Part 1 - What's the Diff? Ford F-150 SVT Raptor vs. Dodge Ram Power Wagon

What's the Diff? Ford F-150 SVT Raptor vs. Dodge Ram Power Wagon
Words by John Stewart, Photos by John Stewart, Mike Levine, Ian Merritt. Special thanks to Marlin Atlantis real estate for the use of their 1,800 acre property in Boerne, Texas.

Our comparison of the 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor and 2010 Dodge Ram Power Wagon is so large that we've split it up into four parts to make it easier to find the information and material you want to read first.

Part 1: Introduction, Suspension, Engine, Transmission
Part 2: Traction, Tires, Underbody
Part 3: Agility, Capability, Price, Summary
Part 4: Detailed Specifications

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OK, we know what you’re going to say: “This is not an apples-to-apples comparison.” For these two 4x4 pickups, wheelbases, cabs, beds and running gear are not directly comparable.

One’s a crew cab, the other is an extended cab. One is based on a half-ton, personal-use platform; the other is a 3/4-ton commercial-use platform. One is made to go fast; the other to go slow. These two pickups are different animals, right from the start. Anyone can see that, Einstein, so put down your pen and save your e-mails. We’re comparing them anyway, because there are also quite a few intriguing similarities:

  • Both trucks are off-road ready from the factory.
  • Both supply off-road equipment that would be hard to duplicate in the aftermarket without great cost.
  • Both represent the “ultimate setup” in the eyes of their manufacturers.
  • Both are remarkably free of compromises that trade off desirable qualities for the sake of off-road performance.
  • Both are still everyday drivers, with comfort, convenience and safety features consistent with the best new pickups, not to mention factory warranties.

And yet, the trucks are very different. If they were shoes, the Raptor would be high-tech running shoes. The Power Wagon would be waterproof hiking boots. Here’s how we came to that conclusion:

Raptor-pw-two1-560

Suspension: IFS vs. Straight Axle
Both trucks have specialized suspension packages, designed to allow the suspension to travel freely and still enhance control. These two trucks address the issue with different technology. Both have leaf-spring/live axle suspensions in the rear end. It’s at the front where they differ.

The Raptor’s front suspension is race-bred double-wishbone IFS with triple-bypass Fox Racing Shocks. IFS suspensions track well in corners but have a limited range of travel. SVT engineers have equipped the Raptor with unique, long A-arms. These are strong, expensive pieces -- the lower A-arm is aluminum; the upper is forged steel. They move the wheel and tire combination outward, providing a wide stance and longer travel arc. Ford says the front end will cycle 11.2 inches in the front, and 12.1 inches in the rear, which is a lot for any pickup. It’s quality travel, in the sense that the damping is exceptional. The Fox Shox are specially matched, position-sensitive internal bypass shocks, so they change their rate of damping depending on travel. As long as the tires are more or less in the center of their arc of travel, the shocks allow the wheel to move relatively freely, damping small inputs for a smooth ride. When the tire is forced toward the extreme limits of travel, the shocks become significantly stiffer, so the suspension doesn’t bottom out and larger impacts are heavily damped. As a result, damping is always appropriate for what the truck is doing. The wider stance improves stability and the IFS allows superior cornering control. It’s the kind of suspension that lets the Raptor run full-tilt down a dusty powerline road in control and, then, when it hits a surprise washed-out section, launches and lands soft and straight with hardly any rebound. You’ll have your heart in your mouth, but chances are it happens with no damage done.

Raptor-pw-f150-susp-560

The Power Wagon’s straight front axle/coil spring front suspension is strong, simple, and moves well side-to-side. Getting airborne is not what it was built to do, and what it gives up in high-speed cornering precision, it gets back in travel. The front axle has five locating links, a version of the Quadra-Link suspension. If that sounds familiar, it’s because that’s what Jeep uses. The Power Wagon’s front is akin to a hugely oversized version of a Jeep Cherokee XJ, but with 8-lug, 3/4-ton AAM Tru-Lock axles. It gets Bilstein gas shocks, located inside the coil springs, where they are protected from lateral loads regardless of suspension movement. Bilstein makes an expensive, high-quality gas shock that, like the Fox units, are practically impossible to bottom. They may not have the adjustability of the Fox triple-bypass units, but they are nicely matched to the job.

Then, because it has a straight front axle, Dodge was able to equip the Power Wagon with a trump card—a front sway bar disconnect. This allows for at least 32 inches of travel (and “sometimes greater” we’re told), allowing for a front wheel to extend downward almost the distance of an entire tire. On the opposite side, the tire stuffs up into the wheelwell until half has disappeared. It’s a traction enhancer that only works in the slowest, most difficult terrain, but makes a huge difference in those circumstances.

We’re told the Power Wagon can ramp better than 680 on a 30-degree RTI test before a tire lifts. The end result is that the Power Wagon suspension will routinely enable slow-but-steady speeds across the worst, nastiest, rockiest washed-out trails with fallen trees and stumps and long drops into holes. When you’re done, wash it and head out to dinner.

