By on May 3, 2019

2018 Ford F-150 White Two Tone - Image: Ford

Americans love their Ford F-150s, but buyers are increasingly opting for a powerplant boasting fewer than eight cylinders. As such, the automaker is cutting the third shift at the Windsor, Ontario engine plant tasked with building the 5.0-liter Coyote V8.

Ford V8s and Windsor have a long association, but the extraneous employees needn’t worry about hitting the job boards. There’s a much larger V8 in need of assembly.

As reported by , the availability of a stronger base V6 (a dual-injection 3.3-liter), a brace of EcoBoost V6 motors, and a new 3.0-liter diesel V6 led to an increasingly smaller take rate for the Coyote engine. A Ford spokesperson told the publication the third shift was cut “to better align with consumer demand.”

The October shift cut at Ford’s Essex Engine Plant impacts 120 employees, but the only hardship they’ll face is, in some cases, a longer commute to work.

“All employees affected by the shift reduction will have the opportunity to move to Windsor Engine Plant Annex to support 7.3-litre engine production,” said Ford Canada spokesman Matthew Drennan-Scace.

Speaking to , Drennan-Scace said the company expects “two engine assembly and three supporting shifts” at Windsor Engine by the end of the year. That 7.3-liter, a monster of a pushrod gas V8 carrying the moniker “Godzilla,” will serve in Ford’s revamped 2020 Super Duty line. In commercial applications, it replaces the Windsor-built 6.8-liter Triton V10.

As for the F-150, V8 popularity took a huge hit following the Blue Oval’s release of its 2.7- and 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6s. By 2017, the Coyote’s take rate was just a quarter of all sales.

The writing was on the wall for an Essex plant shift cut, claims John D’Agnolo, president of Unifor Local 200.

“We’ve had down shifts every week since January, and we have two down weeks in the summer, and two more down weeks scheduled in September,” he told Automotive News. “We could see that sales of the 5.0-liter were dropping.”

[Image: Ford]

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86 Comments on “Shrinking F-150 V8 Demand Prompts Shift Cut at Ford Engine Plant...”


  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    Are they selling that many 3.0 Power Strokes? I’ve seen exactly one, and that was in a King Ranch.

  • avatar
    MiataReallyIsTheAnswer

    I still do not trust the twin turbos, long-term. And replacing one or both won’t be cheap. If I was to buy a new or newish F150 it would be a 5.0L. I’ve had that engine in Mustangs and no complaints.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      somehow class 6-8 trucks have managed to go for hundreds of thousands of miles for decades, all with turbos strapped to them. it’s not 1979 anymore.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus

        I still dont trust fuel injection, radial tires or metallic paint…

      • 0 avatar
        gtem

        Because steady state cruising in a heavy duty diesel is the same as a gas motor that generally will be used for much shorter trips with more varying loads…

        I’m not totally against them mind you I think Ford has generally speaking done their testing and homework to make these reliable. But this won’t be your grandpa’s 300CU Ford farm truck plugging away 30 years from now, easily maintained or rebuilt as needed.

        • 0 avatar
          sportyaccordy

          Nobody is keeping a car for 30 years, so that’s not a reasonable standard to build to. Average car ownership is about 6.5 years, and turbocharging has been around much longer than that without any widespread failures… at least that couldn’t be attributed to a manufacturer with historically unreliable engines of all kinds.

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            “… at least that couldn’t be attributed to a manufacturer with historically unreliable engines of all kinds.”

            AKA the ones that kept offering turbocharged engines when the good companies dropped them after the CAFE ramp-up of the ’70s and ’80s.

      • 0 avatar
        Kenn

        “somehow class 6-8 trucks have managed to go for hundreds of thousands of miles for decades, all with turbos strapped to them”

        Yes, Class 6 – 8 trucks: If designed and built to last for hundreds of thousands of miles, turbos (or any other component) will last that long. In general, I don’t trust Ford’s bean counters to allow that kind of lifespan for the F-150’s V6 turbos.

