2.3L really needs to be tuned better

spada

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First, I will say that I love the 2.3L engine. It's a great Mazda design that has been tried and true for over 15 years. I have had multiple cars with a similar engine. Mazdaspeed 6 (2.3L turbo), Fusion (2.0L turbo, same engine architecture), and my current 2006 Miata has a turbocharged 2.5L. I tuned my Mazdaspeed and Miata on my own and I know this engine responds very well to timing and fuel adjustments. Anyone who has owned a Ford vehicle in the past decade has probably had some form of the Mazda L series engine in their cars. I find it really hard to believe that this engine needs to be in boost while cruising at 70mph. But on the Bronco, it's hovering above atmospheric pressure almost the whole time. I know the vehicle isn't aerodynamic, but I know how much power these engines have around atmospheric. Either way, no gasoline engine should have to be in boost while cruising at regular highway speeds. That would be like if you removed the turbo from the engine, you would have to floor it just to be able to keep speed at 70mph. No way! It doesn't take 170 horsepower to hold a steady speed in a 4500lb vehicle.
The timing must be retarded by quite a bit, and the air fuel ratio must be hovering around stoichiometric. Both are robbing power, but trying to be fuel efficient. I would really like to see Cobb come up with a really good daily driving tune, and not just one that adjusts throttle response. I want them to use their knowledge from the many years of tuning this engine. Adjust the VVT values, adjust timing, more fuel during partial throttle boost. They could keep the WOT the same, I don't care much about that, because i'm not trying to take the Bronco to the drag strip. I want some real life daily driving power gains and get this engine to stop boosting while cruising. This can be done while still maintaining decent gas mileage. I'm currently getting 21.4mpg on my first tank of gas, which is pretty decent. For reference I have a '21 Big Bend 2.3L 7 speed.
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PartyMarty

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On a flat road at 70 mph, it’s not the weight, it’s the horrific aerodynamics the vehicle has to overpower. I didn’t get a grasp of this until I owned a wrangler. Pushing air takes most of the engine’s power at 70 mph, and it’s amplified with a vehicle that’s less aerodynamic than a cow. Our NA 3.6L wrangler has to upshift if there’s a slight headwind or incline at 70 mph. Expecting the same power from 64% of the displacement with no boost is unrealistic.
 

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First, I will say that I love the 2.3L engine. It's a great Mazda design that has been tried and true for over 15 years. I have had multiple cars with a similar engine. Mazdaspeed 6 (2.3L turbo), Fusion (2.0L turbo, same engine architecture), and my current 2006 Miata has a turbocharged 2.5L. I tuned my Mazdaspeed and Miata on my own and I know this engine responds very well to timing and fuel adjustments. Anyone who has owned a Ford vehicle in the past decade has probably had some form of the Mazda L series engine in their cars. I find it really hard to believe that this engine needs to be in boost while cruising at 70mph. But on the Bronco, it's hovering above atmospheric pressure almost the whole time. I know the vehicle isn't aerodynamic, but I know how much power these engines have around atmospheric. Either way, no gasoline engine should have to be in boost while cruising at regular highway speeds. That would be like if you removed the turbo from the engine, you would have to floor it just to be able to keep speed at 70mph. No way! It doesn't take 170 horsepower to hold a steady speed in a 4500lb vehicle.
The timing must be retarded by quite a bit, and the air fuel ratio must be hovering around stoichiometric. Both are robbing power, but trying to be fuel efficient. I would really like to see Cobb come up with a really good daily driving tune, and not just one that adjusts throttle response. I want them to use their knowledge from the many years of tuning this engine. Adjust the VVT values, adjust timing, more fuel during partial throttle boost. They could keep the WOT the same, I don't care much about that, because i'm not trying to take the Bronco to the drag strip. I want some real life daily driving power gains and get this engine to stop boosting while cruising. This can be done while still maintaining decent gas mileage. I'm currently getting 21.4mpg on my first tank of gas, which is pretty decent. For reference I have a '21 Big Bend 2.3L 7 speed.
See pic. This should help a little.

