Published on December 21st, 2015 | by Subhash Nair0
The New Ford Ranger: Tough Done Quieter
In the world of modern pickup trucks, being a tough and capable work vehicle is the cost of entry. To stand apart from the crowd, a new truck has to combine the rugged performance customers need with the comfort, refinement and quietness they and their passengers want.
Engineers took a hard look at the previous Ranger – already among the most refined pickups on the market – and worked on solutions to improve noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) even further. “The new Ranger is a step up across all NVH metrics,” said Nick Lovadina, NVH supervisor for the new Ford Ranger.
The improvements are not just for bragging rights: Reduced cabin noise can help to reduce driver fatigue on long journeys. Some of the solutions implemented on the new Ranger include:
Sound-deadening materials: Special materials, like a dense insulating felt under the hood on some models, help to reduce powertrain, wind and road noise, making for a quieter cabin
Engine management improvements: Updates to the engine management system help to improve diesel performance and efficiency. Precise injection timing and calibration means more efficient performance and less combustion crackle for less powertrain noise
Smart aerodynamic design: Aerodynamics engineers added small aerodynamic “sails” on the wing mirrors to significantly reduce low-frequency throbbing noise created when driving with one front window open
Hydro mounts: The new Ranger uses hydraulically damped engine mounts on some models to effectively combat engine vibrations. Filled with hydraulic fluid, these are particularly effective at reducing low-frequency vibrations created by diesel engines.
“The hydro mount engine mounting system is not only an advantage for the key NVH metrics of idle, start-up and acceleration, but also helps to improve overall vehicle dynamics,” said Lovadina. “The customer ultimately has a truck that feels more refined than ever before.”
The efforts of Lovadina’s team resulted in a Ranger that is just 5 dB louder in the cabin at idle than a humming refrigerator, and just 5 dB louder at 80 km/h than rainfall.
“The combination of the refined powertrain and the improvements we’ve made through actions like sound deadening make for an extremely quiet, stress-free driving experience at highway speeds and in typical everyday city driving for all occupants,” said Lovadina.