First 2004 Ford F-53 Chassis Rolls Off the Line

At a brief ceremony held August 5 at Detroit Chassis L.L.C., where the Ford F-Series Super
Duty Class A motorhome chassis are assembled, program management and engineering-team
representatives from Ford, Altair and Detroit Chassis watched as the first chassis destined
for 2004 motorhomes rolled off the assembly line. “Detroit Chassis is delighted to
recognize our entire team for bringing this program to Job 1 on time, on target and within
budget,” said Michael Guthrie, president and CEO. As a Tier I global engineering service
supplier to Ford, Altair Engineering supported the design and release of the new suspension
system and has been assisting the company’s F-Series motorhome chassis team on a variety of
projects since 1999. For the 2004 F-Series chassis suspension, the Altair chassis design
team employed a variety of engineering simulation technologies to address the suspension
and steering characteristics for improved ride and handling — The frame rails are a full channel to the end of the frame on all
chassis. The top of frame to ground
height increases 2.6 inches for the full length. The fuel tank is mounted 2.6 inches lower between the frame rails
for improved fuel-fill characteristics, without a loss of ground clearance. There are revised springs and increased ride height on
all models. Eight-hole, 22.5×7.5
polished aluminum wheels with Dura-bright finish are included with 22,000-pound gross
vehicle weight rating (gvwr). Michelin
235/80R22.5 G XRV tires are used with 22.5-inch wheels. A heavy-duty track bar front suspension is included with
22,000-pound gvwr chassis; it’s optional on 15,700-, 18,000- and 20,000-pound gvwrs.

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