2008 Ford Super Duty, Round Two for 60 Years of the
month I got to play on almost 4000 acres of Fords Michigan
Proving Grounds. Towing trailers (my favorite sport) up and down Fords 7
and 15% grades proved how capable Fords improved 5R110 auto tranny
behind the new 6.4L Power Stroke diesel is. Going down hill with loaded
10k trailers was a good test on how the Torq-Shift auto tranny grade
shifts, tapping on the brake downshifts in tow mode holding each gear
remarkably well. Ford provided a few Dodge and GM diesels to try out
beside the Fords at the renovated proving grounds. Sand wash, mud,
off-road course, mud, replica of the famous Silver Creek torture track,
all means FUN ! Plowing thru the sand wash and off-road with 2500#
payload was easy for the loaded Super Duties.
Cover up your trailer hitch with
trailer hitch plugs
For the second round of the
2008 Super Duty (May plus production) Ford strengthened the auto tranny with 3 clutch surfaces
instead of one in the torque converter lockup. Besides making the tranny
quieter, it stops TC slippage with max capacity trailers. The
external bypass filter is replaced back to the new sump pan
direct filter that
can filter all the oil. Ford raised the interval for servicing tranny
oil and filter to 60k with a larger pan and filter.
in January, the 5R110 automatic transmission has a 5 gear
planetary instead of 4 of last year, picture right. The
torque converter has more oil pressure, a new spring damper and
one way stator clutch. The line pressure in the tranny is the
same since it was lowered in 1999 in the 4R100 for smoother
improvement for the 2008 second series, the F350 dually shares the front
axle, suspension and frame with the F450 pickup. You'll notice the front fender
flares for the wider axle. My calculations puts the "Fat Boy" as the
engineers call it, seven ft. shorter turning circle than a standard F350
dually. $450 option makes it a no-brainer for extra capacity axle and
increased GVWR up to 13,000 lbs.
pickup has a frame vibration damper. The cab and chassis F450 which
doesn't have the frame damper, shake at highway speeds with a 4.88 rear
axle ratio, while the F450 pickup doesn't. The pickup version of the
F450 also has 8 inch longer rear leaf springs than do the cab and
chassis versions for a smoother ride. There was a whole industry of
conversion companies that converted Ford F450 cab and chassis to pickup
trucks taking a F450 c & c, adding a dually bed and a blank 6 inch
section behind the cab since the cab and chassis is longer than fits an
8 ft bed. Or they took a regular bed and cut out forward for the duals
and added fenders there.
Fords new F450 pickup is changing the industry, another segment is
slide-in campers. The hard side 11 ft campers can be above the
payload capacity of most one ton duallies. Now Ford has a truck
for those heavy campers with enough capacity left for some trailers.
|Common rail :Piezo-actuated fuel
injection, quieter, faster starting, part of the reason for
sequential dual stage turbo's from Borg Warner. 42 lbs of
boost, little lag. Smooth.
mounts on the diesel engine isolate the diesel purr at idle.
Offset fan blades lesson noise, fan is attached to engine instead of
radiator for closer tolerance providing more air volume.
percent larger water pump, thirty-three percent larger radiator.
The theme, cool.
A sign of the 3rd year of three dollar diesel has Ford raising the
standard axle ration from 3.73 to 3.55 with 17 and 18" wheels, 3.73 on 20's.
Ford has the most choices of axle ratios. The F350 dually can be 3.73,
4.10 or 4.30 properly equipped.
Celebrating Harley-Davidson's 105th birthday, Ford has matching F150 and
F250 HD editions for the first time.
My survey of Ford service writers that I
know show the new 6.4L Power Stroke diesel is doing well with little
problems especially compared to the first year of the 6.0L PS. Though
now to work on anything major, they lift the body off the truck which
becomes labor intensive. Might be wise to take Ford up on their new
extended factory warranty called "Diesel Engine Care" package which goes
beyond the standard 5 year/100k diesel engine warranty.
Ford is one of the OEM's involved in the
upcoming SAE trailer standards matching trucks and trailers. I've seen
Ford line up towing and payload capacity increases with actual
improvements in frame and suspension. Something I wish all OEM's did.
Having an industry standard for what trailer loads specific trucks can
handle, will help the public make better trailering choices. For
Now for fun speculation looking to the future.
The message is getting louder that Ford won't have Navistar diesels
forever. I'm seeing subtle hints that the next Super Duty my have a
yellow colored diesel engine. There are only so many diesel makers to choose
from. Doubt if Dodge will share Cummins, no way Ford would use a Duramax
or Isuzu, Navistar is on the way out, so we're left with Cat and John
Deere with domestic diesels. I think it would be hard for Ford to use a
European or Japanese diesel. I think a 6.4L CAT engine could be the
solution to help us forget about the 6.0L Navistar.
I'm predicting Ford will have a exhaust brake within a couple years.
Dodge's recent factory exhaust brake will force their hand just as Ford having
the first factory trailer brake controller in 2005 prompted GM to follow
I hope to see the comeback of axle two-speeds. On the farm we had
them in the forties thru the seventies on 2-ton trucks. Ford offers
electric 2-speed rear axles on the F650/750 now. This could be a great
way for better fuel economy as well as help climbing the hills we have
in Colorado with Interstates going over 11,000 ft passes. Dream on.