Ford Trucks – Fuel Economy Leadership from Engines to Alignment

Discussion in 'Ford' started by xcel, Apr 13, 2011.

  1. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    [​IMG] A quick alignment check on a brand new 2011 Ford F-150 right off the production line floor reveals Ford’s attention to fuel economy detail is unsurpassed.

    [fimg=right][/fimg]Wayne Gerdes - CleanMPG - April 12, 2011

    2011 Ford F-150 – Equipped with its most powerful 3.5L EcoBoost Engine allows an over the top for a truck 22 mpg highway rating.

    While initially prepping for a Fuel Economy Adventure Challenge Drive that would end up incorporating both Chicago and Detroit area auto journalists and CleanMPG members spanning the North American Continent from Virginia to Texas and Winnipeg to Tallahassee, we needed to source a utility oriented full sized vehicle to complete the task at hand. This vehicle, whatever it was going to be, needed to not only handle a full load of journalists and high fuel economy vehicle enthusiasts over a grueling 400 + mile/day schedule but also carry enough “camping” and personal gear to cross a Continent over a 9-day period. In addition, the vehicle had to do so efficiently while providing maximum comfort so real work with deadlines could be completed while on the road. After all, this vehicle is going to be a rolling WiFi hot spot so real work can be completed and submitted in real time.

    While you are going to read a lot more about this particular drive and the 10-individuals who signed up for this Adventure Challenge in short order, the above requirements ruled out a 5, 6, 7 or even an 8-passenger SUV or Minivan simply because there was not enough room to carry everyone, their gear and extra’s for 9 + days on the road. In addition to the full sized 6-passenger requirement, the vehicle needed to achieve great fuel economy while carrying a full contingent of individuals and their gear to see all of us through for over a week out on the road.

    So what vehicle met the basic requirements? A full sized 6-passenger pickup truck of course! I can almost imagine some of you thinking, “A pickup truck?”

    Not only are the latest full sized 6-passenger pickup trucks reasonably fuel efficient, they are the only vehicles that can meet or exceed the requirements of this drive and meet the needs of large and small businesses, and individuals alike with similar weekend requirements while providing a heavy lift capability during the work week.

    What about fuel efficiency?

    With the type of vehicle known, which manufacturer’s truck should we request? Surely GM, Ram, Toyota, Nissan and even Honda would have obliged with a request of this nature given the publicity but another hurdle is that the “Challenge” truck must attempt to achieve > 30 mpg while fully loaded with over 1,500 pounds of people and gear! What is the point of driving if you cannot achieve great FE in the process I always say ;)

    Frank Davis, Ford’s Executive Director of North American Product Development:
    The Pickup Truck Contenders

    ManufacturerEngineFuel Economy - city/highway/combined (mpgUS)Maximum Conventional TowingHPTorque

    Ford F-1503.5L EcoBoost V616/22/18 mpg11,300 pounds365420 lb.-ft.
    Chevrolet Silverado XFE5.3L V815/22/18 mpg 7,000 pounds 315338 lb.-ft.
    Chevrolet Silverado5.3L V815/21/17 mpg 10,000 pounds 315335 lb.-ft.
    Honda Ridgeline3.5L V615/20/17 mpg5,000 pounds250247 lb-ft.
    Ram5.7L V814/20/16 mpg10,450 pounds390407 lb.-ft.
    Toyota Tundra5.7L V814/18/16 mpg10,400 pounds381401 lb.-ft.
    Nissan Titan5.6L V813/18/15 mpg9,500 pounds317385 lb.-ft.

    From the list, which vehicle would you choose?

    There is only one candidate in the list that meets the utility, load and most of all, fuel economy requirements we demanded. That being the 2011 Ford F-150 SuperCrew with the all-new 3.5L EcoBoost engine.

    And after said request, Ford said sure ;)

    The 2011 Ford F-150 w/ EcoBoost

    We already know how tough the 2011 Ford F-150 with the 3.5L EcoBoost is thanks to the “Built Ford Tough” 3.5L EcoBoost #448AA Torture test webisode’s: Ford’s 3.5L EcoBoost #448AA is back in the Spotlight Again. And as posted above, the 3.5L EcoBoost’s power output of 365 HP and 420 lb-ft. of torque allows a “best-in-class” towing capability of 11,300 pounds. What was not posted is that it provides this and more on regular fuel!

