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Proving The EcoBoost In A Big Way

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On: Fri, Sep 24, 2010 at 10:43AM | By: John Welch


Proving The EcoBoost In A Big Way

Yesterday I reported the wealth of engine options available for the 2011 Ford F-150. I also posed some difficult questions: would truck buyers shell out their hard-earned money for cylinder counts less than eight? Are V6 engines stout enough to take the abuse meted out by dirt roads, hauling of large mammals, bulldozer relocation, random falling boulders, and anything else a hairy-chested truck commercial might throw their way?

Ford would like to save you some time and shed light on these quandaries. How's a 150,000-mile bench test followed a week of timber hauling followed by 24 hours of race car trailerin' followed by 1,000 miles of Baja running followed by a complete tear-down sound? Ford will do all of that and more to one, randomly chosen 3.5 liter EcoBoost V6. Not a fully built ringer, just a ordinary engine assembly plucked from the bowels of the Cleveland Engine Plant and thrown on the dyno, eager to pass its first test.

Full details on all of the glorious torture and quotes from Ford, inside the post . . .

UPDATE: Weird things going on with the innerwebs. Notice how we imply that there should be a video of some sort in the body of this blog post? Hmmm, yes, it isn't there. Neither is the webpage I got it from. Perhaps it is being updated? Or, just maybe, the randomly selected EcoBoost engine popped? We'll let you know when we find out!

The tests will be documented in a web series produced by Ford. The first, a standard dyno test, can be seen here.

So, in reality, the test is anything but standard. The way the block expands and contracts during the shock testing is, well, shocking. 20 years ago that would have been a good way to throw a going-away party for the intake valve(s) in the combustion chamber. Not the case for the EcoBoost. This particular unit has a lot more suffering to endure in the months ahead. From here it goes to the timber industry . ..
Hauling timber
The 2011 F-150 EcoBoost joins a lumber company in Oregon, working as a log skidder to show off its best-in-class hauling and 420 lb.-ft. of torque. This severe duty involves dragging logs weighing thousands of pounds up steep grades. The 2011 F-150 EcoBoost replaces larger, heavy-duty machinery to perform the task. Then it's on to Miami!
24 hours of NASCAR
Following its work in the Pacific Northwest, the same 2011 F-150 EcoBoost heads to Homestead-Miami Speedway in Florida to demonstrate its best-in-class towing capability of 11,300 pounds. The truck will tow a pair of Sprint Cup Ford Fusions for 24 hours around the 1.5-mile oval. Befitting the track, site of the NASCAR Sprint Cup season finale, the fully stock 2011 F-150 EcoBoost will run at full throttle, reaching speeds in excess of 90 mph on the straights, stopping only for tires and more 87 octane fuel. That's right, 87. In a turbocharged, gasoline swilling motor. Starting to get the picture? The EcoBoost, if able to accomplish all of these outstanding feats, is one well engineered hunk of aluminum.
Baja 1000
After towing on the oval at Homestead-Miami Speedway, the same EcoBoost engine will be dropped in an F-150 off-road race truck and challenge one of the harshest tests on Earth—the 2010 Tecate SCORE Baja 1000. Last year less than 60 percent of the entrants finished the grueling desert race. Built Ford Tough trucks have a proud legacy in the event, winning more Baja titles than any other four-wheel manufacturer.
Teardown
After all the pulling, towing, desert racing, and much more, viewers will get an inside look at the durability of the EcoBoost when Ford engineers tear it down to evaluate the extensive testing program.
“The desert racing environment has been a tremendous laboratory for Ford over the years,” said Eric Kuehn, chief engineer of the 2011 F-150. “We’re eager to watch the 3.5-liter EcoBoost truck engine prove its durability, reliability, performance and fuel economy in this tough setting.” We will continue to post the F-150 web series as new installments are released. So far the EcoBoost is showing well, steeling Ford's place among the top tier of auto manufacturers once again.
Hauling timber
The 2011 F-150 EcoBoost joins a lumber company in Oregon, working as a log skidder to show off its best-in-class hauling and 420 lb.-ft. of torque. This severe duty involves dragging logs weighing thousands of pounds up steep grades. The 2011 F-150 EcoBoost replaces larger, heavy-duty machinery to perform the task

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