Skip to comments.Next Ford F-150 Said to Make Extensive Use of Aluminum(To meet new fuel EPA Standards)
Posted on 08/02/2012 5:02:48 PM PDT by Red Steel
Truck Line Could be Largest-Volume Use of Aluminum in Automotive History
Already the truck volume leader with its F-Series line of trucks, Ford is not content resting on its laurels, which include the F-150 being named the 2012 Motor Trend Truck of the Year award and stronger-than-expected sales of models equipped with the EcoBoost V-6. With steeply-increasing fuel economy standards right around the corner, Ford is facing the prospect of having to cut several hundred pounds from the F-150's weight while assuring customers that there is no reduction in durability, payload, and towing capacities, all of which are critical attributes for fullsize truck buyers.
According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, the path to higher-mileage future Ford trucks is with extensive use of aluminum. Although other automakers have produced aluminum-framed-and-bodied vehicles, none have approached the potential production numbers that the F-150 would represent, and none have been fullsize trucks. The next F-150 will retain a body-on-frame chassis typical of fullsize trucks and will most likely retain a steel frame for durability and lower cost than could be achieved with an aluminum frame.
The weight reduction target on the next-generation F-150 is in the area of 700-800 pounds, a percentage reduction of approximately 15 percent. The F-150 currently has an aluminum hood, but the next model could employ aluminum for most, if not all of its body panels.
however, it can't be cheap. Well, it might be cheaper than going out of business because your cars can't meet ridiculous EPA mileage regulations, but it can't be cheaper than sheet metal and plastic.
They will also have a CRV fee attached to them in Kalifornia
Isn't that President Barack 'The Saboteur' 0bama's mission here?
The homeless will now steal quarter panels for recycling.
My car has a lot of suspension pieces made out of aluminum, and I’ve heard they bend if you just look at them the wrong way. I’ve had a $1000 ding from a shopping cart. Anything that you save in gasoline is going to be MORE than made up for by insurance premiums.
I had a Series III Land Rover back in the 70s. Aluminum is great but it dents easily and when it does get dented, it stretches and you can’t just pop the dent out. With the Rover I really didn’t care as it got pretty tough use in the woods.
I'm not sure if this has anything to do with Ford's decision, but when they redesigned the F-150 for the 2004 model year (I think it was 2004) one of the characteristics of the newer version was that it was substantially heavier than the previous one. I wonder if they've simply determined that the F-150 has a "weight problem" and they're acting accordingly.
This hasn't been my experience. Had two aluminum bodied vans while in Chicago...one of them made in year I was born. The body oxidizes, but not eaten away. Granted, it was 1/8" thick...
And I was talking about body parts, not stress parts. No, it isn't as forgiving as steel, but it's only a little less forgiving than the plastic panels you have to replace at a premium when they take a good blow.
Not cheap -- that was the whole point.
Insurance premiums? The other day I saw a car with one of those ridiculous running-headlights out. I figured it must be a $500 repair, and surely would stay out for some time.
BTW, most tractor-trailers are (or were) aluminum bodied. I can’t recall ever seeing one of them rusted out.
Even with advances in engineering, that goal is daunting. The power required to move something as massive as an American vehicle (full-size trucks weigh between 7,500 and 12,000 pounds) at high speeds necessitates burning a little fuel.
Consider this: Many 2012 model motorcycles don't get 54.5 miles per gallon, according to www.totalmotorcycle.com. Even if they did, we doubt many families are willing to have mom and dad double up on a motorcycle and ride flying down the Interstate with junior riding the handlebars just to satisfy liberal notions of environmental progress.
This leaves auto manufacturers in a quandary. In response, Ford is trying to develop an F-150 truck with a largely aluminum body. "
Fuel-economy standards will pinch consumers (Replacing Steel with Aluminum to Comply w/Cafe EPA Std. Oklahoman ^ | August 2, 2012 | Oklahoman Editorial
Posted on Thursday, August 02, 2012 5:42:32 PM by Red Steel
IVE HEARD THAT THEY GROUND OFF A SECTION OF PAINT ON THE DEMO AND ALL THEY FOUND WAS COMPRESSED PULL TABS.....
I can't believe this story is out.
The Ford Culture is probably like Lockheed's was during Have Blue.
This was inner scantum stuff...
They rot out too, depending on where they see the most use. Some terminals won’t let you bring in a trailer if it’s more than ten years old, due to corrosion failures (forklifts dropping through the floors).
I don’t know this to be a fact, but I would bet these EPA regulations were in place before 2009.
I’ve been advocating for that for decades.
My 1950 Jag had an aluminum body, my Land-Rover 88” has an aluminum body, Range-Rovers have aluminum bodies, many Ferrari’s have aluminum bodies.
It’s not like it’s a black-art to make aluminum bodies.
Much more durable than cheap plastic, mere sunlight does not rot it.
Recycles very well too.
I expect panels will be bonded on in a manner that makes them easy to replace.
Given a choice between Aluminum and Plastic, I will take Aluminum EVERY time.
Aluminum has many advantages.
Saving weight means better braking and handling performance.
It also reduces power-to-weight ratio and therefore improves acceleration.
Weight distribution between front and rear axle is more even with aluminum.
Plus aluminum is easy to recycle.
There is much more weight savings to be had by going to aluminum than just those parts. For example, the weight carrying capacity of a Ford F-150 is 1000lbs. If you remove 500lbs from the truck, other components can be lightened as well. For example, one less leaf spring per side in the rear. Axles can be made slightly smaller. Engine size can be reduced WITHOUT sacrificing performance. I never understood why rear axle/differential housings were not made of aluminum. Or steering boxes. With a truck that much lighter, power steering becomes un necessary, saving even more weight. Can anyone tell I used to fly Ultralight airplanes?
I sat in one of those in an Acura showroom. Same red color. I don’t remember the sticker price, except that it was way out of my range. I’m thinking it was around $75K. Hot car, though!
The only major issue I see is the increase in cost, aluminum versus steel. What they gain in fuel milage, the consumer will loose in the increased vehicle price.
I will still buy one!