: Ford continuing rapid advancements: F150's going on a diet



drewsdeville
01-11-11, 10:42 AM
http://news.pickuptrucks.com/2010/11/sources-say-ford-planning-innovative-fuel-efficiency-changes-for-next-f-150.html

Once again, Ford's really looking good. Magnesium and aluminum integral body should easily be far lighter and stronger than the outgoing steel design. This most likely calls for some hefty production and tooling updates, though. I wonder how much these things will cost.

Combined with the 3.5 Ecoboost being released for 2011, could we be looking at some 365hp full sized trucks that can get 25-27+ mpg HWY?

GM, where are you?

ejguillot
01-11-11, 07:19 PM
About time, the current and previous gen F-150's are lard asses! Go look at the curb weight of an early 90's F-150 to compare, the current ones are 1/2 a ton heavier.

ALL the other pickup truck manufacturers are guilty of this too.

SDCaddyLacky
01-12-11, 05:09 AM
Reducing weight is probably the best thing any auto manufacturer can do at the moment in order to increase MPG's, especially in big trucks like the F-150.

Technology is so advanced today, that I think we are running out of ideas to make cars better since engines in this past decade really haven't improve MPG's compared to cars in the 90's.

The combustion engine has been around forever, nothing is really new, it just comes around again. The electric car? Nothing new, just better engineered today than it was over 20 years ago. Turbo and superchargers? nothing new, race cars have had them since the 50's. Variable Valve Timing, is old technology if you think about, it's more controlled now though for better fuel economy and power, through more advanced PCM's.

Basically all the engine and drive trains have been figured out, but not much has been done to reduce weight in cars for the last 10 years, nobody really paid attention until now. Cars today are slowly getting fatter, slightly more heavy compared to the 90's, even with using lighter weight materials, cars are still increasing in curb weight. One major factor to added beef, is all the extra features in them. Navigation, bigger speaker systems with amps and subs, safety features such as multiple air bags, this is partially to blame, especially when you have cars powered by little 2.2 or 3.5 liter V6's which should weigh as light as a feather.

The 2011 Ford Taurus for instance, weighs over 4,000lbs, is not that big, has a V6 and only gets a couple more miles to the gallon than a 90's 4.6 V8 Lincoln Town car. Sure it has a little more power than the Town Car, but I really can't understand why cars like this aren't achieving higher mileage, like more into the 30's range.

Sometimes I don't know what all this technology is being used for, engines are more efficient than ever, but it seems like something else are holding cars back besides the weight. If you actually think about it, gas mileage hasn't improved all too much over time, the older Cadillac Fleetwoods and Brougham's weigh over 4,300lbs, later models around 4,500lbs have a 5.7 V8 old school pushrod style motor, with plenty of Torque, and still is able to bring back pretty decent mileage on the highway at 25 MPG. Most V6's in much smaller cars are getting the same amount of MPG's as the old Cadillac's in 2011! WTF is going on!!?

There's really no clear cut answer to these ?'s, but for sure reducing weight in trucks can help save gas. No more are truck buyers going to have that big 6,000lbs beast to haul stuff, those days are slowly coming to an end.

Jesda
01-12-11, 05:27 AM
Modern materials allow for reduced weight while maintaining the same towing capacity and payloads. The future looks pretty nice.

drewsdeville
01-12-11, 08:59 AM
Most V6's in much smaller cars are getting the same amount of MPG's as the old Cadillac's in 2011! WTF is going on!!?

Stupid horsepower wars in regular passenger cars, that's what. It's happening across all genres. Suddenly, everything is marketed as performance. Even economy cars to a degree.

The Taurus is an example. Your comment about the new Taurus being "a little" more powerful than a '90's 4.6 is quite understated. 210hp vs 365hp is nothing little. Acceleration numbers confirm that. If the Taurus was tuned down to 210hp, I'm sure the mileage difference over the '90's Town Car would be much greater.

Stingroo
01-12-11, 09:20 AM
Hooray horsepower!

drewsdeville
01-12-11, 09:32 AM
365hp in a utility oriented family hauler like the Ford Taurus is something I really don't understand. Horsepower is great in high end cars and sports cars in which are built for speed...cars that will walk all over the Taurus anyway.

