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Ford SuperDuty History

The following historical data of the Ford Super Duty, manufactured by Ford, were retrieved from many sources.

The Ford Super Duty trucks are larger, heavier built commercial/industrial series pickup trucks with heavier-duty body-on-frame steel ladder frames, axles, springs, brakes, transmissions, more powerful engines, and all other heavier/bigger components than the older traditional equivalent F-250, F-250 HD, and F-350 Ford truck lines.

First Generation (1999 - 2007)

For the 1999 model year, Ford shifted the F-250 and F-350 truck lines to a design mechanically and cosmetically distinct from that of the F-150. The F-350 was not available for 1998, while the F-250 was available that year with the F-150’s body. By using two separate but related platforms for F-Series trucks, the inevitable compromises inherent in offering a wide range of load-carrying capacities were avoided. The main competition, General Motors, followed suit for the 2001 model year, when the Chevrolet Silverado HD and GMG Sierra HD were introduced.

These trucks were styled distinctly different for the first time from the smaller F-150 half-ton pickups. They did not share components with the F-150 platform at all, even though it was still considered an F-series truck. Instead of the aero look, it was more boldly angular with a raised hood and lowered fenders, somewhat like fender/hood medium truck style pioneered by the 1994 Dodge Ram pickup. As an industry first, two big massive complete ring-style front tow hooks were included. The side windows went lower forward in the door like a commercial medium to heavy duty truck, and the grille was also narrower and tall as if from a larger truck, and in 2001, optional manual telescoping Trailer Tow mirrors became available.

There were three cab options: Standard with two doors, SuperCab with two reverse-opening small rear doors, and the Crew Cab with four full doors and seats four to six people. The SuperCab and Crew Cab came with 6 ¾’ and 8’ full-size bed options, but the Standard cab was only available with the 8’ bed. The F-250 Super Duty would also be the base platform for the short-lived Ford Excursion which was the only passenger SUV larger than the Chevrolet Suburban and its twin, the GMC Yukon XL.

The Super Duty had several available engines. A 2-valve per cylinder 5.4L Modular V8 was standard, while the 2-valve per cylinder 6.8L Modular V10 was an option. The 7.3L Power Stroke turbo diesel with 235 hp and 500 ft-lb of torque from 1999-2000 and upped to 250 hp and 500 ft-lb of torque in 2001-2002 trucks equipped with an automatic transmission or 275 hp and 520 ft-lb of torque for trucks equipped with a manual transmission.

The 6.0L Power Stroke with a variable-vane turbo was phased in starting in 2003; this engine produced 325 hp and 560 ft-lb of torque. The 6.0L 32-valve pushrod-actuated Power Stroke single-turbo diesel was modified in 2005, boosting torque to 570 ft-lb, but power remained the same as the previous version with 325 hp. Due to very high warranty exposure and over 500 vehicle full buybacks, late 2006 was the last of the 6.0L diesels. The major problem with the Navistar diesel engines is due to damage resulting from defective fuel injectors. There were also minor problems resulting from the unreliable factory variable-vane turbocharger, EGR valve carbon deposit clogging/sticking, defective Exhaust Pressure sensor/connector, extensive PCM recalibrations, fuel injector harness chafing/crushing, general engine stalling/bucking, and inability to conform to the new federal diesel emissions standards of January 1, 2007.

Four transmissions were available. A standard 5-speed manual for gasoline engines, a standard 6-speed manual for diesel engines, an optional 4R100 4-speed automatic for gas or diesel, and a 5-speed automatic for the 6.0L diesels. Trucks with the TorqShift 5-speed automatic are rated at exactly 1,000 lb higher towing capacity than trucks with the standard 6-speed manual transmission.

The Super Duty line was restyled for 2005. Exterior styling was given a minor update with a new front end, however, with this facelift came significant changes both in mechanics and options offered. Major changes over the previous generation of the Super Duty includes payload and towing capacities, a new taller front grille, revised interior, standard locking tailgate, 10-17% thicker partially boxed frame, alternator with a higher amperage capacity, larger-than-before 4-wheel disc brakes with new two-piston calipers, revised engines, new automatic transmission options, a new optional built-into-dash Ford TowCommand Trailer Brake Controller that is full integrated with the truck’s PCM and ABS, optional dashboard-integrated auxiliary “upfitter” switches, and an optional drivers side glove compartment.

Second Generation (2008 - Present)

The second generation Super Duty was to debut for 2007, but quality issues pushed it back to a 2008 model. The new 2008 model features an all-new 6.4L twin-turbo Power Stroke Diesel V8 with piezo fuel injectors to replace the problematic 6.0L Power Stroke single-turbo Diesel V8. The new engine is said to produce 350 hp and 650 ft-lb of torque.

After investing $95 million in the Kentucky plant on various upgrades and modernizations, Ford began production of the 2008 Super Duty trucks on December 18, 2006. However, the truck didn’t go on the market until January 2007. The vehicle had its first official showing at the Texas State Fair in 2006.

Located near the same dash area as the last generation, this generation of Super Duty has the same Ford TowCommand Trailer Brake Controller and four AUX Upfitter switches as the last generation set-up. There is an optional concealed slide-out and swing-up hand grab bar in the rear tailgate for easy access. Ford introduces its all new optional Rapid-Heat Supplemental Cab Heater, only available on Super Duty trucks with the diesel engine and TorqShift automatic transmission. In the winter, it quickly raises the cabin temperature to a comfortable level until the engine is warm enough to handle the job.

This second generation of Super Duty includes the F-250 Super Duty, F-350 Super Duty and the all-new F-450 Super Duty. The F-250 and F-350 Super Duty basically has the same payload and towing specs as the last generation. The model lineup for the 2010 F-250 and F-350 Super Duty is the XL, XLT, Lariat, Cabela’s, King Ranch, and Harley-Davidson. The F-450 lineup included the XL, XLT, Lariat, King Ranch, and the Harley-Davidson.

The Super Duty line received a large exterior upgrade that includes a new, bigger front fascia. Its engines were also upgraded to better compete with the new Silverado HD and Ram HD. The 2011 Ford Super Duty is available with either a gas or diesel engine. The gas option is a 6.2L 2-valve SOHC V8, and the diesel is the new 6.7L Power Stroke V8. The new engine has been completely designed and manufactured by Ford, unlike previous models which were sourced from Navistar.

Shortly after the unveiling of the 6.7L Power Stroke V8, GM unveiled the 2011 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra 3500HD with Duramax 6.6L turbo diesel V8, making 397 hp and 765 lb-ft of torque. Ford quickly responded by boosting the output of the Power Stroke just months after its initial release, to 400 horsepower and 800 ft-lb of torque. For customers who purchased a Super Duty with the original Power Stroke V8, Ford offered a free software upgrade at dealerships to the new level of output.