Anyone Here Get Their 2.5T Tuned Yet?

TheLion, thanks for the in depth information, its great education for everyone.
I've been a long time K&N user, mainly for the fact that they are reusable, and since I, like you, are an engineer (mechanical) and auto enthusiast, I dont mind cleaning my K&N more often. I have had K&Ns in cars over 200,000 miles with no issues related to wear and more dirt intrusion into the combustion chamber, but I havent done scientific studies either. So Im not trying to disprove what you mentioned, just giving another perspective. Sometimes I just like the slight bump in sound on some engines using a K&N, as one reason paper filters are used if for their sound absorbing capabilities, as OE's try to control sound as well with intakes, not just performance and durability.
Its all a game of trade-offs and how you elect to balance them.
As far as the additional performance I think some here are looking for (cant speak for everyone of course), with their CX-9's, is back to the trade-offs. Some arent suggesting to wring out the 2.5T for the most power you can get, at the expense of lasting only 30K before falling apart, but to shift the priorities. For example, if your like me, used to 14 MPG with my Cayenne Turbo, giving up some MPG's on the wifes CX9 wont be a shock, if I could get a little better mid to top end power. Thats likely what you got with your Ford tune, they worked within reason of the vehicle system, giving up something, but getting a little bit more elsewhere, or negating a top priority they felt the majority of customers want, for another like more performance. And thats why they can back it, its not extreme and within the design space. Heck, some people only keep a car for 20,000 miles, and could care less about durability, but want a little more performance......to each their own.
And at the end of the day, maybe there is nothing left on the table with the 2.5T, maybe Mazda already did all they could and elevated performance in all areas, or had to greatly limit something in another area that prevents any additional gains or even re-balancing of trade-offs, and thats fine, but I think its an unknown to anyone outside of Mazda.
I do agree, you cant just have anyone do this type of programming, and it needs some driveability, durability, etc. backing before Im jumping on the band wagon. That again, is something Ford has the resources to do, or in my opinion, already did when they developed the 2.3 turbo, they just released something different to the market for different reasons, based on different priorities, but knew they could come back to it if customers wanted some more power over another attribute.
 
TheLion, thanks for the in depth information, its great education for everyone.
I've been a long time K&N user, mainly for the fact that they are reusable, and since I, like you, are an engineer (mechanical) and auto enthusiast, I dont mind cleaning my K&N more often. I have had K&Ns in cars over 200,000 miles with no issues related to wear and more dirt intrusion into the combustion chamber, but I havent done scientific studies either. So Im not trying to disprove what you mentioned, just giving another perspective. Sometimes I just like the slight bump in sound on some engines using a K&N, as one reason paper filters are used if for their sound absorbing capabilities, as OE's try to control sound as well with intakes, not just performance and durability.
Its all a game of trade-offs and how you elect to balance them.
As far as the additional performance I think some here are looking for (cant speak for everyone of course), with their CX-9's, is back to the trade-offs. Some arent suggesting to wring out the 2.5T for the most power you can get, at the expense of lasting only 30K before falling apart, but to shift the priorities. For example, if your like me, used to 14 MPG with my Cayenne Turbo, giving up some MPG's on the wifes CX9 wont be a shock, if I could get a little better mid to top end power. Thats likely what you got with your Ford tune, they worked within reason of the vehicle system, giving up something, but getting a little bit more elsewhere, or negating a top priority they felt the majority of customers want, for another like more performance. And thats why they can back it, its not extreme and within the design space. Heck, some people only keep a car for 20,000 miles, and could care less about durability, but want a little more performance......to each their own.
And at the end of the day, maybe there is nothing left on the table with the 2.5T, maybe Mazda already did all they could and elevated performance in all areas, or had to greatly limit something in another area that prevents any additional gains or even re-balancing of trade-offs, and thats fine, but I think its an unknown to anyone outside of Mazda.
I do agree, you cant just have anyone do this type of programming, and it needs some driveability, durability, etc. backing before Im jumping on the band wagon. That again, is something Ford has the resources to do, or in my opinion, already did when they developed the 2.3 turbo, they just released something different to the market for different reasons, based on different priorities, but knew they could come back to it if customers wanted some more power over another attribute.

No problem. I have no issues accepting the reality that lots of people run K&N filters without any noticeable issues. I have used them myself in the past including a first gen 2007 Focus ST (2.3L Duratec, not the newer turbo 2.0L) that I got with 104k on the clock, put in a K&N Typhoon and ran it til 174k without any notable differences.

That doesn't mean however it didn't suffer accelerated ring wear. It may have been making 3 or 4 or 5 hp less for all I know. Most people can't tell any difference in the seat of their pants if the change is under 10 hp. And over time it did have some minor oil consumption, about 1qt every 4k to 5k by 174,000 miles.

I attached some data that shows why I do not suggest K&N's or other reusable filters. I think K&N's have legitimate application in track cars or weekend toy's that don't see a lot of mileage, but I don't see the benefit for typical daily driver applications.

And I get it that some people want a bit more (I did too). But from everything I had learned modifying two 2016 S550 chassis Mustangs (2.3T and 5.0L V8) and the extremely intensive research efforts I put into it to really understand the designs, I've become much more critical of "bolt on" mods and far more selective. They have a place, but must be chosen very carefully and for the right application.

I really suggest trying the engine formulation first, I think you will be surprised at how much more of a difference this makes vs. a CAI. It's not just power, but engine response is notably improved (not that the 2.5T was bad, but it still was a bit lacking at times). I think this is much more beneficial because your not increase wear but reducing it while also increasing torque output by reducing losses on bearing surfaces and supporting higher film strength of the oil during hydrodynamic operation. It's a win, win, win other than the investment cost.

