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Drive Line Ford Raptor Ball Joints - Wheel Bearings - Shocks - Springs - Alignment etc.

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  #1  
Old 06-15-2011, 05:49 PM
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Default Ford Raptor Frames Bending - Bed Alignment issue!

So some of you may have seem some discussion in other threads, regarding an issue a few members are now having with their beds being out of alignment, and in most cases, the rear end bent downward towards the ground.

This thread can be used to share information, updates, and ideas for this issue that we're experiencing.

First, an illustration of the problem. Here is a "Before" picture which illustrates how the truck comes off the factory floor, and the angle at which the bed and windows are lined up:



As you can see, you can draw a straight line from the bed, and it matches right up with the windows. Now, as a comparison, here is an illustration of the issue that some of us have experienced, and the lines drawn for comparison:



And the angle difference:



Clearly, you can see the difference! The rear of the truck appears to be "squatting" for lack of a better term. This happened to a LARGE percentage of the members that participated in the Raptor Run from Barstow to Vegas, as well as members in other states that have had the chance to do some high speed off-road trails.

What is causing this?

Well, for now it seems to have been nailed down to one specific problem area. The rear frame, where the bump stop is mounted underneath it. When you're cruising at speed, there is a relatively small amount of rear travel available before hitting the bump stop, when compared to doing something like a full jump, where the entire travel is used.

When the suspension is pre-loaded a decent amount, there seems to be about 4-5" of travel at the MOST before hitting the bump stop. What's causing the issue, is when hitting a small rut/ditch/kicker at those speeds, which causes the bump stop to be impacted by the rear axle.

Why such a weakness?

It appears that the frame in this area is weak for a few reasons. For one, it is not a straight boxed run from front to back, it goes up and gets thinner in this area, to make room for the bump stop. Also, there is a large hole on the inside of the frame, to allow for tooling on the back side of the bump stop nut. This is a SERIOUS weak point, as the frame not only is already misshaped to accommodate for the bump stop, it's not even boxed all around!

It seems the frame itself is creasing at this point, and causing the whole rear of the truck from this point back, to sag. I was able to run about 90% of the Raptor Run without this occuring on my truck. There was ONE last bump that I hit at about 55MPH (probably about 12" high or less) and soon after I stopped and met up with the other guys, and noticed that indeed I too was affected!

Here is my truck currently:





It's not terrible compared to others. I was lucky enough to have the "least" bent bed of the entire group. Here is a collection of other trucks that have had this same exact issue, they are ALL different trucks, just a lot of black ones!!!:









There are more, those are just the ones that I personally snapped a photo of. The same problem with all trucks, from the same type of incident. Of the 14 trucks that I drove with a few weeks ago, 10 of them ended up with this same sort of issue. There are more across the country, and I would appreciate those who have this issue to also chime in, and provide information and pictures if you can.

... continued
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Old 06-15-2011, 05:57 PM
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So, I took my truck to the dealer last week for service and to have them look into this issue. They had my truck for 3 days, and gave me a loaner in the process. They had it sent to the body shop for analysis, and they returned it saying there was no adjustments to be made. They called 3 days later and told me to come look at my truck, they wanted to go over a few things.

So I arrived, and walked back to the service bay, where they had my truck on a lift. The tech commenced to show me EVERY scratch on the underside of the truck, scratch on the skid plate, scratch on the rear shock protector, etc, etc. Finally, I said "I GET IT... What are you getting at? I didn't come here to have my scratches fixed under warranty".... He said, "Well, it just looks like you drive your truck pretty hard..."

At that point, I came unglued, and was highly irritated with the guy. I asked for him to show me what qualifies as "hard" use, and how that is judged? A few scratches? Aside from that my truck has NO damage, no actual dents or body damage, clean front to back.

I then invited him to come inside with me, visit www.ford.com and watch how they drive the Raptor in their advertising and "Design" videos promoting the Raptor. They are professional drivers, I'm an average guy... I do not, and simply CAN NOT drive like they do in those videos...

So, I was given a customer care number to call, as the dealer says there isn't anything that they "know of" that they can do for the issue. They're not saying I'm not covered, they just have no idea what to do. So I called the rep, and was called back 3 days later. That's where I'm at now! I've been asked to provide more detailed pictures of the issue, as well as other trucks that have had this happen since I mentioned that this is NOT an isolated incident as we are coming to find out.

On a side note, this is NOT just a results of trucks that ran on the Raptor Run a few weeks ago, I think this is just the first time an entire group of guys that actually took their Raptors out and drove them as advertised, were able to share their findings on the same day... and we realized we have an issue on our hands!
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Old 06-15-2011, 06:48 PM
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Shocked! THat SUCKS man! I can't believe Ford didn't encounter any of this during their testing. I wonder if they added the bump stop later down the road to production? Could a preventative measure be welding in a cover over that tooling hole in the frame?
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Old 06-15-2011, 06:53 PM
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Do you have a picture of the frame where it bent?
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Old 06-15-2011, 06:57 PM
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Default Bed Alignment issue, likely bent rear frame

I could take one, but there's nothing to really see on mine... It's not clearly visible that it's bent.
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Old 06-15-2011, 07:07 PM
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There was mention that this was more prevalent on Deaver equipped Raptors. Is this rumor or have you found it to be true?
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Old 06-15-2011, 07:15 PM
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Default Bed Alignment issue, likely bent rear frame

I'm not sure about more prevalent, but I will say the guys with Deavers seem to be bent worse. Could be because of the softer spring load, the impact may be harder on the bump stop.
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Old 06-15-2011, 07:18 PM
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BlueSVT
Very well written. Before everyone gets on here and says we "abused" our trucks. Not true at all, we just pushed them to their limits and found a problem with the design of the frame. I have spoken to allot of people/shops regarding this issue and it seems to be a common problem for trucks that are driven hard. It is enough of a problem that a few shops are in the process of designing a way of boxing the frame to help strengthen it. Some may be a bolt on and the others will be a better weld on system.
As for mine, I am in the place BlueSVT is. My truck has been at the dealer since Monday and I am waiting for the body shop to make a determination as what to do. As of right now I am being the very polite/understanding customer until I get an answer. I am pretty sure they are not going to want to fix it. However, you get 100% of what you don't ask for. So it's worth a try.
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Old 06-15-2011, 11:09 PM
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What kind of bump / impact are we talking about caused the bend?

If this is not from jumping the truck, I don't see what "abuse" it would be. Driving on rough roads? .... really?

If its a Baja inspired truck, the roads are rough... the frame needs to be strong enough to support the suspension of the truck. Period.
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Old 06-15-2011, 11:29 PM
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I would really like to see someone engineer a solution to this problem. I would like to do it as preventative measure, as I plan to drive my truck hard. Is anybody looking at a Manufacturer Level? Do we know if the tech guys have chimed in on this yet?

I am going to be at ADD tomorrow. I am going to ask Jared if he could come up with a solution to strengthen the frame.

I will have a shit fit if my truck comes back from running in the desert and it looks like that.
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