INTERNAL TRIPLE BYPASS SHOCKS DEBUT ON FORD F-150 SVT RAPTOR – AN INDUSTRY-FIRST ON A PRODUCTION TRUCK – THROUGH FOX RACING PARTNERSHIP
- Ford brings the 2010 F-150 SVT Raptor, the ultimate high-speed off-road truck, to market with patented, internal triple bypass shocks by FOX Racing Shox, an industry-first on a production truck
- Position-sensitive dampening is a key feature of the shock, helping resist bottoming in desert terrain at high speeds
- Internal bypass technology is instrumental in assuring on-road driving comfort, while still able to handle tough desert terrain
Ford’s Special Vehicle Team (SVT) and FOX Racing Shox are taking consumers where no other OEM has taken them before: off-road in the desert with the internal triple bypass shocks, exclusively available on the 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor – an industry-first on a production truck.
With 12.1 inches of usable travel in the rear suspension and 11.2 inches in the front, the softly sprung suspension has enough travel to handle the toughest terrain in the desert. Usable travel is what matters – most trucks have seven to eight inches, but are so stiffly sprung that the actual movement is much less.
“Typically, automakers go for stiffer suspension character for off-road, which is the wrong approach for desert pre-runner performance,” said Jamal Hameedi, SVT chief nameplate engineer. “The suspension travel allows the truck body to ‘float’ over bumps and undulations at high speed, doing all the work to keep the truck’s attitude stable.”
Bypass shocks are used extensively in racing by pre-runners – vehicles that can be driven on-road and are capable of driving at high speeds off-road – and off-road motorsports teams. Crucial in smoothing out rough desert terrain, bypass shocks traditionally use external welded tubes to manage hydraulic pressure and provide customized jounce and rebound capability.
The internal bypass shock technology is a great off-road enabler for the 2010 F-150 SVT Raptor because it resists bottoming in the desert terrain thanks to its position-sensitive dampening.
“As the shock moves through its travel, it becomes significantly stiffer as it gets deeper into the suspension travel, becoming roughly four times stiffer at the end of the stroke than the beginning,” explained John Marking, vice president, FOX Racing Shox. “The ability of the shock to go from soft to hard is what prevents it from bottoming.”
The damper also performs well on the street. Unlike most off-road vehicles, the F-150 SVT Raptor exhibits on-road plushness, improved body control and more stable roll damping because of the SVT-tuned sway bar, springs and shocks.
Heavy-duty components can take the heat
The beefed-up suspension with heavier-duty components, such as a 7/8-inch-diameter stainless-steel shock rod, also improves the force F-150 SVT Raptor can take on landings. Raptor shocks also can handle seven times the compressive damping force versus a comparable standard shock.
For Raptor, SVT engineers needed a shock with the capability to manage the heat generated in off-road conditions. The new rear damper has a remote reservoir that hangs off the side – enabling it to hold considerably more oil than a traditional shock.
With a volume of 735 cubic centimeters, the rear reservoir with more oil allows for greater heat absorption and better shock performance. The oil temperature in the internal bypass system can range up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and as low as minus 60 degrees, depending on weather and operating conditions.
And even though Raptor is designed to excel off-road, it will still have the on-road comfort a customer would expect from an F-150.
Functional and visible appeal – shocks have it all
The shocks are visible from the front of the vehicle through openings in the front bumper, a key part of a desert truck’s appeal. With no chrome on Raptor, the visible suspension serves as the “bling” of the truck.
“Our objective was high-performance-based – we needed the shocks to perform off-road with authority and maintain street capabilities, all with visible appeal,” said Kerry Baldori, SVT chief functional engineer. “The relationship with FOX Racing Shox allowed us to achieve this.”
Designed to protect the stainless-steel shock rod from stones, a black plastic polyethylene rock shield covers the rear damper. Similar to that on dirt bikes, the shield has the strength to handle rocks thrown at it when racing across the desert at high speeds.
Another strong visual cue is the blue anodized aluminum ends on the shock absorber, with pieces both on top and bottom. The anodized ends also provide a weight reduction. The Ford SVT and FOX Racing Shox logos are co-branded on the shock, displaying the importance of the relationship.
SVT approached FOX Racing Shox because of its experience in the racing world and customer interface. While this is the first time FOX has supplied an automaker, FOX’s familiarity with the target customer and racers’ expectations of an off-road shock absorber proved to be valued insights.
About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 176,000 employees and about 80 plants worldwide, the company's automotive brands include Ford, Lincoln, Mercury and, until its sale, Volvo. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford's products, please visit www.ford.com.
About FOX Racing Shox
Since 1974 FOX Racing Shox has been designing and manufacturing the finest suspension products for Motorcycles, Mountain Bikes, ATVs, Snowmobiles and Off-Road Vehicles. World Headquarters are in Watsonville, CA with its Off-Road Division in Santee, CA. FOX Racing Shox distributes its products in more than 40 countries.
May 13, 2010