When Billy needs his mom to take him to school in the morning and to his dentist appointment afterwards (probably a likely scenario for a Taurus) , a 150mph capable car probably isn't getting the job done any better than a lower horsepower variant.

Stingroo
01-12-11, 09:54 AM
That's why regular soccer (dentist?) moms don't own SHO's though.

mhamilton
01-12-11, 10:23 AM
I've been watching Ford's quality go downhill quickly the last 10 years. Have had 3 F150s: a '97 4.6, '98 5.4 (my favorite of the bunch), and an '09 5.4. The difference between the '98 and '08 was astounding! On the '08 you shut the door and the whole side of the truck would shake. The first time I went to lower the hood, I pulled on the grille and saw the hood bend in the middle. Not to mention the overall "tinny" feel, clattery engine, and transmission that was having issues well before 50k miles (yes, both known issues to Ford). Tossed something not too heavy in the bed and had it dent the inner fender... I'm still wondering what brilliant mind moved the oil filter from the rear of the block to under the ps pump... Glad it's gone now!

I'm not sure weight is the only problem, those Fords always had the worst mileage out of any full size truck. The 5.4 couldn't pull 17 mpg highway with the cruise set to 70 mph.

Though if you really want to gag... a friend still has his '88 F150 5.0, 3 speed auto (no lockup)... 12 mpg city, 14 mpg hwy :p

drewsdeville
01-12-11, 10:50 AM
I've been watching Ford's quality go downhill quickly the last 10 years. Have had 3 F150s: a '97 4.6, '98 5.4 (my favorite of the bunch), and an '09 5.4. The difference between the '98 and '08 was astounding! On the '08 you shut the door and the whole side of the truck would shake. The first time I went to lower the hood, I pulled on the grille and saw the hood bend in the middle. Not to mention the overall "tinny" feel, clattery engine, and transmission that was having issues well before 50k miles (yes, both known issues to Ford). Tossed something not too heavy in the bed and had it dent the inner fender... I'm still wondering what brilliant mind moved the oil filter from the rear of the block to under the ps pump... Glad it's gone now!


Very nice sum up of my girlfriend's uncle's '06. He HATES his as well and has been shopping around for some time, looking to replace it.

I feel differently on the mileage, though. When equipped with the smaller 4.6, they actually did great (though with a power sacrifice) compared to other brands. I've heard that if you bump it up to the 5.4, the mileage drops considerably and the power boost is relatively minor in the real world. Did you notice a significant difference between your '97 and '98?

I feel the F150's were in their prime with the '97-'03 generation. They had their quirks like anything else, mostly being shoddy front end joints and a few modular-typical nuances like spontaneously breaking exhaust manifold studs and blowing spark plugs out of the heads. However, they were great work trucks, still got great mileage with the 4.6, decent styling, and rode great.

mhamilton
01-12-11, 11:15 AM
Hard to say on the 4.6 vs 5.4 (my 5.4 has been gone a few years now), I think driving feel is about the same in normal situations. The 4.6 also has a lower gear ratio, so it seemed to get up and go a bit faster. The 5.4 had tons of torque, never needed to rev over 2000 rpm. Only turned something like 1700 rpm at 70 mph, yet still couldn't get 18 mpg. But the 4.6 is not that much better, I don't think it ever really pushed 20 mpg hwy. Surprisingly the '97-98 had no issues in 100k miles, except the main PCV vacuum hose on the 5.4 broke out of the blue (rear of the intake manifold, thank you Ford), which the resulting 1" hole caused quite a few codes and some major stumbling lol. But Ford had a new one in stock, took 15 minutes to replace.

That said, I should mention that trucks are one vehicle where gas mileage is not really a concern for me. If I'm buying a truck it's not to commute through city traffic every day. I'll use it as a truck... throw an engine and transmission in the back, or load a pallet of stone. I'm happier with the older sturdier models that only get 15 mpg lol

Submariner409
01-12-11, 02:00 PM
My '04 F150 4.6 4X4 will get 18 mpg highway loafing along at about 1650 rpm at 60, and that's the best gas mileage it's ever done. Definitely not your econobox gas-sipping daily driver, but it sure comes in handy for lugging engines and boat parts around as well as the occasional bed full of mulch, firewood or deer carcasses.

