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Ford L series

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Ford L-series trucks
1989 Ford LN8000 Diesel dump truck, red.jpg
1989 Ford LN8000 single-axle dump truck
Overview
TypeMedium-duty truck
Heavy-duty truck
ManufacturerFord Motor Company
Production1970-1998
1998-2009 (as Sterling)
Assembly
Body and chassis
ClassClass 6-8 truck
LayoutConventional cab
Chronology
PredecessorFord F series Super Duty and N series
SuccessorFord F-650/F-750 Super Duty (for Ford)
Sterling Trucks: A-Line, L-Line, Acterra

The Ford L-series (also named Ford Louisville or, for the 1990s aerodynamic models, Ford Aeromax) is a range of heavy-duty trucks that were assembled and marketed by Ford between 1970 and 1998. Ford had been producing their "Heavy Duty" trucks since 1948 and their "Super Duty" lineup since 1958 marketed by various GVW ratings. Truck weight classifications 1-8 were a new concept brought about by the DOT National Highway Administration. The first dedicated Class 8 truck produced by the company, the L-series range replaced the F-series "Super Duty" and N-series (short conventional derived from the F-series). Produced as both straight trucks and semitractors, the Ford L-series encompassed a wide range of models through the Class 6-8 GVWR ratings in medium-duty, severe-service, and vocational applications. The line would become one of the most popular series of trucks Ford ever produced.[1]

The L series was produced in the Kentucky Truck Plant near Louisville, Kentucky, which gave rise to the nickname "Louisville Line" trucks;[1] as part of a 1996 redesign, part of the model line officially took on the Louisville nameplate.

Following the sale of the Ford heavy-truck line to Freightliner in 1996, the L-series was discontinued by Ford at the end of 1998. Freightliner would concurrently take over production of the Ford L-series, opening its Sterling Trucks subsidiary; the L-series became the Sterling A line, Acterra, and L line, remaining in production until 2009 when Sterling Trucks closed operations.

Discover more about Ford L series related topics

Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company is an American multinational automobile manufacturer headquartered in Dearborn, Michigan, United States. It was founded by Henry Ford and incorporated on June 16, 1903. The company sells automobiles and commercial vehicles under the Ford brand, and luxury cars under its Lincoln luxury brand. Ford also owns Brazilian SUV manufacturer Troller, an 8% stake in Aston Martin of the United Kingdom and a 32% stake in China's Jiangling Motors. It also has joint ventures in China, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, and Russia. The company is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and is controlled by the Ford family; they have minority ownership but the majority of the voting power.

Kentucky Truck Assembly

Kentucky Truck Assembly

Kentucky Truck Plant is an automobile manufacturing plant owned by Ford Motor Company in Louisville, Kentucky. The 4,626,490-square-foot (429,815 m2) plant on 500 acres (2.0 km2) opened in 1969 and currently employs 8,500 people total. The hourly production workers are represented by The United Automobile, Aerospace, and Agricultural Implement Workers of America, better known as the United Auto Workers (UAW) Local 862, It is located at 3001 Chamberlain Lane in the Northeast corner of the city. Ford also operates another plant in Louisville, the Louisville Assembly Plant.

Louisville, Kentucky

Louisville, Kentucky

Louisville is the largest city in the Commonwealth of Kentucky and the 28th most-populous city in the United States. Louisville is the historical seat and, since 2003, the nominal seat of Jefferson County, on the Indiana border.

Background

Ford T-Series tow truck from sometime in the 1960's.
Ford T-Series tow truck from sometime in the 1960's.
A 1964 Ford N-Series truck, one of the two predecessors to the L-Series
A 1964 Ford N-Series truck, one of the two predecessors to the L-Series

In 1963, Ford produced its first short BBC conventional with the introduction of the N-series Super Duty, supplementing the Super Duty models of the F-series. As Ford did with the H-series cabover (derived from the C-series and nicknamed the "Two-Story Falcon"), an all-new chassis raised the cab upward; while sharing its grille with the H-series, the N-series shared its cab with the F-series pickup trucks.

By the 1960s, Ford sought to modernize and streamline its heavy-truck line. In 1961, the heavy-duty F-series (F-750 to F-1100) became a larger, separate model line along with introduction of the all new H-series Linehauler. In 1966, the H-series was replaced by the all-new W-series cabover. In a change from adapting the F-series to become a heavy truck and to replace the N-series, Ford began design work on an all-new truck range, which became the L-series. With an all-new heavier-duty chassis, the L-series also featured a larger cab; to improve serviceability, the design included a front-hinged hood.

