• Apr 4, 2011
Fording with the Ford Ranger – Click above to watch video after the jump

If you're a Ranger fan, the video posted after the jump is going to make you sad. Ford engineers in Australia filmed the new but not-for-U.S.-consumption truck as its water wading capabilities were put to the test. The results were heaps good.

Ford's new Ranger is available in a Hi-Rider version that's capable of, ahem, fording through an impressive amount of water. Starting at a depth of two-inches, the engineers kept pushing until they were driving through 31.5 inches of engine-killing fluid. The two-inch deep pool is used to simulate long puddles, and the truck is run through at 19, 31 and 40 miles per hour. When filled to the max, the test area is traversed at a much slower 4 mph.

In order to achieve these results, Ford raised the air intake and alternator to a spot where they stay above the water line. Crucial components that sit lower are water-proofed. Click past the jump to see the testing in action, and be sure to read more about the Ranger in the full press release.

[Source: Ford]


Show full PR text
All-New Ford Ranger Gets Into Deep Water

Ranger can go deeper than any other pickups in its segment with a best-in-class water-wading capability of up to 800 mm

The 4x4 and 4x2 Hi-Rider models can wade through deep water even while carrying a full load
Engineers found strategic locations for key electrical components and air inlets to deliver the class-leading attribute


Melbourne, Australia, 04 Apr., 2011 – Come flood or high water, all-new Ford Ranger confidently takes it all in its durable stride, buoyed by its best-in-class water-wading capability of 800 mm. The 4x4 and 4x2 Hi-Rider models can wade through deep water even while carrying a full load.

During the extensive water testing, Ford's latest global compact pickup was loaded to gross vehicle mass –as heavy as it possibly could be – so that Ranger was riding at the lowest possible height. Most customers would not be carrying so much weight when fording rivers or floods but Ranger's ability to do so provides additional peace of mind.

Engineers tested Ranger over a variety of water depths and speeds. For example, they drove Ranger through 50 mm of water at 30 km/h, 50 km/h and 65 km/h to simulate going through big long puddles on the ground. They then increased the depth at 50-mm intervals until they got to 800 mm, at which the engineers were driving through the water bath at 7 km/h, or approximately walking pace.

The water bath is 50 m long and has angled sides to replicate the bow wave that forms at the front of the vehicle as it pushes through the water. This closely simulates what happens in real life when Ranger has to wade through deep water.

"When we go through the water bath, we're looking out for every possible functional failure in the vehicle. The most critical one would be if water was sucked through the air intake into the engine, resulting in hydro-lock, which can bend the piston's connecting rods and potentially destroy the entire engine," said Tom Dohrmann, the development engineer in charge of Ranger's water management.

"We have to protect against such failures so that our customers can go deeper without causing catastrophic damage to their engines."

Achieving 800 mm
To deliver a very capable Ranger that can go deeper than any of its competitors, the engineers concentrated on finding strategic positions for key components, especially the air intake. They finally positioned it above the water line in the right fender above the wheel arch liner. The transmission breather hoses were also placed above the water line.

In the early stages of Ranger's development, the engineers found that the alternator was too low in the Duratorq diesel engine for the 800-mm water-wading capability target. They proposed moving the alternator up high, as it would also be good for the component's durability since dust or stones are less likely to get thrown at it during offroad driving. The change was made for Ranger and ended up in other Ford vehicles programmes too because the Duratorq diesel engine is a global Ford engine.

For components that had to be below the water line, such as fuel tanks and rear parking sensors, they had to be suitably waterproofed to ensure they would do their job even when wet. Considering the height of the water line changes depending on whether the vehicle is moving or stationary – the water line starts higher at the front and slopes down towards the rear of the pickup when it's moving due to changing pressure of the water – the biggest challenge for the engineers was in finding a place for all the components.

"We did it in the end, and we're very proud of how deep the Ranger can go," said Dohrmann. "When faced with a water crossing, you'll be able to drive it into the water deeper than the competition can, through the water, out of the water and onto safe ground."


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  • 51 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      Is this not more of a midsize than a compact truck?
      • 3 Years Ago
      There is only one reason that Ford won't sell the new Ranger in the US. Its the same reason VW refuses to bring the Amarok to the US.

      It wouldn't be built in the US, and therefore would be taxed under the "chicken tax" They could ship it in pieces and reassemble it like they do with the Transit Connect, but that would be too much work.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Just a thought....Wouldn't the diesel World Ranger help Ford meet its CAFE requirements in the U.S.?

      Who cares if it cuts into F150 sales if you can keep the government off Fords back about improving fuel economy.
      • 3 Years Ago
      This fantastic truck will not be coming to any dealer near you.
        • 3 Years Ago
        "In America,...."