Mine has a full bedliner and a cab-high cap, so it's pretty versatile. Engine is quiet and strong, and the interior road and wind noise at 70 is less than in the STS. It runs 24/7 on 87 octane and, using Pennzoil synthetic 5W-20 (yes, 5W-20) it goes 7,500 miles to the quart. Not too shabby. This is our 5th F-150 - we have no complaints on interior, construction, handling, comfort in 80,000 miles. I did the front rotors and plugs at 75,000.

SDCaddyLacky
01-12-11, 02:39 PM
Stupid horsepower wars in regular passenger cars, that's what. It's happening across all genres. Suddenly, everything is marketed as performance. Even economy cars to a degree.

The Taurus is an example. Your comment about the new Taurus being "a little" more powerful than a '90's 4.6 is quite understated. 210hp vs 365hp is nothing little. Acceleration numbers confirm that. If the Taurus was tuned down to 210hp, I'm sure the mileage difference over the '90's Town Car would be much greater.

I was actually referring to the standard 3.5 V6 not the Ecoboost. Because it is more in line with the 4.6 V8, no turbo chargers, no direct injection. That Ecoboost engine is damn efficient and extremely powerful for such a small motor. Ford is doing there thing, finally surpassing GM in many area's after years of building crapola.

Even with all this horsepower gain, auto makers should be doing a better job on fuel efficiency overall. That standard 3.5 V6 has to get at least over 30 MPG, no excuses for Ford.

Florian
01-12-11, 03:01 PM
love my 08 F-150 (5.4l) hauls dirt/stone, etc w/o any problem. No issues to date and the body is solid.

F

Playdrv4me
01-12-11, 03:29 PM
Jim's red F-150 is the last F-150 design I liked (and arguably my favorite). The crap that came after it is just downright ugly, and it looks cheap up front with all that plastic and chrome. The Raptor actually looks good because all of that shit is blacked out.

As for the '97-'03 generation, I'd have to disagree. I have a 2000 Expedition and that interior is absolutely laughable with that "whale on its side" dashboard, and big wide plastic panels throughout. The 2004 and up definitely has the edge on interior quality and outside looks, though I do agree my 2003 Navigator (based on the 2004 and up F-150 Chassis) felt a little tinnier outside than the older Expedition.

V-Eight
01-12-11, 03:31 PM
365hp in a utility oriented family hauler like the Ford Taurus is something I really don't understand. Horsepower is great in high end cars and sports cars in which are built for speed...cars that will walk all over the Taurus anyway.

When Billy needs his mom to take him to school in the morning and to his dentist appointment afterwards (probably a likely scenario for a Taurus) , a 150mph capable car probably isn't getting the job done any better than a lower horsepower variant.

Fast+sedan, do you have difficulty understanding the V as well then?

Playdrv4me
01-12-11, 03:36 PM
And for that matter the E55 AMG, M5, M3 Sedan, Impala SS, WRX STi, Ford Escort GT, Cosworth... and on and on. People have wanted rocket fast grocery getters for as long as I can remember. If ONE family car, or perhaps one family car and a minivan is all you can afford once your wife pops a few out, having that one 4 door be a SHO or V certainly takes a lot of the pain out of the equation.

drewsdeville
01-12-11, 04:01 PM
As for the '97-'03 generation, I'd have to disagree. I have a 2000 Expedition and that interior is absolutely laughable with that "whale on its side" dashboard, and big wide plastic panels throughout. The 2004 and up definitely has the edge on interior quality

Definitely. But, I didn't include an interior comparison as I don't find it a dealbreaker one way or another. I don't take my truck on road trips, or even use it to commute. Like Hamilton, I see a truck as a work/utility vehicle. The interior is going to get dirty and abused. As long as it's interior provides the basics, I'm good.

That is subjective, of course. Some people love the decked out, luxury car-like truck interiors. Those may be better in the newer ones.

As for the fast family car, just like the truck being a utility vehicle, I prefer vehicle specialization. A proper sports car will run circles around the glorified family haulers. For it's purpose, I'd rather be driving that sports car than a 4 door family hauler with a "big" engine.

