• An Odd Ford F250 Failure On The Way To The Ike Gauntlet Towing Test (Part 1)


    2017 ford f250 gas v8 fail
    2017 Ford F250 XL: 6.2L V8

    This is the part 1 of the 2017 Ford F250 XL extreme towing test on the Ike Gauntlet™. We loaded the Ford with nearly identical load as we did with the Ram 2500 HD (tested a few weeks back). The water tote strapped inside the 8-foot bed, and a flat-bed trailer with Mr Truck’s 2012 F-250 crew cab 4×4 in tow. The total weight is right at the maximum rating of 19,500 lbs.

    We were heading west on our way up I-70 towards the Ike Gauntlet extreme towing test (Eisenhower/Johnson Memorial tunnels at the Continental Divide). We heard a loud bang as if we hit something with one of the tires. However, there was no obstacle, but we saw a few black bits flying behind us. Our first thought was a flat tire, then we saw a trail of fluid behind.  We were in the right lane, and we were able to pull over to the side very quickly.

    It was not a flat tire. A look under the hood revealed at broken cooling fan and a partially missing serpentine belt. The broken pieces of the fan punctured the radiator from the inside.

    Nobody was hurt. We were able to quickly get a tow truck for the 2017 F250, and tow the trailer back to the HQ with Mr Truck’s older F-250.

    Ford is working to fix the truck, and we are eager to get it back on the highway to complete the Ike Gauntlet.


    Andre Smirnov
    Andre Smirnov
    Andre Smirnov is an Automotive Enthusiast, Producer, Reviewer, Videographer, Writer, Software Engineer, Husband, Father, and Friend.

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    106 thoughts on “An Odd Ford F250 Failure On The Way To The Ike Gauntlet Towing Test (Part 1)

    1. I had a brand new F150 that didn’t start last year for a couple of days in a row. Ford Roadside assistance towed it to the nearest dealer. It magically started there and I had to pay the tow and they said there was nothing wrong with it. You just don’t expect these problems with new vehicles and it makes a person wanna trade em in for something else. Sorry to hear that.

    2. So far the 6.0l GM is the best HD gas truck….the ram just about died up the ike and the ford died before it got there. And everybody says the 6.0l needs retired.

      1. They are like the Forrest Gump of these trucks…. they just keep running….I see lots of 15-25 year old GM trucks still out there earning their keep….

      2. I am sick of hearing how good a GM is. First it can’t tow as much as a ram or have a the best in class interior. Please give me a break.

      3. GM’s 6.0 is gutless and can barely pull its own weight. I have a 6.2l and it is a solid motor that makes much better power and has been trouble free. This i would like to think is a one off. Never heard of the 6.2l’s shredding fans like this, but I guess this is what a warranty is for.
        Either way hopefully they get it back soon, interested to see how it gets up the hill!

        1. Another uneducated poseur that knows nothing about trucks. Buys the box checker version of a truck he will never use to try and impress those at his local suburban starbucks with the biggest motor and I can only imagine 4wd while talking incorrectly about actual truck stuff (especially motors). The 6.0 is fantastic, its about performance, reliability, simplicity and its ability to do truck sduties and not handicap the truck. It allows great payload, great towing and as shown in test out performs the others with their newer and more powerful engines. Remember it isn’t about the number on paper, it is about actual performance and GM is always strong in the real world. Look at the old LS motors, the Duramax and many other of their vehicles punching about their weight class and out performing others when on paper they shouldn’t. Maybe you should return to driving the base level 5 series you traded in for your suburban image increasing truck and leave the truck stuff to actual truck people? Just a thought…

      4. Is the total weight of truck and trailer and all going to be 21500lbs.I believe that is what they tested the GMC and Dodge at.

    3. Funny over on the forums at Ford-trucks.com we had a guy pulling his fifth wheel and had the same issue, can’t remember if it was a gas or a diesel, but I’m wondering if there’s a design error within the cooling fan

      1. Diesel trucks use an electronically controlled fan clutch, gas models use a mechanical viscous clutch. The Diesel engine also uses a much larger fan.

