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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Ford E-Series (also known as the Ford Econoline and Ford Club Wagon throughout various stages of its production) is a range of full-size vans produced by the American automaker Ford. Introduced for the 1961 model year as the replacement for the Ford F-series panel van, the model line is in its fourth generation. Previously produced as a cargo van and passenger van, the E-Series is currently only offered as a cutaway van chassis and stripped chassis (a chassis without bodywork).

After the 2014 model year, the E-Series cargo and passenger vans were discontinued and replaced by the Ford Transit. From 1980 to 2014, the model line was the best-selling full-size van in the United States with a nearly 80% share of its market segment.[3][4] With a 60-year production run, the E-Series is second only to the Ford F-Series (1948-present) in longevity of models produced by Ford.

From 1961 to 2005, the E-Series was assembled by Lorain Assembly at Lorain, Ohio; assembly is currently located at Ohio Assembly at Avon Lake, Ohio, which has produced the model line since 1975.

First generation (1961–1967)

First generation
1st-Ford-Econoline.jpg
1961–1967 Ford Econoline (customized)
Overview
Also calledFord Falcon/Econoline Station Bus
Ford Falcon Club Wagon
Mercury Econoline (Canada)
Production1961–1967
Body and chassis
Body style4-door panel van
6-door van
8-door van
2-door pickup truck
LayoutFMR layout
RelatedFord Falcon
Powertrain
Engine144 cu in (2.4 L) Falcon Six I6
170 cu in (2.8 L) Thriftpower Six I6
240 cu in (3.9 L) Truck Six I6
Transmission3-speed manual
4-speed manual
3-speed C4 automatic[5]
Dimensions
Wheelbase90.0 in (2,286.0 mm)[6]
Length168.3 in (4,274.8 mm)
186.3 in (4,732.0 mm) (Econoline Super Van)
Width75.0 in (1,905.0 mm)[6]
Height76.9 in (1,953.3 mm)[6]

The first generation of the Ford Econoline made its debut on September 21, 1960. Introduced for the 1961 model year as a cargo van, pickup truck, and a passenger van (Station Bus/Club Wagon), the Econoline began development based on design sketches that were dated 1957.[7] The Econoline replaced the van version of the Ford F-Series that was cancelled.

While introduced alongside the Chevrolet Corvair van for 1961, the Ford Econoline established many design precedents adopted by successive designs of American vans, including the Chevrolet Van and Dodge A100 (and the European Ford Transit).[8] While remaining a forward-control vehicle, Ford adopted a mid-engine configuration.[9] As the engine was placed between the front seats instead of behind the rear axle as on the Corvair, a larger rear door and flat load floor was created, allowing for additional load capacity.

Chassis

The first-generation Ford Econoline was based on the Ford Falcon compact car range. To accommodate its 90-inch wheelbase (the shortest for a Ford since 1908), the Econoline adopted a mid-engine configuration, placing the engine behind the front axle; consequently, the layout precluded the use of a V8 engine.

The Econoline was initially powered by the 85 hp (63 kW) 144 cubic-inch inline-six that was the standard engine of the Falcon. Later, it was offered with a 101 hp (75 kW) 170 cubic-inch inline-six as an option. In 1965, a 240 cubic-inch inline-six became the optional engine, with the 170 six becoming standard. A three-speed manual was standard, with a Dagenham four-speed manual introduced for 1963 and discontinued in 1964; the 170 cubic-inch engine was offered with a 3-speed automatic in 1964, and the larger two engines were both offered with a 3-speed automatic as an option thereafter. [10]

In contrast to the Falcon, the Econoline was fitted with a solid front axle and a solid rear axle suspension with leaf springs for all four wheels.[11]

Body

In its layout, the Ford Econoline adapted several elements of the Volkswagen Type 2, while making major departures with other design features, with many elements of its design derived from its mid-engine layout. In line with Volkswagen, the Econoline positioned the front seats above the front axle, making it a cabover-style configuration, similar to the Jeep Forward Control. Other elements of its design were borrowed loosely from the Ford Thames 400E produced by Ford of Britain (the predecessor of the Ford Transit), including its grille configuration.