Good quick tune review of the 2.3 and thank you for getting a manual trans lol.

I also have the I4 MT. Great powertrain in the bronco, especially low speed delivery and reliability. The engine and trans go great together. Just needs a bit more power to be really great, and it can be done no prob.

Do you have the upgraded 4.7 axle option? It helps overall and at least helps rotate my larger 37 inch tires with ease.

The right burst off the line in 1st gear will launch bronco but too much of this will fry clutch. 2nd gear can also be lot of fun. All gears fun..

I think everyone is waiting on the ford tune for all bronco engine sizes. I am. It will surely help the 2.3 be all it can be.

I also installed the auto stop eliminator and sprint booster to clean up the driving experience and throttle response. Both helped.

Remaining performance related mods are:

Ford tune
Exhaust, same 2.5 size as OEM size
Drop in air filter for no offroading purposes unless it comes with a prefilter
Throttlebody spacer
Dual port blow off valve (BOV)
Catch can
Electronic exhaust baffle
Additional cooling fan
Remove un-needed weight like the OEM tire iron kit with my aftermarket wheel/spline lugs and removed OEM Jack bc it doesn't work as effectively with 37s on 3 inch lift. Have a hi lift jack I only take onboard if going way out there solo.

Maybe 1-2 other little power mods if it makes sense. But not overdone.

Im very happy as is but after the above items are done...pretty sure the 2.3 MT will be better than perfect.

Let us know any mods to engine or other internal combustion components.

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JoeSpeed

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^
forgot intercooler/charge pipes and downpipe as well for parts
 

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forgot intercooler/charge pipes and downpipe as well for parts
Def a downpipe. Id love a test pipe too..but that might be a bit too much 4 banger fart can sound
 

JoeSpeed

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Def a downpipe. Id love a test pipe too..but that might be a bit too much 4 banger fart can sound
I like the metallic rasp of a High Flow Cat personally, though nothing wrong with a test pipe
 

mountainbronco

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I guess I do not understand and/or agree. I have been driving a loaner 4 cyl. BB for the last 4 weeks, did 2000 miles, including engine break-in. I live at 6000 feet and took it to 11000 on excursions. Now, this is with AT, but I can confirm this puppy rides really good, plenty of power, acceleration is awesome, spools up plenty fast, and if you put it in Sport-mode, you better hold on to your grab handles!
I think the tuning is really good, so good, that I have doubted my selection of the 2.7 on my own BD.......
 

BossBronco

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This dude here very clearly explains that this is not the same 2.3L from Mazda

He explained everything I can feel and hear when driving. Exactly the powertrain I wanted for low speed 4x4. Im in a manual trans with optional biggest 4.7 rear axle. So good!
 

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I like the metallic rasp of a High Flow Cat personally, though nothing wrong with a test pipe
Yes. IMO nothing tops DP + TP + Exhaust for clean max turbo power and full sound. But I would either do exhaust only with same 2.5 inch pipe size as OEM OR upgrade to 3 inch pipe but only if its a full exhaust where all pipes from intake to tips is 3 inch--to keep turbo happiest while pushing air.
 

Werkedperformance

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Yes. IMO nothing tops DP + TP + Exhaust for clean max turbo power and full sound. But I would either do exhaust only with same 2.5 inch pipe size as OEM OR upgrade to 3 inch pipe but only if its a full exhaust where all pipes from intake to tips is 3 inch--to keep turbo happiest while pushing air.
oh i agree, though I wanna find a setup that has minimal highway drone as possible, otherwise just dp/fmic/cai/tune
 

