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Tractor Talk Discussion Forum

Ford F150 Aluminum cab & bed

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JML755

01-13-2014 05:52:43
24.192.222.226



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Ford announced an aluminum cab and bed on their new F150 p/u's. Frame will still be steel. They claim it is as dent resistant as steel and may enable the truck to get 30 mpg with the ECOboost V6 while adding about $ 2000 to the cost. The panels are a special Aluminum alloy.

Well.... they don't say how much it will cost to repair when Billy Bob smashes into a tree. I'm sure you (or a bump shop) won't be able to bend out a fender and/or grab a patch panel to weld into place.
I can just hear the bump shop talking to the first guy who bangs up his new F-150: "Oh, it's got an ALUMINUM cab! Well, let's see....... $$$$$" :lol:

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Pops1532

01-14-2014 09:19:08
98.227.133.60



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 Re: Ford F150 Aluminum cab & bed in reply to JML755, 01-13-2014 05:52:43  
Aluminum body panels have been around for a very long time. I had a 72 Chevy step van with an all aluminum body.
Also had an '89 Lincoln with a aluminum hood.
As far as bumping dented panels out. That's pretty much a thing of the past. They generally replace fenders and re-skin doors now. Been that way for quite awhile.



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David from Kansas

01-14-2014 07:03:28
63.245.153.5



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 Re: Ford F150 Aluminum cab & bed in reply to JML755, 01-13-2014 05:52:43  
It's gonna be called the Special Edition Bud Lite.



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cannonball

01-14-2014 06:08:31
75.88.234.100



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 Re: Ford F150 Aluminum cab & bed in reply to JML755, 01-13-2014 05:52:43  
bet that adds a new definition to the term light on the rear



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ss55

01-14-2014 05:21:38
50.81.112.224



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 Re: Ford F150 Aluminum cab & bed in reply to JML755, 01-13-2014 05:52:43  
TV news reported there might be as much as a 700 pound weight reduction per vehicle.



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MarkB_MI

01-14-2014 02:44:06
75.219.59.118



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 Re: Ford F150 Aluminum cab & bed in reply to JML755, 01-13-2014 05:52:43  
The market and the EPA demand vehicles with better fuel economy. All the low-hanging fruit was picked from that vine years ago; if you want to make significant improvements in fuel economy, you have to take a LOT of mass out of the vehicle. Manufacturers have known aluminum body panels are inevitable since at least the eighties, when they started to get serious about gas mileage. The steel industry has been able to hold off aluminum for thirty years with the development of high-strength steels, but you can only roll steel so thin. The transition to aluminum will be slow because manufacturers are tooled up to work with steel. But within the next twenty years I suspect aluminum will overtake steel.

The driver to go to aluminum is fuel economy. Corrosion resistance is a side benefit. In fact, some of the strongest alloys have poor corrosion resistance. But here in the Rust Belt, truck bodies usually rust out before the chassis and drive train wear out, so if an aluminum body can extend the life of a a vehicle by fifty percent, that makes it well worth the five percent added cost.

Although mass reduction is important, lowering the vehicle CG is becoming increasingly important. The market wants tall vehicles, but those same vehicles land manufacturers in court over product liability from rollover accidents. If you want to increase rollover resistance, you have to lower the CG, and there's not much mass to work with that's high enough to have a significant impact on CG. Once you go to an all-aluminum engine, the next logical step is to reduce sheet metal mass. I suspect for Ford, lowering the CG is nearly as important as reducing overall mass, given the company's history with rollover lawsuits.

As for repair, when high-strength steel came along Bubba had to learn new repair techniques. He'll either learn to repair aluminum, or he'll get out of the business.

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wisbaker

01-13-2014 18:46:00
173.30.33.15



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 Re: Ford F150 Aluminum cab & bed in reply to JML755, 01-13-2014 05:52:43  
Land Rovers were aluminium because aluminium is more tolerant of sheep urine, remember in England Land Rovers were the type of thing farmers drove. The English have made a lot of Aluminium bodied cars over the years. If you're used to it aluminium is actually easier to work with than steel. Many of their older coach built cars were made from hand formed aluminium panels welded together with an oxy-acetylene torch (with the right flux and prep it can be done).

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Pitch

01-13-2014 12:21:15
67.240.245.26



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 Re: Ford F150 Aluminum cab & bed in reply to JML755, 01-13-2014 05:52:43  
Post Office LLV"s have been aluminum since their inception. The one I drove was 28 years old every winter on salted roads. One new engine and a paint job,looked like it just rolled off the assembly line,no corrosion at all.



