[updated:LAST EDITED ON 06-Jan-03 AT 09:35 AM (EST)]I saw photos of the new 2004 F150 in the Detroit News yesterday and I think it looks better than the current F150. Looks a bit like the Ranger though. Anyway, I only want to know one thing and it wasn't in the newspaper article--do they still offer a stick shift version? With the suburbanite sales twist causing the automobilization of the F150 (making it a luxury second car vs. the good old rough and tumble, bare bones pickups of the 60s) it will be the final death knell of the F150 if they quit offering stick shifts. Someone tell me it isn't true. Someone tell me you still will be able to get a stick shift in these things.
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We, the dealers, still have little or no info on the '04 F-150. Of course, it's not unusual for the dealer to be the last to know when it comes to new product. As soon as I know something, I'll let you know.
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[updated:LAST EDITED ON 06-Jan-03 AT 09:39 AM (EST)]Hey thanks. Just got todays Detroit News and the one in Sunday was the Luxury version (I did not like the grille), but there are five versions, the XL (the workhorse), the XLT (family carrier), the STX (want image, but can't afford it), the FX-4 (Image and power), and the Lariat (truck luxury). I can see that the first few versions have a nice aggressive grill like the Superduty, but with the taper of the typical modern Ford grille--looks good though. Also has the Superduty window drop at the mirror, but not quite as deep. This may be a great truck--if it has a stick (for me anyway ). Anyway, glad to see the XL is still in the lineup--hopefully with crank windows too . Oh, and best of all it says there is a 9-inch blue oval on both front and back!
I went back and changed the title of the thread. The "Death of the F150?" seems too extreme and it is a great-looking truck. Hey, why talk about it, take a look:
Go to the ford U.S. website (ford.com) I'm almost sure they still offer a manual with the 4.6 or 5.4 but only in base trims. Actually the Ranger 4.0 V6 can be found in with a manual (which surprised me) but ran me more in the end because everything seemed to be an option !
Having seen better photos of the basic 2004 F150 I would say it is the best looking pickup available today. I'll take it over the Superduty even. Now what they need is to reintroduce the F100 (sort of the Model T of pickups) as a stripped down version of the new truck. Keep the styling, but throw out as much of the extras as they can to cut cost: give me rubber floor mats, crank windows, skip the tailgate torsion bar, I'll take rear drum brakes if it is cheaper, but most of all, make it with a six cylinder only and manual tranny--no options--like it or leave it (HF--you can have it [the model T] in any color so long as its black). Otherwise, someone has to develop a kit to make the automatic shift like a manual, because a manual tranny retrofit is likely to cost thousands.
My XL has most of those things (including rubber mats instead of carpeting), but if you want to get *really* basic there's always the work truck package - vinyl bench seat, grey painted bumpers & grille instead of chrome, and so on. That's the package I had on my '01, and the only option that truck had was A/C. I didn't get the work truck package in my '02 mainly because of resale value, and because the painted front bumper tends to rust (mine was rusted within 6 months). The dark grey front end on the '01 looked a little bit odd, but with a darker color (mine was Highland green) it really wasn't bad at all. On my new truck (which is white) I think the dark grey grille wouldn't look good at all - and I'm not sure how it'd look on the '04 body style. Of course, that's assuming that they offer it - I would think so, because I know it was popular for commercial users, but I don't know for sure.
As far as rear drums and that sort of thing, I think the chance of them making that option available for only a few customers is probably pretty small.
[updated:LAST EDITED ON 10-Jan-03 AT 11:51 AM (EST)]>My XL has most of those things (including rubber mats
>instead of carpeting), but if you want to get *really* basic
>there's always the work truck package - vinyl bench seat,
>grey painted bumpers & grille instead of chrome, and so on.
>That's the package I had on my '01, and the only option that
>truck had was A/C.
Cool. No wonder I like my '95 so much. Check out my gallery (2nd photo). I have grey painted bumpers and darker grey grille. My bumpers are rusty and I keep hitting them with grey paint--seems to work. I have crank windows, manual locks, rubber floor cover, radio (no CD/Tape) and AC.
>As far as rear drums and that sort of thing, I think the
>chance of them making that option available for only a few
>customers is probably pretty small.
You are right about that. It generally is cheaper to keep it the same for all versions (that was one of the reasons for the Model T's success) and probably why they offer two instead of three engine options.
I probably should have checked out your gallery first.
Yeah, it looks like you have that year's version of the work truck group - though I can't remember if they called it that in '95. The '91 I used to have also had some sort of work truck package, with the vinyl seats and grey grille - but I bought that one used and don't know what exact options it was ordered with.
Over the years they've upgraded the work truck package a little bit - for example, my '01 had a radio with cassette and the earlier ones had just the radio. It's possible to build one that's a lot like the work truck but with the chrome grille - or at least, it used to be possible - by selecting options like vinyl seats and deleting the radio. Not sure if you can still do that, though.
Funny thing is, the vinyl bench seat in my '01 was a lot better quality than the cloth seat in my '02 - the cloth they use isn't very impressive, while the vinyl was a lot heavier. When I traded it in, one salesman actually wrote down that I had leather seats. I'm not sure the guy had ever seen a vinyl seat before...
The annoying thing about the work truck or the XL is that you don't get a tach in those - I don't understand why the truck most likely to be used for work doesn't have one, but the yuppie versions like the Lariat do. You can turn the digital odometer into a tach (which I do when I'm towing), but it's tough to read and just isn't the same. Eventually I'll add an aftermarket one to mine, like you did to yours...but first I have to decide if I'm keeping it.
My neighbor bought a new F150 the same time as I did, but his has all the options, like heated & air-conditioned power leather seats with vibrating butt massagers. Okay, maybe I made that last bit up. To each their own, but I always found leather seats and such to be a bit out of place on a pickup - but he's happy with his truck, and I'm happy with mine, and I guess that's what counts.
[updated:LAST EDITED ON 10-Jan-03 AT 01:08 PM (EST)]I have a bench, but it is cloth. Cloth is nice, but I still want my bench. My back does not like the buckets in the E350 motorhome or Aerostar. My vinyl bench in teh '84 F150 ripped in several places after 170,000 miles. Yeah, it did not come with a tach, but I got a better one now (gallery). I ask Yuppies what their factory tach redlines at or what the engine turns on the freeway and they give me a blank stare and say, "I dunno." Work trucks probably don't have tachs because the blue collar folks pride themselves in being close to the machine, that is, they can sense the shift points and all from feel/sound, kinda like the seat-of-the-pants tune ups the old timers used to do in the old days. Mount your aftermarket tach in a way that you can remove it when you sell the truck. I'll take mine with me.
I think the new truck looks AWESOME!!! Very handsomely designed trucks... I really like the Super Duties and this new truck is almost better looking that they are!! I'm w/Tall Paul--I like plain jane, all sticks & levers trucks too...
The new F-150 looks great. I was talking to the owner of the local Ford dealer the other day, and he said that he expects a new 04 F-150 at his small dealership sometime in late September.
I plan on ordering one next year!
If I had the money I would order one now. That is how much I like them. I will definitely do my best to at least get a test drive. I know I will most likely choose the one with the front bench as I need that space for people.
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