How Ford Did It: Building the Class Leading Power Stroke Diesel

By Ford Social Member

A clean slate. A blank page. Starting from scratch. Those can be intimidating concepts to many people, but not to the Ford powertrain engineers. When it came time to get to work on the all-new 6.7-liter Power Stroke® V8 diesel for the F-Series Super Duty, the stakes were high. This would be the first-ever Ford-designed, Ford-engineered and Ford-built diesel heavy-duty pickup engine. This was an opportunity to design a new engine with more power and higher fuel economy, ensuring it would be capable of meeting stricter emissions requirements for the 2010 model year. Also, improvements were on the way from the competing diesels from General Motors and Dodge. Get it wrong, and it would mean an engine with poor fuel economy and higher emissions. Get it right, and it would save Ford time and money. Gee, no pressure, powertrain engineers….

How would they do it?

The focus was on a highly efficient combustion system, since the combustion system is really the heart of the engine, determining the engine’s ability to use air. Because the Super Duty is a work truck designed to haul heavy loads, horsepower and torque had to be the top priorities for the new Power Stroke.

When Ford Engineer Joshua Styron, Ph.D., began work on the combustion system of the new 6.7-liter engine, he believed that careful attention to the design of the pistons – and precise placement of the fuel injectors and glow plugs – could result in an engine that delivered more power, higher fuel economy and lower emissions than the engine it was replacing. “Combustion systems with the best air utilization extract the most heat from the fuel, produce less soot and NOx, and minimize the energy required to pump fresh air into the engine,” said Joshua.

At the SAE World Congress (April 12-14, 2011), Joshua presents a technical paper detailing how he and his team worked to develop and test the super-efficient combustion system – pistons, fuel injectors and glow plugs – for the award-winning new Power Stroke. At this year's Congress, Ford engineers are presenting no fewer than 38 papers during the three-day conference, covering a range of topics including engine design, fuel economy, safety, lighting and aerodynamics.

Joshua said the engineering brief for the 6.7-liter stressed performance. “Four hundred horsepower was the target. Early in the development program, fuel economy was viewed as much less important to this customer than power and torque. But we believed we could deliver a good combination of both – 400 horsepower along with fuel economy that was not only significantly better than the old 6.4, but higher than our competitors’ engines, too.”

Joshua and his team used computer simulations to evaluate piston bowl shapes, precise placement of the fuel spray within the combustion chamber, glow plug positioning and other factors. Following consultations with diesel engine experts at the Ford Dunton Technical Center in Great Britain and the Ford Research Lab in Aachen, Germany, Joshua's team built two single-cylinder prototype engines. A comprehensive test plan was developed to optimize each layout and finally choose the one best performer.

The winning design features a chamfered re-entrant bowl, fine-tuned injector targeting and optimum air swirl that is matched to a super-efficient spray pattern.

“This design provides the best mixing of fuel and air in a heavy-duty truck engine,” said Joshua. When the first running prototypes of the 6.7-liter Power Stroke were built, the combustion chamber design was exactly the same as the one chosen from the single-cylinder test engine.

As you can see, making fuel economy a priority on the new Power Stroke was the right move. With oil selling for more than $100 per barrel and diesel fuel at more than $4 a gallon in most parts of the country, Ford Super Duty customers will save money every time they fill up.

