Ford Makes Big Investment in Cleveland Engine Plant

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Ford will invest $145 million to upgrade the aging Cleveland Engine Plant, which will make the next-generation 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine scheduled to debut in the 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor. This investment will allow Ford to update the build process at the plant to accommodate the more powerful, more efficient and technologically advanced EcoBoost V-6.

The plant has been producing the current-gen V-6 EcoBoostand two inline-four-cylinder engines for several years; they are either the standard or optional engine for the Ford Explorer midsize SUV, while the V-6 is standard for the F-150 pickup, Expedition full-size SUV, Transit van, Flex crossover and Taurus sedan. The Cleveland plant has been in operation for 65 years (making EcoBoost engines since 2009); the investment will allow Ford to create or retain 150 new jobs to support the improvement.

Although the new twin-turbo 3.5-liter V-6 will first be deployed in the 2017 Raptor, we expect the engine to rollout to a variety of vehicles soon after, likely paired with the new 10-speed transmission also debuting in the new Raptor. Some of the improvements in the new powertrain combination include stop-start capability, better cooling, longer oil-change intervals and stronger construction.

Our first opportunity to see this new powertrain at work will be during the Best of the Desert racing series, where Ford has done preliminary testing with the F-150 in the past. Additionally, Foutz Motorsports ran an F-150 with the new 2.7-liter EcoBoost engine in the Baja 1000 just two years ago. More to come. photos by Mark Williams


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It's always a good thing when manufacturing jobs stay in America!

Hope Ford sticks to the design and keeps improving it. Its a great tow motor as it is today. All it needs is some better fuel efficiency under a load. The gm, ram v8's are better driving trucks. The setup that GM and ram go for is just better. Ford's setup just doesn't compare in tight driving when conditions are less than perfect. My f150 eco got stuck on pavement with 1 front and one rear on ice on a slight incline. I wasn't impressed with how easy it was stuck. The ram, GM in same situation just don't react to it and go. Very impressed with GM. Ford really needs to compete in my opinion. Needs strong v8 option.

Some of the improvements in the new powertrain combination include stop-start capability, better cooling, longer oil-change intervals and stronger construction.

I knew, there was something wrong with this engine.

It's going to be an interesting fall. This combined with the 10 speed should move the bar quite a bit. Long as they get the tranny ECU programmed right, get it wrong and it will be a disaster. Having a few drive modes available to select from will be important, including an "eco" mode.

Did you know Facts:

That the 351 Cleveland engine was name the baddest small block of the Musclecar Era (65-71) by Hot Rod Magazine.

Buzzy, your issue with 2 wheels spinning has nothing to do with engines. That's your rear differential configuration. Ford, Ram, and GM all offer various options, and an open diff will get stuck like that from any of them. A limited slip will lock up automatically, and a lockable diff gives you that option as wanted/needed.

I still prefer a robust reliable common V8 then two turbos and 4 cyl and start stop. But thats just me.

I wonder if Ford will use DOD tech like GM did with their 4.3 V6. If Fords are as light as they claim they should be able to pull it off.

Still not sold on reliability. Too much boost all the time equals wear.
See even hd v8 's get de rated for longer life at job.

Roll the jealous Ford-hater comments...

Really bm? I had a 351 Cleveland in a 72 torino. The crank broke in half. Still good to see jobs will stay in this country

@MIchael, I'm with you on that, but it seems as though the masses are leaning to the smaller turbo charged engines in droves......this looks like a great engine to go into the awesome military grade f150!

Reliability? The 3.5L Ecoboost has been out 5 plus years, it's plenty reliable.

Half you people don't know what you're talking about.

5 years hasn't been long enough to judge a platforms reliability unless its been bad. I demand a decade and 200K minimum from what I buy with 0 major issues and only slight ancillary issues after 150K (ie, waterpump, alternator, AC issue, heater core...).

