A REDESIGNED E-Series highlighted Ford's announcements at The Work Truck Show and the Mid-America Trucking Show.
While Ford personnel made brief references to other models — including 10 new chassis cab offerings coming in July, the company placed its strongest emphasis on the 2008 model E-Series.
“In addition to a new look up front, the E-Series receives higher GVW ratings and increased front axle ratings,” said Rob Stevens, chief nameplate engineer. “The new design, inspired by the 2008 Super Duty, features all new sheet metal from the A-pillars forward including hood, fenders, radiator support, grille, and bumpers.”
Upfitters, however, may not notice much difference in how bodies and equipment are installed. That is because Ford has not changed the dimensions most related to the installation of truck bodies and equipment.
“Up-fitters have designed their tooling to fit the dimensions of our vehicles,” Stevens said. “If we change our door openings, all of their tooling becomes outdated. To that point, door structures and floor structure measurements are carryover, and seat attachments are in the exact same location.
The 2008 E-Series line-up rides on an improved chassis. A series of upgrades to the braking, suspension and steering systems have resulted in improvements in ride and handling, braking performance, and load carrying capability.
The chassis and suspension improvements have resulted in an increase in the maximum gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) from 14,050 pounds to 14,500 pounds. Additionally, the maximum front gross axle weight rating (GAWR) is increased by about 10 percent, from 4,600 pounds to 5,000 pounds.
“Customers are always looking for more capability,” Stevens said. “That's why we bumped up the gross vehicle weight rating available as an option on the E-350 from 11,500 pounds to 12,500 pounds, to give our customers more capability at the lower end of the segment. We made the E-350 more capable so our customers won't have to jump into an E-450 to get the increased capability.”
Ford is adding an additional E-350 SRW cutaway model with an optional mid-ship fuel tank to allow for more usable rear GVWR. The E-450 now offers an optional 37-gallon fuel tank along with the standard 55-gallon tank.
Ford offers three no-charge ship-through cargo van up-fit packages aimed directly at the commercial market.
A Masterack work-bin rack system, including fully installed steel shelving, drawers and cabinets, and full-width safety partition, will be available. The QuietFlex racks and bin system, made of composite material, also will be offered. The package includes a lockable composite bulkhead that offers the driver four inches of additional seat recline.
The E-150 and E-250 cargo vans come with a 4.6-liter Triton V-8 engine. The E-350 can opt for the 6.8-liter Triton V-10 delivering segment-leading 305 horsepower and 420 ft-lb of torque.
New for the 2008 model year, the E-450 now comes standard with a 5.4-liter V-8.
Transmission choices include a 4-speed automatic with overdrive mated to the 4.6-liter and 5.4-liter engines in vans and wagons. On cutaways, the 5.4L and 6.8L engines are mated to the 5-speed TorqShift automatic transmission with tow/haul mode.
A PTO provision is optional on 6.8L cutaways and strip chassis with 158- and 176-inch wheelbases.
E-Series cutaways are available in E-250, E-350, and E-450 Super Duty and E-350 and E-450 stripped chassis with 138-, 158- and 176-inch wheelbases and three axle ratios (3.73, 4.10, 4.56) in both single rear wheel and dual rear wheel configurations. Gross vehicle weight ratings range from 8,600 to 14,500 pounds for cutaways and 9,000 to 14,500 pounds for stripped chassis.
A bit of advice
Brian Pennington, chief engineer for F-650/750 and LCF trucks, presented a brief update on the products in his area of responsibility. Among his comments:
A new 14,000-lb front axle will be offered on the F-750.
The exhaust system can be modified to the rear of the diesel particulate filter (DPF), but no modifications to the exhaust system are allowed ahead of the DPF.
Any modifications to the exhaust system cannot affect exhaust backpressure, nor can the diffuser at the end of the exhaust be removed.
Try to use the left side PTO opening when installing power take-offs. The exhaust system on the right side does not provide much room.