Thursday, August 12, 2010

2011 Ford F-150 Transmission Features Faster, Smoother Shifting, Better Fuel Economy

  • A six-speed automatic transmission is now standard for each of the four new engines for the 2011 Ford F-150. Ford is the only manufacturer to offer a six-speed automatic transmission as standard throughout the lineup
  • The revamped 6R80 transmission provides smoother operation and better fuel economy. SelectShift Automatic™ capability, progressive range select and manual mode are added, allowing customers the convenience of an automatic transmission for routine operation combined with the ability to select and lock gears
  • Optimized wider ratio span allows a lower final drive ratio with outstanding off-the-line performance and improved fuel economy; new one-way clutch added for smoother 1-2 and 2-1 shifts

DEARBORN, Mich., Aug. 11, 2010 – A familiar transmission – with several improvements – will manage the power produced by the all-new engine lineup of the 2011 Ford F-150. The diverse group of engines, which ranges from a 3.7-liter V6 with advanced valvetrain timing to a 6.2-liter V8, will be mated to the 6R80 six-speed automatic transmission.


This tried-and-true gearbox has been upgraded to bring available customer conveniences such as SelectShift capability with progressive range select and manual mode to the F-150 for the first time. Ford is the only manufacturer to offer a six-speed automatic transmission as standard throughout its full-size pickup lineup.


In every case the transmission has been optimized to each new engine. Available at launch are the 3.7-liter Ti-VCT (twin independent variable camshaft timing) V6, the 5.0-liter V8 and the 6.2-liter V8. An EcoBoost™ engine specially tuned for truck application joins the F-150 lineup after launch.


“The F-150 has a diverse set of customers, so we don’t take a one-size-fits-all approach when matching the transmission to the engine,” said Bryant Grytzelius, 6R80 transmission engineering manager. “With the 3.7-liter engine, for example, that particular transmission has fewer clutch plates compared with the other engines. Everything is sized accordingly for optimum driveability, performance and fuel economy.”


SelectShift, progressive range select and manual mode added for 2011
Convenience and control are balanced by the 6R80’s SelectShift Automatic capability, which automatically shifts during routine operation and also allows complete manual control. Included are progressive range select and manual functions.


With progressive range select, a toggle on the shift lever allows the customer to reduce the range of available gears while in Drive. When the customer “taps” down into range select mode, the new available 4.2-inch LCD screen shows the available gears and highlights the current gear state. This feature allows the driver to limit use of upper gears when heavily loaded or while towing on grades.


For full manual function, customers also can pull the shift lever into “M” for manual mode and use the same toggle switch to select the gear desired. The display will show the selected gear, and the control system will lock the torque converter and hold that gear for a full manual transmission feel.


The 6R80’s tow/haul mode has been recalibrated to provide better control when hauling a heavy load or towing a trailer, especially when going down grades. The improved system, now integrated into the powertrain control module, uses an array of sophisticated electronic sensors to better predict the driver’s need for a downshift to provide engine braking and enhanced control.


A further refinement for 2011 is the addition of a one-way clutch, which allows for smoother 1-2 and 2-1 shifts, faster downshifts and helps improve fuel economy.


Balancing fuel economy and performance; robust testing
The 6R80’s gear ratios, span and shift schedule have been optimized for better off-the-line performance and improved fuel economy. The double-overdrive gear also provides better fuel economy.


The 6R80 has been tested to 150,000 equivalent miles in testing cycles that reflect the most extreme-use customer, and the box itself is rated up to 7,000 rpm. The fluid is filled for life.


“The increased capability and functionality of the transmission, backed by exhaustive testing, will help ensure this next F-150 will deliver everything our customers need and more,” Grytzelius said.

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