 2017-2020 Ford F-150, produces 375 horsepower and 470 lb.-ft of torque. That’s 10 more horsepower and 50 lb.-ft more torque than the outgoing 1st Generation engine. High-Output engines produce an impressive 450 horsepower and 510 lb.-ft of torque. There’s no doubt that Ford F-150s with the Second Gen EcoBoost offers greater performance numbers, quicker acceleration, and they’re more fun to drive.

Horsepower and torque aren’t the only thing that matter though. When it comes to trucks, tow capacity is really important. As I’m writing this, while gas is over $4 a gallon, fuel economy is also important to truck owners. In the following two sections, we’ll go over how this generation of the 3.5L EcoBoost engine holds up in terms of towing performance and fuel efficiency.

2nd Generation Ford F-150 3.5L EcoBoost Tow Capacity

Standard Output 3.5L EcoBoost

Model YearDrivetrainMax Conventional
Towing Capacity
20174×2
4×4
12,200 lbs
12,000 lbs
20184×2
4×4
13,200 lbs
13,000 lbs
20194×2
4×4
13,200 lbs
12,900 lbs
20204×2
4×4
13,200 lbs
12,700 lbs
20214×2
4×4
14,000 lbs
13,900 lbs
Tow Capacity varies depending on Cab configuration and options selected. Check your owner’s manual or other resources from Ford to determine your actual max tow capacity. The numbers listed above are the max tow capacities with the high output towing models.

2019-2020 Ford F-150 Limited High Output 3.5L EcoBoost

Model YearDrivetrainMax Conventional
Towing Capacity
20194×2
4×4
11,100 lbs
9,300 lbs
20204×2
4×4
11,100 lbs
9,300 lbs
Tow Capacity varies depending on Cab configuration and options selected. Check your owner’s manual or other resources from Ford to determine your actual max tow capacity. The numbers listed above are the max tow capacities with the high output towing models.

Ford Raptor Tow Capacity

Model YearCab TypeMax Conventional
Towing Capacity
2017SuperCab
SuperCrew
6,000 lbs
8,000 lbs
2018SuperCab
SuperCrew
6,000 lbs
8,000 lbs
2019SuperCab
SuperCrew
6,000 lbs
8,000 lbs
2020SuperCab
SuperCrew
6,000 lbs
8,000 lbs
2021SuperCrew8,200 lbs
Tow Capacity varies depending on Cab configuration and options selected. Check your owner’s manual or other resources from Ford to determine your actual max tow capacity. The numbers listed above are the max tow capacities with the high output towing models.

2nd Generation Ford F-150 3.5L EcoBoost Fuel Economy

Standard Output

Model YearDrivetrainCity MpgHighway MpgCombined Mpg
20174×2
4×4
18 mpg
17 mpg
25 mpg
23 mpg
21 mpg
20 mpg
20184×2
4×4
18 mpg
17 mpg
25 mpg
23 mpg
21 mpg
20 mpg
20194×2
4×4
18 mpg
17 mpg
25 mpg
23 mpg
21 mpg
20 mpg
20204×2
4×4
mpg
16 mpg
mpg
22 mpg
mpg
18 mpg
20214×2
4×4
18 mpg
17 mpg
24 mpg
23 mpg
20 mpg
19 mpg
20224×2
4×4
18 mpg
17 mpg
24 mpg
23 mpg
20 mpg
19 mpg
Tow Capacity varies depending on Cab configuration and options selected. Check your owner’s manual or other resources from Ford to determine your actual max tow capacity. The numbers listed above are the max tow capacities with the high output towing models.

High Output Limited Models

Model YearDrivetrainCity MpgHighway MpgCombined Mpg
20194×2
4×4
17 mpg
17 mpg
22 mpg
21 mpg
19 mpg
19 mpg
20204×2
4×4
17 mpg
17 mpg
22 mpg
21 mpg
19 mpg
19 mpg
Tow Capacity varies depending on Cab configuration and options selected. Check your owner’s manual or other resources from Ford to determine your actual max tow capacity. The numbers listed above are the max tow capacities with the high output towing models.

Ford Raptor

Model YearDrivetrainCity MpgHighway MpgCombined Mpg
20174×415 mpg18 mpg16 mpg
20184×415 mpg18 mpg16 mpg
20194×415 mpg18 mpg16 mpg
20204×415 mpg18 mpg16 mpg
2021
2021 (37″ Tires)
4×4
4×4
15 mpg
15 mpg
18 mpg
16 mpg
16 mpg
15 mpg
2022
2022 (37″ Tires)
4×4
4×4
15 mpg
15 mpg
18 mpg
16 mpg
16 mpg
15 mpg
Tow Capacity varies depending on Cab configuration and options selected. Check your owner’s manual or other resources from Ford to determine your actual max tow capacity. The numbers listed above are the max tow capacities with the high output towing models.