The use of a mid-engine layout enlarged the cargo area, as the engine compartment was located forward of the load floor (which was flattened). While Volkswagen would market the Type 2 in the United States until 1979, the configuration of the Econoline was adopted by Chevrolet/GMC in 1964 (replacing the Corvair-based Greenbrier van) and the 1964 Dodge A100.

Through its production, the first-generation Ford Econoline was offered in several variants, with four versions of the cargo van. Along with the 6-door windowless cargo van, Ford introduced an 8-door cargo van in 1963, adding two cargo doors to the driver side. In 1964, a panel van variant was introduced, deleting the side loading doors. Cargo vans (with the exception of the panel van) were offered with or without windows in several configurations.

In 1965, Ford introduced a "Super Van" variant of the Econoline, extending the body 18 inches behind the rear axle.

Variants

Alongside the Ford Falcon, the Ford Econoline was expanded into a product line including several vehicles. In Canada, the Econoline was marketed through both the sales networks of both Ford and Lincoln-Mercury (as a Mercury), to increase its presence outside of urban areas.

Passenger van

Introduced alongside the cargo van in 1961, Ford introduced two passenger variants of the Econoline (branded as part of the Falcon range). Alongside the Station Bus (branded as both a Falcon and Econoline), Ford marketed the Club Wagon. While the Station Bus was largely intended for commercial/fleet use, the Club Wagon was marketed as an alternative to station wagons.[12] A five-seat configuration was standard, with an eight-seat configuration offered as an option.

Pickup truck

Introduced as part of the Econoline model line for 1961, the Ford Econoline pickup truck was based upon the cargo van. Sharing the forward-control configuration of the Chevrolet Corvair pickup, through its mid-engine chassis, the Econoline pickup truck saw no engine intrusion into the cargo bed. Although, in 1965 with the offering of the larger 240 cubic-inch engine there was a slight intrusion into the cargo bed providing clearance for the larger transmission bellhousing. The Econoline pickup was offered in two window configurations: 3 windows and 5 windows with windows in the rear cab corners to provide better visibility. Early in 1965 the pickup was offered as a Spring Special with a special trim package. While far shorter than an F-100, the pickup was configured with a seven-foot long cargo bed.

The Econoline pickup was produced only during the first generation of production, ending production after the 1967 model year. In 1961, Ford projected the pickup leading the van in sales; however, buyer preferences weighed heavily towards the van configuration. The pickup accounted for only 1/3 of 1961 Econoline production.[13]

Mercury Econoline

The first-generation Econoline was sold by Ford of Canada by both Ford and Mercury. Alongside the M-series truck line, the Mercury Econoline allowed for Ford of Canada to maximize its presence in rural areas served by either a Ford dealer or a Lincoln-Mercury dealer, but not both. Largely identical to its Ford counterpart with only minor exceptions of badging, the Mercury Econoline product line was sold as a pickup, cargo van, and passenger van.

In 1961, the pickup truck commenced production at Oakville Assembly in Canada; later that year, Mercury Econoline pickup production shifted to the Lorain, Ohio assembly plant.[14] From 1962 to 1965, Mercury sourced Econoline vans and pickups from Oakville, with all later vehicles imported from the United States.[14]

Production numbers of Mercury Econolines were low; for example, a total of 1,291 Mercury Econoline pickup trucks were built in 1965.[15] During 1968, Mercury ended its sale of light trucks, discontinuing the M-series. Subsequently, the next van sold by Mercury was the 1993 Mercury Villager minivan.

Second generation (1968–1974)

Second generation
Ford Club Wagon -- 12-14-2011 1.jpg
1972–1974 Ford Club Wagon
Overview
Production1968–1974
Body and chassis
Body style3-door van
LayoutFR layout
Powertrain
Engine240 cu in (3.9 L) I6
300 cu in (4.9 L) I6
302 cu in (4.9 L) Windsor V8
Transmission3-Speed Manual
3-speed Cruise-O-Matic automatic
Dimensions
WheelbaseSWB: 105.5 in (2,679.7 mm)
LWB: 123.5 in (3,136.9 mm)

As the result of a lengthy United Auto Workers strike in 1967, the launch of the second-generation Econoline van was delayed almost four months until January 1968. Instead of calling it a 1968 or 1968.5 model, Ford decided to call it the 1969 model. Shedding its Falcon roots, the second-generation Econoline became a heavier-duty vehicle, sharing many of its underpinnings with the F-series full-size pickups.

