The newest iteration of Ford’s iconic F-150 made headlines when it was announced that the body would be aluminum in place of the tried and true sheet metal steel. This means the new F-150 saves 700 pounds in just the body alone. While there are some questions about the strength of aluminum in a truck’s body, the change has been accepted with few complaints and best of all, the weight savings help increase fuel economy without making the engine smaller.
Along with the body however, Ford managed to shave pounds off in a number of other areas, too. From the fenders to the parking brake, The new F-150 is lighter and stronger than ever.
The bed, hood, fenders, and door panels are all made from aluminum. As we mentioned above, this saves 700 pounds from the total curb weight of the truck. Add in the inherent rust protection of aluminum and you have a pretty big thing. The fenders alone save almost 14 pounds!
The rear axle on the new F-150 has been improved significantly over previous models, allowing the smaller 8.8-inch version to take the place of the larger 9.75. This helps increase the truck’s ability to tow a trailer and saves the truck 35 pounds.
Electronic Parking Brake
You wouldn’t think a parking brake could make a weight-savings difference, but by eliminating many of the heavy mechanical pieces of the old parking brake, the new F-150 shaves of 27 pounds just by going electronic for the brake. Along with weight savings, the new parking brake has smart features like driveway release and dour-wheel braking with ABS. Not too shabby for a simple parking brake.
If you choose to go with the upgraded transfer case in the new F-150 you’ll get a magnesium version that’s lighter, stiffer, stronger, and overall more efficient. This change alone gives the truck 3.8 pounds back.
Steering knuckles are something that aren’t thought about too often, but their importance can’t be stressed enough. Simply put, steering knuckles allow the wheels to turn and move vertically for dips and bumps. The newest version of these on the new F-150 survived the Baja 1000, which means they’ll probably work just fine for you. Best of all, they’re half the weight of the previous version, saving just over 16 pounds.
The body isn’t the only part of the new F-150 that got the weight-saving treatment. While still made of good old steel, the ladder-box frame uses high-strength steel that Ford claims is comparable to many heavy-duty trucks on the market today. This saves a massive 60 pounds of weight from the truck.
Not every weight saving change was done to the outside of the truck only. On the inside you’ll find small yet important changes to the front seat system as well as the rear seats. Even though Ford tested the seats with more than 10,000 entries and exits, the seats held up just fine, and the new version saves nearly 32 pounds in the front and 15 pounds in the rear.
Along with the seats, the instrument panel and sound system saw small changes to give back 2.5 pounds. All total, this adds up to about 150 pounds, which may not seem like much, but it means you have that weight back for hauling, towing, or just for better fuel economy. In a world where CAFE standards rule, these changes are what we need to keep powerful trucks on the road.