Ford F-Series


The Ford F-Series is a range of pick-up, bus, and truck chassis from the Ford Motor Company that has been available since 1948 and is now in its fourteenth generation. We wanted to take a good look at all the generations and here is part 2 of the Ford F-Series history.

The vehicle has been the best-seller in the USA for the last 43 years and, with a total of 40 million units produced, it is in second place worldwide behind the Toyota Corolla as of April 2022.


Ford F-Series 7th Generation (1980 - 1987)

Ford F-Series 7th Generation


The seventh generation of the successful Ford F-Series pickup came in 1980 with a completely new look. The new model had a much more angular design than its predecessor. The grille ran the full width of the vehicle and featured a rough honeycomb pattern with the Ford logo in the middle.

Due to the constantly rising fuel prices, Ford placed particular value on lower air resistance in the revised body in order to reduce fuel consumption. Plastic and aluminum were used to reduce the weight.

Generation change brought some innovations with it. Ford was the first to build an all-wheel-drive pickup with independent front suspension and halogen headlights were now standard. Galvanizing of body panels to protect against corrosion was also used for the first time.


The Design

The Ford F-Series was offered in three body styles: Regular Cab, Super Cab, and Crew Cab. The trim lines available for the F-Series until 1981 were Custom, Ranger, Ranger XLT, Ranger Lariat, and Explorer Choice. 

Beginning in 1982, the Ford Ranger became a model in its own right, replacing the second-generation Ford Courier model. In the same year, the equipment packages were renamed "Base", "XL", "XLS", "XLT Lariat" and "Explorer". 


The Power

As before, the 4.9-liter 300 CID was used as the basic engine, which delivered 117 hp and 125 hp. A 3.8-liter V6 engine followed two years after the market launch but was withdrawn from the range again at the end of 1983 due to poor sales figures.

The V8 standard engine 302 Windsor, which has been available since the start of sales, delivered 99 kW / 133 hp. After a revision in 1985, the power was increased to 140 kW / 190 hp. In terms of fuel efficiency, Ford also briefly offered the downsized version 255 Windsor V8 with 86 kW / 115 hp.

The 351M and 351 Windsor V8 engines, each with 101 kW / 136 hp, were replaced in 1983 by the improved 351 Windsor V8 with an increased output of 110 kW / 150 hp. Most of the engines were combined with the 3-speed automatic transmission named "Select-Shift".


Ford F-Series 8th Generation (1987 - 1991)

Ford F-Series 8th Generation


The 8th generation of the Ford F-Series pickup was produced from 1987 to 1991 and was the first pickup to have a standard anti-lock braking system for the rear wheels. The streamlined design of the new F-Series differed significantly from that of its predecessor.


The Design

The front was designed more aerodynamically and the previously fully integrated headlight unit (including indicators) moved to the corners of the vehicle in the 1987 model. For the first time, individual light bulbs could now be replaced, while the entire headlight unit had to be replaced in older models. 

There were also new fenders, a new hood, and a grille with twelve rectangular openings. The chrome that has been used extensively up to now has been partially replaced by black plastic in the 8th generation and the interior has also been completely revised.

The Ford F-Series was available in Custom, XL, XLT Lariat trim levels and from 1990 also in the Nite variant.



  • F-150: ½ ton, 6,250 lb GVW 
  • F-250: light-duty ¾ ton, 7,700 lb GVW
  • F-250HD: ¾ ton, 8,800 lb GVW
  • F-350: 1 ton, 11,000 lb GVW 

For the 1988 model year, Ford introduced the Super Duty F-350 model. This small truck bridged the gap between the regular F-350 and the medium-duty F-600. It was significantly larger than the basic model and featured dual tires on the rear axle. The standard F-Super Duty was powered by a 7.5-liter V-8 engine. A 7.3-liter diesel was also available as an option.


The Power

The 4.9-liter engine already used in the previous model received an electronic injection system instead of a carburetor and an increase in output to 150 hp. The 5.8 and 7.5-liter gas engines also had fuel injection, so from that point on Ford no longer offered carburetor F-series pickups.

The 6.9-liter V8 diesel engine was replaced by a 7.3-liter diesel V8 with an output of 130 kW. Depending on the model, power was transmitted by a 3, 4, or 5-speed manual gearbox. From 1989, a 4-speed automatic was also available.


Ford F-Series 9th Generation (1992 - 1997)

Ford F-Series 9th Generation


In 1992, the 9th generation of the successful Ford F series followed. It was a great revision for the best-selling truck in the USA and it kept on selling just like its predecessors. 

The Design

In favor of improved aerodynamics, the lines of the hood, front fenders, and radiator grille on the new model have been rounded. Next to the enlarged radiator grille, there were now headlights that extended aerodynamically around the corners and into the fenders. New exterior mirrors and a revised tailgate completed the new F-Series look.

The interior was also modernized and received new seats and door panels in addition to a redesigned dashboard. The modernized instrument panel now featured better controls and a power supply.

SuperCab models were now fitted with a larger rear window and three-point rear seat belts.

For 1994, the Ford pickup's dashboard was again slightly redesigned and driver's side airbags were now standard, along with a third brake light and CFC-free air conditioning. Radio remote control, an alarm system, a CD radio and an electrically adjustable driver's seat were also available as options.