Chassis

While the unibody construction of the previous-generation van was carried over, a major change was made in the overall layout in the body and chassis of the Econoline. To build a heavier-duty chassis, the mid-engine forward-control layout was abandoned in favor of a front-engine layout with the axle placed forward; this also allowed the use of the "Twin I-Beam" front suspension used in the F-series trucks. The redesign in the configuration resulted in major growth; the wheelbase was increased 15 in (381.0 mm); while the 18 in (457.2 mm) longer long-wheelbase model became the largest full-size van offered in North America at the time.

As they had become introduced as options in Dodge and Chevrolet/GMC vans, Ford introduced a V8 engine option into the powertrain line.

Body

With the change of chassis and axle configurations, the Econoline gained a conventional hood for engine access (though most engine access remained from the interior). To aid in engine compartment ventilation, the model was given a conventional grille, styled similar to the F series.

For 1971, the grille was redesigned to match the updated F series. For 1972, a sliding rear door became an option; introduced on a cutaway van chassis was the Hi-Cube van, a cab-chassis version of the Econoline with a box-van body. The introduction of the cab-chassis variant would become popular in the recreational-vehicle industry (a Class C RV), a segment still dominated by the E series in the 2010s.

Interior

Inside of the Econoline, the shift of the engine location moved the engine housing from between the seats to in front of the driver and front passenger, under the windshield. While the Econoline cargo van remained, it was joined by an Econoline passenger van (replacing the Falcon van). To attract more buyers to passenger vans, Ford introduced two new trims of the passenger van, the Ford Club Wagon and Ford Club Wagon Chateau. Based on the long-wheelbase version, the Chateau had air conditioning, houndstooth fabric on all seats, an AM/FM sound system, and the option of 12-passenger seating.

Third generation (1975–1991)

Third generation
83-91 Ford Club Wagon.jpg
1983–1991 Ford Club Wagon
Overview
Also calledFord Club Wagon
Production1975–1991
Body and chassis
Body style3-door van
LayoutFR layout
PlatformFord VN platform
RelatedFord Carousel
Powertrain
Engine240 cu in (3.9 L) I6
300 cu in (4.9 L) I6
302 cu in (4.9 L) Windsor V8
351 cu in (5.8 L) Windsor V8
460 cu in (7.5 L) 385 V8
6.9 L Navistar diesel V8
7.3 L Navistar diesel V8
Transmission3-speed manual
4-speed manual
3-speed automatic
4-speed automatic
5-speed manual

For 1975, the Econoline/Club Wagon were given a complete redesign. Based on an all-new chassis, Ford became the first American manufacturer to adapt body-on-frame construction to a full-size van.

The new-generation Econoline would become common not only in its own right, but as the basis for other vehicles. With a full frame, the Econoline became popular as a cutaway van chassis; the design served as a basis for many ambulances, and various types of trucks and buses. The shared drivetrain with the F series marked the beginning of aftermarket four-wheel drive conversions. During the 1970s, the Econoline became popular as a basis for van conversions. Using the sparsely-equipped Econoline cargo van as a basis, a luxurious interior was fitted, along with extensive customization of the exterior.

Chassis

1975–1978 Ford Econoline 150 Chateau
1975–1978 Ford Econoline 150 Chateau
1988 Econoline 350 cutaway van
1988 Econoline 350 cutaway van
1980s Ford Club Wagon XLT
1980s Ford Club Wagon XLT

To increase the versatility of the full-size van line, the Econoline was developed using body-on-frame construction for the first time. In addition to increasing the strength of the chassis, the configuration allowed more commonality with the F-series trucks. As before, the Twin I-Beam front suspension was used. In its new configuration, the engine was moved further forward and lowered, relative to the body. In a massive growth spurt, the short-wheelbase configuration was 0.5 inches longer than the previous long-wheelbase chassis; the new long-wheelbase chassis was 138 inches, the longest wheelbase full-size van sold until 1990. In 1988, the 124-inch wheelbase was discontinued, leaving the 138-inch wheelbase as standard.

