The Ford F-150 has been the best-selling truck in the United States for the past 37 years, and the best-selling vehicle outright for the past 32. That's quite a legacy, and thus, it's no surprise that Ford worked super-duper-extra hard on creating the all-new, aluminum-bodied 2015 F-150 that debuted at the Detroit Auto Show earlier this year.

During an event at the company's headquarters in Dearborn, MI this week, we were able to see all of the ways that Ford endurance tests, not just the new F-150, but all of its vehicles. From examining things like light exposure to interior materials and paint finishes, to making sure that corrosion absolutely does not happen when steel components come in contact with aluminum panels in the new truck. The goal: ensure that the new F-150 is nothing short of "Built Ford Tough."

But that's only a small part of the story. Of course, the new F-150 has to be able to withstand whatever a pickup buyer might throw at it – and truck buyers arguably demand the most from their vehicles. So in an effort to convey just what the new F-150 had to go through before being given the final go-ahead, Ford has released a series of videos, showing how its new halo truck was indeed torture tested.

These tests involved things like shaking and twisting the the truck in seven different ways (at the same time) for a simulated 225,000 miles, driving the pickup over seriously rough roads, giving it corrosion baths with acid sprays, towing uphill and downhill in 120-degree weather, thermally shocking the engine, and much, much more. Have a look at all 10 tests in the videos below, and scroll down a little further for a press release that explains what's going on in each scenario.



















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FROM ACID BATHS TO POWER HOP HILL, 10 WAYS FORD TORTURE-TESTED THE 2015 F-150

– Ford to increase durability testing to 10 million cumulative miles for 2015 F-150
– Extensive testing proves this all-new F-150 lives up to Built Ford Tough standards
– Ford went to new extremes – from mountaintops to frozen lakes – to put the truck through its paces

The all-new 2015 Ford F-150 has already scaled the highest points of the Continental Divide and experienced the most extreme weather conditions as Ford has set out to engineer its toughest truck yet.

Before the first 2015 F-150 rolls off the assembly line, it will have been subjected to 10 million miles of combined real-world and simulated durability testing.

"We wanted to build the toughest, most capable F-150, while making it as much as 700 pounds lighter," said Pete Reyes, Ford F-150 chief engineer. "We challenged the team to torture the truck harder than any F-150 before it."

The new F-150 towed trailers over mountain passes in temperatures above 120 degrees, withstood frame-punishing terrain on an off-road course and conquered a frozen lake at minus 40 degrees. It endured high-humidity chambers, salt vats and riverbeds. The F-150 towed heavy loads up grueling, steep roads. Robots slammed its doors and tailgates, and dropped heavy objects onto the bed of the truck. It persevered through twisting and shaking from multiple directions.

Some Ford tests are so extreme that a five-day period equals 10 years or 150,000 miles of abuse by the roughest customers. Reyes is quick to remind customers that the extreme tests Ford runs are conducted in controlled settings. "I discourage anyone from trying to create their own top 10 list," he said. "Leave the testing to us."

The all-new F-150 has been through hundreds of torture tests. Here are the 10 toughest:

Seven-channel input: Ford built a special torture rack that violently twists and shakes the truck seven ways – simultaneously – for five days, simulating the equivalent of 225,000 miles. This testing isn't random. After running a fully instrumented truck through durability courses, engineers recorded the forces the road surface put on various vehicle components. Those forces are replicated in seven channels – four up and down, two side to side and one lengthwise down the center. The frame and body are stressed to see how well the truck performs in situations that might bend the frame.

Silver Creek: The famous Silver Creek durability course in Romeo, Mich., combines two extremely rough roads. One section of the route has 15 distinct types of chuckholes, while the other is made from broken pieces of concrete. Test drivers beg off this route after one pass because the pounding and speed is so intense. Imagine hitting a crater-sized pothole every five feet for miles – going 20 mph. With this road surface, 500 miles is equal to 20,000 miles on the country's roughest roads.

Power Hop Hill: This washboard Ford test track in Romeo was created to replicate a steep, off-road dirt trail in the Hualapai Mountains of northwest Arizona. The severe 11 percent grade – steeper than the final section of most ski jump ramps – stresses engine and transmission components when the wheels lose contact and then return to the surface.

