Interior Picture Of A Ford Raptor

There apparently isn’t a Abeyance Deep Dive agent I’ve advancing added than the 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor. But I tend to say that every time I get my easily on an all-new vehicle. It was accurate afore I laid easily on the 2022 Ford Bronco I looked at recently, and I had the aforementioned anticipation aback the 2021 Ram 1500 TRX paid a appointment about a year ago.

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But this feels altered for a scattering of reasons. For one, the new third-generation has a five-link coil-spring rear suspension, and that’s article not aggregate with any added F-150 or annihilation in the massive F-Series lineup. This was a ground-up architecture with the high-flying Raptor in mind. This makes it altered from the five-link coil-spring rear abeyance on the Ram 1500 TRX, which is a afterlight of absolute Ram 2500 Power Wagon delivery geometry – admitting with bigger shocks and added cogent tweaks.

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Not alone that, the Raptor’s new underpinnings actually work. I was able to actually choke a brace of altered Raptors by the abutting (the accepted 35-inch annoy adaptation and the new 37-inch version) during my Aboriginal Drive at Dumont Dunes, a sprawling off-highway agent (OHV) amusement across in California’s Mojave Desert. Since then, I’ve additionally apprenticed the 37-inch-shod barter you’re about to see on familiar, poorly-maintained anchorage abreast home in Orange County, Calif. This new Raptor is not aloof an ass-kicker aback apprenticed adamantine in the accessible desert, it’s additionally an actually adequate daily-driver.

The capital acumen for the third-gen Raptor’s newfound abyss and across of abeyance achievement is in actuality that absurd five-link braid rear suspension. Ford has additionally adapted Fox centralized bypass Live-Valve adaptive dampers and optimized them for the new suspension. Now that I’ve apprenticed it, it’s time to cull the auto off for a afterpiece attending I’ve aloof been dying to take.

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Like the Raptor afore it, this third-gen Raptor rides on a wide-track bifold wishbone advanced suspension, but there are abundant revisions that accept added best caster biking from 13 inches to 14 inches.

Regular F-150s, like the 2021 XLT 4×4 I looked at aftermost year, are congenital with abundant beneath clue amplitude and accommodate decidedly beneath travel. That barter had anchored animate high and lower wishbones, but actuality we can acutely see the high wishbone (yellow arrow) is artificial animate and the lower wishbone (green) is fabricated of aluminum.

This year’s Raptor uses a new bearing of Fox centralized bypass coil-over shocks (yellow) that are, amid added things, accustomed to abound best than before. Addition biking advance stems from the adapted and reoriented arbor of the high brawl collective that now allows added angularity as the council address is angry through its abounding ambit of motion.

Below, the lower shock adapter (green) is a ample double-shear through-bolt. This is agnate to the aftermost Raptor, but actually altered from the approved F-150, which uses a tie-bar captivated to the top apparent of the lower wishbone with two abate bolts.

The Raptor’s aluminum lower wishbone is adequate by an chip crossmember (yellow) that spans amid its two legs. Further outboard, the lower wishbone and the council address affection arresting nubs (green) that assignment calm to act as a council stop.

Higher up, the Raptor uses the new, approved F-150’s electrically actuated, vacuum-operated Electric Chip Caster End (EIWE) to lock and alleviate the advanced hubs as you about-face in and out of four-wheel drive. These alter from the earlier IWE design, in that the electric actuation happens actuality at the hub application a ascendancy wire (red) that’s aloof beneath the exhaustion line.

Here we can see how the council stops on the lower wishbone and council address collaborate as the council approaches abounding lock. We’re not actually at abounding appropriate lock in this picture, but we’re accepting abutting to the point area they’ll touch.

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As in the approved F-150, the Raptor’s lower wishbone adapter credibility (yellow) abridgement the aberrant cams we’re acclimated to seeing. They say the accomplishment action is so dialed in that they don’t charge to anatomy in adjustment, but I’m not affairs that. Besides, we can see a attestant mark area the nearer one either slipped or addition acclimated the accessible hole-slop to accomplish a accent adjustment.

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The Fox shocks advance a abject akin of damping aural the capital anatomy of the shock, with centralized bypass holes we can’t see forth its breadth to accord the damper position sensitivity. The damper is accordingly bendable in the average but stiffens up as the agent moves against the compression or addendum extremes of travel. Layered on top of that is this computer-controlled alive valve (yellow), which adds added damping depending on conditions. This year’s adaptation has a sample amount that’s 10 times faster, so the arrangement is a lot added acknowledging to alley altitude in absolute time.

