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Ford F-150 With Production EcoBoost Motor Finishes Baja 1000

Posted in 4x4, Engines, Ford, Off-Roading, Racing, Trucks by Kurt Ernst | November 23rd, 2010 | 4 Responses |
2011 Ford F150

Photo: Ford Motor Company

Let’s say you’re the manufacturer of the best selling full size pickup in the United States, and you’re trying to convince V8 truck guys that a V6 turbo motor can be just as durable. Maybe you’d pull a crazy stunt like pulling a motor from the production line and stuffing it into a race-prepped F-150 chassis to run the Baja 1000. You wouldn’t have to win, since even finishing the race would be pretty damn impressive. That would probably be enough to sell me, since the Baja 1000 is considered to be one of the most grueling races on the planet. It’s hard on drivers, but it’s even harder on machinery, with most competitors experiencing some kind of mechanical breakdown during the race.

Now lets say that you REALLY wanted to make a point on how durable your V6 turbo motor is. You could run it for the equivalent of 150,000 miles on a dynamometer before you stuff it in the truck and race the Baja 1000. That would show, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that the V6 EcoBoost is every bit as durable, or possibly more durable, than V8 engines of the past. It would also tell you a thing or two about the quality of the product being produced.

Here’s the remarkable part: Ford didn’t stop there. They pulled a production V6 EcoBoost engine from the assembly line, ran 150,000 simulated miles on a dyno, put the motor to work in an F-150 used as a log-skidder in Oregon, then used it to tow an 11,300 pound trailer at high speed around Miami’s Homestead Speedway, then used it to compete against trucks from Dodge and Chevy in a steep grade towing contest in Arizona. After all of this, which translates to ten years of simulated “hard” usage, Ford used the engine to race the Baja 1000. The torture-tested EcoBoost truck completed the 1,061 miles in just over 38 hours, and the engine is now headed to Ford’s powertrain lab for a complete tear-down and evaluation.

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4 Responses

  1. Set says:

    Well done, Ford. Congrats are definitely in order. They’re slowly changing this bow-tie man to the blue oval.

  2. ElvisAndretti says:

    The thing is, it’s trying to win the race that puts the hurt on the motor, if you just go drive the course like a Sunday tour you’re not really putting the hardware through the same abuse as the legitimate competitors.

  3. Kurt Ernst says:

    Elvis, I think their conservative time was more due to non-engine related mechanical issues and tire problems than it was conservative driving. Remember that they started the race with the equivalent of over 100k miles on the engine, so I’d still call it pretty damn impressive.

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