Is Tuning Your F-150 Really Worth It?

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Tuners promise insane power gains for little cash. But does a tuned F-150 deliver as promised? Let’s find out!

Tuning, once relegated mostly to the diesel ranks, is all the rage these days. And for good reason. In the old days of carbureted engines, you had to swap out jets and play with timing by hand to get your engine running optimally. Today, simply dial up a custom tune from any number of reputable outfits and they do all the work for you. Sellers promise considerable power gains with nearly zero downside, making tuning a no-brainer. Or is it?

The guys at The Fast Lane Truck wanted to find out just how much of a difference tuning really makes. Thus, they took a stock Ford F-150 and proceeded to give it a tune. They also measured 0-60 times and 1/4 mile results before and after. And in this case, they did it on the same day to eliminate any other variables such as temperature.

Ford F-150

Their test bed is a 2017 Ford F-150 equipped with the 3.5-liter Ecoboost V6. It produces 375 hp and 470 lb-ft in stock form. At a mile above sea level and on a somewhat wet track, the stock four-wheel drive F-150 lays down a 7.07-second 0-60 and 15.068-second 1/4 mile at 91.59 mph.

Even before the tuned F-150 hits the track, the gains are impressive. “They dyno’d this truck in South Carolina,” TFLT notes. “At the wheels, this truck is putting down about 120 more horsepower and about 120 more pound-feet of torque. Which is a considerable amount.”

Ford F-150

So how does all that extra power translate to the drag strip? Well, the very first run nets a 5.77-second 0-60 and 14.05 1/4 mile at 95.78 mph. And in the process, the otherwise stock F-150 almost outruns a Mustang.

Ford F-150

Even better, the tuned Ford F-150 proves to be every bit as livable on a daily basis. Heck, it even has built-in parameters to protect vital components in case of a problem. So to answer our original question, yes, you should tune your F-150. Well, unless you’re concerned about voiding your warranty, that is!

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Brett Foote has been covering the automotive industry for over five years and is a longtime contributor to Internet Brands’ Auto Group sites, including Chevrolet Forum, Rennlist, and Ford Truck Enthusiasts, among other popular sites.

He has been an automotive enthusiast since the day he came into this world and rode home from the hospital in a first-gen Mustang, and he's been wrenching on them nearly as long.

In addition to his expertise writing about cars, trucks, motorcycles, and every other type of automobile, Brett had spent several years running parts for local auto dealerships.

You can follow along with his builds and various automotive shenanigans on Instagram: @bfoote.

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