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Generations 8-9 1987-1996 F150 + 1987-1997 F250, F350

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Old 07-17-2018, 10:37 AM
Catalpa Woods Catalpa Woods is offline
 
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Best years, worst years in Ford Trucks to buy

Hi all!!

New member. Signed up cuz I am looking for some information. Looking to purchase a used truck in the near future, or possibly an Explorer. Well aware that different years have there own weird problems and occasionally we get a great combination. Are there certain years of engines (like the 5.4 with the 4 thread plug holes) or transmissions (like the much maligned E4OD) that, seeing I will be buying a truck with higher mileage should be avoided, or bought with the expectation that certain work will be required?

Most tranny problems, according to most shops, seem to be heat related or people just dogging them. Expecting to install a nice cooler, possibly an external filter will be looked into.

As for what I need, I have a 12 ft enclosed trailer, and may add a small RV later. Towing is high priority, but I dont need to pull a house. I do want 4x4, but likely wont go crazy with lift kits and mudders. Will probably never get a lift kit. Just like 4x4 in case I need it, or for old logging roads while hunting. Bed size isnt critical. Standard short bed is fine, not sure about the little 5 1/2 footers. Leather and other interior accoutrements will help decide between trucks, but for starters I am looking to find the best models to begin the search.

Big differences between the 5.4 and 4.6? From a maintenance or possible rebuilding standpoint?

Best tranny and years mated to a V8? Someone mentioned that recently Ford went back to serviceable transmissions... True? Years? Can non serviceable transmissions be made serviceable? External filter, fluid level check, etc?

Appreciate in advance any insights. MY price range includes lots of trucks with 150,000-200,000+, and I will expect to have major repairs con the way, but would like to get a few years to plan ahead.

Thanks again
Catalpa Woods
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Old 07-17-2018, 12:29 PM
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LEB Ben LEB Ben is offline
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We'll have to answer your question, with a question(s):

1) Budget, you can get a 302 powered 1980 250 for a lot cheaper than a 96 350 460/7.3 truck.

2) I wouldn't worry about engine as much, they're all sub-250hp/sub-450tq dogs until about 05-ish.

3) Are you determined to get a gas truck, or is diesel on the table as well??? Plays a part in the price.

4) Gas engines, assume a 250k life span out of an engine that gets worked, and 400k out of a diesel. Biggest difference will be mpg. 10-15mpg out of a gas truck cruising, 4-10mpg out of a gas truck towing, 15-20mpg out of a diesel all the time.

5) As far as performance is concerned though, Anything from your chosen era will be able to get rolling and stop...just depends on how easily. Personal opinion, the 302 has no business in a full size truck, the 351W is adequate for occasional towing. The 300 is all internet hype, v8's of the same time frame all plot higher at the same rpm's as the 300 in the power curve. 4.6/5.4 I'd put in the same boat as the 351W, I towed 10k daily with mine, absolute dogs, but cheap. Which then brings you to the 460 and 7.3PSD, similar power and power curves. As I mentioned above, the 7.3 will have a longer life, but with the brodozer tax, will cost significantly more than similarly equipped 460 truck (in my area anyway). Only other options from 80-early 2000's are the 6.9 and non-turbo 7.3, and those aren't much of anything I'd be interested.


From there, I wouldn't let the e4OD scare you off, it's basically an electronic C6, which most folks consider 'bulletproof'.


Beyond that, it's all personal preference, body aesthetics...seat comfort...interior 'feel'...etc.
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Old 07-17-2018, 07:02 PM
Catalpa Woods Catalpa Woods is offline
 
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1. Like to spend as little as possible, but up to around 5000. Ive owned a late 70's F100 and loved it. I also had plenty of room to work on it, which I did quite frequently. Engines dont always match trannys, car 4 speeds replacing 3 on the tree, linkages never line up right. At that age, everything is on the verge of being replaced. Not always a bad thing, if ya got the time space and money and patience. Newer does confer much better creature comforts. Leather, good sound, low noise floor and AC. Bucket seats are nice too. Thats the biggie. Early 90s and up are where Im looking mostly.

2. Honestly, the 4.0l V6 in my 93 explorer im replacing pulled just fine for what ive needed so far. Thats included 7% grade between NC and SC at highway speed. If memory serves, those are only around 165 hp and not sure on the torque. What do I expect to tow? Not sure. Ive driven 88 f250 with the EFI Windsor, and dad used to have a 86 f350 dually with the 460, back then with a big Holley on top and 4.10 gears. Is there a difference? OH yes there is. Would a small block do what I need for the foreseeable future? Yes. Advantages over the 460? Fuel economy. Period. Dads got 6mpg no matter the load or how you drove it.