      • 0 avatar
        MiataReallyIsTheAnswer

        I said twin turbos – ECOBOOST that is – not talkin diesels here, nor is the article. And I should have been more clear: I don’t trust gas twin turbos from FORD, long term. I have owned more turbo engines than I can count. I sure as shyt ain’t skeered of the snails.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      I doubt the EBs will become comparative reliability nightmares, but I also find the Coyote a lot more fun to drive so that’s what I’d get.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      How long have they been out now? How many hundreds of thousands (or perhaps millions) of miles have they logged combined? How many horror stories are we reading about them everyday?

      Over 100k on my dad’s 2013 EcoBoost F-150, nary an issue. (Yes, he did buy it used, but my cousin bought it new and the only things the truck has required are front brakes and tires.)

      • 0 avatar
        BunkerMan

        I have a 2011 F150 Ecoboost. It’s starting to have issues building boost at 210k kms. I think it’s a wastegate issue on one of the turbos.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          Wastegate issue, or maybe pressure leakage around the Turbo bearings due to buildup of dirty engine oil deposits (not sludge).

          • 0 avatar
            cimarron typeR

            my bro in laws Ecoboost needed a high pressure fuel pump at 77k miles

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            “my bro in laws Ecoboost needed a high pressure fuel pump at 77k miles”

            got it. one anecdote about a HPFP failure out of the few million EB vehicles out there means they’re all junk.

    • 0 avatar
      Featherston

      A friend’s Volvo C70 is up to about 170,000 miles, virtually all of them hard, stop-and-go city miles. He had to replace an engine mount around 130,000 miles, but the engine and turbo themselves have been fine with just oil and filter changes.

      All things being equal, I’d rather drive a slightly larger NA engine–purely for enjoyment purposes–but 21st century turbos have been worry-free for everyone I know who owns one.

      Good to see Ford moving to Lexus-style dual injection. Though the industry seems to be doing better than it was with the early BMW and VAG engines, I still think direct injection is the unhappy medium between port injection and dual injection.

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      I had to replace a 5.4L V8 that blew up, so I don’t trust Ford V8s very much …

      (I kid; I trust the 5.0 just fine, but that’s a much stronger datapoint than “but turbos can fail and aren’t cheap!” … neither’s replacing an entire V8 when it fails.

      If I bought an F150 it’d be the 3.5EB.)

      • 0 avatar
        MiataReallyIsTheAnswer

        Well the 5.4L was junk anyway – better just leave those plugs in “forever”…

        And I never claimed a “datapoint”, but go ahead and tell me I’m wrong, that turbos CAN’T fail and are NOT expensive to replace…really – go ahead!

    • 0 avatar
      goldenmain517

      I totally agree with you! I just bought a 2016 with 5.0 V.8! And I love it. These have been around for a long time.
      I’ve heard a lot bad stories about the 6 cyl twin turbos. For 1, several have went into limp mode while traveling down the Interstate. How Scary is that .

    • 0 avatar
      Higheriq

      Do you realize that turbos are killed due to bad bearings? And that what kills bearings is not changing oil often enough, and using mineral oil? Do you realize that there’s this new stuff called “synthetic oil”, which when used in your engine provides a substantially better alternative to mineral oil? It’s time to step out of the 1980’s. ;)

  • avatar
    ajla

    I really like the current 5.0L and 6.2L. However, even I feel like having three different V8 engine families going Ng forward is likely unnecessary.
    So the solution is to 7.3L all the things. Keep the iron warhorse for the HDs and cement mixers, make an aluminum version for the F-150 (I doubt the take rate would be over 25% but it’d likely cost less than the Coyote to build and they could charge more for it), and create a 7.03L performance version for the Mustang (and make sure the next gen Mustang’s platform can fit it).

