Bolt-ons & a Tune Mean Big Gains for F-150

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With little more than an air filter, exhaust upgrade, and software magic, 2018 F-150 rocks the drag strip.

One of the biggest things you can do to your Ford truck is increase its performance. Turbos, displacement, supercharging, engine swaps, the possibilities are endless for gaining maximum power.

If you’re on a budget, though, or just want to test the waters, you might only need a handful of upgrades. American Trucks host Justin Dugan shows what a couple of bolt-ons and a tune can do for his 2018 F-150, and it’s impressive.

2018 Ford F-150 STX

“First up on our F-150, I chose the JLT cold air intake system for the five-liter truck,” Dugan says. “Why? Well, JLT is just known for making power on the Mustangs or basically whatever else you put it on, including the F-150. It’s no-tune required, which is gonna be the majority of the intakes here for the newer F-150s because they are speed density-based and not mass air flow-based.”

Aside from looking good, the intake system should provide plenty of noise from the 5.0-liter Coyote V8, while keeping the engine cooler. Plus, it only takes a 7- or 8-millimeter socket and wrench to bolt it on.

2018 Ford F-150 STX

The next link in the chain is an ID Motorsports 93 Octane tune, which Dugan has on his own Raptor, proclaiming it “runs like a beast” because of it. All that’s left to do is to bring in the final piece of the puzzle.

2018 Ford F-150 STX

“Now, I selected the Roush cat back for the five-liter truck for two big reasons: A, it’s loud as hell, and that’s what we’re going with here for our testing in a little bit,” says Dugan. “B, it’s a very popular system, and it sounds great. This is one of our top-selling exhaust systems for the five-liter truck and for other gens as well. Fits great, nice materials, full stainless steel throughout.”

Dugan adds that the exhaust tips provide “a nice look” from the stock location, though it may take some cutting to get everything fitting nicely.

Bolt-ons & a Tune Mean Big Gains for F-150 continued…

Since launching her professional writing career nearly a decade ago as a fashion blogger, Cameron Aubernon has written for a handful of online and print publications on a wide variety of subjects, including expat issues, fashion, music, and, of course, the automotive industry. The automotive expert was even the editor-in-chief of a popular online lifestyle publication, where she reviewed luxury cars and interviewed fellow automotive enthusiasts.

A graduate of The Evergreen State College Class of 2005 with a bachelor's in liberal arts, Aubernon took a left turn from fashion writing into the automotive realm when she asked a fellow writer via Facebook if she could write for their site. Following an internship, stints with a couple of hyper-local online publications, and a move to Seattle, she made her then-biggest impact with The Truth About Cars, writing full-time for the publication from 2013 to 2015.

Currently, the highly-regarded automotive journalist is a frequent contributor to the high-traffic Internet Brands Auto Group websites Rennlist, Club Lexus, LS1Tech and Mustang Forums, among others.

Aubernon’s expert knowledge of all things Ford trucks has also made her a mainstay as one of the most prolific writers on Ford Truck Enthusiasts and F-150 Online.

Aubernon can be contacted via email at [email protected].

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