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#4759060 - 05/16/18 06:23 PM Drilled the intercooler drain 2011 F150 Ecoboost,
Cujet Offline


Registered: 02/15/03
Posts: 7300
Loc: Jupiter, Florida
I drive a 2011 F150 SuperCrew with the 3.5L Ecoboost setup. From early on, the engine would misfire horribly when floored, after a drive in the rain. The reason is that the intercooler would condense the moisture in the air, and water would accumulate in large quantities. Only to be forced into the engine under high power. I learned to slowly ease up to full throttle, to clear out the condensed water that accumulated in the intercooler.

I had considered drilling a hole for quite some time now, but never got around to it. Finally did it, and what a pleasant difference! No more misfire and uneven acceleration. The truck is smooth as silk now, and I am quite happy with the result.

Clearly, a 1/16th inch hole is a minor boost leak, but it does not seem to affect the output or boost levels at any point in RPM or throttle position. Probably the hole is small enough to not be a factor.

Here in South Florida, the intercooler condensate is a huge issue.

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#4759066 - 05/16/18 06:26 PM Re: Drilled the intercooler drain 2011 F150 Ecoboost, [Re: Cujet]
wemay Offline


Registered: 04/04/12
Posts: 9131
Loc: Miami Florida
Very nice work! Thanks for the vid too. One of my neighbors' Explorer surfers this exact thing. I'll pass on the information.
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#4759068 - 05/16/18 06:27 PM Re: Drilled the intercooler drain 2011 F150 Ecoboost, [Re: Cujet]
ZeeOSix Offline


Registered: 07/22/10
Posts: 18167
Loc: PNW
Wow, that's a lot of water trapped inside the IC. What's Ford's fix for this water collecting issue?

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#4759082 - 05/16/18 06:38 PM Re: Drilled the intercooler drain 2011 F150 Ecoboost, [Re: ZeeOSix]
zorobabel Offline


Registered: 01/27/11
Posts: 523
Loc: Anaheim, CA
Originally Posted By: ZeeOSix
Wow, that's a lot of water trapped inside the IC. What's Ford's fix for this water collecting issue?

Thats a minor prostate issue...
Ford calls it the the carbon cleaning feature.
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#4759097 - 05/16/18 06:49 PM Re: Drilled the intercooler drain 2011 F150 Ecoboost, [Re: zorobabel]
bdcardinal Offline


Registered: 06/03/05
Posts: 11164
Loc: Santa Barbara, CA
Originally Posted By: zorobabel
Originally Posted By: ZeeOSix
Wow, that's a lot of water trapped inside the IC. What's Ford's fix for this water collecting issue?

Thats a minor prostate issue...
Ford calls it the the carbon cleaning feature.


And this is why you don't see carbon buildup as much on them LOL
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#4759099 - 05/16/18 06:49 PM Re: Drilled the intercooler drain 2011 F150 Ecoboost, [Re: Cujet]
Cujet Offline


Registered: 02/15/03
Posts: 7300
Loc: Jupiter, Florida
Ford has a fix that includes blocking off a good portion of the ambient airflow to the intercooler. That seems like a terrible idea to me, as the intercooler is there to cool and can only be effective if there is effective heat exchange.

Sorry, that's not my video. It's the one that inspired me to drill the hole.

I absolutely could not believe how much gunk came out. Seemed like about 10 ounces of brown colored oil/water mix.
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#4759102 - 05/16/18 06:57 PM Re: Drilled the intercooler drain 2011 F150 Ecoboost, [Re: Cujet]
bdcardinal Offline


Registered: 06/03/05
Posts: 11164
Loc: Santa Barbara, CA
Originally Posted By: Cujet
Ford has a fix that includes blocking off a good portion of the ambient airflow to the intercooler. That seems like a terrible idea to me, as the intercooler is there to cool and can only be effective if there is effective heat exchange.

Sorry, that's not my video. It's the one that inspired me to drill the hole.