    • 0 avatar
      jack4x

      I suspect the 6.2L is not long for this world. Its stated purpose going forward is to be the budget engine in the Super Duty, but ultimately I think the 7.3L will end up being cheaper to manufacture and the 6.2L will become superfluous. It’s too bad because it really is a nice engine.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        I’d put money on the 7.3 replacing both the 6.2 and the 6.8 V10.

        • 0 avatar
          TR4

          Why the hell did they make the V10 in the first place? Maybe marketing BS: V10 > V8? The V10 has to cost a lot more with two extra cylinders, a split pin crank, and a balance shaft.

          • 0 avatar
            jack4x

            The same reason Dodge made one in the 90s.

            They had discontinued their big block V8 line and it was easier and cheaper to build a V10 off the Modular 5.4 architecture than to design a ground up engine that shared nothing with anything else.

          • 0 avatar
            CaddyDaddy

            At the time, the 385 Lima Big Block would not meet emission standards. It has to do with the volume of the cylinders. Smaller cylinder volume is easier to control emissions. That is why. Also, the 7.3L will revive natural gas industrial applications for gen-sets, marine etc…

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    Is it consumers who are opting for the 6 cylinders or is that what Ford’s pushing? If there’s two V8s on the lot and ten 6s what do they think is going to sell?

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      YMMV but doing a quick inventory search in my area shows plenty of V8 F-150s in dealer stock, across pretty much all trim levels.

    • 0 avatar
      MBella

      I think it’s what either Ford or the dealers are pushing. When I was looking a few years ago, they only wanted to play let’s make a deal on the turbo 6.

    • 0 avatar
      FormerFF

      When I was in the car business we spec’d the domestic cars the way we wanted them. The imports were kind of a mixed bag, we could ask for certain ones if we had a buyer that wanted one particular car, but that was a take what comes situation for us.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        My highly unscientific check of F150 inventory about a year ago that the number of V8 trucks on the lot was directly correlated to the dealers proximity to an oil well. Those dealers tended to have the most V8 extended cab 4x4s on the lot.

        YMMV.

        • 0 avatar
          gtem

          That’d be my F150 pick: 5.0L Ext-cab XLT equipped with the e-locker and not a whole lot else. Although I haven’t tried driving a 2.7EB, the advertised MPG and 0-60 times I’ve seen people getting out of them sure make a strong argument.

          • 0 avatar
            Carrera

            GTEM, I think there were some major issues with the 2018 V8s. Ford replaced quite a bunch of them due to excessive oil consumption. Something about some coating on the cylinder walls? Not sure if Ford fix it for 2019 though.

          • 0 avatar
            jeanbaptiste

            I’d take that the sport package with the center console shifter and maybe the heated seats.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      It is the consumers driving this change. Ford was caught off guard when they released the first Ecoboost F150 with a take rate of near double their prediction. Then the 2.7 Ecoboost came along and further reduced the take rate of the 5.0.

      • 0 avatar
        Fordson

        This vehicle sells in just huge, huge numbers. That really helps us make some determinations:

        I would bet that since they came out with the EcoBoost V6s in these trucks and some SUVs in what – 2011 – ? They have probably doubled – or more – the number of turbocharged engines on the road in America.

        Since 2015, when they came out with aluminum construction, they have probably tripled or quadrupled the number of aluminum-bodied vehicles on the road in America.

        If the implementation of either one of those technologies, in those vehicles, was anything less than great, the statistical ramifications would be just gigantic.

        And the bottom line is…nothing. No real increases in powertrain problems, no real problems in body/body integrity problems. Zip.

        As for what dealers are pushing…the fact is the EcoBoost engines sell themselves – these are conquest sales, vs the V8 – because we know that so, so many buyers came in with a predisposition to get the V8, and drove out with a V6. No other explanation.

        There’s no conspiracy…these are just great engines.

        And the aluminum bodies don’t rust…here in Western New York, that’s a huge .