Performance Upgrades for 2nd Generation 3.5L EcoBoost Ford F-150s

The EcoBoost engines incredible performance can be largely attributed to the use of twin turbochargers and direct fuel injection. These two characteristics make increasing horsepower relatively easy too. By simply adding a 3.5L EcoBoost tuner with box tunes or custom tuning you can crank out over 50 more horsepower and 50 more lb.-ft of torque very easily. There are a number of other upgrades that are affordable and can improve horsepower, torque, and even fuel economy too. Check out some of our favorites.

Tuners

Edge Evolution CTS3 for Ford Gas Vehicles (2017-2020 EcoBoost)

If you’re looking for a programmer that offers moderate gains but has a ton of data parameter monitoring capabilities, the Edge Evolution CTS3 is a 3.5L EcoBoost Tuner you should consider. It offers box tunes capable of increasing horsepower and torque on your Ford F-150. Despite mentioning custom tune capabilities, this programmer isn’t really supported in the aftermarket with custom tuning.

Bully Dog BDX Programmer

Another tuner that allows you to monitor vehicle parameters, adjust settings, and still comes with preloaded tunes is the Bully Dog BDX programmer. This unit is also widely supported and preferred amongst tuning vendors. Custom tunes can also be downloaded via Wi-Fi, making it so easy to get custom tunes for your 3.5L EcoBoost F-150.

Cold Air Intake Systems

S&B Cold Air Intake (2018-2021)

S&B Filters Cold Air Intake System for 2018-2021 Ford F-150s with the 3.5L EcoBoost offers a less restrictive air intake system that gives your engine cooler, denser air. It focuses on bringing cooler air from outside of the vehicle instead of hot air from the engine bay.

Roush Cold Air Intake (2018-2021)

The Roush Cold Air Intake System reduces restrictions by up to 25% and improves intake sound.

For more ideas to increase horsepower, torque, and fuel economy in your 3.5L EcoBoost-powered F-150, visit our 7 Best 3.5L EcoBoost Performance Upgrades Post.

2nd Generation 3.5L EcoBoost Maintenance Basics

Second Generation 3.5L EcoBoost Maintenance plays an extremely important role in keeping your Ford F-150 reliable and on the road for a long time. It can be done at a dealership, mechanic shops, or even at home, by yourself. If you want to save yourself a couple bucks and make sure your truck is getting the best quality fluids and filters, you might want to try maintaining it yourself. Many of the tasks are easy and can be done at home. If you choose to go this route, we’ll supply you with some basic maintenance intervals to follow, in addition to some parts and fluids you’ll probably need.

Maintenance Intervals (Normal Operating Conditions)

TasksMilesKilometers
Change Engine Oil/Filter5,000-10,000 miles8,000-16,000 kilometers
Change Cabin Air Filter20,000 miles32,000 kilometers
Replace Engine Air Filter30,000 miles48,000 kilometers

If you truck is used for commercial purposes, as part of a fleet, or if you tow frequently, you’ll need to follow a severe maintenance schedule that requires more frequent maintenance intervals.

Common 3.5L EcoBoost Fluids, Oil, And Filters

Part TypePart #/Affiliate Links
Engine Oil FilterMotorcraft FL-500-S
Engine OilMotorcraft SAE 5w-30 Synthetic Blend Motor Oil
XO-5W30-5Q3SP
Engine Air FilterMotorcraft FA-1883
Cabin Air FilterMotorcraft FP-92
Engine CoolantMotorcraft Yellow Prediluted AntiFreeze VC-13DL-G

For more information on performing maintenance on these specific trucks, visit our Comprehensive Guide to 3.5L EcoBoost Maintenance.

1st Gen 3.5L EcoBoost Vs 2nd Gen 3.5L EcoBoost

There are numerous changes that were made to the 2nd Generation 3.5L EcoBoost engine to improve reliability and performance. In the following chart and bulleted list we’ll list the specific differences between these two engines.

