Mike Stevens | Apr 12, 2011

Development continues on Ford's all-new 2011 Ranger, with a new video clip showing the trials that many utilities are put through to prove their mettle.

In the case of the Hi-Rider variant, both the 4x4 and 4x2 Ranger models have been rated to a water depth of 800mm when fully loaded - proven at Ford Australia's new water bath.

To help the new Ranger in its water-wading ability, Ford's engineers have relocated the Duratorq diesel engine's alternator to a higher position - a change that has been reflected in other global programmes using the Duratorq engine.

Similar attention was given to components that sit below the water line, meaning that the fuel tank and rear parking sensors were all given additional waterproofing to guard against complete submersion.

"When we go through the water bath, we're looking out for every possible functional failure in the vehicle," Tom Dohrmann, the development engineer in charge of Ranger's water management, said.

"The most critical one would be if water was sucked through the air intake into the engine, resulting in hydro-lock, which can bend the piston's connecting rods and potentially destroy the entire engine."

The tests that the new Ranger was put through included variations in depth and speed, starting at 50mm depths and 30km/h, 50km/h and 65km/h speeds.

The depths were then increased at 50mm intervals, right up to 800mm. At that speed, the Ranger was driven at 7km/h.

Ford's water bath is 50 metres long, with angled sides to replicate the bow wave that forms at the front of the moving vehicle.

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