Ever since Ford came up with the whole aluminum-made body concept, there have been positive as well as negative feedback from it. And several ford super duty aluminum body problems being discussed regularly is quite visible proof of the negative feedback.
It does not make the models any less wonderful. However, if the issues were addressed by ford or had an easy solution, users would have felt better, that’s it!
Let’s talk about the issues a bit deeper and also if there’s a solution from the user side. There are a few problems that ford needs to sort. Unfortunately, nobody can do anything about those, we’ll include that as well.
Common Ford Super Duty Aluminum Body Problems & Solutions
Quite a few issues are notable due to the aluminum body of ford such as having cracks in the body panel, especially windshield areas. Then there’s also corrosion due to aluminum steel mating, rust issues, bent frames & suspension breaking.
Cracks On Aluminum Body
This is an issue of 2018 models mainly. Having an aluminum body with cracks on it. There are some cases where people receive scratches and moonroof seals with their deliveries, and it’s unfortunate no debate.
The Common Complaints on this with the Aluminum Body Were
- Not properly seating roof gutter trim of passenger side.
- Having cracks underneath it.
Now, this could happen because the rivet put upward pressure on the material, so hence the crack. Poor trim placement is often the main cause of such cracks. And surprisingly, the cracks are more noticeable on all passenger sides.
Also, in some cases, you may notice that the area above the windshield, it the front had similar issues. You should try:
- Removing the windshield.
- Use seam sealer to fix it.
- Sand and paint that area nicely.
- And then install a new windshield.
However, sometimes people mistake sticky patches on sheet metal covering be metal. And unless you’re facing any water leak, leave it as it is. There could be further issues with trying anything on that spot.
This patch usually is pretty soft and also there’s flex during assembly. This makes the top paint of the patched crack, which people may think is a metal rack while it’s not. Often the body flexes and causes the paint to crack.
However, aluminum body panel cracking is an existing issue. And this could be due to many causes. Unfortunately, ford would have 5 years covering only for trust-related concerns, but not when it is about cracking.
The area on the right front fender may catch some cracks. Driving certain miles might give you some road debris to stress the area, causing the problem basically. Sometimes buying cheap deals with many miles on it reasons in such crack body.
Aluminum Corroding Due to Contacting Steel
Models that have aluminum bodies might not be a good companion with any part of the steel. Because then there’s a chance of galvanic corrosion.
Often using stainless steel fasteners causes such rust and that’s why you should be careful with installing aftermarket gears. Because if you do clamp or drill such dissimilar metals on the aluminum surface, chances are there will be corroding.
However, if you must, there’s one way. Going for an isolation layer.
An example of a steel bolt securing a steel item to an aluminum body panel. Note the air gap preventing the bolt from contacting the aluminum, the aluminum washer between the nut and aluminum, and the isolator layer between the steel component and the aluminum body.
Here’s What to Do
- Check if the factory paint is disturbed or damaged.
- If it, is you want to apply suitable coasting on the paint to repair it.
- Installing the fasteners in the mounting hole should be only done after ensuring there’s no way to contact the aluminum sheet metal.
- If you are using steel bolts or screws with zinc coatings, install aluminum washers.
- Add a layer of isolation for ensuring maximum protection against two dissimilar metals mating. You can use urethane tape for clamping onto the truck. Polypropylene also works.
For Your Information – Anti-corrosion castings that are approved by Ford are the best options to go for. You can try primers that are rich in zinc or NOX-Rust 7703-W.
Bent Frames & Broken Suspensions
Now, this is often something that users do to the body by basically reaching the breaking point of certain heavy-duty trucks.
And the most common thing with trucks with broken suspension as well as bent frames is overloading. Not just these but there are a lot of other problems that relate to the aluminum body due to loading more than the allowance.
Some people have the habit of not caring much about heavy damage with modern heavy-duty trucks, believing they won’t crash even with the dreadful loads.
It’s true that the heavy-duty models have a design that is capable to handle massive towing along with capacities for payload. But there’s a limit to everything.
For example, the Ford F350 bro-dozer, worth one lac dollars, is probably the most abused truck out there. Loading above ten thousand pounds of wet concrete on the bed is not something you can do and hope for the body to stay intact. It will collapse at a certain point.
Super duty trucks that are constantly tortured like that, reaching the breaking point, again and again, eventually will fail sooner than it was made for.
And so, you must make sure it gets a chance of standing against the cement, gravel, water, and whatnot on road by preserving better maintenance habits of such heavy-duty trucks.
Start by not overloading it! Otherwise, just get ready to have the aluminum body looking hideous with dents and gouges as obvious feedback.
Ford Aluminum Body Corrosion Issues Due to Lack of Insulation
The first application of aluminum was on the hoods of a few pickups by Ford. And obviously, there was no sign of insulation with those. Causing problems like corrosion.
This is still one of the existing ford aluminum body corrosion issues that consumers are not yet warned of. And that’s why some user even has to face ford f-150 aluminum body rust showing up only after a few months of usage.
The Noisy Interior Due to Aluminum
Another weird issue that you may face with aluminum body vehicles, is noise. There are many F-series pickup trucks that have very noisy interiors. In fact, it’s also true that only after Ford started using aluminum for the body, did such cabin noise problems start showing up.
