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Old 07-16-2017, 09:46 PM   #1
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Dissecting ford's ecoboost engine

Wasn't sure of where to post this...I think the article below is really interesting...I hope its of some interest to those here...this is a copy/paste of the article...

JULY 2017 ISSUE

DISSECTING FORD'S ECOBOOST ENGINE
By Roy Dennis Ripple
Ford EcoBoost engines combine turbocharging and direct injection to improve fuel economy and lower emissions without sacrificing performance. What could go wrong?

The goal is to build a low-emissions vehicle, with good fuel economy, that performs so well that the driver forgets heís driving a low-emissions vehicle with good fuel economy. To achieve it, we need to squeeze every bit of efficiency out of every cubic centimeter of a small-displacement engine. This is what Ford engineers have attempted with their EcoBoost engines. Theyíve managed to get 179 hp from their 1.5L 4-cylinder and 365 hp from a 3.5L V6. The EcoBoost is also available in other flavorsóa 2.7L V6, a 2.3L, 2.0L and 1.6L 4-cylinder, and a 1.0L 3-cylinder.

The EcoBoost is a gasoline turbocharged direct injection (GTDI) engine that incorporates three fuel-saving, performance-enhancing technologies into one engine designóforced air induction via turbocharging, high-pressure direct fuel injection and variable cam timing.

In a GTDI engine, fuel is delivered to the engine compartment by a low-pressure fuel pump, using a returnless fuel system. Fuel then passes through a mechanically actuated high-pressure fuel pump mounted on top of the cylinder head and driven by a four-sided camshaft lobe. The fuel travels through a stainless-steel fuel rail at pressures between 65 and 2150 psi, depending on demand, then to the fuel injectors, which inject fuel directly into the combustion chambers.

Eco_0717_1

Intake air enters through the air filter and is compressed by the compressor side of the turbocharger. The very hot compressed air is forced through the charge air cooler (CAC)óbecause as we all know, cool air is denser, which means it combusts more efficiently than hot airóthen passes through the throttle body to the intake manifold, past the intake valves and into the combustion chamber.

After combustion, the exhaust is pushed into a dual-chamber exhaust manifold, which incorporates an air gap between the exhaust and the engine compartment. This keeps the exhaust hotter, which makes for more efficient turbocharger operation, and helps keep the engine compartment cooler. The hot expanding exhaust gases travel to the turbine side of the turbocharger, spinning the rotor at speeds of up to 200,000 rpm, which in turn spins the compressor side of the turbocharger. Thatís the basic start-up and go of the GTDI engine.

There havenít been many changes made to the base engine to accommodate GTDI. They have dual-overhead camshafts (DOHCs) over four valves per cylinder, which are governed by variable cam timing (VCT). The cylinder heads are aluminum, and all EcoBoost engines but the 1.0L and the 2.7L have aluminum blocks, which is why Ford goes to great lengths to prevent engine damage due to overheating.

The compression ratio is a modest 10:1 for all GTDI engines except the 2.0L, which is 9.3:1, and the 2.3L, which is 9.5:1. The lower compression is necessary in forced-air engines to prevent detonation. At 15 psi of turbo boost at sea level, an engine with a 10:1 compression ratio has an effective compression ratio of about 20:1. This ratio flirts with the detonation knock limit. Compression any higher can lead to preignition of the air-fuel mixture, causing some nasty detonation.

One concern thatís becoming a problem with all GTDI engines is excessive carbon buildup on the back side of the intake valves. This causes hard-to-diagnose misfires, especially when the engine is cold, and can also create a rough, rolling idle. One reason for this is valve timing.

When the exhaust valve opens on the exhaust stroke under boost conditions, the intake valve opens slightly to allow forced air into the combustion chamber. This push of forced fresh air aids in the evacuation of exhaust from the cylinder. During this overlap, a small amount of combustion gases can sneak past the intake valves, causing carbon buildup on the back side of the valves. The direct fuel injection worsens this condition because fuel isnít sprayed directly onto the intake valve to clean it off; direct injection sprays fuel directly into the combustion chamber.

Another contributor to this issue is the PCV system. Besides the normal crankcase vapors that enter the intake from the PCV system, these vapors can also enter the intake from the turbocharger. A check valve in the PCV vacuum hose diverts crankcase vapors to the turbochargerís low-pressure hose under boost conditions. This prevents the backflow of pressurized intake air through the PCV valve and into the crankcase.

The only sure way to diagnose excessive carbon buildup is to look at the valves with a borescope. So if youíre diagnosing a phantom misfire on a GTDI engine, especially if itís worse cold and after eliminating the usual suspects, break out the borescope.