In 1982, to increase the fuel economy of the Econoline without a major loss in engine output, Ford introduced the option of a 6.9-liter IDI diesel V8 produced by International Harvester; in 1988, this was enlarged to 7.3L. The diesel V8 engines were available only in Econoline 350s (or Club Wagons sold on the same chassis). The cutaway version was available with the larger (5.8 or 7.5) gasoline V8s or the diesel V8.[16]

Due to the popularity of automatic transmissions in full-size vans, Ford discontinued both the 3-speed and 4-speed manual transmissions after the 1987 model year.

Body

Unlike its predecessors, Ford designed the 1975 Econoline with a "two-box" layout. Similar to the Ford Transit of the time, the configuration moved the engine as far forward as possible and lower in the chassis than in its predecessor; although the hood was nearly twice as long, the hoodline was much lower. A higher degree of parts commonality with the F series made itself known in the bodystyling: the vent windows, taillights, bumpers, and wheels were common items between the two vehicles.

During its sixteen-year production run, the exterior of the Econoline/Club Wagon would remain nearly unaltered. In 1978, the Super Van/Super Wagon was introduced; based on the 138-inch wheelbase, it was a rear body extension allowing for extra cargo room or an extra row of seating (for up to 15 passengers). In 1979, a minor facelift updated the grille design; round headlights were replaced by rectangular units. In 1983, the Ford Blue Oval was added to the grille, replacing the "FORD" lettering on the hood.

Although the 1986 Ford Aerostar minivan would introduce styling far different from the Econoline, the basic styling of the full-size van would heavily influence the Ford Ranger (and its SUV offspring, the Ford Bronco II).

Interior

Inside, the redesign of the chassis expanded interior room, though the rear of the engine still remained between the front seats; an engine cover still provided access for servicing. Sharing many controls with the F series, the new design also improved interior ergonomics. In three body sizes, the Econoline was produced in a cargo van and passenger van, with the latter produced in three trim levels; base, Custom and Chateau. In addition, the Club Wagon was produced solely as a passenger van. After 1980, this was replaced by F-series nomenclature of XL and XLT. In line with the F series, the Econoline/Club Wagon was sold in 100/150/250/350 variants, with the Econoline 100 discontinued in 1983 (Club Wagon chassis variants were not denoted).

1975–1991 Ford E-series dimensions[17]
124" WB 138" WB (Standard Van) 138" WB (Super Van)
Length 186.8 in (4,745 mm) 206.8 in (5,253 mm) 226.8 in (5,761 mm)
Wheelbase 124 in (3,149.6 mm) 138 in (3,505.2 mm)
Height 79.1–79.9 in (2,009.1–2,029.5 mm) 79.2–84.4 in (2,011.7–2,143.8 mm) 80.9–84.8 in (2,054.9–2,153.9 mm)
Width 79.9 in (2,029 mm)

Fourth generation (1992–2014)

Fourth generation
Ford--Econoline.jpg
1997–2002 Ford Econoline
Overview
Also calledFord Econoline (until 2006; name still used in Mexico according to Ford Mexico's website)
Ford Club Wagon (until 1998)
Ford Econoline Wagon (1999–2005)
Production1991–2014 (passenger/cargo van)
1991–present (cutaway/stripped chassis)
Model years1992–2014 (passenger/cargo van)
1992–present (cutaway/stripped chassis)
Body and chassis
Body style3/4-door van
LayoutFR layout
PlatformFord VN platform
Powertrain
Engine
Transmission
  • 4-speed AOD automatic
  • 5-speed TorqShift automatic
  • 6-speed TorqShift automatic
Dimensions
Wheelbase138 in (3,505 mm)
Length
  • 1992–2007
  • Regular: 212 in (5,385 mm)
  • Extended: 232 in (5,893 mm)
  • 2008–
  • Regular: 216.7 in (5,504 mm)
  • Extended: 236.7 in (6,012 mm)
Width79.3–79.9 in (2,014–2,029 mm)
Height80.7–84.1 in (2,050–2,136 mm)
Curb weight4,773 lb (2,165 kg)
Chronology
SuccessorFord Transit

For the 1992 model year, Ford introduced the fourth generation of the Econoline/Club Wagon. While the third-generation chassis was largely carried over, the body and interior underwent a complete redesign. As with the smaller Ford Aerostar, the fourth-generation model line was offered two body lengths on a common wheelbase.

