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2000 Ford Taurus Chassis

2000 Ford TaurusSee also:

2000 FORD TAURUS DRIVING DYNAMICS

"With four million previous Ford Taurus owners out there, we have extensive customer research and feedback to call upon. Consistently in our discussions with customers, they rated a comfortable ride, plushness and quietness among their top needs for a family car. These became the development team's key goals when creating the 2000 model." - Dave Marinaro, Chief Program Engineer, Ford Motor Company

To achieve significant improvements in ride comfort, all elements of the Taurus' chassis, suspension, steering, brakes, wheels and tires were examined. Each component was then tuned to deliver the results customers requested.

Improved NVH

The 2000 Taurus is smoother and quieter than ever thanks to measures taken to reduce road, tire and wind noise and vibration. Overall road noise is reduced by more than 30 percent compared with 1999 levels.

To reduce wind noise, the wiper arm assembly is designed to park 6 mm lower than previously. This change, combined with a raised trailing edge of the hood, help create a significant wind noise reduction.

In addition, a new bracket design for the side mirrors contributes to a 10-Hz higher natural vibration frequency. The results is a more rigid mirror with less vibration for clearer vision and less noise.

Stiffer bracing also was added to the cross-car instrument panel beam for added rigidity. A new, lightweight insulator - nine pounds lighter than previously - actually absorbs sound in the instrument panel rather than acting only as a sound barrier. An improved carpet pad insulator also is twice as dense to reduce road noise.

A flush backlight glass with a new seal also is designed to improve appearance and reduce wind noise.

Front Suspension

Taurus employs a gas-charged McPherson strut front suspension design with an aluminum front steering knuckle to reduce unsprung mass. For the 2000 model, the front-end geometry was revised to improve highway directional stability and reduce wind-wander. Other revisions include:

Rear Suspension

The Taurus sedan features independent quadralink rear suspension with nitrogen gas-pressurized struts. The wagon has a short and long arm (SLA) suspension with gas pressurized shock absorbers. Rear suspension changes include:

Steering

Improvements to the steering centered around precision and feel. The steering pump valving and boost curve are revised to improve down-the-road feel and create a more positive, precise on-center feel. Other improvements:

Wheels and Tires

All 2000 Taurus models come standard with 16-inch wheels and tires with a lower (30 psi) recommended air pressure - to further improve the car's ride character while enhancing handling characteristics and overall appearance.

A steel wheel with bolt-on wheel cover is standard on LS models. Two different five-spoke aluminum alloy wheel designs also are offered. A space-saver spare tire is standard. A conventional spare is available.

The tires are P215/60R16 developed especially for Taurus.

Brakes

The LS and SE sedans are equipped with a front disc/rear drum brake system. A four-wheel antilock braking system (ABS) is standard on the SE sedan. Four-wheel discs with antilock braking system is standard on the SE wagon.

Braking improvements include:

All-Speed Traction Control System

New for Taurus in 2000, customers can choose an all-speed traction control system (TCS) on wagons and sedans equipped with ABS. TCS helps maintain wheel traction and control on slippery surfaces by detecting and controlling wheel spin.

Wheel-speed sensors allow the ABS computer to detect excess drive wheel spin. The computer then uses a combination of steps to reduce wheel slippage, including brake application of one or both drive wheels, engine spark retardation and fuel flow reduction.

A Traction Control light on the instrument cluster alerts the driver to traction control operation. At lower speeds, the brakes are used initially, and engine power is reduced if necessary. At higher speeds, the brakes are not used. All control is modulated through engine power management.

TCS allows better use of available traction under less than favorable road conditions. TCS can control either or both drive wheels. This is most evident on split traction surfaces, such as ice and concrete, in which one wheel is on the slippery surface and the other is on a more stable surface.

An on/off switch allows the driver to have controlled use of the system.