I do this with a lot of my stuff: vehicles, computers, bicycles, fishing equipment, etc. I guess it's not really practical as you accumulate a lot of "stuff"...but, everything excels at it's purpose.

It's all opinion.

mhamilton
01-12-11, 06:37 PM
As for the '97-'03 generation, I'd have to disagree. I have a 2000 Expedition and that interior is absolutely laughable with that "whale on its side" dashboard, and big wide plastic panels throughout. The 2004 and up definitely has the edge on interior quality and outside looks,

Haha, I did lol at the "beached whale" description. I had to look up a 2k Expe to see what it was like, and that's the same dash my '98 had (minus the console). I can't say I ever noticed before... it was basically a dash, nothing more or less. The '08 maybe had a more stylish dash layout, but looked like something from Playskool. And I always thought the Mustang air vents were out of place. But, neither was anything made me take notice. I can understand if you're buying an SUV or a Lincoln truck you'd want something else.

Though, I had the '98 on a few trips between NC and NJ, those seats were god awful! No leg support, and they killed my back, even though they had lumbar adjustment.


love my 08 F-150 (5.4l) hauls dirt/stone, etc w/o any problem. No issues to date and the body is solid.

I'm not trying to dispute your opinion. I just find it interested how vastly different people's opinions can be. I guess it's the same when some people say that the last gen Seville has 'horrible build quality' whereas my Eldorado is tight as a drum with no extraneous panel gaps or squeaking plastic.

V-Eight
01-12-11, 07:33 PM
As for the fast family car, just like the truck being a utility vehicle, I prefer vehicle specialization. A proper sports car will run circles around the glorified family haulers. For it's purpose, I'd rather be driving that sports car than a 4 door family hauler with a "big" engine.

I do this with a lot of my stuff: vehicles, computers, bicycles, fishing equipment, etc. I guess it's not really practical as you accumulate a lot of "stuff"...but, everything excels at it's purpose.

It's all opinion.

So then, do you have the income to support 4 or 5 'specialized' vehicles? Doubt it, and neither do most other people which is why cars like those we are discussing were developed.

drewsdeville
01-12-11, 09:18 PM
Working on it. About to graduate in a few months.

Until recently, I had 4 vehicles with designated tasks. One workhorse (truck), one efficient school commuter (Ford Escort), one highway car (Deville), and one spare (Eldo).

I sold 2, the Escort and Deville. The Escort will most likely be replaced with a VW Jetta TDi in the near future.

Not saying it's realistic for everyone, but since I can manage to achieve it, I very much prefer it.

DouglasJRizzo
01-12-11, 09:45 PM
Personally, I think Ford is going to be THE company to watch, and the company for engines. Definitely. They're pushing hard for modern engine design and it shows. My personal opinion, I think the 4.6 eclipsed the GM V-8s years ago.

drewsdeville
01-12-11, 09:55 PM
Personally, I think Ford is going to be THE company to watch, and the company for engines. Definitely. They're pushing hard for modern engine design and it shows. My personal opinion, I think the 4.6 eclipsed the GM V-8s years ago.

Yes.

I think the big piston slap phenomenon with the widely used 5.3 tarnished the GM V8 image a little.

That and in N/A form, they really haven't been putting out decent power for their size for quite some time now.

Aron9000
01-12-11, 10:20 PM
Yes.

I think the big piston slap phenomenon with the widely used 5.3 tarnished the GM V8 image a little.

That and in N/A form, they really haven't been putting out decent power for their size for quite some time now.

Same thing can be said of the 4.6 modular Ford V8 in terms of power. And it is A LOT less than what GM's 4.8 and 5.3 truck motors have been putting out. In Mustang applications, the 1998 fbody LS1 has made more power than any naturally aspirated Mustang motor until the 2011 5.0 came out.

I really don't have anything against Ford's old modular motors other than them being slow, lacking low end torque, thirsty, and always having less horsepower than the GM V8's. They are reliable, smoother than the GM v8's, and sound great, but a V8 is about horsepower in my book, and they've ALWAYS come up short IMO.

Seems like Ford's new generation of v8 engines(5.0 V8, 6.2 V8 in heavy duty trucks) are kicking some serious arse though.

drewsdeville
01-12-11, 10:25 PM
Same thing can be said of the 4.6 modular Ford V8 in terms of power. And it is A LOT less than what GM's 4.8 and 5.3 truck motors have been putting out. In Mustang applications, the 1998 fbody LS1 has made more power than any naturally aspirated Mustang motor until the 2011 5.0 came out.


