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Ford's Trade-In: Truck to Use Aluminum in Place of Steel
WSJ ^ | 07/26/2012 | MIKE RAMSEY

Posted on 07/27/2012 2:33:00 PM PDT by Responsibility2nd

Edited 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 ...


TOPICS: News/Current Events; US: Michigan
KEYWORDS: aluminum; automakers; cafe; energy; energypolicy; ford; fordmotor; fordtrucks; greenreligion; manufacturing; physics
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To: Responsibility2nd

I don’t think aluminum bodies are necessarily a bad idea.

Didn’t Land Rover use aluminum bodies?


21 posted on 07/27/2012 2:59:58 PM PDT by yarddog
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To: Responsibility2nd

Wonder if I could get one unpainted but polished?


22 posted on 07/27/2012 3:04:36 PM PDT by ZirconEncrustedTweezers (EAT MOR CHIKIN)
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To: yarddog

ya, but their mechanical issues always killed the truck before the corrosion did.


23 posted on 07/27/2012 3:05:06 PM PDT by cableguymn (For the first time in my life. I fear my country's government.)
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To: Responsibility2nd
This is a very good article. It's long... Only if you have a WSJ subscription.
24 posted on 07/27/2012 3:05:56 PM PDT by upchuck ("Definition of 'racist:' someone that is winning an argument with a liberal." ~ Peter Brimelow)
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To: Sacajaweau

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.


25 posted on 07/27/2012 3:06:01 PM PDT by Grams A (The Sun will rise in the East in the morning and God is still on his throne.)
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To: sinsofsolarempirefan
If those things crash and catch on fire, I bet they will burn hotter than the surface of the sun.

Do you know that current engines are made of mostly aluminum ?

26 posted on 07/27/2012 3:06:01 PM PDT by UCANSEE2 (Lame and ill-informed post)
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To: Hodar

aluminum corrodes too... sometimes worse than steel.


27 posted on 07/27/2012 3:06:42 PM PDT by cableguymn (For the first time in my life. I fear my country's government.)
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To: yarddog
Didn’t Land Rover use aluminum bodies?

Don't know...but McDonnell-Douglas did.

28 posted on 07/27/2012 3:07:02 PM PDT by gundog (Help us, Nairobi-Wan Kenobi...you're our only hope.)
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To: Responsibility2nd
The WSJ got it wrong.

Ford: Reports of more aluminum on F-150 'premature'

29 posted on 07/27/2012 3:07:27 PM PDT by Erik Latranyi (When religions have to beg the gov't for a waiver, we are already under socialism.)
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To: yarddog
I don’t think aluminum bodies are necessarily a bad idea.

Agreed, aluminum can be strengthened decently. You also have the advantage of not rusting.
30 posted on 07/27/2012 3:07:52 PM PDT by cripplecreek (What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?)
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To: Responsibility2nd

Properly designed, Aluminum can be just as strong as steel. It will just cost more.


31 posted on 07/27/2012 3:08:10 PM PDT by Yo-Yo
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To: Hodar

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.


32 posted on 07/27/2012 3:12:33 PM PDT by The Antiyuppie ("When small men cast long shadows, then it is very late in the day.")
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To: sinsofsolarempirefan
If those things crash and catch on fire, I bet they will burn hotter than the surface of the sun.

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.

33 posted on 07/27/2012 3:13:13 PM PDT by tacticalogic ("Oh, bother!" said Pooh, as he chambered his last round.)
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To: Grams A
Female question maybe - but will the lighter trucks still be able to pull and haul as much as the ones available now?

At a certain point, it becomes an issue over mass. Too little 'mass' in the truck, and it cannot control the mass being pulled.

34 posted on 07/27/2012 3:14:00 PM PDT by UCANSEE2 (Lame and ill-informed post)
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To: yarddog

The first Land Rovers were aluminum body on Jeep frames. LRs still use a lot of aluminum.


35 posted on 07/27/2012 3:14:27 PM PDT by jjotto ("Ya could look it up!")
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To: matt04

The F-250 will continue to be made with steel.
Heavier pickups are exempt from the gas mileage rule.


36 posted on 07/27/2012 3:18:51 PM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks (I didn't post this. Someone else did.)
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To: tacticalogic
Ground aluminum is what burns ferociously and is not as hard to light. I think that is what some people are thinking of. Since the inside of the combustion chamber gets pretty darn not, and aluminum engines don't immediately vaporize is proof that solid aluminum won't burn from any kind of crash.

If it would, most race cars would explode, as many of them are made out of titanium and aluminum.

37 posted on 07/27/2012 3:19:53 PM PDT by UCANSEE2 (Lame and ill-informed post)
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To: The Antiyuppie
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.

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.

38 posted on 07/27/2012 3:23:17 PM PDT by tacticalogic ("Oh, bother!" said Pooh, as he chambered his last round.)
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To: DannyTN

Scotty says “transparent” aluminum will fit the ticket!


39 posted on 07/27/2012 3:24:20 PM PDT by Renegade
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To: Responsibility2nd

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.


40 posted on 07/27/2012 3:25:27 PM PDT by RicocheT (Eat the rich only if you're certain it's your last meal)
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