Used 1997 Ford F-150 Consumer Reviews
I now have 275,000 miles on my 97 F150. The only thing I have had to do to it is new front brake pads, new fan belt, 1 new battery, change plugs and plug wires twice, 3 sets of tires, 1 set of shocks, 1 coil pack, and kept the oil changed. Everything else is original. If this truck was to quit on me today I would buy another one. I park it on a concrete driveway every day and there is not one drop of fluid where it sits. I love driving a truck that is paid for and I can depend on!
I bought this new in 1997 and put on 151,000 miles on it in 9 years. It is well built and reliable. The only unscheduled repair was when the transmission broke at 98,000 miles. It was rebuilt for $2,000. Otherwise, absolutely no problems. Now at 151,000 miles it needs some repair but it shouldn't be too bad considering the low repair history so far. I'd say investing $2,000 now would buy me another 3 years of trouble free driving. Don't be afraid to grab one of these used if it has a clean bill of health. It will last you a long time.
Ford discovered a calibration error on the block boring machine that ended up over boring the early 5.4L engines for all of '97 and half of '98. This was discovered (especially up north) when many fleet trucks with this new modular engine began to knock like a rod bearing going out during cold weather start-up after approximately 85,000 miles. After engine warm up or in warm weather (well above freezing temperature) the knock subsides (metals expand in heat). Apparently, according to the tech bulletin issued in late '98-'99, the cylinders in the 5.4 L's we're accidentally over bored causing piston slap when cold during startup, and stated it would not harm the engine or interfere with function or performance. After purchasing a 35,000 lariat 4x4, I found the news disappointing at best and little consolation for owners that have to listen to an annoying knock in the engine until warm-up of the engine or warm weather (which ever comes first). Mine has over 160,000 miles as of this note date, and has not burned oil, but simply irritates me that Ford would not do anything about it (expense of putting oversized pistons in these engines to cure the issue). WARNING: AVOID the 5.4L engine in the '97 and most of the '98 Ford vehicles at all cost. Beyond that they're good engines!
Bought it new. Original brakes lasted 80k and first set of tires lasted 90k. Unbelievable but true. One breakdown in 8 years (ignition interlock). Plan on keeping it for as long as possible.
I bought my truck in 2000 w/ 54,000 miles on it. I just broke 300,000 miles with maintenance consisting of oil changes, brakes, heater core, basically a new front end, starter, and alternator. I had an 86 f150 prior, thought it was the best truck ever. i was wrong this one was. the sad part of the story is the motor just locked up on me. However, i will either put in a new one or buy another 1997 with 100 or so thousand miles. can't say enough good things about this truck! it may be 15 years old, but if u can get ur hands on one for a decent price, run with it. Born and raised a ford man