      1. It’s more like, he was going to be tested. They loaded him with some weight.He was pulling hard and when he saw that hill in distance, he got a seizure, broke down and pee his pants.
        Sorry,I couldn’t resist. Some of you wouldn’t either.
        I wouldn’t want to be in the Ford shoes right now.
        They can’t afford one more failure .
        On the other hand, last model had radiator cracking constantly and they were selling them like cookies anyway. Go figure.

        1. Yep, they can’t afford “one more failure.” Because virtually every other Ford model has failed. If this one fails, they might sell less trucks than Nissan!

      2. Latest we’ve heard down under is that you’re looking at the 2.7 V6 maybe a version of the 2.3 4cyl, the 3 litre V6 diesel as in the land rover and the 3.5 V6 as in the Raptor which will go in the Ranger version of the Raptor. All will have a leaf spring rear end but the Raptor will have a coil spring rear. 1 x manual 6 speed and 2 autos, 1 x 6 speed and one by 10 speed. We’re hoping to also get the Raptor version down here. All except the Raptor should tow about 7500 pounds.

        1. doubt all those engine choices. that would rape the f150 sales. Unless ford is super serious on the midsize market in the US

    4. I wonder if Ford is trying to put cheaper parts on the lower models kind of like how they didn’t put the cab blockers on the supercabs and got caught.

    5. So we see a failure. I’m usually one to wait a year after year introduction to work the bugs out of them before I buy. So this pretty much explains the f-250 absence on tfl.

    6. There is important advise to remember: NEVER buy new technology in it’s first year. The catch with Ford is that they are bringing out new technology every year. This is something that is destined to be a problem. It is compounded by the fact that final testing on US trucks is done by the customer.
      There is no way that problems like this can be duplicated in testing. The only way you find out is when it gets in the hand of customers. Even Nissan, Honda and Toyota have unexpected part failures. (Just not as often)

      1. I wasn’t aware,that radiator fan is a new technology.
        I hope it was just a defective material the fan was made of and not a design flaw, when the fan touches the shroud under heavy load.
        I wish, they have an extra camera under the hood for the situations like this.
        Longer it takes for the Ford to provide a second truck, more serious the problem is going to be.

    7. Now this is the TFL I subscribe to, support, and I’m all about! You guys are the greatest!

      This shows true journalism integrity to finally run this. I suspect there was tons of pressure to delay this forever from Ford?

      Fact of the matter is this is going to sting a little, but anything mechanical can break down and eventually it will. Nothing man made is perfect, and hopefully this issue is nothing more than an odd or freak scenario.

      This is Ford’s issue, thx for finally running it and not letting them drag you guys in!

      Your loyal fan,
      Drifter64

    8. Thanks TFL for your dedication to bringing us real world video’s. The bloopers, the Ridgeline shutting down, the GM Colorado Airdam hindering its off road clearance, the uncomfortable Tacoma seats for some of us, the Tundras poor gas mileage, the Ram 2500′ failing gas motor on the Ike( down to 30) thats borderline obstruction of a lane and for all the real world videos that show us the good and the bad. You truly bring us the truth the best you can and this sure is proof of that. Wow

      I hope Ford steps up to plate and explains this one. I can see it was likely a bad fan but an official statement hopefully comes out.

      1. I had a brand new Chevy Impala and it sprung a leak right from the showroom floor speed radiator fluid everywhere had to be towed. Then there was my Chevy Astro with two folders each 2 inch thick of repairs! Give me a break

    9. Ford isn’t going to state anything. Things happen sometimes and ford better give tfl another truck to test to make up for this. All the ford guys ran their mouths about the bent bed on the silverado in the other websites test so I wonder what they have to say about this. The other website would have also burried this story so thank you tfl for the real news.

    10. Truthfully, if I were Ford I wouldn’t send another truck until you guys stop with your GM bias. Still waiting to see the 5.3 ecotec3 tackle the ike.

        1. So tfl waited 2 years for chevy to get their act right before they did a review? I remember when they tested the 14 silverado and it was unable to finish. Never quite got an explanation.