        /no edit makes me all wishy washy....lol
      • 3 Years Ago
      If this global ranger is so close in size and capabilities to the F-150 why build it at all. Just sell the F-150 globally............that is if they don't already, and if they do why does everyone else get to choose but us?
        • 3 Years Ago
        probably because the f-150 doesn't sell well world wide but this will.
        Ford probably has the mentality that GM did with corvette vs. camaro
      • 3 Years Ago
      I really like this truck but with the exception of looks and this capability, the f150 is not far behind. I just wish they would make a true small-size pickup similar to this. I swear 1/2 the 150's and 250's driving around my town have never hauled more than my a4 wagon can, let alone tow anything.
      • 3 Years Ago
      This is a really nice truck! It is rather sad that this and its corporate twin the Mazda BT truck (I think that is the model) are good looking and capable trucks. It is weird that the Tundra and Tacoma sell really well together, I am sure that the F-150 has set a name for itself and has been around for so long, if Ford imported this from Australia it will not cut into the sales of the F-150. For me there is still a market for midsize trucks, not everyone wants a full size truck unless it is needed if you haul lots of things, work in the construction business, or just need a truck for truck duties. I think that Ford is missing out, a little, on this market...there are a lot of people that want to stay within the Ford family and not have to venture off into another company. Overall this is a hot midsize truck!
        • 3 Years Ago
        "It is weird that the Tundra and Tacoma sell really well together..."

        By comparison to Ford, I would say the Tundra does not sell well with the Tacoma. The Tundra sells pretty poorly for a full-sized truck, while the Tacoma really excels for its segment.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I don't see why everyone is so upset this Ranger is not coming to the states. It is a slightly bigger sport trac and noone bought those.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Nothing says "not coming to the US" like metric system units in the press release.
        • 3 Years Ago
        "Not coming the the United States, Liberia, or Myanmar."

        At least we have company in our insanity.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Dear Ford,

      In my case, this truck would NOT steal a sale from your precious F-150. It would steal a sale from the Toyota Tacoma - which I already bought because you don't offer a competitive mid-size truck here in the US (I tried to like the current archaic Ranger, but just couldn't pull the trigger). I do NOT WANT a mammoth full-size truck. Guess I'll keep buying Toyotas. I'd bet a lot of money that I'm not alone.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @ Poe: Nice way of putting it! Excellent!
      • 3 Years Ago
      Interesting. On the world Ranger they mount the alternator higher, while on the new U.S. F150 they mounted the alternator lower (except on the 6.2L, which was already designed to mount the alternator up high for Super Duty and Raptor use).

      With that in mind, I doubt any F150 other than the Raptor will be able to handle water like this world Ranger will.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I dont mean to beat a dead horse, but what why on earth did Ford think that this would not sell here in the U.S? A small/midsize pickup with potentially a diesel under the hood sounds like my perfect pickup and could even be a daily driver.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Seriously!! They still have their heads stuck in the old ways. Not wanting this to cut into their precious F-150. Which is very unfortunate because I would have loved to buy one of these!
        • 3 Years Ago
        The rational at Ford is that this truck is only 20% smaller than the F-150 so the two vehicle would compete too closely with each other. When surveyed, more Americans opted for a lower trim line F-150 than an equally priced higher trim line Ranger.

        Don't kill the messenger, i'm just reporting what I heard. I am resolutely in the Small Pickup w/ a Diesel Camp.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Well, yeah, of course they don't want it to cut into F-150 sales. Duh. That's their most lucrative and best-selling nameplate. The number of people that wouldn't consider an F-150 and would consider this - a less powerful truck that's the same length and height as an F-150 Supercab but narrower - is minuscule. The world Ranger is 9/10ths the size of an F-150, so...why not just buy the truck that they actually sell here?

        I do think they should sell it, however - ONLY as a quad cab, ONLY in diesel form, with the Wildtrak offroad bits, as a replacement for the Sport Trak and not as an only slightly smaller F-150 alternative.
        • 3 Years Ago
        +1, although, VW should take this "vacuum" in the market and introduce the Amarock to the US and stick the 2.0 TDI in it...or the 3.0 V6 TDI..hell, I'll take any TDI.
        • 3 Years Ago
        "A small/midsize pickup with potentially a diesel under the hood sounds like my perfect pickup and could even be a daily driver."

        Its not a small truck. It's midsize at best. It's probably the same size as a large truck from 10-15 years ago.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Call it an F150 Ranger and everyone it happy!

        Counts for Sales
        Counts for Fans
        • 3 Years Ago
        @carcrazy24,

        it isn't that they don't think it would sell, I'm sure they think it would sell, they just think this awesomely capable ranger would bite into F150 sales, especially if they brought over that diesel.
        • 3 Years Ago
        i think im beating a deadhorse with this but oh well

        why not rebrand it the F50 or F100 ranger :)

        It will lend to the overall F-series sales and, as someone said earlier, would make a great daily driver and a lot of fun off-road, especially with an ecoboost option.

        I think the current ranger is only 8/10's the current F-150. What's Ford's point?
        • 3 Years Ago
        i think im beating a deadhorse with this but oh well

        why not rebrand it the F50 or F100 ranger :)

        It will lend to the overall F-series sales and, as someone said earlier, would make a great daily driver and a lot of fun off-road, especially with an ecoboost option.

        I think the current ranger is only 8/10's the current F-150. What's Ford's point?
        • 3 Years Ago
        My wife wants one of these to replace her current truck. Its a shame that Ford wont be bringing it here. I would be at the dealership right now if they would bring it here with a diesel.

        Why Autoblog? Why do you tease Americans with vehicles that we will never have?

        You are a cruel mistress Autoblog...

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