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Old 02-24-2013, 09:57 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Truck opinions!

I'm looking this summer to purchase an F-150 but my question is do i look into the 90-96 era 5.0 (my personal favorite and love) or 97-02 era 5.4? 4x4 must. I just wanted to know if anyone had any thoughts about these trucks, reliability, common problems etc that would help me in my decision? thank y'all!
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Old 02-24-2013, 10:09 PM   #2 (permalink)
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If you want cheap parts the 92-96 models are nice. Ford sold 800,000 F-Series trucks in 1996 alone. I can vouch for durability and safety! Though I haven't had the 5.0, but the two (a '92 F-150 with the 4.9 six cylinder and a '96 F-250 with the 460) were both extremely reliable. That being said, I don't trust electronic-locking hubs of that era. The F-250's were broke when my parents bought it (parents found out on the test drive, dealer fixed it, and switched them to Warn manual hubs for no extra charge), and the Suburban they had didn't have working 4x4 when they got it either. Dealer fixed it, five years later it engaged on its own at 80MPH. Bye bye 4X4!

Look for one with manual locking hubs, for either series.

Also, if you're looking to swap the stereo, the slot for the radio in the ninth-gen trucks is perfect-you don't need a ridiculous adapter.
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Old 02-24-2013, 10:20 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I would stay way from the 5.4. I dont think I have seen one that hasnt blown a plug or isn't ticking or knocking like hell. The 5.0 is a great motor. I had one in my 92 and 88 Broncos. The only thing I needed to replace is the valve cover gaskets. They are easy to work on as well. They do have a tendancy of leaking from the rear main seal though.

Another point to note is the steering boxes in those years. Junk IMO, but VERY easily replacable.
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Old 02-24-2013, 10:30 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Yeah, the steering box will whine no matter what. Granted, it will get worse when it's going out, but it's normal to hear it working, unlike most cars.

I sheared the shaft connecting the box to the tie rods off when I got in an accident. Body shop said they'd never seen anything like it, and tried to say I'd been curb hopping when I brought it back after they didn't bother aligning it (seriously, you replace the front axle and suspension and don't think to align?)
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Old 02-25-2013, 11:39 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Being that you're in the Northeast, in terms of the body condition, a newer truck will have had less time to rust. If I were you, I would go newer, but that's just my two cents.
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Old 02-25-2013, 11:56 AM   #6 (permalink)
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But those ninth-gens were beautiful trucks.
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Old 02-25-2013, 12:26 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sousa632 View Post
I would stay way from the 5.4. I dont think I have seen one that hasnt blown a plug or isn't ticking or knocking like hell. The 5.0 is a great motor. I had one in my 92 and 88 Broncos. The only thing I needed to replace is the valve cover gaskets. They are easy to work on as well. They do have a tendancy of leaking from the rear main seal though.

Another point to note is the steering boxes in those years. Junk IMO, but VERY easily replacable.
The spark plug issue aside, Modular engines are incredibly reliable and will do 500,000 miles without issue. There's guy with an econoline van that got almost 1.4 million miles out of one. The 4.6 has seen duty as a taxi cab engine and they were very durable in that application.

Also, the guy who lives a few houses down from me has a 2004 F150, it has 250,000 miles and the drivetrain has never been touched. The 5.4 sounds good!
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Old 02-25-2013, 01:34 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Heh, my parents might be putting this one up for sale in a few months! Rust-free (California and AZ truck)

But with gas the way it is, you won't be able to afford to drive it (7 city/12 highway)
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