        • 0 avatar
          Dan

          “There’s no conspiracy…these are just great engines.”

          That’s half of it, the other half is that this V8 frankly isn’t very good. I was one of those conquest sales. After calibrating my butt to a Hemi Ram for the past two years the 5.0 felt like it was broken. Great top end but completely dead under 3K.

          Haven’t driven the 2018 revision and after all of the problems I’ve read about in the forums I’d wait another year to buy one even if I liked it.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            I can’t speak for the application in the F-150, but I have driven the 2018 Mustang GT and the V8 engine updates are a *major* improvement for that car.
            I had a ’14 Charger R/T and have a Stinger GT right now. Granted there is a weight difference, but the Ford kills the 345CI Hemi across the entire power range. The Stinger’s launch let’s it hang for awhile but after 4000 the Kia is toast.
            Really the current Mustang GT is a competitive match for the GM 6.2L or Mopar 392.

          • 0 avatar
            MoparRocker74

            “That’s half of it, the other half is that this V8 frankly isn’t very good.”

            I have to agree there, and id say the same of Ford V8’s for some time. My pop has a ‘13 4×4 supercrew 5.0 and I found it kinda ‘meh’. Better than the 4.6, 5.4 or the GM 5.3 which are dogs in my experience. The 345 Hemi in my ‘05 Rumble Bee blew any of that out of the water (full disclosure: 2wd shortie) but even the Magnum 360 from the last of the 2-gen Ram felt stronger than comparable ford/GM v8s in similar trucks. Whatever voodoo Ma Mopar put on the Hemi, it’s one helluva motor. And that’s with pushrods. Im not really convinced that the multiple OHC’s and 3+ valves do much for V8’s. At least not as a substitute for cubes. For 4-bangers or V6’s, absolutely.

          • 0 avatar
            Dan

            Totally different comparison in the cars. The 5.0 is an awesome Mustang motor in all of the ways that it’s a bad truck motor. 1400 fewer pounds and the short effective gear ratio of 27″ tires in lieu of 32s fix the sluggish low end and a sports car is supposed to rev out anyway. The 93 tune with a rev limit to the moon and 50 more horses than the trucks is icing.

            On the other side of the ledger the active intake manifold on the 5.7 Hemi either doesn’t fit or was just plain bean counted out of the cars (and Jeeps). It fits the 6.4s so probably bean counted.

          • 0 avatar
            Carlson Fan

            “After calibrating my butt to a Hemi Ram for the past two years the 5.0 felt like it was broken. Great top end but completely dead under 3K.”

            Exactly what you don’t want in a truck. Reminds me of the V6 engine in my Toyota PU. The TT V6’s pull good and strong right off idle which makes them great tow vehicles. People I know that own them love them for that. Any wonder the ECO Boost engines have been such a success for Ford?

      • 0 avatar
        EBFlex

        “It is the consumers driving this change. Ford was caught off guard when they released the first Ecoboost F150 with a take rate of near double their prediction. Then the 2.7 Ecoboost came along and further reduced the take rate of the 5.0.”

        That’s because Ford artificially sandbagged the 5.0L to make it look bad against the 3.5L. Ford sabotaged that engine on paper. Ford knew exactly what the take rate would be.

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      ” If there’s two V8s on the lot and ten 6s what do they think is going to sell?”

      You bet they’re pushing the turbo motors but as many of these things as they sell the real number is more like 50 V8s on the lot against 150 6s. Anyone who even middlingly wants the V8 can have one.

      The real push is on the want side. Between the overpowered turbos and the undersized V8 of course buyers want the EB.

  • avatar
    seth1065

    But But all I read here is I will only buy a V* in my F150 , I need it for fill in the blank.

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      Hell, if I could snap my fingers and put the 3.5EB + ten-speed powertrain from the F150 in my SuperDuty I’d do it in a second.