I absolutely could not believe how much gunk came out. Seemed like about 10 ounces of brown colored oil/water mix.


Would be nice if there was a drain plug, but you know, that would make sense.
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#4759114 - 05/16/18 07:06 PM Re: Drilled the intercooler drain 2011 F150 Ecoboost, [Re: Cujet]
Thermo1223 Offline


Registered: 04/18/05
Posts: 2090
Loc: Easton, PA
Was known issue on the newer commonrail VW TDI's as well.



Some would even turn to a solid chunk of ice in the winter and block the intake completely. I've noticed my Tiguan hesitating on damp mornings especially when the dew point hits. The intercooler on the Tiguan is a huge front mount so I bet water is pooling in there too.
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#4759121 - 05/16/18 07:15 PM Re: Drilled the intercooler drain 2011 F150 Ecoboost, [Re: Cujet]
webfors Offline


Registered: 06/06/06
Posts: 4955
Loc: Great White North.. eh
Wow, never would have thought. That must be an issue with all intercooler setups to varying degrees!
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#4759122 - 05/16/18 07:16 PM Re: Drilled the intercooler drain 2011 F150 Ecoboost, [Re: Cujet]
Audios Offline


Registered: 11/19/11
Posts: 1001
Loc: Lyndhurst NJ
Youre not going to plug the hole you drilled? You wont get faults for boost pressure deviation?
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#4759131 - 05/16/18 07:26 PM Re: Drilled the intercooler drain 2011 F150 Ecoboost, [Re: ZeeOSix]
itguy08 Offline


Registered: 09/15/11
Posts: 3287
Loc: Somewhere
Originally Posted By: ZeeOSix
Wow, that's a lot of water trapped inside the IC. What's Ford's fix for this water collecting issue?


They plate off about 1/3 of the intercooler and re-program the PCM. I had it done on mine. No appreciable difference in power, either under load or unloaded. Seems to run fine but we do tow heavy with it so I suppose there isn't much accumulation.

Both methods work well, just depends if you get it done under warranty or not.

The other thing the early Ecoboosts like is new plugs about every 40-50k. Seems to perk up MPGs and makes it slightly smoother.


Edited by itguy08 (05/16/18 07:33 PM)

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#4759132 - 05/16/18 07:27 PM Re: Drilled the intercooler drain 2011 F150 Ecoboost, [Re: Cujet]
A_Harman Offline


Registered: 10/01/10
Posts: 6972
Loc: Michigan
Yeah, it's a boost leak, but the turbo just has to run a little faster to pump up the boost to reach the programmed limit. Could add to turbo lag or time to achieve max boost. Have you noticed a difference?
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#4759135 - 05/16/18 07:29 PM Re: Drilled the intercooler drain 2011 F150 Ecoboost, [Re: Cujet]
VeryNoisyPoet Offline


Registered: 12/16/17
Posts: 347
Loc: Massachusetts
Strange that there was no factory measure for getting rid of water. My intercooler came with a little weep hole in the bottom and it always has evidence of ejecting some water and oil when I take off the front air tray.

Same reason why you should have an air chiller and dryer on a shop air compressor.
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#4759147 - 05/16/18 07:38 PM Re: Drilled the intercooler drain 2011 F150 Ecoboost, [Re: Cujet]
bubbatime Offline


Registered: 03/18/08
Posts: 5754
Loc: South Florida
Wow that is incredible. Cant believe Ford didn't come up with a factory way to get rid of the water. I guess they don't care up in Michigan, with their much drier air.
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#4759148 - 05/16/18 07:39 PM Re: Drilled the intercooler drain 2011 F150 Ecoboost, [Re: Cujet]
2004tdigls Offline


Registered: 10/31/11
Posts: 495
Loc: maple ridge, bc
this also happened to the new vw tdi engines

they froze solid

http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=302863

or fill up with sludge

http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=374173





Edited by 2004tdigls (05/16/18 07:40 PM)

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