Thursday, August 7, 2014

Vehicular Flambé...

FarmDad sends this story in. Apparently FoMoCo has partnered with Tesla...

Spied: Camouflaged 2016 Super Duty Catches Fire
Frankly, we're surprised this doesn't happen more often, especially given how much testing each of the truckmakers do in some horribly hot places. This just happened when Ford was hot-weather testing its next-generation Super Dutys in Death Valley desert in California. Here's what our spies sent to us about the incident.
Here's a shot from the story:


Now, it doesn't surprise me in the least. There's a delicate balance between keeping the new model covered/free from photos and letting enough info/pics leak out to raise interest. I'm sure there's an extra element of danger testing out in the desert and all that, especially when the vehicle has to be "covered" to prevent unauthorized leaks and such.

But damn. Go click through and look at the rest of the pictures. Apparently Ford is building their F250s out of magnesium, because from the pictures shown it looks like the entire thing burned to the ground. Apparently the entire truck is made of balsa wood. I just hope they work out the kinks in the onboard fire suppression system before launch.

Apparently FORD stands for Fire Onslaught Road Debris...

That is all.

9 comments:

Armed Texan said...

I have nothing against Ford, but it seems to me that they continue to have serious quality issues. About a year before the great GM/Chrysler bailout, I had two coworkers who bought brand-new fords around the same time. One had his front discs disintegrate within 30K miles. The discs, not the pads! The other drove to work one day and later someone looking outside noticed a large fluid spot coming from under the car (parked on a slight grade). He went outside and smelled gasoline. Apparently the fuel filter developed a large hole. The dealer wanted him to drive it in to be looked at! He finally convinced them to tow it at Ford's expense.

More recently I have been car pooling with another coworker who has an F150 of recent vintage. As we were driving home we started hearing a loud grinding metal sound. The welds one of the heat shields gave out and it was dragging along the ground. Ford did the right thing and repaired it at no charge despite it being out of warranty.

I like that Ford did not take a bailout and their designs are looking more attractive these days, but I can't get over the build quality.

Anonymous said...

I'd read that Ford is going to aluminum alloy for their body panels to save weight and improve fuel economy. Looks like it's not holding up to fire well...

KJ said...

This reminds me of the HMS Sheffield. During the Falklands War she was sunk by an Exocet. The warhead never detonated IIRC but Sheffield was an aluminum boat. The still-burning rocket motor was enough to set fire to her hull.

Anonymous said...

I think the last two photos were taken during the clean-up. The coils of wire are from the steel belts in the tires but where are the parts made of thick steel such as the frame, crankshaft, springs, axles etc that would not be melted or consumed by the fire?

Regarding HMS Sheffield the rocket set fire to the galley's oil supply for the deep fryer and it turned out the interior paint of the ship was flammable and the smoke from it was very toxic. The missile also broke the water main and damaged the electrical generator so fire-fighting was impossible. The fire eventually burned itself out. The History Channel or A&E, I cannot remember which, had a good show about it.

Al_in_Ottawa

Bubblehead Les. said...

Damn, I was expecting something like that from Gooberment Motors, but Ford?

Jester said...

Well short of knowing what happened exactly it's hard to really bash Ford. I mean I'm glad it happened on a test truck. Is that not what they are there for? Test out new equipment and push things to failure? I would rather it show up in a test truck than in the general fleet.

Armed Texan said...

I just realized that this story has to be fake. I learned from Rosy that fire has never melted steel.

Ed said...

That plastic shrink-wrap camouflage burns well but generates a lot of black smoke, doesn't it?

What was on the trailer strapped down in white shrink-wrap, a hot tub?

TOTWTYTR said...

Modern vehicles have a lot of plastics, make that highly flammable plastics, them to save weight and make production less expensive. In addition as Anonymous noted, Ford is starting to use aluminum in some of the body panels to save weight.

That this vehicle burned to the ground is not a surprise.

I'd guess that the trailer was being used to test the towing capability and the tanks on it were filled with water to add weight.

Since the fire started in a front wheel, I'd guess that the brakes overheated and caught fire. The fire spread to the plastic wheel well and then to the rest of the truck.

Vehicles catch fire with some regularity, this one just happened to a prototype and was caught on camera.