Ford puts the 400 HP SVT Raptor through its paces
Ford is trying to expand their largest market with an all-new version of their best selling truck that they promise is ready to compete in the Baja 1000 desert race right out of the box with it’s 35 inch tires, Fox Racing long travel shock absorbers and SVT forged lower control arms as well as an all new power plant for the Ford lineup. When the 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor launches it will be equipped with the blue oval’s proven three valve Triton 5.4 Liter V8 delivering 320 HP and 390 lb-ft of torque, however the high performance off road specialty truck will also be offered with a Ford’s new 6.2 Liter engine that is supposed to put out somewhere in the neighborhood of 400 HP and 400 lb-ft of torque. However all the power in the world won’t do you any good if they aren’t reliable, so Ford set out to vigorously test the Raptor’s power train.
Both of the Raptor’s V8 engines underwent extreme laboratory testing that included running the motors over 6,000 PRM for more than 150 hours on the dynamometer as well as being in shocked by severe climate changes when running at wide open throttle. Mike Harrison, Ford Motor Company’s premium V8 systems manager said that “Running it over 6,000 rpm for more than 150 hours, which is over the peak power limit of the engine, really puts it through its paces…We’ve tested it in harsher operating conditions on the engine dyno than would ever be seen by a customer who races.”
After the laboratory testing was complete the engines also were put to the test on Ford’s newly developed 62 mile desert evaluation loop in Borrego Springs, California as an additional real world evaluation in order to confirm their durability because there will be plenty of demand for on throttle antics by high-performance, off-road enthusiasts. Harrison wants everything to work in tiptop form so that Raptor customers won’t have anything to worry about, even desert racers. Harrison said that his crew would then do “a careful teardown of each engine at completion of testing to ensure there absolutely are no issues with the hardware.” SVT chief functional engineer Kerry Baldori said that “Desert testing proved to be a very quick way to learn about the reliability of the truck and it put another level of extreme loads on the engine that our normal durability testing doesn’t cover.”
Continued after the jump.
The all new 6.2 Liter V8 will feature a cast-iron engine block with four-bolt main bearing caps for strength and a pair of aluminum cylinder heads machined to accept two valves and two spark plugs per cylinder. The valve train will consist of a single overhead camshaft that applies pressure directly to a roller-rocker, this allows for optimized intake and exhaust port packaging which gives the large V8 better “breathing.” The 6.2 Liter motor will also come equipped with variable cam timing on both the intake and exhaust valves in order to optimize fuel economy and performance throughout the entire rev range. One of the more important factors in the make up of the new V8 is that it uses a larger bore and a shorter stroke, when combined with the two valve per cylinder layout will create a tremendous amount of torque down low in the RPM range and because of the narrow angle created by the connecting rod and crankshaft, the engine will be able to spin effortlessly well past 6,000 RPM. Throw in the oil squirters and this new truck motor is starting to look more and more like a purpose built racing engine.
NEW 2010 FORD SVT RAPTOR ENGINE ENDURES EXTREME TESTING TO MEET OFF-ROAD ENTHUSIAST
|The 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor launches with the proven three-valve Triton 5.4-liter V-8 engine delivering 320 horsepower and 390 ft.-lb. of torque; a new 6.2-liter engine with an estimated 400 horsepower and 400 ft.-lb. of torque becomes available shortly after launch|
|Both engines underwent extreme laboratory testing, including running the engines at over 6,000 rpm for more than 150 hours|
|The engines also were put to the test in the desert on a 62-mile evaluation loop to prove out the durability demanded by high-performance, off-road enthusiasts|
BORREGO SPRINGS, Calif., Aug. 17, 2009 – Mike Harrison’s enthusiasm for V-8 engines is apparent. Harrison, Ford Motor Company’s premium V-8 systems manager, is particularly excited about the availability of the new 6.2-liter V-8 that will power the Ford F-150 SVT Raptor.
Producing an estimated 400 horsepower and 400 ft.-lb. of torque, Harrison rattles off the new engine’s components and features quickly and easily, pointing them out and explaining them with more than a trace of pride.
Harrison wants that engine to perform to its maximum capabilities so that customers of the F-150 SVT Raptor won’t have anything to worry about. In short, if the engine can withstand the rigorous testing Ford demands during the development cycle, it can withstand almost anything the most enthusiastic off-roader can dish out, even desert racers.
The testing is intense. It’s cruel, dusty and dirty. By working in the lab to push the engine to its limits, the process simulates how a customer would use the engine. But then it goes a little bit further.
“Running it over 6,000 rpm for more than 150 hours, which is over the peak power limit of the engine, really puts it through its paces,” Harrison said. “We’ve tested it in harsher operating conditions on the engine dyno than would ever be seen by a customer who races.”
Beginning in fall 2006, Harrison and his team tested more than 50 engines, with each running through a dozen separate tests. Evaluations included high-speed durability, crank-torsional testing, aeration and a thermal cycle where the engine is “shocked” from one temperature extreme to another.
As with all Ford programs, attention to detail was a hallmark of the testing process.
“We did a careful teardown of each engine at completion of testing to ensure there absolutely are no issues with the hardware,” Harrison said. “These are very demanding, very stringent tests – far more stringent than anything you would see on a truck – racing or otherwise.”
Testing in the heat
Besides dyno testing, the engine was put to the test in its element – the desert of Borrego Springs, Calif. Important factors such as engine cooling were evaluated on the 62-mile test loop designed by Ford’s Special Vehicle Team (SVT).
Engine cooling is key on Raptor – when the truck is in a desert environment, the hot weather and deep sand put a heavy load on the vehicle, and the engine has to exert maximum power to keep it going through deep sand.
There also is less airflow through the radiator at low speeds, and a large and effective cooling system is required for this extreme environment. To improve airflow to the engine, grille openings were increased by 20 percent.
“We spent a lot of time developing our desert durability test so that it’s very close to replicating the Baja 1000,” said Kerry Baldori, SVT chief functional engineer. “Desert testing proved to be a very quick way to learn about the reliability of the truck and it put another level of extreme loads on the engine that our normal durability testing doesn’t cover.”
Features of the new 6.2-liter V-8 engine include:
|Cast-iron engine block and four-bolt main bearing caps, with additional cross bolts, for durability|
|Aluminum cylinder heads, with two valves per cylinder head and two spark plugs per cylinder to more efficiently burn the fuel-air mixture in the combustion|
|Single overhead camshaft with roller-rocker shaft drivetrain, which creates a stiff valvetrain that allows optimized camshaft lift profiles and results in better low-speed torque. The roller-rocker shafts allow valve angles to be splayed, resulting in optimized intake and exhaust port layout for better engine “breathing”|
|Dual-equal variable cam timing means intake and exhaust valve opening and closing events are phased at the same time to optimize fuel economy and performance throughout the engine speed range and throttle positions|
Core to the improvements is using a larger bore and shorter stroke. This approach to creating power has its roots in storied Ford racing engines from the past. The large bore (102 mm) allows for larger intake and exhaust valves for improved engine breathing, and the shorter stroke (95 mm) allows higher engine speed for increased horsepower. Still, peak horsepower is generated at a relatively modest 5,500 rpm. Piston cooling jets squirt oil on the underside of the pistons to keep the piston crowns cool under extreme operating conditions.
Crankcase breathing is also improved to reduce windage losses and oil aeration levels at very high speeds. “That really helps get a robust lubrication system for the engine,” said Harrison. “It allows us to endure a lot of time at extreme high speeds.”
The 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor launches with Ford’s proven three-valve Triton 5.4-liter V-8 engine. The new 6.2-liter engine will become available in early 2010.