- More cargo capacity – F-150 is expected to have class-leading, 2-inch deeper cargo boxes in three lengths – 51/2, 61/2 and 8 feet – in addition to payload capacities of up to 2,900 pounds. This gives the new F-150 serious cargo-handling credentials.
- Robust towing - Properly equipped, the truck can tow up to 9,500 pounds, and its power, handling and braking while towing are excellent.
- Improved four-wheel-drive - Four-wheel-drive performance is enhanced by an expected-to-be -pickup-exclusive low-range throttle calibration.
- Standard ABS – The standard anti-lock braking system is tuned for off-road conditions as well as slippery roads.
- Rigorous testing - Extensive testing at the Arizona Proving Grounds supports Ford’s “Tough Truck” promise.
- Driver ergonomics – Logically placed controls, optional adjustable pedals and step-down beltline deliver excellent visibility and ergonomics.
- Quieter cabin – A quieter passenger cabin can help lessen fatigue on long trips and help promote stress-free conversation.
- Outstanding features – Is expected to have class-leading features and content – including optional new memory seats, DVD entertainment system and reverse parking aid – that will add to F-150’s comfort and convenience.
- Rear access doors on Regular Cab
- AM/FM radio with clock
- Cloth 40/20/40 split front bench seat
- 17-inch gray styled-steel wheels
- Air conditioning
- Tilt steering wheel
- Lockable tailgate
- AM/FM stereo with single CD
- 17-inch sporty cast aluminum wheels
- Optional AM/FM stereo with 6-disc in-dash CD changer with audiophile
- Overhead rail storage system
- Premium cloth seating – 40/20/40 split bench or optional captain’s chairs
- Power windows, including power second-row windows on SuperCab and SuperCrew
- 17-inch cast aluminum wheels
- Power mirrors
- Remote entry key fob and optional driver’s side keypad
- Delayed accessory power
- Outside temperature/compass display
- Speed control
- Optional AM/FM stereo with 6-disc in-dash CD changer
- Optional power-sliding rear window
- Optional power moonroof
- Optional defrosting rear window
- Unique interior palette with leather-wrapped steering wheel, metallic trim and unique instrument cluster
- Standard driver’s side keypad
- Sporty cloth 40/20/40 split-bench seat
- 17-inch machined aluminum wheels
- Optional 18-inch machined cast aluminum wheels
- Optional sporty cloth or sporty flow-through console and floor shifter
- Unique interior palette with leather-wrapped steering wheel, simulated woodgrain trim, and unique instrument cluster
- Leather 40/20/40 split bench seat
- AM/FM stereo with cassette and single CD
- 18-inch bright aluminum wheels
- In-dash message center
- Steering wheel audio/climate controls
- Electronic automatic climate control with integrated optional heated seats
- Deluxe mirror package – power heated side mirrors with integrated turn signal repeater
- Power-adjustable pedals
- Optional leather captain’s chairs with flow-through console and floor shifter
2004 Ford F150 Features & Options
Our goal was to create a full-size pickup that is stronger than ever and meets previously unaddressed customer needs. We’ve created an architecture that puts F-150 in a class of its own and demonstrates that pickup owners don’t have to accept things like an uncomfortable ride and spartan interiors.
WHAT’S NEW FOR 2004
F-150: MORE CAPABLE THAN EVER
A responsive drive? Yes – even fun. Quiet? Yes – and with a great engine sound. Compromising on its core capabilities? No way.
The all-new F-150 pickup truck is not only tough, capable and versatile, but it also has better interior spaciousness, features that contribute to ergonomic ease, and new levels of overall refinement than before. The combination makes for a calm, quiet confidence that all drivers, from contractor to CEO, will appreciate.
Cargo capacity and towing performance
Each of the new F-150 cargo boxes – in 51/2-, 61/2-, and 8-foot lengths – is more than 2 inches deeper than before, increasing usable volume and customer benefit.
The total cargo volume of the 61/2-foot box, for example, is 65 cubic feet, which is nearly 12 percent better than the current F-150, 13 percent better than Chevrolet and a 42 percent larger than Toyota’s 6-foot box. When hauling wood chips, soil or yard clippings, the extra capacity could help save a trip or two.
The all-new F-150’s chassis and powertrain make pulling a trailer easier than ever. Its laterally stiff new rear suspension, precise steering and a stiff frame and body provide confidence while under way. Powerful brakes enhanced by standard anti-lock control and electronic brake force distribution maximize stopping power.