Not necessarily. With the f-bodys and Mustangs, remember that you are comparing a little 281 to a 350. That's quite a significant difference in displacement. The little 281 managed to hold it's own against f-bodys with engines that were another 25% larger. Not bad, really.

Also, back in the early '90's, the Ford slapped some 4 valve heads on the 4.6 for the Lincoln Mark VIII, pumping out nearly 300hp with that little displacement, just like the N*

The 5.4 in the trucks was indeed a different story though.

Playdrv4me
01-12-11, 11:13 PM
Yes.

I think the big piston slap phenomenon with the widely used 5.3 tarnished the GM V8 image a little.


The last 5.7s (supposedly), the 6.0 and even the new 6.2 in the 2007 Escalade have it too.

thebigjimsho
01-13-11, 03:13 PM
365hp in a utility oriented family hauler like the Ford Taurus is something I really don't understand. Horsepower is great in high end cars and sports cars in which are built for speed...cars that will walk all over the Taurus anyway.

When Billy needs his mom to take him to school in the morning and to his dentist appointment afterwards (probably a likely scenario for a Taurus) , a 150mph capable car probably isn't getting the job done any better than a lower horsepower variant.
Give me a break. The Taurus SHO is a select few examples of the Taurus. Back when it was released in 1989, many like you asked what for. Well, many of those moms and dads want a Vette but don't have the income to have one. Or they do but not enough to have a Vette and the "lower horsepower variant" Taurus.

Jeez, if everyone was such a communist maybe we would all be in Trabants. Heck, if you need more room just buy 2...

drewsdeville
01-13-11, 03:34 PM
:osnap:

The Raven
01-14-11, 08:36 PM
The problem is that these lightweight and strong materials are much more expensive and much tougher to source in quantity...raising the price of the vehicle significantly. Plus as noted earlier, production costs (even ignoring the material costs) go up significantly as well. The Ecoboost F150 is the perfect example of why I think all this "thinking" is misapplied here. They make such a big deal out of the Ecoboost motor, and it's numbers. It can perform on par with most standard V8's. Very nice...the problem is, despite the V6 and light weight of the body, it also performs on par with a V8 in efficiency. 16/22mpg are the EPA ratings...note that the 5.3L Silverado gets 16/21mpg, and even the 5.4L F150 is rated 15/20mpg. So here you have a turbo V6 that can do everything a V8 can do, including sucking the same amount of fuel. However consider the reliability that comes along with twin turbos and all the electronic gadgets required to handle that powerplant (STS-V and XLR-V owners know this well), and also consider that this truck carries a $42k sticker.

Once again, sounds great on paper, but lacks in execution.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
01-14-11, 11:44 PM
Very, very solid point. You're going to pay for all this technology.

SDCaddyLacky
01-15-11, 04:11 AM
Many great points have been noted. I also have some reservations on small liter V6's pumping out a ton of power using turbo chargers as the only way to improve HP and other means using expensive technology. The reliability is a huge concern, especially, how long will the parts last? Eventually the turbo chargers will burn out, oil changes will become more frequent, and can possibly cause an increase in wear because of extreme heat destroying anti wear additives in the oil.

Maybe a smaller V8 could be designed in the future that doesn't need all this extra gadgetry, and add on parts to create artificial power like the current V6's. I'm sure it's possible, somebody just needs to step up to figure it out.

thebigjimsho
01-15-11, 10:12 AM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BMW_M60#M60B30

drewsdeville
01-15-11, 12:50 PM
Many great points have been noted. I also have some reservations on small liter V6's pumping out a ton of power using turbo chargers as the only way to improve HP and other means using expensive technology. The reliability is a huge concern, especially, how long will the parts last? Eventually the turbo chargers will burn out, oil changes will become more frequent, and can possibly cause an increase in wear because of extreme heat destroying anti wear additives in the oil.

Maybe a smaller V8 could be designed in the future that doesn't need all this extra gadgetry, and add on parts to create artificial power like the current V6's. I'm sure it's possible, somebody just needs to step up to figure it out.

