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Rumorpile: Next Ford F-150 Turning To Aluminum Panels


William Maley
Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
January 4, 2012

With stiffer Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards on their way, Ford is looking at whether to add aluminum body panels on the next generation F-150. According to Ward's Auto, two sources say the company will utlize aluminum body panels, including doors and fenders on the next generation F-150. This comes as a surprise since steel has been the standard for trucks for decades.

But this move coincides with a statement made by Ford's Group Vice President of Global Product Development, Derrick Kuzak. Kuzak said the company has a goal by 2019 to drop 700 lbs for each model.

Source: Ward's Auto
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18 Comments

Interesting...sounds like the next F150 may be a complete redesign (since the current one was a facelift of the '03 model). The trucks are so obese now they could definitely stand to lose 1000-1500 lbs..
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They stated this before, I think it is a great idea to shed weight, but 2019? That is going to take a long time.
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Can't be good...
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Can't be good...

i don't understand your logic
what "can't be good"

Do you think towing will go down?
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They should switch to polymer panels!
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And work on the aerodynamics...instead of the blunt front ends, make them angled and sleek like a minivan or Prius..
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^ You can't judge aerodynamics by appearance.
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Speaking of aluminum/polymer panels, I noticed recently that my friend's '93 Econoline has a hood that magnets won't stick to. It feels like metal, but I have a hard time imagining they would have used aluminum or stainless on it. Any ideas?

To my knowledge using aluminum panels is a recent thing, with the exception of limited production Swiss-cheese race cars and a brief usage in '79~'82 on fullsize hoods.
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the last Riviera has an aluminum hood I think
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so did the Aurora.
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A number of GM cars have had polymer front fenders also, not just Saturns...so GM definitely has experience with lighter weight materials...
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A number of GM cars have had polymer front fenders also, not just Saturns...so GM definitely has experience with lighter weight materials...


The dustbuster vans did for sure.
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A number of GM cars have had polymer front fenders also, not just Saturns...so GM definitely has experience with lighter weight materials...


The dustbuster vans did for sure.


The 4th generation Camaros had polymer front fenders and door skins. How about recent generations of Corvettes? Polymer, or some fiber reinforced stuff?
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A number of GM cars have had polymer front fenders also, not just Saturns...so GM definitely has experience with lighter weight materials...


The dustbuster vans did for sure.

Some of the big cars did also...the LeSabres and Park Avenues did in the '90s, maybe the Bonneville and some Oldses also?
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All of the H-bodies from the 90s had polymer front fenders for sure, I've seen my share of LeSabres and 88's with cracked fenders or entire sections missing. The last gen Riviera indeed has an aluminum hood, though I think the rest of the body panels, including the front fenders are steel. Recently the paint on my Riv's trunk began peeling off like wallpaper. I've seen other Rivieras from this vintage have similar problems, among other GM products from the 90's. My trunk looks horrible right now, but a repaint is not in the cards for some time.
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I thought that GM switched from the poly panels on Saturns to save weight?
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A number of GM cars have had polymer front fenders also, not just Saturns...so GM definitely has experience with lighter weight materials...


The dustbuster vans did for sure.


The 4th generation Camaros had polymer front fenders and door skins. How about recent generations of Corvettes? Polymer, or some fiber reinforced stuff?


The F4 inner and outer door skins were actually fiberglass. It was common for the inner skins to tear and fray when rivets had to be removed to replace power window motors. The only sheetmetal used in those cars were the hood, roof on non T-top cars, and the rear quarter panels.

As for the Corvette, I know it's mostly, if not all, fiberglass.
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A number of GM cars have had polymer front fenders also, not just Saturns...so GM definitely has experience with lighter weight materials...


The dustbuster vans did for sure.


The 4th generation Camaros had polymer front fenders and door skins. How about recent generations of Corvettes? Polymer, or some fiber reinforced stuff?


The F4 inner and outer door skins were actually fiberglass. It was common for the inner skins to tear and fray when rivets had to be removed to replace power window motors. The only sheetmetal used in those cars were the hood, roof on non T-top cars, and the rear quarter panels.

As for the Corvette, I know it's mostly, if not all, fiberglass.


Now that you mention the roof, I'm pretty sure the non T-top cars share the same polymer/fiberglass material that the T-top cars used. I think this is the case since both T-top and non T-top F4's from 2000-2002 have the same bubbling/peeling roof paint problem where the adhesive behind the panel releases gas/goo that bubbles through the panel and the paint. I don't think that would happen with a metal roof panel, which would have been nice since then my Camaro wouldn't have the problem!
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