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Aluminum body Bronco revealed in union agreement document?

Stampede.Offroad

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According to a recent union agreement document, the bodies of "all new Broncos" are going to be stamped at the same facility that does aluminum truck bodies.

eta: additionally, yes the Navigator and Expedition also have aluminum bodies.

2021 Ford Bronco aluminum body union agreement 3 copy.png


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Jalisurr

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Awesome. Less weight is better for everything, and Ford's approach to making aluminum vehicles is to make panels easy to replace, which is great too. The new Explorer is surprisingly light considering how huge it is, so this bodes well.
 

indio22

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I would be very happy if the Bronco Bronco body is aluminum. My CJ-7 has mostly rusted away, and my TJ is having some rust issues. On the other hand, my 1972 Land Rover with aluminum body, is mostly like it came from the factory. No corrosion even where the paint has worn down to metal. It is SO nice not having to worry about rust. People who always drive newer cars might not care one way or the other, but some guy down the road or long term owner, is going to love having an aluminum body. Especially if they live in the rust belt.
 

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Ford's approach to making aluminum vehicles is to make panels easy to replace, which is great too./QUOTE]
This is huge for a serious off-roader. If you roll it and can just yoink the damaged panels off makes it a lot easier to justify.
 

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Does Dearborn also stamp steel, thus making speculation possibly ambiguous? Or do they only form aluminum there, making it a strong likelihood that Bronco will be aluminum?

I don't know enough about aluminum in motor vehicle bodies to know what to think about this. Will replacement panels be less expensive than steel? Is the aftermarket equipped to produce them as a cost-effective alternative to OEM? Are there greater challenges in doing paint and body work on aluminum?

I worked on helicopters a long, long time ago, about all I recall about painting aluminum was that it required a special primer. I also recall that a scratch down to the aluminum could allow oxidation under the primer, and paint would flake at an accelerated rate when compared to traditional automotive finishes on steel. Perhaps new chemicals and processes have ameliorated this effect.

F-150 owners should have some good data on all that by now... anybody?
 

Dirty Bronco

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Two things come to mind when reading this...

1. Lighter material means removing the doors and roof panels could be easier which is a plus.
2. If what BroncoMike says is still true to this day then maybe only certain components of the BroncoBronco will be aluminum in order to keep weight down but not be incorporated into the entire thing as a means to keep cost down and maintenance easier.
 
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Stampede.Offroad

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They form some steel parts, but for all the other models listed with the Bronco the bodies are aluminum.

For cost, it depends on which aspect you're looking at. Overall the cost for F150s has been lower, that is in part due to the panels being designed for quick easy removability and the primary component of the billing being labor not parts.
 

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Sherminiator

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Where are the union docs coming from??
Looks like what I posted on BON-

The info came from the Contract that the UAW sent to its employees and posted to their forums. I printed out pages 7,8,9 as photos to share since they had the interesting information on them for consumers
 

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The union situation and other pressures can impact stuff like this. For example, several years before the Jeep JL came out in 2018, there had been talk of making the body out of aluminum. In fact, I recall that was the direction Jeep was headed. But there was pressure to make the body panels at a traditional Jeep facility, which was not conducive to using aluminum. So Jeep backed off having the entire body made of aluminum, and eventually only a few panels are aluminum.
 

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If anything-I'm doubting the whole body will be aluminum-things like the doors, roof (if removable), tailgate and hood are aluminum.
 
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I'm guessing only the structural members will be steel. Pieces that Ford has gone out of the way to make small, where volume:strength really matters.

Even the Wrangler already uses aluminum for all the moving panels.
 

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