Drum drop: Ford engineers dropped 55-gallon drums into the bed of the truck on an angle, making sure all of the force came down on the sharp rim of the drum. Engineers in Dearborn, Mich., then measure the impact and make adjustments until the cargo box floor is suitably tough.

Corrosion bath: The 2015 F-150 is the first high-volume vehicle with a high-strength steel frame, and body panels made of high-strength, aluminum alloy – the same material used to make armor-plated tanks and navy warships. An advantage aluminum has over steel is that it doesn't produce red rust. So Ford had to go beyond the usual tests that include driving vehicles through countless salt baths and soaking them in high-humidity chambers. The company developed a modified corrosion test using an acidified spray to be more aggressive on the high-strength, aluminum alloy. After simulating 10 years of exposure, the aluminum material showed virtually no signs of degradation.

Davis Dam: Run a half-marathon at Olympic-sprinter speed while carrying a 600-pound duffel bag in 120-degree temperatures, all up a 6 percent grade. Then do it 250 more times. That's the Davis Dam durability route that stretches from just outside Bullhead City, Ariz., to the top of Union Pass. The F-150 climbed for 13 miles at posted speeds (varying from 35 mph to 65 mph) while pulling maximum trailer loads and running the air conditioning full blast in the heat of an Arizona summer.

Stone Peck Alley: There's a special place in Romeo where paint jobs come to prove their mettle while testers work to protect the metal. To test paint for the all-new F-150, engineers drove the truck 150 miles over gravel roads, then another 150 miles over pellets of extremely jagged scrap iron that is first passed through a blast furnace. Oversized tires spray the stones and scrap iron at every surface of the truck.

Engine thermal shock: F-150 engines are first placed in a special cell and hooked to equipment, called a dynamometer, which simulates pulling a heavy trailer at full throttle up a steep grade. Next, thermal shock testing takes engines from the coldest polar vortex to extreme heat in just seconds. The engine coolant and oil are quick-cooled to minus 20 degrees in as little as 20 seconds, then the engine runs at maximum power while coolant and oil temperatures stabilize, first at 230 degrees and then at 270 degrees, before being chilled again. This process is run 350 times over more than 400 hours to prove the durability of the engine block, seals, gaskets, cylinder heads and liners.

Rock and stop: Serious off-roaders navigate difficult terrain using the same drive/reverse/drive technique many drivers use to get unstuck from snow. Ford performs 500 aggressive starts on a stand specially designed to torture rear axles. The stand creates impacts at nearly 2,000 lb.-ft. of torque. This is more torque than the truck is capable of making – 130 percent more and then some – just to be certain the rear axle and all of its parts can withstand the abuse.