The fourth-generation Econoline/Club Wagon underwent several revisions during its production. For 1999, to adopt a nomenclature closer in line to that of Ford full-size trucks, the Econoline was renamed the E-Series.

In June 2014, production of E-Series passenger and cargo vans was discontinued as sales of the Ford Transit began in North America. From 2015 onward, the E-Series has remained in production solely for commercial markets in cutaway-cab and stripped chassis configurations.[18] For the 2021 model year, the E-Series receives mechanical and functional updates to improve performance of second-party equipment; it remains in production solely as a commercial vehicle.[19]

Chassis specifications

The fourth-generation E-Series (Econoline/Club Wagon) shares the VN platform of the third-generation Econoline, introduced in 1975. Sharing many components with F-Series trucks, the E-Series retained the "Twin I-Beam" front suspension used by rear-wheel drive Ford trucks in North America from the 1960s to the early 1990s. The rear suspension was a live rear axle with rear leaf springs.

For the 2008 model year, the chassis underwent its largest revisions of the fourth generation. In an effort to improve handling and safety, larger brakes were added, improved steering, rollover stability control, and a higher GVWR.[20] The twin I-beam layout was retained, making it the second last Ford vehicle to use it.[21]

Powertrain

At its 1992 launch, the fourth-generation E-Series (Econoline/Club Wagon) carried over its powertrain line from the third-generation model line (sharing it with the ninth-generation F-Series). A 4.9L inline-6 was standard, with a 4.9L V8, a 5.8L V8 offered as options. On 250 or 350-series vans, a 7.5L V8 and 7.3L Navistar diesel V8 were also optional; the diesel became turbocharged in 1993. During 1994, the IDI diesel was replaced by a 7.3L Ford Powerstroke diesel V8 (also sourced from Navistar).

For 1997, the E-Series underwent a revision of its engine lineup, retaining only the 7.3L diesel. Sharing its gasoline engines with the tenth-generation F-Series, a 4.2L V6 replaced the inline-6 and a 6.8L V10 replaced the 7.5L V8. The 5.0L V8 and the 5.8L V8 were replaced by 4.6L and 5.4L V8s, respectively.

For 2003, the 7.3L diesel was replaced by a 6.0L diesel from Navistar. While gaining an intercooler over its predecessor, due to the lack of airflow in the engine compartment (compared to Super Duty trucks), Ford had to detune the E-Series version of the 6.0L V8. For 2004, the 4.6L V8 became the standard engine (the first American full-size van with a standard V8 engine)

The 6.0L Power Stroke was offered until 2009 in the Ford Econoline vans (model year 2010), even though Ford Super Duty trucks were upgraded to the 6.4 version in 2007. Diesels were no longer offered after the 2010 model year. For 2009, the E-Series gained flexible-fuel capability with 4.6L and 5.4L engines (allowing them to use E85).

In May 2014, the final 4.6L V8 was produced for the E-Series, with the 5.4L V8 becoming the standard engine for 2015. For 2017, the 6.8L V10 replaced the 5.4L V8 as the standard engine, with a 6.2L V8 becoming the optional engine; along with flex-fuel capability, both engines were offered with options for conversion to CNG or LPG/propane.[22] For its 2021 model year revision, the E-Series cutaway cab adopts the 7.3L V8 of the 2020 Super Duty trucks.[19]

1992–present Ford Econoline/Club Wagon/E-Series powertrain details
Engine Configuration Production Fuel type Transmission
Ford Truck Six 4.9 L (300 cu in) OHV I6 1992–1996 Gasoline 4-speed AOD automatic

4-speed E4OD automatic

4-speed 4R100 automatic

5-speed 5R110W automatic (TorqShift)

6-speed automatic (TorqShift)

Ford Windsor V8 4.9 L (302 cu in) OHV V8 1992–1996
5.8 L (351 cu in) OHV V8 1992–1996
Ford 385 Family V8 7.5 L (460 cu in) OHV V8 1992–1996
Navistar 7.3L IDI V8 7.3 L (444 cu in) OHV V8 diesel 1992 Diesel
7.3 L (444 cu in) OHV V8 turbodiesel 1993
Navistar T444E V8

(Ford PowerStroke)

7.3 L (444 cu in) OHV V8 turbodiesel 1994–2003
Navistar VT365 V8

(Ford PowerStroke)

