2017 Ford Super Duty: Engineer Interview

082_Ford_Denver F-350 II

Craig Schmatz has been with Ford for 26 years, and much of that time has been spent working on trucks. As the chief engineer for the F-Series Super Duty, the release of the all-new 2017 heavy-duty pickup truck marks one of the crowning achievements of his career.

We recently spent some time with Schmatz in the cab of an F-350 Lariat 4x4 with a 10,000-pound gooseneck horse trailer in tow. During our drive he talked about some of his favorite parts of the new pickup. Even though this is one of the longer video interviews we've conducted, we only scratched the surface about what's new on the Super Duty. We hope to circle back to Schmatz at a later date to fill in the gaps, so send us questions in the comment section below and we'll hit Schmatz with them later and tape another video with the answers.

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Comments

Looking forward to the new Fords.

Question -- re: exhaust brake capacity, full on, what is the retarding horsepower and how does it compare with the competition? Thank you.

Great interview,

Question: is this new 2017 wider, as well as have a longer wheelbase? Is it simply a bigger truck than the 2016 superduties?

Also, being lighter weight and having more hp and tourq anyone run 0 to 60 numbers on these bad boys yet?

Also a question for pickuptrucks.com, does it feel like a bigger rig on the inside with more interior space and backseat space?

They are ugly looking. Look at that front end. Terrible

Yawn!!!!!!!!!!! First update in 18 years, and same cab as the half ton version which everyone has been doing for nearly 80 years. Welcome to the 21st century finally Ford.

Anybody have a towing capacity chart with the TBD filled in? I am really interested in the F350 crew cab gas engine conventional tow ratings.
http://www.ford.com/trucks/superduty/specifications/towing/

If I remember correctly these trucks outsell GM 2 to 1. Am I wrong?

Also a question for pickuptrucks.com, does it feel like a bigger rig on the inside with more interior space and backseat space?


Posted by: chad | Aug 22, 2016 7:50:07 PM

Because it shares the F150 cab interior space should feel like a 2015 and newer F150. The cab of a F150 feels enormous. So if room is what you want, room is what you will get.

@johnny, you should say that to GM twins, they follow Ford in everything, so if this truck is out of date the twins are WAAAAAAAAAAY out fo date, hence why they are in second and thrid place

As for looks and feel, in my opinion, the 2017 Super Duty is the best looking HD on the road.

Clean, modern front end. The Chevy has the double Family Truckster headlights and garish hood scoop (now on the diesel).

The bumper on the Super Duty flows across and is totally in proportion unlike the slim center bumper flanked by ginormous front bumper end caps on the Chevy.

Nice round wheel wheels and an all new cab unlike the odd square wheel wells.

The cab feels much roomier with the less bulky seats. It feel more supportive and looks much more proportionate to the cab.

The more I see it, the more I love it! Chevy needs to go back to the drawing board starting with the Silverado half tons in 2018. They need to get this right.

Once Chevy gets the 2018 Silverado half tons right maybe they can design a proper HD. But I won't hold my breath. Chevy designers like to do things stupidly: bland garbage can interiors, off-center steering wheels, funhouse bumpers, square wheel wells for round tires, have to do funky side steps because they made fun of a proper tailgate step, etc. I hope they get some new designers and got rid of that guy that designed who designed the current Silverado who also designed the Aztec.

Since Chevy guys only care about looks.

This is the best Chevy can come up with? Looks like the inside of a garbage can...
http://media.caranddriver.com/images/media/51/2014-chevrolet-silverado-spy-photo-inline-photo-466669-s-original.jpg

Nice clown truck with funhouse bumpers and square wheel wells. smh.....
http://o.aolcdn.com/dims-global/dims3/GLOB/legacy_thumbnail/750x422/quality/95/http://www.blogcdn.com/slideshows/images/slides/391/233/3/S3912333/slug/l/2017-chevy-silverado-hd-duramax-ram-air-intake-1-1.jpg

Also, try designing some proper tow mirrors, not those rinky dink mirrors. It's only 2016. The PowerScope Mirrors have been on the Super Duty for many years and they have been on the F-150 for years now, too.

2018 cannot come soon enough for Chevy fans.

Nice clown truck with funhouse bumpers and square wheel wells. smh.....
http://o.aolcdn.com/dims-global/dims3/GLOB/legacy_thumbnail/750x422/quality/95/http://www.blogcdn.com/slideshows/images/slides/391/233/3/S3912333/slug/l/2017-chevy-silverado-hd-duramax-ram-air-intake-1-1.jpg

Also gotta love the Family Truckster headlights they are sticking with. Really goes well with the JC Whitney style hood scoop. smh.