    Fuel Economy Leadership - The F-150’s Specifics

    Aerodynamics - The latest 2011 F-Series pickups achieve class-leading fuel economy thanks in part to careful aerodynamic development. All F-150 trucks feature a chamfered shape to the rear of the cab that helps direct the aerodynamic wake over the pickup box in a somewhat efficient manner. Adding, the top of the tailgate angles outward to create a lip, which in turn does its part to direct airflow over the cargo box. Finally, the front bumper valance and spoiler have been configured to properly manage airflow beneath the truck, with no compromise to off-road capability.

    Electrical Power-Assisted Steering or EPAS was added to the 2011 Ford F-150. This class-exclusive system provides three benefits. First, it uses an electric motor rather than engine-driven hydraulic gear, which provides maximum engine power to the truck instead of an ancillary system which improves fuel economy. Second, EPAS is speed-sensitive and can help correct for road irregularities and improve overall steering feel. Thirdly, EPAS emits less noise by eliminating the hydraulic noises typical of conventional hydraulic power-assisted steering systems.

    EPAS alone contributes up to a 4 percent boost in fuel economy when compared to a conventional hydraulic system.

    Engine Valve Train - The 3.5L EcoBoost truck engine features twin independent variable camshaft timing (Ti-VCT) to help save fuel. Ti-VCT provides extremely precise – yet independent – variable control of timing for both the intake and exhaust valves. Ti-VCT also reduces emissions in situations where the throttle is partially open which is where most of a vehicles actual drive cycle life occurs. Independent adjustment of the intake and exhaust valve timing allows maximum fuel economy at part-throttle, while delivering optimized power in full-throttle situations.

    In addition, a direct-acting mechanical bucket (DAMB) valve train with polished buckets reduce friction which also improves fuel economy.

    Engine Torque - With trucks, it is all about torque and 90 percent of the 3.5L EcoBoost engine’s peak torque output is available from just 1,700 rpm. This provides unheard of levels of fuel economy capability vs. a comparable V8 which may not reach a similar torque output until upwards of 4,000 rpm. Higher engine RPM’s arrive to the detriment of fuel economy as we all know.

    Transmission - The 3.5L EcoBoost is mated to a fuel-saving six-speed automatic transmission as standard equipment.

    The Ford 6R80 six-speed automatic transmission incorporates a span and shift schedule that have been optimized for better off-the-line performance while also improving fuel economy. A double-overdrive gear (5th at 0.86 and 6th at 0.61:1) provides better fuel economy while a one-piece, stiffer and stronger case saves weight.

    The final drive in its most fuel efficient configuration is a tall 3.15 with a 3.31, 3.55 and 3.73 also available.

    Combining the high HP, torque and fuel efficient 3.5L EcoBoost engine with a very efficient and tall geared 6-speed AT with a final drive of 3.15 (in our truck) allows the 2011 Ford F-150 to drive down the road at an almost unbelievable 1,270 RPM’s at 60 mph when equipped with the XLT Chrome package’s 18” wheels and tires.

    Doug Scott, Ford’s Manager of Truck Group Marketing:
    Ford F-Series Production Quality Leading to Improved Fuel Economy For Everyone

    And finally something that brings the Ford F-Series pickup story back into focus. You will probably never see the following from an overview or review but when I saw it, I could not believe it given my experience with factory fresh alignment specifications from a number of manufacturers let alone after being driven by auto journalists of every sort. Even new vehicle alignment specs can quite literally be all over the map including in some cases, out of spec right off the factory floor whereas one with over 7,500-miles on it?

    Our truck, we’ll call it “Triple ‘0’ 83” for short thanks to its VIN ending in 00083, a 2011 Ford F-150 SuperCrew w/ a 3.5L EcoBoost in Blue Flame Metallic was placed on the alignment rack just this morning. Remember that this truck was driven over 7,500 tough miles in whatever fashion and over whatever obstacle a non-owner named “insert your favorite auto review writer here”, loaded on a transport truck, dropped off in Dearborn and driven to a local alignment shop to verify all is in order for our own particular Challenge Drive… You know, just to be sure ;)

    2011 Ford F-150 SuperCrew w/ a 3.5L EcoBoost - VIN #1FTFW1CT0BKD00083

    Excellent alignment specs right off the factory floor!​

    I think you can tell by the factory TOE Specifications and actual alignment after 7,500 + miles by a number of non-owners just how serious Ford truly is when it comes to not only reproducible build quality but also fuel economy. I have never seen factory front wheel TOE specs so close to each other and so close to 0 degrees let alone after 7,500-miles of punishment in my life. While I may not be an expert on overall alignment, it is specs like these that tell me Ford is executing on all cylinders and in the case of the 3.5L EcoBoost V6, all 6 cylinders are humming along quite nicely if I do say so myself :)
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2011
  2. herm

    herm Well-Known Member

    Very thorough to check the alignment..
  3. rfruth

    rfruth Well-Known Member

    hope the 1.6L EcoBoost comes in the C-Max Energi PHV (or is an option) :cool:
  4. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Rfruth:

    I think you wanted to reply to the other story maybe?

