1986 Ford F150 XL 4.9 I-6 from North America


Probably the most reliable truck ever made


Overall the truck has been very good to me and has only had minor problems.

The worst thing to ever happen to it was being hit by another car, resulting in the door having to be replaced.

As with most people who own this truck, the carburetor became loose and had to be tightened down again.

When the carburetor is not tightened down the catalytic converter pops and the truck backfires.

Tailgate handle ceased working at about 99,000 miles.

Passenger side brake had to be replaced after producing excessive heat at about 55,000 miles.

Sun has cracked and discolored the dashboard pretty well.

Clutch had to be replaced at about 105,000 miles.

Drivers side seat has a large tear in it after so many years.

Usual tune-ups and oil changes have been performed as needed.

General Comments:

The truck has the power to haul what you need reliably.

Over its life it has been inexpensive to maintain.

Its has never quit on me once.

Four-wheel drive works very well.

Truck runs better if converted to a dual exhaust rather than the stock single exhaust.

Engine still runs like new, even after 108,000 miles.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th May, 2003

16th Feb 2005, 19:24

Hi Steve,

My name is Bill Greene and I own the same exact Truck. Quick question on the exhaust conversion, What product do I use for this. I am not subject to california laws on emission's. Thank's Bill Greene

1986 Ford F150 4x2 4.9 liter 300 straight 6 from North America


The Best Pickup Made


For such higher mileage when I got my truck, not much has gone wrong. I needed to replace the brake lines cause they had rotted out. It would sometimes act like it was going to stall on the highway at speeds over 65mph, it was a faulty ignition module. Other than that its been routine maintenance.

General Comments:

I love my truck, I use it to pull my landscape trailer and it has no problems doing so, on hills or on flat ground. I expect to get well over 200,000 miles out of it. The engine has not been rebuilt, and runs like new. It has V8 power with better fuel economy.

And I gotta love the torque.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st December, 2002

1986 Ford F150 V8 351 from North America


A kick ass truck


The seat's are very flat with no padding left, but they never ripped. I've have put two new starters in it, and fuel pumps. The gas tanks also rusted out and I had to replace them. That's all the problems I have had other than a little putty in the rear fender wells.

General Comments:

This truck handles very well and has a good bit of giddy up and go to it. The other really nice thing is that it is easy to upgrade, and its like they say "Built Ford Tough"

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th October, 2002

1986 Ford F150 F-150 (Basic) 4.9 I-6 from North America


My next truck should be as good as this one!


The carburetor became loose on the block, greatly lowering vacuum and mileage. Problem existed for a long time before competent mechanic identified it. I probably drove 20 to 25,000 miles with it that way. Mileage was only 12-13 in city, 15-16 on highway. Simply tightening the carburetor raised vacuum from 17 pounds/feet to 20. Mileage went to 17 city and 23 highway. The mechanic said that this engine is well known for carburetors shaking loose.

The clutch went out at 50,000 miles.

I have had to replace the ignition switch.

Truck has stalled out when driving through lots of wet slush on road. It gets into distributor, as this is too close to the road below.

Water pump went out at around 60,000. The alternator was showing wear also, so the mechanic said it would be a good time to replace it, since he had everything loose in replacing water pump. (Alternator was working fine, however-- just preventative maintenance.)

Other things that I have done would be under the category of expected maintenance. Muffler and tail pipe. Fan belts. Plug wires. Tires. Front brakes replaced once. Original rear brakes still OK as of present. (No noise)

Oil gets changed at 2,000 mile intervals. I use Castrol 10W-40. I have used 2 ounces of Marvel's Mystery Oil for every 5 gallons of gasoline since the truck was new. It starts like a bomb and is smooth running. I hope to see this engine torn down some day, so as to get a look at the inside.

General Comments:

Very smooth and reliable, since I got the carburetor tightened up to the block. If your Ford 4.9 six is not smooth and has poor mileage, see if the carburetor does not twist a bit on the block. That would kill the vacuum. Then, too, you just might have a bad vacuum hose or two.

If you are used to V-8 power, you will find the 6 poor for passing, beyond 50 Miles per hour. It might be hard to keep up with traffic in mountain grades.

Ordering the truck with optional "Handling Package" was a mistake. It came sprung for 700 additional pounds in the rear box. I almost never carried much weight and this caused the truck to ride too stiffly all the time I've had it. Shocks never seem to take effect. My truck was the "Flare Side" version.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th May, 2002

8th Apr 2003, 19:03

I bought this truck used in '99 and I just sold it last week. It ran good for three years and I only had a few problems with it. My clutch did go out at 55,000 miles and my speedometer broke. It always ran smooth at any speed and was very reliable. Watch the alternator, it had to be replaced twice. Over all it was a great truck and I almost cried when I had to sell her.

15th Mar 2006, 09:51

My ford has been a great truck. I never liked fords until I got one. I have had very few problems with my truck. The only problems I have had have all been wiring problem, but they were nothing bad.

7th Oct 2009, 16:46

That is the most amazing vehicle I have driven or owned. As an old retired paramedic, I have driven every style, engine, make and model vehicle. I am the second owner, my friend was the first of this 1986 F-150 2x4, LOL. He bought it in 1986 and I in 2002, now it's 2009 and it has 258k.

I have had the same things as above... that carburetor though. It has been the biggest pain with two rebuilds and sticking floats and choke. It's time for smog-always passes, but the carb, vacuum leaks and not driving it are killing that truck and chances of passing. It runs horrible, which is my fault for letting it sit. But pound for pound, this truck is indestructible! All that 300ci's, 4.9L and Four on the floor. I have been so tempted to put a bigger Carb on - then that single that I probably should replace. But who can argue with 24 miles on Hwy. My new Nissan doesn't get that?

People don't believe me, but I keep everything on that truck. It's called the "brown bomber" that faded Ford Brown and now I am fighting minor rust on hood and top here in Ca.? It will pull anything, torque no problem. I love the truck literally even though the tires are worth more, per Kelly? """"Has anyone put a 4 or 2 barrel on their straight six?"""""?

Great Great Truck!