Ford’s creative and colorful display provided an awe inspired response from the engineers in the group and it gave a very visual interpretation of how the construction and repairs of Ford’s very popular F-150 would change going forward with the aluminum redesign. One of the major changes in design is in the apron tubes. Generally speaking, a pickup has two of them, one on each side of the engine compartment. The first tube running from the A-pillar to the radiator support frame and helps support the front fenders. Currently, if the tube is damaged, technicians have to remove the instrument panel to get the tube out. This job alone takes anywhere from six to seven hours. This inefficient use of time and money is created because the end of the tube wraps around the bottom of the A-pillar and is welded to the body behind the instrument panel. In the redesigned truck, the construction is much more efficient as the apron tube is riveted to the bottom of the A-pillar and does not wrap around the bottom. So now it can be removed just by pulling the rivets taking much less time, probably as little as one hour if not less.
The same type of redesign was also done to the floor pan. Currently, if the truck is damaged, the technician may have no choice but to replace the entire floor structure. With the newly redesigned truck, technicians can now remove individual floor sections. So if you are a PDR technician or body shop owner, or both, you can already see that this truck was designed for ease of access for collision specialists. The repair options that are now going to be available are in fact a game changer in how you quote and how much time is spent on repairs.
When all is said and done, at the end of the day, Ford has gone through great lengths to ensure that dealerships and body shops feel less threatened by these modular design changes.
Follow me over to Part III.