Ford 1.0L Fox Ecoboost: Everything You Need To Know

For six consecutive years, the Ford 1.0 Liter Fox engine bagged the International Engine of the Year award under 1.0 L from 2012 to 2017, leaving other automakers grabbing for the reins once they dominated. Its overall efficiency, power, and excellent engineering work catapulted these compact powerhouses to set the tone for a more competitive automotive arena. Hence, the boom of compact engines alike.

What are Ford 1.0L Fox Ecoboost Engines?

The development of the Turbocharged Ford 1.0 Liter engine for the Ecoboost family started at Ford’s Dunton Technical Center in United Kingdom. The initial production began in April 2012, offering the 99 HP and the 123 HP versions. Presently, the production of these engines is globally operated, having three countries designated for it – Germany (Cologne), Romania (Craiova), and China (Chongqing).

With more widespread plants, the production has an estimated projection of 700,00 – 1,500,000 units per year.

This 1.0 Liter engine was made available in Ford Focus; the Ford-Focus inspired C-MAX and Grand C-MAX, Fiesta-based B-Max, Transit Courier, and Ford Fiesta. This same version made its way to Brazil, India, Russia, and Thailand as the second-generation Ford Ecosport, which comes, in some markets, with the 2.0 Liter EcoBoost engine.

The Ford 1.0L Fox engine is not only a turbocharged machine; it also has a naturally-aspirated variant installed in the then-newly introduced 2013 Ford Fiesta. The engine is small but tightly packaged in an engine block covering an A4 sheet of paper footprint.

Two versions were released upon its arrival. Both engines use direct injection and Ti-VCT, which can also be found on the turbocharged siblings. The start-stop technology is available in this engine too.

Furthermore, Ford announced the arrival of the 1.0 Liter EcoBoost engine at the North American market in 2012 Los Angeles Autoshow with the 2014 Ford Fiesta sedan and hatchback. The 123 HP variant launched on the same market, but due to the low number of sales, the Focus and Fiesta were eventually made available in an Ecosport version.

Ford continued to eclipse other engines under 1.0 L until 2017 when they won their last International engine award. The reconfigured 1.0 Liter Ecoboost design won it for them. Though thermodynamically identical to the previous Ecoboost 1.0, this upgraded version features a new dual-mass flywheel, a vibration damper clutch disc neutralizing engine oscillations when running on two cylinders during low-load situations.

Engine Specifications and Design:

  • Production Run: 2012 – Present
  • Cylinder Head Material: Aluminum
  • Cylinder Block Material: Cast-iron
  • Configuration: Inline-3
  • Bore: 71.9 mm
  • Stroke: 82.0 mm
  • Valvetrain: DOHC four valves per cylinder
  • Displacement: 1.0 L (999 cc)
  • Compression Ratio: 10.0
  • Weight: 213 lbs.
  • Maximum HP: 125 HP at 6,000 RPM
  • Maximum Torque: 150 lb-ft at 1,500 – 4,000 RPM

The Ford 1.0 Liter Fox engine is a small, compact, best suited for sedans and hatchbacks vehicles. It has an open-deck design engine block deliberately made from cast-iron material to increase the overall strength of the engine.

Moreover, a cast-iron material also conceals and conducts heat faster, resulting in lower emissions and cuts warm-up energy needed up to fifty percent than its aluminum counterpart, at the cost of having additional weight.

The crankshaft is made from cast iron with four main bearings and six counterweights. An unspecified and unique flywheel design and an unbalanced pulley ensure satisfactorily smooth running without exerting much energy due to sapping balance shafts and dampen unnecessary vibrations in a three-cylinder design. The 1.0 Liter Ecoboost GTDI engine uses an oil-bathed timing belt.

Inside the cylinder block are forged connecting rods and low-friction coated cast aluminum pistons. Ford improved the 1.0 Liter EcoBoost lubrication system to increase engine efficiency and performance. This engine is equipped with an electronically controlled variable displacement oil pump.

Mounted on top of the block is an aluminum 12-valve cylinder head. There are four valves per cylinder: two valves on the intake and two on the exhaust side. Ford has a different view regarding temperature regulation. They integrated the exhaust manifold into the cylinder head to lower the temperature of exhaust gases and warms up the engine faster, even at cold starts.

The 1.0 Liter EcoBoost uses DAMB (Direct Acting Mechanical Bucket) valvetrain that has polished solid buckets or also called tappets. A low friction timing belt-in-oil drives the intake and exhaust camshafts. It also has a dynamic tensioner providing less noise and more efficient running reliability. The engine is also equipped with Twin Independent Variable Camshaft Timing (Ti-VCT).

Even at a low displacement design, the 1.0 Liter managed to impress and floor its competitors due to its turbocharger. This engine has a water-cooled, low-inertia, high-speed Continental turbocharger. The charged air goes in the intake manifold via an air-to-air intercooler with an additional fan.

The engine is cooled through a split cooling system with two circuits and thermostats, one for the top-end turbocharger and another for the engine block. The system includes an electric water pump used for turbocharger cooling even when the hot engine is offline.

