2020 Ford Super Duty debuts all-new 7.3-liter pushrod V8, 10-speed automatic

New powertrain offerings drive best-ever towing and payload ratings for Ford’s revamped 2020 heavy-duty pickup truck lineup.
The 2020 Ford F-Series Super Duty will arrive with the heavy-duty pickup truck’s best-ever conventional, gooseneck, and fifth-wheel trailer towing and payload ratings. “What makes these highest-ever ratings possible is our strongest-yet Super Duty powertrain offerings,” said Dave Filipe, Ford VP of global powertrain during the 2020 F-Series Super Duty’s January 30 debut in Detroit.
Automotive Engineering spoke with Ford powertrain engineers about the all-new pushrod V8, the third-generation 6.7-L Power Stroke diesel V8, and the all-new 10-speed TorqShift automatic transmission offered on the 2020 F-250, F-350, and F-450 trucks, which are expected to begin shipping to dealers in the fall of 2019.
All-new 7.3-liter pushrod V8
The all-new Ford engineered and built 7.3-L (440+ c.i.) powerplant uses a pushrod (“cam-in-block”), overhead-valve architecture, and is the largest V8 gas engine for Class 3-5 trucks. It joins the standard 6.2-L V8 in the Ford heavy-duty lineup, and includes a cast iron block, aluminum cylinder heads, forged steel crankshaft and cast stainless-steel manifolds.
The new V-8 features port fuel injection, variable valve timing and a variable-displacement oil pump to reduce parasitic losses. Like the 6.7-L diesel engine, the gasoline V8 has oil jets to cool the pistons during heavy load operation. “All of the knowledge that we learned from building turbo-diesel engines and EcoBoost turbocharged engines has been applied to this V8,” said Joel Beltramo, the 7.3-L V8’s engineering manager.
For instance, the piston rings’ coating is usually reserved for turbocharged engine applications as are the materials for the valves and valve seats. “This is not a boosted engine, but we’re doing things to extend the durability,” Beltramo said. “We have customers that will drive 400,000 to 500,000 miles, so our powertrain goal is to outlast the vehicle.”
The compact and narrow V8 was designed and optimized to power a range of vehicles. “So if you’re running a fleet, you can have standard service as all the maintenance parts are common,” Beltramo said. Ford’s new V8 is a gasoline-fueled companion to the standard 6.2-L V8 that produces 385 hp (287 kW) at 5750 rpm and 430 lb·ft (583 N·m) at 3800 rpm. Power output numbers for the 7.3-L V8 have not yet been released, but it will also be available with a compressed natural gas (CNG) option.
Third-generation 6.7-L diesel V8 engine
In its latest incarnation, the 6.7-L Power Stroke will produce more horsepower and torque than the second-gen (450 hp/336 kW); 935 lb·ft/1,268 N·m) with new ratings planned to be released at a later date. The prior-generation fuel injection system produced 30,000 psi (2,068 bar) versus the new system’s 36,000 psi (2,482 bar). “We’ve increased the operating pressure for better emissions and fuel economy. To handle that extra pressure, we upgraded and structurally improved the fuel pump, fuel injectors, and the high-pressure lines,” said David Ives, Ford’s diesel technical leader.
Major changes to the Honeywell turbocharger involve the vane control mechanism and replacing the former unit’s electro-hydraulic actuator with an all-electric actuator. “This new version is more responsive in colder weather,” said Ives. Vanes on the turbocharger are now located on both sides of the plates/walls. The prior version had the vanes pinned on one side with a guide-slot on the other side. “The closer that the vanes ride the wall means less internal air leakage and more efficiency,” Ives said.
The block, cylinder heads, main bearings, connecting rod, and pistons—the engine’s primary structural components—were upgraded to handle the higher operating pressures. “We have nearly nine years of field experience with the engine, so we’ve been able to apply that knowledge toward optimizing the engine for higher performance output,” said Ives, noting the first-generation powerplant debuted in April 2010.
New 10-speed, new trailer tech
A new 10R140 TorqShift 10-speed automatic replaces the Super Duty’s six-speed automatic transmission, and can be paired with all three engine offerings. Packaged in the same space as the 6-speed, the 10-speed weighs only 3.5 lb (1.6 kg) more. Next-generation software and controls are similar to those in light-duty F-150’s 10R80 transmission. “With the new controls, the shifting is faster, more accurate, and smoother,” said Greg Stout, the automaker’s 10-speed transmission systems manager.
The 10-speed transmission was custom-designed to match the Super Duty engines. “It shares the same basic architecture of the F-150’s 10-speed transmission, so it has the same number and arrangement of clutches and planetary sets,” said Stout. All the 10R140’s drive hardware is beefier than in the 10R80, with the two transmissions sharing only 7% of components. “And that 7% represents mostly small fasteners, springs, valves, and other parts inside the hydraulic control that are independent of the load the transmission carries,” Stout said.
The electronically controlled transmission provides various selectable drive modes: normal, tow/haul, eco, slippery, and deep sand/snow. Like the prior 6-speed, the 10-speed transmission will offer a class-exclusive live-drive power takeoff, enabling operators to engage snowplows and other industrial accessories when the truck is in-motion.
Driver-assist and other technologies available on the 2020 Super Duty lineup include the class-exclusive Pro Trailer Backup Assist that enables the driver to steer the trailer via the reverse camera; a Trailer Reverse Guidance system that shows trailer angle and direction with steering suggestions; and FordPass Connect with an embedded 4G LTE modem and Wi-Fi access for up to 10 devices. Continue reading »