Thinking about grabbing one of the 2016 steel body trucks after these drop and huge incentives are put on the 2016 trucks.

I've noticed with the new GM trucks and the new F150, quality is down, but you are distracted by the new technology and gadgets to recognize. I sat in a new F150 and the truck does not feel as solid as the previous gen steel bodied trucks. Same thing with the New 2500HD I sat in, the truck looks nicer but the fit and finish isn't as good as the previous trucks.

I've read about people having rattle issues with the new F-150s, so I'd rather take the 18 year old tried and true design versus the new aluminum body. I've also see in person how the twin panel moon roof in the new F-150s leak even in a car wash, when my friend took it in for warranty Ford said it is designed to leak inside the cab and drain through drain tubes. Sounds sketchy to me, and what will happen if those drain tubes clog up? Water stained headliner.

Since Chevy guys only care about looks.

Posted by: Dave Z. | Aug 23, 2016 8:31:58 AM

Sadly, I read your comments and noticed your rant is all about the Chevy looks. You could have talked about real meat and potatoes stuff like the new Superduty's fully boxed frame rails and common rail diesel fuel injection system on their 6.7................oh wait, Chevy had both those advancements first..... Ok, now I understand why your have limited your criticisms to the looks.

http://newtrucks2016.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/2016-Chevy-Silverado-2500-HD-front-view.jpg

http://cars.typepad.com/.a/6a00d83451b3c669e201b7c8841b2a970b-pi

Ford HD out sells GM 2 to 1 which is not hard to do with Fords by 1 get 1 free sales but Ford profits struggle.
So if room is what you want , room is what you get. The new Ford supper duty does have more room because the entire inside is made of thinner cheaper material to make it appear larger than the F-150.

@johnny, you should say that to GM twins, they follow Ford in everything
Posted by: Nitro | Aug 23, 2016 6:42:46 AM

You wish kid, you wish. Ram and GM have had fully boxed frames with hydraulic body mounts for years now and guess what! Cabs that where the same on Half tons and HDs for nearly 80s now. Hey Nitro you can thank Ram and GM for Ford to finally build a 21st century HD truck. Ford always following!

It only cost Ford over one billions dollars to just catch up to Ram.

LMAO kid this is the HD segment, not the half ton light duty segment. The F150 doesn't compete F250 2500 and up HD trucks. Nice try though kiddo.

Ram is spending, too...

Fiat Chrysler Invests $1.5 Billion to Retool for Ram Pickups
July 26, 2016

http://tinyurl.com/raminvest1-5billion

The difference is Ram won't get as good as a return on its investment.

I'm blind? No when I pay 30 thousand dollars for a brand new truck, I expect at least 100,000 miles worth of nearly trouble free service. Ford couldn't do that for me, but the 3 brand new GM trucks I've owned since then have. Sorry to make you mad kiddo, but its the cold hard truth.

From the way it looks, GM is still playing catch up to Ram and Ram is playing catch up to Ford. Looks like that chart I looked at is right. Ford outsells all of them and does every year even with a 17+year old design. That's why I own one, its been the best truck yet for me and I give it hell.

That truck sure is ugly.? Mostly just the front end.


You could have talked about real meat and potatoes stuff like the new Superduty's fully boxed frame rails and common rail diesel fuel injection system on their 6.7................oh wait, Chevy had both those advancements first..... Ok, now I understand why your have limited your criticisms to the looks.


Posted by: GMSRGREAT | Aug 23, 2016 9:15:54 AM

Unfortunately you would not know what a meat and potatoes discussion is. With your 4th grade level of automotive knowledge you are still in the breast feeding range. GM was not by far the first to go direct injection. Nor fully boxed frame. Those technologies have been out for a very long time. In fact GM did not design, engineer, or built the fuel system for their diesel engines. They buy it and slap it on. So unfortunately your meat and potatoes comment does not hold any water. Along with any of your comments.


I'm blind? No when I pay 30 thousand dollars for a brand new truck, I expect at least 100,000 miles worth of nearly trouble free service. Ford couldn't do that for me, but the 3 brand new GM trucks I've owned since then have. Sorry to make you mad kiddo, but its the cold hard truth.

Posted by: johnny doe | Aug 23, 2016 11:10:06 AM

Of course you are blind. You are fully of lies. Nothing that comes from you is even correct. You and your daddy gmsrnotsogreat are the 2 biggest liars here.

Of course you are blind. You are fully of lies. Nothing that comes from you is even correct. You and your daddy gmsrnotsogreat are the 2 biggest liars here.