Just make sure your engine is broken in fully, otherwise you can stop the break-in process and cause issues (aka on a brand new engine, the ring's won't seat properly resulting in oil consumption issues, low compression etc.).

I waited until after 10k miles to apply the DLC coating to my CX-9 and just recently did the transaxle at 28k since the transaxle formula has been in the development phase for the past two years and has only recently become available on kickstarter. You can use it in wet-clutch applications as well (bike trans), but make sure to go easy on the clutch until the wear in occurs, otherwise you will cause the DLC coating to form on the clutch disks and it will slip = not good. I would say even for auto transaxle's do the same, just drive normally until the wear-in is complete to avoid any possability of it form on the torque lock disks (which would cause slip). Other than it, just it will form on wear surfaces as you use it over the first 500 miles.

I've also looked into competing DLC technologies, primarily Hexagonal Boron Nitride or HBN (used in Archoil and Liqui Moly CeraTec) and found that HBN has some issues (requires a lot more physical material to form the DLC coating and is susceptible to absorbing water which is a big issue in an engine) despite also achieving similar anti-wear and super lubricity properties to Synthetic MSH. Both Archoil and Liqui moly also use chemical friction reducers you loose with your oil change, so you have to keep adding them back in, they may also settle in the pan. The HBN DLC film that forms from Archoil / CeraTec will last around 30k miles however.

TriboTEX is ONLY a DLC coating with a service life of around 40k in an engine or 80k in a transaxle / manual trans (two different formulas). It really is the ideal In Situ DLC material for ICE applications because it does just that one thing and does not alter your motor oil's formula (risk of increasing wear or friction with you use additives and you don't know how they interact with the motor oil's additive package).

One last counter point, as you noted, none of these dyno tuning shops have the resources to test to the level of the manufacturer. Not one of them is going to achieve the same level of reliability except maybe Ford Performance, who is an exception because they have access to Ford's engineering data, engineers and equipment etc. It's a bit of a unique business model that's a Ford only type of deal. No other manufacturer is currently doing that to that level. Most OE performance devisions, e.g. Chevy Performance, only offer suspension and exhaust upgrades or cosmetic add-on's.

But I prefer what Dodge and Chevy do anyway after having gone the Ford route, they give you more out of the box but don't offer any re-mapping of the ECU. Yes some of them do offer "OE like" CAI's, but at least we know those have been tested to not cause issues with the MAF readings and lean out the engine. Yet again I digress and promies to stop posting so much...or will I? He he. There's always so much to say!
 

Attachments

  • Debunking the K&N Myths - Why OE is Better.pdf
    529.7 KB · Views: 8
  • TSB_oil_filter_particle_size.pdf
    164.5 KB · Views: 7
Last edited:
Also please note that I do not necessarily agree with the author of the article showing ASTM tests on the filters in that he states K&N is doing dirty business all for the sake of profits.

I believe they most likely believe in their products and there are some benefits, it's an old technology from the 1970's and is still the same filter today essentially. But just because there is a benefit in one area does NOT mean there are no draw backs in other areas. With filters, your always trading something off, so balance is the key. At what point does the flow restriction become an issue with engine performance? How fast does the filter get dirty? How much does it affect engine wear? What is the application (daily driver vs. track car etc.)? All things to consider.

Here's a great article about diesel engine wear vs. particular concentration and size (both matter): https://www.perkins.com/en_GB/resources/meet-our-experts/julian-wood/diesel-engine-filtration.html

Another note, I don't necessarily hold that you have to use OEM, but don't go cheap on filters either! There are many sub-par aftermarket filters that simply don't do as good of a job as OE, but there are some that surpass OE. Just make sure there's valid info other than "well I've used it for xxxxxx miles and my car is fine...". For all you know that guy's car may be in the shop next week for an engine rebuild due to compression loss and oil consumption issues. On the net, everyone is an expert ;-).
 
Last edited:
Here's some more data: see attachments. BTW the Weveden test of TriboTEX is basically the "test to pass" when it comes to EP additives. It is extremely grueling and difficult for oil formulations to do well in.

I have NEVER been an "oil additive" guy. I recognize that motor oils are a complex balancing act of additives and messing around with your oil's chemistry can have adverse (mostly long term) effects. So I've always done the tried and true method of using good quality oils, regular change intervals and good filters.

However this technology is quite unique in the industry and is strictly an In Situ DLC coating unlike other solutions based on competing technologies like HBN (or older chemical friction reducers like MOS2 that have quite a few other issues as they break down or absorb water, which can actually become abrasive thus increasing wear and friciton as they break down). Enjoy.
 

Attachments

  • Air Filter Testing and Comparrison (dust capacity, filtration and flow).pdf
    1.3 MB · Views: 9
  • DLC Additives on Cylinder-Piston Ring Rubbing Pairs.pdf
    181.8 KB · Views: 11
  • Affordable Diamond-like Carbon (DLC) Coatings.pdf
    948.8 KB · Views: 6
  • Mechanism behind the interaction of TriboTEX and ZDDP.pdf
    27 KB · Views: 6
  • MoDTC and TriboTEX Interaction.pdf
    174.5 KB · Views: 6
  • molyInfo (Infinium).pdf
    2.9 MB · Views: 5
  • Operando formation of an ultra-low friction boundary film.pdf
    1.1 MB · Views: 6
Top