Behind the Scenes Look | 2021 F-150 Supercharger Development

Behind the Scenes Look | 2021 F-150 Supercharger Development

We’re excited to share a sneak peek behind the scenes of the supercharger development for the 2021 5.0L F-150. Our engineers are working around the clock, utilizing the formidable ROUSH TVS R2650 supercharger system on the 2021 F-150 5.0L V8 platform to push power levels to new heights.

There are a lot of phases and testing processes that happen behind the scenes in order for our ROUSH Superchargers to pass certification. We can proudly offer our consumers performance products that produce up to 775 horsepower on a legal calibration and 93 octane fuel.

Now let’s dive deeper into the product development process for the 2021 F-150 supercharger. 


2021 F-150 Supercharger Design Process

We leverage our deep understanding of OEM products, our extensive automotive design experience and leverage the assets available through ROUSH Industries to create a unique product that adheres to industry design practices. 

By utilizing today’s latest CAD software and tools we can design our components and quickly bring them to our production team to ensure that we can manufacture and assemble the product effectively. Our goal is to deliver a product that our enthusiasts can enjoy and continue to live a performance lifestyle. Below are some of the steps our engineering team took to include the ROUSH TVS R2650 Supercharger system for the all-new 2021 F-150. 

ROUSH Supercharger Development

  • Each vehicle is different and OEM components can vary from each model year. We set performance and durability targets that we would like to achieve. Then our engineers work to identify the most efficient solution to hit the target for the 2021 F-150.  For us, this was the TVS R2650 supercharger.  We have a lot of experience with the TVS R2650 and felt very confident in meeting our durability and performance targets as it was used on the outgoing ROUSH F-150 model. 
  • After the base design direction is set, we work to optimize and correctly size all components in the design through various tools: Strength/fatigue FEA analysis, 1D flow models, & FEAD model simulation. 
  • Once the designs have been optimized and sized correctly, we utilize rapid prototype machining and fabrication capabilities to make prototypes for our development engines & vehicles.

2021 F-150 Supercharger Packaging Process

As we all know the 2021 Ford F-150 is an all-new design this year. We mentioned earlier that each model year tends to have changes that we have to be cognizant of in order for our components to perform at their maximum capabilities. We used the TVS R2650 on the 2020 ROUSH F-150 so we know what its performance capabilities are. For the 2021 F-150 we packaged the supercharger differently to accommodate the OEM powertrain changes. A few of those challenges are listed below:

  • Since Ford added cylinder deactivation, the heads grew in size to accommodate the cylinder deactivation and this drove changes on our fuel rail and intake manifold. We went through several CAD iterations and grew 3D printed parts and then eventually procured sample parts for testing. 

  • A new FEAD system (belt drive system), was developed to help with the serviceability of the belt system as well as making it less complex with fewer components.

  • A new cooling system with a low-temp radiator (LTR) was developed to package behind the grille for a roughly 2X larger LTR than the outgoing model. The larger LTR design helps with the cooling efficiency of the entire system during long road trips, spirited driving on-road or off-road, and strenuous load situations. With a new low-temp radiator design, we also had to design new-formed hoses and new hardlines over the larger head due to the cylinder deactivation feature. 


2021 F-150 Supercharger Development Testing

After all of the new components have been packaged and optimized to fit the 2021 F-150, the testing process is started. During this process, we learn how our designs can be improved to deliver maximum performance while maintaining durability. In the development testing phase, we push our parts and systems to absolute failure to ensure each component meets or exceeds the standards we have set for the ROUSH Performance brand. For example, our ROUSH TVS R2650 Supercharger went through thousands of wide-open throttle cycles before it was signed off for final production.

Each component has unique testing required that will validate the design meets our requirements.  Below are a few examples of rigorous tests we performed during the ROUSH Supercharger development testing process for the 2021 F-150 . 

  • FEA Analysis was simulated on various brackets & castings on the FEAD system. We tested their stiffness under load as well as the durability over time. Once we were satisfied with the simulation models, we moved on to prototype parts which were then tested on an engine dyno. These brackets were monitored to ensure that belt alignment was unchanged under all conditions.

  • Any prototype parts that are still on the engine are swapped out for production representative components for the Engine Fatigue Test (EFT). It is extremely important to have production representative parts on this test because this is our durability signoff for the engine. There are other tests done on-road testing and real-world scenarios but the EFT is meant to bring out the worst conditions possible for the unit and test the system for its durability. 

  • After the engine has gone through the Engine Fatigue Testing, it is disassembled and well documented during the disassembly process. We monitor bolt torque specifications to ensure no components are loosening over time. All bearing points are inspected for excessive wear or scoring, pistons, piston rings, cylinder bores, and other engine components are all inspected for wear outside of specification. This ensures us that the engine can perform in several different applications with the added power from our TVS R2650 Supercharger.

  • Various damper designs were tested using NVH (Noise Vibration Harness) data acquisition hardware and software to measure the torsional vibration, axial vibration, and amplitudes across the RPM range. This was tested on an Engine dyno, out of the vehicle, with a fully instrumented engine. This test is to develop a damper that is engineered to control these vibrations to keep the engine durability at the highest levels possible. Damper testing is performed to confirm our initial design assumptions and prove that our components meet validation testing.
  • Engine calibration mapping takes place after development and goes hand in hand with vehicle calibration. Engine mapping is completed with extensive instrumentation.  Engines are instrumented with cylinder pressure transducers to measure cylinder pressures and other components such as piston durability, exhaust gas temperature, and catalyst durability.

The ‘21 ROUSH F-150 is available for pre-order now. To learn more about the 2021 ROUSH F-150 visit our vehicle launch page by clicking the LINK.

2021 ROUSH F150

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About the author

ROUSH Performance
ROUSH Performance
ROUSH Performance, a division of Roush Enterprises, designs, engineers and manufactures completely assembled pre-titled vehicles, aftermarket performance parts, and superchargers for the global performance enthusiast market. Based in Plymouth Township, Michigan, ROUSH Performance was founded in 1995 by motorsports legend Jack Roush.
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