Ford rolls out new diesel

Nov. 1, 2009
The new 6.7-liter Power Stroke V-8 turbocharged diesel engine engineered, tested, and manufactured by Ford and debuting in the 2011 F-Series Super Duty

THE new 6.7-liter Power Stroke V-8 turbocharged diesel engine — engineered, tested, and manufactured by Ford and debuting in the 2011 F-Series Super Duty truck — delivers significant improvements in torque, horsepower, and fuel economy while adding more fueling flexibility and easily meeting stringent new emissions requirements.

Ford doesn't plan to reveal the surcharge for its emission control aftertreatment package until the end of this year, but the engine should be available for purchase starting in the spring of 2010 on F-250, 350, 450, and 550 pickup and chassis/cab models, covering Class 2 through 5 GVW ratings. Ford will be using selective catalytic reduction (SCR) technology to meet 2010 emissions rules.

The 6.7-liter Power Stroke uses an “inboard exhaust” architecture, an automotive-industry first for a modern production diesel engine.

It has the first use of a compacted graphite iron (CGI) engine block in a Super Duty-class vehicle in North America. Stronger than regular gray cast iron, Ford has successfully used CGI in engine blocks in products around the world. The block structure was optimized for reduced weight and maximum strength to meet the demands of higher torque and horsepower.

The Honeywell single-sequential turbocharger features an industry-first double-sided compressor wheel mounted on a single shaft. The unit is uniquely center-mounted on a pedestal low in the back of the valley for improved NVH. This turbocharger design allows the single unit to deliver the benefits of a twin-turbocharger system in a smaller, more efficient package, combining the benefits of a small turbocharger (faster response) and a large turbocharger (ability to compress and force more air into the engine for more power) in one unit.

The inboard exhaust and outboard intake architecture, an automotive-industry first for a modern production diesel engine, reduces overall exhaust system volume, which leads to better throttle response for the customer; additionally, there is reduced exhaust system surface area. Heat transfer to the engine compartment is minimized, improving on NVH (noise, vibration, harshness).

The new engine architecture enables easier service work for all major engine components, potentially reducing down time. On turbocharger service, for example, the body/cab no longer has to be removed from the frame to access the turbo; also, the high-pressure fuel pump, EGR (exhaust gas recirculation) components and thermostats are directly accessible from the front of the vehicle.

The high-pressure Bosch fuel system injects fuel at up to 30,000 psi. The system delivers up to five injection events per cylinder per cycle using eight-hole piezo injectors to spray fuel into the piston bowl. The direct-injection system is calibrated and phased for optimum power, fuel efficiency and NVH.

Aluminum cylinder heads for reduced weight; the mid-deck construction with dual water jackets provides increased strength and optimal cooling; also, six head bolts, instead of four as found on other engines, help improve sealing and maintain cylinder integrity even with the higher firing pressures; overall the engine is about 160 pounds lighter.

The engine is compatible up to B20 fuel, allowing greener fueling options of up to 20 percent biodiesel and 80 percent petroleum diesel.

Transit Connect

Rob Stevens said the Ford Transit Connect “has really taken off.” It went on sale in the United States in late August, and despite the continuing tough economic times, was selling on average within eight days of arriving on dealer lots, according to Ford.

“It's one of the best things we've been able to introduce into the commercial industry for quite awhile,” he said. “We've left it as a bare canvas. It's up to you to paint the right things the customer is looking for.”

The Transit, launched in 2003 in Europe, is a spacious, fuel-efficient alternative to larger commercial vehicles that's ideal for navigating US cities. To prepare Transit Connect for US duty, the powertrain was upgraded to include a proven Duratec 2.0-liter dual-overhead cam (DOHC) I-4 engine — giving 22 city, 25 highway miles per gallon — and a four-speed automatic overdrive transaxle.

A battery electric-powered Transit Connect was scheduled to be offered in late 2010. The Transit Connect battery electric vehicle will be the initial offering in Ford's recently announced electrification initiatives.

Ford is working with Smith Electric Vehicles, the European market's leading battery electric upfitter of commercial vehicles, a part of the UK-based Tanfield Group of companies. Since 1920, Smith has converted tens of thousands of commercial vehicles to battery electric-power.

Many commercial users travel predictable, short-range routes, with lots of stop and go in urban and suburban environments. A range of up to 100 miles makes the battery electric-powered Transit Connect a useful hauler, with significantly reduced operation and maintenance costs. For companies aiming for sustainable mobility solutions, it can help them deliver the goods in an environmentally friendly way.

The cargo area opens up to a maximum of 59.1" of floor to ceiling height. The load width is 48.1" between the wheel arches. Load length is 72.6", and dual sliding rear side doors provide wide access to the cargo space. It also offers commercial users a cargo payload of up to 1600 lbs — a larger payload than the full-size Dodge Ram 1500 standard-cab short-box pickup truck.