First generation (1970–1995)

1973 Ford L600 box truck
1973 Ford L600 box truck
Ford L9000 Fire tank truck
Ford L9000 Fire tank truck
1981 Ford LTS 9000 cement mixer
1981 Ford LTS 9000 cement mixer

For 1970, the L-series was introduced in four size ranges, two hood lengths and grille styles, and with single or tandem (denoted by the "T" in the model designation) rear axles. Powertrains included a wide range of gasoline and diesel engines, based on GVWR.

In 1971, Ford introduced a set-back front axle configuration. For the rest of the 1970s, the L-series saw few major changes. In 1976, the LL/LTL-9000 was introduced. Designed as a truck for long-haul drivers, the LTL-9000 was a competitor to the GMC General, Kenworth W900, Mack Super-Liner, and Peterbilt 359. Fitted with a set-forward front axle and a longer hood, this version had more room for larger powertrains. In 1981, Ford gave the LL/LTL-9000 its own grille and headlight styling, including one of the first uses of the Ford Blue Oval in North America.

Ford LTL9000 dump truck
Ford LTL9000 dump truck

Although the L-series would see few revisions throughout its production, elements of its design would see use in other Ford vehicles. In 1974, the W-series cabover received a larger grille similar to the chrome version on the L series. For 1978, the F-series/Bronco grille was given a similar egg-crate grille pattern. In the 1980 redesign of the medium-duty F- series, the hexagonal shape of the grille was carried over; it is a theme used in all Super Duty trucks since their 1998 introduction.

In 1984 (as 1985 model year), the rest of the L-series became one of the last North American Fords to adopt the Ford Blue Oval; as with the LTL-9000, it was placed above the grille. In 1988, the L-series changed its grille design from an egg-crate design to that of horizontal chrome bars; the Ford Blue Oval became centered. In addition, rectangular headlights became standard in 1991.

1992 saw the introduction of the set-back front axle version of the LL/LTL-9000, designated the LLS and LTLS-9000, along with the corresponding Aeromax versions that had more aerodynamic bumpers and optional chassis skirting.

Aeromax (1988–1995)

1995 Ford Aeromax dump truck
1995 Ford Aeromax dump truck

As a response to the aerodynamic Kenworth T600, for 1988, Ford introduced its own aerodynamic semitractor. Named AeroMax L9000, the new design was an extensive upgrade of the L-9000. While sharing the same cab of the medium hood LS-9000, the Aeromax used a set-back front axle to add a form-fitting front bumper with swept front fenders. For the first time in a North American truck, automotive-style composite headlights were used. Other aerodynamic enhancements included skirted fuel tanks and a specially designed "Aero Bullet" sleeper unit. The Aeromax L9000 was one of the most aerodynamic trucks in North America upon its introduction in 1988.[2]

Following its introduction as a semitractor, the AeroMax line expanded into the vocational truck lineup alongside the rest of the Ford L series. A later LA-8000 was introduced for "Baby 8" intra-city delivery.

1992 saw the introduction of the extended hood, set-back front axle Aeromaxes, designated LLA and LTLA-9000. These featured optional full-length chassis skirting, along with the same aero headlights and bumpers of the older medium hood LA series.

Models

The L-series came in a total of four size ranges, designated by GVWR. As with previous Ford heavy-truck tradition, gasoline-engine trucks received a three-digit model number while diesel-engine trucks were given a four-digit model number. L-600/L-6000 and L-700/L-7000 series were Class 6/7 medium-duty trucks, typically sold as straight trucks. L-800/L-8000 trucks were Class 8 trucks, typically sold in severe-service configurations. L-900/L-9000 chassis were available in all axle configurations, but were typically sold as semitractors; the LTL-9000 was only sold with a diesel engine.

1973–1977 Models

Model[3][4] Max. GVWR[a] Engine[b] Trans[c]
LN 600 24,000 lb (11,000 kg) 361 V8 5M, 4A
LN 700/7000 27,500 lb (12,500 kg) 361 V8/V175 10M, 4A
L 800/8000 35,000 lb (16,000 kg) 361 V8/V175 13 M
LT 800 46,000 lb (21,000 kg) 475 V8[d] 13M
LT 8000 61,000 lb (28,000 kg)[e] V-225[d]
L 900/9000 35,000 lb (16,000 kg) 401 V8/NH230
LT 900/9000 61,000 lb (28,000 kg)[e] 475 V8 / 3406[d] 5x4M
LL 9000
LTL 9000
LTLS 9000[f]

Powertrain

Almost all models had at least one engine option, the 9000 series had several. The 600–800 series had a Ford 361 V8 standard, 700–900 had a 475 V8 optional. The 900 series had a 401 V8 standard. In 1977 the 361 V8 was replaced by a 370, and the 401 V8 was replaced by a 429; the 475 V8 remained an option. Detroit 6-71,6-92,8-71 and 8-92 were a option also.


