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After recent disagreements with engine supplier Navistar, as well as dealing with Super Dutys that perform roman candle impressions, Ford is accelerating development of a new diesel engine for its burliest of pickups. Ford and Navistar played chicken earlier this year over warranty costs for the older 6-liter Powerstroke V8. That engine had a high number of issues that led to Ford covering repair costs. Ford in turn sued Navistar, the engine supplier, and held back payments for the new 6.4-liter Powerstroke in an effort to recoup some of their expense. Navistar decided they'd have none of it, and shut down engine production, slowing Super Duty production until a court order got the engines flowing again.

This acrimony has spurred Ford to come up with an alternative to Navistar engines in one of its most pivotal vehicles. The diesel and its muscle-bound tow rating attract plenty of buyers, and the Super Duty is at the top of the Ford Truck food chain, so problems here look bad. If your work truck doesn't work, you're in trouble. Ford can't afford to lose the profits from the Super Duty, nor can it accept tarnishing the image of the iconic F-Series trucks, so the Dearborn team is on it in the interest of exorcising Navistar powerplants from the engine bay and keeping that customer cash flowing.

[Source: AutoObserver]


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  • 29 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      There is a diesel on the way for the F-150, should be in the redesigned one the comes out next year. This is a completely different set of circumstances though because it was cheaper for Ford to go outside the company for these engines. Now they really need an engine and this spat has soured them on outsourceing for another powerplant.
      • 8 Years Ago
      The don't have a lot of options. There aren't a lot of companies that can make a Diesel of any that can meet the current onroad emissions requirements. Ford's European arm currently doesn't meet these specs, so I don't know what help they'd be.

      They do need to fix this and fast though.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I just hope that Ford really come up with something up to the Super Duty standard, maybe taking some cues from the guys at Ford Europe may help.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Two things:

      I wonder if the FlameThrower "feature" was "engineered" in by Navistar as payback?

      Navistar can now go play with their engines. The ones that Ford won't be buying anymore.
      • 8 Years Ago
      A couple things:

      1) Ford USED to own around 10% of Cummins

      2) Ford will never, Ever, EVER, get a Cummins in the Super Duty!

      3) I have to be honest here, while the 7.3 was a better engine than the 6.0, it still wasn't all that great. Ive seen personally about the same number of 7.3s that took a dump as Ive seen 6.0s. Ford has yet to put a good diesel engine in their trucks; dodge has by far, hands down, the best diesel engine in their trucks; the V8 diesels (and yes that includes the Duramax) have nothing on the Cummins.

      While the Duramax is a good engine in a shitty wrapper, and is starting to make the power that the Cummins' do, the engine itself by design isnt a strong and sure as hell not as durable as the Cummins. How many over-the-road trucks have V8s? Not many, the majority, probably around 99.9%, are I6's like the Cummins.
      Why do you think that for the last couple years with the diesel pickup explosion the most powerful, quickest in drag racing, top choice in sled pulling has been the Dodge/Cummins platform? Because GM trucks are junk and only recently has the Duramax started to pull down the numbers and Ford doesnt have the truck or engine...yes I said they dont have the truck. For some reason there is a huge misconception that Ford has the best truck, which isnt so. ford and Dodge have about equal trucks, but nowhere to equal engines. And its about time Ford got the clue and hopefully will make theyre own engines...POwerstrokes aint nothin but a joke!!
      And by the way, the Duramax and Powerstroke are both light duty trucks and the Cummins is a medium duty engine...now tell me who has the most durable.
      Bryan
      • 8 Years Ago
      Good! Dump Navistar! They had plenty of time to get it right. Their previous application shouldn't have had so many problems as well. I look forward to seeing what Ford brings out with their own in house diesel. I highly doubt this will hurt sales. You still cannot beat a Ford truck!
      • 8 Years Ago
      I don't think Cat has a light duty diesel suitable for on the road use. There best bet would be to go with Cummins. One of the many problems that Ford has to worry about is whether the straight 6 in the Cummins will fit were a v8 was the orginal engine. Would that have to get the truck retested for crash test certification.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Let's clear up a few misconceptions ...

      1. Ford does not, and has never, owned a part of Cummins. This is a rumor which has persisted since the late 1990s, and there is zero truth to it.

      2. Ford tested a 5.9L Cummins diesel(yes, the same one in the Dodge Ram) in the late 1990s before deciding to sign the 6.0/6.4L supply contract with Navistar. This is where the "Ford owns Cummins" rumor started.

      3. Ford is contracturally obligated to buy Super Duty diesel engines from Navistar through 2012; Navistar will not allow Ford out of that supply contract without extracting a huge amount of cash from Ford.

      4. Most of the problems with the early 6.0s were the fault of Ford, not Navistar. Navistar has its own version of the 6.0 which did not experience any of the problems Ford experienced. The source of those problems was a fuel injector Ford demanded that Navistar use, despite the fact that it was not suitable for the application(read: another Jac Nasser cost-cutting decision). Navistar used its own injectors on its own version of the 6.0 and had zero problems(this from a Navistar dealer I know).

      4. As has been pointed out, there is Volvo Cars(which Ford owns) and Volvo AB(which sold Volvo Cars to Ford). The inline-six diesel is built by Volvo AB, not Volvo Cars.

      5. The 4.5L V6 turbodiesel Ford uses in its LCF truck will not meet the smog rules for light-duty pickup trucks - this is one of the reasons why Ford cancelled its 4.5L supply contract with Navistar for the 2004 F-150(and paid out the nose to get out of the contract).

      6. The 2009 F-150/Expedition is scheduled to get a 4.4L V8 turbodiesel based on the Land Rover 3.6L V8 turbodiesel. Ford has set up a small-scale casting line in Cleveland to make the blocks, which will be of a compacted graphite iron composition for strength. It could also show up as a base engine in the Super Duty. There have been rumors that Cummins will build it, but the rumors ignore the fact that Ford has the capacity to build it and it would be a waste of money to farm it out(to say nothing of possibly giving away design secrets to Cummins).

      7. CAT provided an inline six-cylinder diesel to GM for testing before GM decided to bring out the Duramax - not sure which diesel engine it was, but it may have been the CAT 3206 or 3208. At any rate, the engine produced so much torque that it turned the frames of the test trucks into spaghetti(this from a friend whose son worked at GM during those tests and saw it firsthand).

      OK, flame away ...
      • 8 Years Ago
      I say design/develope an engine design in-house (with input from those great Volvo engineers) and then hand it to CAT to build. That way you get the best of both worlds: Ford gets exactly the engine they want because it's their design, and they get the benefit of having CAT on their cam covers.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Volvo cars and volvo group are different companies. Ford has no ties to volvo group except that it paid a lot of money for volvo cars. So, no real ties to volvo group, which makes the heavy duty machinery.
      Miles
      • 7 Years Ago
      Detroit Diesel anyone?
      • 8 Years Ago
      In my opinion I think they should either switch to Caterpillar engines, since they have used them in the bigger truck lines. Or finally give in and build there own engines, which is something that would separate Ford from all the other American truck manufacturers, since they all rely on other companies engines.
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