I like the totally tricked out turbo engine and confidently feel its the future... but still guardedly waiting to start hearing people say "I got 200K and all I did was change the oil and put gas in it."

I bought a used truck (06 with 85K) a year ago... people ask me how I like it... I tell them I don't know yet, I haven't had it 10 years and it hasn't crossed the 200k mark yet. I like it so far but if it starts having issues before then Ill know how it is. Its aways fun to hear people talk about reliability with trucks that are new to less than 10 years old and that have less than 150K on them... all too often you hear them say things like "its been g reat except for 1 head gasket, 1 tranny, 1 issue or another" at less than 150K... I walk away thinking ive never in my life done a major repair on anything I owned that had less than 200K or was at least a decade old.

Clint, you would be the only one I know that "Demands 10 years and 200K" Geez man, by that time the truck is not worth crap, so you 40K truck you boght aint worth a nickle, better off buying new and trading up every few believe it or not, Manufactures dont really want your truck to go that long......they like the few that do(for marketing), but would hate if they all did(loose money)

The next Gen 3.5 EB is a clean sheet design. New block, heads, intake, turbos. I'll find the link but it will have Dual Injection meaning Direct and Port Injection. Anti Lag Manifolds, and Cooled EGR. I'm waiting to learn more about the Diesel F150 before I trade in my current truck.


My '99 has 150k plus miles and the V10 has only had 2 COP's and an Alternator replaced, other than that, the usual maintenance.

Would my expierence with the V10 and the years plus miles suffice to say it's reliable, or shall I wait until I hit 200K miles.

gotta agree with clint, a truck should last 200 k without major problems and last 10 years at least, more like 20 years.

I'd rather keep em till they don't run anymore.

Reliability? The 3.5L Ecoboost has been out 5 plus years, it's plenty reliable.
Half you people don't know what you're talking about.
Posted by: Frank | Feb 26, 2016 12:52:31 PM

Yeah , 5 plus years, but not the same engine. Always new one. I don't know one f150 owner who buys ecoboost truck for cash and keep it more than 4 years. Every one is limited by leasing company to put just 15 000 miles on it yearly. He trades it in before his leasing is up.
Show me one F150 ecoboost with 200 000 miles on it. AllOne did like 60k and ditch that thing for RAM.


Ford is no different than any other truck maker. They as well don't use the same engine, it's quite obvious they keep improving and updating, do you really think the Hemi in your RAM is the same since 2003. No, get real.

My V10 has been steller, BAM......V10 Uber Reliable.

My V10 has been steller, BAM......V10 Uber Reliable.

There are some improvements, but RAM didn't have to make this engine with better cooling, longer oil-change intervals and stronger construction, like ford did.

Anyone that trades Any other truck make for a Ram does so because they enjoy the complimentary coffee and pastries served at the local Ram Service Dept.

don't you guys remember the problems Ford had when they put out the 5.4 modular engine?
spark plugs popping out
broken exhaust manifold bolts
injectors blowing a hole in the pistons

it took Ford a good 8 years to fix the problems with the 5.4 then when they got the engine perfect they discontinued it in 2011
The 2011-2012 3.5 eco-boost have engine problems they corrected in 2013
The new 5.0 V8 has been proven reliable so far BUT its a very close clone of the older 5.4 engine.

why doesn't anybody talk about the Ford 3.5 NON-TURBO engine you can get for the new F-150? (it's not that bad)

Maybe they will finally fix the limp mode in rain problem. Naw its Ford.

Go see a Dr. johnny. He will fix your limp mode problem.

I agree a truck should last to 200k easy, my gmc is running great at 177k now. Not sure about other makes i know some of the ford v10 get up there and know a guy with a 05 ram that had to have his motor rebuilt at 100k, (thats bad) I have heard the eco boost motors can start having problem past 100k just rumors. but i just think a alum tt v6 would not last the way i work and beat my truck but thats why i use a hd truck.

I think Ford should just downsize the f150. The f250 and 350, 450 should be better separated. F250 should be f150hd. F350 should have suspension options wide enough for 8600-12000 or better. Put the f450 in a more mainstream selling position with optional config. I like the 2.7 turbo. I think it should be lighter though. Its 5lbs heavier than a 3.5 as of now from what I have read. Also think Ford should put turbo gas in the superduty. Let customer be able to choose a tiny 2.7 turbo for a reg cab f250. It will work just like a 5.4.
Gm is going to have an optional diesel. It will cross-platform into the 2500hd. It will be a trend setter!

Big diesels are not for everyone. Small ones are not a bad choice for any size vehicle under 10klb. I drove isuzu's with tall loads. They are fast enough in NYC traffic loaded to get a big job done. 20 mpg @65 on the thruway. I would run a 3.0 eco diesel motor in a reg cab 2500 ram any day. The 8 speed makes it plausible. Same with a 5.3, or 2.7 turbo Ford. 8- 10 gears changes the game imho.

I own a 2000 f350 reg cab lifted 3.5 inches with 315/70/17 hankook mt I know what a good work truck it is since it really never left me stranded. It blew a plug out with the coil rapping off the hood in the middle of a storm. She still could push snow better than you would expect with her skippin. Ford really impressed me with that simple plain Jane truck. I like Ford for that pickup. I just don't know about where this aluminum will have things in 10 years.
I clean rims while changing tires and in short order some rust or oxidize white powder. I hope the paint stays food on these for 30 years. That would be the best thing I can see come from the switch to aluminum.

Sounds like people wanting the tried and true platform need to look into the 5.7 Tundra. I never hear any issues from the Toyota camp on reliability, unlike the big 3.

Also on that I don't see the 1 million mile Tundra article on like I have on the other automotive websites. I'm sure it'll come out in about 3 weeks where Mark will say he thinks Toyota could have gone further...

Most if not all DI engine$ have problem$ with the timing chain$. They $tretch. 3.5L EB does not e$cape thi$ either. It$ not a cheap fix either!

There will always be haters, but the ecoboost motors are incredibly popular. I've talked to a lot of guys that don't even drive fords and most of them have a lot of respect for the ecoboost. Will be very interesting to see the improvements on the next one. My biggest concern was long-term reliability. But so far that doesn't seem to be an issue. Those doing oil analysis have found relatively high levels of fuel in the oil from blow-by and people talk about carbon buildup but that hasn't translated to many real problems by owners so far. And now that it's been over 5 years it looks like the ecoboost has really started to establish itself as a reliable motor. I almost regret buying the 5.0. Almost.

That Toyoda also had the engine replaced at 658k thats not much to complain about but others hit 1 mill with the original powertrain

Glad they are keeping jobs here in the U.S. To bad the union ran Ford out of Hazelwood and Ram out of Fenton Missouri. Lot of good land to built a new plant..

Union taught the employees how to work the disability program, they were the 2 worse plants in the country...


It's been out along time that this new 3.5 Eco will have both direct injection and port injection. So it should take care of any valve coking issues of the DI motors such as ecoboost, gm v8's 5.3 and 6.2 and any engine with DI. I also believe the new Evo has a cgi block like all the hd diesels are going to.

Will it finally get better MPGs then a Ram or GM V8 LMBO!

@Scott what Ford needs to do is start making the old Cleveland V8s again, steel crank, pushrods, iron block/heads and port injected.

They would wear like, well, iron!

The motors might last 200k miles and be solid trouble free performers.

I own a 07 Reg cab 2wd Tundra. Bought new in 07. Just turned 108k. Other then a couple small recalls and an alternator at 87k it has been the most dependable, trouble free truck I've ever owned. I've never gotten better the the high 18 mpg's but I didn't buy it for mpg's. I bought because it looks badass (all black no chrome). And the 5.7 is rip snorting powerful in stock trim. I use it to tow my 3500 lbs.(dry) tandem axle pop-up trailer up the Arizona grades to the mountains to camp and my mpg's are always in the 13 range which is fine with me. I'm considering a new truck at the end of this year only because my Reg cab doesn't fit my needs any more. I'd like to see Toyota add the Land Cruiser 8 speed and add the Scion dual Injection on the 5.7 and they could count me down for another sale. But I'm also curious about this F150 diesel. I also own a 10 Camry SE V6 that has been fabulous.


