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Furious_E
Furious_E Dork
2/27/17 8:47 a.m.

The 92?/93? to 97ish F250 and F350. Every once in a while I'll see a nice one and remind myself how handsome these trucks are. Such was the case this morning, passed one on the way to work with a "for sale" sign on it - regular cab, looks to be 4wd with maybe a mild lift, nice two tone blue/white color scheme, bed sides appeared intact at a glance, and I think it's a 350...that's about all the detail I was able to decipher at 50mph, no clue on drivetrain (hoping it's a Powerstroke), mileage, ect.

I think I'm gonna stop and at least have a glance on my way home this evening. I don't have any personal experience with this generation of Ford, but they seem to hold up reasonably well. I know some (all?) of the F250s got the stupid TTB front end, but what else is there to know? How do they hold up? What goes wrong? How are they to work on?

81cpcamaro
81cpcamaro Dork
2/27/17 9:16 a.m.

The Twin I-beam suspension works okay, pretty durable design with not alot to go wrong. To me the steering is a bit vague compared to a Chevy, but not bad.

Powerstrokes first came out mid 94, and usually have the Powerstroke badge on the fender. Easy way to tell if it is the earlier IDI Diesel is see if there is an injector pump at the front of the engine with metal lines running to injectors. Powerstroke injectors are under the valve covers. I have more experience with IDIs so someone can point out what else to look for on Powerstrokes.

dropstep
dropstep Dork
2/27/17 9:18 a.m.

If its dual tank the front tanks like too rust. Shackles are also really prone too rust. The 302/351w distributors, coils and the coil plug are known issues usually related too moisture during heavy rains. Some tow package or industrial package trucks still used the c6 and 16.5 rims. If gas mileage is a concern thats an issue.

Front spring perches also rust, they sell bolt on replacements now.

Trans_Maro
Trans_Maro PowerDork
2/27/17 9:34 a.m.

If you want a smaller engine, buy one with the 300ci I6.

Other than that, buy the 460 or a diesel.

The 302 and 351 end up getting worked to death in these trucks and putting a load on them makes them suck as much fuel as the 460 but they don't make the same power.

There are two types of F-250 in these years. The standard F-250 which got all the light duty stuff underneath and the F-250HD which gets all the F-350 running gear. Usually the HD comes with a 460 or a diesel.

Later HD trucks also got the E4OD transmission instead of the C6 or AOD. Mine is a 1990 and has an E4OD

Furious_E
Furious_E Dork
2/27/17 10:12 a.m.

In reply to Trans_Maro:

The 250/350 only got the 351, 460, or 7.3 right? Did the HD 250 get the solid axle front end, or is it TTB as well?

What's the fuel economy like for the various engine options? Assuming probably mid-upper teens for the 7.3, and gallons per yard might be a more accurate measurement for the 460...

ultraclyde
ultraclyde UberDork
2/27/17 10:23 a.m.

My 96 F250 is an extended cab, long bed, powerstroke, 2wd. I love this truck. 239k miles and runs like a top.

I agree with avoiding anything but the 460 or Stroke in the HD trucks. On a diesel, look for excessive ring blow-by by taking the oil filler cap off, turning it upside down and laying it over the filler hole. If it's blowing past the rings it will push the cap off the hole witht he engine running. Also look for an XLT package for power windows, cruise, etc. Avoid heavily modded diesels.

Look for rust anywhere underneath. Look for rust or wet floorboards at the front edge of the doors - the cowl area seams are starting to be leak issues but aren't hard to repair if it's caught early.

Front ball joints and components are wear items. I just redid mine with high end parts for about $500 in parts. Steering boxes and steering shafts are also common issues for play in steering. Redhead makes a precision reman box for about $350, and a borg universal shaft will run you another $300 but they make it drive like new, or better.

The tank issue was mentioned, also check that switching between front and rear tanks works as it should. Fixable, but annoying.

Most all parts are available and cheap through any parts place, and even the weird bits are out there through folks like LMC.

I like the truck because it looks and feels like an old 70s truck, but the driving manners, capability, and amenities are modern enough to be usable. Despite mine being a long bed F250, it's still no bigger than a new F150 4dr shortbed. Has the attitude of a Peterbilt but fits in a parking lot.

EDITED for a photo:

ultraclyde
ultraclyde UberDork
2/27/17 10:27 a.m.

My mpg in mixed driving is around 16-17. long stretches of 55mph back roads can get into the mid-upper 20s unloaded with the tonneau cover on. That's with the 3.73 factor rear gears.

ultraclyde
ultraclyde UberDork
2/27/17 10:38 a.m.

fun reference - the entire factory shop manual is available online: Service Manual

ebonyandivory
ebonyandivory UltraDork
2/27/17 12:10 p.m.