Raptor-pw-ram-axle-560

The Bottom Line:
In our back-to-back driving, both trucks seemed to ride and handle well –and about the same -- in ordinary street driving. Both trucks have suspension gear you can’t get anywhere else. The Raptor’s go-fast engineering is impressive, certainly the best we’ve seen in a pickup. Yet, when it comes to truly punishing, real-world situations, the Power Wagon has no equal. We’d like to call it a tie, but it’s hard not to respect the innovations Ford has made with their SVT A-arms, tie rods and beefed up half shafts, not to mention triple bypass shocks. They’ve taken an IFS front end and really made it work.

Edge: Raptor

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Engine: OHV vs. OHC
In off-road environments, it’s probably true that power is less important than suspension quality. However, a truck is a truck, and it demands torque.

In the Dodge, we see a classic pushrod-actuated, overhead valve V-8 truck engine making more torque than horsepower. Peak torque, at 400 lbs.-ft., is available at 4.000 rpm, and peak horsepower (383) arrives at 5,600, just before the 5,800 rpm redline, all on regular unleaded. The engine has a deep skirted, cast iron block with cross-bolted main bearing caps, aluminum alloy heads, and hemispherical combustion chambers. We found the engine more than sufficient, revving well and cruising quietly.

Raptor-pw-57-liter-560

Ford’s powerplant is the 5.4 liter, three-valve V-8. It’s an overhead cam engine, with three valves for better breathing. It makes 310 hp at 5,000 rpm, and 365 lbs.-ft. of torque early, at 3,500 rpm. It’s E85-capable, and interestingly enough, makes more power on E85, up to 390 lbs.-ft. of torque. It, too, felt plenty strong enough.

The Bottom Line:
Neither truck is underpowered by any means. Still, in a full-size truck, more is always better, and the HEMI delivers more horsepower and torque. Ford is developing a 6.2L V-8 for the raptor that will become available in mid-2010. At least until then, Dodge has the better engine.

Edge: Power Wagon

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Transmission: 5-speed vs. 6-speed
Dodge’s 545 RFE 5-speed has been specifically recalibrated for the Power Wagon, with a shift schedule that takes into account the very low 4.56:1 axle gears, among other things. The 545RFE acts like a six-speed with two second gear ratios, upshifting using the lower 1.67:1 ratio, for faster acceleration. The transmission kicks down cleanly, makes smooth full-throttle shifts and allows for smooth highway cruising.

The Raptor’s 6R80E six-speed also has a tall overdrive gear, and downshifts readily at the touch of the throttle. Its principle advantage is a 4.17:1 first gear ratio, much lower than Dodge’s, which means faster off-the-line acceleration and more grunt in low range. That big a 1st gear could make for jumpy throttle in low range, but Ford has recalibrated the throttle map in 4-low, so the pedal can be better modulated even with the very low gearing.

Raptor-pw-54-liter-560

SVT has also created a special transmission operating calibration, called Off-Road Mode, that’s entirely unique to the Raptor and works in two or four-wheel drive. Off-Road Mode, activated with the push of a button, changes the engine’s throttle map, leaving the butterfly valve full open when pushing the accelerator pedal down through its entire arc. That’s intended to give it linear throttle response, like a race truck, instead of high power at the beginning and tapered at the end, like a street truck. Off-Road Mode also changes the transmission’s shift points to hold its gear and not upshift after letting off the throttle at high speeds. It also locks out the sixth gear overdrive at the top of the transmission to keep the rpm high.

We also had a chance to roll both trucks down a steep hill in low range, first gear. We found that the Ford’s transmission held back the Raptor noticeably better than the Power Wagon’s, allowing for a slower, more controlled rate of speed. Both trucks have electronic downhill descent control, but just using the transmission alone, the Raptor’s 6R80E feels best.

The Bottom Line:
A six-speed has definite advantages, especially when it comes with a lower 1st gear. We can’t compare mileage ratings, because the Dodge hasn’t been rated, but we suspect the six-speed would save some gas on the highway, too.

Edge: Raptor

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Part 1: Introduction, Suspension, Engine, Transmission
Part 2: Traction, Tires, Underbody
Part 3: Agility, Capability, Price, Summary
Part 4: Detailed Specifications

Comments

FoMoCo is testing the Raptor double cab variant, so there will to be more exciting in this two world off-roading pseudo-competition!

The real issue? One's again an import, the other is American.

Dodge is not an import. An import means it comes from another country: Toyota is an import. Even though it's made here in the US, none of the money stays here. The sales of a Dodge stays in the US.

Yep, I am told the Power Wagon is made in Mexico and Italian owned.

Its the orgin of the brand, Dodge is american wether its made in usa or not or if its owned by a foreign company. Some ford trucks are made in mexico too. Same with Chevy. Ford owned land rover but its still british. Its the big three for a reason, because they are the american three, Chrysler, Ford and GM.