Eco_0717_2

As you begin seeing more GTDI engines in your shop, chances are youíll hear complaints about black smoke from the tailpipe. Black smoke during initial start-up, and especially during the first cold acceleration event, is considered normal. This is due to the dual-pulse injection strategy used during a cold-start event. The optimal cold-start scenario is a mixture which is rich enough to accommodate a cold engine, yet lean enough to allow the catalytic converters to quickly reach operating temperature. During cold start-up on a GTDI engine, the injectors deliver a small spray on the downstroke of the intake cycle, then another spray at the top of the cycle, right at the piston. The shape of the piston forces the fuel towards the spark plug, allowing a good cold-start mixture without creating a rich condition. This tends to cause some black puffs from the tailpipe. If the fuel trims donít indicate a rich condition, itís normal.

The 1.0L EcoBoost GTDI engine uses an oil-bathed timing belt, so donít panic when you see an oil-soaked belt. When servicing timing belts or chains on any of Fordís 4-cylinder GTDI engines, do not loosen the crankshaft pulley bolt without first locking down the crankshaft and camshafts with the special tools. The pulleys are not keyed, and lock to the shaft when tightened. If theyíre loosened without locking down the shafts, the valve springs will spin the camshafts, possibly causing engine damage.

Hereís a one-sentence description of what a turbocharger does: ďTurbochargers increase engine efficiency by supplying compressed fresh air to the combustion chambers by means of a centrifugal air compressor thatís powered by expanding exhaust gases.Ē There is one turbocharger on Fordís 3- and 4-cylinder engines, and two on the V6 models, one for each bank. The GTDI turbos are cooled by engine oil, coolant and air. The bearings are lubricated by engine oil.

GTDI turbochargers are mounted directly to, or in some applications integrated with, the exhaust manifolds. The turbos being so close to the combustion chambers allow them to reach maximum speed more quickly. This, along with the low-inertia rotors that drive the turbine, allows for quick turbo reaction and virtually no turbo lag. But the location of the turbos does create some issues. They get hot. Theyíre also vulnerable to damage from loose carbon pieces that might fly out of the cylinder, which is why you should never perform an induction service on a GTDI engine. The excess heat created by the cleaner and the breaking away of rough carbon chunks are killing turbos. Ford is working on an approved induction cleaning system.

Turbocharger output must be regulated to prevent excessive intake pressure, or overboost. The powertrain control module (PCM) controls exhaust flow to the turbos using a turbocharger-mounted wastegate, which directs exhaust flow around the turbocharger when needed. The wastegate is opened by a diaphragm operated by engine vacuum or boost pressure, depending on the application. The PCM uses an intake manifold-mounted MAP sensor to monitor boost pressure. Then, using a wastegate regulating valve solenoid, it commands the diaphragm to move a poppet-style valve that redirects exhaust flow around the turbo. The valve is held in the closed position by spring pressure. A threaded rod connects the diaphragm to the valve, and although the rod has an adjusting nut, itís not adjustable. The rod comes from the factory with a painted cage over the adjusting nut. If the cage is missing, or if the paint is disturbed, someone has tried to adjust it, and the entire turbo must be replaced, since the wastegate and rod are not serviced separately.

During quick throttle releases, intake air from the high-pressure turbocharger outlet is redirected to the low-pressure turbocharger inlet by the turbocharger bypass valve (TCBV). This recirculating of airflow prevents loud air sounds that are caused by the backup of intake air through the turbocharger. When the TCBV is stuck closed, the air sound during a quick deceleration can be pretty loud, and will often generate a customer complaint. Depending on the application, the TCBV will be operated by an electric motor or by engine vacuum.

Eco_0717_3

Most issues with turbocharger control will set a DTC, but not all. I recently serviced an Explorer with the 3.5L GTDI that would lose power on acceleration at about 40 mph. There were no DTCs stored in the PCM, so I proceeded with a visual inspection, which is your most valuable tool in all diagnoses. The vacuum hose from the air intake to the TCBV was cracked and leaking, causing intake air to bypass the turbochargers during a time when boost air was needed the most. Since then Iíve seen a few of these hoses that were soft and cracked. Be sure to check this when diagnosing a loss of power on a GTDI engine.

Here are some tips for diagnosing turbocharger noise concerns. An air turbulence sound or a whoosh! noise during throttle tip-in on a V6 GTDI engine could be caused by turbocharger imbalance, meaning that both turbos are not operating evenly in relation to each other. Check the paint on the wastegate rods to ensure that no one has messed with the adjustment, then proceed with wastegate diagnosis. Other noise concerns include a whistling sound or a hissing sound. A whistle is usually caused by a leak in the low-pressure side of the turbo; a hiss is normally a high-pressure leak, past the turbo.

Before performing any diagnosis on a GTDI engine, visually inspect all air intake and vacuum hose connections. The smallest air leak can cause driveability issues and set DTCs. During your visual inspection, you might notice oil residue around the turbo. This is normal due to the PCV system. Oil leaking, draining or puddling is not normal.