Diesel? If I find one in my price range with the things I want? Sure, a definite possibility. Only advantage for gas is familiarity. Ive built gas engines, and pretty good at finding problems. Newer injection vs diesel? Slight edge to gas, but depends on what I find.

E4OD aint so bad with a cooler and a sensible driver. I know customer service enuff to know that most people cant drive. Are there a few true POS out there? Yes. Most are operator error, but buying used puts you in that territory of dealing with someone elses problems....
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Old 07-18-2018, 04:44 AM
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between the kids and me we've owned 14 or 15 92 -96's I have a 12 foot enclosed trailer for the 4wheeler and sounds like we do pretty much the same thing. tow to the woods and go down old logging roads or atv trails to find a campsite. ill say for evryday runin it doesn't matter much, but hook a trailer to one and the mass air trucks do ALOT better job towin then the SD trucks. so id say 94 and up would be your best bet in these years. seems as tho all the ones we've had died around the 230,000 mile mark either do to, to much rust or major break downs and just not worth fixing. im not a fan of of the newer 5.4's or 4.6's so when it was time to upgrade to something newer we went way newer to one with the new style 5.0. way more then a 5 grand price tag but tows like a dream
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Old 07-18-2018, 08:41 AM
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For 5 grand, I'd find the nicest V8 that you can find. If you're okay with a regular cab, the quality of truck you can purchase will go up significantly. They don't hold their value like a 4 door, which apparently is made of gold and then plated with gold. They simply don't depreciate like a normal vehicle.

Ryan
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Old 07-18-2018, 09:02 AM
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+1. We've had three Gen 9 F150's and a Bronco, with total miles well exceeding 600,000 of service. These trucks are sturdy, mechanically simple, and relatively common in the rust-free Pacific Northwest. I'm not a fan of diesel, but my son would debate that point (he recently picked up a '96 Powerstroke), and I'm also not a fan of the venerable 300 I-6. Sucks gas like an 8 without the power.

Good luck in any event.
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Old 07-18-2018, 01:55 PM
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For $5g's...I'd determine 1) what's more important, 4x4 or cab space...you only get to choose one. Then 2) buy a $500 plane ticket to either the PNW or SE to pick up your $4500 clean, straight, rust free truck.
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'77 250 400 Boggers (show)__'96 350 CC 460 SSR's (work)__'79 Bronco 400 35's (play)

Quote:
Inspired by Ian
We live in a society that keeps finding answers to problems people never knew they had.
I bow my head to Jesus, stand for my family, love only one woman, and am always proud of what I have.

Standing by my gun and Bible since 1986.

Ben
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Old 07-18-2018, 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by LEB Ben View Post
For $5g's...I'd determine 1) what's more important, 4x4 or cab space...you only get to choose one. Then 2) buy a $500 plane ticket to either the PNW or SE to pick up your $4500 clean, straight, rust free truck.
It rains and rains in the PNW, especially west of the Cascades.

If the OP wants a rust free truck, he'd be better off looking in the desert SW or in SoCal.
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Old 07-19-2018, 05:33 PM
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my 95 came outa pueblo co and has zero rust
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Old 07-20-2018, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by BKW View Post
It rains and rains in the PNW, especially west of the Cascades.

If the OP wants a rust free truck, he'd be better off looking in the desert SW or in SoCal.
It's not the rain/water so much that kills vehicles. People wash vehicles daily with no negative results. It's the road chemicals, and salt that kills all things metal.

SW/SoCal was the place to shop 15-20 years ago, it's no longer a secret, prices went up, unless the owner can't get it to pass inspection.


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Originally Posted by wizzard351 View Post
my 95 came outa pueblo co and has zero rust
Yeah, don't get me wrong, there are deals/good trucks to be had everywhere...but the supply just isn't as high, which usually impacts price. What a $3000 92-96/7 looks like in my area, is typically pushing $7-10k east of the Rockies and north of the Mason Dixon Line. And I'll have 20 to choose from within 50 miles. Not 100% of the time, but a pretty good rule of thumb.
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'77 250 400 Boggers (show)__'96 350 CC 460 SSR's (work)__'79 Bronco 400 35's (play)

Quote:
Inspired by Ian
We live in a society that keeps finding answers to problems people never knew they had.
I bow my head to Jesus, stand for my family, love only one woman, and am always proud of what I have.

Standing by my gun and Bible since 1986.

Ben
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