Bill - it's so entertaining when you throw gas on an open fire.
I don't know why people won't accept an American made Tundra owned by Japanese Toyota? They will accept Chinese owned Hummer, or Italian(Fiat) owned Dodge made in Mexico. Who's money will benefit the US more? A multi-billion dollar plant built in Texas(Toyota) or a billion dollar plant built in Mexico(Dodge)!!!
I think it's just a case of the "Pearl Harbour" syndrome. Pickup owners are a conservative bunch and heaven forbid Japan invades/bombs this uniquely American domain - the pickup truck.

Adam your wrong! Over half the money stays in the USA! Im talking about the statement you said about toyota!

Not really, most of the money goes back to Japan. Toyota doesn't pay as much to US workers as does Ford, GM or Dodge. More money stays in the US market if you buy one of these three. Plus the design for the Tundra is the worst of any truck.

uhm...ford and chevy have factories in china and mexico..and dodges factories have recieved high awards of quality...its as much an import as is ford...and wtf does it matter where its built? its the performance that counts

The Hemi takes mid-grade.

The majority of truck buyers are buying their second or third trucks. They will keep buying from the same brand if they are satisfied. Performance is not the thing the counts, it's brand. For first time truck buyers it's a cross between style and performance.

again the ram look really nice but lets every1 face it, Ford is the only true American Vehicle company left. American, abides by the capitolistic system (not bailed out), not bankrupt, and has always had the best trucks of any company. Dodge & chevy are government owned, our founding father once said if government got to big that tyrany would rise and when you support chrystler & gm you my as well support communist china. keep it TrulyAmerican

Foundation Of Real Domintion

-Christ Bless

It's a little hard to take you serious when you have at least one mispelled word in every sentence.

Dodge is not an import. An import means it comes from another country: Toyota is an import. Even though it's made here in the US, none of the money stays here. The sales of a Dodge stays in the US.
Posted by: Adam Sylvester | Oct 27, 2009 12:47:58 PM

Your logic has me extremely confused. "An import means it comes from another country" - that is your exact quote. The Dodge HD pickups are made in Mexico. They are therefore "IMPORTED" into the US. Fiat will eventually have controlling interest in Dodge therefore making it just as foreign as Toyota.
I personally do not care where it's made. Prior to the government bailout of GM and Dodge I didn't care who made it. I won't support any business that needs tax money to stay afloat.
I do care about getting a reliable vehicle for a reasonable price.
I do care about open and intelligent dialogue.

I don't seem to be encountering much intelligence.

People - please stop making yourselves look like complete morons.

The Narcs will decide what is the best truck. If the love the F-250 with 4x4 because of the power and cargo load capability
I been to border and they sell those PowerStrokes V8 for way over KBB but hey I pre-ordered a Power Wagon for it 4drs and Wench. I got a an old 2005 Power Wagon loved that truck

Make mine DODGE !!!

The Dodge Power Wagon RULES !!!!

F.Y.I Mexico is still America..as is Canada !!!!So really North,South American is American...the F-150 tires are from China not Americian...nor made in America..

Yeah,Ford boy's... lots of new Ford's are made in Mexico,Fusion ,Power stroke diesel made in Mexico,and in the future probably more will be made there,F-150 ?Could be...lower labour costs..

My Dodge Ram SRT-10 was made in Mexico and it never had a problem..

I know the Ford plant has Mexican Americans working there so whats the difference ?

I liked the test. I wasn't surprised that the Raptor held it's own on the PowerWagon's turf. Ford hit the nail on the head with their long travel, wide stance suspension. If you look at the dirtbike world, most motocross bikes are bought by play- riders. Long travel, variable rate dampening works anywhere.
Some off-road purests have been slamming Ford for it's probable release of a Raptor crewcab. Ford needs to offer the Raptor package with other chassis configurations as well as trim packages. This will ensure that it isn't a narrow focus niche vehicle. I can see it being a useful option in any setting where one must travel long distances on rough dirt roads. The Border Patrol has already shown an interest in it.
In my neck of the woods there are literally thousands of miles of dirt roads. A crewcab with an XLT package would be perfect for my needs.
The PowerWagon looks like a great vehicle as well. I don't need a HD pickup. I can see why some guys would love the PowerWagon with a diesel. The extra weight and need for stiffer springs would probably water down it's offroad crawling abilities though. A diesel would broaden it's appeal. It would be a worth while trade-off for many buyers.

I am happy to see that all the pickup brands have finally improved their reliability. Consumer Report gave recommendations to all the major brands.