    Ford at the SAE Congress – A Vision of Electrification

    We have detailed the C-MAX in great detail (what we know about it anyway) and I think you are going to be pleasantly surprised at its capabilities when it arrives... Let us just say the Prius will no longer be the top dog on the EPA from what I have been told :)

  5. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    And a reveal while I am going on about it ;)

    I picked up the truck Thursday afternoon…

    2011 Ford F150 w/ EcoBoost – A Star is Born - FE Adventure Challenge


    Drivers Side Rear​

  6. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    Washed the truck, went shopping for all kinds of stuff and finished off with some pics ;)

    2011 Ford F150 w/ the 3.5L EcoBoost




    An appropriate location for a "Star is Born" ;)

    Last edited: Apr 24, 2011
  7. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    Well, we are on the road and made it to St. Louis.

    2011 Ford F150 w/ EcoBoost – Westward Bound


  8. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    2011 Ford F150 w/ EcoBoost – Westward Bound

    At the Gateway to the West! :)

  9. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    What else do you think Missouri is known for?


    Taken out the window of the F150 in St James, MO...

  10. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    Yet anther reason to buy an EcoBoosted F150 or F-Series SuperDuty with the all-new 6.7L Power Stroke turbo diesel. It is more than just performance and fuel economy but also emissions as you can tell from this pic of a Chevrolet 1-Ton taken < 5-minutes ago :ccry:


  11. rfruth

    rfruth Well-Known Member

    >> What else do you think Missouri is known for?

  12. msirach

    msirach Well-Known Member

    The strange thing was that there was a mating GM Duramax hotshot and it was running "clean". This truck was belching black smoke every time he hit the throttle and that was a often.

    I'm sure he had the truck chipped and the injectors cranked OPEN with raw fuel dumping out..
  13. msirach

    msirach Well-Known Member

    The F150 EcoBoost so far is GREAT! It's like riding in a Lincoln with the stance of a truck and economy of a Fiesta.
    I can't believe it, but we are getting XX.4 MPG!
  14. diamondlarry

    diamondlarry Super MPG Man/god :D

    If I'm not mistaken, the vehicle in the background (near the guardrail) is a 2nd Gen Prius. Odd contrast in emissions levels.:p
  15. msirach

    msirach Well-Known Member

    Trivia! Use your mind, NOT Google! ;)

    When was the first Ford F series?
  16. diamondlarry

    diamondlarry Super MPG Man/god :D

    I know they were around in the early '50's as I learned to drive a stick in my grandpa's '52 F2 with the flat-head V-8. Not sure when the first ones were though.
  17. msirach

    msirach Well-Known Member

    Good eye Larry. It is a Gen II and the same color as yours. I know it wasn't you by the speed it passed us!:D I was going to post some cynical comment about that later, but you beat me to it.
  18. msirach

    msirach Well-Known Member

    Looks like we busted through a thin spot in a storm cell when we entered Oklahoma. We are about 15 miles into Okie.
  19. JusBringIt

    JusBringIt Be Inspired

    so umm....heheh. Larry.. *scratches back of head* umm, just how old are you? :D

    Wish i could have been on the trip with you guys. Sounds like fun.
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2011
  20. diamondlarry

    diamondlarry Super MPG Man/god :D

    :p I got my license in '79 but in that part of the county, it wasn't uncommon for kids 12 years old or so to drive between fields or different farms with seed and tractor fuel etc. Grandpa's '52 only had around 40K miles or so on it and he traded it in on the '78 F-250 he gave me several years ago. He rarely ever drove it and it got used mostly for farm use. Novel concept nowadays huh?:D I didn't like driving it too much because I wasn't much of a hypermiler back then and, the non-synchro granny-gear 4-speed took forever to shift and you couldn't go anywhere very fast.:p Oh, and it had a rearend ratio of 4.88:1. It would have been great for DWL as it had a knob for the throttle that allowed you get up to the speed you wanted then you pulled the knob out until it stopped and would lock the throttle in place.

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