This paper details the lightweighting efforts of the Ford Research & Advanced Transmission team as part of the Multi Material Lightweight Vehicle Project.
The Multi Material Lightweight Vehicle (MMLV) developed by Magna International and Ford Motor Company is a result of a US Department of Energy project DE-EE0005574. The project demonstrates the lightweighting potential of a five passenger sedan, while maintaining vehicle performance and occupant safety. Prototype vehicles were manufactured and limited full vehicle testing was conducted. The Mach-I vehicle design, comprised of commercially available materials and production processes, achieved a 364kg (23.5%) full vehicle mass reduction, enabling the application of a 1.0-liter three cylinder engine resulting in a significant environmental benefits and fuel consumption reduction.
Several Ford 6-speed Front Wheel Drive (FWD) automatic transmission components were considered for lightweighting action with three ultimately being chosen as the best candidates to prototype for the MMLV. The first part is the rear carrier clutch shell & sun gear assembly where the shell was converted from steel to aluminum. The second part is the pump support where the support material was changed from cast iron to cast aluminum and its associated fasteners converted from steel to aluminum. The third part is the cast control body where the body material was changed from cast aluminum to cast magnesium and the associated fasteners converter from steel to aluminum. The associated weight saves were 0.39 kg, 1.84 kg, and 1.3 kg respectively.
The specifics of the lightweighting efforts will be presented for each part including the Finite Element Analysis (FEA) results, prototype part fabrication, and all component level test results.