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Ford front ends and overall quality

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Old 11-29-2007, 02:04 PM
excaliber551 excaliber551 is offline
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Ford front ends and overall quality

I used to own three brand new Ford F150's I had a 83,85 and finally an 87.
the quality of these vehicles were the worst of any vehicle I've ever owned to date.

The 83 had an exhaust leak that could never be fixed and was traded in for the 85.
The 85 hd the same exhaust leak that they were finally able to get a handle on but the truck as a whole was not very good.

I sold the 85 and bought the 87.
Now this truck was much nicer than the other two at first then weird things started happening right after 36,000. It had the 302 engine.

At 37,000 miles the front end went out( Tie rods, idler arms, steering control arm) Ford said the truck was not designed for off road use. I did not abuse it at all, just normal off roading.
There were no zircs on any of the front end parts. It cost me nearly 2 K to get it fixed so it would stop eating tires.
The Gauges had a mind of their own and I could never tell how much gas I had in either tank.

At around 50,000 miles I noticed the engine light was on. I pulled over and checked it out. Plenty of oil and I was only 3 miles from home so I drove there.
The next morning I drove it to the Ford Dealer( 4 miles away)
They said it was the sending unit and they would order one and replace it.

I said "are you sure?" they said no problem drive it. I got half way home and the truck seized up and starting smoking.

They towed it back and it took them two weeks to fix it. They said it was the inertia switch under the dash. I told them B.S.
I think they rebuilt the engine. It sounded different and never ran the same after I got it back.

At exactly 60876 miles my tranny starts slipping really bad.
I took it to Ford and they said I needed a new Tranny. I went to a trusted tranny specialist shop and they wanted 2400 to rebuild it or 2800 for a new one.

I drove it right over to the Toyota dealer and traded that pile for a 1991 V6 4X4 Etracab deluxe that I'm still driving today with 193,000 miles on it.

I really want a bigger truck now and I'm looking at everthing out there.

I really wanted a Tundra but I think they're ugly and they have way too may issures for me.

I like the GMC Sierra and Chevy Silverado but they do not have a 6.5' bed on the CC's.

Ford has what I want with the SC and the 6.5' bed but I'm really leery about even thinking about another Ford vehicle.

I'm really just looking for some feedback on the reliability of these F150's since I've owned mine. I really like the looks of the F150 and might be willing to try another one.

Are they better now? I know they have closed the gap on Toyota for initial quality but what about longterm quality?

Do the front ends still wear out? How about the Engines,Trannys and Gauge clusters?
For those of you that had Fords in the 80's, how do these newer ones compare?

Sorry for the long rant.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 11-29-2007, 06:05 PM
jimandmandy jimandmandy is offline
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Except for the tranny problem, which is more common than some here would want to believe, we did not have any of the other problems you mentioned on the '94 302 4x4 F-150. When I sold it at about 150,000 miles the engine had a rear main leak, but otherwise ran like new. 80-96, except for EFI and other electronics, were basically the same.

Everything is different on the current Ford trucks, good or bad. The gas engines, front suspension and just about everything else has been completely redesigned.

Jim
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Old 11-30-2007, 10:52 AM
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62_Galaxie_500 62_Galaxie_500 is offline
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There is no way to compare today's F-series trucks to the 80's models. They were designed with different requirements and consumer tastes in mind and with different technologies.
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Old 11-30-2007, 11:32 AM
osbornk osbornk is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 62_Galaxie_500
There is no way to compare today's F-series trucks to the 80's models. They were designed with different requirements and consumer tastes in mind and with different technologies.
I agree. About the only thing they have in common is the Blue Oval.
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Old 12-01-2007, 12:35 PM
monckywrench monckywrench is offline
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"Do the front ends still wear out? How about the Engines,Trannys and Gauge clusters? "

Surf various F150 forums and look for what people have problems with. It's not a matter of the 1980s Fords, it's a matter of what breaks now. My newest are 1997 and 2000, so I haven't had the opportunity to beat on a new Ford. I let the early adopters take that risk.
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Old 12-02-2007, 01:17 AM
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The tranny's are much stronger now, engines last much longer and the front ends are of a more modern design with control arms and such. No more I-Beams. They are much better built and I don't know of any guage problems.
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Old 12-02-2007, 07:09 PM
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IMO, the best trucks ford has ever made were the 87-96 model f-150s. While a lot of people hate the TTB front axle and had lots of problems out of them, they are strong. I have seen several of the 97-08 series trucks with sheared control arm bolts and the like. Never have I seen a TTB axle broken on the trail unless the truck had 44's or something on it. And I would put money that my old 351H.O. F-150 would blister any of the new 5.4 Triton pos. and get better gas mileage to boot. 16mpg city. And as for the trannys my truck had 179000 when i got rid of it and no tranny probs. Regular maint. My dads 88 model had 210000 on it and only problem the whole time he owned it was the rear main seal on the 302. He actually sold it to get a 76 f-150 with the 390 also a great year for the Ford truck. But that is just my personal experience and $.02 worth. I am sure others opinions will vary, but it is an opinion.
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Old 12-02-2007, 07:42 PM
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The 80s Fords will nickel & dime you to death. I have an 86 F250 4x4. It is the worse truck I have ever owned. I talked about this in another post. I'm selling it & I'm either going back to Chevys, or buy Dodge. I drove a 1979 CK20 4x4 to 200,000 miles and didn't put anywhere near the money into that Chevy ( I used the heck out of it OFF-ROAD) than I have this Ford 183,000 miles (HARDLY EVER USED OFF-ROAD). we just picked up our 93 Chevy Lumina with 230,000 miles on it with no major problems to this point. Oh I had to replace the radiator last week because the plastic tank cracked. I have put 3 radiators in the Ford in 60,000 miles.
I'm pretty much done with Fords. When I poll the people I know personally that drive new Ford Trucks I get a 50% have good to say, & 50% have had nothing but trouble with them. For $40,000+ I'm not willing to risk a 50-50 deal.
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Old 12-02-2007, 09:12 PM
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id rather push my Ford than drive a chevy, or dodge, or toyota. I bleed blue. nuff said
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Old 12-03-2007, 07:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DesertStorm
IMO, the best trucks ford has ever made were the 87-96 model f-150s. While a lot of people hate the TTB front axle and had lots of problems out of them, they are strong. I have seen several of the 97-08 series trucks with sheared control arm bolts and the like. Never have I seen a TTB axle broken on the trail unless the truck had 44's or something on it. And I would put money that my old 351H.O. F-150 would blister any of the new 5.4 Triton pos. and get better gas mileage to boot. 16mpg city. And as for the trannys my truck had 179000 when i got rid of it and no tranny probs. Regular maint. My dads 88 model had 210000 on it and only problem the whole time he owned it was the rear main seal on the 302. He actually sold it to get a 76 f-150 with the 390 also a great year for the Ford truck. But that is just my personal experience and $.02 worth. I am sure others opinions will vary, but it is an opinion.
I would have to agree somewhat. Being that I work on all kinds of trucks all of the time , The 97-03 F150s have way more mechanical problems than the 87-96 trucks, at least the ones that come into my shop. I will agree that the current automatic tranny's are better than the 92ish era ones, but neither hold a candle to the old 3 speeds as far as reliability goes. IMO the newer engines are no better in the reliability department, they are just more powerful. I see 200K plus mileage older Fords all of the time, with the vast majority being the 300 I6, LOTS of those still around. The 2004 newer F150s seem to be built pretty well, front ends seem to be reliable as far a ball joints and tie rods are concerned.
I regularly see
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Old 12-11-2007, 08:39 AM
Dwayne302Torino Dwayne302Torino is offline
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This is not an F-150 comment but may give you a moments entertainment.Recently I had some 17" mags put on my 70 Ranchero by a local company .I supplied the mags w/tyres and they fitted them for the princely sum of NZ$22. I made a round trip from Wellington, New Zealand, to Auckland ( approx 650 kms each way ) to pick up a jukebox and a pinball machine that I bought online.So, Im on my back, the trucks looking a bit full but handling really well, no rolling,only bottoming out when I hit the odd pothole ( ahh ,its NZ ,make that quite a few potholes ).I make it through a twisty area called the Desert Rd ( not hot dry desert but a volcanic plateau ) which was really nasty at 2 in the morn in torrential rain, and stop for a coffee.Alls well, the rain stops, only 3 hours or so from home,so I fire the beast up and carry on.5 mins later the nose hits the blacktop with a huge BANG , Im so tired I barely react, which saved my life. The old girl skates for over a kilometer on the drivers side disc, going straight as a die the whole time.I manage to ease it over to the verge by the time it finally stops. The whole weekend has been a test of endurance and pigheadedness to achieve what I had so far, so of course the front wheel would fall off, why not? After letting the adrenaline settle I got the AA out, we got the spare on, as the threads werent stripped as I thought they would be,no,the tyre outfit hadnt tightened the wheelnuts on that rim. Well, I start it up and head on my way. The truck drove as perfectly as it had before, the alignment and steering geometry hadnt changed a bit.I was amazed, the hub and disc was sweet, all good.My faith in good old Ford steel shall not be shaken.Have a good one, and remember, it pays to doublecheck those wheelnuts if someone else works on your ride.Amen.
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Old 12-11-2007, 02:16 PM
Big Bad Big Bad is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DesertStorm
IMO, the best trucks ford has ever made were the 87-96 model f-150s.
The 97+ trucks are more reliable than 96- on average. I've seen numerous 97+ trucks with 300,000 miles and still running well. I've got a '01 Supercrew with 120,000 miles sitting in the parking lot now. The trucks drives, handles and rides like new. Zero rattles, in that entire time the truck has had 4 ignition coils go bad. That's it. The 4.6 still runs like a sewing machine and doesn't burn a drop of oil, last tank managed 19.29 mpg in mixed driving. The truck honestly seems to have gotten better with age.

Quote:
And I would put money that my old 351H.O. F-150 would blister any of the new 5.4 Triton pos. and get better gas mileage to boot. 16mpg city.
You would lose that bet, on both counts. The old F150 351Ws were turds without engine work. They were slower than the 5.4 trucks while moving much less weight and they delivered worse MPG too. The 351Ws only made 210 hp and 325 tq, and they felt like it. With all of the GT40 parts they only made 240 hp and 340 tq, 20 hp less and 10 ftlbf less than the PI 5.4.

Last edited by Big Bad; 12-11-2007 at 02:20 PM.
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Old 12-11-2007, 02:18 PM
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Deleted double post.
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Old 12-11-2007, 08:52 PM
snipAR-15 snipAR-15 is offline
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Originally Posted by osbornk
I agree. About the only thing they have in common is the Blue Oval.
no, its bigger now.
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Old 12-12-2007, 10:43 AM
BLK94F150 BLK94F150 is offline
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In regards to the front suspension, I've had no problems with my 2000 F150. Needed lower ball joints at 80K, but that's to be expected.

Now the rest of the truck=Biggest POS that I've ever owned. Major engine problems (5.4 which is slow and sucks fuel), transmission TC shudder, power door locks failure, driver's side E-brake locked up, digital odo flakes out now and again, and new for this winter-hard starting when cold.

I bought it with 59K and it now has 93K and I've got maintence OCD. Truck appeared to be well maintained and lightly used before I bought it based on service records found in the truck.


Hopefully the 04+ are better quality. By far the best Ford out of my 3 (2000 F150, 1994 F150, and 87 Ranger) was my 87 Ranger that I beat the crap out of. Only thing that ever went bad was a TFI module.

Mike
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