NOTICIAS DE LA INDUSTRIA AUTOMOTRIZ …FORD EcoBoost Engines Cruise 1 Million Miles in Testing, Delivering Fuel Economy, Performance
DEARBORN, Mich.– With grueling durability testing underway, a fleet of Ford’s 3.5-liter EcoBoost™ V-6 engines is proving that this new technology is ready to deliver years of reliable V-8 power with V-6 fuel economy to customers when it goes into production next year.
“EcoBoost was engineered with a relentless, disciplined focus on quality that required a zero-defect mindset from engineers as well as our supplier partners,” said Derrick Kuzak, group vice president, Global Product Development. “The finished product will represent the best combination of production-ready engine technologies of today, poised and ready to deliver the performance, fuel economy, emission levels and value that customers expect.”
To date, a fleet of direct-injection twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 engines have endured more than 12,000 hours of durability operation in Ford’s Dynamometer Laboratory in Dearborn, which is equivalent to more than 500,000 miles of customer driving.
“EcoBoost is undergoing the durability and reliability tests that we put all Ford engines through, and the performance we are seeing shows that the 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine is a high-quality, top-performing engine that meets or exceeds all our reliability targets and is deserving of Ford’s five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty,” said Brett Hinds, Ford’s Advanced Engine Design and Development manager.
The Ford-tough testing includes 20 individual dynamometer-level tests designed to push the engine to its limits. The testing protocol verifies the reliability of the complete engine system under maximum engine speeds and loads, coolant and oil temperatures and customer driving patterns.
The Road Cycle Durability test, for example, is designed to replicate real-world customer driving and vehicle maintenance patterns. For this test, engines with EcoBoost technology were subjected to 1,000 cold starts, followed by sustained operation at peak torque of 340 lb-ft and peak power of 340 hp. During the course of the test, engine coolant temperatures ranged from 12 degrees Celsius (around 53 degrees Fahrenheit) to 95 degrees Celsius (203 degrees Fahrenheit). In total, this single test required 1,000 hours of extreme engine operation, representing more than 60,000 miles of customer driving.
“This was a big test for us, and the EcoBoost fleet passed with flying colors,” Hinds said of the Road Cycle test. “We’re demonstrating that EcoBoost is ready to provide consistent performance in varied conditions.”
Not leaving any stone unturned, the Ford engineering team took extra measures to test the EcoBoost fleet’s durability, creating a subset of checks to verify the reliability of critical components. At the top of this checklist: the high-pressure direct injection fuel system and parallel operating twin turbocharger boost system, the two technologies that paired together give EcoBoost the ability to perform like a larger displacement engine, while offering the fuel economy associated with a smaller displacement engine.
Extensive CAE models of the turbo and exhaust manifolds, for instance, were created to ensure that EcoBoost technology was not only durable, but that it provided just the right pleasing-to-the-ear engine hum. Engineers also conducted multiple thermal and mechanical fatigue simulations of the exhaust system, examining the performance of the cylinder head interface, exhaust manifold, catalyst and gaskets.
Complementing CAE models of the fuel system also helped the engineering team better understand fuel pressure waves within the direct injection system to further optimize its performance.
“Because the 3.5-liter EcoBoost employs the latest in injection and turbocharger thermal management technologies, our tests have shown that we have effectively eliminated the legacy concerns sometimes associated with these systems, including high-mileage combustion deposits on the injectors and turbo bearing coking,” said Hinds.
Beyond the dynamometer, Ford engineers are completing durability testing with installed EcoBoost engine systems on a mix of products, including the Lincoln MKS and Ford Flex at Ford’s Michigan Proving Ground in Romeo, Mich. Here, the EcoBoost fleet is being subjected to multiple on-track tests to measure its performance at, for example, high speeds and while towing a trailer.