2017 Ford Super Duty: Powertrain and Chassis

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The engineering strategy behind the 2017 Ford Super Duty, debuting at the 2015 State Fair of Texas in Dallas, is not complicated: Take many of the same improvements and upgrades executed on the revolutionary 2015 Ford F-150 and apply them to a heavy-duty pickup truck.

For quite some time it was rumored that the new Super Duty would take advantage of the same light-weighting strategy the half-ton truck pulled off by making all of its body panels aluminum instead of steel. But Ford seems to have taken it one step further with the new Super Duty pickups. All 2017 Super Dutys use the exact same cabs — crew, extended and regular — the F-150 uses, which means the configurations offer more interior volume and a much flatter rear floor when compared to the current generation.

Additionally, although built to carry much more weight than the F-150 beds, the Super Duty bed uses the same clip-in tie-downs, BoxLink features and interior bed lighting found on the half-ton model. The bed height is about 1 inch shallower than the F-150 bed, and the tailgate can be locked and unlocked with a key fob. The tailgate can also be automatically dropped down gently to a flat open position.

As near as we can calculate, switching to aluminum for all the body materials for the 2017 Super Duty saved somewhere in the neighborhood of 700 pounds, depending on configuration. Knowing that HD truck buyers always want more capacity, capability and towing, Ford engineers took advantage of those weight savings and upgraded the frame and driveline, beefing up the drive shafts, axles and four-wheel-drive transfer case.

The fully boxed frame is composed of 95 percent high-strength steel, making the frame 24 times stiffer than the previous generation. The truck sits about 1.5 inches taller, due in large part to the taller and heavier-duty frame and corresponding suspension points. Each point along the driveline is stronger and thicker to better handle new, heavier towing and carrying loads. As a result of these upgraded components, the overall weight savings from the old Super Duty is, on average, about 350 pounds.

The new frames will be different for F-250 and F-350 pickup trucks, offering a boxed frame from tip to tailgate with an extra cross-member under the bed for more confident fifth-wheel or gooseneck towing. Chassis-cab models (F-350, F-450 and F-550) will have a flat, thick C-channel frame starting at the back of the cab and running the full length of the back end of the truck.

The new Super Dutys offer three engine choices: one diesel and two gasoline, although only chassis cab models will have the V-10 option. The base-level engine is the 6.2-liter V-8, followed by the bigger 6.8-liter V-10, with the 6.7-liter Power Stroke turbo-diesel finishing out the lineup. All transmissions are the same in-house-designed 6R140 TorqShift except for F-250s with the V-8 engine; they will get the all-new six-speed TorqShift-G transmission that is reported to deliver significant fuel economy improvements for the three-quarter-ton pickup.

We're told towing and payload ratings will be higher than previous the Super Dutys in every category; more details are forthcoming.

Manufacturer images


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I'm liking what I see so far

That is the ugliest grille I have ever seen on a pickup!

This thing makes the Toyota Tundra look pretty!!!!! God dam they should of left the camo covering on it!!!!!!!!!!! Looks like GM and Ram are bout to take over the HD market sales.

Suspension? Please tell me Ford finally gave up on that archaic 'Twin-I-Beam'. Interesting they are no longer using the TorqShift 6 behind the 6.2L. I thought that transmission was not well suited for that application, always felt clumsy compared to Ram and GM's gas pickups. Boxed frames under pickups, C-channel under cab and chassis just like Ram and GM. That is the best solution.

Say what you want Bob, cause everyone knows Ford will and has always owned the truck market. We over look you and your ignorance.

Meant that last comment for johnny doe or who ever he is today.

Can anyone with any sort of engineering know how tell me why truck makers us c channel of cab chassis but on "weaker lesser" models use fully boxed frames? I heard a few explanations but after consideration they just didn't add up

@jimmy- industry standards dictate that C/C trucks use a 39" wide C-channel frame, with standardized cab-axle distances. this facilitates mounting various standardized cargo bodies- everything from stake trucks to shuttle buss and ambulance bodies.
In pick-up trucks, otoh, marketing has convinced buyers that rigidity is best. If done correctly, the truck will ride better and exhibit less/no tailgate shake or bed-cab deflection. With less deflection, the body gap can be tighter, aiding fuel economy. Also with the lower GVWs of pickups (9-14k#) the boxed frame does fine. Once your're talking about GVWs in the 15-19klb range, the compliance the C-frame offers is preferable.

