1985 Ford F150 XL or Base 300-Six (4.9L) from North America
Poster child for "Built Ford Tough"
At 300k miles the front seat wore out. The springs wouldn't support my weight (150 pounds) and caused me to sit so low that I couldn't see over the dashboard. About the same time it started developing a rust problem that was solved with bondo and paint.
The truck received a new cab floor and cab corners around 325k miles.
At 400k miles the synchronizers in the trans started dying. Now I have to double-clutch in and out of second gear.
At 440k miles the rear axle shaft broke while hauling two tons of firewood... This damage was entirely my fault. To the truck's credit, I was still able to drive it home with the 4x4 engaged.
At 485k miles the engine began losing compression. Cause determined to be a combination of bad valves and a bad head gasket (no coolant loss or contamination). Replaced valves, head, pushrods, and gasket.
At 500k miles the rust is back. Future plans are to replace the bad body panels and replace the box with a stake bed.
This was my first truck and she is still going! Over the last 11 years I have bought six other newer, nicer trucks intended to replace this one, and none of them have made the cut; all of them have since been sold.
It isn't the prettiest truck and certainly not the fastest, but it is rock solid dependable and has NEVER left me stranded in over 250,000 miles. This dependability means that dollar-per-mile it has the cheapest operating cost of any vehicle I have ever owned. Other than routine repairs (brakes, belts, oil, etc), all major repairs are listed above.
It squeaks and rattles a bit, the interior is utterly devoid of all modern comforts, and certain things like emergency stops and urban freeway driving are terrifying, but it has an "x-factor" that makes me smile every time I drive it.
Empty gas mileage: 14 MPG city and 19 MPG highway.
Towing 5500 pounds: 7 MPG city and 11 MPG highway.
Not bad considering a brand new truck can't do much better!
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 19th July, 2014
The 300 six was an amazing motor - durable, smooth, and with great torque. We had one in a truck with an automatic - lasted around 200,000 miles before we sold it with no problems. We had another in a van with the 5-speed (I think it was a 5 rather than a 4 speed); if anything even more durable, and certainly a bit better fuel economy than the auto.
Sounds like an awesome truck. Hang onto it, none of the newer trucks will ever compare for long term reliability, simplicity and ease of maintenance.
The 300 I6 is durable and super simple to work on, a great engine, had one in my 81 Ford camper van and sold it still running, with well over 400k on it. I'm sure someone is still driving that van today.
300 Ford Six. Enough said :)
Like the Windsor and 385-Series V8s, this was Ford powertrain engineering at its best.