IAmidst the cult bara turbo, it’s easy to forget that Ford offered another enlarged powerplant late in the Falcon’s life.
While it wasn’t a powerhouse in stock form, the 2-litre EcoBoost was a smart (though almost completely overlooked) addition to the FG range. Good for 179kW, just short of the aspirated Barra’s 195kW, the Donkey was also 75kg lighter than the big six. Thanks to exposure to the Focus ST and Mustang, the aftermarket is also solid.
EcoBoost conversions are few and far between in Australia, but Perth’s Block Jason decided the turbo four-banger was the perfect candidate to power his two XP Falcons.
Both cars came to Jason as cleanly restored examples with pre-crossflow sixes. “The old motors are pretty good, but once you put the air-con on, they get a bit clunky,” he says. “They’re fine for cruisers and they’re simple and easy motors, but I wanted to do something different. You can put a barra in them but they have to be N/A.”
After snagging two conversions from Athol Park Ford Wreckers, Jason and the North City Speed Shop found the Ecoboost sitting in the engine bay without too much grief. “We only had to modify the use of the turbo because it was touching the tower,” he explains.
“It has solid engine mounts, because to pass engineering you need 10mm of clearance from the strut towers, and the only way to do that in those cars was with solid mounts.”
Most of the FG gear was retained, including the radiator, short-piping intercooler, and a/c compressor, which powers the vintage air system. On the custom side, there’s a fabricated airbox and expansion tank, while the control module is tucked into the boot.
Brett from Custom Machine Works unlocked the ECU. He’s the only person in Australia who opens them,” says Jason. “With the first one open, he put the Echo Boost in the Bobcat! My Ford mate helped me pull out the files for all the wiring, and then my electrician, who is really cool, pulled like ten meters of wire from the loom.
Jason stuck with the factory ZF six-speed auto, which sits in a new transmission tunnel. It now spins a custom two-piece tailshaft. “There’s no power upgrade, it’s more for reliability; just turn the key and go,” he says. “You can run the air-con and not worry about overheating and it’s all just peace of mind.”
That’s not to say the EcoBoost lacks potential, as Jason says. “They think they’re on par with the SR20, with how you can put power into them. They have stronger blocks.
The first Ecoboost variant was finished last year, while the black car has only been on the road for a few months. While he’s happy with the change, Jason likes to point out that they still handle like six-decade-old Falcons. “They’re not what people think,” he says.
“I people [Facebook] The comments say ‘oh, they must drive well’ but at the end of the day it’s still an old body. Nothing drives and handles as smoothly as a new car.
Jason is now selling the BlackXP to focus on other parts of his impressive Ford stable. “I’m good,” he laughs when asked if he’ll do another Echo Boost Falcon. “I just want to take care of my ’55 and ’56 Fairlanes going forward.”