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ericlb

01-13-2014 08:35:29
67.142.161.19



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 Re: Ford F150 Aluminum cab & bed in reply to JML755, 01-13-2014 05:52:43  
it will be interesting, big trucks have had aluminum cabs and other componets since the 1950's so there are people out there that can repair them if needed



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T in NE

01-16-2014 19:58:25
75.235.150.150



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 Re: Ford F150 Aluminum cab & bed in reply to ericlb, 01-13-2014 08:35:29  
For a while there aluminum steer axles and frames were even experimented with. I'm guessing that those points were not a good place to use aluminum though, as they are all cast iron and steel now.



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GVSII

01-14-2014 19:24:26
74.79.215.31



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 Re: Ford F150 Aluminum cab & bed in reply to ericlb, 01-13-2014 08:35:29  
Quoting Removed, click Modern View to see
Grumman built the LLV for the U.S.Postal service.All aluminum body.Lived up to it's name. Grumman also built those "bread" vans that can seen everywhere.UPS bought thousands of them.Again,all aluminum body.Gave great service.



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GVSII

01-13-2014 08:50:21
74.79.215.31



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 Re: Ford F150 Aluminum cab & bed in reply to ericlb, 01-13-2014 08:35:29  
Just think of all the naval aircraft on carriers.That is one miserable environment.All have Al. skin panels.(fastened down with steel hardware)Corrosion control is an ongoing program.



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Dachshund

01-13-2014 13:25:48
216.139.126.249



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 Re: Ford F150 Aluminum cab & bed in reply to GVSII, 01-13-2014 08:50:21  
Uh.....actually there are very few "steel" rivets used. Most are aluminium or nickel alloys, especially on the skin. Most of the fastners (other than rivets) are also an alloy. This is to prevent corrosion from "dissimilar metal contact". Corrosion control IS an ongoing effort, though.



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GVSII

01-13-2014 13:42:46
74.79.215.31



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 Re: Ford F150 Aluminum cab & bed in reply to Dachshund, 01-13-2014 13:25:48  
Rivets,yes.Dzus fasteners and atleast 95% of screws are steel with a few titanium pieces thrown in to wear out your drill bits.



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GVSII

01-14-2014 05:36:20
74.79.215.31



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 Re: Ford F150 Aluminum cab & bed in reply to GVSII, 01-13-2014 13:42:46  
Forgot to mention Hi-Loks,Hi-Shears,Jo-Bolts,Cherrys and surely some others I've forgotten.From the skin in, todays aircraft,commercial and military,have an alloy of some type for all the metallic pieces in them.



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Dachshund

01-13-2014 15:38:05
216.139.126.249



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 Re: Ford F150 Aluminum cab & bed in reply to GVSII, 01-13-2014 13:42:46  
Not the ones I dealt with! The screws were alloy. Dzus were steel, but the cups were put on with alloy rivets (we didn't use very many, either). Even the nut plates on "blind" assemblies were alloy. What little steel fastners we DID use, were plated, zinc primed, and painted, and the nut plates on "blind" assemblies were alloy. While SOME assemblies HAD to be steel, they were primed, painted, and installed with neoprene or caulking to prevent dissimilar metals touching.

That said - corrosion is a BIG concern onboard a ship. ANYTHING that can be done to protect the ship and aircraft is WELL worth the effort! It's a NASTY enviroment. That's why sailors are taught to paint in boot camp! LOL!

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k6zrx

01-13-2014 08:24:25
71.138.143.160



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 Re: Ford F150 Aluminum cab & bed in reply to JML755, 01-13-2014 05:52:43  
Here are my thoughts...
Aluminum has been used for years for auto and truck bodies. I don't know if Ford used aluminum in all Crown Vics for the trunk lid, but I know the police cars do, so Ford has used the metal in production cars for some time. My Mom's Mercedes has an aluminum hood and trunk. They sound a little different when closing than the steel ones on my car that is a few years older. As to repairs, who does any real body work anymore? They just bolt on a replacement fender or door. That said, it can be worked if one has the skills. A friend who worked in the local Chrysler dealer's body shop 40 years ago knew how to do the work. It was part of his training then.
Aluminum has a protective oxide layer that prevents further oxidation. Salt will effect it, as you would see on window frames of homes near the ocean. It doesn't have the habit of rotting through like steel does. I would think a properly finished body panel of aluminum would last longer than one of steel in the rust belt.
For the inside of a truck bed, plastic would not be good. The heavy impacts of things being dropped or thrown would crack it. For the outside body panels, it seems great. We had a Saturn with the plastic body and it held up great. Rust is never a problem. Plastic has a limited lifetime due to oxidation and internal breakdown (from what a chemical engineer told me), but the life is longer than the mechanicals of the car.