The 7000 and 8000 series had a Caterpillar V175 standard, the 7000 had a V200 and the 8000 had a V225 available. The 9000 series had a Cummins NH230 standard, Cummins N series up to 350 hp (260 kW) and Caterpillar 3406 series up to 375 hp (280 kW) were optional.

1973 engines (not all are shown.)

Model[5] Displacement Type[g] Power Torque Notes
Ford 361 V8 361 cu in (5.9 l) G V8 138 hp (103 kW) 250 lb⋅ft (340 N⋅m) Std 6/7/800
Ford 401 V8 401 cu in (6.6 l) G V8 171 hp (128 kW) 274 lb⋅ft (371 N⋅m) Std 900
Cat. V175 522 cu in (8.6 l) D V8 175 hp (130 kW) 352 lb⋅ft (477 N⋅m) Std 7/8000
Cat. V225 636 cu in (10.4 l) D V8 225 hp (168 kW) 530 lb⋅ft (720 N⋅m) Opt 8000
Cum. NH230 855 cu in (14.0 l) D I6 230 hp (170 kW) Std 9000
Cum. NTC350 855 cu in (14.0 l) DT I6 350 hp (260 kW) Opt 9000
Cat. 3406 893 cu in (14.6 l) DT I6 375 hp (280 kW) 1,091 lb⋅ft (1,479 N⋅m) Opt 9000

Discover more about First generation (1970–1995) related topics

GMC General

GMC General

The GMC General is a heavy-duty truck that was assembled by the GMC Truck and Coach Division of General Motors from 1977 to 1987. The largest conventional-cab truck ever produced by the company, the product line replaced the C/M 90/9500 trucks.

Kenworth W900

Kenworth W900

The Kenworth W900 is a model line of conventional-cab trucks that are produced by the Kenworth division of PACCAR. The replacement of the 900-series conventional, the W900 is produced as a Class 8 conventional-cab truck primarily for highway use. The "W" in its model designation denotes Worthington, one of the two founders of Kenworth.

Mack Super-Liner

Mack Super-Liner

The Mack Super-Liner is a model line of Class 8 trucks produced by Mack Trucks. Produced in North America from 1977 to 1993, the model line was a conventional-cab tractor configured primarily for highway and vocational applications, serving as the flagship conventional of the Mack product line in North America. Following its 1993 discontinuation, the Super-Liner was replaced by the CL700; today, its closest equivalent is the Mack Anthem.

Kenworth T600

Kenworth T600

The Kenworth T600 is a model line of conventional-cab trucks that were produced by the American truck manufacturer Kenworth from 1984 to 2007. Distinguished by its aerodynamic sloped hood, the T600 was a Class 8 truck, typically sold in semitractor configuration.

Caterpillar Inc.

Caterpillar Inc.

Caterpillar Inc. is an American Fortune 500 corporation and the world's largest construction-equipment manufacturer. In 2018, Caterpillar was ranked number 65 on the Fortune 500 list and number 238 on the Global Fortune 500 list. Caterpillar stock is a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

Cummins

Cummins

Cummins Inc. is an American multinational corporation that designs, manufactures, and distributes engines, filtration, and power generation products. Cummins also services engines and related equipment, including fuel systems, controls, air handling, filtration, emission control, electrical power generation systems, and trucks.

Second generation (1996–1998)

1996–1998 Ford Louisville in Poland
1996–1998 Ford Louisville in Poland
Ford Aeromax 9500 in Europe
Ford Aeromax 9500 in Europe

For 1996, the Ford heavy-truck lines were redesigned, the second-generation heavy-truck line was nearly exclusively for Class 8 weight ranges.

Chassis weights were increased, front axle GAWRs[h] were available up to 20,000 lb (9,100 kg), single rear axles to 23,000 lb (10,000 kg) as before, and tandem rear axles to 46,000 lb (21,000 kg). On tandems a walking beam type was standard and 2 different air suspensions were available.

In the redesign, both the Aeromax and Louisville gained a wider cab with a sloping windshield. Although Aeromax models would lose their composite headlights, it gained a much larger slope to the hood. To aid ergonomics, the Aeromax and Louisville would borrow many interior controls from other Ford vehicles. Another redesign was the grille bars, in the second generation the trucks that had extended frame bumpers knocked of the "middle" full painted piece off the grille.

Models

As was the case previously, the heavy truck line was split into aerodynamically optimized semitractors (the newly renamed Aeromax 9500) and vocational/severe-service trucks. In the case of the latter, the popularity of the Louisville nickname led Ford to drop the L-series nomenclature and adopt the Louisville nameplate officially.

