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    Spying: Are These F-150 Hiding Some Aluminum?


    William Maley

    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com

    September 12, 2012

    Some peculiar Ford F-150s have made their way onto the web thanks to a spy photographer. The trucks in question features awkward panel fits, shorten cabs, and modified truck beds. What is the deal with these truck.

    Most likely, the trucks are the mules for the next F-150, due out in 2015. Automobile Magazine also speculates the trucks are also testing aluminum body panels, something we reported back in July. This would allow engineers to gain knowledge about whether its a good idea or not to implement aluminum in the next truck.

    Rumor has the 2015 F-150 having a aluminum hood and bed, but this is somewhat sketchy.

    Source: Automobile Magazine

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

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    While I think Aluminum has it's place, I am skeptical about it working out for a Truck. Maybe for the Hood, Top of the cab and even front fenders and doors, but the bed needs to stay steel, otherwise we will be seeing plenty of bashed up messed up trucks that do not get fixed and end up being a hazard on the road. Aluminum just cannot hold up in comparison to steel.

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    While I think Aluminum has it's place, I am skeptical about it working out for a Truck. Maybe for the Hood, Top of the cab and even front fenders and doors, but the bed needs to stay steel, otherwise we will be seeing plenty of bashed up messed up trucks that do not get fixed and end up being a hazard on the road. Aluminum just cannot hold up in comparison to steel.

    Maybe make steel an option for the 1% of truck owners that actually put stuff in the bed.

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    What if, for the F-150, aluminum is used on the fenders, cab roof & back panel & doors, and a composite bed is used. This could actually be Ford's F-150 Hybrid model (assuming it uses the EcoBoost engine too). I'm sure if some of the suspension components can be aluminum too, this would lighten the truck up quite a bit. Then this way those that need a steal-based F-150 can have it and those looking for a lighter full-size pickup can buy the aluminized version. Eventually as the aluminum parts show their strength in real-world usage, Ford can then spread it out amongst all of the F-150 models (such as doors, hood, cab roof, etc).

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    I'm NOT in favor of adding more & more electronic gizmos & screens, and cutting structural steel to address the subsequent added weight.

    I have no problem with non-stressed panels (hood, fenders, roof/cab) being AL, but the bed needs to stay steel.

    Perhaps the initial buyer might tread lightly with an AL or composite bed, but subsequent owners may not, and the first load of stone dumped in that cracks the bed will do far-reaching perceptional damage to the F-Series.

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    I wonder how the composite beds that GM offered on the Sierra and Silverado in the early 2000's held up? Isn't the interior bed of the Avalanche composite? Of course the Avalanche isn't your "typical" pickup truck, but they did offer it in the 2500 series and I'm sure it had to have the bed used for stuff other than luggage and groceries :lol: I think a consumer buying a lightweight full size pickup isn't going to be getting the bed full of stones or bricks. A hardcore truck user will want the add strength of steel in their bed.

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    Avalanche is not the typical usage truck, as you state. Bed with the midgate up is only 4', and I don't think it's casually possible to load one like a 6.5-ft or 8-ft bed pickup AFA weight goes, so that's self-governing to a large degree.

    toyota earned enough poor perception for tearing sheet metal on the tundra in short order- Any new bed material needs to be exhaustively proven to avoid risking a similar bad rep.

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