Skip to comments.Ford's Trade-In: Truck to Use Aluminum in Place of Steel
Posted on 07/27/2012 2:33:00 PM PDT by Responsibility2ndEdited on 07/27/2012 2:39:50 PM PDT by Admin Moderator. [history]
ALLEN PARK, Mich.—In this suburb just west of Detroit, Ford Motor Co. is working on one of the biggest gambles in its 108-year history: a pickup truck with a largely aluminum body.
The radical redesign will help meet tougher federal fuel-economy targets now starting to have wide-ranging effects on Detroit's auto makers. But Ford will have to overcome a host of manufacturing obstacles, plus convince die-hard pickup buyers that aluminum is as tough as steel.
(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...
I don’t think aluminum bodies are necessarily a bad idea.
Didn’t Land Rover use aluminum bodies?
Wonder if I could get one unpainted but polished?
ya, but their mechanical issues always killed the truck before the corrosion did.
We put some extra pounds in the trunk in winter time.”
Used to live in Kansas and had to drive on lots of hilly terrain. Snow and particularly ice were bad in the winter. We always put several bags of sand in the trunk of all of our cars beginning in October or November and left them there until spring. My dad had four 100 lb. weights he always put in the back of his pick-up. This extra weight, together with steel studded snow tires, pretty much allowed us to get around in the winter.
Female question maybe - but will the lighter trucks still be able to pull and haul as much as the ones available now? My grandson uses a pick-up to haul a lot of stuff so we might need to think about replacing his current one before the new ones are the only ones available.
Do you know that current engines are made of mostly aluminum ?
aluminum corrodes too... sometimes worse than steel.
Don't know...but McDonnell-Douglas did.
Properly designed, Aluminum can be just as strong as steel. It will just cost more.
However...any body damage cannot be “pounded out”. Aluminum doesn’t really dent, it stretches. The “fix a dent” guy, won’t. And yes, painting it is definitely trickier - generally, it requires absolute cleanliness and etching or epoxy primer.
“Frame” and suspension parts are forget it if they are bent or broken. Very few body shops in the US are qualified to straighten or weld an aluminum frame (welding/straightening aluminum is an entirely different, highly skilled, more capital-intensive process). Body shops that can actually work with aluminum generally operate in two entirely separate buildings, because the iron dust from grinding contaminates aluminum work.
Doubtful. Aluminum will burn if you get it hot enough, but there's nothing in a truck that will burn hot enough to get it started.
I grew up around junk yards and body shops, and have seen lots of burned vehicles. Aluminum parts just melt.
At a certain point, it becomes an issue over mass. Too little 'mass' in the truck, and it cannot control the mass being pulled.
The first Land Rovers were aluminum body on Jeep frames. LRs still use a lot of aluminum.
The F-250 will continue to be made with steel.
Heavier pickups are exempt from the gas mileage rule.
If it would, most race cars would explode, as many of them are made out of titanium and aluminum.
Steel stretches too. The difference is you can pound out the steel and then "shrink" the stretched places by heating them red-hot with an OA torch and quenching it. If you try that with aluminum you'll just burn holes in it, and welding aluminum is something most body shops do not have the equipment or experience to deal with.
Scotty says “transparent” aluminum will fit the ticket!
Change these darn federal fuel-economy targets, not our beloved pick up trucks. Only nut job politicians think a usable truck can do work with a thimble full of pixie dust, we in the heartland know plenty of gas or diesel is necessary.
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