6.0 L (365 cu in) OHV 4V V8 turbodiesel 2004–2012
Ford Essex V6 4.2 L (256 cu in) OHV V6 1997–2003 Gasoline
Ford Triton V8 4.6 L (281 cu in) SOHC 2V V8 1997–2014 Gasoline

E85

5.4 L (330 cu in) SOHC 2V V8 1997–2016
Ford Triton V10 6.8 L (413 cu in) SOHC 2V V10 1997–2019 Gasoline

E85

Propane/LPG (optional)

CNG (optional)

Ford Boss V8 6.2 L (379 cu in) SOHC 2V V8 2017–2020

Body

During its production, the fourth-generation E-series underwent minor revisions in 1997 and 2003, with a major revision in 2008; for 2021, the model line underwent an additional update.[19]

In line with the F-Series, the Econoline was sold in 150, 250, and 350 series, denoting ½, ¾, and 1-ton chassis (the Club Wagon was not designated by chassis size). The body was available in two lengths, with the extended-length version exclusive to the 250 (3/4-ton) and 350-series (1-ton) chassis for both cargo and passenger vans. The cargo van was sold as a two-passenger vehicle, with the passenger van sold in various configurations, including 5, 8, 9, 12, and 15 passengers.

1992–1996

1992–1994 Ford Club Wagon (15-passenger)
1992–1994 Ford Club Wagon (15-passenger)
1997–2002 Ford E-350 cutaway chassis (outfitted as a U-Haul vehicle)
1997–2002 Ford E-350 cutaway chassis (outfitted as a U-Haul vehicle)

For the 1992 model year, the body of the Econoline underwent a complete redesign. In contrast to its GM and Dodge competitors, the two-box body configuration made a return. To optimize the aerodynamics of the van body, the hood was angled slightly downward and the windshield was raked back (though far less than the Aerostar). If specified, all side and rear window glass was flush-mounted to the body, along with wraparound taillamp lenses; flush-mounted composite headlamps were an option (standard on all Club Wagons). For 1992, the Econoline/Club Wagon became the first full-size vans produced with a center-mounted brake light.

When redesigning the interior of the E-series, the driver compartment underwent extensive modernization. While space between the front seats was again dominated by the front-mounted engine, a redesign of the engine cover freed up additional passenger room. Sharing controls and components with the F-Series and Aerostar, the model line became the first full-size van equipped with a standard driver-side airbag (except for 350-series models, exempted by their GVWR). The instrument panel received more legible instruments (but no tachometer); a 6-digit LCD odometer replaced the previous 5-digit analog unit.

For 1994, CFC-free R134a air-conditioning refrigerant was adopted beginning with September 1993 production.

For 1995, the taillamps were revised, removing the amber turn signals.

1997–2002

For 1997, the E-series underwent a revision of both its exterior and interior, largely to bring its appearance in line with other Ford trucks. The previous egg-crate grille was replaced by an eight-hole oval-shaped cutout (matching the Explorer and F-150).

The interior underwent a complete redesign, adopting an all-new dashboard. Following the adoption of dual airbags (for all versions), the "brick"-style steering wheel was replaced by one with a center-mounted horn. To improve the convenience of interior controls, rotary switches for climate controls were introduced, along with a double-DIN radio. The instrument panel was redesigned, reintroducing an analog odometer. The front seats underwent a redesign, relocating the seatbelt mounting to the B-pillars.

2003–2007 Ford E-350 extended-length cargo van
2003–2007 Ford E-350 extended-length cargo van

2003–2007

For 2003, the E-series underwent an exterior update, adopting the grille introduced by the 2002 E-550 Super Duty (see below). The new grille shifted the Ford Blue Oval emblem from the hood to the center of the grille (for the first time since 1991); based on trim, the grille was either dark gray or chrome. The front turn signal lenses were changed from clear to amber (their first change since 1992).

Coinciding with the exterior revision, the interior saw several updates. While the dashboard remained essentially unchanged, the engine cover was redesigned (including redesigned cup holders); the design now included a center-mounted glovebox (absent from the E-Series since 1974). For 2004, the instrument cluster was updated with a digital odometer; heavy-duty vans now offered a tachometer (as an option).

