quarta-feira, 14 de agosto de 2013

Bedford CF Road Test - May 1976

Commercial Motor - May 14 1976

by Graham Montgomerie, photographs by Dick Ross


Commercial Motor - 14th May 1976

Road Test - Bedford CF 220 at 2.2 tons gvw

A VERY NIPPY vehicle in spite of its gross weight of over 2 tons—that's the Bedford CF 220 van (so called because of its gvw of 2.2 tons.
CM tested it last week fully laden both on/ our round-the-houses urban delivery route and on a motorway section. On the stop-start delivery section the Bedford returned an overall fuel consumption of 13.3 lit/ 100km (21.3mpg).
Our test Bedford used the familiar 1.8-litre (108cuin) four cylinder petrol engine which develops 50kW (67bhp) at 5,200rpm. A preheating box on the exhaust manifold is controlled by a thermostat on the intake side for a quicker warmup from cold. The exhaust valves are fitted with rotators which turn the valve slightly each time it opens to prevent pitting of the seats.
So far as fuel is concerned, Bedford says that two-star petrol is adequate.
The suspension on the most recent models has now been uprated by using heavier-duty dampers.
The gearbox is a four-speed all syncromesh unit with a direct-drive top gear (an overdrive is optional).

Performance and economy

For once on the light vans test route the traffic was not unduly heavy, resulting in an average speed for the circuit of 43.8km/h (27.2mph) —some four or five mph quicker than average.
One problem which cropped up consistently with the CF during the test was the way the engine ran on after the ignition was switched off. This was far more noticeable after the low-speed running than after the motorway section.
As one would expect, the fuel consumption was heavier when criusing at near 60 on the motorway. For an average speed of 87km/h (54mph) the CF returned a fuel figure of 14.3 lit/100km (19.7mpg) fully laden.
The CF had a maximum speed on the level of 117km/h (73mph) and a very useful selection of ratios in the gearbox. Third gear for example gave a maximum speed of 103km/h (64mph). The acceleration was certainly adequate for traffic use making the CF a very nippy vehicle in spite of its gross weight of over two tons.
Because of some problems associated with the fuel test tank on the van. I ran out of time to carry out the usual halt-laden fuel consumption test.

Maintenance accessibility

The small bonnet on the CF gives some access to the power unit, but for any carburetter maintenance, for example, it is very necessary to remove the engine cowl inside the cab. With the pronounced angle of installation of the CF engine the carburetter and distributor are easy to get at although the alternator suffers by being on the "underneath" side. Routine level checking, including hydraulic fluid can be carried out from the front with the bonnet up. The fuse box is situated under the instrument panel on the driver's side and the functions of the various circuits— lights, horn, etc—are indicated on the fuse box cover.
The loading height of the load space is 61cm (2ft) with the interior floor length of our particular test model being 2.54m (8ft 4in) which can be extended to 3.75m (I2ft 4in) if the passenger seat is removed. The total body volume of the CF 220 is 6.74cum (238cuft) in the form as tested by CM with an extra 0.91curn (32cuft) available again if the passenger seat is removed. The rear doors will open up to a full 180 degrees to allow the van to be backed up to a loading bay. These doors have a slam-type mechanism so that they can be closed by one hand or a convenient elbow if the driver has both hands full. The braking figures for light vans on CM road tests are usually very good with high average efficiencies, but the CF did better than most. As an example, it stopped from 40mph fully laden in a fraction under 60ft for an average efficiency of 90 per cent. The servo-assisted system worked well througout the stop-start conditions of the light vans test route giving a light pedal action but still allowing a certain amount of "feel".

Not so impressive

The park brake was not quite so impressive although it did manage to hold the van safely on the 1 in 4 test gradient at MIRA. The maximum retardation recorded on the Tapley meter using the park brake barely reached 25 per cent even with a hefty pull and it did this to the accompaniment of a loud graunching noise from the rear drums.
The CF's handling was safe and sure even when exposed to the swoops and swerves of the MIRA ride and handling circuit. Even allowing for the low centre of gravity of the test load there was remarkably little body roll.

In the cab

The instrumentation on the CF is straightforward and well laid out. With the serious exception of the heater switches all the controls are within easy reach. I use the word "serious" in relation to the heater controls as it is not only difficult to reach them when wearing a seat belt—it is impossible. You could argue that local delivery drivers don't bother with seat belts on their type of work, but I think this is missing the point.
One other irritation was the proximity of the gear lever to the passenger seat when in second gear.
The CF I tested was with the de luxe trim, which included among other things, extra sound insulation. This worked quite well as at no time did the nois2 level reach nuisance level. For a panel van the lack of body boom was also noticeable.
The driver's seat is adjustable in the horizontal and vertical directions, and the angle of the back can also be adjusted which is not all that common on light vans.
The list price of the CF220 with petrol engine is £1,873 plus a further £70 for the de luxe cab giving a total of £1,943 as tested. The sliding doors are a no-cost option.

Source: Commercial Motor Archive

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