Rick Astley

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First, I will say that I love the 2.3L engine. It's a great Mazda design that has been tried and true for over 15 years. I have had multiple cars with a similar engine. Mazdaspeed 6 (2.3L turbo), Fusion (2.0L turbo, same engine architecture), and my current 2006 Miata has a turbocharged 2.5L. I tuned my Mazdaspeed and Miata on my own and I know this engine responds very well to timing and fuel adjustments. Anyone who has owned a Ford vehicle in the past decade has probably had some form of the Mazda L series engine in their cars. I find it really hard to believe that this engine needs to be in boost while cruising at 70mph. But on the Bronco, it's hovering above atmospheric pressure almost the whole time. I know the vehicle isn't aerodynamic, but I know how much power these engines have around atmospheric. Either way, no gasoline engine should have to be in boost while cruising at regular highway speeds. That would be like if you removed the turbo from the engine, you would have to floor it just to be able to keep speed at 70mph. No way! It doesn't take 170 horsepower to hold a steady speed in a 4500lb vehicle.
The timing must be retarded by quite a bit, and the air fuel ratio must be hovering around stoichiometric. Both are robbing power, but trying to be fuel efficient. I would really like to see Cobb come up with a really good daily driving tune, and not just one that adjusts throttle response. I want them to use their knowledge from the many years of tuning this engine. Adjust the VVT values, adjust timing, more fuel during partial throttle boost. They could keep the WOT the same, I don't care much about that, because i'm not trying to take the Bronco to the drag strip. I want some real life daily driving power gains and get this engine to stop boosting while cruising. This can be done while still maintaining decent gas mileage. I'm currently getting 21.4mpg on my first tank of gas, which is pretty decent. For reference I have a '21 Big Bend 2.3L 7 speed.
I think you meant to say "I picked a Bronco model that has poor highway gearing, I should have taken that into consideration or understood that I would need to have it re-geared for the highway driving this rig is destined to be doing".

Bronco gearing.jpg



You don't exactly have to be Dick "King of the search function" Tracy to uncover the many, many, many conversations about gear ratio, calculations of highway speed/rpm for a given tire size, etc.

2.3 motor is just fine on the highway and holds speed very well in our '19 Ranger Lariat FX4. So in Bronco you're left with poor gearing, the aerodynamics of Rosanne Bar being thrown into a wall, and big tires.
 

Bronco cat

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First, I will say that I love the 2.3L engine. It's a great Mazda design that has been tried and true for over 15 years. I have had multiple cars with a similar engine. Mazdaspeed 6 (2.3L turbo), Fusion (2.0L turbo, same engine architecture), and my current 2006 Miata has a turbocharged 2.5L. I tuned my Mazdaspeed and Miata on my own and I know this engine responds very well to timing and fuel adjustments. Anyone who has owned a Ford vehicle in the past decade has probably had some form of the Mazda L series engine in their cars. I find it really hard to believe that this engine needs to be in boost while cruising at 70mph. But on the Bronco, it's hovering above atmospheric pressure almost the whole time. I know the vehicle isn't aerodynamic, but I know how much power these engines have around atmospheric. Either way, no gasoline engine should have to be in boost while cruising at regular highway speeds. That would be like if you removed the turbo from the engine, you would have to floor it just to be able to keep speed at 70mph. No way! It doesn't take 170 horsepower to hold a steady speed in a 4500lb vehicle.
The timing must be retarded by quite a bit, and the air fuel ratio must be hovering around stoichiometric. Both are robbing power, but trying to be fuel efficient. I would really like to see Cobb come up with a really good daily driving tune, and not just one that adjusts throttle response. I want them to use their knowledge from the many years of tuning this engine. Adjust the VVT values, adjust timing, more fuel during partial throttle boost. They could keep the WOT the same, I don't care much about that, because i'm not trying to take the Bronco to the drag strip. I want some real life daily driving power gains and get this engine to stop boosting while cruising. This can be done while still maintaining decent gas mileage. I'm currently getting 21.4mpg on my first tank of gas, which is pretty decent. For reference I have a '21 Big Bend 2.3L 7 speed.
One problem. This engine SHARES nothing with Mazda 2.3 other than the same displacement. “Ecoboost” motors were designed by FEV engineering and then licensed to ford……..
 
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