Looks like it makes it a real PITA to work on from underneath. Would have been nice if Ford didn't tree clip the rubber to the pan so it is easier to remove. Those clips are basically a use once and throw away deal. Plates look too thin to block anything but small gravel and wind. So I agree djanzen. If you live in the snowy states it would probably be a good idea to pull the plates each spring for cleaning.
It looks like there is a "flap" in the middle front of the plate. Is that so you can get to the oil filter?
Also, I've read in the 2009+ F150 forum that guys are having issues with water and mud getting into the alternator since it is mounted on the bottom front of the engine. Wonder if this was a fix for protecting the alternator???
Does all the EB have this? If not, wonder when they started addding it and if the earlier EBs will get a recall notice to have it added? Is it on the 5.0 or 6.2?
No kidding. I was looking under mine I figured out how to get to the Oil drain plug it is just behind the galvanized plate that is covered by the soft fiber one. Can you get to the filter through the galvanized door held by those clips? Wonder how long those will last?
The filter is accessible through the rubber flap in the front of the metal pan, one side of the rubber is held in with the twist clips and opens right up to reach in and get the filter. There is also a built in drain tray which funnels the oil out to the front. Caution loosen the filter slowly and let it drain slowly, if you twist it off fast the tray will overflow and you have a real mess inside the pans! Other than that an oil change is fairly easy!
I'm guessing the plates help with wind resistance for EPA mileage purposes, keep salt spray off the engine, trans, and associated parts to help avoid corrosion of steel parts, keep slush and ice water off the turbos, etc.
Looks like a nice job on Ford's part. I'm sure those plates cost a few bucks, so they would not put them on if there was not a good reason.
Edit--I remember reading that the EB turbos and exhaust system run hot, looked it up, and noted that max operating temp of the turbos is 1740 degrees F. Yes that's 1740 degrees. Imagine hitting those turbos and exhaust manifolds with a giant splash from a puddle of salty slush that is below freezing temp. This makes me think of the term "thermal shock"... Plus I can imagine setting a field of tall grass on fire pretty easily.
Never thought of the whole grass fire thing!
I ran this thing at 70 mph for many hrs this past week (2200 miles, Pittsburgh, Pa and back to Florida) and the temp gauges were just fine, and absolutely no problem with cabin heat either. What a fun truck to drive!