Ford E-550 Super Duty (outfitted as mobile broadcasting vehicle)
Ford E-550 Super Duty (outfitted as mobile broadcasting vehicle)
Ford E-550 Super Duty

For 2002, Ford introduced the E-550 Super Duty as the highest-GVWR version of the E-Series.[23] Offered solely in a cutaway-cab design,[23] the E-550 largely bridged the gap between the pickup truck-derived F-450/550 Super Duty and the F-650 medium-duty trucks.

Sharing a number of chassis components with the F-550 Super Duty, the E-550 was distinguished by a grille styled in line with Super Duty pickup trucks (with a three horizontal slots between two vertical openings). To accommodate the wider, heavier-duty front axle, the van body was fitted with a larger front bumper and plastic fender flares (shared with the F-550 truck). Several wheelbases were offered, ranging between 159.5 inches and 233.5 inches; as with the Super Duty and the E-350/450, the E-550 was powered by either a 6.8L V10 or a 7.3L V8 turbodiesel.[23]

Following the 2003 model year, Ford ended production of the E-550 Super Duty (the E-450 currently remains in production).

2008 Ford E-250 cargo van
2008 Ford E-250 cargo van

2008–present

For the 2008 model year, the fourth-generation E-series underwent its most extensive revision since its 1992 introduction. While the chassis itself saw few fundamental changes, the bodyshell saw a major update to the exterior and interior. Largely concentrated forward of the windshield, the redesign included new fenders, a new hood, and a (much) larger grille. To increase parts commonality, the grille and headlights were shared with the 2008 revision of the Super Duty trucks.[20]

For 2009, the dashboard underwent its own redesign (sharing only the steering column with the previous version). Further increasing parts commonality with the Super Duty, the instrument panel was redesigned (standardizing a tachometer); the glovebox was shifted from the engine cover to ahead of the passenger seat. Sharing additional components with the Super Duty, the model line gained the Ford Sync system and in-dash navigation as options. For the first time in a full-size van, the E-series was offered with a rear-view backup camera as an option.

Trim

During its production, the fourth-generation model line underwent several name changes. As with the previous generation, the Econoline was sold as both a cargo van and as a passenger van (Econoline Wagon) with the Ford Club Wagon sold only as a passenger van. For 1992, the luxury-oriented Chateau trim line of the Club Wagon made its return (dormant since 1980), slotted above the XL and XLT trims. For 1992, the Club Wagon Chateau was awarded Truck of the Year by Motor Trend.

Toward the end of the 1990s, Ford began to phase out the use of the Econoline and Club Wagon nameplates. For 1999, the Club Wagon nameplate was discontinued (in favor of Econoline Wagon). After the 2000 model year, the Econoline was renamed the Ford E-Series in the United States, in line with the Ford F-Series trucks (done by Ford Canada in 1995). For 2001, the Chateau was dropped, replaced by the E-150 Traveler; due to low sales, it was dropped after a single model year.

For 2011, to commemorate the 50th year of production, Ford offered a 50th Anniversary Edition of the E-Series. Offered on XLT Wagons, the option package was distinguished by blue metallic paint, embroidered seatbacks, and exterior badging.[24]

Current production (2015-present)

dashboard, 2009–2015 Ford E-Series
dashboard, 2009–2015 Ford E-Series
2019 Ford E-450 with a Goshen Coach Impulse body operating for Columbia Transportation
2019 Ford E-450 with a Goshen Coach Impulse body operating for Columbia Transportation

For the 2015 model year, Ford discontinued sales of the E-Series passenger and cargo vans, replacing them with the fourth-generation Ford Transit.[25]

While the E-Series had remained the best-selling vehicle in the full-size van segment since 1980,[3][4] the model line had seen little change since 1992 on a chassis introduced for the 1975 model year. At the time of its 2008 update, 95% of sales were to commercial or fleet users, with nearly half of production represented by cargo vans.[26]

From 2015 onward, the E-Series has remained in production entirely for commercial sale, with all examples produced as incomplete vehicles. The model line is currently offered in two configurations: cutaway-cab (open-cab, to be fitted with second-party rear body) and stripped-chassis (no body, to be fitted with complete second-party body).[27] Prior to 2019, the E-Series was also offered in a chassis-cab configuration.

Sold outside of North America since 1965, the Transit was introduced to the United States and Canada, offering increased fuel economy and additional body configurations over the E-Series.[25] Assembled in the United States, two of the four generations of the Transit have been co-developed by Ford in North America.