The sound is similar to door rattling in combination with the high-speed wind. As soon as you hit 45mph, the sound seems to become noticeable.
And with speeding up, it just gets vulnerable. The only solution, to this weird problem, is to turn up the entertainment system and enjoy the music, unfortunately.
Thoughts On Aluminum Body Despite Bunch of Problems
From the very start, the ford aluminum body review was diverse, some had a positive experience while few soon noticed grave issues due to the aluminum usage. And you already know about a few of those, for example, the noise thing.
It’s true that the ford aluminum body repair costs are getting cheaper. But the frequency of facing such claims has raised with the most famous pickups. The rapid-friendly design definitely helps. But the issues from an aluminum body are still there. Which also needs attention from ford.
Also, the fact ford f-150 aluminum problems need specific types of tools and training for repair. And that makes the cheaper repair solution, kind of disappointing. As the accessibility gets in question.
Aluminum replacing steel, a material that isn’t easy to deform, makes it again not so pleasing. Also, the durability factor, it’s mostly how the vehicles are built. Not only about aluminum or steel.
However, it’s true that fuel economy gets better due to using lightweight aluminum. And manufacturers along with ford, who use this material are trying to reduce repair and parts costs with passing time. So yes, shortly the situation could be better.
What Are the Things to Do to Protect the Aluminum Body?
Undoubtedly the resiliency and strength of steel are missing from aluminum, as it’s a much lighter material. And so, what you can do to protect it is get liner.
Especially if you use the truck for regular hauling cargo. Also, tasks that one conducts in job sites. The truck withstands a lot and so, it does need some caring from you. And a bed liner would be a great way to start.
As we have till now already talk about how is the f-150 aluminum body holding up, it’s quite obvious that in the commercial application the trucks won’t have a chance to last as long as you’d want them to be. Unless you provide it with the right supporting gears.
The existing truck bed withstands a lot of abuse according to ford. But it’s also equally true that we are talking about a soft material here. And there’s a good chance of showing defense as well as damages with not-so-extended use.
Also, the aluminum bed has a bed floor that is at risk of punctures from heavy item impact. This can be a concrete box dropping at the time of loading. Or even a simple toolbox suddenly dropping from the rail of the bed. If you get a bed liner, then the damages can be reduced. And so do consider it.
Look For Something That Comes With
- Rugged protection from sidewall dents.
- Impact resistance.
- Custom fitting.
- Bed mat that comes with a material capable of damage prevention from cargo shifting.
About the bed mat, it should be a thick one of course. And made with shock-absorbing material. So that cargo can go easy on it. The soft rubber cleats included options would help. As these allow wear drainage along with airflow.
So, if you really want to protect your super duty of an aluminum body, then think about getting a good quality bed liner with a mat. It might not completely vanish the problems you are having. But at least there will be more protection.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is the Ford aluminum body strong?
The material aluminum is not sturdy when used alone. And that’s why there are other metals usually combined to produce an alloy, which is sturdier.
Since ford’s body uses different alloy mixtures along with treatments of heat, the aluminum body is pretty strong actually. Compared to steel usage, it does serve some good benefits in terms of flexibility.
What is a military-grade aluminum alloy?
This is basically a declaration or reference that the 6000 series alloy of military applications is used for the construction of ford products. Vehicles are often promoted to use military-grade aluminum. And it’s not just Ford but many manufacturers who do this for the specification of their creation.
Why does Ford use aluminum?
Using aluminum, which is military-grade and comes with high strength basically enables the whole body to have better performance. And also, when it was first used in the f-150 body, the weight factor got down by a huge 700 lbs.
Which basically was helpful for applications such as towing and hauling. Also, there was better and quicker acceleration noticeable. Shortstops and fuel efficiency were also noticeable benefits. So, it’s clear why Ford uses aluminum for the body, and it’s not actually the worst decision.
Does undercoating void Ford warranty?
You should contact the dealer and ask if the undercoating with your preferred product is allowed or not. In most cases, there should be no problem with Krown undercoating.
However, warranty issues and matters that void it is really specific. Which are often hard to tell. And that’s why, if possible, get a written confirmation from the dealer before trying any type of undercoat application.
Are all Ford trucks made of aluminum?
Ford started using aluminum for its f-150 models in 2015. And the super-duty trucks got it in 2017. However, it’s also true that the frame of the F-series is made of high-strength steel. Also, the Ford F-150, as well as F-series Super Duty models, are designed with aluminum beds and bodies.
Does the military use Ford vehicles?
The Ford F150 is actually a pretty popular vehicle for retired as well as active military members of the USA.
The number of vehicles getting aluminum bodies will keep raising for so many reasons. And Ford’s super-duty series definitely saw a rise in their demand for aluminum.
However, it’s also true that people to date face several ford super duty aluminum body problems that feel too complex to sort.
Often the only way to get the issues sorted is by visiting the dealership. Hopefully, this guide was able to give you some information on common problems that occur due to the aluminum body.
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Ah! Driving your King has no twist when you have zero knowledge! Yes, Noah is here with his core experiences about trucks, cars, suvs and atvs. Working as a cheif editor for Automasterx to make you satisfied with solid data driven post.