Above appropriate we can see the high wishbone, but there’s a lot added activity on than you ability think. Now, rather than authoritative you accessible addition browser window and acquisition the agnate photo I took of the 2021 F-140 XLT 4×4 a few months back, here’s two versions side-by-side (without the argument associated with that pic, avoid its chicken arrow)

The acme of the high shock (yellow) arise is *much* taller than a approved F-150’s, and the vertical stiffening webs (green) extend abundant lower bottomward on the frame. This was done because the Raptor’s shocks are actually a bit longer, and this high arise has to be appreciably stronger.

Lost amid all this is the acme sensor (red) that advance the suspension’s position consistently and feeds it into the Live-Valve adaptive damping computer.

Inside, the advanced bang stop (yellow) is apparent to see. This one is decidedly continued to the point area it needs a stiffening ring, because Raptors shod with 37-inch tires get best bang stops to bind the advanced biking to 13 inches. The 35-inch adaptation should accept a beneath stop that enables the abounding 14 inches of travel. The anchor is bare because the big 37-inch tires would contrarily actuality themselves too far up into the fender wells, and the crisis of abrading is abnormally astute aback the auto are angry at the aforementioned time.

Unlike the approved F-150, the Raptor’s antithesis bar delivery (yellow) still attaches to the lower wishbone. It’s a tidy installation, and the antithesis bar axis bushing (green) is abutting by. What’s not accessible actuality is the affectionate of antithesis bar abstract apparatus that Ford aloof alien on the new Bronco. The Raptor could use the option, I think, because the advanced tires don’t abbreviate all that abundant on the way to a Flex Index account of aloof 537. Of advance that’s this 37-inch truck. A Raptor shod with the accepted 35-inch elastic and accordingly added biking ability do bigger if the antithesis bar isn’t the attached factor. Who knows? Maybe the abstract apparatus is actuality captivated in assets for the Raptor R.

The assorted motion ratios are easier to see from the aback side, although this angled appearance mucks things up a bit. The antithesis bar bond attaches about 45% out from the close pivot, so we’ll alarm it 0.45-to-1. Meanwhile, the coil-over animation and damper attach article like 75% of the way out. But there is a bit of angular to the damper, and it will alone access as the abeyance compresses. If we say it is laying at 25 degrees from vertical, again a cosine agency of 0.91 comes into play. That brings what at aboriginal seemed like 0.75-to-1 bottomward to 0.68-to-1. Or thereabouts. As ever, these are eyeball estimates.

The Raptor uses twin-piston (yellow) sliding calipers. These are so called because the accompanying pistons advance on one side, but the caliper apartment they are army aural can accelerate advisedly on pins (green). In this way, the activated force on one ancillary pulls the caliper’s far ancillary against the rotor, such that the armament are in antithesis and both abandon accomplish the aforementioned anchor force. Ford has put in accessible analysis windows (red) so you can readily see the pad/rotor interface and analysis pad array at a glance.

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Look ma! No blade springs. There’s a big honking braid spring.

Five-link rear suspensions accept two abaft links (yellow) per side, and these are actually massive. I abstinent the lower one and begin it to be aloof over 3 anxiety long. The high one is the home of the rear abeyance position sensor (red) for the Live-Valve adaptive dampers. College up, we can see how the high shock arise (green) is a actual able-bodied appendage bulging off the frame.

This bureaucracy is acceptable for best caster biking of 15 inches, an inch bigger than before.

The braid itself is about 2 anxiety continued out of the truck, but it’s somewhat abate now. A jack angle is acknowledging the axle, so we’re seeing it aeroembolism a bit added than it would be if the barter was on the ground. Still, the high coils are in bind, because this is a dual-rate accelerating spring. Those coils accessible up at abounding droop, which helps accomplish antecedent assurance a bit added bit-by-bit as you acreage a jump afore they anneal up as you access mid travel.

The astern rear shocks accept piggyback-style (yellow) alien reservoirs at the top. There’s a adding agent in the reservoir, with added oil that flows advisedly in and out of the capital shock anatomy aloft that piston, and nitrogen gas beneath that pressurizes the absolute shock to accumulate the oil from cavitating as it squeezes through the actual tiny passages that accomplish up the assorted damping valve elements. One of those is a computer controlled valve-stack central the Live-Valve (green) that piggybacks off the piggyback.

The advanced shocks accept a adding agent and gas chamber, too, but they’re abate and in-line with the shock beneath the side-mounted alive valve. No added oil backlog accommodation up there.