With the seamless calibration of the 5.4-liter, 3-valve Triton™ V-8 engine and new 4R75E automatic transmission, F-150 owners also will appreciate the smooth nature of the trailer- towing experience. “Hitching,” an irritating phenomenon on some trucks in which the trailer and tow vehicle seem, at times, to fight each other to maintain the desired speed, doesn’t plague the all-new F-150 due to the detailed attention to powertrain compatibility and fine calibration.
The electronic throttle control system used on both Triton V-8 engines features a unique 4×4 Low calibration for optimum vehicle control in off-road situations. Compared to cable driven or electronic pedal-follower systems, Ford’s state-of-the-art torque-based electronic throttle control system allows precise torque control in 4-Low at low speeds and low throttles.
With a maximum tow rating of 9,500 pounds and maximum payload capacity of 2,900 pounds, the new F-150 is the most capable full-size pickup under 8,500 pounds.
The Towing Group includes a 7-pin trailer wiring harness, frame-mounted hitch receiver and a heavy-duty electrical/cooling package.
Half a century of truck leadership comes by toughness, not chance. The all-new 2004 F-150 takes “Built Ford Tough” to the next level.
At the truck’s core is a stout fully boxed ladder frame with hydroformed front rails. The critical cross members are joined to the rails with a stiff “through-rail” joint to prevent localized flex. The brackets that attach the suspension, body, and powertrain to the frame are “wide footprint” designs that maximize the size and stiffness of the attachment point.
The sturdy frame – which is approximately nine times stiffer in torsion than the 2002 F-150 – is engineered to provide the stiffness necessary to help allow the suspension isolate the cabin from the most punishing treatment.
Likewise, the body is approximately 75 percent stiffer. Both it and the frame stiffness help ward off the kind of squeaks and rattles that could mar the driving experience of a high-mileage pickup. For the all-new F-150, the most aggressive use yet of structural adhesives on a Ford truck helps to spread loads over the length of a seam, helping to minimize stresses at the spot welds and helping to maintain long-term body stiffness.
Joining the frame and body are durable shear-style mounts. In addition to providing three-axis tunability for an improved ride, the tubular mounts spread forces across the entire bushing surface, contributing to more consistent long-term performance and protecting the rubber inside from deterioration. After a durability test that simulates 150,000 miles of severe duty, the shear-style mounts typically degrade less than 10 percent, compared with degradations of up to 60 percent for traditional compression-style mounts. This helps the 2004 F-150 perform at its best for the long haul.
The new F-150 has undergone an extensive corrosion resistance program for the chassis and the body. Virtually all body panels feature double-sided galvanized steel, except for the roof, which is galvanized on one side only, and the hood, which is aluminum. A full phosphate dip plus High-Edge E-Coat systems and durable paint help to protect most of the body and chassis components.
Door lower hem flanges are sealed with a special weather-resistant adhesive.
The frame is given an E-Coat finish. The front edges of the hood receive a thicker layer of primer before painting, and clearcoat paint and a PVC coating are sprayed on the lower bodyside for extra chip and corrosion protection from stone pecking.
The exhaust system is stainless steel and is manufactured to withstand the harshest weather.
Prototypes complete a 17-week corrosion test at Ford’s Arizona Proving Ground that comprises a gamut of torture, including Saltbath, Humidity Chamber and Drying Chamber. Sixty cycles of this testing are the equivalent of six years of abuse in Canada’s rugged Maritime Provinces. Prototypes of the 2004F-150 have been subjected to hundreds of cycles.
All told, the new F-150 has endured the equivalent of more than 5 million cumulative miles of testing. And as expected, the all-new F-150 has withstood the harshest tests over time with the durability that is typical of F-150.
Contractors, tradesmen and personal-use buyers may have different needs and wants in their F-150, but each use the truck as a tool – to get the job done, to get their gear to the recreation area or to get to work between weekends. Ford knows that any good tool is easy to use, and engineers have worked extensively to help ensure that all of its customers find the all-new F-150 to be a good “fit.”
People come in all shapes and sizes, of course, and the all-new F-150 reflects that fact: It’s designed to accommodate a 25th-percentile woman (approximately 4’10” tall) as well as a 99th-percentile male (approximately 6’4″). The cabin is wider than ever before and its front seat is roomier, yet the door armrests are large enough for smaller persons to use comfortably. Grab handles and available running boards assist during entry and exit, and optional power-adjustable pedals join a standard tilt steering wheel for customization of the driving position.
The standard tailgate assist feature helps lesser-statured people operate the large tailgate, and the running boards were moved lower and further outboard to be more useful for stepping up into the cab.
Large exterior door handles are an intuitive full-grip style that ensures an easy grip and maximum pull even while wearing large gloves. Likewise, the underhood release lever, large and painted yellow for visibility, is easy to use, even with gloved hands.
