The new injection systems and turbo’s appear to be taking the torture tests in stride.
Wayne Gerdes – CleanMPG
– Feb. 27, 2009
Ford's EcoBoost engine on the test stand in Dearborn. The technology combines direct injection and turbo-charging and is the cornerstone of Ford's commitment to deliver affordable fuel economy for millions. Unfortunately, the new EcoBoosted 3.5L is not set to deliver on that promise but future smaller displacement engines will.
Dearborn, MI -- The arrival of the 3.5-liter EcoBoosted V-6 engine is at hand. The performance oriented and EcoBoosted 3.5L is tuned to provide customers power but without sacrificing fuel economy. Arriving in the 2010 Lincoln MKS, MKT and Ford Flex and Taurus SHO models this summer, the twin-turbocharged, direct-injection 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 engine delivers the horsepower of a normally aspirated V-8 with the fuel efficiency of a normally aspirated V-6.
To ensure the 3.5L EcoBoost V-6 engine delivers reliable performance and longevity, a team of engineers subjected the 3.5L to an extensive battery of tests as part of the company’s engine “boot camp.”
“EcoBoost was engineered with a relentless, disciplined focus on quality that required a zero-defect mindset from engineers and our supplier partners,” said Derrick Kuzak, group vice president of Global Product Development. “The finished product will represent the best combination of production-ready engine technologies of today, poised and ready to deliver the performance, fuel efficiency and value that customers expect.”
The testing was accomplished through three scenarios.
- Using computer aided engineering models (CAE) and base computer simulations.
- In the lab on dynamometers.
- On the roads in the real world.
Between testing on the dyno and in the field, EcoBoost engines have racked up the equivalent of more than 1 million miles of driving.
The rigid testing includes 20 individual dynamometer-level tests designed to push the engine to its limits. The testing includes maximum engine speeds and loads, coolant and oil temperature and harsh driving patterns.
The Road Cycle Durability test is one designed to replicate real-world customer driving and vehicle maintenance patterns. For this test, engines with EcoBoost technology were subjected to 1,000 cold starts, followed by sustained operation at peak torque and peak power. During the course of the test, engine coolant temperatures ranged from 53 degrees F to a more standard 203 degrees F.
In total, this single test required 1,000 hours of harsh engine operation, representing more than 60,000 miles of customer driving.
“This was a critical test for us, and the EcoBoost fleet passed with flying colors,” Hinds said of the Road Cycle test. “We’re confident that EcoBoost is ready to provide consistent performance in varied conditions.”
Individual components undergo rigorous proving as well. EcoBoost’s twin turbochargers, for example, are designed to run at a very high temperature – up to 1,740 degrees F. Ford engineers proved out the turbochargers by running them at 1,740 degrees F for 10 minutes and then “shocking” the turbos by running them at room temperature for 10 minutes. The tests were repeated at maximum boost continuously for hundreds of hours, under far more severe conditions than customers are expected to dish out.
“Our testing is far harsher than could be achieved in the real world,” said Hinds. “We test at peak power for hundreds of hours to ensure we can reach our durability and reliability goals.”
Designed for a life cycle of 150,000 miles or 10 years, EcoBoost’s turbochargers feature water-cooled bearing jackets. This architecture is designed to prevent oil “coking” that could occur in previous-generation turbochargers.
The new design means that EcoBoost drivers don’t need to observe special operating precautions, such as idling the engine before switching it off.
EcoBoost also endured Ford’s standard engine durability test signoff running at maximum revs and turbo boost for the equivalent of 15 straight days or 360 hours.
As the first Ford EcoBoost engine makes its production debut, it has earned its stripes in Ford’s engine boot camp. It uses that same grade of 5W20 engine oil specified by Ford for gasoline engines, and oil changes are scheduled at the same 7,500-mile intervals.
The new 3.5-liter engine is the first in a wave of EcoBoost engines coming as part of Ford’s strategy to bring affordable fuel efficiency improvements to millions. By 2013, more than 90 percent of Ford’s North American lineup will be available with EcoBoost technology.
Ford’s EcoBoost delivers significant fuel economy advancements without sacrificing the performance customers “supposedly” want. Knowing the difference between what the consumer wants and what they actually use in real world driving are two completely different things. Looking forward however, the entire country is waiting to see Ford provide what American needs in terms of a variant spec’ed in a manner similar to the way the general public drives day in and day out while delivering Fuel Economy in the 30’s and possibly even 40 mpgUS on a combined basis per the 08 EPA. Whether current and future Ford customers want an under 20 mpg combined FE rating with 300 + HP remains to be seen...