  • Custom (1992-1993) - was in the range until 1993, after which XL became the new base model
  • XL (1992-1997)
  • XLT (1992-1997)
  • Nite (1990-1992) - was initially carried over from the previous model, but was discontinued at the end of 1992.
  • SVT Lightning (1993-1995) - The sport version of the F-150 from the Ford Special Vehicle Team, included special sport suspension, 17-inch alloy wheels, front spoiler, special bucket seats, and an upgraded 5.8-liter V-8 engine with 240 hp.
  • Eddie Bauer (1995-1996, only for F-150/F-250) - named after the outdoor clothing company, included two-tone paint, air conditioning, and alloy wheels.
  • 4×4 Off-Road (1992-1997)
  • F-150: ½ ton, 6,250 lb GVW
  • F-250: 1992-1995, ¾ ton, 8,300 lb GVW
  • F-250: HeavyDuty: 1996-1997, ¾ ton, 8,800 lb GVW
  • F-350: 1 ton, 10,000 lb GVW
  • F-Super Duty: from 1 ½ ton truck, 16,000 lb, gross vehicle weight rating

The various F-Series models came in many different flavors – from simple chassis and cab base models to XLT-trimmed pickups with lots of chrome and plush seats. 


The Power

Depending on the model and equipment, the new Ford F-Series was available with the many gasoline engine options starting from a 4.9-liter six-cylinder with 145 hp, all the way to a 7.5-liter V8 with 245 hp. There was also a 7.3-liter turbo diesel engine option with an output of 215 hp. 

A 4- or 5-speed manual transmission ensured the power transmission in most of the Ford pickup models. A 3- and 4-speed automatic transmission was also available for some trim levels.

Ford F-Series 10th Generation (1997 - 2004)

Ford F-Series 10th Generation


With the 10th generation of the F series, the manufacturer brought a completely revised model onto the market in 1997. Production for this new series actually started in 1995 behind closed doors.

Henceforth the larger vehicles were separated from the light F-150 and F-250 models and ran as separate models in the Ford truck division. The Super Duty was now finally its own model. The F-150 and F-250 models have been redesigned and given a more modern, lighter chassis.

The 10th generation F-Series enjoyed great success and was voted “North American Truck of the Year” constantly, among other awards.


The Design

The new F-Series pickups were available in a variety of body styles. As a 2-door RegularCab, as an ExtendedCab (extended driver's cab) with three or four doors, as a 4-door CrewCab, and as a SuperCrewCab version, also with four doors.

As an industry-first pickup, the SuperCab model received a rear passenger-side hinged door that opens only after the passenger door is opened, allowing access to the rear of the cab. In addition, the SuperCab version received a second rear door on the driver's side - the previous model only had this on the passenger side.

In 1989 Ford reached a milestone - the 50th anniversary of the F-Series. The manufacturer did not let this anniversary go unnoticed and, in addition to numerous promotions, a prototype of the anniversary model "NASCAR F-150" was also presented.

In March 1999, the "SVT F-150 Lightning" model returned with RegularCab, sports suspension, and Goodyear tires. The F-150 Lightning was powered by a 5.4-liter V8 engine that had 360 hp and a maximum torque of 440 Nm. 

The premium "King Ranch" version of the F-Series celebrated its market launch in the model year 2000. The King Ranch had, among other things, two-tone paintwork and a rich leather interior.

In 2000, the first "Harley-Davidson" edition was presented. The F-150 model with SuperCab was painted black and had a flareside flatbed with a fixed bed cover. Visually, the special model attracted attention above all with the special radiator grille, chrome bars below the doors, front with fog lights, and Harley-Davidson logos. 

In the interior, the pickup had black leather seats, black leather door panels, and Harley-Davidson lettering, among other things. The F-150 Harley Davidson featured two-wheel drive, a 5.4-liter V8 engine, and a sport-tuned exhaust. A second and third version of the Harley-Davidson Edition followed - all based on the F-150 SuperCrew.


The Power

The range of engines in the 10th generation Ford F-Series was also completely revised and now included just three engines: a V6 engine with 4.2 liters displacement and two V8 engines with displacements of 4.6 and 5.4 liters. 

A diesel engine was not available for the latest generation of the F-Series. For the first time in almost fifty years, the range of engines no longer included in-line six-cylinder engines. The power transmission took over a 4-speed automatic transmission, which was carried over from the SuperDuty models.


Protecting Your Ford F-Series

 Protecting Your Ford F-Series


In this second part of our series, we talked about the development of Ford F Series through the 80s, 90s, and up to mid 2000s. They are built to last and they are the best choice when it comes to pickup trucks. 

The enormous sales figures show that Ford F-Series trucks are special for most people who drive them. They are always up to the challenge but they still need protection just like any other vehicle. 

As one of the greatest manufacturers, Ford Motor Company decided to help their customers by finding an official partner in protective equipment. They are called the Coverking and they have everything you might need in their catalog for your Ford F-Series. 

If you are ever going to park your Ford truck somewhere for longer than a week, you are going to need covers, both indoors and outdoors. For interior, we recommend a custom seat cover and a molded dashboard cover to protect it as much as you can.



Coverking Links


Tankut Basar

Tankut Basar is an ARA (American Rally Assoc.) Racing Driver and an FIA Bronze Category License Holder. His passion for driving began with karting like most racers. He started racing internationally at the age of 22. Tankut loves everything car-related and will keep enjoying the drive until the end.