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The OFFICIAL Steel vs. Aluminum Fact-Checking Thread

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Old 10-19-2016, 07:50 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by larry2c View Post
First, I really like this thread - thanks for sharing your knowledge MrMeeseeks!

My question has to do with the finish & painting of aluminum skins. I work in aerospace and see plenty of aluminum parts but few have the sort of finish an automotive body part has. There are also special considerations when applying paint to aluminum. What are they doing to make the aluminum skins equivalent to the steel ones in appearance?
I'm glad you're enjoying it, thanks for the feedback!

Now painting is not exactly my forte, admittedly, but I was awake for one or two body shop classes some time ago. So by special considerations I'm going to assume you mean the pre-treatment of the metal before its painted? Once primed the paint should adhere to both steel and aluminum in the exact same way.

As for aesthetics I'm not really sure. I would hope that Ford has equipped themselves with the proper tools and isolated bays for preparing/painting aluminum (to avoid any metal cross contamination). Which brings up a good point that if you're going to have a body shop work on your vehicle it's best to find one experienced in finishing/refinishing aluminum as well as steel.

I'm not sure if Ford gets their aluminum panels already pre-treated or not...but for years many automobile hoods have been aluminum and are treated and cleaned in a chemical bath. I'd forsee a lot of rising short term cost for either Ford or the aluminum supplier to now be treating a much larger percent of aluminum for each vehicle.

With steel you can simply seal over any cut-throughs after abrading but with aluminum you'd have to apply some sort of conditioning first if you managed to cut through the electrocoat if you don't want refinish failures.

Are there any particular aesthetic issues you're worried about with the painted aluminum?

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Originally Posted by SCORGE View Post
This thread is cool...thanks Marty and Meeseeks.
I'll probably be a mechanical engineer by the time this is over..haha
I hope to see a shout-out on your resume lol

Last edited by Martian; 10-19-2016 at 07:53 AM.
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Old 10-19-2016, 07:53 AM   #22
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Merged.
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Old 10-19-2016, 12:21 PM   #23
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This is all cool and stuff but how is Ford going to respond to the Chevy commercial that shows holes in an Aluminum F-150 bed while the Chevy Steel bed is only dented when a toolbox or rocks are dropped in the bed?
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Old 10-19-2016, 12:26 PM   #24
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This is all cool and stuff but how is Ford going to respond to the Chevy commercial that shows holes in an Aluminum F-150 bed while the Chevy Steel bed is only dented when a toolbox or rocks are dropped in the bed?
Ford doesn't really have to respond, if you look at the sales.
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Old 10-19-2016, 12:48 PM   #25
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Ford doesn't really have to respond, if you look at the sales.

Kind of irrelevant to the individual buyer when they are deciding "do I want a steel or aluminum truck bed floor?".


I can't believe it's gotten to the point where we have a mechanical engineer answering questions about aluminum vs. steel.


Here is my question: Is the Ford F150 truck bed floor as designed more or less likely to have holes in it after years of use than the previous generation steel bed?


Small holes in the bed don't really affect capability, but they can affect resale. that's big with the leasing or trading every few years crowd.


Keep these threads going. The resale on my 2014 is bound to be higher the more people doubt the aluminum truck bed floor in the newer trucks.
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Old 10-19-2016, 12:50 PM   #26
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Kind of irrelevant to the individual buyer when they are deciding "do I want a steel or aluminum truck bed floor?".
Right. I wasn't answering for the individual buyer, though. I was responding to the poster above me.
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Old 10-19-2016, 12:56 PM   #27
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I would hope if you plan on dropping 900 pounds of rocks in the bed you'd invest in a quality bed liner. Like I've said before you're going to have a trade off in benefits so it just depends what feature you're looking for.
GM even admitted the test was extreme. Ford told Forbes that 99% of their customers have no bed issues. That's all I know on that subject.
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Old 10-19-2016, 01:03 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Trailbreak74 View Post
Kind of irrelevant to the individual buyer when they are deciding "do I want a steel or aluminum truck bed floor?".


I can't believe it's gotten to the point where we have a mechanical engineer answering questions about aluminum vs. steel.


Here is my question: Is the Ford F150 truck bed floor as designed more or less likely to have holes in it after years of use than the previous generation steel bed?


Small holes in the bed don't really affect capability, but they can affect resale. that's big with the leasing or trading every few years crowd.


Keep these threads going. The resale on my 2014 is bound to be higher the more people doubt the aluminum truck bed floor in the newer trucks.
That's a good question. Without a bed liner I guess it depends how you use your truck to whether its first going to fail from fatigue (aluminum) or rust (steel)
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Old 10-19-2016, 01:34 PM   #29
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If it doesn't affect sales then it's a wash. My question was more aimed at I wonder if Ford will do something to make the aluminum alloy in the bed stronger? It's just a curiosity question. I would never let that commercial affect my decision to buy a truck because I'm never going to pour a ton of heavy sharp rocks into the bed.
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Old 10-19-2016, 01:40 PM   #30
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If it doesn't affect sales then it's a wash. My question was more aimed at I wonder if Ford will do something to make the aluminum alloy in the bed stronger? It's just a curiosity question. I would never let that commercial affect my decision to buy a truck because I'm never going to pour a ton of heavy sharp rocks into the bed.
I haven't heard about any plans to make the aluminum stronger in the bed, if I had to guess I'd say they'll use it to push the sale of their after market bed liners lol. Speaking strictly from a marketing/business point of view
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