Truck dumb I only use my name. I don't need to post under different names like you do. Yeah and GM owns the truck market not Furd. This new HAHA still looks like a 1998 Ford super turd truck with the left over parts bin grill, with the hood lines that don't even match/flow with the parts bin grill won't help them. HAHAHA!

That's a nice looking truck. I like the design which is a combination of high tech and toughness. A nice step forward.

big bob you need to get with the times, Ford hasnt used that system in a long time

impressed with the truck so far, i agree the grille is ugly but next to the new ram grille thats been shown lately its not so bad.

Ford should be offering the 5.0, with a 10 quart sump. Better late than never, say '18 MY.
And have a plan to upgrade to the 10 speed automatic for '19 MY.

Looking at it from the front does not excite me. Same old high maintenance front axle. Long overdue stronger frame. Same unreliable drive train. Makes me want to take a nap!

Front end looks very busy, ugly, like IKEA shelwing system. On second thought, IKEA looks better.

It looks like they put a snow plow on from the factory with that low hanging air dam. Weren't the ford fans picking on the Colorado for its air dam this looks even lower on sd truck lol

Side look. Not bad.
Head on it looks like the grill was put together with lego pieces.

Ooooohhhh, a V10 gasser, that has got my attention! Perfect for the guy who tows infrequently but when he tows he tows at near max GCWR, and if they do it right it probably wont get much worse economy than the V8 gasser when unloaded. The true test is if it is significantly cheaper than the diesel.

That made me smile a little bit in a world full of downsizing and obsession with economy. Its nice to see there is someone who still likes big engines out there.

Ok so the always all steel frame is still all steel (nothing shocking there) but now its 100% boxed. Ok got that (ride/stiffness/strength...). My question is why is only 95% of the steel frame of the "high strength steel" variety? What was gained/saved by not going to a fully 100% high strength steel frame? it sounds better in advertising...

I guess front cramping zone must be softer to better accumulate energy during impact, but I could be mistaken.

The 2016 F-250 and 350 4X2's still use 'Twin-I-Beam'. I have 15 new ones at work. C-channel frames allow for easier aftermarket vocational body installation.

On Autoblog.com they are reporting that the Super Duty's only lost 350 pounds!!!! Sounds like, according to this article that the frames are finally as strong as the RAM & GM HD's frames!! Nice to see they finally caught up. They copied RAM and are offering a factory 5th wheel.

those 6.8 v10s used to get 6-8mpg while towing a 5k landscaping trailer so they better have found something big to gain mpg. i know a guy with a f350 v10 and f250 6.2 and the 6.2 is by far more efficient

Good comments mrknowitall. C channel is great for commercial use. Ram does the same thing. Boxed for civilian use and c-channel for chassis cab.

Good jeepers this thing is UGLY! I'm sure it'll be a very capable truck and all, but it looks terrible from the front!

@devilsadvocate- the V10 option is only for the F450 and heavier trucks- not available in the pick-ups.
The frame still uses some conventional steel parts on smaller attachment brackets, possibly body mounts, fuel tank hangers, bumper brackets, etc. The high strength steel is difficult to stamp into some deep-draw brackets and wouldn't benefit sufficiently in those parts.

This thing looks like it was punched in the face. Not a good look.


Great post!

Ford copying GM and Ram??????????????????????Yeah way back in 1998, Ford introduced a new heavy duty pick-up truck that changed everything, CALL THE SUPERDUTY!!! WHICH DID NOT USE ANY 1/2 TON COMPONENTS EXCEPT THE ENGINES. Build on a dedicated assembly line, with a much larger frame and body that shared nothing with the F150. After 2 years on the market sales of the Superduty exploded!!! Guess who decided to up there game in the heavyduty pick-up truck market??????? GM and Dodge, YEP. See GM and Ram (Dodge) for last 35 years have followed Fords lead, and copied many of its ideals and engineering.


@johny blowboy, there's a graph on here that shows your ignorant tail who ownes the truck market so check it out and weap cause it will hurt you.

When you look at it from the sides, it doesn't actually look that bad. But the head on reveals quite possibly the ugliest front end of any truck ever (even worse than ~2003 silverado). However, the worst part is the cab. It looks like a voodoo dr.'s shrunken head.

See GM and Ram (Dodge) for last 35 years have followed Fords lead, and copied many of its ideals and engineering.

Posted by: latwoods | Sep 24, 2015 3:40:19 PM

Can you list the engineering ideas copied from Ford for Ram?
Didn't Ram start the Turbo Diesel and blew the competition away in capability?
Didn't Ram have an exhaust brake before Ford?
Didn't Ram have a solid box frame on the 1500 and Heavy Duty before Ford?
What about start stop?
What about goose neck hitch?
What about cargo camera?
Load flat floor?
Please stop your bull ---- comments.
Is Ford J2807 Yet?