Twist ditch: F-150 customers need to trust their trucks in off-road terrain. The twist ditch is a set of parallel dirt mounds built to create a situation in which one front wheel hangs in the air while the opposing rear wheel leaves the ground repeatedly. Only two small patches of rubber are left to make contact with a slippery surface and maintain traction. These ditches can put incredible stress on the truck's body and frame.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 50 Comments
      whofan
      • 8 Months Ago
      There`s problems with all the trucks that are unique to a particular make. You can`t buy a bad truck now days no matter what brand your in love with. In looks alone my choice would be a Ram.
      Macvicar24
      • 8 Months Ago
      Hopefully the frames don't fold in half like the Rapture.
        SBN
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Macvicar24
        There is a Ford Rapture?LOL
        XJ Yamaha
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Macvicar24
        None of them have folded in half, or come even close. If you'd done any bit of research you'd know the issues with Raptors you blindly suckled onto had to do with owners thinking 6000+ pound trucks could make ridiculous jumps at 70 mph. If you were to buy a Corvette would you expect it to turn on a dime at 120 mph or go from 140 mph to zero in 30 feet.....because it's a sports car? When a vehicle doesn't meet your ridiculous expectations I suppose you'd then blame the manufacturer for your idiocy?
        Tariff The Imports
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Macvicar24
        I've never seems a Rapture frame. I hope you mean Raptor. And I've never seen a Raptor frame bent or bend 180 degrees like you're claiming. I think you're lying.
          Sgt Beavis
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Tariff The Imports
          I think that is the Southern Baptist edition.
          cazpa1
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Tariff The Imports
          Its "seems" ironic you take the time to correct a typo and make one yourself.
          cazpa1
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Tariff The Imports
          Opps I just made the same mistake. hahaa
        Macvicar24
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Macvicar24
        Should help with the weight reduction.
        Sam123
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Macvicar24
        I don't think it's bad if a raptor bends it's frame after a 90ft jump. And no other truck can do that
      Victor Hoyles
      • 8 Months Ago
      Hey Ford, what if you try torture testing your F-150 electrical system!?! Me? 11,000kms in 8 month's and three batteries are toast.
        Bernie Kressner
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Victor Hoyles
        Why did your comment draw negative responses? You simply told your story. We all have one. ------------
          merlot066
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Bernie Kressner
          I've never heard of an electrical issue like that on an F-150. Instead of buying new batteries and complaining about it, he should go to the dealership and get it diagnosed. Bumper-to-bumper warranty is still in affect after 8 months.
      Wills
      • 8 Months Ago
      As a Ford engineer, it makes me happy that we can give a peak like this into how seriously and extensively we test and benchmark our products.
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Wills
        [blocked]
          Wills
          • 8 Months Ago
          Good catch - Thanks :) It was late...
        That Guy
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Wills
        And yet, it still didn't catch the Egoboost issues in the F150. Was that nap day? Anyway, I hope your company has learned a thing or two about paint adhesion since all of the issues with the 2010+ aluminum Mustang hoods (well, Ford denies it, but then, that's what they do). And let's hope the frame holds up a little better than the Raptor.......talk about embarrassing...
          Jimmy
          • 8 Months Ago
          @That Guy
          " I am an expert in all things automotive, the autoblog community knows this. You can rely on my comments to always be correct." Now that's some funny sh!!t. All things. ROFL
          Luke
          • 8 Months Ago
          @That Guy
          @That Guy: Your arrogance is ASTOUNDING. First off, you completely invalidate your argument when you have to resort to petty name-calling (Egoboost). Really? C'mon man. You're obviously not an expert in common courtesy and politeness. Secondly, if you WERE such an expert you'd know better than to question the frame issues in the Raptor. Stupid owners does not a poorly engineered truck make. You want to talk about how tough the frame is give Miller Motorsports Park a call and ask them how their Raptors hold up in their Raptor Assault Program. Those trucks see nothing but off-road driving by instructors and students.
          Charlie Jorgenson
          • 8 Months Ago
          @That Guy
          I jumped my Raptor 10 feet in the air and when it landed the frame bent, what a POS lol. This is good reading for ignorant people such as yourself. http://www.autoblog.com/2011/07/21/svt-boss-goes-on-record-about-ford-raptor-frame-damage-claims-w/ "That energy has to be absorbed somehow, and we actually went through a fairly detailed FMEA [Failure Mode and Effects Analysis], so if you do happen to far exceed the suspension's capability, the safest thing for that vehicle is for the frame to yield. If you had an infinitely stiff frame, then what that would do is, the rear of that vehicle – the suspension – when that axle is going up so hard, so fast, it would 'donkey kick' the rear of that truck really high into the air. That's a very undesirable condition."
