Just A Custom Tune Pumps Up A 2018 F-150 By 20 HP

Matt Alderman of ID Motorsports recently tuned up a 2018 F-150 using SCT software and hardware with impressive results.

There is justified excitement about the new dual-fuel Coyote engine under the hood of the 2018 Mustang GT. However, a similar version of that engine is also shared by Ford’s popular pickup — the 2018 Ford F-150. Recently Matt Alderman of ID Motorsports applied his tuning know-how to the latest 5.0 truck with some impressive results.

“We where excited to start our R&D for the calibration on the 2018 5.0-liter F150,” Matt said. “With all the new hardware, from larger intake cam, direct/port injection, raised compression, four knock sensors, and a 10-speed automatic transmission to name a few changes.”

Using the latest SCT handheld tuner, the BDX, Matt flashed the pickup’s factory PCM and hit the chassis dyno to document the results.

Since this was the beginning of his dual-fuel tuning work, Matt worked up from basic pump gas before turning up the wick with high-octane fuel. He used SCT Performance’s Advantage III software and its latest BDX handheld tuner to create and deliver a custom calibration to the truck’s factory PCM.

“We started out with 87 octane since we do tune for fleet and they utilize 87 octane in all of fleet vehicles. So with some minor fueling and some variable cam timing work we where able to get some small gains,” Matt explained. “We did find that tuning this new driveline was definitely different that ’17-and-older 5.0-liter engines. The factory uses different modes at different times for the variable cam timing over previous years. It also is running lower ignition timing than previous years. This gives us a look at what to expect in the 2018 5.0 Mustang.”

As you know from reading our previous coverage on the Gen 3 Coyote engine, it features a host of upgrades headlined by the application of both port and direct fuel injection, which gives it the dual-fuel designation. This opens up some interesting possibilities as tuners start to push the new combination.

“For the dual fuel system we have been working on balance using the port injection when needed but using the direct injection more at wide-open throttle,” Matt added. “This is a good learning experience as the Mustang will have minor differences. We should be able to use everything we learned on the F-150 on the Mustang.”

With 93-octane in the tank, Matt tweaked the calibration to pick up a solid 20.65 horsepower and 16.73 lb-ft of torque with no other changes.

That learning looks to include more than just your everyday pump-gas fuels, so there definitely should be more in this combination, but for now this truck picked up solid gains from just a tune.

“These initial tests are only the beginning as over time we will push the limits of the fuel system and different combos and different fuels,” Matt said. “We have noticed about the same gains as previous years but the truck feels faster, mostly because of the new 10-speed transmission. We noticed after a shift the RPM does not drop as far in the RPM range.”

It should be exciting to see just what is possible with this new combination.

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About the author

Steve Turner

As Executive Editor of FordNXT and Ford Muscle, Steve Turner brings decades of passion and knowledge to Power Automedia. He has covered the world of Ford performance for over 20 years. From the swan song of the Fox Mustang to the birth of the Coyote, Steve had a front-row seat.
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