Posted by: LMAO | Aug 23, 2016 5:34:36 PM

Yep & agree - add on to that list of liars is the Ford Mexicana idiot...

Some really dumb comments. Why do stupid people surface on these postings? Rhetorical for those folks. With Ford having by a large margin the most repeat buyers those who look to criticize should reconsider. Wasted typing effort I know. Just all should realize that in an in-person conversation these folks are ignored. By the way I drive a Chevy 2500. It has not been a good vehicle. Had to push it for 11 years. My next will be a Ford as Chevy could not get their electronics to work with the Allison transmission.

@ LAMO: GM HD had fully boxed frames and common rail diesel injection, just to name a couple, before Fords HD's. Maybe now FORD got their fully boxed frame, they may be able to offer fully independent front suspensions and finally catch up with the engineering technology leader, GM.

Don't get why the Ford kids are getting so upset for. They should be happy they finally got a 21st century HD truck. Guess their just embarrassed it took Ford 18 years to do it.

LMAO: GM HD had fully boxed frames and common rail diesel injection, just to name a couple, before Fords HD's. Maybe now FORD got their fully boxed frame, they may be able to offer fully independent front suspensions and finally catch up with the engineering technology leader, GM.


Posted by: GMSRGREAT | Aug 23, 2016 10:03:37 PM

So what is your point. IFS on a HD, you can keep that junk. Worn out tires because you can put any load on the front without drastically changing camber, you can keep it for the SUVS and 1500s, don't need it on a HD. Fully boxed frame, don't matter to me either way. The frame is still strong in either configuration, how do I know, the Superduty's can J2807 out tow a duramax by 10,000 LBS. Now that is funny. Now Ford just upped the bench mark and GM needs to play catch up. You and your son Johnny welfare need to spend less time watching the gm propaganda videos on YouTube and play in the real world.

Don't get why the Ford kids are getting so upset for. They should be happy they finally got a 21st century HD truck. Guess their just embarrassed it took Ford 18 years to do it.


Posted by: johnny doe | Aug 23, 2016 10:03:38 PM

Embarrassed for what? That an 18 year old design can still out work a new Chevy? I find that just funny.

Embarrassed for what? That an 18 year old design can still out work a new Chevy? I find that just funny.

Posted by: LMAO | Aug 24, 2016 6:51:23 AM

The Superduty's ain't out working anyone when they are back at the dealership for programing updates, inoperative sync, going into limp modes when flooring it up long grades, not to mention their illustrious past.

The Superduty's ain't out working anyone when they are back at the dealership for programing updates, inoperative sync, going into limp modes when flooring it up long grades, not to mention their illustrious past.


Posted by: GMSRGREAT | Aug 24, 2016 7:07:15 AM


Another untruth from a gm girl. Take a look at a gm dealer. It was a 5 day wait for me to take a suburban back to the dealer for a power twin repair. If you are a tech, the money is at a gm dealer. Plenty of work there. If a 6.7L did go into limp mode, that is just a wait for a duramax to catch up mode.

*powertrain*

And now for some real news....

JACKSONVILLE, Fla.—A man on the First Coast says he has a problem with his car, a Ford Exploder.

When he drives, especially on roads with high speed limits, gas that he says he believes to be carbon monoxide comes into the car.

"It smells like exhaust in the cabin," says Colin Olson. "Some people describe it as burnt egg smell. It will smell really bad for a few minutes and then it will just be gone."

Olson originally bought a 2015 Exploder from a Jacksonville dealership.

Concerned about the smell, he took the car back to the dealership he bought it from. A long road of maintenance appointments, internet research and Olson says concern for his health followed.

"I got it right in, right away to the service department," he says. "There was a technical service bulletin. It's not an official recall."

Ford made multiple attempts to service the car.

The automaker had issued a Technical Service Bulletin (TSB) titled Exhaust Odor in Vehicle. The bulletins serve as a guide sheet for mechanics on what to do for a specific consumer complaint....lol

Earlier this month, Ford settled a multi-year federal class action lawsuit.

The complaint called the 2011-2015 model years of the Exploder "dangerous and defective." It says "exhaust and other gases, including lethal quantities of carbon monoxide, may enter the passenger compartments."

When the judge approved the class action lawsuit, he said "plaintiff's showed substantial evidence demonstrating that the exhaust contamination system is a systemic problem caused by a combination of design and manufacturing defects."

Federal court records say attorney's for both sides will go before the court next month.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is also investigating complaints against the 2011-2015 Exploder.

Documents published on the agency's website about the investigation suggest more than 630,000 cars could be impacted by the investigation.