“Ford Super Duty customers now have the most powerful and fuel-efficient diesel pickup engine money can buy,” said Joshua.
Jon Thulin 12/12/2011
It's to bad that the 7.3 Powerstroke went away. Logged many a mile with this engine. The 6.0 and the 6.4 by comparison were a dismal flop and a mechanical nightmare. Just hope the new Power Stroke lives up to it's press and awards.
Tyler Draper 07/10/2011
it needs bigger brakes and a stronger frame look at what chevy is putting up on youtube its embarassing
kevin 06/15/2011
Yeah..i agree with your decision that was right to ford diesel because little bit disappointment with ford diesel, now wait for the new version.
Ed Granger 05/06/2011
Lewie Pugh..... agreed bring back stick!!!!
joe prantera 04/24/2011
Comment on this ARTICLE!
Braden 04/18/2011
Funny with all that planning I hear from mechanics they used a plastic oil pan and a platic drain plug, ON A 4x4 really!
Bm 04/18/2011
how do we get a copy of Joshua's paper for reading later?
Carl 04/18/2011
I would like to see Ford put diesel fuel cars (small cars, family cars, SUVs) into the showrooms and on the lots for us to purchase. Why not? You do in Europe out of the Ford Europe HQ in Cologne, Germany. C'mon, the time is now! I'm tired of rising prices at the pumps and I want fuel efficiency. Ford, you need to lead the way. Then you'll be back as the USA's firm #1.
Michigan Lakers 04/17/2011
Ford is slow to catch up, GM is and will always be ahead in technology and design. But, Ford makes a good product and it is all about supporting American made
william sergakis 04/17/2011
Will this engine also require the urea to pass emissions requirements or will it have a filter similar to Dodge's Cummins engines?
Arthur Rozum 04/15/2011
Excellent. How about the next logical step - bringing the diesel expertise into passenger cars? Scaling down this engine to 4-6 cyl, 2-3l, 120-180hp engines capable of 35-50 mpg (highway) and offering one as a premium option on every Ford passenger car and SUV?
Slobodan Banjevic 04/13/2011
Fordd fokus is the best car the world is my <3
Derek Z 04/13/2011
Now that Ford has a reliable and most efficient engine. Why would you want to support US Socialism by purchasing a Chevy or a Dodge?
P.Daddy 04/12/2011
I still wouldnt buy one.
Reliability is low
Chevys get better fuel efficiency
Chevys get more power TO THE GROUND
Duramax's are more reliable
Jay Doverspike 04/12/2011
Im still surprised no one has mentioned international yet.....
Joey's Home Improvements 04/12/2011
Anybody have good luck with a programmer\chip for 6.0 that you would recomend!
Adam Grazulis 04/12/2011
love my new 3.5l ecoboost in my 150 awesome
Jason Confer 04/12/2011
maintenance on your truck will save lots in repair bills.
Shannon Williams 04/12/2011
If ford was so bad then why are almost all of the emergency response vehicles (ambulance and police) fords? Because our lives depend on them! That's enough proof for me to believe ford is the best.
Shannon Williams 04/12/2011
Ford is the best in Texas!
Vance Valloff 04/12/2011
ford sucks
Shannon Williams 04/12/2011
Some more are bulldog, and act to name a few. Sorry you want towing and milage. Some have a program for that. Also be careful invest in a good one cause some have a kit that also reprograms your trans and comes with all the hardware. So just take your time and do your research it will pay off.
Shannon Williams 04/12/2011
Second question Carmen. Is is for sale? Jk you better hang on to that one.
Shannon Williams 04/12/2011
The cheap mods that you can do on your 7.3l are exhaust and intake. Get a good one not a metal cold air intake cause all they do is attract heat into the engine. If you want to go faster get a programer. Banks mask some good ones that will compliment what you are doing with your truck. They are not cheap but horsepower cost money how fast you wanna go.
Travis Myers 04/12/2011
The new powerstrokes are not as loud as they were in the past years but it's better for fuel purposes
Carmen Veneziale 04/12/2011
Didn't Ford own a percentage of cummins back in the hay day of 7.3 days. They own 80% or so. I dont know if that was true or not.
Thoroughbred Ford 04/12/2011
It is a great engine
Carmen Veneziale 04/12/2011
By the way I have a '02 7.3 dually that has 60000 mi. What up grade can I do get better mileage a gal. Everything still stock , auto, with 4.10 gears. My wife pulls a horse trl with it.
Shannon Williams 04/12/2011
I'm a heavy duty truck technician. The same stuff that is going on with these small diesel engines have also hit the big ones too. Regen is a pain in the butt. In an idea world it's supposed to do it for you. But a lot of people don't drive these trucks very much so in turn they need to be regend more often. They are ment to be driven. The regen button never works for me or any one. I always have to hook up a scanner and do a manual regen.
Jay Doverspike 04/12/2011
Yeah, again i agree, we had one in last month that keeps goin in to regen. The owners about to lose his mind.
Shannon Williams 04/12/2011
Don't get me wrong I love ford. I bleed ford blue. I'm just saying ford diesel engines have gone down hill since they stopes making the 7.3L
Shannon Williams 04/12/2011
Oh yea.
Jay Doverspike 04/12/2011
Y'all seein problems with regen mode?
Jason Confer 04/12/2011
why the hell do people post on a ford link and then talk smack about fords? thats just stupid. if u dont like ford, then dont post anything!
Shannon Williams 04/12/2011
I know that. Ford does not call it urea. But it is the same stuff. I know it doesnt go in the engine. It is injected in to the diesel particulate filter to aid in burning off the rest of the carbon. The EPA wants this because they don't want to do it the same way as the 6.4 was witch was spraying it with diesel. It works the same way as the cats work on a gas engine but they use air. I'm not just blowing steam I know what I'm talking about.
chris 04/12/2011
I got an 08 superduty with the 6.4, and i love mine, never had any problems with it. hands down ford superduty is the best there is..
Pedro Vasquez 04/12/2011
They don't run on urea u got ur stuff mixt up..I work on these for aliving, the urea doesn't go into the engine at all its used for emmisions in the exhaust...the reason it shuts off is cuz the government wants itthat way
Bryant Riley 04/12/2011
Love ford trucks
Jeff Clary 04/12/2011
Have an 08 f350 4x4 single rear wheel 6.4L with 60k miles and so far only problem is keeping a radiator in it . But I have heard nightmares . Glad I bought warranty !!!
Jay Doverspike 04/12/2011
I agree with shannon, the 6.0s are really hit or miss. Proper maintenance makes a big difference too.
Cory L Frakes 04/12/2011
Shannon I don't know where you live but around the mid west all we see are 7.4 and 6.0 doing work on a daily and 6.7 are new so as you say there shop a lot of us think your full of it go drive chevy with a bobcat engine or a dodge
Colin Gilbert 04/12/2011
Never had a problem with mine and its a 2003.5
Jay Doverspike 04/12/2011
Yep, seen a lot of cabs off on the 6.0s.
Shannon Williams 04/12/2011
6.0's are hit or miss you either get a good one or a bad one. The 6.4's are almost as bad. They also spend more time in the shop than on the road.
Colin Gilbert 04/12/2011
My 6.0 still does the job
Rowdy Rod 04/12/2011
I had a 7.3 and loved it, I sold it cause the mpg was 10 to 13 . I could not afford paying 150 bucks to fill it up and only get 400 miles out of the 36 gallon tank. If ford would come out with a v6 diesel would be nice. a 4 cyl ecobos in an f150 would be awsome.
Bradley E. Bowhall Jr 04/12/2011
stop releasing your corporate secrets you need to stay on top.
Andrew Corbitt 04/12/2011
Nice truck but pricey
Shannon Williams 04/12/2011
They are nice but the price tag isn't.
Dustin Travis 04/12/2011
Yeah, like to see the 7.3 love. I love my 7.3. May not be super fast or quiet but dependable and tows my trailer :-)