A few more things about the turbos. The only change in the evaporative emissions system to accommodate GTDI is a check valve positioned between the intake manifold and the canister purge valve to prevent boost pressure from entering the vapor canister.

Thereís a screen located in the turbocharger oil supply line. Always replace it when replacing a turbo that has failed, and if you remove the air inlet or outlet hose from the turbo, cover the opening with a shop rag. The smallest piece of debris can launch that turbo.

The 1.5L GTDI uses a water-cooled CAC. Coolant is circulated through the cooler by an electric coolant pump. This auxiliary cooling system is filled through the same degas bottle as the engine cooling system, and a bleeder valve is provided above the cooler.

Eco_0717_4

Due to the lack of intake manifold vacuum during boost, a mechanical vacuum pump is used to accommodate the brake power booster. The vacuum pump is mounted on the back of the cylinder head and is camshaft-driven. The 2011 and 2012 F-150s use an electrical pump mounted on the left side of the radiator support, behind the headlight. These electric pumps do go bad and make a lot of noise when they do.

What about the DI part of GTDI, high-pressure direct fuel injection? One of the biggest advantages of fuel being injected directly into the combustion chamber is that it doesnít vaporize in the intake manifold or stick to the walls of the intake ports. Instead, the fuel is atomized by intake air as it enters the combustion chamber.

The low-pressure pump is primed by the activation of the interior lamp circuit. So when you open the door, the low-pressure pump turns on for a couple of seconds to establish fuel pressure. When the PCM receives an engine start signal, it sends a 65V boost to the
fuel injectors to give them a kick start, then modulates voltage as needed. Since the high-pressure pump is mechanical, it starts working as soon as the engine starts turning.

A steel line supplies fuel to the fuel
rail from the high-pressure pump. While thereís no service port in the high-pressure side of the fuel system, some models do supply a service port on the low-pressure side. The best way to determine fuel pressures is by monitoring parameters for the fuel pressure sensor, which is located on the low-pressure side, and the fuel rail pressure (FRP) sensor, which is mounted on the high-pressure side. High pressure is controlled by a fuel volume regulator, which is pulse-modulated by the PCM, mounted on the high-pressure pump.

Both the low-pressure and high-pressure sides of the fuel system work together, and each will react to the other in case of a malfunction. We serviced a 1.6L Escape with a loss of power through the entire range, from tip-in to top speed. It ran like it was going uphill against a head wind. First thing I noticed was that low fuel pressure was about 10 psi above specification. Then I discovered that this was because high fuel pressure was running drastically below specification. The PCM was boosting low pressure in an attempt to compensate for the decreased high pressure. So when monitoring fuel pressures, be aware that an out-of-spec value on one side could be due to a fault on the other side.

Ford does not recommend backprobing the fuel injector harness plug while the engine is running, as this can damage the PCM. If you have an inoperative injector, check both wires from the injector to the PCM for an open or short. Check resistance across the two pins at the injector; it should be 1 to 2 ohms. Donít try to bench-test a GTDI fuel injector. Remember, it takes 65V to get those things started.

Thereís a tappet located under the high-pressure pump that rests on the camshaft lobe and engages the pump. Be sure to check the tappet and camshaft lobe for wear when replacing the pump. Donít forget to remove the tappet when replacing a cylinder head or engine and place it in the new one. Itís easy to miss, and the engine will idle fine without it, but youíll notice it missing as soon as you accelerate.

That tap, tap you hear coming from an idling GTDI engine is not a valve tap but normal operation of the high-pressure pump. A rubber noise suppressor is fitted over the pump at the factory to help suppress the noise. Donít forget to reinstall the suppressor, because if you donít, the customer will hear the tap and come back to you with, ďEver since you fixed my carÖĒ We all love that.

The EcoBoost GTDI engines use a basic coil-on-plug ignition system, with one exception. The coil driver is integrated into the coil, rather than the PCM. This means that the coil harness plug contains three wires, a power circuit thatís hot in Start and Run, a ground circuit and a trigger circuit from the PCM. The PCM grounds the trigger wire, which switches the driver to fire the coil. Itís important that you donít unplug these coils while the engine is running, as this can damage the PCM. Itís best to pull the coil from the spark plug and install a spark tester to see if youíre getting spark. If thereís no spark, swap coils with another cylinder to see if the misfire follows.

All GTDI engines use twin independent variable cam timing (Ti-VCT) to adjust timing on both intake and exhaust cams, except for the 3.5L engine thatís not in the F-150; these use intake phase shifting (IPS) controlling only the intake camshaft. VCT systems use oil pressure-controlled actuators to rotate the camshafts to advance or retard engine timing based on operating conditions. Besides providing reduced emissions and increased engine power, Ti-VCT also allows for the elimination of the EGR valve. This is accomplished by controlling the overlap between the intake valve opening and the exhaust valve closing, allowing a small amount of exhaust gases to be pulled into the cylinder during the intake stroke.

