2015 Ford F-150: Frame and Suspension First Look

D 2015 F-150 Platinum susp II

Weight savings was a key priority for designers and engineers of the 2015 Ford F-150, which debuted at the 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, but they also knew it was not the only priority. 

Ford engineers knew another key to making the 2015 Ford F-150 a success would literally rest on the capability and design of the frame. Above all else, they told us, Ford engineers reconfigured and redesigned the frame for strength as well as weight savings.

As the foundation of the entire pickup, Ford engineers looked at the frame and started with an entirely clean sheet of paper. This meant they could use massive amounts of computer power to determine the exact amount of high-strength steel (at exactly what thickness with exactly how much reinforcement) necessary for the perfect foundation for the proper towing and payload capacities, as well as the most solid mounting points for the newly upgraded suspension pieces.

The frame is still a fully boxed, ladder-constructed foundation with eight cross-members, but it is now wider through the front and midsection, with an overall taller section depth as well. Frame sections are no longer bent but molded and rolled to keep the tolerances and wall thicknesses (and tensile strengths) as strong and light as possible. They've even cut windows in certain parts of the frame to save weight where it was determined doing so would not affect strength. The new frame is more than 70 percent high-strength steel, and we were continually told that nothing on this new truck was overlooked, not even the stout and much-beloved rear axles.

Underneath, both the 8.8-inch and 9.75-inch rear axles (dependent on powertrain and towing capacity limits) have been shaved and modified to save a small amount of weight — although they are essentially identical to the previous solid axle design. However, Ford decided to stagger the rear shocks (one pointed forward on the passenger side, the other pointed to the rear on the driver's side) to better minimize the effects of axle hop, especially when the pickup is equipped with a more powerful motor.

The rear suspension of the 2015 F-150 continues to use multileaf steel springs, but they have been shortened about 6 inches and retuned to help improve ride quality. Nothing that we've seen so far indicates that Ford will offer a special suspension package that competes with Ram — with either coils springs or an uplevel air suspension. The front suspension is identical to the previous model but does offer a slightly wider track width by almost 1 inch. Expect wheel and tire combinations to run the full spectrum with just as many standard and optional offerings as the current model lineup. More details to come.

 

C 2015 F-150 snow susp II

 

 

Comments

Global Ranger leaf sprung rear end.

Even the shock absorbers are laid out the same.

I knew my BT50 rode well.

Shocks staggered fore and aft? What innovation, Chevy has had that since '73.

Ford always brings out the best in the GM fan boys. yes GM be afraid, be very afraid

Wait, weren't the Toyota boys going on about how the F150 was moving back to a c-channel frame? Would any of them like to chime in now?

I'm looking at the commonality between the F-150 and the Ranger/BT50.

I read an interesting article regarding the design of the global Ranger, it used previous F-150 ideas and parts with new ones.

The global Ranger/BT50 have the 8.8, 3.73 diff, with the E locker. I wonder if the F-150 will come with the E locker?

This would be of interest for the 4x4 guys. The 8.8 is a good diff as it was the replacement for the old Ford 9".

We will have to wait and see what the crash rating for the new Ford pickup. The new GM trucks are the safest truck built today with their 5 star rating.

@Big Al- I've long said the next F150 would be based on the T-6 Ranger. Sure- some things will be vastly different, but I think there will be a lot of carry-over.

@ Big Al,

The F150 Fx4 has come with an elocker since 09 it was made avalible on all f150s, f250s and F350s SWRs in 2011 in both 4x4 and 2wd configurations in 2012 the non Raptor 4x4s could use it in 2wd, it is not avalible with the 3.7 v6 but is avalible on the 2014 f150 in 3.15, 3.31, 3.55, 3.73 and 4.10(fx4, tremor, and Raptor) addtionaly one of the articles said that the exisiting elocker would carry over

so are the fools going to "improve the frame as they did in '80"??

So what exactly have they done to combat galvanic corrosion? All that aluminum with steel fasteners, it's just a matter of time. Especially in the rust belt where corrosion has an accelerant.
I applaud Ford for taking these first steps into a new frontier. But if I know Ford, there will be growing pains especially for the first few years.

I would imagine galvanic corrosion will be an issue...unfortunately with significant changes in design with any automotive manufacturer there are minor and major issues that arise. I hope this turns out to be good venture for Ford, however, it does raise an eyebrow of concern. I also hope they have solved the engine issues with the ecoboost.

It will be interesting to see the towing specs with the new standard...I still can't imagine utilizing a 1/2 ton pickup with the heavy duty tow package to tow a 11,300 pound trailer...seems unrealistic. I guess you can do it but don't plan on doing it safely above 50-55 mph.

I recall the commercials of the ecoboost engine and all the torture they put it through...does anyone know how the transmission held up? I would think any of Fords powerplants could hold up to the exposure they placed the ecoboost through, drive train might be another story.

Not trying to bash Ford, I am considering either a 2014 or 2015 Ford truck, the potential for galvanic corrosion is of great concern, I'll have to find out what Ford did to curb that problem.

"They've even cut windows in certain parts of the frame to save weight where it was determined doing so would not affect strength"

Haha I remember when ford said the same thing in 1980 and created the swiss cheese f series frame. They started bending and in mid 1981 the "windows" were no longer in the frame



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