Again, you miss the point of basic world trade economics. Chrysler is again an import. Fiat is an imported brand. Fiat will be the owner. The issue was and always will be, follow the money. The profits will go to Turin. It doesn't matter where the plants are, or whom the workers are. Turin is now in charge. When American companies own the brand and factories, the money flows here. I'm constantly amazed at how over time American's have forgotten economics 101. Check your high school text book. We are continuing to sell off our birth right. This idea of Global citizen doesn't cut it. Don't agree, check out the British Isles. They have no home industry, or GNP. With regards to Chrysler, Fiat didn't have to spend one dime to grab it. The company deserved better, much better. In reference to Pearl Harbor, the issue wasn't race, it was aggression. At the present rate, we will end up like the former Soviet Union. Nothing home produced means no GNP. No GNP means no economy including the ability of its citizens to function or to pay increased taxes for government services. Traditionally counties do not make it with an economy based on service based industry alone.

Bill-good comments. Nice to see someone with logical thought patterns. My reference to Pearl Harbor was an attempt to rationalize why many truck guys are so vehemently opposed to Japanese trucks. Most of what has been posted against Toyota has been highly illogical(I'm starting to sound like Spock". I've seen the same hatred aimed at Japanese motorcycles coming from the Harley crowd.
I agree that profits will find their way to the "mother" company's country , but there is a considerable amount of money that remains in the country where the product is manufactured. China has become very wealthy because of foreign investers building manufacturing facilities in their country.
I've seen the term xenophobia arise in some of these discussions. That may be the case as well.
Blind loyalty to a brand of machine ranges from silly to outright psychotic.
Men get so emotional about their trucks that they forget that they are after all, just machines.

Lou,
You say you don't care where the trucks are made but you sure do talk about it a lot. The problem with your argument is that you are just supporting Tundra all of the time which happens to have some of the worst build quality of the half ton trucks out there. If anyone has blind loyalty, I think you have blind loyalty to the Tundra.

I'm not a Dodge fan but the Tundra is made in America but the company is a 100% Japanese owned company. The Ram 1500 is made in America and the Ram is only 30% owned by Fiat. Yes, Dodge makes the heavy duty model in Mexico but a lot of that money goes to America. That is better than Toyota which does not make a heavy duty at all and contributes no money from heavy duty product to America.

What Toyota does make, the light Duty Tundra, they don't seem to be selling too many and they decreased production. So overall the Dodge Ram is doing a lot more for American than the Tundra.

I actually don't care where it's made or who make's it. (I won't support a company that was bailed out by government). I've been arguing various points because shoddy logic needs to be poked full of holes. Many truck guys are slagging Toyota for no reason other than it being Japanese. Many guys are waving the flag saying that Dodge, Ford, and GMC are the only trucks worth buying because they are American made. This is easy to refute - Dodge makes SD trucks in Mexico. Fiat has a minority stake in Dodge but they will eventually hold controling interest in Dodge making it an Italian owned foreign company. Dodge sales profits will find their way to Italy. People slag Toyota for being foreign - well, it won't be too long and Dodge will be foreign controled. Hummer just got purchaced by a Chinese company. That makes it foreign owned. Guess where Hummer profits are going to go?? China!!! As far as the Ram 1500 being made in America; There is not one single Dodge in the top 10 for American parts content. The 1500 Ram has 75% Domestic(US) parts, 16% Mexican, the transmission is German. Toyota tundra has an 85% domestic(USA) parts content.
As far as crappy Toyota trucks. The rusty frames were made in the USA. It should be investigated as to wether Toyota engineering specs are at fault or a manufacturing fault. I don't know your age, so you probably don't remember the Ford pickups with "engineered" holes in the frames or the crappy diesels GM was putting in their 1/2 tons way back when! Every auto maker has been responsible for producing crap. Toyota has had a good reputation so far. We'll see how things go. As far as Toyota not making an SD pickup - in these tough times it would be suicidal for them to try. The Detroit 3 have had to cut back production just like everyone else.
I love a good argument. Tom - you have not provide me with a good one!!!! Better luck next time!!!!

PS - I currently own a GMC van. I owned 3 Ford pickups prior to that, not one Toyota among the bunch! My wife just bought a 2010 Toyota Sienna mini van. I guess that makes me a stark, ravingly mad Toyota fanatic/lover. Cheers. Isn't freedom of speech great!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

"My wife just bought a 2010 Toyota Sienna mini van. I guess that makes me a stark, ravingly mad Toyota fanatic/lover." - Lou

That explains a lot Anytime you make an expensive purchase like that as husband and wife, you feel like you have to justify your purchase. If you want ot believe

Plus, you have never even owned a Tundra. If you are not aware of all of the build quality problems just do a google search for Tundra tailgate, mysterious dents in bed, tundra problems snowballing, etc. The rusty frame is a big deal but isn't the half of it.

This is why I don't think you should bring up the Toyota when you make your claims about Dodge:

1) Dodge makes HD trucks in Mexico. Where does Toyota make them? Toyota does not make a HD. Do you understand this? If Toyota does not make a HD truck how can you say Toyota is more American? At the very LEAST, some of the money from HD trucks is going to America. Toyota is contributing nothing.