Ford added the Bosch high-pressure direct fuel injection system, which injects the fuel directly into the combustion chamber through a high-pressure fuel pump. Each cylinder has a six-hole solenoid injector as a fuel entry point with a maximum pressure of 1276 psi.

Bosch also took the engine managing duties headed by the Bosch MED17 control unit with CAN-Bus and individual cylinder knock control. Through a close-coupled three-way catalyst system, a heated universal oxygen sensor and catalyst monitor sensor safeguards the emission reduction to a minimum in compliance with the Euro-5 and Euro-6 European emission levels.

And to top it off, in 2019, Ford released an mHEV version 1.0 EcoBoost engine under the skin of the PUMA SUV. It uses a belt-driven integrated starter/generator motor, the same sentiments of an alternator, starter motor, and propulsion made into one. In terms of architecture, it is the same as the 2018 EcoBoost but stands on its own with its electric/starter generator.

The motors installed do not propel the vehicle to move on its own but are used to increase efficiency by providing extra power during acceleration, reducing engine loads, and reduce turbo lag at some engine speeds while accelerating. The starter/generator motor uses a 48V battery system.

Additional developments include the comprehensive start-stop function. This function was available before but upgraded to turn off the car while it decelerates; the previous start-stop function does not do it well. It is commercialized through a manual transmission and in either 125 HP or 154 outputs.

Applications of Ford 1.0L Fox EcoBoost Engine:

84 HP

  • 2018 – 2019 Ford Focus

99 HP

  • 2012 – Present Ford Focus
  • 2012 – Present Ford C-Max
  • 2012 – Present Ford B-Max
  • 2013 – Present Ford Fiesta
  • 2013 – Present Ford Ecosport

123 HP

  • 2012 – Present Ford Focus
  • 2012 – Present Ford C-Max
  • 2012 – Present Ford B-Max
  • 2013 – Present Ford Fiesta
  • 2013 – Present Ford Ecosport
  • 2013 – Present Ford Mondeo
  • 2014 – Present Ford Transit Courier

140 HP

  • 2014 – Present Ford Fiest
  • 2014 – 2018 Ford Focus

153 HP 

  • 2019 – Present Ford Puma mHEV
  • 2020 – Present Ford Fiesta mHEV
  • 2020 – Present Ford Focus mHEV

Engine Tuning, Upgrades, and Modifications

One way to raise the Ford Fox Ecoboost’s number is by an ECU remapping.

On the standard 98 HP engine, it managed to get 118 HP and 147 lb-ft on the dyno, contrary to the factory numbers of 98 HP and 118 lb-ft of torque. After a long and exhausting development program, you can reach the 158 HP mark and 196 lb-ft of torque; just be remapping.

To put this into a wider perspective, we need to upscale the engine in a 2.0 format. With that, it can deliver 316 HP with 392 lb-ft of torque. Its top-spec 2.0 L turbocharged competition only produces 276 HP and 295 lb-ft of torque.

Problems Surrounding Ford 1.0L Fox EcoBoost Engine:

As far as issues are concerned, the 1.0 Liter Fox EcoBoost is not

An exception. It also has a fair amount of problems and troubles, but it was eventually addressed throughout the years of development. But for you to have prior caution, here are some.

The engine has a direct injection system and no fuel directed into the intake ports, but intake ports work as a natural cleaner too. Without these small brooms, soot and carbon layers will eventually succumb to the intake valves, resulting in a tight closing leading to engine power loss and severe valve and valve seat damage. It usually is observed on high mileage engines.

In connection to the abovementioned issue, engines with high mileage tend to suffer from struggling fuel pressure. Ford Ecoboost 1.0 is built with a high-pressure fuel pump, so deterioration of these pumps will cause the overall performance and top-notch potential to go to waste; achieving those numbers will leave you gasping in a dark room.

Replacing the old cam bucket with a new one does solve this problem and can increase the fuel pressure and performance.

And lastly, engines produced before 2014 have problems with their coolant system, especially the bottom hose that would split and leak some of the coolants while the temperature sensor does not reflect the actual temperature.

A lot of engines were involved in this issue before Ford redesigned the hoses. On another note, a pipe runs from the expansion tank to the machine that can cause cracking and leak some coolant—friendly reminder to keep the coolant level in check.

Summary

The Ford 1.0 L Fox EcoBoost engine, even though the smallest and compact machine, is also the most advanced Ford Ecoboost Engine to date. It is recognized for its engine excellence collecting international awards for six consecutive years under the 1.0 Liter category. It mixes its high-efficient, low-friction, and durable design to deliver satisfying performance and power to an everyday commuter car enough to rival a conventional 1.6 Liter engine.

This engine became the sole inspirational framework for the upcoming three-cylinder EcoBoost engine – 1.5 L EcoBoost Dragon.

At first, this engine struggled to build up its momentum and live up to its expected performance. Still, those hindrances slowly go away as Ford continues to contain and address those issues punctually, leading to much-improved engine reliability and reputation.

Coolant leaks and blown gaskets happen rarely. The valuable life usually lasts around 80,000 – 100,000 miles without any troubles. Being a low-consuming, low emission, high torque as its cornerstone attributes, it spearheaded the trend of compact engines fitted on hatches or even larger vehicles.

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