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Case Study: 2010 Ford E-450

Vehicle Sector: Delivery

Industry Sector: Transportation

1 BUSINESS NEED 

Form follows function. The demands on high-volume delivery are many and great. The form that follows – and survives – is simple and robust. In this project, a favorite delivery platform comprised of a customized, lightweight aluminum body on a Ford Class 4 E-450 van chassis was the real value in the vehicle platform.  The replacement cost was astronomical; this vehicle was a great candidate for reman. After 235,000 miles and years of delivery stops and starts, the van was ready for a makeover.

Power Train:

The engine and transmission needed replacement, along with mounts. Exhaust manifolds were cracked, and a throttle body change was needed – along with ignition coils.  The rear end assessment showed only the need for service. The shifter was worn out and slated for rebuild. Fuel pumps are almost always replaced during reman and this fuel delivery system needed additional help.

Suspension:

Heavy loads and varied road surfaces had ruined the suspension system. Shock absorbers, ball joints, sway bar links, and tie rods were all, unsurprisingly, in need of replacement. The I-beam bushings were also worn out. Remans typically include brake booster, master cylinder, flex lines, calipers, rotors, and pads – this platform demonstrated obvious need for a system replacement.

Interior/Exterior:

Body mounts were required along with a few trim piece replacements. Overall, though, the interior and exterior were in good shape and serviceable for the intended vehicle mission.

2  SOLUTION

The powertrain swap was straightforward. A low power condition was discovered during cycle driving break-in runs. The catalytic converter was clogged – a replacement restored full power.  Center support bearings and u-joints rounded out the powertrain, driveline work.

A steering dampener was replaced along with the pitman arm and front wheel seals. With the suspension and brake system replaced, work turned to major mechanical issues. In addition to the air conditioning kit, the radiator, radiator fan, radiator fan clutch, condenser, radiator hoses, and heater hoses were all replaced. The power steering pump and steering gear were removed, and new replacements installed.

An undercarriage treatment was applied to prevent corrosion. The cabin evaporator and heater core were replaced as part of the comprehensive approach to avoid future failures.

3 RESULTS 

When an operator can save about $40,000 per vehicle platform, that is capturing value and reducing the cost per mile to the lowest possible level. The picture of the underside of the engine bay really captures the essence of Vehicle Reman’s work. The new and shiny parts are easily seen against the old, discolored background. The new and shiny parts were all replaced during the reman service. If the vehicle is sold or salvaged, the value in the ‘core’ is lost.  There is valuable, serviceable life remaining in the frame and body that is preserved and retained as a result of the reman service.

Replacing the many parts involved in the reman service solves the problem of serial, frustrating failures as vehicles age and require more frequent repairs and maintenance. Our customers experience no increase in operational costs compared to ‘new buys’. The capital expense saved by avoided new replacements is significant in any fleet operation.

The Ford remanufactured engine and transmission restored factory-new performance.  In most cases, the engineering changes, modifications, and improvements to the powertrain that are incorporated during the remanufacture process result in a better powertrain than when they were new.

The completely reworked suspension is ready to tackle heavy loading, rough roads, and constant starting/stopping. The road feel and command authority from the new steering and braking system were so dramatic it is amazing to realize how much is lost through the years.

While the improvement in powertrain, suspension, and braking gets the headlines, the many small fixes and improvements add up too.  The comprehensive nature of the reman service results in overall performance not possible from a ‘used’ vehicle. Back in the fleet, the van was ready to resume its role delivering time-sensitive documents, merchandise, and material to customers in the delivery area.

Saving more than 50% of the replacement cost is huge. This benefit and the 3-year, 100,000-mile warranty is only available from Vehicle Reman.  This truck is one of the better examples that clearly demonstrates VR’s alternative automotive product is:

Cheaper Than New.  Better Than Used.