PJF’s 1995 F-150 Turbo V8 Build: The Long and Winding Road
Member’s build-thread centered on F-150 pickup with a turbocharged V8 covers four years, two engine layouts, and a new Corvette.
Back in 2006, F-150 Online member PJF introduced us to his 1995 Ford F-150. Back then, his plan was to replace the factory inline-six engine with a turbocharged 4.6L V8 from a Mustang GT. Over the course of the next four years, he walked us through this unique project, including the difficulties in making the boosted V8 fit neatly in the engine bay, engine damage while the vehicle was stored, a new engine configuration and, at the end, the sale of the powerful pickup.
When PJF introduced us to his 1995 Ford F-150, he did so in a long thread which detailed what he was doing and why. You can read that whole post in the thread, but here are the key details of this build:
“I am in the process of putting a 4.6 SOHC with T45 and a single Master Power T70 turbocharger into my 1995 Eddie Bauer edition 4.9L automatic, short bed, 2WD F-150.
The truck is a two owner unmolested beauty that lived the majority of her life in California before a few years in North Carolina. She is totally rust and accident free and sports only 77K miles on the odometer. She runs and drives like a dream! Sadly the 4.9L inline six and automatic just don’t make my heart thump like some of the other fast cars and motorcycles I have previously owned. So a pretty substantial upgrade is in the works!
For the horsepower junkies among us, this is how she will end up being powered in the next few weeks:
2002 Mustang GT 4.6 SOHC in completely stock form save for 42 lbs. injectors. 4.6 Will be converted to return style rails and 255 LPH in tank pump.
Single Master Power T70 turbo.
T45 5 speed transmission.
Megasquirt II standalone EMS with Megaview indash Vacuum Flourescent Dislplay.
Stock rear end.
Stock suspension at all four corners, at least until I am up and running!”
He also included some images of the truck, the donor engine and the turbocharger.
Adding the Turbo V8
After the factory inline-six engine was removed, PJF began the install of the Mustang’s 4.6L V8 into the F-150’s engine bay. Not surprisingly, the V8 fit into the spacious bay without much work, but the tough part of this build was creating the turbocharger setup. The OP opted to place the turbo behind the driver’s side headlight and he made custom piping that ran from the factory manifolds to that area, along with also fabricating the downpipe.
It took a generous amount of careful measuring, but PJF was able to build a great-looking turbo setup that made good use of otherwise unused space in the engine bay.
He also mounted the intercooler in front of the radiator to help cool the compressed air heading to the F-150’s new V8 engine.
Finally, to make the boosted Mustang GT engine work in the F-150, PJF built an elaborate Megasquirt setup with a Ford engine control unit to run the injectors and the coilpacks. This included a whole lot of detailed wiring, but once he was done with that, he moved onto things like the remote oil filter system, the fuel rail setup and the lengthy tuning process.
After getting the manual transmission, the manual pedal box and the driveshaft from a Crown Vic Police Interceptor, the OP was able to begin driving his turbocharged, V8-powered F-150. He spent the end of 2006 and much of 2007 dealing with little fixes here and there, until he seemingly vanished about halfway through that year. Turns out that he is in the military and he was sent overseas, during which time he covered his wicked F-150 until he returned home in July of 2008.
Unfortunately, there was no good news on his turbocharged pickup.
PJF found that while his F-150 was sitting and he was overseas, what little water was left in the block after he had drained it had frozen. The frozen water pushed out the freeze plugs, but it also put a small crack in the engine block. He was forced to pull the engine and repair the damage, but at that point, his project took a sharp turn.
Rather than reinstall the boosted V8, the OP switched to an NA setup. He completed that swap, cleaned up the interior and spent some time driving the truck until he made the decision to sell it.
Years of effort went into PJF’s 1995 F-150 and the result was one cool sleeper truck. In his final posts in the build thread, he talked about his plans to build another truck down the road, but in the meantime, he had gotten into a C6 Corvette convertible.
If you are looking to swap a turbocharged V8 into a similar truck, this thread is an incredible wealth of knowledge, but if you aren’t building anything – this thread shows just how much work goes into a project like this one.