2) Light Duties are built in the US from both companies. So this point is a wash. But sales of the Ram are double.

3) R&D is in America for Dodge. Design is in America for Dodge. Engineering and management is in America for Dodge. R&D, design, engineering and management for Toyota is in Japan.

Every 1,000 vehicles sold by Detroit's Big Three in the U.S. support more than twice as many jobs as 1,000 vehicles sold by foreign nameplates.

2) The American parts content is a measure of where Tier 1 supplier factories are located, as well as engine plants, etc. It's not a meaningful measure of where anything actually comes from. Actually The Tundra's parts content is 80%. If your 75% for Dodge is correct, that is only a 5% difference.
Source: http://www.cars.com/go/advice/Story.jsp?section=top&subject=ami&story=amMade0709&referer=advice&aff=national

3) Fiat owns 20% of Chrysler. Until they actually own the majority of Chrysler you can't go around claiming Dodge is Italian. Will it happens eventually? Maybe. On the other hand, one could say Toyota is Japanese right now.

Therefore, your point about the Dodge Ram would be a lot stronger if you did not bring up Toyota in the same argument.

Until Toyota starts making HD trucks in America, Dodge actually becomes Italian owned, or Toyota becomes headquartered in America, your point will not make a whole lot of sense.


Look, folks, there's not a purely American truck out there. Every single fullsize truck is made here, made FOR here, and bolted together by Americans. Not a one of them is all US content. That's the way the world works in the 21st century. Deal with it.

Follow the money, huh? Profits? What profits? Not right now! Now, when a mfr is actually making money, in normal times, guess where the profits go? That's right, to the STOCKHOLDERS. Guess what? You can buy Honda and Toyota stock, just like Ford and Chevrolet (oops, OK, not Chevy right now) stock by calling your broker. Don't have a broker? You have no right to complain, then.

You would be surprised how much of the cost of a vehicle is labor cost. A few years ago, I understood that figure, on average, to be 65 percent. If you have up to date figures, broken down by transplants vs "domestics," I'd love to hear them.

Right now, I drive a 90+ percent American truck, based on content and assembly. I live in Detroit and test drive new trucks, on a contract basis, for a living--for example, I've driven both a 6.2L Raptor and a 6.7L diesel Super Duty. My dad drives a Tundra. Based on what he does with a truck, that's what I recommended to him. I see no conflict in that. What really disturbs me is that people seem to want to limit your choices based on ideology and some seriously flawed reasoning. Guess what, folks? That's what socialism is all about. Buy what you want and feel good about it. Now that's American!

Knock it off with the Tundra vs Ram posts and calling people morons. Nobody wants to hear about people not accepting your Tundra and Pearl Harbor. STAY ON TOPIC. The Topic is Raptor and Power Wagon if you wish to discuss it.

It is nice to see some posts with some thought behind it. I've used Toyota and Dodge domestic content and country of manufacture examples as counter arguments to some badly thought out posts. EVeryone of the automakers source parts from other countries as well as owning plants in other countries. The 'domestic" parts content gets lower every year.
I've read the problems with the Toyota trucks. They should be thoroughly investigated. Who is to blame? Toyota engineering design specifications or shoddy manufacturing processes? Look at Ford, they are in litigation against International (Navistar) over warranty claims with their Powerstroke diesels.
Toyota's reputation has definately been damaged. Toyota haters have enjoyed pouncing all over any negative press.It will be interesting to see how they(Toyota) choose to address their problems.
It makes no sense to slag them for not making a HD pickup. You've heard the name Hino? That is Toyota's mid to heavy duty truck arm.
I not actually defending my purchase of a Toyota product. I threw that remark in to make a joke!
I've been branded a Toyota lover by many people already.
Like I said before: I like to get a quality product for a reasonable price, regardless of brand or where it's made.
I love a good, logical debate, a productive exchange of thoughts.
It's unfortunate that people get so pissed off when one challenges their point of view.
I agree with the post about staying on topic but when people start thumping their chests, and proclaim from "on high" that their truck is the best and everyone else "sucks" , or start spewing BS: well, it needs to be countered!
Like I said a few times before - isn't freedom of speech great !!
Buy what makes you feel happy. Thats all that counts in the end.
Isn't that another freedom we enjoy as well??


People have the misconception that ford is run here in the usa. WRONG. If that were the case we would have all the good fords offered elsewhere. Like the crew cab rangers over the globe and many australian rear drive cars and the euro focus and mondeo. Truth is ford europe makes the real decisions and ford usa is nothing more than a dumping ground for obsolete platforms from overseas with a fresh new face on them. Here are two examples: focus and fusion. Also, how many ceo's had ford usa had in the last 5 years? Yeah thought so. ford narrowly escaped taking financial help and as their ceo said "I wouldnt rule it out if the market trend continues". I think its funny how short peoples memories are. Wasnt that long ago ford got a get out of jail free card over the whole explorer rollover fiasco. Over the years ford has produced too many death traps and for that reason I will never own another ford. Ford is no more american or less than dodge or chevy.

