2011 Ford SuperDuty gets an all-new powertrain
Long has the battle raged over the merits of Cummins, Duramax and PowerStroke. That’s why the all-new, Ford built diesel is big news, especially to the Ford faithful.
When Bruce Smith and I test drove the new 2011 Super Duty in the desert hills of Arizona we were fortunate to have along on the drive Adam Gryglak, Ford’s lead diesel engineering manager. As many of you know, Ford’s Power Stroke engine was previously built by Navistar/International. No longer. The all-new 6.7-liter Power Stroke V-8 turbocharged diesel was engineered, tested and built by Gryglak’s team at Ford. The new engine puts out 735 ft.-lb. of torque and 390 hp. All while getting better fuel economy, being B20 compatible and meeting stringent new emissions standards.
“Five years ago,” said Gryglak, “we started this new engine design literally with one single cylinder and worked our way out from there.” This fresh start resulted in some noticeably different design features, which produced the results the team wanted in power, quietness, durability and low emissions.
One of the most striking design elements is the inboard exhaust and outboard intake architecture. The cylinders were turned around so the exhaust runs down the middle of the V and the injectors are on the outside of the heads. This design reduces overall exhaust system volume, which leads to better throttle response. The reduction in exhaust system surface area also minimizes heat transfer to the engine compartment and improves NVH (noise, vibration and harshness).
Other design features added to the improved NVH including new engine mounts, additional firewall sound deadening materials and five injection events per cylinder per cycle. “When the main injection occurs, we can mitigate NVH because we have a slower ignition process,” said Gryglak. “When the fuel burns, it doesn’t burn with a traditional pop or bang.”
The eight-hole piezo injectors are part of a high-pressure fuel system that injects fuel at more than 29,000 psi for optimum power and fuel efficiency.
Fuel efficiency is also helped by the light weight compacted graphite iron (CGI) engine block, which is stronger than cast iron. Ford has been using CGI in engine blocks in other products around the world for several years.
Another power-to-weight advantage is the DualBoost turbocharger design that allows the single turbo unit to deliver the benefits of a twin-turbocharger system in a smaller, more efficient package, combining the quick response of a small turbocharger and the power-building volume of a large turbocharger in one unit.
The exhaust gases that power the turbocharger are subjected to an array of technologies to comply with the 2010 federal emissions standards including the reduction of oxides of nitrogen (NOx). The exhaust aftertreatment system looks like a multi-stage rocket.
The system, in fact, has multiple stages. The first stage includes a diesel oxidation catalyst (DOC), which converts hydrocarbons into water and carbon dioxide. Next the exhaust gas is dosed with a urea solution that Ford calls diesel exhaust fluid (DEF). A tank of DEF lasts about 7,500 miles. The heated DEF splits into ammonia and carbon dioxide. The ammonia reacts with NOx to produce inert nitrogen and water.
Stage three of the rocket-resembling aftertreatment system is the diesel particulate filter (DPF) which traps soot, which is periodically burned away.
NOx is also reduced when the system runs the EGR through a two-step process utilizing separate cooling sources. Cooler EGR means more of it can be utilized.
The diesel is backed up by an all-new 6R140 heavy-duty TorqShift six-speed automatic transmission. The new tranny’s torque multiplier provides better off-the-line performance. Long-travel, high-capacity turbine damper allows the torque converter to handle the torsional force of the new, Power Stroke. The damper also allows the powertrain to lug down to 900 rpm while still locked up, which allows the engine to run at a lower rpm for better fuel economy.
Drivers can select the manual function by pulling the shift lever into “M” and using the lever-mounted toggle switch to select gears. The display shows the selected gear and the control system will lock the torque converter and hold that gear for a full manual transmission feel.
The new TorqShift also features a PTO output gear, which is linked through the torque converter to the engine crankshaft so the power is available any time the engine is running. The PTO allows the transmission to power auxiliary equipment such as snowplows, aerial lifts, tow truck lifts, cement mixers or dump trucks. It can power other equipment via drive shaft or hydraulic pump.
I’m always impressed by the capability of the Super Duties when I test them on the off-road course. Tons of low-end torque makes for great crawling. A new e-locker provides added traction in those twisted off-camber situations. A new hill start assist applies brake to prevent rollback and the hill descent control worked smoothly without all of the ABS noise and grinding experienced with similar systems.
The Super Duty really shines as a tow vehicle. The new diesel provides more towing torque and the tranny will help control rpm and provide drive train longevity with excellent lockup for towing. The new transmission also provides a new tow/haul mode with engine exhaust braking.
Ford continues to offer its integrated trailer brake controller, power folding and power telescoping mirrors and adds trailer sway control, which integrates AdvanceTrac® and Roll Stability Control™ as standard on all single rear wheel configurations. Trailer Sway Control candetect yaw motion in the truck caused by trailer sway and applies precise braking or reduces engine torque to reduce trailer sway.
Also available for towing is a factory-installed and warranted fifth wheel and gooseneck substructure directly attached to the frame. When your toys have been getting the best of your tow vehicle it may be time to step up to the new Super Duty.
The all-new Super Duty is available with a 4.2-inch LCD screen that offers important information related to fuel economy and towing performance. The menu is navigated through a five-way button on the steering wheel.
“Our research told us that Super Duty customers use their vehicle as a mobile office every day to get the job done, and they want technology that will help them be more productive,” said Dante Williams, applications engineer.
“Our new LCD productivity screen helps them manage their trucks and their work for the benefit of their customers through more visual data, text data and displays,” Williams said. “The information is more complete and more detailed, but presented in an engaging, easy-to-use manner.”