Just a few thoughts from someone who drives 60 year old all steel cars.

Josh

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jm.

01-13-2014 08:22:33
162.72.101.221



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 Re: Ford F150 Aluminum cab & bed in reply to JML755, 01-13-2014 05:52:43  
You guys ever think anything positive? Come on cost more to repair/ well just don,t dent it. Rust probably not since big trucks have had aluminum components for years with no rust. Maybe just Maybe Ford might have something right.. just since they have had the number one selling pickup for years.. Ill let you know mine is supposed to be in when the dealer gets his first ones.



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ss55

01-13-2014 11:56:33
50.81.112.224



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 Re: Ford F150 Aluminum cab & bed in reply to jm., 01-13-2014 08:22:33  
The first word in the forum's title "Yesterday's Tractor Co." sums up where most of us, including myself, are coming from. I hope that helps to explain the negativity.



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GeneMO

01-13-2014 13:07:03
71.51.202.146



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 Re: Ford F150 Aluminum cab & bed in reply to ss55, 01-13-2014 11:56:33  
Nobody uses a truck to haul their tractors, or drive to tractor club meetings?

Gene



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rustred

01-13-2014 12:14:08
74.214.152.80



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 Re: Ford F150 Aluminum cab & bed in reply to ss55, 01-13-2014 11:56:33  
yep. that always comes to mind when I ready all this off topic stuff on "tractor talk discussion board"



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Chris Jones

01-13-2014 07:07:02
24.148.141.137



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 Re: Ford F150 Aluminum cab & bed in reply to JML755, 01-13-2014 05:52:43  
Why not plastic or fiberglass? Some plastics are crap of course but some seem to live forever. Most plastics don't get dimples--though like metal if you back into a pole they will deform and or crack--seen many plastic bumpers like that.

I'm sure they've done their research and know better than I what will work. But then they've made lemons before and only time will tell if it's the wave of the future or another flop like the unibody truck they tried back about 1962.

I'm surprised the integrated storage compartments that a couple manufacturers (I think Dodge) had built into the bed sides of their trucks haven't taken off more. Of course I don't think they did them quite right--I feel they should open more like those on service body's with door opening to the outside than tops that flipped up. I could use even some small storage space inside the bed walls but if the bed is piled deep with mulch, or a pipe rack or shell installed I might not be able to open the top of the bed rails. I think the camper specials had a compartment or two like I'm thinking. I guess the added cost and weight of those compartments kept them from becoming popular--that and that most people buying trucks are just commuting to office jobs. and have little need for places to keep straps, basic tools, chains, short shovel, jumper cables, etc.

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VicS

01-13-2014 06:58:51
174.250.163.47



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 Re: Ford F150 Aluminum cab & bed in reply to JML755, 01-13-2014 05:52:43  
Sounds like a great deal. My 94 I H C cab is like new no rust. That plus eco-boost- 1000000 sold everyone else playing catch up.



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Mike M

01-13-2014 06:44:30
24.140.0.120



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 Re: Ford F150 Aluminum cab & bed in reply to JML755, 01-13-2014 05:52:43  
Or maybe they would be better off doing what Saturn did and use plastic panels ? Body shop guys liked those as they were easy bolt on and off.



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GordoSD

01-13-2014 06:39:53
216.106.251.211



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 Re: Ford F150 Aluminum cab & bed in reply to JML755, 01-13-2014 05:52:43  
Shedding 700 lbs. No more doors that go "CLUNK"!



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oj

01-13-2014 06:35:43
199.195.160.196



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 Re: Ford F150 Aluminum cab & bed in reply to JML755, 01-13-2014 05:52:43  
Land Rover has been using Aluminium alloy panels since they started in 1948, so it's not new technology, Ford owned Land Rover for about 15years, last time i remember it wasn't hard to take a dent out of a panel on one of those.