Many manufacturers have reliably been using turbochargers and superchargers on regular production cars for decades. I don't think there's not much to be afraid of.

Besides, factory warranties are better now than they've ever been.

The Raven
01-15-11, 01:43 PM
Many manufacturers have reliably been using turbochargers and superchargers on regular production cars for decades. I don't think there's not much to be afraid of.

Besides, factory warranties are better now than they've ever been.

Depends on what you consider "reliably". I get the idea that this comment is made with the inference being "reliable, for a turbocharged V6". Which is exactly the problem. Remember that despite the fact that making V8 power with a turbo V6 is as old as dirt, it's rarely done. There's many good reasons for that. Even though I have no doubt that the Ecoboost is a very well built, reliable motor, the fact remains that it will not be as reliable as an NA V8. Compound that with the fact that this is going in a truck, which is going to be expected to survive heavy use for over 200k miles, and you can clearly see that reliability is definitely going to be a concern.

Also remember that those "reliable" turbo cars of the past years require significantly more routine maintenance than their NA counterparts. Everything required is more costly (93 octane fuel, full synthetic oil...etc) increasing the likelihood that the average user will overlook certain important services, therefore rendering the vehicle problematic. Sure, it's the owners fault really, but nonetheless it ends up reflecting poorly on the manufacturer.

Playdrv4me
01-15-11, 01:51 PM
Depends on what you consider "reliably". I get the idea that this comment is made with the inference being "reliable, for a turbocharged V6". Which is exactly the problem. Remember that despite the fact that making V8 power with a turbo V6 is as old as dirt, it's rarely done. There's many good reasons for that. Even though I have no doubt that the Ecoboost is a very well built, reliable motor, the fact remains that it will not be as reliable as an NA V8. Compound that with the fact that this is going in a truck, which is going to be expected to survive heavy use for over 200k miles, and you can clearly see that reliability is definitely going to be a concern.

Also remember that those "reliable" turbo cars of the past years require significantly more routine maintenance than their NA counterparts. Everything required is more costly (93 octane fuel, full synthetic oil...etc) increasing the likelihood that the average user will overlook certain important services, therefore rendering the vehicle problematic. Sure, it's the owners fault really, but nonetheless it ends up reflecting poorly on the manufacturer.

I'd have to agree with this overall. In general, when you have less complexity and fewer moving parts you increase durability. That said, let's not forget that among the longest lasting and most depended upon engines of commerce are, in fact, turbo-diesels.

The Raven
01-15-11, 02:40 PM
let's not forget that among the longest lasting and most depended upon engines of commerce are, in fact, turbo-diesels.

Cannot be compared...totally different world. Besides the fact that a diesel operates in a completely different fashion as compared to a gas motor, the majority of diesels are operated by companies who have a very regimented maintenance schedule.

Playdrv4me
01-15-11, 03:10 PM
Cannot be compared...totally different world. Besides the fact that a diesel operates in a completely different fashion as compared to a gas motor, the majority of diesels are operated by companies who have a very regimented maintenance schedule.

Nah, I know plenty of people with turbo-diesel pickup trucks that do 2, 3, 400,000 miles with minimal maintenance. A turbo is a turbo, maybe it spins faster, slower, it might be larger or smaller, but the principle is the same. A turbine spinning at high speed in a metal case. As to what the differences in the effect of that turbo over the long term on a gasoline versus diesel engine, that is where I have a concern.

The Raven
01-15-11, 05:31 PM
As to what the differences in the effect of that turbo over the long term on a gasoline versus diesel engine, that is where I have a concern.

And that's EXACTLY what I was getting at. A turbo is a turbo, whether it's attached to a diesel or gas motor. It's the MOTOR that's an entirely different world.

EChas3
01-15-11, 11:16 PM
I had the 32-valve 4.6 ford engine in my Continental and it was a poor second to the Northstar in my wife's '98 STS and the newer 4.6 N* is even better.

Designers may be able to get similar horsepower numbers out of the V-6's but torque, smoothness and drivability suffer. Prices are climbing and tax dollars subsidize uncompetitive car designs and fuels.

A lot fewer Americans will be able to afford cars and that is a tremendous loss of freedom.