1996 models

Model[6] Max. GVWR[a] Engine Trans
LN 6000 35,000 lb (16,000 kg)
LN 7000 35,000 lb (16,000 kg)
L 8000 35,000 lb (16,000 kg) mid-range
LT 8000 64,000 lb (29,000 kg)[i] mid-range
L 9000 35,000 lb (16,000 kg)
LT 9000 64,000 lb (29,000 kg)[i]
LA 8000[j] 35,000 lb (16,000 kg) mid-range
LA 9000[j] 35,000 lb (16,000 kg)
LTA 9000[j] 60,000 lb (27,000 kg)
LL 9000 35,000 lb (16,000 kg)
LTL 9000 60,000 lb (27,000 kg)

Powertrain

The second generation didn't offer gasoline or diesel V8s, all engines were inline 6 turbocharged diesels. The Caterpillar 3406 and Cummins N14 (the evolution of the NTC series) continued as heavy duty engines in the 9000 models.

1996 engines (Not all are shown)

Model[6] Displacement Type[k] Power Torque
Cat. 3176 611 cu in (10.0 l) Mid 250 hp (190 kW) 975 lb⋅ft (1,322 N⋅m)
Cat. 3406 893 cu in (14.6 l) HD E 475 hp (354 kW) 1,650 lb⋅ft (2,240 N⋅m)
Cum. L10 611 cu in (10.0 l) Mid 260 hp (190 kW) 975 lb⋅ft (1,322 N⋅m)
Cum. N14 855 cu in (14.0 l) HD E 460 hp (340 kW) 1,650 lb⋅ft (2,240 N⋅m)
DD Series 60 677 cu in (11.1 l) E O
DD Series 60 775 cu in (12.7 l) HD E O 450 hp (340 kW) 1,550 lb⋅ft (2,100 N⋅m)

End of Ford production (1998)

Sterling A-Line 9500
Sterling A-Line 9500

At the end of 1996, Ford completed the sale of its heavy-truck operations, selling the rights and production tools of the Louisville, Aeromax, and Cargo to Freightliner. Ford would end production of the Louisville/Aeromax in 1998; the truck lines would re-enter production as Sterling Trucks from 1998 to 2009; both lines were produced concurrently by Ford and Freightliner during 1998.

In 1998 Sterling began production in St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada, of their L-Line 7500, 8500, 9500, and A-Line 9500. A Mercedes Benz diesel was introduced and a very low profile “CarHauler” model was developed, otherwise there was very little change between 1998 and 2008. Production ended in 2009.[7][8][9]

Source: "Ford L series", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2022, November 25th), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_L_series.

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Notes
  1. ^ a b Gross Vehicle Weight Rating is the loaded weight of the truck.
  2. ^ Standard engine unless noted.
  3. ^ Speeds in manual(M), automatic(A).
  4. ^ a b c Highest rated optional engine.
  5. ^ a b LNT 54,000 lb (24,000 kg) LTS 64,000 lb (29,000 kg).
  6. ^ From 1992
  7. ^ Gasoline (G), diesel (D), turbocharged (T), inline (I), (V), and number of cylinders.
  8. ^ Gross Axle Weight Rating is the loaded weight of the axle.
  9. ^ a b LTS 66,000 lb (30,000 kg).
  10. ^ a b c Aeromax
  11. ^ Mid-range (Mid), heavy Duty (HD), electronic control (E), overhead cam (O)
References
  1. ^ a b 1970 Ford Trucks, by Auto Editors of Consumer Guide
  2. ^ "1996 Ford Trucks". Archived from the original on 2012-03-05. Retrieved 2008-08-27.
  3. ^ Ford L Line (sales brocure). Ford Motor Co. 1973.
  4. ^ Ford L Line 600-800 Series (sales brocure). Ford Motor Co. 1977. pp. 6–7.
  5. ^ Motor's Truck and Diesel Repair Manual (26 ed.). Motor. 1973. pp. 760, 763, 1066. ISBN 0-910992-16-9.
  6. ^ a b 1996 Medium/Heavy Truck Specification Book. Ford Motor Co. 1996. p. VI-21.
  7. ^ "Sterling Truck launched with three models". FleetOwner. 1 Mar 1998. Retrieved 28 Aug 2016.
  8. ^ "Sterling gets Benz power". Truck News. 1 Dec 2000. Retrieved 28 Aug 2016.
  9. ^ "Sterling Truck Sitemap". Daimler Truck North America. 2008. Retrieved 28 Aug 2016.
Resources
  • American Truck & Bus Spotter's Guide: 1920–1985, by Tad Burness.
  • Ford Trucks Since 1905, by James K. Wagner.
  • Ford Heavy Duty Trucks 1948–1998, by Paul G. McLaughlin.
  • Ford Truck Chronicles: by the Auto Editors of Consumers Guide.
External links

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