Ford expects better mpg on new Super Duty

Ford expects better mpg on new Super Duty Jamie LaReau Automotive News December 8, 2009 - 1:41 pm ET
DETROIT -- Ford Motor Co. has designed a new transmission for its 2011 Super
Duty pickup that will achieve "significant" performance and fuel economy improvements over the current five-speed automatic, a top Ford engineer said today.
The truck goes on sale next spring. It will have a new body, Ford's first in-house designed diesel V-8 truck engine and a new six-speed automatic transmission.
"It's a clean sheet; it is not an evolution of the current product," said Dick Boerema, Ford engineering manager, during a Web conference. "We're going to be significantly improved over what's available today."
Boerema declined to give fuel economy estimates for the truck other than to say it will be "very competitive."
The EPA does not require fuel economy estimates to be given on the window sticker because heavy-duty pickup trucks are in a different weight class and do not have to conform to passenger-car standards.
Ford will announce more details on the fuel economy of the truck as it gets closer to launch.
Derrick Kuzak, Ford's global product chief, has committed Ford to fuel economy leadership in every segment. But engineers stopped short of saying the 2011 Super Duty trucks would top General Motors and Chrysler products' fuel economy.
"Testing continues, and it continues to look very good," Boerema said. "The market will be very happy with the end result for fuel economy."
Ford can use the same base transmission in gasoline and diesel trucks.
Ford engineers benchmarked the GM Allison transmission used in heavy-duty versions of the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra. Ford's new transmission uses a one-piece case that saves 25 pounds compared with the GM transmission that uses a three-piece case.
The transmission has two novel features. It can be made to mimic a manual transmission. It also has what engineers call a "live drive" power takeoff. That enables auxiliary equipment, such a salt spreader, to be used while the truck is stationary.
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C. E. White wrote:

Most of the bad rep Ford got for their Taurus trannys was because they cut too much weight out of them.
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Steve Austin wrote:

This isn't weight off the inside, it was weight off the outside. Big difference.
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dr_jeff wrote:

Sure is. I'd rather buy a new forward piston than a case though.
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Might be. But then again, I had a Chrysler Laser whose transaxle case cracked. Actually three of them cracked, three times. Sometimes you need a little more weight on the outside. Sometimes not. --scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."

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Remember, we're talking about an F250 Super Duty with a diesel engine. The proportional returns for shaving a small amount of weight will be a lot smaller than in a small sporty car or even a big family or luxury car... and you want to be *really* careful that you aren't compromising its durability in, uh, super-duty use in order to accomplish this. You have to assume that its buyers will really use its hauling and towing capabilities for either work or play, and you may bet that some of these applications will fall into the "may constitute abuse and void warranty" category.
We're not even talking about much weight. From the original posting: "Ford's new transmission uses a one-piece case that saves 25 pounds compared with the GM [the premium Allison-branded] transmission that uses a three-piece case." Twenty-five pounds. That's what... half a feed sack? a third of a dog? the mud caked onto the bottom of the running boards by the time you've gotten in and out of a construction site? three gallons in the holding tank for the potty in your fifth- wheel?
Making the innards more *efficient* (while keeping them suitably heavy duty) might have a big payoff, but the weight they're saving on the transmission case matters little on such a vehicle.
--Joe
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I'm sure the transmission will help, but getting rid of the 6.5L Powerjoke that wastes tons of fuel by dumping it out the exhaust to run the DPF clean cycle will save even more fuel. The fact that the old 7.3L Powerstroke got significantly better fuel economy with a *4* speed transmission is a dead giveaway that the transmission isn't the leading culprit.
I'll hold my judgment on the new Ford Scorpion diesel until its been out a while... the aluminum block makes me really nervous in a medium-duty truck diesel application. If I were in the market, I'd run to Cummins/Dodge really fast.
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wrote:

The aluminum block may present a brand new opportunity for some to become aquainted with accelerated cavitation destruction of the block when coolant treatment is not maintained.
Lugnut
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