The new LCD is positioned between the tachometer and speedometer, and the familiar Built Ford Tough “slam” greets the driver at key-on. Here are the six base menu options, each of which can be customized by the truck owner:
1. Gauge mode
- Graphical compass display can be configured to rotate directions
- Actual temperature of the oil and transmission (gas engine); turbo boost gauge for diesels
2. Trip computer
- Information on two trips available
- Trip time and mileage
- Gallons of fuel used and miles per gallon
3. Fuel economy
- Fuel history can be broken down to three time periods
- Five resets are available to track fuel history
- Fuel economy displays miles to empty, as well as average and instantaneous mpg
4. Truck applications: Engaging off-road mode; towing functionality
- Off-road screen allows customers to see the lateral, vertical and turning radius of their maneuvers
- Customers can access information about various features, depending on the model, such as Electronic Locking Differential, Hill Descent Control™, 4×4 system and traction control to help make informed decisions on what technologies might be of use in a given situation
- Trailer tow customers can:
- Name and change a trailer, allowing customers to track mileage and store gain settings via the Trailer Brake Controller on the instrument panel
- Delete trailers
- Access information on features such as Trailer Brake Controller or Tow Haul
- Choose the type of trailer connected and go through a connection checklist – conventional, fifth wheel and gooseneck options are supported
- Three distinct checklists can be accessed, and include:
- Ball coupler connected and locked?
- Tongue jack raised?
- Mirrors adjusted?
- Electrical wiring connected?
- Lights functioning correctly (running lights, left/right turn and brake lights)?
- TBC (Trailer Brake Controller) gain setting adjusted?
- Wheel chocks removed?
- Safety chains connected?
“The checklist can be especially helpful to a novice tower,” said Williams. “The screen takes customers through the process, so no matter what sort of connection they are using, they can tow with greater confidence.”
- Turn features on or off
- Change duration of lamps
- Change compass zone
- Change operating condition for maintenance schedules
- Set oil life percentage
- The MyKey™ feature allows the owner to set driver preferences
- The System Check screen displays information such as oil life, engine hours, engine idle hours and open doors
- Warnings, such as “left rear door ajar,” can be displayed graphically
- All-new messages and warnings include Trailer Sway Control, Hill Descent Control, tire pressure monitoring system and diesel-specific messages
All-New Gas Engine
An all-new 6.2-liter V-8 gasoline engine is standard on the 2011 Ford F-Series Super Duty. The new engine delivers 405 ft.-lb. of torque (at 4,500 rpm) and 385 horsepower (at 5,500 rpm) on regular gasoline, which is an increase of 40 ft.-lb. of torque and 85 horsepower over the current 5.4-liter V-8.
“Our all-new 6.2-liter V-8 engine uses race-proven components and technology that have been optimized for the high performance and efficiency that our Super Duty customers demand,” said Mike Harrison, Ford V-8 engine programs manager. “It delivers not only significantly better torque and horsepower than current heavy-duty gas engines, but also improved fuel economy.”
Nearly all the components of the 2011 Super Duty 6.2-liter V-8 are shared with the 6.2-liter V-8 engine found in the 2010 F-150 SVT Raptor, a purpose-built, high-performance off-road truck versatile enough to take on the most challenging desert adventures as well as the everyday commute. In November 2008, the 6.2-liter Raptor R not only survived the grueling Baja 1000, it earned a podium finish.
Core to the improvements is the adoption of an all-new engine architecture with increased bore spacing that allows better engine “breathing” in both the intake and exhaust for more power and more overall efficiency.
The new gas engine runs on regular-grade gasoline, E85 or any blend in between.
Design features of the new 6.2-liter V-8 engine:
- Large bore, shorter stroke: This approach to creating power has its roots in Ford racing engines from the past. The large bore (102 millimeters) allows for larger intake and exhaust valves for improved engine breathing, and the short stroke (95 millimeters) allows higher engine speed for increased horsepower. Still, peak horsepower is generated at a relatively modest 5,500 rpm.
- SOHC valvetrain with roller-rocker shafts: The single overhead camshaft (SOHC) per cylinder head design results in a stiff valvetrain that allows optimized camshaft lift profiles and helps produce great low-speed torque. The roller-rocker shafts allow valve angles to be splayed, resulting in optimized intake and exhaust port layout for better breathing.
- Dual-equal variable cam timing: Intake and exhaust valve opening and closing events are phased at the same time to optimize fuel economy and performance throughout the engine speed range and throttle positions.
- Two spark plugs per cylinder: Because of the large bore size, two spark plugs per cylinder are used to more efficiently burn the fuel-air mixture in the combustion chamber, enabling better fuel economy and increased engine torque. The twin plugs also help the engine maintain a smooth, stable idle.
- Dual knock sensors: A knock sensor on each bank of cylinders of the V-8 engine allows the spark timing of each cylinder to be individually optimized real-time, throughout the engine speed range. The system continuously monitors engine performance and applies this real-time learning to optimize timing via an adaptive algorithm.
- Better engine crankcase breathing and efficiency: Significant development work and computer-aided engineering optimized the cylinder block for more efficient airflow in the crankcase as the pistons move up and down in the bores, resulting in improved torque at higher engine speeds. Piston-cooling jets squirt oil on the underside of the pistons to keep the piston crowns cool under extreme operating conditions. The cooling jets also allow for a higher compression ratio for better engine efficiency and faster engine oil warm-up on cold starts, also improving fuel economy.