As for the raptor vs. pw it seemed more like the tester was paid by ford as a pr stunt. the raptor is hands down a better looker than the reg 150 but the fact is its still an ifs not straight axle front end and has weak axles. Not to mention is too wide and can tow less and haul than a ranger for petes sake. For the money you get a lot more truck with the pw than you do with the raptor and that is what will be the achillies heel for the raptor, its limited usability. Kudos to ford for building it but and ressuecting the svt again. I predict that this will not be around for very long and its shelf life will be about as long as the gt so get one now before its too late.

Actually Ford's world headquarters is in Dearborn, Michigan (according to Google)
IFS is better for the Raptor's designed purpose - high speed stability. The width is aslo for high speed stability. The lower towing and carrying numbers result from the truck having "softer" springs - again to allow for better wheel travel at higher speeds. Stiff springs hinder rapid wheel travel. IFS allows the wheels to react independently which again contribute to stability. Have you ever seen a Trophy truck with live axles? Try to go fast down a rough gravel road in a "narrow"compact truck, you'll scare the crap out of yourself. A stiffly sprung live axle truck would also be harder to control. Live axles are definately better for HD applications. Wheel articulation is critical crawling at low speeds. Stiff springs that are needed for an increased GVW aren't going to pose a problem at slow speeds where the wheel travels through it's arc slowly. The test was an "apples and oranges" comparison. I don't blame you for being angry at Ford for the Explorer mess. I had read that engineers had advised the corporate bean counters to make the vehicle wider. It is unfortunate that those who can afford high priced lawyers can get away with murer.

@Lou: The Raptor is about as wide as Ford can make it and still run it down the same assembly line as other F-150 pickups and also be able to load it onto standard transport trucks.

Lou, how many people do you know own a trophy truck? Last I checked they are not street legal and by definition the raptor is no trophy truck. The average joe weekend off roader is running a vehicle with a solid front axle. Also most people who off road are going on trails not sand dunes. Living back in the woods I drive back country roads every day and driving fast isnt too smart. Way too many deer or bear or even an occasional moose. Just because you can go fast doesnt make it smart. Yes I know dearborn is headquarters but its not where the decisions are being made and that is what I said nothing about the headquarters. Owning several lifted trucks that I off road I know about why things are done and so I know why they made it wider my point is a fullsize truck is already wide and the raptor is even wider. I have personally seen a pw go right along with jeeps and have not a problem. Just because there is no hype with the pw doesnt mean that it isnt a truely remarkable off roader. Its pretty amazing that it can tuck a 35" tire up in the opposite corners and still be level with barely any rub.

I mentioned the Trophy truck to make a point about the benefits of IFS. Live axles have their place and so does IFS. I don't advocate driving fast down dirt roads. Take a narrow width compact truck down a rough dirt road and then go down the same road in a 1/2 ton p/u. Try that same road in an empty 3/4 ton pickup. You'll find that you have to drive much slower with the smaller, narrower truck or the empty, stiffly sprung 3/4 ton. I've owned compact and full size trucks and it makes a huge difference. I don't live down a back country road but I live in an area where there are more dirt roads than paved roads. I've spent most of my life travelling them primarily for recreational purposes.Most of the guys I know who must travel down dirt roads every day for their occupations prefer long box crew cabs. Most of them don't need the crewcab but they feel size helps stability. None of them would drive a lifted truck. It makes the truck too top heavy. This can make life interesting in the winter time when industrial traffic turns the last snow fall into a skating rink or rounding a corner to find a nasty washboard section mid-apex. Why did Ford make the Raptor wider? I've read that it was to allow for longer A - arms. This allows more wheel travel. The added width also makes the truck harder to tip over. The notorious Ford Explorer you mentioned is a perfect example of a truck made too narrow and too tall. The extra width could be a liability in certain situations. Tight,narrow trails would kill the Raptor.City types looking to project a racerboy image would find the Raptor's width a huge pain in the ass. I'm not slagging the PowerWagon. It is a great truck for it's intended purpose. It isn't as narrowly focused as the Raptor and should appeal to a larger market segment. I've actually only seen a few on the road. I haven't seen any used in an industrial setting either. I agree that the Raptor has been over-hyped, but that is probably one of the main reasons it was made. Jeff,I've enjoyed your comments.

Speaking as a "city boy" who has driven quite a few Raptors (5.4 and 6.2), it doesn't feel any different in traffic than an FX4. The length is a bigger deal than the width by far. The suspension feels similar as well. You can feel every ripple in the road. The main difference is that when you hit a foot-deep chuckhole, it doesn't feel any different than a ripple. In other words, a perfect truck for Michigan roads, where the gravel roads are smoother than the paved ones.