          1. don’t know which ’14 you speak of. tfl did get one with a 3.08 gear they reduced the trailer weight for. enlighten me please

            1. Exactly. But they put 10,800 on the nissan titan, way above its rating. Enjoyable site but were not being told the whole truth.

      1. TFL has chosen FORD as their truck of the year several times in the past few years (among midsize, half ton and one ton categories)

    11. Things can happen with anything mechanical so chalk this one up as a fluke unless it keeps happening. Kudos to TFL for writing about it professionally and candidly. Ford should quickly provide another truck.

    12. It appears to me that this was simply a random occurrence. But I would like to hear from some of the professional mechanics that frequent this forum with their ideas over what happened, as well as hearing from the ford dealership where it was repaired. Thanks for posting this video and can’t wait for PART 2.

      1. It was hard to see all the damage but it could have been a blade failure. Once it broke loose it would quickly get in the way of the other blades and the havoc would start. That will cause the belt to be damaged and even hoses, wiring, etc. whatever gets in the way. It is not common for a blade to break free but I have seen it on some medium duty trucks. I have also seen them get damaged from debris that gets kicked up in the fan from under the vehicle and animals that decide to make it their home. That is not a pretty mess.

          1. Yes, all fan blades are plastic now. Even up to class 8 tractors. There may be an exception or two but that may not be so either.

      2. Could have been a belt failure as well. You have a belt break and it can tear up a lot of things pretty quick. Also could have been a bad bearing in an idler pulley, tensuiner etc that then took out the belt. Need to look at everything belt driven to see any other possible failure source

    13. I agree with Dan B. There is always a lot of trash talk, but let’s see what the engineers find in their post mortem. It is more likely that the belt broke first… Either way, it is unfortunate that there is so much collateral damage!

      1. I think,that fan broke first. Belt would be pushed back when broken by the air from the fan, not forward.
        Either way, engine is caput.

        1. That is not even remote possible. There is simply not that mass volume of air being pushed and the the belt has a very slim profile. What you said is not possible.

          1. Well, that’s exactly what you said.

            August 6, 2017 at 5:27 pm
            It was hard to see all the damage but it could have been a blade failure. Once it broke loose it would quickly get in the way of the other blades and the havoc would start. That will cause the belt to be damaged and even hoses, wiring, etc. whatever gets in the way.”

            1. Learn to read. My comment is about your comment about the belt being pushed by air. That is just not possible in these circumstances.

        2. Please Zviera don’t even attempt to be an arm chair mechanic. It’s obvious you don’t really understand how things work under the hood so don’t even pretend. Snd no the engines not caput, they stopped immediately and did t overheat it.

    14. I would imagine that ALL of the truck oem’s have suppliers for fans,ac units etc.All outside sourced ancillaries so to say.A fan took a crap on a brand new truck,you guys know better than the average bear,’shit happens’. TFL doesn’t need another new worktruck to test when the fix is easy,with the exception of the dealer waiting on the parts.To use an old phrase,’it don’t mean nuthin’…

    15. A vehicle is only as good as the least important line worker in the least important supplier…

      One persons “bad day” often means several people are going to have a bad day…

    16. I’m a Generous Motors fan, but come On, it’s not like a rod went through the block. So the fan that the least expensive supplier provided failed. Unfortunate sure, but not really a game changer if you like Ford trucks, and many people do.

    17. While embarrassing as a Ford fan, I am glad TFL reported what happened. You can bet those parts are being shipped back to engineering for inspection. It is bad PR when the factory PR truck breaks down. I have seen reviews with engine failures and transmission failures with other brands and it truely sucks to get that kind of bad press but things happen. Let’s get another F250 and finish this test. In fact Ford, for the inconvenience, send TFL a truck with 3:73 gears and 4:30’s

    18. I find the front license plate comical.. “Built Ford Tough” as it’s being pulled onto the roll-back. Perhaps Ford should check with Toyota for a solution!

    19. In auto shop class about 1967 I saw a metal blade fail and sail through the truck hood and hit the shop roof about 20 feet up.
      It that regards the non metallic blades seem safer.

