Saturday, August 29, 2015

FORD Bronco Turns 50***First "Four Wheel Drive Sports Car"***Offered in 1965 Model Year***2018 New Bronco Return Possible


FORD Bronco Turns 50, From the 1965 Model Year Offering, Detroit Now Looks To 2018 

Originally designed to compete with the Jeep CJ-5 and the International Scout, the Bronco was first seen in these 1965 Ford commercials bouncing around in the desert, while an enthusiastic announcer introduces it as the “first four-wheel drive sports car.” This was a world where station wagons were the common family car in place of SUVs, minivans, and crossovers, and Ford saw where the market was going: It introduced various versions of the truck, with the “Bronco Wagon” being advertised as the “family carry-all.” This version in particular proved to be a hit for the Detroit-based automaker, but not in that families were buying them — it was outdoor-oriented men, who wanted a closed bed on a truck while maintaining the off-road ruggedness they needed.

However, as time went on it became apparent that Ford’s Bronco demographic didn’t care very much for all of the optional add-ons like the auxiliary gas tank, snowplow, or posthole digger. These guys wanted the available winch, tow bars, brush guards, and overdrive units for off-roading instead of farming. But with Chevy’s Blazer outmatching the Bronco in both power and refinement, the little Ford offering began to slowly slump into obscurity as Americans continued to prefer SUVs like the Jeep Cherokee, as it was far roomier and way less rustic feeling than its under-powered and undersized competition.

Since sales continued to wallow over the next dozen years, Ford’s budget for a re-imagined Bronco grew increasingly slim, and by 1978, when the next generation came into being (for just two short years) it was not much more than a slightly redesigned version of the F-100 pickup with a few customizable seating arrangements, a removable top, a choice of full-time four-wheel-drive, or a part-time system that utilized a gear-driven transfer case. While it was by no means a dog when it came to roughing it, the Bronco continued to be just a ho-hum option for car buyers, and its rust-prone, motor-melting rear power window did nothing to help its cause.

After another hasty redesign in 1980, the Bronco came into its third reincarnation as a smaller, boxier entity, with an inline-six engine that out-powered its V8 big brother, but remained chained to a single barrel carburetor and one seriously restrictive exhaust. Fortunately, by 1988 the fourth generation Broncos had become fuel injected, and while it was an upgrade over the previous model, owners found themselves rejoicing over the addition of a five-speed gearbox as well as the newer and lighter, electronically-controlled automatic transmission. At this point Ford thought it would be a grand idea to really start giving the four-door Chevy Suburban a run for its money, and in true Ford-fashion a Frankenstein four-door conversion of the F-series crew cab was built by now defunct Centurion Vehicles and was offered through Ford dealerships. Naturally, the product never quite caught on, and the Suburban continued to steamroll as king of the full-size four-door SUVs.

The Bronco’s final hurrah came in 1992 and lasted just four years. In that time it became safer, as it incorporated crumple zones, and it did away with the removable top, even though it was still possible to yank it off with the proper Torx bit and a couple of buddies. This generation of Bronco also received quite a few interior and exterior upgrades, with rounded edges balancing out some of the boxiness, and in 1995 it became one of the first vehicles to offer turn signal lamps in its side-view mirrors. While Americans did indeed like the redesigned Bronco, it remained a bit of slug compared to its far more utilitarian cousin, the Explorer, and once O.J. hopped inside one to escape from the cops, every American’s memory of the Bronco remains eternally linked to images of a white little SUV plodding down the freeway.

News out of Detroit this week indicates the Bronco could phoenix in 2018 as a counterpart to the anticipated new Ranger.


Thursday, August 27, 2015

FORD Ranger Pickup To Be Built In Detroit with New Bronco Possible in 2018

UPDATE! See The Future Today!
January 14, 2018 UPDATE!

"Once declared dead, the midsize pickup truck segment has been reinvigorated over the past few years by new or updated entries from General Motors, Honda, and Toyota. But Ford has been noticeably absent, having axed its Ranger in 2011. But now, finally, the Ranger is back. The 2019 Ford Ranger debuted at this month’s 2018 Detroit Auto Show roughly a year after Ford announced the truck’s return to the United States. Ford has actually sold Ranger models internationally since 2011, but insists the new model unveiled in Detroit was heavily re-engineered for the North American market. On the outside, the Ranger is fairly generic looking. Flared round wheel arches and a grille that vaguely resembles the larger F-150’s are the only real hints at character. Like rival Chevrolet, Ford opted not to just make its midsize truck a mini version of its full-size model. The 2019 Ranger will be offered in Supercab or Supercrew configurations, with rear half doors and four full-size doors, respectively. Ford didn’t offer many details on the powertrain. The Ranger will be offered with a 2.3-liter turbocharged EcoBoost four-cylinder engine, but Ford didn’t quote power output or tow ratings. The EcoBoost engine will be coupled to the same 10-speed automatic transmission used in the F-150, with standard rear-wheel drive or optional four-wheel drive. Given that most competitors offer multiple powertrain options, it’s possible that Ford will add other engines to lineup at a future date. At launch, the Ranger will get an optional FX4 Off-Road Package, including a Terrain Management System derived from the one in the F-150 Raptor. Like similar systems offered by numerous other manufacturers, Ford’s automatically tailors different vehicle settings for different types of terrain. The FX4 package also includes Trail Control, which acts like off-road cruise control by handling steering and braking on rough terrain. There’s no word yet on whether the U.S. will get the Ranger Raptor performance model already teased for international markets. Like larger Ford trucks, the Ranger will be offered with an array of driver-assist features. The list includes autonomous emergency braking, lane-keep assist, lane departure warning, blind-spot monitoring (which works even with a trailer attached), and adaptive cruise control. Tech features include available Amazon Alexa connectivity, a built-in Wi-Fi hot spot, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. The 2019 Ford Ranger will start production at the end of this year. The truck will be built at Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, alongside a new version of the Bronco SUV. The Bronco will be revealed at a later date, as will pricing information for the Ranger."

January 10, 2016



BRONCO in 2020!
November 9, 2015 3:30 PM East

""FORD Motor Compacy [NYSE: F] has several new, more modestly sized trucks in the works—including a new Ranger pickup and Bronco SUV.
The confirmation of the Ford Bronco comes ahead of a United Auto Workers (UAW) vote, as part of a tentative labor agreement reached this past week.
The timeline would assure that the new FORD Ranger would be built at the Michigan Assembly Plant beginning in 2018, while the Ford Bronco would be built at that plant by 2020.
The revival of the Ford Bronco has been a persistent rumor over the past year or so. And this past summer, those rumors were given new credence, given comments that the automaker was looking into moving production to Michigan for the upcoming Ford Ranger pickup—as a U.S.-adapted version of the global mid-size truck of the same name.
Now that move is nearly certain. The reason behind all of this is that truck sales are surging—and they’re expected to be one of the stronger growth areas of the market for the foreseeable future. Ford is instead planning to move production of the Ford Focus and C-Max, which are currently at that plant, to Mexico.
The Ranger that Americans knew and loved was a significantly smaller truck, however; so it remains to be seen whether Ford can distance this mid-size Ranger enough from its full-size F-150 lineup.
And the Bronco is a model with nameplate with a rugged history in the U.S.—one that wasn't around for nearly the past 20 years, when a softening of tastes turned some trucklike SUVs into softer family wagons. As a more of a ‘heritage’ model than a mainstream, family-oriented offering, a Ranger-based Bronco could arrive as a rugged reputation-builder for Ford, rivaling the Jeep Wrangler and TOYOTA 4Runner.
Ford had no additional comment on the timeline, or what a spokesman called speculation about future product plans.

