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Ford Motor Co. is betting on a revamped Power Stroke diesel truck engine with a piezo electric fuel injection system to end quality problems and keep its top-selling Super Duty pickups ahead of the pack.
Automotive News reported that industry sources say the Super Duty pickups will get a new 6.4-liter V-8 made by Ford’s longtime diesel engine supplier, International Truck and Engine Corp. The engine is expected to be launched early next year in Ford’s revamped Super Duty F-series trucks, most of which are sold with diesel engines.
International spokesman Joe Koenig would not comment on the company’s product plans, and he refused to talk about any engines it might sell to Ford. But he said piezo technology is a key enabler to meeting 2007 emissions regulations because of its precise control over fuel quantity and timing.
Automotive News said the 6.4-liter replaces a troublesome 6.0-liter diesel, also made by International. That engine has cost Ford millions in warranty repairs and has angered some of the automaker’s most loyal customers.
Sources say International will equip the new Power Stroke with piezo injectors – the first application of the technology in a U.S. pickup. The 2007 Mercedes-Benz E320 coming this fall will be the first North American passenger car application of piezo fuel injectors.
Ford has recalled Power Stroke-equipped Super Duty trucks at least three times, bought back as many as 500 vehicles that could not be fixed and issued at least 60 technical bulletins to dealerships.
Most of the quality issues were related to fuel injection system faults on engines built up to the 2004 model year. An improved fuel injection system that debuted on 2005 models solved many of the problems.
The new engine and fuel injection system are expected to help Ford fend off fresh competition in the pickup wars and meet tougher diesel emissions standards that take effect Jan. 1. This year, GM will launch new versions of the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups. Toyota plans to launch a bigger version of the Tundra pickup this fall.