Transit Connect is offered with a wide range of upfitted cargo management options, similar to the E-Series commercial vehicles. Bulkheads, racks, bins, and other upfits can be mixed, matched and configured to suit many specific commercial applications and needs.

Transit Connect is available as a cargo van with no windows in the sliding side doors combined with rear cargo door privacy glass. A panel van version is offered with no side or rear cargo area windows. Transit Connect can be configured with side and rear door privacy glass for maximum driver visibility. A wagon version also is available with a folding second-row bench seat, in either two-or three-passenger configurations.

Stevens said the E-Series has new optional offerings:

  • The E350 SRW Cutaway is available up to 10,050 GVWR, with 5.4L, 6.8L, and 6.0L diesel engines. The rear GAWR limit is 6084 lbs, and there is Class 3 vehicle capability on an SRW chassis.

  • On the 5.4L, the 4-speed transmission provides a fuel economy benefit of 5% to 7.5% versus a 5-speed transmission, depending on the drive cycle.

  • There is a new E350 SRW Cutaway at 158" wheelbase, in addition to the 138", to support longer bodies. It provides incremental upfit flexibility and capacity, if front-to-rear load distribution can be achieved.

  • The new CNG/LPG Engine Prep Package 5.4L/6.8L includes hardened valves and seats. The final-stage manufacturer or vehicle alterer is responsible for exhaust and evaporative emissions certificates and safety standards for the CNG/LPG upfits.

He said the 2011 F-59 Super Duty commercial stripped chassis is based on a ladder-type, single-channel frame constructed from 36,000 lbs-per-square-inch steel. This foundation is available in 158", 178", and 208" wheelbase lengths, at respective 16,000, 19,500 and 22,000 lb Gross Vehicle Weight Ratings (GVWR). These size and cargo capabilities allow body manufacturers and operators to tailor the F-59 stripped chassis to specific application and subsequent needs. This chassis will be ideal for multi-stop couriers and expeditors, linen and commercial laundry services, printed media delivery, carpet delivery and installation, parcel portage, mobile machine shops, portable medical units and food/beverage delivery, among others. The F-59 Super Duty commercial stripped chassis is powered by the 6.8L, three-valve per cylinder, Triton V-10 gasoline-powered engine, delivering 362 horsepower and 457 ft-lbs of torque. This engine features a single overhead camshaft and electronic fuel injection for responsive power and precise fuel metering for enhanced fuel economy. It also meets all applicable 2012 emissions standards. The Triton V-10 engine is mated to the TorqShift 5-speed automatic overdrive transmission that features a torque converter and large-capacity fluid pump for optimized cooling and durability. A fifth-gear overdrive ratio of 0.71 enhances overall vehicle efficiency while use of a low-viscosity transmission fluid helps improve fuel economy.

Super Duty updates

Chris Brewer gave 2010MY product updates:

  • Front-to-front compatibility brackets affect all F-250/F-350 4×4 pickups with 10,000 GVWR and under. Brackets attach to snowplow holes in the frame and can be removed for snowplow installations.

  • New valve-mounted TPMS sensors replace the band sensor on SRW models. The valve design is based on a standard tire value.

  • New 17" cast aluminum wheels replace 17" chrome-clad wheels on F-250/F-350 XLT.

  • Under FMVSS 201U, upfitter alterations that affect the function, location, or structural characteristics of any upper interior trim component need to be recertified (vehicles 10,000 lbs GVWR or less).

  • Under FMVSS 301, F-350 SRW Chassis Cab vehicles (10,000 lbs GVWR or less) were not available from September 2009 through the end of the 2010MY. These models will be available again starting 2011MY Job #1. The availability of F-350 SRW Pickup Box Delete vehicles (10,000 lbs GVWR or less) has been reinstated for 2010MY.

FMVSS changes

Bill Chew, VSO engineering supervisor, said that FMVSS 301 (fuel-system integrity) affects vehicles 10,000 GVWR or less, with rear impact revised from 30 mph centered on the rear to off-center at 50 mph. Because of that, Ford added some countermeasures, which were effective September 1:

  • F-Super Duty box delete/removal: F-250/350 pickups include a 12,000 hitch receiver. Box removal for other than service body applications must replace with a 16,000 hitch receiver.

  • E-Series Cutaways/stripped chassis: E350s with 40-gallon aft-axle fuel tanks were equipped with crossmembers. WVM Bulletin Q-184 will outline alternatives to enable shorter body installation on 138“ and 158“ wheelbases.

  • Ranger box removal: Trailer hitch receiver is provided (do not remove). A Second Unit Body (SUB) must be attached using 10 attachment points similar to Ford factory-installed pickup box.

About the Author

Rick Weber | Associate Editor

Rick Weber has been an associate editor for Trailer/Body Builders since February 2000. A national award-winning sportswriter, he covered the Miami Dolphins for the Fort Myers News-Press following service with publications in California and Australia. He is a graduate of Penn State University.