United Auto Workers union leaders signed off on a tentative agreement with Ford on Monday that would deliver $10,000 in signing bonuses to every worker and $9 billion in new U.S. product investments, retaining or creating 8,500 jobs.
Now it is time for the members to vote.
The new-product investments include a commitment by Ford to bring its Ranger midsize pickup back to America and to revive the storied Bronco nameplate. Both would be built at the Michigan Assembly Plant which will stop making the Ford Focus and C-Max families of vehicles there in 2018.
Production of the Bronco is expected to start after the Ranger and no later than 2020, according to a person briefed on the agreement who was not authorized to speak publicly.
The Ranger will enter a revived field of smaller pickups while the Bronco, known to off-roaders from the 1960s, would likely be aimed at the four-wheel-drive, dirt trail-ready market.
"It is one of the richest agreements in the history of UAW-Ford," UAW Vice President Jimmy Settles said Friday in announcing the new pact.
Settles and UAW President Dennis Williams briefed several hundred Ford elected leaders Monday at the UAW-Ford National Program Center in Detroit on the details of the deal. Now that the national council has approved the agreement, it will be sent to the union's 52,900 Ford members for ratification. Voting is expected to take at least a week.
Ford workers will be eligible for about $8,500 in signing bonuses as well as other goodies including profit sharing, a $1,500 annual inflation protection bonus and possible $250 annual competitiveness bonus, according to people familiar with the deal.
Additionally, $1,500 of the profit sharing amount due would be pulled ahead so that workers would get a tidy $10,000 upon ratification.
The agreement also includes:
•$70,000 retirement bonuses for select production and skilled trades workers. Timing must still be determined.
•Commitment to add up to 1,200 skilled trades apprentices
•$9 billion in total investment commitments to create or retain 8,500 jobs
•Same raises offered to long-time General Motors and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles workers: 3% raises in the first and third years and 4% lump sum bonuses in the second and fourth years.
•Path to bring entry-level workers to the full wage scale within eight years and they receive the same health care as traditional workers.
•Profit sharing continues to follow the current formula but there would no longer be a cap on the amount workers could get which could prove to be sizable in this red-hot North American market.
•Retirees get $1,000 in four annual $250 cash payments or gift cards. Surviving spouses get a total of $500 over the four years in $125 annual payments. They also can use the revived Legal Services Plan.
•A $2,000 signing bonus for temporary employees with at least 90 days on the job.
•Temporary workers already employed by Ford will make $17 to $22.50 per hour, depending on the number of years with the company.
•New temporary workers will start at $15.78 per hour and progress to $19.28 after four years.
•UAW maintained restrictions on the usage of temporary workers.
"Jimmy Settles is a seasoned negotiator," said Kristin Dziczek of the Center for Automotive Research. "He knows what will pass and what members want. He's got respect and understands that the priorities are jobs."
The Ford agreement is the third national contract the UAW has reached this year with the Detroit Three. An agreement reached last month with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles was ratified last month. An agreement with General Motors was ratified by production workers but rejected by skilled trades workers.
The UAW is also holding meetings at plants across the country today to determine why 59.5% of GM's skilled trades workers voted no while 58.3% of production workers voted in favor.""

August 26, 2015 Report: "If the UAW and FORD make a deal, the Ranger and Bronco might be back in the United States sales market in 2018."

Gary Newsome, Editor. Original Report August 26, 2015.

Ford recently announced that production of the Ford Focus and C-Max models would move away from Michigan Assembly in 2018, but did not announce any plans for a replacement vehicle to be built there. The Ford Ranger pickup is apparently a frontrunner in the final discussions between Ford and the UAW, an unnamed source told The Detroit News. The Ford Ranger was last sold in the U.S. in 2011, and a global version introduced in 2012 (pictured) is currently sold elsewhere in the world.

The possible Ford Ranger that would return to the U.S. would most likely be significantly different than the current global Ranger, which is codenamed T6. (First Photo in our group with Gold/Orange Colour) A Reader told us: "When I was living in Malaysia I owned a T6 ranger. It was the perfect size, totally reliable, got amazing fuel economy, was very good on road and was fantastic off-road. Mine was just the 2.2 but always felt up the the task. My friends 3.2 really felt powerful and might be better suited to the American market."