Interior storage is flexible and abundant. A dash-top bin holds small, frequently used items like pens, cell phones and parking passes, while full-length map pockets on all doors have large capacity. The front door pockets are divided into forward and rearward sections, and each includes a cup holder large enough for a 20-ounce water bottle. F-150 models equipped with the optional front center console have a deep storage bin, coin holder, four additional cup holders and a rear 12-volt power point.
Core to the design of primary and secondary controls were two objectives: ease of use and cohesive appearance. Experts from Ford’s ergonomics laboratories used computer modeling to help ensure that all of the driver’s instruments and frequently used controls are easy to see and operate. The computer allows designers to test functions objectively, using a wide variety of electronically generated human shapes. In addition, a virtual reality system brings a digital interior to life before prototypes are built. The simulation can emulate the visual feeling of smaller or larger individuals so that engineers can configure the vehicle for compatibility for a broad range of human statures.
Other ergonomic features include an optional power-sliding rear window that eliminates the potentially awkward reach in longer cab lengths, easy-to-operate air registers, an oversized volume knob on the audio system, and a four-wheel-drive knob that visually matches headlamp, power point and climate controls on the instrument panel but is tactilely differentiated with molded-in ribs.
Visibility also was a key priority. The drop-down beltline, sculpted windshield pillars and oversized mirrors aid visibility. Studies done on the instrument panel materials and design reduced so-called “veiling glare” in certain lighting conditions and character heights on the speedometer were increased to make them more legible.
Essential to meeting Ford’s goals for the best driving experience available in a pickup truck was engineering quietness into the cabin from the earliest stages of the program.
A quiet passenger cabin helps driver and passengers to stay alert, to more easily hold a conversation and to arrive relaxed. “Quietness is perhaps the most influential factor in perceived quality and overall customer satisfaction,” said Chris Kolarik, F-150 noise, vibration and harshness supervisor.
The F-150 team tackled cabin noise from a holistic, systems perspective, influencing design, materials selection, manufacturing processes and above all, fanatical attention to detail.
As a result of their efforts, the F-150 cabin has highway cruise noise levels that are 2 sones quieter than the previous segment leader. While driving on coarse country roads at more moderate speeds, overall interior sound levels are 2.8 dBA lower. During wide-open-throttle acceleration, the “speech articulation index” – a measure of how easily one can hold a conversation – is 5 percentage points better than the nearest competitor, above 3,500 rpm.
Body sealing and sound absorbing techniques
To combat unwanted noise, the new F-150 has fully inset doors with improved seals, thicker front side windows, a laminated dash panel and noise-blocking air extractor vents at the rear of the cab. The “Quiet Steel” dash panel is made of a new metal and mastic laminated material that reduces noise transmitted from the engine compartment.
New double door seals – even at the bottom edges of the doors – and 25-percent thicker front side glass combine to reduce wind noise.
Body leakage, a measure of how much air leaks out of the cabin, has been reduced. These air leaks can translate into wind noise. During the development process, engineers identified these leaks by pressurizing the cabin and then determining where air was escaping.
The leaks were then corrected with a variety of tools like expandable foam or heavier sealing.
For example, new gaskets seal the door handles better to reduce both wind and road noise. Structural adhesives used in the cab floor were a key contributor to the reduction of cabin air leakage.
At the assembly plant, 6-Sigma “Black Belt” quality experts work to reduce build variability with the goal of reducing sources of noise, vibration and harshness as well as optimizing installation of sealing and sound-deadening materials.
The stiffness of the frame, body and powertrain contribute to the calm, quiet ride by allowing the mounts at their attachment points to perform at their best. The shear-style body mounts, for example, are specially tuned to specific frequencies, and the stiffness of the frame and body is critical to their ability to isolate passengers from noise, shake and vibration.
Liquid-filled engine mounts or “hydromounts” stop much of the engine’s noise and vibration before it can reach the passenger compartment. Because their damping rate depends on the frequency and amplitude of the vibrations, they can simultaneously provide soft isolation against higher frequency, lower-amplitude motions – the kind that engines make at idle or while accelerating – yet provide stiffer control of the powertrain in response to jarring on a bumpy road.
Features and content
With the all-new F-150, all series – from the workhorse XL to the top-spec Lariat – contain distinctive comfort and convenience features. Among the key features, by series (each item in the list is the same for the higher series unless noted):
F-150 options available on most trims include power-adjustable pedals, a reverse sensing system, axle, payload and towing upgrades, skid plates and running boards.
* All comparisons are made against 2003 competitive vehicles.