Both these trucks have capability far in excess of that needed by 99 percent of those who will buy them; probably much more so for the Raptor, which will be a much easier truck to live with on a daily basis. I'm sure, though, the exceptions are all posting here.

Rocketrodeo - how did you find the extra width when it came to parking lots, parking stalls etc? Most large urban centers I've been in weren't very truck friendly. The Raptor's extra 7.7 inch width would seem to be problematic for many people. I'm not surprised that the suspension would work well on various road surfaces. Variable rate dampening should give a better overall ride than a conventional pickup suspension. I felt that the Raptor would be good for my kind of driving. I'm looking forward to sseing the crewcab version.
Must be a cool job test driving trucks for a living!!! Thanks for your feedback.

I found this at CNN MONEY http://money.cnn.com/news/newsfeeds/articles/prnewswire/200911030001PR_NEWS_USPR_____DE03603.htm

Interesting to read the bastardation of a subject for personal satisfaction....
For the ford quack who crowed about their not taking bail-out money, yet, they would be wise to remember that ford was the first to have trouble, they got bad first while banks were still lending money. They had to put everything they own, up to and including the ford logo, up for collateral to gain the money to continue. Money they have not paid back. Funny how some people have short/selective memories.

i am glad to see people are paying attention where things are being made( where their jobs are going ). i say go for neither til its all American. the companies take (steal) tax money(our money) and use it elsewhere. want to help America...hold on to your money.

My Dodge Ram was built in St Louis, and when I drove through south St Louis a couple weeks ago, they were still making them there. I wouldn't buy a Toyota just because of the religion ignorant buyers have turned their unshakable faith in Toyota into. The rear axles were falling off the 08 and 09 Tundras and all my Toyota sycophant friends could say was, "It's worse on American trucks. Toyota is the best quality blah, blah, blah." My friends new Tundra had the #7 piston crack and found out there was a TSB for it on 09 Tundra's. His ridiculous reply, "It's still the best quality truck...blah, blah, blah." Toyota sold the ignorant buyers that they = quality and thanks to a Japanese lapdog media, people are willing to spend far more for something that is all marketing. Yeah, I'm a Chrysler guy-they've NEVER let me down. But I'd still buy a Ford or Chevy, but never would I join the cult of Toyota. I was a Toyota tech for 6 years and can assure you, they ain't what you cultist think they are.

John - after reading your post I'd find it very hard to believe that you would have any friends at all, and least of all friends whom own Toyotas. What does being ignorant of religion have to do with buying a truck? Your a Chrysler guy? you mean Dodge? no.... wait..... Ram?? ... no.... do you mean Fiat??? I hope you enjoy driving your Mexican made Dodge... sorry..... I mean Ram truck. May be you drive around town in your Canadian made Challenger? or your Dodge minivan with a Japanese drive train?
How does a "rabid" Chrysler guy end up as a Toyota tec?
Your post scares me, it really does... creepy.....

DODGE CHEVY AND FORD are 100% american.....because they are driven by americans....

if you go to japan...you wont see japanese driving big...FORD f250 with POWERSTROKES

if you go to ITALY you wont see them either....

DODGE CHEVY AND FORD...are trucks built for americans...who need big trucks with big engines.....

all i can say..is that

FORD DID A NICE JOB WITH THEIR TRUCK......ALOT OF FOLKS THINK THAT FOUND ON ROAD DEAD...WILL REMAIN...ON THEM

THE POWER WAGON TO ME...LOOKS STRONGER.....I MIGHT BUY ONE......

++
2006 dodge ram 1500 5.7L/354

1994 chevy cheyenne 5.7L/350

@aleksandr -" DODGE CHEVY AND FORD are 100% american.....because they are driven by americans.... "your definition would also include, Toyota, Honda, VW, Audi, Porche and any other vehicle sold in the USA, because they too would be driven by Americans. That would make them 100% American as well. I guess you could argue that in parts of the USA that definition would not apply due to the high level of illegal immigrants ;)

If you look for a used Big Three truck you’ll find that a few years old trucks priced for a about quieter of their original price and still cannot be sold, while Tundras & Tacomas are being sold near their original price. Why?

@Lou, when you lift a truck you genrally increase the tire size thus changing your cog (center of gravity). My 03 ford with 9"'s of lift and 39" swampers does just fine and handles very well. It is also very good in the winter. It handles and drives better than it was in stock form. As for driving fast down dirt roads it doesnt matter what your driving if the road is too bumpy you slow down and thats just common sense. My 3/4 does just fine on country roads and doesnt wheel hop over bumps. Sounds like a vehicle with the wrong springs that your referring to. So do you own a 3/4 ton? As for the tipping over statement well thats some good stuff there. LOL Ever watched a baja race? If you have then you know that yes they do tip and roll. the explorer that you are referring to is no taller than my wifes minivan and the contributing factor was too narrow of tires which is why the newer ones have a wider tire on them than the gen 1 explorers. Thus the whole foreston tire fiasco.