The Ti-VCT actuators are mounted to the front of each camshaft, and the timing chain or timing belt is mounted to the actuator. The actuator is moved by oil pressure, which is regulated by a PCM-controlled solenoid. When the flow of oil is shifted from one side of the actuator to the other, the differential change in oil pressure rotates the camshaft to an advanced or retarded position. The PCM uses crankshaft position (CKP) and camshaft position (CMP) sensor values to determine engine timing. If the PCM detects a concern with the Ti-VCT systemóusually an open in the solenoid circuit or incorrect actual engine timing in relation to desired engine timingóit will move the actuators to the default position and set a DTC.

Since Ti-VCT is dependent on oil pressure, itís critical that engine oil pressure is within specs for the system to work properly. When diagnosing a problem with Ti-VCT thatís not a circuit issue, check oil pressure first. Low oil pressure can cause noisy actuators, noisy chains and incorrect actual engine timing. Check for oil sludge, even if oil pressure is within specs. Sludge can clog the small oil passages that feed the actuators, resulting in a malfunction.

I recently serviced a 1.6L GTDI engine with various Ti-VCT performance DTCs. I first checked oil pressure, which was within specs. During disassembly, I found small pieces of filter material clogging the intake VCT actuator that had broken loose from an aftermarket no-name oil filter. The pieces were small and made up a sort of paper-oil mud. It didnít affect engine operation in any other way; it just clogged up the Ti-VCT. Be sure to check oil pressure and oil condition before beginning Ti-VCT diagnosis.

Eco_0717_5

The cooling system on the GTDI engine uses various tricks to control coolant flow through the engine. To allow engine components to warm up quicker, the 1.6L GTDI engine utilizes a coolant shutoff solenoid valve that controls coolant flow through the engine block during a cold start. The valve shuts down all coolant to the engine until the warm-up phase is over, then reopens, allowing normal coolant flow. During a cold start with ambient temperature below 60įF, the shutoff valve remains open to provide cabin heat to the driver. To check if the shutoff valve is stuck closed, remove the degas bottle cap and look for flow. If you see no flow in the degas bottle on a warm engine, the shutoff valve is not opening.

Coolant flow to the turbochargers is supplied through a line that branches off from the engine cooling system in all EcoBoost GTDI engines except the 1.0L, which uses a separate electric coolant pump to feed the turbos. The 1.0L also uses two thermostats to better control coolant flow through the engine.

To control airflow through the radiator and a/c condenser, some models use an active grille configuration. The grille is a series of blinds located in front of the a/c condenser and is controlled by the PCM via an electric actuator. The blinds can close completely to stop airflow, or allow partial flow by opening, in 6į increments, all the way to fully open. The PCM uses engine temperature, ambient temperature, vehicle speed and a/c pressures to determine the position of the active grille. If the actuator doesnít move to the position desired by the PCM, it will set a DTC. The problem is that the blinds donít always move with the actuator, whether due to road debris, ice or a crash. Always check the blinds for damage or contamination when diagnosing an engine overheat or an a/c efficiency concern. I recently replaced an active grille because a body shop wired the broken blinds shut to keep them from rattling.

In case of overheating, Ford EcoBoost GTDI engines will enter failure mode. At the start of an overheat event, the PCM will turn on warning indicators, set the cooling fans on high and start shutting down cylinders to try to cool the engine. A P1299 (cylinder head overtemperature protection active) will store in the PCM, and the vehicle will idle, but not accelerate. The engine will remain in failure mode until the DTC is cleared, even when the engine cools down.

As long as we refuse to sell our souls to electric cars and still demand good fuel economy plus a little zoom in our morning commute, turbocharged engines and direct fuel injection are most likely the future for passenger cars and light trucks. After all, who doesnít like horsepower?


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Old 07-17-2017, 12:55 AM   #2
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Always thought the 27's had aluminum blocks vs iron.
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Old 07-17-2017, 04:53 AM   #3
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Please cite your source when you copy something.

---->>>>https://www.motor.com/magazine-summa...oboost-engine/
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Old 07-17-2017, 10:44 AM   #4
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Well after reading all that, seems critical to run 100% synthetic oil w/ decent changes.
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Old 07-17-2017, 01:15 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by felixthecat View Post
Well after reading all that, seems critical to run 100% synthetic oil w/ decent changes.
...and low NOACK synthetic to minimize oil vapor.

The normally aspirated Duratec 2.0 has fared better than other GDI engines with respect to carbon deposits on intake valves (thanks to Ford's reversion schema) but the Ecoboost engines have had reports of carbon buildup severe enough to impact idle/performance.
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Old 07-17-2017, 02:55 PM   #6
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I do like the ecoboost motors, just really not looking forward to the carbon issues....
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