If you get TTB, you'll wish you got the F350 with the solid axle (coming from a TTB fan).

Radiator support if it hasn't been replaced yet may well be in need of one.

Parts are cheap and plentiful.

From the F150 with the 4.9 on up to the F350 with the PSD, I'd say the best trucks Ford ever made or at least the last of the really good ones.

Ideal plan if you're able is to fly and drive from a dry climate.

thatsnowinnebago
thatsnowinnebago SuperDork
2/27/17 12:15 p.m.

What does "OBS" stand for in this context? I keep reading it as "Outback Sport" and I'm pretty sure that's wrong.

Ranger50
Ranger50 UltimaDork
2/27/17 12:18 p.m.
thatsnowinnebago wrote: What does "OBS" stand for in this context? I keep reading it as "Outback Sport" and I'm pretty sure that's wrong.

Old body style.

ultraclyde
ultraclyde UberDork
2/27/17 12:46 p.m.

Local trucks in Central GA To Craigslist!

Furious_E
Furious_E Dork
2/27/17 1:56 p.m.

So I found the truck in question on CL: Truck

It's a 96 with the Powerstroke and E4OD, 264k on the clock. Rust looks a bit worse in pics than it did in passing this morning and I think the price is a bit high in light of that and the miles. Only a two owner truck, though, and this guy has apparently had it for a decade plus. I'll still stop for a closer look on the way home.

Furious_E
Furious_E Dork
2/27/17 1:59 p.m.
ultraclyde wrote: My mpg in mixed driving is around 16-17. long stretches of 55mph back roads can get into the mid-upper 20s unloaded with the tonneau cover on. That's with the 3.73 factor rear gears.

That's pretty spectacular, actually. Wonder how much 4x4 affects mileage?

ebonyandivory
ebonyandivory UltraDork
2/27/17 2:44 p.m.

In reply to Furious_E:

1996 E4OD has the revisions that plagued the (iirc) 1994 and older 4 spd autos.

That sounds vague, I mean it's a good transmission, it's been upgraded.

Furious_E
Furious_E Dork
2/27/17 3:20 p.m.
ebonyandivory wrote: In reply to Furious_E: 1996 E4OD has the revisions that plagued the (iirc) 1994 and older 4 spd autos. That sounds vague, I mean it's a good transmission, it's been upgraded.

At that mileage, it's probably had at least one rebuild though, right? I've been lead to believe, through my casual research, that any auto transmission not named Allison living behind a diesel is on borrowed time. The E4OD seems to draw mixed reviews, certainly better than the universally maligned Dodge boxes but still not 100% trustworthy. Are they better than I'm giving them credit for? What would a rebuild run?

Ransom
Ransom PowerDork
2/27/17 3:28 p.m.
Ranger50 wrote:
thatsnowinnebago wrote: What does "OBS" stand for in this context? I keep reading it as "Outback Sport" and I'm pretty sure that's wrong.

Old body style.

I had to look it up. I cannot for the life of me figure out how it makes sense to use that term for an era of manufacture of something that's been iterating since the 1940s. In software, when someone offers to name a new version of something new_something or punt the old one to old_something, I offer to strangle them. Three years from now it's completely meaningless. Or you get to try to remember which old_something is which, or differentiate old_something from old_old_something. Or new_old_something.

Haven't they got a freaking model code?

EDIT: Apologies for the off-topic post. I just short-circuited.

curtis73
curtis73 PowerDork
2/27/17 4:27 p.m.

I owned two; an F150 with the 4.9L six/5speed, and an F250 stroke/E4OD. Loved them both.

Bulletproof. Proven drivelines, simple engineering, cheap parts, good trucks.

The F250 stroke I bought with 60k for $10,000. I drove it for 6 years, collected $3100 in insurance payouts (light rear-ending, hit the door on a pylon, and it was broken into) but never fixed any of it except replacing the radio for $40, and sold it with 140k for $7500. Love a truck that pays me back.

ebonyandivory
ebonyandivory UltraDork
2/27/17 4:30 p.m.

In reply to Furious_E:

The E4OD is based on the C6 but with several improvements.

The later one like this one may have been rebuilt.

But like any other automatic transmission, add a cooler or make sure the factory one is working (heat sucks) and don't tow or haul in OD.

Rodan
Rodan Reader
2/27/17 5:22 p.m.

I've had several over the years. '94 F150 302/5sp, '94 F250 4x4 460/auto, '95 F250 Powerstroke/5sp, and currently have a '92 Bronco 351/auto (basically a short F150). They're great trucks, simple and reliable. And IMHO just have a classic, handsome look.

The TTB front end is fine unless you're going to lift it more than a couple inches or do serious off-roading. In that case, the solid axle is better, but the TTB will be better on the highway.

E4OD is the stronger of the overdrive autos, and works well. Expensive to build, but most trannys are these days.

