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.

General Comments:

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

20th Jul 2014, 13:30

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.

1985 Ford F150 XLT Lariat 351w from North America


I LOVE this truck


When I first purchased it, the timing needed to be set up, and the radiator needed to be replaced.

A few months after purchasing it, the alternator went out.

A week after the alternator went out, the starter went out.

A few months after replacing the starter, the alternator went out again.

A few months after the second alternator replacement, the battery was too old to hold a charge anymore.

A couple weeks ago, the dual fuel tank switch quit working.

General Comments:

All in all, I love this truck. I drive it everyday and use it as a work truck.

I liked my previous truck, which was a 1982 GMC Sierra Classic, but that rusted in half.

This truck has been garage kept its whole life, and I continue to keep it garaged. This is a half ton two wheel drive standard cab long bed model, which is my favorite.

Although I do like four wheel drives, I just can't let this truck go.

It is a beautiful two tone blue. It is mostly dark blue, with light blue going down the sides, and dark blue again at the very bottom. I have added 15" Cragar SS wheels and tinted windows to make this truck stick out a little, and it looks awesome.

I have had this truck for a little over 2 years now, and it has never given me a lot of trouble; just the normal things that wear out with any older vehicle.

I also have dual straight pipes with glasspacks that make this truck the beast it is.

All I can say is I love this truck, and it's my most favorite ride I ever had.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th September, 2010