By on November 16, 2012

Here’s a manufactured publicity stunt that is actually pretty amusing. Autoblog reports that a Ford PR person sent these pictures of a 1.0L Ecoboost block going through airport security.

This is what’s called a manufactured event, since there’s no reason why a display item for the L.A. Auto Show would go through one’s personal baggage. Regardless, it’s good for a laugh. And a reminder that I won’t be at the show, but stuck in the frigid North.

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27 Comments on “Ford Sends 1.0L Ecoboost Through Airport Security...”

  • avatar

    How much does the block weigh? The last time I flew out of SFO I got a warning for my carry-on luggage being overweight. My bag weighed 23 lbs, I was told the limit was 22 lbs. However, with WestJet being a Canadian airline, the true limit is 10 kg (22.5 lbs), so I wasn’t that far over the limit and was allowed to get away with it.

    • 0 avatar

      It probably weighs enough that Ford felt the need to create the false impression that it is a light component. The block is iron and Car and Driver’s Focus 1.0 Ecoboost weighed more than test cars with the US aluminum 2.0 4-cylinder.

      • 0 avatar

        There’s no way Ford is building an engine from scratch and using iron. It’s got to be aluminum at least if not something more exotic. At that size, the cost of material is insignificant.

      • 0 avatar

        It is cast iron, according to wikipedia and various other sources:
        “The engine block is cast iron instead of aluminium for up to 50% faster warm-up, at the expense of additional weight.”
        I guess getting the engine warmer quicker is more efficient in the long term than having the engine weigh marginally less.

      • 0 avatar

        “There’s no way Ford is building an engine from scratch and using iron.”

        I didn’t believe it either, but I verified that it’s true by checking Ford’s PR site. They say it warms up quicker.

      • 0 avatar

        According to the SAE journal of Feb 29, the engine’s dressed weight is 214 lbs. It’s physically tiny. Read more than you probably want to know at:

        They don’t say whether the iron block has a closed deck that would support the cylinders at the block/head interface. Cast iron blocks have not usually been die-cast in the past, and use sand cores, allowing closed deck construction.

        The problem with aluminum die-cast blocks is having the cylinders unsupported at the top, and also porosity due to poor design of the molds which obstruct the smooth flow of molten aluminum, causing it to locally set hard too fast. Read about the latter problem at re the Pentastar V6, which engine I would avoid like the plague,personally. They pressure test the cooling passages after machining, and if they leak a bit, pour plastic sealer in the passages. Very nice. Not. Especially at a manufacturing rate of over a million a year.

        The unsupported cylinders in a typical open deck die-cast aluminum engine are what allow head gasket failure by having cylinders squirming around under high loads. Hello Subaru and all the rest of the HG failure-prone engines. Subaru’s turbo engines are at least semi-closed deck with some support and don’t have many HG failures due to that added support.

        So, cast iron blocks can be far stiffer and stronger than aluminum, and won’t die at the first hint of overheating either. The Fiat turbo, Dart turbo, Cruze turbo all use iron blocks. I would expect them to take some real punishment in actual use, just like old Saabs, Volvos and my old Eagle Talon Mitsubishi 4G63 engine. For turbos, the iron block rules.

        OK, I know tl;dr.

      • 0 avatar
        bumpy ii

        “warms up faster” = reduced cold-start emissions. Also comes in handy for hybrids and other start-stop setups.

      • 0 avatar

        An Autoblog article stated that Ford used an iron block instead of aluminum to avoid using cylinder liners and to allow for having siamesed bores to make the engine smaller.

        There’s also no balance shaft(s), but rather an unbalanced flywheel and crank pulley.

    • 0 avatar

      Down the road, owners will be a lot happier with an iron block than an aluminum one, I’d gladly make that trade off for the added weight.

  • avatar

    What lawnmower is it going in?

  • avatar

    In the Ka, bet it would make for driving fun. Plus I could see motorcycle (actually), jetski, snowmobile and small plane makers, etc. having an interest. How about a two cyl. version Ka and maybe ford could take a run at the Kei market. Kei engine in a sub-compact car size, wih performance (regulations only apply to displacement, not turbos and such correct)?

  • avatar

    And a reminder that I won’t be at the show, but stuck in the frigid North.

    Speaking of being absent… Where is Baruth? I need a good Baruthian article to brighten my day. If this week get’s any longer I’ll have two birthdays before I get through it.

  • avatar

    Most TSA agents would be telling you to remove the block from the bag and to throw it in the trash…and then have you arrested for something.

    It has sharp edges and could be thrown as a weapon.

  • avatar

    1. Blueprint this engine, balance to nutty lab-grade tolerances.
    2. Turbo the BEJEEZUS out of it.
    3. Experiment with the terminal velocity of tiny pistons. 15k RPM? 20k?
    4. Worlds most crazy exciting go-kart (really, I AM a FERRARI!)

  • avatar

    My how far we’ve come. I compare this to the engine on my old 1982 KZ750 (750ccs), and this must be 2/3rds the size.

    While I am still skeptical of the engine life of these small, boosted engines, I’m excited to see technology going this direction.

    • 0 avatar

      It is all about how far the optimization of liquid cooling (via CAD/flow analysis/etc computer modeling), advanced machining, and the technology of metallurgy have advanced over the engines of yesteryear or even more recent decades…

  • avatar

    3 cylinders displacing about a liter? I already ride a motorcycle like that. I’m missing the turbo though. That gives me an idea…

  • avatar

    I would have checked it.

    • 0 avatar

      Yeah. I’d hate for that thing to fall out of the overhead bin and conk somebody on the head.

    • 0 avatar

      I would have driven. TSA rifled through my wallet when my previous employer “encouraged” me to go somewhere.

      This was a big part of the reason I said “tell me more” when a headhunter called and suggested I interview for a job with a 30% raise and no travel requirement! No part of my employment contract says/said anything about being strip searched (even electronically) as a condition of employment.

  • avatar

    That’s creative. My mother-in-law look a sewing machine through. The scanner could not go through the motor (I believe), so they swabbed it for explosives!

    She’s now doing 40 years… :D

  • avatar

    Open deck cylinders….. Not good for high boost.

  • avatar

    I seem to recall reading that the bare block, placed on its side, wouldn’t completely cover a standard 8.5″x11′ sheet of paper. Pretty amazing.

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