Trans_Maro is correct about engine choice... for off roading/ light duty in an F150, the 4.9 six is the choice to have (with a manual). Anything F250 and up, just get the 460 or the diesel. Our extra cab, 4x4, longbed F250 with the 460 got 14-15mpg on the highway. Our Bronco with the 351 gets 10mpg... and it's 1000lbs lighter.

Powerstrokes got an intercooler in '96. 302s got MAF EFI in '94, IIRC, everything else in '96. Not 100% on that, but the MAF EFI will be more tolerant of mods.

The nice thing is these trucks share a LOT of parts, and were almost identical '92-'96, and a lot of parts sharing goes back to the '87-'89 trucks. That means almost everything you'll ever need is always in stock at the local auto parts, and cheap. And there's a huge amount of info online on various forums.

Furious_E
Furious_E Dork
2/27/17 5:46 p.m.

A cursory visual inspection on the way home revealed no surprises. Rust is what's shown in the CL ad, frame is a little crusty but average for a PA truck, body mounts look good. Clear coat is kinda crappy and peeling, interior looks fair for the mileage. Looks like it's been generally used as a truck, but doesn't look abused. No signs of leaks or anything from underneath.

I think it might be worth a drive and a feeler on how flexible his price is.

Trans_Maro
Trans_Maro PowerDork
2/27/17 7:04 p.m.

An E4OD is a C6 that is beefed up with an overdrive added.

I've never had problems with the E4OD in my truck or the 4R100 (improved E4OD) in my wife's 2000 F-250.

I can't speak for the TTB trucks vs the solid axle as all of mine have been 2wd trucks.

I've got a 460EFI with a full Banks Powerpack system installed, it gets about the same mileage that Rodan mentioned. The Powerpack didn't save me any fuel but definitely upped the power. It was installed when my exhaust manifolds cracked and I needed a new exhaust at the same time. It was the same price to install the Powerpack as to put factory stuff on.

If you want to improve the E4OD, don't put a shift kit in like I did. Just buy an upgraded accumulator body and install that.

I need to put one in my truck because the shift kit is causing the trans to not downshift to first intermittantly.

ultraclyde
ultraclyde UberDork
2/28/17 6:58 a.m.
Furious_E wrote:
ultraclyde wrote: My mpg in mixed driving is around 16-17. long stretches of 55mph back roads can get into the mid-upper 20s unloaded with the tonneau cover on. That's with the 3.73 factor rear gears.

That's pretty spectacular, actually. Wonder how much 4x4 affects mileage?

For what it is, yeah, I'm pretty pleased. As far as I know the engine and trans have never been out of the truck either. The trans bucks a little on the 1-2 upshift occasionally on hard acceleration, but I suspect it just needs a fluid flush and filter change. I haven't done that yet (I know) but an Explorer I had was fixed with similar treatment.

Price on the truck seems a little high for my area, but not much. If that were a 4dr truck you wouldn't get it for less then 10k. Add another 2k if it was 4dr short bed, even with the rust.

FWIW, my 96 does not have an intercooler. I've heard that the change was made on some trucks but not all.

I've had some of the regular 'stroke guys tell me they don't even turn the OD off unless they're towing over 3 tons, but I'd be a little worried about that. I do tow my 2500lb boat/trailer with another 500 lbs of luggage and gear in the truck with the OD on and trans temps are rock solid, so who knows?

Furious_E
Furious_E Dork
2/28/17 7:40 a.m.

In reply to ultraclyde:

I agree it's a little high, I think closer to $7k is in line with what I'm seeing in the local market. Any concerns about the mileage?

edizzle89
edizzle89 Dork
2/28/17 7:43 a.m.
Ransom wrote:
Ranger50 wrote:
thatsnowinnebago wrote: What does "OBS" stand for in this context? I keep reading it as "Outback Sport" and I'm pretty sure that's wrong.

Old body style.

I had to look it up. I cannot for the life of me figure out how it makes sense to use that term for an era of manufacture of something that's been iterating since the 1940s. In software, when someone offers to name a new version of something new_something or punt the old one to old_something, I offer to strangle them. Three years from now it's completely meaningless. Or you get to try to remember which old_something is which, or differentiate old_something from old_old_something. Or new_old_something.

Haven't they got a freaking model code?

EDIT: Apologies for the off-topic post. I just short-circuited.

yea but most the older trucks already have a name for there body style, chevy has the square bodies, ford has the bull nose. its not a great term to use, especially now that there are several body style's after these ones. for example, the chevy (ford guys do too respectively) guys use the term NBS (new body style) for the LS engined silverado's, but with every new body style the add another N to it. When you get on the truck forums you will see guys saying NNNBS (new new new body style) which i think is 2012+. At some point those body styles just need to be given a name

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