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Next Ford F-150 Said to Make Extensive Use of Aluminum(To meet new fuel EPA Standards)
Truck Trend ^ | July 30, 2012 | Edward A. Sanchez

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.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Government
KEYWORDS: epaoutofcontrol; fordf150; fuelstandards; obamaadmin

1 posted on 08/02/2012 5:02:52 PM PDT by Red Steel
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To: Red Steel
My youth is filled with tormented memories of rust-buckets and bondo. As a result, I've always thought aluminum should be used more for body material, and have owned a couple of aluminum-bodied vehicles.

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.

2 posted on 08/02/2012 5:06:55 PM PDT by the invisib1e hand (Woe to them...)
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To: Red Steel

They will also have a CRV fee attached to them in Kalifornia


3 posted on 08/02/2012 5:12:17 PM PDT by al baby (“If Barack Obama has a Harvard law degree, he didn’t earn that. Somebody else made that happen.”)
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To: the invisib1e hand
"going out of business because your cars can't meet ridiculous EPA mileage regulations"

Isn't that President Barack 'The Saboteur' 0bama's mission here?

4 posted on 08/02/2012 5:20:24 PM PDT by GeorgeWashingtonsGhost
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To: Red Steel

The homeless will now steal quarter panels for recycling.


5 posted on 08/02/2012 5:24:50 PM PDT by Secret Agent Man (I can neither confirm or deny that; even if I could, I couldn't - it's classified.)
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To: the invisib1e hand
Road salt will eat away aluminum much faster than steel. If you're from the upper midwest, you would understand. I have a 2001 F-150 that has literally been eaten away by exposure to salt from salting roads during the winter. The recycled steel ford uses seems to be especially susceptible to this.
6 posted on 08/02/2012 5:34:03 PM PDT by factoryrat (We are the producers, the creators. Grow it, mine it, build it.)
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To: the invisib1e hand

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.


7 posted on 08/02/2012 5:34:22 PM PDT by Sooth2222 ("Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of congress. But I repeat myself." M.Twain)
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To: the invisib1e hand

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.


8 posted on 08/02/2012 5:36:30 PM PDT by NewHampshireDuo
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To: Red Steel
Proud owner of an F-150 here.

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.

9 posted on 08/02/2012 5:41:35 PM PDT by Alberta's Child ("If you touch my junk, I'm gonna have you arrested.")
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To: factoryrat; Sooth2222; NewHampshireDuo
Road salt will eat away aluminum much faster than steel.

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.

10 posted on 08/02/2012 6:00:04 PM PDT by the invisib1e hand (Woe to them...)
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To: factoryrat

BTW, most tractor-trailers are (or were) aluminum bodied. I can’t recall ever seeing one of them rusted out.


11 posted on 08/02/2012 6:01:15 PM PDT by the invisib1e hand (Woe to them...)
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To: Alberta's Child
"DEMOCRATS like to portray themselves as defenders of science, but their pursuit of a “green” environmental agenda often involves goals that defy the laws of physics. Take the fuel-economy standards the Obama administration pushed through in 2011. Those regulations require the U.S. vehicle fleet to average 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025.

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

12 posted on 08/02/2012 6:02:06 PM PDT by Red Steel
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To: Red Steel

IVE HEARD THAT THEY GROUND OFF A SECTION OF PAINT ON THE DEMO AND ALL THEY FOUND WAS COMPRESSED PULL TABS.....


13 posted on 08/02/2012 6:05:31 PM PDT by frankblack.millenniumgroup
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To: Red Steel
How should I say this...

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...

14 posted on 08/02/2012 6:08:54 PM PDT by taildragger (( Palin / Mulally 2012 ))
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To: the invisib1e hand

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).


15 posted on 08/02/2012 6:09:10 PM PDT by factoryrat (We are the producers, the creators. Grow it, mine it, build it.)
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To: GeorgeWashingtonsGhost

I don’t know this to be a fact, but I would bet these EPA regulations were in place before 2009.


16 posted on 08/02/2012 6:54:27 PM PDT by Ken H
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To: Red Steel

Aluminum bodies?

About time!
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.


17 posted on 08/02/2012 7:05:41 PM PDT by Loyal Sedition
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To: Red Steel

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.


18 posted on 08/02/2012 7:14:29 PM PDT by moonshot925
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To: Loyal Sedition
The 1990 Acura/Honda NSX was the first production car with an all aluminum monocoque body...I think it's one of the best looking cars ever.


19 posted on 08/02/2012 7:21:12 PM PDT by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum)
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To: Red Steel

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?


20 posted on 08/02/2012 8:00:11 PM PDT by Boiling point
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To: Joe 6-pack

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!


21 posted on 08/02/2012 8:01:38 PM PDT by Ken H
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To: Red Steel
"The weight reduction target on the next-generation F-150 is in the area of 700-800 pounds"

That should make it easier for the wind to blow them around.
22 posted on 08/02/2012 11:31:37 PM PDT by clearcarbon
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To: clearcarbon

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!


23 posted on 08/03/2012 5:36:26 AM PDT by DaveA37
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