The lower shock arise bolts to a bracket (yellow) that hangs beneath the arbor tube, but so does the lower animation seat. What this agency is that alternating animation seats can artlessly be anchored on. In fact, I am adequately assertive (but don’t adduce be on this) that the 35-inch Raptor uses altered animation seats. The Raptor R may actually go its own way here, too. This additionally agency that an aftermarket abeyance maker could dream up their own animation seats, which opens up possibilities that are not readily accessible on the TRX, area the springs artlessly plonk bottomward aloft the axle.

Lots activity on here. First, agenda that the Panhard bar’s axle-end ascent point (yellow) is army appealing far inboard as it tries to break bright of the spring, lower abaft arm brackets and the bang stop (green), which registers on top of the arbor tube itself. The metal abject of the bang stop apartment protrudes bottomward added on this barter than it would in a 35-inch Raptor, because the rear end of 37-inch-shod Raptors charge additionally trim an inch off their biking to anticipate the fender wells from actuality overstuffed.

The animation and shock arise is anchored anon to the arbor tube, so their motion ratios are 1-to-1 aback the abeyance is affective up and bottomward in accord or in-phase. But that changes in cycle aka adverse phase, area the abeyance can be said to axis about the centermost of the cogwheel housing. In that case the spring/shock cycle motion arrangement is about 0.75-to one based on the area of the ascent bracket about to the tire’s acquaintance patch, as we saw in the aftermost shot. But the massive shock is canted advanced actually a bit, so let’s booty addition 10% off the nominal 0.75-to-1 cycle and 1.0-to-1 animation damper motion ratios, which makes them 0.68 and 0.90, respectively.

The arbor bang stop isn’t the alone one on this truck, though. There’s addition on the shock absorber, and it is aloof arresting central the bean guard.

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The inset axle-end ascent bracket we saw afore leads to a Panhard rod (red) that’s beneath than I like to see. With as abundant as 15 inches of vertical travel, we ability see some arresting left-right arbor adaptation as this shortish bar swings through its arc.

Also of agenda is the arbor blow tube (yellow) that runs from actuality up to a point abreast the left-rear shock’s high mount. The end appearance a 90-degree applicable that actually terminates a little college than the basal apparent of the bed. Nearby there’s a ascendancy wire (green) for the electronically lockable rear differential.

It is actually a apprenticed fit with a 37-inch additional annoy aback here, so abundant so that the Panhard bar is awkward collapsed in the average (yellow) for a little added breath room.

The rear brakes are fabricated up of aerial rotors and single-piston sliding calipers with electrically-driven parking anchor actuators (yellow) army to the back.

The 37-inch auto are beadlock-capable rims, but what you’re seeing is a non-functional trim arena (yellow) that does not actually overlap the rim’s lip to accommodate any bean locking. The anatomic beadlock rings that do that are an accessory, and you’ve got to abstract all 24 Torx bolts you see here, times four (or five) wheels, to accomplish the switch. The bolt holes do not access the rim’s air cavity, so there’s no adventitious of any leaks.

These massive 37×12.5R17 LT BF Goodrich All Terrain T/A KO2 tires and their 17 x 8.5-inch rims with faux beadlock rings (and absolute beadlock bolts) counterbalance a air-conditioned 101.5 pounds. Woof.

More afterwards the video …

I don’t apperceive about you, but I’m not aghast by what Ford has done here, abnormally because this new rear abeyance is acutely a Raptor-optimized architecture that wasn’t adopted from addition F-Series. And it works wonderfully, except for one place: my RTI ramp. Yes, the 37-inch-shod Raptor has had 1 inch akin from its best biking abeyant for approval reasons. But that still puts it at 13 inches advanced and 14 inches rear, like the Ram 1500 TRX. So why did it account aloof 537 compared to the Ram’s 602 points? I’m not yet sure.

But let’s zoom out a minute. The Ram 1500 TRX and Ford F-150 Raptor are not apprenticed for boulder-hopping escapades on the Rubicon Trail. They’re arguably far too advanced for annihilation like that, and their capital acumen for actuality is accelerated arid running. Would I like to see added delivery here? Sure. Is it a deal-breaker? Actually not, because the new Raptor can actually booty the mail in the wide-open arid ambiance it was advised for. But, yeah. I’ll still booty a attending at the 35-inch shod Raptor with 14 inches of advanced and 15 inches of rear travel. And I would not accuse if they aback fabricated a Raptor adaptation of the Bronco’s antithesis bar abstract mechanism.

Contributing biographer Dan Edmunds is a adept automotive architect and journalist. He formed as a agent development architect for Toyota and Hyundai with an accent on anatomy tuning, and was the administrator of agent testing at (no relation) for 14 years.

You can acquisition all of his Suspension Deep Dives here on Autoblog.

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