Following the discontinuation of E-Series passenger vans, the powertrain underwent a revision, with the 6.8L V10 becoming the only engine for 2016; a 6.2L V8 became offered as an option for 2017.

2021 revision

Initially planned to continue production until the end of the 2010s,[18] Ford extended the life of the E-Series into its sixth decade, unveiling a revised 2021 model line.[19] To minimize disruption to commercial vehicle design, no exterior sheetmetal was changed, with Ford concentrating on mechanical and functional updates.

Replacing both the 6.8L V10 and 6.2L V8 is a single 7.3L V8. The largest overhead-valve V8 since the 7.5L (460) V8, the "Godzilla" engine is offered in 300 hp and 350 hp outputs; both versions of the engine are paired to a 6-speed automatic transmission.[19][28]

For the first time since 1997, the E-Series is fitted with a new tilt-telescope steering column (sourced from the F-150[29]),[30] along with a redesigned instrument cluster (for the first time since 2009).[19] To lower production costs and simplify fitment for upfitters, the dashboard itself was retained, but new components were added to increase functionality, including Bluetooth-compatible radios, auxiliary and USB inputs, and steering wheel-mounted switches.[19]

To improve functionality, the dashboard received a redesigned instrument cluster (for the first time since 2009) and a new steering column (for the first time since 1997); both components are derived from the F-150 and Super Duty trucks.[19] While the dashboard itself was retained (to lower production costs and simplify fitment for upfitters), Ford introduced Bluetooth-compatible radios, auxiliary and USB inputs, and steering wheel-mounted switches.[19]

Production and sales

Model year US production
1961 61,135[31]
1962 76,938[31]
1963 88,053[31]
1964 83,079[31]
1965 76,867[31]
1966 84,180[31]
1967 81,752[31]
Calendar year US sales
1997 186,690[32]
1998 206,026[33]
1999 202,024[34]
2000 187,027
2001 159,565
2002 165,085[35]
2003 161,721
2004 171,017[36]
2005 179,543
2006 180,457
2007 168,722
2008 124,596
2009 85,735
2010 108,258
2011 116,874
2012 122,423
2013 125,356[37]
2014 103,263[38]
2015 50,788[39]
2016 54,245[39]
2017 53,304[40]
2018 47,936[41]
2019 45,063[42]
1997-2019 sales 3,005,718

See also

References

  1. ^ "Plant Information: Oakville Assembly Complex". Media.ford.com. Archived from the original on June 14, 2010. Retrieved May 31, 2011.
  2. ^ https://www.autoindustriya.com/auto-industry-news/ford-ph-goes-big-with-15-seater-transit-starts-at-php-2-3m.html
  3. ^ a b "Key Milestones in 50-Year History of Ford E-Series, America's Favorite Full-size Van for 31 Years | Ford Motor Company Newsroom". 2011-01-18. Archived from the original on 2011-01-18. Retrieved 2019-10-08.
  4. ^ a b "Crossovers, Lincoln highlight Ford's 2007 sales performance; further growth expected in 2008". Media.Ford.com. January 3, 2009. Archived from the original on May 25, 2011.
  5. ^ "Econoline.org". Econoline.org. Retrieved November 23, 2020.
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  9. ^ Gunnell, John (2005-10-25). American cars of the 1960s. 2005. p. 212. ISBN 9780896891319. Retrieved 29 February 2016.
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  14. ^ a b Truesdell, Rich (November 3, 2014). "Mercury Trucks Dare to Be Different". Vintage truck magazine. Archived from the original on 12 November 2014. Retrieved 29 February 2016.
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  20. ^ a b "Ford Rolls Out Super Duty-Inspired 2008 E-Series Vans". Edmunds Inside Line. March 9, 2007. Archived from the original on March 20, 2007.
  21. ^ "Ford's Twin I-Beam Front Suspension". www.hemmings.com. Retrieved 2019-03-07.
  22. ^ "New ergonomic and tech options enhance 2017 Ford Transit lineup; new engine for E-series stripped chassis, cutaway". Ford Motor Company Media Center. March 1, 2016.
  23. ^ a b c "StackPath". www.fleetowner.com. Retrieved 2020-11-24.
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External links

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