Save ferrous

Somehow this makes me, if presumably not Ford, giggle:

I heard a rumor. Supposedly, the F-150s on display in Detroit — the ones representing the new aluminum-bodied 2015 model — were magnetic. As in, magnets stuck to them. Which would mean that they’re not, in fact, made of aluminum. I decided to test this out with science.


And so he did the Obvious Thing:

So I went back to the show last night with a magnet in my pocket anyway. While an accomplice created a diversion, I reached over the cordons and attempted to slap my trusty Miss Hurst Golden Shifter magnet onto the truck. I tried fenders and tailgates of a couple different trucks. She didn’t stick. That proves that the rumor was false and they’re not steel, and the logical conclusion is that the trucks are actually made of aluminum.

Farking magnets! How do they work?

Now, whether anyone actually wants an aluminum F-150 remains to be seen.

(Via the Instant Man.)


  1. fillyjonk »

    24 January 2014 · 7:12 am

    The rumor immediately seemed hinky to me, because isn’t steel more expensive than aluminum? It reminds me of something a former department chair commented on, about the rumor that McDonalds (or whatever fast-food chain) used worms instead of beef in their hamburger – “Have you been to a bait shop? Have you compared the price of a pound of worms to a pound of cheap hamburger?”

  2. CGHill »

    24 January 2014 · 7:25 am

    In terms of automotive bodywork, steel is decidedly cheaper, if only because it’s easier to form — and, as the body shop will tell you, easier to repair.

  3. fillyjonk »

    24 January 2014 · 8:14 am

    Ah. I didn’t realize that.

    Of course, steel is a lot heavier, and that would have an effect on gas mileage….

  4. CGHill »

    24 January 2014 · 9:02 am

    Hence the switch. The new F-150 is supposed to be 500-700 lb lighter than its predecessor, not an inconsiderable factor when you’re starting at 5000 lb.

  5. Tatyana »

    24 January 2014 · 10:44 am

    …and that would be my reason to stay away from it [if I’d a) know how to drive in the first place and b) was shopping for a new car].

    the heavier – the safer on the road, that’s my gut feeling.

    about Al. yes, steel is easier to heat and make liquid, thus more appropriate for stamping and die presses; still – there are aluminum profiles, so it’s possible and not too prohibitively expensive to make car body parts with it. [that’s remnant of of my diploma in industrial engineering talking…]
    I remember in the 80’s, when I still lived in the other hemisphere, new trolley-buses from Hungary arrived in our city. All their curved interior metal parts, especially driver’s enclosure, were made of galvanized Al- pretty cool looking, design-wise.

  6. CGHill »

    24 January 2014 · 11:16 am

    And here you run smack into — so what else is new? — conflicting government regulations. You want lightness, so you don’t burn so much fuel; but you also want bulk to protect you in a crash. The laws of physics mean nothing to the lawyers of Washington.

  7. fillyjonk »

    24 January 2014 · 11:55 am

    Wait ’til they start making car bodywork out of recycled plastic soda bottles….

    (And now I have the “Hey, hey, we’re Adobe, the little car that’s made out of clay” song from SNL stuck in my head)

  8. Jeffro »

    24 January 2014 · 11:15 pm

    As the proud owner of a steel F150 I can tell you that shedding seven hundred pounds sure couldn’t hurt in the mileage department.

    It will be interesting to see if repair costs are significantly higher and trigger increased insurance costs. If the insurance is high enough, the extra mileage obtained by a mere 700 pounds might not be cost effective.

  9. hatless in hattiesburg »

    25 January 2014 · 12:13 am

    steel, aluminum, feh… try adobe!

  10. hatless in hattiesburg »

    25 January 2014 · 12:14 am

    oops, i missed fillyjonk’s comment – anyway there’s the link

  11. CGHill »

    28 January 2014 · 8:42 pm

    And Ford has now announced a certification program for repair shops who expect to do any bodywork on the F-150.

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