      (It’s a 2007 with the 5.4, so the 3.5EB puts out significantly more HP and torque, very likely over a broader band, and the 2019 F150 supports towing and payload equal to or superior to my SuperDuty.

      So I am VERY confident that drivetrain could take anything I’d ever throw at it in that configuration.)

  • avatar
    tylanner

    Imagine if we still used the ghastly engines from the 70’s or 80’s or still used horses and carriages….but the union leaders don’t need to worry about silly things like practicality or sustainability…

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    I am likewise surprised that the “truck ain’t no truck without a V-8” crowd is losing ground.

    I think the V-10 was being kept alive by U-Haul, who didn’t want diesels in their Super-Duty-based box trucks. As Diesel engines keep getting more costly to buy and operate, I think the 7.3 gas V-8 will sell like gangbusters.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      I would agree with that assessment. If it wasn’t for all the extra stuff that has to be festooned on a diesel to make it meet current standards I’d have thought seriously about some of GMs small FWD/AWD diesels.

    • 0 avatar
      EBFlex

      They’re not losing ground. Ford is shunning them by sandbagging their V8.

      There are the mouth breathers that will only buy Ford. And if they want the most powerful engine, they have to choose the garbage Egobust.

      It’s strictly manipulation. Ford wants to sell more high strung, gas guzzling turbo trucks (because the repairs are a lucrative business) and they do that by making the 5.0L look bad.

  • avatar
    don1967

    For me it was the ten-speed gearbox that ruined the Ford V8 option. Too many gear changes going on, not enough rising-crescendo V8 sound and torque sensation.

    You might as well buy a turbo. Or, if you’re me in 2018, a Silverado.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      My best friend is going through that dilemma right now. He is retiring his 1993 S-10 and is going to buy a 2019 4dr pickup truck. Or maybe a 2020 model.

      Decisions, decisions, decisions.

      I’m trying to steer him toward a Tundra. His wife favors the 2019 Silverado in Silver Ice.

      No Turbo engine is being considered. Just V8s like 5.3, 5.7 or even 6.2. And I’d be surprised if HE chooses a Ford.

      Gotta keep mama happy.

  • avatar
    jimmyy

    Toyota and Honda loyalist here. After renting a brand new F150 V8 XLT Crew Cab, I decided I was going to get me one of those. So, I went to buy one. No dice. Dealers wanted 40Ks. No way. They were willing to deal on V6, but no deal on V8. So, I walked away. I know too many people that had massive repair bills on turbos after the warranty ran out. Not me. I purchased a 4Runner for much less than the F150. Ford, you blew that one.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      Clearly your heart wasn’t in it. Except shopping a Ford dealer blocks from the Pacific Ocean probably wasn’t the most ideal.

      A little FYI: Even the Tacoma is known to outsell the F-150 in goofy California. But searching inland, or San Fernando Valley would’ve been a different story. After rebates, you could’ve spent the same or less than your 4Runner, again if your heart was in it.

      So enjoy your new 4Runner SR5, and as I always say, if you’re gonna go ancient, might as well be Stone Age.

    • 0 avatar
      MiataReallyIsTheAnswer

      It’s easy as falling off a log to get 12 Grand off a new F150 crewcab, so even a 50 thousand dollar one is in the 30s…

    • 0 avatar
      CKNSLS Sierra SLT

      jimmyy-

      I found the same thing in Utah. The V8’s had limited availability to say the least.

      Some sales people almost giggle when I said I wouldn’t consider anything but the V8.

      BTW-I am a long way from the Pacific Ocean…………..
      So-replaced my Sierra with a 2018 Silverado.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    It’s been on going debate at “TFL Truck” for several years, with no clear winner, even with testing at very high elevation and heavy towing.

    It shouldn’t even be “close”, but there’s always more to it than raw acceleration/torque and or max towing. Except the Coyote has much better engine braking and increased towing MPG.

