Farmer Iron

Ford Retools Super Duty Truck Line

Texas State Fair got a treat when Ford rolled out a hot new truck line.

Visitors to the Texas State Fair last week got a surprise when Ford rolled out the new Super Duty truck series for 2011. As reported in the September print edition of Farmer Iron, Ford mentioned the company would be making a pretty big announcement in the area of pickups and engine technology. They weren't kidding. What they've rolled out is two new engines that are not only packed with high-tech features, but both the gas and diesel versions are biofuel friendly.

First up is the new diesel for these rigs. There's a new Ford-designed, engineered and built 6.7-liter Power Stroke V-8 turbocharged diesel engine that not only can burn B20 blends of biodiesel, its said to offer new levels of fuel economy.

The 2011 Ford Super Duty was unveiled to media at the 2009 State Fair of Texas . When the all-new truck goes on sale next spring, customers will experience the class-leading capability they have come to expect from F-Series, the top-selling truck in America for 32 consecutive years. Photo by: Sam VarnHagen/Ford Motor Co.

Here's a rundown on key features on that new diesel engine. It's the first use of compacted graphite iron in an engine block for a Super-Duty class vehicle in the United States. According to Ford, that technology makes the block stronger than cast iron, allowing reduced weight without losing out on durability. The engine may also look "backwards" to some gearheads since the inboard exhaust and outboard intake architecture are reversed. The intake is actually to the outboard side of the engine. This apparently cuts overall exhaust volume and improve throttle response. That reduced exhaust area also minimizes heat transfer and cuts now on noise, vibration and harshness - or NVH to you auto tech heads.

The turbocharger on this diesel is an industry-first dual-sided compressor wheel in a single housing. The unit, center-mounted on a pedestal low in the back of the valley also improves NVH. But that single-unit design offers the advantages of a twin-turbo in a smaller package.

There's plenty of muscle under the hood of the new 2011 Ford Super Duty F Series pickups. The new 6.7 liter diesel engine includes a host of tech improvements. Photo by: Sam VarnHagen/Ford Motor Co.

The fuel system itself is a high-pressure common rail system working at 29,000 psi. The system delivers up to five injection events per cylinder per cycle using eight-hole piezo injectors to spray fuel in to the piston bowl. The direct-injection system can be calibrated and phased for optimum power, fuel efficiency and NVH.

There's even exhaust gas recirculation and aftertreatment to make sure the 2011 meets all the on-road standards imposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for engines in this class.

Second is the new gasoline engine, which is a 6.2 liter, V-8 design. This single overhead camshaft per cylinder design creates a stiff valvetrain for optimized camshaft lift profiles and results in improved low-speed torque. Intake and exhaust valve opening and closing events are also phased at the same time to optimize fuel economy and performance throughout the the engine speed and throttle positions.

And the new engine has two spark plugs per cylinder, due to that large bore size. That allows the engine to thoroughly burn the fuel-air mix for better fuel economy, and improved engine torque - and they provide for a smooth, stable idle.

You'll also find dual knock sensors and improved crankcase "breathing" thanks to better airflow for the engine. This gasoline engine is flex fuel rated so it can burn E85 too.

The two new engines are get their power to the wheels through a new TorqShift 6-speed transmission that has a live power takeoff avaialbe (for diesel models). The 6R140 heavy-duty TorqShift six-speed auto was built to manage low-end torque produced by the diesel engine and the same basic transmission is mated to the gasoline engine too. The transmission includes a range of features aimed at boosting efficiency and fuel economy.

In addition, the new transmission features improved Tow Haul with integrated engine exhaust braking and SelectShift Automatic capacity, which includes Progressive Range Select and a manual mode, allowing you to shift when you feel it's necessary.

I've interspersed this column with a couple of pictures to help you see what the new machines look like. And there are a host of other features I don't have room to share in this blog. Ford has prepared a hefty commercial Web site as well with video information so if you have a broadband Web hookup, take a look for more information - check it out at 2011 Super-Duty.

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