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howdy1960

01-13-2014 06:31:23
173.191.200.92



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 Re: Ford F150 Aluminum cab & bed in reply to JML755, 01-13-2014 05:52:43  
Wonder how well it's gonna hold up in this area of HIGH salt usage or are they meant to be a summer use only truck. A fellow at work drives his 2 year old truck about 20 miles each way and it's already rusting around rear wheel wells from the salt.



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Bret4207

01-14-2014 03:50:14
64.19.90.196



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 Re: Ford F150 Aluminum cab & bed in reply to howdy1960, 01-13-2014 06:31:23  
Quoting Removed, click Modern View to see

Aluminum doesn't rust. Corrode, yes, but nit rust. I'd think aluminum might work pretty good in the rust belt.



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AG in IN

01-13-2014 06:28:51
67.236.65.12



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 Re: Ford F150 Aluminum cab & bed in reply to JML755, 01-13-2014 05:52:43  
Vehicle mfr.'s have to bump up fuel milage for cars and light trucks to meet the EPA/Fed's impending fuel efficiency standards. One way of doing that is to drop a few pounds.

At least it's not all plastic or cardboard.

AG
This post was edited by AG in IN at 06:30:58 01/13/14.



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rustred

01-13-2014 06:14:14
74.214.152.80



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 Re: Ford F150 Aluminum cab & bed in reply to JML755, 01-13-2014 05:52:43  
I also have seen the welds crack on the aluminum flatdecks from rough roads.



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Sourgum

01-13-2014 06:13:30
166.147.104.162



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 Re: Ford F150 Aluminum cab & bed in reply to JML755, 01-13-2014 05:52:43  
They sold 753,000 F-150's last year. Maybe because of American ingenuity and ideas like this. They say the Eco-boost is selling very well.



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DaninKansas

01-13-2014 11:18:45
24.248.193.103



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 Re: Ford F150 Aluminum cab & bed in reply to Sourgum, 01-13-2014 06:13:30  
I wouldn't buy an Ecoboost. I know of a few people that have them - about 14-15MPG, while Ford's comparible 5.0 V8 gets pretty much the same in the real world (we have 5 of them now). I wouldn't want to own a twin turbo engine at 150K.



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jm.

01-13-2014 16:46:17
162.72.101.221



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 Re: Ford F150 Aluminum cab & bed in reply to DaninKansas, 01-13-2014 11:18:45  
Daniel Why may I ask? Granted pick ups start and stop more than road tractors but we have several road tractors here with over 3/4 million miles and no turbo issues?



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varmint

01-13-2014 17:00:35
216.237.70.109



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 Re: Ford F150 Aluminum cab & bed in reply to jm., 01-13-2014 16:46:17  
Quoting Removed, click Modern View to see

how many built by ford ?



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krm

01-13-2014 07:26:32
70.198.128.251



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 Re: Ford F150 Aluminum cab & bed in reply to Sourgum, 01-13-2014 06:13:30  
Wait till they have to have some work done on those turbos.



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Super-H-Mike

01-13-2014 07:41:29
76.164.147.173



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 Re: Ford F150 Aluminum cab & bed in reply to krm, 01-13-2014 07:26:32  
Thats what I have been wondering, give it 5 years or so in the northern climates and we will see how they hold up. Sure is a ton of plastic on the Eco Boost engines.



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Zachary Hoyt

01-13-2014 06:03:19
74.47.51.121



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 Re: Ford F150 Aluminum cab & bed in reply to JML755, 01-13-2014 05:52:43  
No rust should be a nice feature too.
Zach



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mkirsch

01-13-2014 05:59:04
65.199.189.6



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 Re: Ford F150 Aluminum cab & bed in reply to JML755, 01-13-2014 05:52:43  
Ever seen the truck Billy Bob drives? I don't think we need to worry about him ever having any dents FIXED...



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D7fever

01-13-2014 05:55:46
72.79.199.12



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 Re: Ford F150 Aluminum cab & bed in reply to JML755, 01-13-2014 05:52:43  
Just don't bump into anything. big trucks have had aluminum cabs, and even aluminum chassis for years.



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Steve@Advance

01-13-2014 07:58:15
108.245.66.82



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 Re: Ford F150 Aluminum cab & bed in reply to D7fever, 01-13-2014 05:55:46  
I like the idea. Plastic sun bakes after a few years. Land Rover used aluminum for the specific reason to fight rust. They were sold to coastal areas/islands, mostly 3rd world countries where they never throw ANYTHING away!



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