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The first diesel engine for the Ford F 150

For over 30 years, America’s best-selling car! Its total unit sales well into the eight-digit range, even though it is virtually only available in North America. And right now, the present generation of the Ford F 150 is arriving on the market and, as a premiere, with a diesel engine option.

The story of the Ford F 150 reads like a fairy tale for American kids. First surfacing on the market in 1948, the pick-up, meantime in its double-digit model generation, has featured in the most recent history of the country much as Wrigley's chewing gum and Coca-Cola. Again and again modified in line with the then state-of-the art auto engineering, the F 150 as an archetype of American means of transport and mobility has become a familiar sight from numerous movie classics even for Europeans, and even in its much earlier generations.  

From ranchers to craftsmen to -yuppies – everyone likes the “Truck of the Year 2018”

The Truck of the Year 2018, voted among others by the Motor Truck magazine, reflects a mixture of family transporter and load carrier. It epitomizes the American lifestyle and attracts fans from all walks of life. A Rancher in Ohio, an artisan in -Arkansas or a yuppie in California – they all go for this practical pick-up with which it is so easy to carry hay bales for the horse, drainage pipes for the construction site or simply garden waste along with the motor bike.  

Diesel with a lot of power  

If in the Land of unlimited opportunities such a gasoline icon now also comes in a diesel version, this must be a very special diesel, in this case a 3.0 Liter V 6 with 250 HP. With a torque of around 600 Newtonmeters, a maximum payload of just under a ton and a trailer load of a good five tons, the vehicle will easily cope with the rough tracks taken by the ranger in a National Park or trailer tow a sizable motor boat.

A note of interest: the new Lion diesel engine for the F 150 is being built in -Dagenham, Great Britain. In its development, the Ford engineers trusted in Pierburg for matters of exhaust-gas recirculation. Particularly valuable in this effort was the international division of labor between the development center in Neuss, the production plant in Abadiano and the North American hub in Auburn Hills very close to the Ford headquarters in Dearborn. Pierburg is supplying the new diesel with a complete assembly for cooled exhaust-gas recirculation, consisting of a double-seat EGR valve, a bypass, and a steel cooling unit. The twin-flow valve serves both cylinder banks simultaneously.

In the development work, which took altogether three years, one of the initial difficulties was the packaging of the sizable EGR cooler, plus the fact that Ford was extremely demanding regarding its cooling capacity. Above all, with very high heat transfer and low-pressure losses, the fouling factor had to be kept as low as possible. This factor indicates the deterioration of system heat transport over time. Altogether a vast challenge that has nevertheless paid off, according to Program Manager Udo Rauschning, especially as the US Environmental Protection Agency is understandably most particular on the subject of the diesel engine. “The engine complies with even the high emission standards of California and the customer is impressed with the vehicle's tractive power and smooth running.”

Made in the Basque region

EGR, bypass and steel cooler are all assembled at the Basque plant in Abadiano, where for 18 months Ainhoa Barreiro Errasti has overseen the project as developer and production specialist. This was no routine project for her: “In the course of the development work we changed the cooler as well as the bypass several times, in order to ensure the right functionality,” she says. And, “because of the still relatively low production volume for us we had to re-set the production equipment several times a week.” As she sees it, a great example of successful teamwork. The pickup manufacturer would seem to concur, since meanwhile a follow-up contract has been booked starting from 2021/22. And who knows, perhaps the good example set by the low CO2 , clean and powerful diesel will be followed by other American pickups!