Join Date: May 2006
Location: Beautiful Colorado
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Although I now own an F-250, I have to admit that Ford has some of the strangest approaches at mechanical design.
I grew up as a motorhead...building cars and doing some bracket racing. I owned Mopars (raced a '71 440 6-pack Demon), helped my friends build their Chevy's ('70 Chevelle with a 396 anchor in it, a Nova with a 400 small block...and others), and owned a '70 Mach 1 with a 351 Cleveland. I also worked on off-road equipment (mainly Cat...was a journeyman diesel mechanic for them, but also Case, IH, Pettibone, and a ton of others), but I also worked on over-the-road tractors (Pete, Int'l, KW's, Volvo's, Fords).
Ford engineering practice is just flat out strange. My Mach 1 had the weirdest stamped accessory brackets and braces which required removal to access the engine.
I worked on some Ford (9000's, I believe) that had Cat motors in them. Ford would tilt the engine (axially along the crank) about 10 degrees off vertical. It made for great access for the fuel pump (which, relatively speaking, required little maintenance). But, it buried the water pump against the frame rails, which required replacement every 100,000 miles. To get at the water pump, you had to lift the engine. To do that, you had to remove a top brace to the radiator (to tilt it out of the way of the fan blade). That brace not only held the radiator, it also held the wiring harness to the front of the engine. So, you had to disconnect the harness, undo the supports for the hood, remove the brace, tilt the radiator, undo the motor mounts, lift the engine...just to get at the water pump! It turned a one hour job into over a day's work.
I'm now a mechanical engineer, and I know how tough it is to please everyone from marketing through repair/maintenance...but those are some strange designs....