          kkohlstr
          • 8 Months Ago
          @That Guy
          ....and what company do you work for "That Guy"? I see constant pokes from you on this site. Maybe you can provide some insight on your "expertise" since public commentary certainly isn't it. . You have absolutely no clue what goes into planning, engineering, building and validating a vehicle. Suggest you revise your handle to "Clown Boy".
          That Guy
          • 8 Months Ago
          @That Guy
          @ kkohlstr: I am an expert in all things automotive, the autoblog community knows this. You can rely on my comments to always be correct.
          john96xlt
          • 8 Months Ago
          @That Guy
          @ Luke, Just wait until he gets confused again and starts calling the Aluminum bodied Ford a "tin" can.
          john96xlt
          • 8 Months Ago
          @That Guy
          What issues? The ones you and your buddies made up while trying to justify why you all drive 1980s rusted out crap boxes to the unemployment office?
      chuckccole
      • 8 Months Ago
      No clue they did that much testing. I bet there are things we don't see. They aren't going to tip their entire hand to Chevy and the Goat.
      rollie
      • 8 Months Ago
      I have a one ton GMC. Here in upstate NY, I plow a lot of snow. Weight makes a difference in how well your plow performs. Heavy trucks get more traction and spin tires less than light ones. The effort to go lighter seems to bode problems for uses like mine. We also get loads of salt here on highways. Anything ten years old has holes in it. Will the underside aluminum panels have corrosion protection from salt? Aluminum WILL corrode.
        S C
        • 8 Months Ago
        @rollie
        If you are looking for a proper plow vehicle, you will find that like GMC, Ford does not recommend their 1/2 trucks for plowing. Plowing prep packages start on GMC 2500 series as well as Ford F-250. In your case, you should buy an F-350 and trade in your POS on ton GMC as soon as possible...
          Luke
          • 8 Months Ago
          @S C
          Au contraire, Ford is actually adding a snow plow prep option for the F150 for 2015. As far as weight goes, your plow will give you all the weight you want on the front. Need weight in the rear? I bet you have a sander that can provide that. If you don't, throw some sand bags in the back. No need to haul around the dead weight of a truck when you don't need it; much easier to add than remove weight. https://media.ford.com/content/fordmedia/fna/us/en/news/2014/02/06/all-new-ford-f-150-adds-tough-new-snow-plow-prep-option-across-a.html
        jtav2002
        • 8 Months Ago
        @rollie
        So essentially you need a one ton truck, and you're complaining a 1/2 ton truck won't work. What's next, are you going to complain that the F150 can't tow 18,000lbs. You obviously have a need for an HD truck, which you know, Ford sells those too.
        Hek!
        • 8 Months Ago
        @rollie
        Aluminium doesn't rust away like steel, it forms a thin layer of oxide on the surface which protects the rest of the metal.
          Dark Gnat
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Hek!
          It does pit, though. And salt can destroy aluminum.
        XT6Wagon
        • 8 Months Ago
        @rollie
        So use a F450 if you want wieght. Also don't be dumb, the aluminum is fine for automotive use. Audi been using it since 1994. Ford put it into production in 2003, and built fleets of test cars a decade before.
      Master Austin
      • 8 Months Ago
      I like the last one actually, and I'm sure there's many more tests they havent even shown to make sure they stay ahead of their competitors.
      • 8 Months Ago
      [blocked]
      xspeedy
      • 8 Months Ago
      I'm quite sure this was all done with the current gen, but somehow an engineer never noticed that when shutting a door, the sheet metal jiggles like thin rubber?
      BillyM67
      • 8 Months Ago
      I'd be more impressed if they spent more time making sure the vehicles that get manufactured don't rattle and fall apart, like my new $40K Explorer Limited....piece of crap.
      StubbyCub
      • 8 Months Ago
      I'm a major Chevy fan. All I can say is that Chevy needs to take some serious and I mean serious notes!!!!!
        Sgt Beavis
        • 8 Months Ago
        @StubbyCub
        Ford shows this stuff off almost every time they put out a new pickup. Honestly, I thing GM and RAM do just as much testing but for some reason Ford likes to show off their testing. It's damn good marketing on their part.
          vulnox
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Sgt Beavis
          I think a lot of it comes from the way Ford innovates in their truck lines. They had to do the Ecoboost Challenge because otherwise a lot of truck guys would just pass a turbo V6 off as being weak, so Ford had something to prove and their huge success shows it paid off. Now they are doing the aluminum body and basically releasing a refreshed truck, so they need to do it again. While both Chevy and Dodge produce great trucks for the most part, neither of them often do anything really revolutionary in their truck lines that require them to be proven. Dodge added some super tiny storage spaces in the bed sides and are releasing a Diesel, but that has been about it on the contribution front. Diesel's in trucks aren't exactly new or a hard sell either. I imagine when Chevy or Dodge come out with something market leading that has to challenge what most truck buyers expect, they will be doing the same.
      Ryan
      • 8 Months Ago
      This actually looks like pretty standard durability testing.
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