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Ford Shows Off Engine, Transmission Advances for Super Duty Trucks

By Tom Berg, Truck Editor | August 2, 2019
Photo shows the Ford 7.3L V-8 gasoline engine.
Ford introduced new engines and an automatic transmission for 2020 Super Duty trucks.

A new big-block gasoline V-8 and an updated Power Stroke diesel will bring increased efficiency and longevity to Ford Motor Company’s 2020-model Super Duty trucks, representatives declared at a Detroit-area press event. They also said a new 10-speed heavy-duty automatic transmission, with a tall 1st gear and three overdrive ratios, will keep the engines operating in their best ranges.

Ford announced the new products last January but design and performance details were held to the July 30 event. All will enter production later this year and be available for purchase in Ford’s Super Duty pickups and some chassis-cab models in the 4th quarter. Ford is the only manufacturer to design and build its own engines and transmissions for Class 1 to Class 7 trucks, officials said as the event opened.

Big-block gasoline V-8 engine

The new 7.3-liter (446-cubic-inch) engine, to be used in many F-250 to F-750 Super Duty models, “will be the most powerful gasoline truck engine ever,” said Joel Beltrano, manager for V-8 gasoline engines. It will have diesel-like capability with less upfront cost, and with an inexpensive gaseous preparation package, can burn propane and natural gas.

He listed two ratings: 430 horsepower at 5,500 RPM and 475 lb-ft. at 4,000 RPM, for F-250 and F-350 pickups; and 350 horsepower and 468 lb-ft., both at 3,900 RPM, for F-450, F-550, F-600, F-650 and F-750 chassis cab models. 

Strong internal parts, including a one-piece forged steel crankshaft that rides in extra large main bearings, make the engine extremely durable, Beltrano said. Test units ran 3,200 hours at peak output, then were disassembled and parts measured, and they showed little or no wear.

The 7.3’s estimated B10 life, where 90 percent of engines should still be running with few repairs, is unknown. “The problem is, wear is so low that we can’t figure what it is yet,” he said of the engineering measure of durability and longevity.

The 7.3 V-8 will replace the 6.8-liter V-10 gasoline engine in Ford trucks, Beltrano said. Because the 7.3 has two fewer cylinders, the block is shorter and more compact, “so there’ll be more room to work on components at the front of the block.”  

To be built in Windsor, Ontario, the 7.3 V-8 will be an option on 2020 F-250 and F-350 Super Duty pickups, and standard on F-550, F-600, F-650 and F-750 medium duty trucks and E-Series cab-chassis, as well as F-53 and F-59 stripped chassis. It joins the 6.2-liter V8 gasoline engine in the Super Duty lineup, along with the upgraded third-generation 6.7-liter Power Stroke diesel V-8.

Updated diesel engine

The latest Power Stroke V-8 diesel has a new, more efficient turbocharger, a variable displacement oil pump, and a higher pressure fuel system, said Anita Bersie, an engine systems supervisor. The oil pump will conserve power while delivering full lubrication to all internal parts and to the turbo. The Garrett turbo has better air flow and a more compact vane-wheel housing, which boost response, and more capable electronic controls. The Bosch fuel system runs at 36,000 psi, up from 30,000, for better control of injection events.

Ratings for the updated 2020-model 6.7-liter (409-cubic-inch) diesel will be announced later this year, she said. It will be available in all Ford Super Duty truck models.

HD 10-speed automatic transmission

The heavy-duty 10-speed TorqShift automatic transmission for Super Duty trucks is based on a 10-speed automatic now used in the F-150, but “it is a beefier transmission by far,” said Greg Stout, the program manager. All torque-bearing parts are larger and stronger, and only 7 percent of its parts are common to the F-150 version.

“It is not at all the same transmission,” but it’s the same length as the current 6-speed automatic and weighs only 3 pounds more, he said. It will be used with both the new 7.3 gas and updated 6.7 diesel. Wide ratio coverage “will keep an engine in its sweet spot.”

The current heavy duty 6-speed TorqShift automatic will continue in F-650 and F-750 models, and a lighter-duty 6-speed will be used in an F-250 pickup and an F-350 chassis-cab.  Manual transmissions are no longer offered.

PTO standard with diesels

Power take-off provision for the 10-speed heavy duty TorqShift will be standard on 2020 Super Duty chassis-cab models with the 6.7-liter Power Stroke turbo diesel, said Kevin Koester, commercial vehicle marketing manager. The PTO’s Stationary torque capacity is up to 300 lb-ft. for commercial vehicle bodies that require direct-to-component or hydraulic motor power for bodies and equipment.

“Live” PTO capability enables operation while a truck is moving, such as spreading gravel from a dump body, he said. “With more PTO torque on hand every task is easier and even bigger projects are now within reach.”

A transmission-mounted PTO sends engine power directly or through a hydraulic motor to equipment like generators, cranes, wreckers, pumper trucks and boom lifts. A PTO provision will remain optional on pickups and chassis-cabs with the 7.3 gasoline V-8. Output with the TorqShift heavy-duty 6-speed automatic double-overdrive transmission for F-650 and F-750 trucks and stripped chassis will be announced later.

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