    Early on when they were both available on the F-150, Ford would continuously ignore TFLT’s requests for a Coyote V8 test truck. When they finally got one, the reasons became clearer.

    Not that the EcoBoost is a bad engine, figure all its bugs have been worked out (fingers crossed!), but much higher pressures/temps are part of the deal.

    Even if the V8 was the same price (it’s cheaper), two turbos to replace two cylinders makes no sense at all. In this case, the V8 fits just fine and weighs about the same, when you include all the turbo plumbing and hardware.

    Now if Ford wants to turbo the Coyote, or give us the 7.3 gas V8 in the F-150, that’s a different story.

  • avatar
    MoparRocker74

    I wonder how much of this is due to sedan buyers (who could probably care less what’s under the hood) being displaced into the closest viable replacement.

    Part of the appeal of a truck is the V8, especially when uncorked. Few cars left that offer that sweet soundtrack and driving experience. I came up on a EB F-150 just yesterday with a modded exhaust. Sounded absolutely HORRIBLE, as most V6’s do…like a fartcanned honda. So that’s gonna be your option with these: leave it quiet and stock (lame) or have it sound ricey and childish. No thanks to either.

    I’ve got no problem with turbos, I’ve owned one and loved it. Longevity issues are silly. But using them to try and band-aid a crappy V6 up to V8 levels is dumb. Just turbo the V8 and do it right.

  • avatar
    MiataReallyIsTheAnswer

    For many people, sound is a big part of it and you can’t make an Ecoboost sound good – friends of mine have tried.

  • avatar
    EBFlex

    All this proves is that very dumb people are easily trucked by deceptive marketing.

    Nobody with an IQ in the double digits would choose the garbage Egobust engines. Forums are littered with very questionable reliability, Ford mechanics prefer the V8 and they get garbage mileage.

  • avatar
    ToddAtlasF1

    I think the idea that engine quality matters to Ford truck customers is hilarious.

    • 0 avatar
      MiataReallyIsTheAnswer

      ROFL

    • 0 avatar
      ImAlwaysRight

      Thats neat. Is it only Ford customers who think that way is it…?

      • 0 avatar
        ToddAtlasF1

        Subaru and Jeep Wrangler customers do too. Chrysler 2.7 V6 and 4.7 V8 buyers generally bought something else the next time if their finances allowed it, but Subaru and Ford truck buyers laugh off engineering and quality issues that would make a British Leyland accountant blush. How many years were Tritons the staple of the F-series engine lineup? They’re as bad as the 4.7 Mopar, and not that much better than Subaru engines. You can tell people have their identity wrapped up with the junk they drive when they say something like, “this is my sixth F250, and every one of them suffered complete brake failure!” I’ve heard that from a customer’s mulishly stupid mouth. I also had a number of customers trade in the Subarus they bought new that had oil consumption issues that Subaru wouldn’t fix for…new Subarus. I could go on for days about Subaru putting Holt’s Radweld(aka stop-leak) in their new cars’ cooling systems to this day, about Ford cracked exhaust manifolds, shallow spark plug threads, timing belt tensioner failures, injector issues, coil failures, ad infinitum. The reason both companies make such garbage belongs on their customers’ doorsteps. They’d have to improve or fail if they hadn’t tapped into a giant well of pathos.

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          Another fun installment of “Todd’s Tall Tales”.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            ToddAtlasF1 and EBFlex, separated at birth

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            Research every single thing I write before calling me a liar. Try finding a nice used Triton engine, or proving that Subaru doesn’t put stop-leak in the cooling system of every new car they sell. Here’s a hint: you can’t do either. “Subaru Cooling System Conditioner” is Holt’s RadWeld, and it is still in everything they sell because their engine design is inherently flawed.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            “Research every single thing I write before calling me a liar.”

            Sure give me the name and number of the person that had 6 “complete brake failures” across 6 different bought new F-250s.


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