    20. Andre seems to think they are going to fix the truck and return it to them so they can finish the test. Maybe for PR reasons, this would look better than if ford had to give them another truck to finish the test. You know if ford sends another truck the ford haters will start claiming things like: the first one was an unfixable lemon, or the engine seized and that caused the chain reaction, or Ford’s can’t climb mountains, etc,etc, etc. So I hope for their sake ford just fixes the truck and returns it to TFL. And at some point give us their findings on what they found in their investigations.

      1. I really see no reason why it can’t be fixed somewhat expeditiously and returned for testing. Just a fan, radiator, belt and possibly a hose and seized pulley etc. I’ve fixed a lot worse (not usually brand new trucks lol).

    21. Hmmmm, any cat fur under the hood?

      Back on the farm we had a problem with cats crawling up in the engine compartment during winter, so they could stay warm next to the engine block. They’d fall asleep, and you’d honour and start the car in the morning and the cat hits the fan. Not pretty. You learn to pop the hood or bang on the hood before you start the car.

      I don’t think that happened in this case, as it’s pretty difficult for sizeable critters to get into modern engine bays. Plus, it hasn’t been that cold.

    22. Is it the angle of the camera, or does the alternator pulley look off kilter relative to the other accessory drive bracket? Could the alternator have loosened and caused the belt to walk-off and catch in the fan?

    23. Listen to all the supporters of lemon-aids motors on here throwing rocks from their glass houses! Over 35 million recalls and still counting fast, after coming off welfare and they’re all on here telling us all how bad fords are lol…..WOW!

      1. Like the 800,000 trucks Chevy just recalled for steering issues. Better a fan blade than the steering going out!

        1. That is very common with Ford, Chevy also. Check the facts and you will see that the engineering has dropped way off with both companies. Chevy and Ford mainly change outter body panels and the inside of the trucks. The drive chain changes very little over a 8 year period. They finish fixing problems after they sale the trucks.In the old days the trucks would be ready for sale and the road, now they have cut so many corners
          They have trucks on the road 2 to 3 years before they should be. All the people they stiff with there junk ,it’s just bad. Don’t take my word for it,check your self and you will see what they are doing to people.

    24. Anything mechanical CAN and will FAIL! (Except if its a Toyota 22R) Unfortunately this happened to a brand new truck towing a shit load of weight up a steep hill with a bunch of us watching from the comfort of our personal spaces. Possible fan clutch hub cracking, fan blade fracture, belt, etc. who the fuck knows. TFL is doing an awesome job! Get us the autopsy report when you can. Inquiring minds want to know!

    25. HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

      shaky shaky Fords are cracking radiator fans they shake so bad now HAHAHAHAHA! Just one more of many Trash Motor Company problems. JUNK!

    26. Saw the same thing happen with 2 f350s both were under a load last year but one was the 6.7 all manufacturers have weak points. Ive notices alot more issues with electronics on fords in the last few years at least it didnt catch fire like the prototype ford was testing year before last.

    27. Hi everyone. I cant confirm this but I believe the fan is made by a tier 1 or 2 supplier. According to INVESTOPEDIA, about 80% of Ford parts are supplier made. http://www.investopedia.com/ask/answers/052715/who-are-fords-f-main-suppliers.asp
      So the culprit is a comparatively small company that used inferior materials or a modest fan blade thickness and the fan experienced a failure under moment of heavy load. Little comfort to the stranded motorist but it’s an easily solved issue. I have owned GM, Dodge & Ford trucks. The pickups are the best selling and most profitable vehicles in the USA. Rest assured, Ford is on the job and will fix this. The pickup is a distinctly American vehicle tells the world we are a self reliant bunch – Keep up the good work !

      1. Yes you can’t confirm it, Ford does not make 80% of the parts?? Not sure where you get your information but that is 100%incorrect.

    28. This kind of stuff happens often, Ford trucks are truly junk! People buy Ford’s because they are told to, they are told that Ford are good work trucks, Ford & Chevy spend the most on advertising and people beleave it. It’s sadd but true, please do some reading and fact checking before you spend money on any truck or car, we all need to know the truth before buying. Also Ford and Chevy spend the most on telling all of us to buy American while there cars and trucks use the most Chinese and other foreign parts. Please check the facts before you buy

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