T6 Global Market Released 2012 Ford Ranger
Drivetrain layout     Front engine, RWD/4WD
Engine type     I-4, alum block/head
Bore x stroke     3.50 x 3.94 in
Displacement     152 ci/2.5L
Compression ratio     9.7:1
Valve gear     DOHC, 4 valves/cyl
SAE horsepower     164 hp @ 6000 rpm
SAE torque     167 lb-ft @ 4500 rpm
Optional engine     I-4 turbodiesel, iron block/head
Bore x stroke     3.39 x 3.72 in
Displacement     134 ci/2.2L
Compression ratio     15.7:1
Valve gear     DOHC, 4 valves/cyl
SAE horsepower     148 hp @ 3700 rpm
SAE torque     277 lb-ft @ 1500 rpm
Optional engine     I-5 turbodiesel, iron block/head
Bore x stroke     3.54 x 3.97 i
Displacement     195 ci/3.2L
Compression ratio     15.7:1
Valve gear     DOHC, 4 valves/cyl
SAE horsepower     197 hp @ 3000 rpm
SAE torque     347 lb-ft @ 1500-2750 rpm
Transmission type     5-speed manual
1st     4.20:1
2nd     2.24:1
3rd     1.37:1
4th     1.00:1
5th     0.76:1
Reverse     3.84:1
Opt transmission     6-speed manual
1st     5.44:1
2nd     2.84:1
3rd     1.72:1
4th     1.22:1
5th     1.00:1
6th     0.79:1
Reverse     4.94:1
Opt transmission     6-speed automatic
1st     4.17:1
2nd     2.34:1
3rd     1.52:1
4th     1.14:1
5th     0.87:1
6th     0.69:1
Reverse     3.40:1
Axle ratios     3.55:1, 3.73:1, 4.70:1
Final drive ratios     2.63:1, 2.82:1, 2.58:1, 3.59:1
Wheelbase     126.8 in
Length x width x height     201.2-211.0 x 72.8 x 71.0-72.8 in
Track, f/r     61.4/61.4 in
Turning circle     41.7 ft
Approach/departure angle     28.0-29.0/20.0-28.0 deg
Ground clearance     9.1-9.3 in
Curb weight     4450-4850 lb
Payload capacity     2200-2600 lb
GVWR     7055 lb
GCWR     13,117 lb
Towing capacity     4850-7385 lb
Seating capacity     3-5
Headroom, f/r     40.2-40.3/36.9-38.8 in
Legroom, f/r     41.7/31.3-35.5 in
Shoulder room, f/r     56.7/55.1-56.3 in
Bed LxWxH     61.0-91.2 x 61.4 x 20.1 in
Width bet wheelhousings     44.8 in
Construction     Ladder frame
Suspension, f/r     Independent, control arm, coil over shock/solid axle, leaf spring
Steering type     Rack-and-pinion
Turns, lock to lock     3.5
Brakes, f/r     Vented disc/drum, ABS
Base price     $19,300 (est)
Price as tested     $51,600 (est)
Airbags     Front, front side, side curtain
Fuel capacity     21.1 gal
Australian fuel economy, combined     25-31 mpg
Recommended fuel     Regular unleaded, ULSD

The T6 model offers single-cab, extended-cab, and crew-cab variants, and offers a mix of gasoline and diesel four- and five-cylinder engines. Because of the Ford F-150 pickup’s wide-ranging lineup, the Ranger would need to offer better fuel economy and significantly lower pricing than Ford’s stalwart pickup in order to carve out a place for itself in the Ford truck lineup.

In the case of the Ranger, Ford started with a clean-sheet design, putting everything it learned from more than three decades of F-truck dominance into what would become the F-Series' kid brother. Ford's team of experts traveled the globe and examined the primary compact pickup competitors, namely the Toyota Hilux (a rebodied version of the Tacoma), Nissan Navara, and Mitsubishi Triton -- three popular workhorses in sold in Asia, Europe, and South Africa and had them on hand during the Ranger's design and development.

In Detroit, the Bronco is currently in development. The new Bronco would be built upon the new Ranger frame with new off-road enthusiast concepts included. Bronco turns 50, here in 2015. New Bronco possible in 2018.

Four years ago, a trio of Ford heavy-hitters was sent from Michigan to Australia, the designated homeroom for this new-generation global vehicle, even though it is built in Argentina, Thailand, and South Africa. Before being redeployed Down Under, designer Craig Metros had just finished work on the latest F-Series, vehicle line director Gary Boes had overseen the development of the Mustang and Flex, and engineering director Jim Baumbick had been responsible for more than 20 new nameplates for Ford in North America. In the end, though, the Ranger utilized expertise from all points of the globe. It was tested in the Australian outback, in the jungles of Thailand, and on the ice roads of Sweden, and it spent a lot of time in North America doing altitude, durability, and tow testing.

FORD insiders tell, the 2018 release Ranger is within 10 percent of the new F-150's dimensions and capabilities, likely another reason Ford is reluctant to bring the Ranger here. It wants to protect its homegrown hero, given that the F-Series' sales rate is roughly 50 percent of what it was half a decade ago.

The Off-Road Driving Tests. Well-sorted stability control ensures the Ranger stays shiny side up, no matter the surface. Perhaps the most impressive aspect was how well the stability control worked on loose gravel roads, typical terrain in many countries where these vehicles have been driven.

In the middle of the Australian outback, while driving on a gravel road covered in a thin layer of dirt as fine as sawdust, in one FORD test, the Ranger was repeatedly pushed to trigger the crew cab 4WD XLT Ranger into a skid by swerving abruptly. But the system worked so quickly and so efficiently that it gathered things up, time after time, without raising a sweat, and long before we were in any danger. It's a credit to the team who did the calibration. The speed and effectiveness of the stability control is as good as any road car I've driven. Interestingly, the stability control works well despite having disc brakes up front (the biggest in the compact pickup class, says Ford) and drum brakes on the rear (typical in this class around the world, including on the VW Amarok and Toyota Hilux).