"If it's true that there's carbon monoxide leaking into the cabin, it's a very serious issue and Ford needs to deal with it immediately," says Kelsey Mays.

Mays is the Senior Consumer Affairs Editor at Cars.com, a website owned by First Coast News' parent company.

He says there's no threshold number of complaints needed to trigger a federal investigation.

"Certainly this is a significant number of people that have complained to them and so the fact that NHTSA has moved to an investigation and not a recall indicates Ford is probably going to have to provide more information," Mays says.

When Olson took First Coast News on a drive in his 2016 Exploder, we brought a Sensorcon carbon monoxide detector.

We paid about $150 for it on Amazon and used it to get non-scientific results about the levels of Carbon Monoxide in Olson's car.

During our drive on Interstate 295, the readings went as high as 23 parts per million (ppm).

We tested 5 other cars, driving at interstate speeds under similar conditions. In those other tests, Carbon Monoxide levels never went above 1ppm.

Federal agencies say at levels between 35 ppm and 70 ppm people can begin to have mild exposure symptoms.

After at least 4 attempts to repair Olson's 2015 Exploder, an arbitrator under Florida's Lemon Law required Ford replace it with a 2016 Exploder.

"Ford was pretty much forced to replace my vehicle," Olson says.

With a baby on the way and his family's health on his mind, he's still trying to get rid of his 2016 Exploder.

"I want to get rid of this car," he says. "I want my money back. I'm done."

Have you smelled a Ford lately?

If a 6.7L did go into limp mode, that is just a wait for a duramax to catch up mode.

Posted by: LMAO | Aug 24, 2016 7:25:32 AM

Duramax is miles ahead by the time the FORD owner, pulls over and cycles the ignition to get power back. LMAO


And more real news

2014 Silverado 1500 Crew Cab LT - Purchased this vehicle a few months ago with 13000 miles on it. Been reading all the bad reviews and agree with quality problems. Owned a 2000 Silverado with 216000 miles never let me down. Think I've figured out what to do to help out with the idle and wired shifting and banging of gears with this questionable 6 speed tranny. Take total control of it by keeping it in manual 5 around town which keeps it from going into drop 4 cylinder mode and allows you to drive up to 50 mph without burning a lot of extra fuel.

Buy yourself a Range, plug it in for highway use only. Got a cold air intake and cut back duel exhaust - wow what a difference, well worth the money. Truck is way fun to drive. Am very impressed with the performance now. 5.3. Dropping 4 cylinders causes a lot of problems like oil disappearing. GM has no clue where it goes. l think that maybe the reason for rough idle maybe fouling spark plugs seems like my truck is doing so much better now. Seems like when slowing down and tranny gets between 3rd to 2nd gear giving it gas before the gear grabs causes the bang - just wait for the gear to grab and you can make that problem go away also. Modern technology oh boy!!! Hope this info helps you out.

I've owned GM vehicles for more than 15 years and have always had great experiences until getting my 2015 Chevy Silverado. The truck started vibrating at highway speeds, around 12,000 miles. I've brought it in for service multiple time, and the dealer can feel the same vibration, but do not know where it is coming from. They had a GM engineer drive the truck and after he rode in the truck he recommended changing the ring and pinion in the rear end to no avail. The truck still vibrates the same. I've contacted Chevrolet and have basically been told to deal with it, the truck is within specs. They are trying to bribe me with a 60 mos/75000 mile bumper to bumper warranty. I asked them how does that fix the vibration problem. I was told if I do not take the warranty, they are closing the case. Extremely disappointed!

I've owned GM vehicles for more than 15 years and have always had great experiences until getting my 2015 Chevy Silverado.

Posted by: Really? | Aug 24, 2016 8:08:09 AM

Talk about GMSRGREAT going limp

My 2011 Duramax is stuck in 4mph limp mode. Fuel tank has been refilled. DEF tank refilled. I have tried everything the owners manual describes to no avail. I have even disconnected the batteries for several minuets and nothing resets.

Posted by: Really? | Aug 24, 2016 8:15:12 AM

You've owned GM for the last 15 years and only disappointed with your 2015, but happy with your 2011 Duramax? Which is it, great experiences or bad?

My 2017 Ford F-350 SRW vibrates at 70 MPH and up. Dealer sales they all vibrate . Somebody please help!!'

@Darryl Hudec

Try driving 65 mph. It works.

I can't drive 65!!!

@Sierra

You start by admitting you have a problem.

After that it's a little easier to try using the cruise control--you may find it a little difficult the first few times. Don't be afraid to let people pass you. Most sufferers find that after a few weeks it's easier.

Eventually, driving 65 becomes a habit.



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