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    • By Gorehamj
       
      John Goreham
      Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com
      1-17-2018
      General Motors announced today it will build the new 3.0-liter Duramax diesel engine in Flint Michigan. The company will invest $263 million to prepare the line for the new engine build. Flint Engine, as the plant is called, presently builds small four-cylinder gasoline engines for GM vehicles, but has produced Duramax engines in the past.
       
      “The next-generation Silverado builds on the success of our current models, many of which are produced here in Flint. We are proud to expand the industry-leading diesel portfolio here in Vehicle City,” said John Urbanic, Flint Engine Operations plant manager.
       
      The 2.8-liter Duramax engine that GM uses in the Colorado and Canyon are built in Rayong, Thailand. This new move by GM to bring the Durmax production stateside and invest heavily in a plant to build the engine, leads us to speculate that the 3.0-liter engine will likely be used in more vehicles than just the Silverado. The GMC Sierra will get the engine, and possibly GM’s large SUVs. It may even supplant the 2.8-liter engine now used in the Colorado and Canyon at some future point.
    • By Gorehamj

      John Goreham
      Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com
      1-14-2018
       
      Ford’s new Ranger debuted last night at midnight just after the launch of the new Silverado. The new Ranger arrives with modern driver aids, modern infotainment and will sport a 2.3-liter turbocharged EcoBoost engine mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission.

      “Ranger has always held a special place in the hearts of truck fans,” said Hau Thai-Tang, Ford executive vice president, Product Development and Purchasing. “The all-new Ranger is designed for today’s midsize truck buyer, delivering even more utility, capability and technology for those who blend city living with more off-the-grid adventures on weekends.”

      The new Ranger has a unique engine offering in this segment. The 2.3-liter EcoBoost makes about 310 hp and about 350 lb-ft of torque. This engine (on paper at least) will offer diesel-like torque at low RPMs, but also have the power of the up-powered Toyota Tacoma and Colorado/Canyon.
      Ranger trims will include the entry-level XL, mid-level XLT. The Lariat trim series with be available with Chrome and Sport appearance packages in SuperCab or SuperCrew cab configurations.

      The new Ranger will also launch with an FX4 Off-Road Package that will include protective skid plates, upgraded tires, off-road-tuned shocks and suspension, and Ford’s Terrain Management System and Trail Control which sounds a bit like Toyota’s crawl control system.  

      Power will be distributed through Dana AdvanTEK independent front and solid rear axles on both 2WD and 4WD models with an available electronic-locking rear axle (standard on FX2 and FX4).  Ranger four-wheel-drive versions will feature 2-high, 4-high and 4-low.

      Infotainment will include available Apple Car Play and Android Auto, 4G LTE, and Alexa integration. Driver assist systems will include standard automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and class-exclusive Blind Spot Information System with trailer coverage.
       
      Production of the all-new Ford Ranger will begin in late 2018 at Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant.
    • By Gorehamj

      John Goreham
      Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com
      1-11-2018
       
      Ford is the latest automaker to be sued over emissions from diesel vehicles. This time, it is owners who are alleging that Super Duty pickups are not in compliance with emissions control laws under light loads and while climbing grades. The 50-state class-action status suit filed in Michigan alleges that Ford’s diesel pickup trucks emit up to 50 times the allowable levels of oxides of nitrogen.
       
      Bosch is also named as a co-defendant. Bosch and Ford worked together on the Super Duty’s diesel emissions control system. Bosch has lawyered up, and company spokeswoman Alissa Cleland released a statement saying, “Bosch takes the allegations of manipulation of the diesel software very seriously. It is a well-known fact that these allegations remain the subject of investigations and civil litigation involving Bosch. Bosch is cooperating with the continuing investigations in various jurisdictions, and is defending its interests in the litigation.”
       
      Ford denies the claims. "All Ford vehicles, including those with diesel engines, comply with all U.S. EPA and (California Air Resources Board) emissions regulations. Ford vehicles do not have defeat devices. We will defend ourselves against these baseless claims," according to a statement sent by Ford spokesman Mike Levine.
       
      Since researchers at West Virginia University developed the methods by which a diesel vehicle’s pollution output can be monitored while under normal operating conditions, it has become much easier for testing agencies (or lawyers working for a class of owners) to empirically measure how much emissions are produced during actual driving, as opposed to on the EPA test cycle. Whether or not the Ford Super Duty stays in compliance during operation will be relatively clear cut. It is very doubtful that lawyers representing this group don’t already have that test data.
       