@Latwoods, Remember Dodge was building Fords and financed Ford before building their own great cars and trucks. lol

IMHO the XL version exterior should be coupled with the dash of an XLT and the xl seats and floor. Hope that they didnt get rid of the floor shift transfer case. Im not a fan of electric switches and windshield wiper motors put in place to do a job your hand can do faster. I would like to know more about this new mid model transmission. what makes it different and if its able to be punished. f250's arent my cup O tea but i would like to know more. Im a f350 or bust type. my f350 with v10 i currently run is one of a kind and i doubt i could buy one in its configuration ever again. a high end truck with rubber floor is appealing to me. i would like a touch screen sync 3 with nav. just add in some plastic seats with the rubber floor and im fine. hell you could get rid of the a/c and give me roll up windows and i would be smiling the whole time still! just a manual split rear window would make my day...

Truck dumb dumb that chart only shows a part of the truck market. The sale numbers speak and shows your ignorant tail on who owns the truck market, and it is GM that owns the truck market!

So check it out and weap cause it will hurt you, and make you cry most likely. Wait your already crying and only talking about only part of the info.

The cab looks very much like the new f150. The dash is nearly the same. The pic of the front end straight on looks horrible.
In pics from Ford on Facebook, they show a small "?computer" that appears to be attached to the console on the passenger side. No mention of 8 or 9 speed trannys. ?

Never seen a dash like that on anything in my whole life, or head lights. Just can't seem to wrap my head around it, it is unfathomable work of art; as it evokes feeling never experienced before. Somewhere, somehow, someone took a sewer drain and mated it with an air conditioning grille and topped it off with a blue Ford Oval. Like to hang one on my wall in my garage.

I like it! If I could afford one I would definitely get it. A regular cab 3/4 ton reg cab with the 6.7 PS.

What's missing is a smaller capacity diesel for entry models.

Maybe VW will have some spare diesel manufacturing capacity and can offer Ford a cheap deal on small diesels.

There is a nice 4.2 diesel in VW's inventory that would work well.

Can't deny it can you johnny blowhard, but the truth is the truth and FORD wipes the floor with gm products.

@johnny blowhard, hell even fiat is getting the yellow buildup out of the corners of the floor and outselling gm hd's.



So based on your knowledge of Ram being the first at everything, they were the first pick-up truck manufacture to move completely away from using a 1/2 frame platform for heavy duty trucks in favor of a new heavy duty layout (engineered from the ground up for real heavy duty use)?????????????

@Latwoods, HAHAHA! I remember Ford having the worst diesel of all the H.D's they were so bad Ford had to sue to try and recover a portion of the warranty cost. If the engine wasn't blowing up, the truck was bursting into flames from their bad designed switches. Cruise or ignition take your pic.

@latwoods, Ram wasn't first at everything but a lot of things. Ford has copied Dodge and vise versa. Ford started the two different body styles from 1/2 ton to 3/4 ton.

Holy Smokes! They brought back the squared-off Econoline grille and stuck it onto the pickup truck!

They think that looks good?

The way the story reads. The v10 will get a 6speed auto. Has that been confirmed?

The way the story reads. The v10 will get a 6speed auto. Has that been confirmed?

Isn't Dodge a Fiat truck?

Why does Ford outsell everyone? No, really everyone?

Outsold for over 37 years right?

Isn't Dodge the one with the recall on the pickup trucks because the rear axle may seize and/or the driveshaft may detach?

Isn't Dodge the one with the recall that the diesel fuel heater might over heat?

Isn't Dodge the one recalling 540,000 trucks for due to defective suspension. Owners may be eligible for a buyback.

Dodge is recalling approximately 1.4 million vehicles, including the 2013-2015 Ram 3500 over fears of remote hacking of the vehicle

Ford truck looks amazing when you look out of your Dodge / Gm truck rear view mirror the front grill tells you to get out of the way.

GM - Government motors
Dodge- I'm sorry Fiat

is the new G code trans for the 6.2 a lighter duty transmission?

if so... why?

its not like im gonna work the 6.2 less than i will a 6.7....

please clear that up

Just speculation the GM trans will have higher gear ratios. It was mentioned it was for the gas engine for better fuel economy. Gear ratios will help with that. But in a 2500 series trucks I could care less about economy,

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