Would go for one of the new ones though, but I'm still keeping my 97 f350
Bobby Robinson 04/12/2011
Thats what the paddle is for on the shifter.
Shannon Williams 04/12/2011
What's a standard. Come on man people these days are to lazy to shift their own gears they want it to do it for them.
Lewie Pugh 04/12/2011
How about bringing back the standard transmission.
Steve Daley 04/12/2011
You can't grumble @ $4.30 a gallon, try £1.40 a ltr
Joseph Longo 04/12/2011
Joseph Longo 04/12/2011
Once u cummings ur done..
Joseph Longo 04/12/2011
Jay Doverspike 04/12/2011
Chevy diesel? Don't you mean isuzu?
Will Capriotti 04/12/2011
Ford trucks worlds best
Michael B 04/12/2011
Not only is the new Power Stroke engine efficient and powerful, it is INCREDIBLY QUIET. Really amazing how refined and quiet this new engine is!
Joseph Longo 04/12/2011
siverado isnt the best
Robert Ruiz 04/12/2011
Yay 7.3 lover here too. LOL

How was it that ford made class leader with the silverado besting it in so many tests?
Jennifer Meyers Prothero 04/12/2011
How about a 5.4L 6 cylinder diesel for the Expeditions! Come on Ford, need something for large families!
Jeff Utsler 04/12/2011
nothing better than my 7.3 love it wish fuel prices wernt 4.30 a gallon though!
Jason Confer 04/12/2011
and they sound good with a 4inch straight pipe. run 4inch straight pipe on my 97 f250 4x4. sounded great. love hearing that turbo.
Jerry Maize 04/12/2011
I still love my 2003 F-250 with the 7.3 powerstroke and my superchip and 4 inch exhaust gets me at least 22 mpg....
David Mortensen 04/12/2011
Yes, great topic even better powertrain but... GM is attacking pretty harsh with the duramax head to head comparsion testing they released a few weeks ago, what is the plan to combat that?
Jason Confer 04/12/2011
never had a problem out of ford diesels. was always very dependable.
Viswa Ram 04/12/2011
Love ford who readzz it add me as ur frnd
Jay Doverspike 04/12/2011
Let's hope is more reliable that previous ford diesels.
How We Did It: Building the Class Leading Power Stroke Diesel
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