Ford Saves Weight Throughout F-150

Ford 7 II

Saving weight on a pickup truck is an idea that's been around for quite a while. During the last several decades just about every full-size truckmaker has made some kind of weight-saving decision to increase the efficiency or capability of its pickups. Some manufacturers offer smaller, more efficient pickups to provide their customers with cost savings (like better fuel economy and a smaller transaction price). Manufacturers that do not offer smaller trucks, like Ford (it killed the compact Ranger in 2012), devised other strategies.

Truckmakers have been using aluminum body panels and composites to decrease weight in hoods, doors and tailgates (remember the Chevrolet Suburban-fighting Ford Excursion?) for quite a while. Now it's what they're doing to the significant mechanical pieces of the trucks, especially in the case of the 2015 F-150, that is the real story.

Admittedly, most of the F-150's weight savings still come from making all body panels and internal cab structural components out of aluminum. But there are a few important truck pieces that Ford has reengineered to save weight:

  • Rear axle: Internal strengthening helped increase towing capacity and capability; the lighter truck requires smaller ring-and-pinion gears, and the outer axle casing has been fine tuned and reshaped for a total rear-end assembly weight savings of 35 pounds.
  • Transfer case: The outer castings went through computer modeling and are now made of a higher grade of magnesium; every seam and molded surface has been reengineered to save 3.8 pounds.
  • Steering knuckles: The redesigned steering knuckle and surrounding parts and pieces save a total of 16.3 pounds per side, with a single steering knuckle itself saving almost 12 pounds alone.
  • Other weight savings: Other, less obvious places where Ford saved a great deal of weight include the bumpers, front and rear seats, fenders, the instrument panel and substructure, and the electronic parking brake. Total weight savings from those systems add up to as much as 92 pounds.

Cars.com photo by Evan Sears and Ford Motor Company

 

2014 Transfer Case outer

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2015 Transfer Case outer

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Weight Savings F-150 knuckle II

F150_700lbs_Graphic_R09.indd[1][1] II

 

 

Comments

after driving every truck manufacturers offerings you cant deny the fact that they are all great vehicles and excel in areas others faulter and also compete in other categories very close.

I am still more fond of the f150's package overall. but thats just me. other people have other priorities and thehy are more comfortable using something else. Or they bought the wrong truck and dont know it! Simple as that. If you want a truck and dont know what to buy go drive them all and decide for yourself paper articles of others opinions arent really a help as much would like to think. it definitely sparks a conversation but unless you have a year of daily use on a vehicle you dont know jack sh!t about it.

Interesting to see guys saying that Silverado/Sierra is as light as the current F150. One forgets that the F150 has taller box sides, the truck rides higher and has a bigger cab. All that adds weight to a truck. Cam in block pushrod engines tend to be lighter and more compact when compared to twin overhead cam engines. Turbo's and their associated hardware also add weight.

Ford needed to shed weight from the F150 to stay competitive.

Here is a tidbit - I read a test where a 2010 F150 supercrew 5.4 was run against a comparable Chevy crew with 5.3. There was only 0.1 seconds difference in the 1/4 mile.
Like i said, Ford needed to loose weight.

@Lou-BC, Have you ever read a test where Ford 150 tows its max rated. I love to see it. You act like every F150 has max or as Ford calls it H.D. F150. It's amazing that a truck that can haul so much cant match the performance of a truck rated lower when it has a 1,000 lb load in the bed.


" We'd also like to see the F-350 do less squatting and less "butt-dragging" when loaded or towing. It's a characteristic that exists across the entire lineup."

Ford sagging and lagging.


Ford would be wise to get off the light duty things they did with there pickups...paying $50,000 for a pickup and show how you cheaped it...if not going turn on the pickup crowd...they can get away with it on car side.....I been a Ford guy all my life 70 Mustang 351 Cleveland and even own a 59 Edsel Corsair.....but don't like Fords new stragety with pickups....while they can benchmark there own trucks and tell how much better ,,fuel and payload etc over there former ones..the competition is doing as good without all the complicated non reliable engine Ecoboost line up....I just bought a 2015 Ford Transit....really like it..except the engine line up...got the 3.7 V6..non turbo....but fuel milieage when loaded is no better than the old V8 Econolines carrying the same weight....why Ford demotes there best V8..the 5.0...is a mystery...I would have paid extra for the 5.0...been to many garages and seeing Ecoboost problems...

I did not mention HD's since Ford, GM, and Ram all have HD's with respectable tow/haul ratings.

I am talking about the 1/2 ton class.

Posted by: Lou_BC | Apr 8, 2015 6:24:33 PM

Yes Lou I am talking about Fords F 150 H.D. package. Take a look for your self.

PUTC was critical of the air suspension. Which probably rides ruff, but unlike Fords the headlights will still be in the air.

http://www.ford.com/trucks/f150/specifications/payload/

Requires Heavy Duty Payload Package with 17" wheels
†Requires Heavy Duty Payload Package with 18" wheels

Ram does not offer a 1/2 ton H.D. They offer a Ram 2500.

@Lou-BC, so PUTC had the heaviest Ram you could buy @ 55,000. The Ford had no where near the options. Your payload depends on model. So if hauling is your number one on your list get the truck model that can handle it. If you want all the bling and hauling you can get a 3/4 ton. It's that simple. But here we go round and round again. It's funny that PUTC only tested a Ram 2500 with anywhere near its max and they never test Ford to it's Max. Lets see how well that 1/2 ton Ford can handle it's RATED max. With the front seat, spare tire, and radio and rear bumper of course.

P.S. Ram still spanked that 5.0 with Ram having every option including air suspension.

@Big al, I didn't see this test can you give me the web site? Or is this numbers given on a different day etc..?

All this bragging about weight saving from Ford and they are just getting down to the weights of the GM trucks and the Ram trucks.

Face it Ford is still the porker of the group.

Now that the insurance companies have come out and said there is no insurance premium increases in the 2015 f150 I wonder if we can move past the "insurance cost more on aluminum versus steel panel" posters?
http://www.forbes.com/sites/billvisnic/2015/04/09/ford-gets-insurance-biggies-on-its-side-for-radical-2015-f-150-pickup/

Also the 2.7 is turning into a real winner with class leading performance. No other Gas motor by any manufacture is going to deliver this 2.7 economy while towing and the only other Gas motor that can match the 2.7 performance is the 3.5 ecoboost. 6.2 GM comes close though... Ram really needs to upgrade there gas engines in there pickups as they are really falling way behind to Ford and GM.
http://www.edmunds.com/ford/f-150/2015/long-term-road-test/2015-ford-f-150-towing-nearly-5000-pounds.html

A lot of posts were deleted but putc decided to leave the one about tfl having "lost credibility". wow. putc is at war now with the guys at tfl it seems. Is there some jealousy? smh.

It is a awesome truck and awesome ride good job ford, you made improvement without relying on a welfare check.



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