AIRAID Delivers Fast-Quick Bolt-On Power for 2011 Ecoboost F-150

Who would have ever believed the humble all-American pick-up truck would be the hot performer it is today? Everyone talks up the good old days of brute muscle car power in the 1960s. In real truth, these are the good old days in the here and now with horsepower, torque, and fuel economy numbers unheard of when the Beach Boys were singing of real fine 409 Chevys, fuel injected Sting Rays, and 413 Mopars.

Once young stud muffins chasing girls in those old muscle cars are now graying with shoe leather skin and crow’s feet. However, these accomplished blue hairs who lived the original muscle car era still know a good thing when they see EcoBoost – AIRAID’s new cold air intake system for high-performance pick-up trucks including Ford’s better than ever F-150. In this how-to we installed AIRAID’s cold air kit, part number 400-239, on our 2011 EcoBoost F-150.

Ecoboost + AIRAID = Power You Can Feel

AIRAID claims all their intake systems are dyno tested and tuned to provide maximum performance and efficiency.

Ford Motor Company is engineering and producing the best cars and trucks in its history with power and efficiency we never could have comprehended 50 years ago when large displacement big-blocks got the respect. The 2011-12 F-150 is a fine example of raw power with the new 3.7L V-6, 5.0L and 6.2L V-8s as well as an exciting twist to the pick-up picture – the turbocharged Ecoboost 3.5L V-6. Ecoboost – clean twin turbocharger power – squeezes the atmosphere and rams it under pressure into hot chambers where real horsepower and torque are made.

Ford’s high-performance Ecoboost system teaches us in new school style on how power is made these days. At the crankshaft at wide-open throttle, Ecoboost makes 365 horsepower at 5000 rpm and 420 ft/lbs of torque at 3000 rpm. Try that with your vintage 428 Cobra Jet or 454-inch Bow-Tie. But honestly, Ecoboost is a whole different kind of power with lightning quick throttle response and smooth application of torque. It’s got the twist with plenty of power for traffic light to traffic light performance and getting onto the freeway coupled with extraordinary fuel economy. Ecoboost is a fresh lesson in how to have it all.

AIRAID's 2011-12 F-150 air intake system for 3.5L Ecoboost V-6 installs in about one hour. Installation is simple and easy. Talk about bang for the buck? Expect to gain 5-10 horsepower and comparable torque with this upgrade. Begin installation by disconnecting the mass air sensor and remove factory air intake system. As you can see, the factory air induction system yields a certain amount of restriction - AIRAID enables you to do better. The new AIRAID air box is easy to assemble and the mass air sensor will transfer directly to the new inlet tube.

AIRAID #400-239 Ecoboost

  • $409.99 Suggested Retail
  • Installs in about one hour
  • 1600 cfm Washable Filter
  • 10-12 hp peak gains
  • Up to 30 hp under 5,000 rpm
  • #400-299 system available for 5.0L
“When the F-150 Ecoboost first hit the market, we knew it was going to be a very popular application and our engineers went to work on it right away,” David Edelman of Airaid tells us, “Every AIRAID intake system is dyno tested and tuned to provide maximum performance and efficiency. By utilizing computer-aided design, AIRAID Intake Systems offer unmatched fit, finish and lifetime warranty.”

What makes the AIRAID system perform is its premium filtration – oil and non-oil – using what they say are some of the finest materials available today. This kind of technology doesn’t come cheap, but what is your engine worth? You want durability and power from the same reliable package, which calls for a filter that traps contaminates that can harm your engine, yet breathes like there’s no filter at all. This is an air filter you can wash and reuse time and time again. What’s more, it comes with a lifetime warranty.

AIRAID’s #400-239 air intake system dovetails right into your Ecoboost’s induction because it retains the factory air box. David Edelman picks up the story, “In developing this system we decided to keep and utilize the lower portion of the factory airbox for two reasons.  One is that it’s a great feed for cold air, and the second reason is that it allows us to retain the OEM coolant reservoir which allows this system to be a very easy bolt-on installation. We have found that most customers do not want to take the time to replace the coolant reservoir, especially considering it does not add any additional performance.”

As you can see, the factory air box is retained for good cold air induction. The deep breathing AIRAID Premium filter does a better job over your stock paper element. Cool air is denser and yields more power.

Installed AIRAID system looks great and helps your engine make more power at the drive wheels. Edelman adds they start with cold air dam panels, which clip into the lower portion of the factory airbox. They also include a roto-molded MAF adaptor that is specifically calibrated to offer proper MAF functionality so you will not throw any codes or check engine lights. The system also includes a huge washable & reusable 1600-CFM air filter that is available in oiled or non-oiled filtration technology and is topped off with AIRAID's blade style weatherstrip to keep engine heat isolated from the intake.

The beauty of AIRAID induction is they claim that no aftermarket tuning is required. Install and go because this is easy bolt-on power. Imagine – 5-10 more horsepower and comparable torque for the investment of a fast trip underhood and a small dent in your credit card bill.  “AIRAID has an in house all-wheel drive Mustang chassis dyno that we do all of our testing on, and have seen repeatable gains of 20 horsepower and a whopping 39 ft/lbs of torque, which comes in below 3000 rpm which is real world useable power!” Edelman tells us.

Baseline testing yields 298.43 horsepower and 319.15 ft/lbs of torque at the axles. With AIRAID, our Ecoboost F-150 turns in peak numbers of 306.59 horsepower (8.16 horses) and 328.06 ft/lbs of torque (8.91 ft/lb) on our in-house Dynojet. Though we have to note that under the curve, there were gains of 30+ horsepower 28+ ft/lbs.

When you install your AIRAID induction improvement kit, it’s not a bad idea to have a good dyno testing performed at the same time, and you may elect at that time to add a performance tuner like those offered by SCT Flash. This is a good practice anytime you make a performance modification.

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About the author

Jim Smart

Jim Smart cut his teeth on automobiles in the 1970s with a passionate interest in Ford and Chrysler musclecars. After serving in the United States Air Force, he transitioned into automotive journalism as editor of Mustang Monthly magazine in 1984. In 1990, Jim joined Petersen Publishing Company as a feature editor at Car Craft, and later as editor of Mustang & Fords, then senior editor at both Mustang Monthly and Mustang & Fords. Jim writes for a wide variety of automotive publishers and websites.
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