Specs/Features1st Generation2nd Generation
Model Years2011-20162017-2022
Configuration60-Degree V6 DOHC60-Degree V6 DOHC
Displacement3.5 Liters
(213 cubic inches)
3.5 Liters (213 cubic inches)
Cylinder Bore3.64″3.64″
Cylinder Stroke3.41″3.41″
Compression Ratio10.0:1Standard Output: 10.5:1
High Output: 10.0:1
Firing Order1-4-2-5-3-61-4-2-5-3-6
Engine Block MaterialAluminumAluminum
Cylinder Head MaterialAluminumAluminum
ValvetrainDirect Acting Mechanical
Bucket with polished
buckets (DAMB)
Roller Finger Follower
Fuel SystemHigh Pressure Direct
Fuel Injection
Twin-Port and Direct Fuel Injection
Air InductionTwin Turbocharged
and Intercooled
Twin turbocharged and intercooled.
Electronic wastegates are used.
Ignition SystemCoil On PlugCoil on Plug
Horsepower365 Horsepower Standard Output (2017-2020): 375 Horsepower
Standard Output (2021+): 400 Horsepower
High Output: 450 Horsepower
Torque420 lb.-ftStandard Output (2017-2020): 470 lb.-ft
Standard Output (2021+): 500 lb.-ft
High Output: 510 lb.-ft
Transmission Used6-Speed 6R80 Automatic10-Speed 10R80 Automatic

Other 2nd Gen Improvements

  • Better Fuel Economy due to a number of mechanical improvements that make this engine more efficient, along with lighter components being used in the engine. 2nd Gen engines are also used in trucks that utilize aluminum exterior paneling.
  • Updated Fuel System and Turbocharger Systems
  • Greater Horsepower and Torque
  • Increased Tow Capacity
  • Updated lower End with lighter, more durable components.
  • Standard Auto Start-Stop

Overall, these changes help make the Second Generation more durable and desirable than the previous one.

2nd Generation 3.5L EcoBoost V6 Engine Infographic

2nd Generation 3.5L EcoBoost Ford F-150 Changes By Model Year

2017 Ford F-150 with the 2nd Generation 3.5L EcoBoost V6 Engine

2017 Ford F-150 3.5L EcoBoost

In 2017, The Second Generation 3.5L EcoBoost V6 Turbocharged engine debuts, along with a new standard 10-speed automatic transmission that significantly improves fuel economy, power, and overall drivability. A new High-Output 2nd Gen 3.5L EcoBoost engine is also introduced on the 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor.

2018 Ford F-150 3.5L EcoBoost

2018 Ford F-150 3.5L EcoBoost

In 2018, Ford F-150s with the EcoBoost engine received an updated body design featuring new grilles, bumpers, and headlights. New technologies were also added, including pre-collision assist, adaptive cruise-control, 4G LTE model for an on-board Wi-Fi hotspot, and a new B&O sound system. The 3.0L Powerstroke Diesel engine debuts, in addition to the 2nd Generation 2.7L EcoBoost engine.

2019 Ford F-150 Limited with the High-Output 3.5L EcoBoost engine

2019 Ford F-150 3.5L EcoBoost

In 2019, the High-Output 3.5L EcoBoost engine was made available on Ford F-150s in the Limited trim package.

2020 Ford F-150 Raptor

2020 Ford F-150 3.5L EcoBoost

2020 was the last year before a substantial exterior and interior update of the Ford F-150. Only minor changes were made for 2020 Ford F-150s. Some exterior color options were added and others removed. Driver Assist technologies were also improved.

2021 Ford F-150 3.5L EcoBoost

2021 Ford F-150 3.5L EcoBoost

2021 Ford F-150s received a massive overhaul resulting in a new exterior, interior, and powertrain additions and changes. The standard output 3.5L EcoBoost received improvements that resulted in new performance numbers. 2021 Ford F-150s with the 3.5L EcoBoost engine now have 400 horsepower and 500 lb.-ft of torque. The 3.5L PowerBoost engine was also introduced, which is a hybrid variant of the 3.5L EcoBoost engine.

2nd Generation 3.5L EcoBoost FAQS

How much horsepower and torque do 2nd Gen 3.5L EcoBoost engines have when present in the Ford F-150?

2017-2020 Ford F-150s with the standard output engine have 375 horsepower and 470 lb.-ft of torque. 2021-2022 Ford F-150s with the standard output engine have 400 horsepower and 500 lb.-ft of torque. 2017-2022 Ford F-150 Raptors and 2019-2020 Ford F-150 Limited models have 450 horsepower and 510 lb.-ft of torque.

What model years did the Ford F-150 use the 2nd Gen 3.5L EcoBoost engine?

2017-2022 Ford F-150s use the 2nd Generation 3.5L EcoBoost engine.

How many quarts of oil does the 2nd Generation 3.5L EcoBoost Engine take?

6 Quarts with Filter Change.

How much can a Ford F-150 with the 2nd Generation 3.5L EcoBoost engine tow?

2021-2022 Ford F-150s with the 2nd Gen EcoBoost engine can tow up to 14,000 lbs when properly equipped.

2021 Ford F-150 Limited. Picture taken from Ford Media.

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