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.