Ford VN platform

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Ford VN platform
Overview
ManufacturerFord Motor Company
Production1974–present
Body and chassis
LayoutFront-engine, rear-wheel drive
body-on-frame
Body style(s)Full-size van
Chassis cab
VehiclesFord Econoline
Ford Club Wagon
Ford E-Series

The Ford VN platform is the Ford Motor Company code designation for vans designed in North America. The platform architecture was introduced in 1974, when Ford introduced the third generation of the Econoline full-size van. In the 1980s, the nomenclature was used separately for the Ford Aerostar mid-size van, which is mechanically unrelated to the Econoline/Club Wagon/E-Series. Since 2014, the architecture has no longer been used for mass-produced passenger vehicles, with all examples now produced as chassis cabs or bare chassis.

Both the VN and VN1 chassis utilize rear-wheel drive layouts with longitudinally-mounted engines.

VN58/VN127[edit]

Introduced in 1974, Ford introduced the third-generation Econoline, the first produced with a full-length frame. For 1992, the fourth-generation Econoline/Club Wagon/E-Series was introduced, marking a substantial revision to the chassis architecture and a completely new body. For 1997, Ford replaced the entire gasoline powertrain range, shifting from overhead-valve engines to overhead-cam engines.

Following the introduction of the V363N Ford Transit, the VN E-Series ended production as a cargo/passenger van after the 2014 model year. From the 2015 model year onward, the E-Series has remained in production as a cutaway-cab chassis (no bodywork aft of the front doors) and as a stripped chassis (with no bodywork).

This is the final chassis that uses the Ford "Twin I-Beam" front suspension architecture.

Vehicles using this platform include:

  • Ford Carousel-cancelled mid-size van based on SWB Econoline (planned for 1975-1976)

VN1[edit]

The VN1 platform is a platform that was developed by Ford for use for mid-size vans, specifically the Ford Aerostar. The first Ford vehicle to use an alphanumeric platform designation, the VN1 platform architecture is mechanically unrelated to the E-Series van, sharing only its rear-wheel drive layout.

While using a dedicated chassis, the Aerostar was designed with a high degree of parts commonality with other Ford light-truck products of the time (initially, the Ford Ranger/Bronco II and the later Ford Explorer/Mazda Navajo), sharing major components including the brakes, front suspension, wheels, and powertrain. One notable exception is the rear suspension layout; the coil-sprung live rear axle uses a 3-link configuration, similar to the Ford LTD Crown Victoria and Fox-body Mustang.

In contrast to the E-Series van, the unibody chassis of the Aerostar was designed with additional full-length frame rails; this construction was also used on the Chevrolet Astro/GMC Safari vans, the Jeep Cherokee XJ, and the Honda Ridgeline pickup truck.

Vehicles using this platform include: