The F-150 is a tough vehicle with so much cost cutting that it is difficult to see to those roots. The 5.8L is excellent- smooth, quiet, powerful. The 4 speed auto needs an extra gear desperately but aside from a rough 1-2 shift is smooth and reliable. Brakes are shameful- no feel, squishy and hardly effective. Ergonomics are terrible- unless you are 7 feet tall you will need a broom handle to operate radio and HVAC controls. Good sound system. Quality is poor- panels do not line up, screws often fall out, fit and finish is poor. Drives on the road like an overweight tank should- tries to plow the pavement into submission, resulting in a harsh ride. Fuel economy is around 12 miles per gallon
Standard sound system is good, doesn't rattle, isn't harsh and has a good range. Off-road it is almost unstoppable through snow, mud, etc.. Handsomely designed exterior is simple and understated. Cloth seats are nice but somehow missing a headrest. The 5.8L V8, also known as the 351W, has been in design since the 70's and shows improvements over that age- smooth and powerful, it has excellent pick up and good low range torque but is choked by emissions equipment. Quarter windows in the front are a nice, simple feature. Easy to service engine bay.
Sadly the cost cutting is more than skin deep on this truck and that truly angers and saddens me. If only they spent a few dollars to not bungee chord the seatbelts to the center seat, if only they spent the time to align panels correctly, if only they spent talent to install larger, more effective brakes and better suspension and if only they put effort into increasing fuel economy this would be a perfect truck. Sadly its old but durable bones are let down by cheap components and corner cutting engineering. For that reason I would not purchase another one unless it was in absolute showroom condition and would be skeptical of a new Ford truck.
1996 Ford F-150 Extended Cab XL 2dr Extended Cab SB
Bought the truck over a year ago with 80,000 miles. Now got 96,000 miles did some work/maintenance on it. Rust is decent but its old. Told to get a manual cause "thats the only good setup with the 4.9," but i hate shifting that thing. Its slow as hell, and the mpg is about 15 no matter what. The engine is awesome but the M5OD stinks IMO cause it won't last long. Gotta replace all the hydraulic lines, master cylinder, and slave cylinder cause theyre too old and its leaking. Thats about all i gotta do but i can't wait to get a car thats better on gas and aint a pain to shift. Its not really that bad of a truck but I like to vent out about it. ha!
Trans sucks and manual trucks are only good for towing.
Was my first vehicle, passed down from my dad. Had the bullet-proof 300 inline 6, which made very little power, but never left me stranded. Only maintenance I ever had to do was tires, brakes, an oil, the thing was built like a tank. MPG's in the low teens, which is bad considering its lack of power and a V8. 4x4 worked well, although it became a chore to get into low range. Overall a good ole' boy solid truck, would buy one again if ever ever in the market for a pickup.
1996 Ford F-150 Extended Cab Eddie Bauer 2dr Extended Cab 4WD LB
Bought new in 1996, w/ 5.8L V8. Now has 190,000 miles. Ran relatively well. Replaced rear differential due to gear oil leak. Replaced also: AC compressor (imploded, costing $1400),radiator (leaked), water pump, alternator, cruise control pressure switch, all hoses and belt, master cylinder and brake booster, battery (twice),CD/radio (twice). Truck had a bad oil leak since 60,000 miles. ABS warning light last year resulted in inability to shift from Park to Drive; and now has the same trouble and I can't drive it -- probably needs to replace the ABS module(cost over $1000 the 1st time). Got stuck one winter in Donner Pass due to a broken special lug nut key -- Tow man raped my wallet.
Climate controls were easy to use, esp. with heavy gloves. Dual tanks were nice, until the front tank started shunting gas off to the rear tank, causing perilous hyperinflation pressures to the rear tank. The repairman at the dealership said my truck was probably "built on a Friday."
Take off the special lug nut key and use a regular lug nut. Hopefully I'll repair the truck's ABS problem soon. I'll probably keep the truck until it dies from a catastrophic collision.
Truck is solid. I bought this truck as a toy and put long travel with coilovers and have beat the heck out of it. Now it is used to tow my trailer and has never left me stranded. This is the best truck I have ever owned and have no negative comments. The only time this truck has been in the shop is to diagnose the check engine light which ended up being the faulty JET performance chip, do not buy one.