- I thought this new 3.5EB did NOT have the CGI block of the 2.7L EB.

- I agree with Port injection and valve issues.

- Stretched timing chain: Will port help enough or between port and upcoming GF-6 Oil take care of business?

Look at the similaritys between the BobCat-engine from 2008 and this coming 3.5 l EcoBoost.
Dual injection, both port and direct
I think it will shake the market.

Mike Levine then at now at Ford wrote this in 2009 expected to arrive in 2016. Seems right on schedule....

and the tech description of BobCat

at page 11 you find the block-material. CGI to stand the massive power.

@Dave re: Union and disability?

regular readers here know that I blame the unions for a lot, but the city of St Louis and its politics deserve even more blame when you talk about Chrysler and Ford pulling out. Talk to all of the craft businesses, and tool/die shops that left town in the last thirty years.

Missouri is only one or two elections away from being the next Illinois/Michigan/Ohio economic disaster. The communities in the region surrounding the bi-state region are aching for a deal like the ones that Ford's Kansas City plant got. Or Wentzville.

I realize that Hazelwood and Fenton are not ruled by the city of St Louis, but the local infrastructure and utilities are heavily influenced by St Louis politics in the state legislature and the governor's office. Simply put, nobody in his right mind would build a new auto assembly plant there.

And that's not even considering all the crap surrounding the Ferguson Mo. stuff which is always very nearby. Why do you think GM decided to invest so heavily in Wentzville?


That's right when it comes time to trade its only worth about 10% of its original value. Your trade it every few years philosophy is the old way of thinking and or that you always need new/shiney/unscratched. With me getting 10 to 15 years out of each truck im effectively only buying 1 truck for every 2 or 3 you buy. Every time you trade/sell your truck you take a hit on depreciation. You are continuously making payments with interest (unless you have a huge pile of money to part with outright and that's not wise with the other things that could be done with it). After 5 or 6 years every truck I own is giving me at least (often more) 4 to 6 years of time without payments and even more the longer I keep it. A single payment being over $500. Its almost like im getting 2 for 1. And repairs? 90 days of time justifies a $1,500 repair and one of those a year still represents at least $4,500 a year in savings. If you gotta have new and shiny and the latest then that's your thing. Im all about the money cause I got other things to spend it on. The fewer trucks you own in your lifetime the less you will have spent on them. Do what makes you happy but don't deceive yourself thinking you are saving money when you go to the dealership and trade away all the life still in your truck to roll some of it into your next truck. No one saves money going to a dealership.

150K on a 17 year old truck. That sounds like pretty light use (less than 10K a year). What is a COP? and anything replaced twice is BS. 150K is okish for an alternator... I would say your engine has been good so far but not really proven anything or been impressive. Its done what it should so far.

The new raptor!

part of what Buzzy is saying is because Ford uses some tires that are only good for perfect pavement. LRR tires on the 2.7 and other trucks (to get a whopping 21 miles per gallon when used with their lightweight truck that might be 400 pounds lighter than THE EXACT SAME OPTIONED TRUCK using steel panels.

Little tiny 245/75 17s, no wonder they stopped doing the 1200 pound payload autocross.(See the 30K shootout results, that F-150 went from 1st empty to worst loaded)

Those were the Michelin tires. They also have a Hancook Dyno Pro tire that says AT, but that particular one they choose is the worst AT tire. Not even a gravel or mud and snow barely, tire.

Don't get me wrong, some of the Hancook Dyno Pros are great tires, Just not the pavement ones Ford choose.

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