      Assuming the data does show that the truck is not in compliance in real-world scenarios, Ford will have the choice of playing dumb, and taking FCA’s approach and offer “repairs.” Or Ford can defend itself and say that the emissions were not faked. . Except that Bosch is also involved. And Bosch has already settled a previous diesel emission faking case.
    • By MDF
      Hey Everyone. I’ve been looking at buying a diesel 6.6 L duramax denali GMC automatic transmission. Both of the 2014 models in separate cities I’ve looked over have  two, 3/8 or 1/2 inch holes drilled on the left side of the steering wheel in the dash. I can tell these are not manufacturer drilled, and was wondering why I have seen this on that model twice. At first I thought to mount the trailer brake controller, but the holes are way bigger than necessary for screw mounting. The holes are big enough they are very noticeable, an ink pen could easily pass through.  So question 1: why drill these two holes?  Both models I’ve looked at have a trailer towing feature engaged by pushing the end of the shifter on the right side of steering wheel inwards. Would that not mean this model also comes equipped with trailer brake controller? I’m concerned the previous owners removed something I will need for trailer towing or some other feature of interest. I can see the gooseneck mount, or trailer hitch and the 7 way round plug, so I’m baffled on why these holes are there in the dash. Thanks  in advance. 
    • By Gorehamj

      John Goreham
      Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com
      1-8-2018
       
      Ford announced a sixth engine option for the F-150 line this week. The new engine is a 3.0-liter, V6 “Power Stroke” turbo diesel. The new engine will produce its peak torque of 440 ft-lbs at 1,750 RPM. To make the most of that twist, Ford has mated it to a diesel-specific SelectShift 10-speed automatic transmission which can shift non-sequentially. In other words, it can skip over gears to find the right one for the circumstances. Ford’s aim is to produce the best towing combination in the F-150’s class in terms of efficiency and drivability.

      “For every truck owner who wants strong fuel economy while they tow and haul, we offer a new 3.0-liter Power Stroke V6 engine that dreams are made of,” said Dave Filipe, vice president global powertrain engineering. “The more you tow and the longer you haul, the more you’ll appreciate its class-leading towing and payload capacity and how efficient it is at the pump.”

      The new 3-liter Power Stroke diesel has just 250 hp, but will be able to tow up to 11,400 pounds and has a 2,020-pound payload capacity. Ford says this combination makes the new F-150 the best-in-class hauler. Going further, Ford says that this new drivetrain will be the best hauler in the most severe conditions. Rather than an electric cooling fan, Ford has opted for a premium mechanical engine-driven fan plus dual radiator shutters for improved high temperature, high-altitude performance. “We know that competing diesels with electric cooling fans have to dial back on power under extreme heat and altitude, so we decided on a viscous-controlled mechanical fan that has the capacity to move much more air across the radiator and intercooler in extreme conditions,” said David Ives, Ford diesel engine technical specialist. “This gives F-150 Power Stroke owners more power and more passing capability in harsh conditions.” Ford says that in moderate driving and towing conditions, the F-150 engine control system will back off the fan load through a viscous coupler and close the radiator shutters for improved aerodynamic efficiency and reduced parasitic engine loss.

      Ford’s extensive experience with boosted engines shows in the new engine’s design. With a focus on reducing turbo lag, Ford incorporated a high-efficiency variable-geometry turbocharger. Fuel injection is via a common-rail fuel injection system with a 29,000 pounds per square inch injection calibration. Ford promises smoother, quieter operation and reduced emissions. Borrowing from the new 2.7-liter turbocharged gasoline engine in its trucks, the new Ford V6 diesel uses a compacted-graphite iron block material and has a forged-steel crank. Other features of the new engine include dual fuel filters, a cast-aluminum oil pan, and a two-stage oil pump.

      Ford says the new 3-liter turbodiesel F-150 can be ordered in either rear-wheel drive or 4X4 in the following configurations starting this month:
      Retail customers:
      -          2018 F-150 Lariat, King Ranch and Platinum edition SuperCrew trucks with either a 5.5-foot or 6.5-foot bed configuration, and SuperCab trucks with a 6.5-foot bed configuration.
      Commercial Fleet Customers:
      -          All F-150 trim levels with SuperCrew 5.5-foot or 6.5-foot bed configurations and SuperCab trucks with a 6.5 foot bed.
       
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