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TorqueNews had a chance to ask Ford’s lead F-150 Engineer one thing face to face, and we put the question of hail to the chief. John Goreham reports from TorqueNews.com

The 2015 Ford F-150 is new from the ground up and the big news is that its body will be made from aluminum. Although Ford has done extensive testing on the truck, we wondered if the roof, fenders, and hood would be able to resist hail damage, and how it would compare to the steel F-150 in that regard. We were lucky enough to have a moment to speak directly to Pete Reyes, Ford’s Chief Engineer for the new F-150 and he says there is no cause for concern.

Evolution to Aluminum of the Ford F-150
At a recent technology conference organized by the New England Motor Press and held at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Pete Reyes, Ford’s Chief Engineer for the Ford F-150, took a small group of the automotive media through the full development of the 2015 F-150. It is an amazing story that began in 2008 and the final product's finishing touches came right down to the wire. However, the most exciting part of the presentation for us came at the end when we had a chance to ask Mr. Reyes one question directly. We asked about hail.

Will Hail Damage the F-150's Aluminum Roof and Hood?
My question to Mr. Reyes was “If two F-150s were in a parking lot, one current generation made mostly of steel, and the new F-150 made mostly of aluminum on the outside, is the new one more or less susceptible to hail damage?" After having heard the presentation I should have known the answer, but I was glad to hear it directly. Mr. Reyes said "Dent and ding damage is something we looked at with the new truck. Gauge and thickness has a lot to do with the resistance to damage, and we made sure the new truck was tougher."

That answers that. My concern was that steel has both a greater hardness and also a higher tensile strength than aircraft grade aluminum. Thus, it would seem that aluminum might be at a higher risk of hail damage. However, the thickness, or gauge, of the metal is also a key factor. Apparently, Ford has used a thickness able to withstand hail.

Aluminum Not New To This Ford Team
Although the 2015 Ford F-150 may seem as if it is groundbreaking, the only thing unusual about using aluminum on the F-150 is that pickup trucks take more abuse than most vehicles. The Ford team that worked on this new truck's evolution came from the same team that worked on the aluminum cars at Jaguar-Land Rover. It should be noted that Jaguars have been made of aluminum for the better part of a century. The new Range Rover that went on sale last year, a tough vehicle in its own right, is also “all-aluminum.”
 

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Well hopefully it's tougher than the aluminum hood on my '13. It got demolished in the hail we just had.
 

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Well hopefully it's tougher than the aluminum hood on my '13. It got demolished in the hail we just had.
Yikes! I'm hoping for no hail ever! The clouds can just redirect to the nearest ram or ridgeline!!!!!

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Haha!

Yeah, unfortunately "Tom" will be in the shop until the 13th.
 

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Well hopefully it's tougher than the aluminum hood on my '13. It got demolished in the hail we just had.
I was fixing to say this article is a joke. My aluminum hood is covered with dings from a relatively small hail storm. Per my body shop guy, since it's aluminum there is no paintless dent repair. There is only buy a new hood at $750 I painted.
 

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Not at risk for hail is a pretty bold statement to back up! As others have stated, the aluminum hoods used now have and will dent. The aluminum is more resistant due to its characteristics, but it will still deform, given enough force.
 

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Not at risk for hail is a pretty bold statement to back up! As others have stated, the aluminum hoods used now have and will dent. The aluminum is more resistant due to its characteristics, but it will still deform, given enough force.
Yup, this is what every one at the local dealer looks like right now.

hail damage at dealership.jpg

I'll have to take a comparison picture of the roof.
 

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Ouch I'm sorry buddy. Hopefully they can pull them out.

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Meh... They're replacing the hood and the roof. The doors and the bedsides are PDR. Then a new grille and cowl.
 

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Yup, this is what every one at the local dealer looks like right now.

View attachment 14896

I'll have to take a comparison picture of the roof.
Roof.jpg



Here is the roof of the same truck. It is hard to tell because of the dirt, but there is a few slight dings in the roof. In comparison to the majorly dented aluminum hood there is no contest, though. This was golf ball size hail, which is probably the biggest you can expect a vehicle to survive. IMO the steel roof faired much better.
 

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