Ford has also adapted hill descent control, which inches the vehicle carefully down steep slopes without the driver having to touch the brake pedal. The rate of descent is adjustable using the cruise control switch on the steering wheel.

The other issue is price. The T6 Ranger has been sold at a premium in most overseas markets, not as a bargain basement model as it had been in North America. Although the 2012 range starts from $AUD20,000 (about $19,300 ') for a 2WD cab-chassis, the XLT crew cab pictured here starts at $AUD53,390 (about $51,600 'Merican). 

If it does come back to America in 2018, the Ford Ranger would join a revived midsize pickup market in the U.S., with the new Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon picking up steam, an updated 2016 Toyota Tacoma going on sale soon, and an updated Nissan Frontier expected to debut within the next few years. RAM Trucks line is also showing sales gains despite the headwinds of production challenges.


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Straight Out Of OFF-ROAD LIVE!***MONSTER Mikes GARAGE CABO 500 SPECIAL***Van Halen Continues In The Town Square in San Lucas, Baja South

While Van Halen is considered one of the most influential and popular hard-rock bands of the 1970s and 1980s, they got their start in a particularly unglamorous, crazy block party way. Eventually making their way onto the Hollywood club scene. 

Off-Road Racing and Van Halen got their start across Los Angeles, USA. The famous rock band played massive, raucous backyard parties out of Los Angeles, in Southern California. 

This excerpt, from Greg Renoff's fascinating (even for non-VH fans) Van Halen Rising: How a Southern California Party Band Saved Heavy Metal, a book almost anthropological in its level of detail, finds the band gigging at one of the aforementioned parties. Until, that is, things start to get out of hand. 


Monday, August 24, 2015

Breaking News! HONDA Twin-Turbocharged Honda HR35TT V6 Engine Explodes Into 2015 BAJA 1000


A HONDA production V6 will be the foundation for this years Baja 1000 effort. Right Now: The HR35TT twin-turbo V6 runs in the Tudor United Sportscar Championship, 2015. The engine will debut in the 12 Hours of Sebring mounted in a Riley Gen3 prototype chassis from the Starworks Motorsport garage.This engine is derived from Honda’s J35 production engines. Key features of the HR35TT include steel crankshaft and rods, dry sump oiling, direct fuel injection and HPD/McLaren engine management. This Honda engine is the second twin-turbo engine approved for Daytona Prototype cars.

This effort, will make its 4-wheel off-road factory racing return this November in the Infamous BAJA 1000 desert race, with an unlimited off-road race vehicle powered by Honda Performance Development, the racing arm of American Honda Motor Company, Inc. 

The manufacturer teased images of its race vehicle today, featuring the twin-turbocharged Honda HR35TT V6 engine, with an  Albins ST6 sequential transmission, racing shocks, and rugged CABO 500 Tires. More information will be available in the days leading up to the Baja 1000 event in November. 

This return to the Baja 1000 marks Honda's first 4-wheel desert race since the HPD Desert Pilot competed in Class 6 in 2012 (Skiltons Team).

The Skiltons ran away from Baja racing in 2012, saying the SCORE insurance wasn't good enough. Probably BS. HONDA probably nixed the effort due to poor race showings. Yea, blame the race sanctions insurance!

LIVE! BAJA 1000 HERE! For more information about HPD and the company's racing plans, Stay Tuned HERE!

OFF-ROAD LIVE!***August 25, 2015***Matt Martelli Wants Higher Entry Fees & Lower Racer Counts, Because They Just Want YOUR MONEY, NOT YOUR PROBLEMS!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

OFF-ROAD LIVE! August 17, 2015***VEGAS TO RENO 2015 WRAP

The massive Galaxia de la Baja of Rene Aguirre and Krysten Laine. It’s a 1964 Ford Galaxie set up for off-road racing. “How could I say no when their entry photo showed the car upside down in a ditch,” asked Galbraith. The rig has competed in the San Jose 250 in Baja South and is fully sorted out for desert-stomping, with giant Bilstein shocks, CABO 500 Tires and full roll cage. What’s it like to race it full tilt in the desert? “It’s kind of hair ball, but it’s fun,” said Aguirre. 


*McNeil Racings built Class7S/7100 takes first place at Vegas To Reno 

*Pete Sohren drives into a ditch, admits he can't drive! 

*Matt Martelli & Cameron Steele call for lower racer counts and higher entry fees! "There are too many racers at events now!" 

*Race without 'Merican A-Holes telling you what to do! In Cabo! This October! CLICK HERE


MONSTER Mike Reporting ON THE BEACH in San Diego CALI!