oops firestone

I used to own a 3/4 ton Ford, my last truck was a Ford Ranger. My current vehicle is a GMC van. Having a wife and kids is hard on the toy collection:)
Running 39" tires would make ripple or washboard surfaces less problematic as your tires would "cover" more ground. A lifted truck is still "tippy", especially if used as a "beast of burden" work truck. The bigger tires and lift put extra strain on the axles, and drive shafts. All this reduces the actual "workability" of the truck. It all boils down to what you need out of a truck, or what you want out of a truck. The Raptor has it's place, just like the Power Wagon has it's place. Your "lifted Ford has it's "place" as well. Trucks are versatile platforms. I had you pegged as a "Dodge guy".

@Lou, I happen to also own a 05 ram thats mildly lifted (5.5"). I should note that there are a lot of parts on my ford with the 39" tires that I didnt care to mention so that the usability/reliability wouldnt be compromised. I have towed boats to bobcats to box loads of sand as well as firewood.

I can honestly say my ram has been trouble free and is a great truck thats is always up to the task. My ford has been just the same. As for the toy collection I know what you mean I have 3 kids all boys. I happen to like both ram and ford trucks.

Thanks Jeff,
trucks have been more of a toy hauler for me. Packing dirt bikes, ATVs, fishing boats, and for hunting/camping trips, and to get me through the winter snow. I'm leaning towards an F150. I like the fact that you can get a 6.5 ft box in a crew cab. I'm not interested in having the biggest motor on the planet, or having the most payload. If it can pack my kids, and their stuff and pull a 27ft. trailer, I'll be happy with it. I like the looks of the Dodge, but I've had bad luck with their products in the past, and don't like the local dealership.

I did a search for the new power wagon, found this article, and although the article seemed a bit biased, aren't they all. What was so entertaining is the ridiculous comments made by a bunch of brand loyal followers. Personally, I don't care where a vehicle is manufactured, what parts are in it, and who's name is on it. I make my decision based on what I need from a vehicle. Flash means nothing to true performance. The raptor is nice, yes, I am not a big fan of the grill, but I have owned several Ford trucks since the late 80's models. the wide track is what? 7"? big deal. The tires are still withing the limits of the SAME SHELL as every other F150. Who cares. They did not make a custom body and actually make the truck wider, so I highly doubt that there would be any more of an issue parking a raptor or a similar f150. That was the most ridiculous comment I read. I currently own 2 F250s, and 2 Rams. I am not comparing anything. 3 of those trucks are dedicated to the work that I need them to do. the 4th, that's just a toy. I would drive a chevy, but when I made my purchases, I was not happy with what they were offering as a vehicle, vs what I purchased. As for these Toyota trucks, if they have recalls, its nothing new to any of the "Big 3" either. I don't choose Toyota bacause what they offer and what I want or expect, doesn't compare. My latest purchase was in 2008. I did weigh the "Big 3" and Toyota.
For those of you who think the Raptor is such a great design as a baja style truck, obviously, you're just a weekend warrior looking for the next conversation piece in your driveway. For those of us who truly push the limits, factory is not the answer, never has been, never will be.

There you go Don one of the few that guys who actually gets the point of this little article. It’s not about who makes what or what’s better than the other it’s about choice. I would love either vehicle as they are both work trucks with a whole lot of play in them. The raptor is nice and does what it was build for extremely well as a high speed off-road machine but how many people can actually fly through a desert or wide open area whenever they want to I know that I can’t. But what I can do is take the power wagon climb through a thick forest over large rocks and go bogging in a dip muddy pit whenever I feel like it. So between these two trucks I think their great in their respective areas but I have to go with what I can do instead of thinking about what can’t be done.

Fiat owns a certain amount of Chrysler's shares in the market and you say it is a foreign car maker? As I recall, Dodge and Chevrolet are the only ones to still make pushrod V8s. Toyota is a wannabe because they get in the American truck industry, but they will never be a great all American pickup auto maker no matter how hard they try by throwing powerful V8s (the i-force) into their trucks. Toyota is just jealous because the first time they tried to make a full size pickup (the T100) they got outsold because they had sorry engine choices. Besides they make the ugliest trucks on Earth. At Least Nissan makes a plane looking truck. Ford is mediocre in the fact that they have an single overhead cam V8 engine family. In modern times, if you're going to make a modern technological V8, go all the way: Double overhead camshafts, four valves per cylinder, variable valve timing, direct fuel injection, E85 capability, and cylinder diactivation. Bottom line, if you want a real full size pickup it's Dodge or Chevrolet, no matter how many shares is owned by the U.S. government or an Italian Automaker because they owe a debt!!!!!

fiat does not own dodge! fiat bought SOME of the company dodge is still dodge n fiat just has a say n wat they sell now so all u people saying fiat own dodge ur wrong n i know u r because i worked at a dodge dealership



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