Bland, durable, reliable, functional; everything a guy like me needs
I bought this truck from my uncle, who only had the oil changed every 3000 miles. Aside from that, he fixed things as they broke. I am proactive, however, and if something looks like it's failing, I replace it. With that in mind:
Heater core leaked. 16 dollar replacement and 45 minutes later I was done replacing it. (These trucks are simple to get at the heater core)
Radiator was full of nastiness, so I flushed/filled. The flush took about an hour until the water ran clear. Due to the nature of the thorough cleaning, the old hoses started leaking. I have replaced nearly every hose on the system since I cleaned the radiator. Cleaning it resulted in exposing hose leaks that were plugged up with crud.
The transmission was shuddering into overdrive. It has the 4R70W transmission. I was reluctant to change the fluid, since it had NEVER been changed. But I did it, and the transmission works well again. Smooth shifts, etc... The filter was changed as well. 125,000 miles on the same fluid resulted in only about 2mm of metal particles stuck to the magnet in the pan. (good in my opinion)
Windshield wiper control switch is fickle. You have to dink around with it to get them working right.
Wipers chatter on the windshield.
Gas tank has the problem where fuel from the rear tank dumps into the front tank. (Common problem)
The oil pan is rusting out. Cheaply made and painted. (common problem)
Oil is leaking from the pan gasket, but will be alleviated upon my installing a new pan.
I like this truck a lot. Simple to work on. Parts are reasonably priced. I am catching up on general maintenance for the most part.
Am installing new shocks today. Original ones are wearing out. New brakes needed as well at 125k miles. Thermostat was replaced at the time, but working. Replaced the PCV valve with a new one. Old one was still working. Replaced the fuel filter. Old one was still working.
The Achilles heel of these trucks are the expensive transmissions. Change your fluid regularly, and avoid expensive repairs. The E4OD is SPENDY. The 4R70W is not cheap either. The fluid gets old, and things self destruct.
The oil pan is an aggravation as well. Ford uses thin metal, and does not prepare it well for the weather. They rust internally and holes form. Replacing requires lifting the engine, which is just a pain.
But overall, I like the truck. It is not rusty at all (10 years old currently) It drives well. Fuel mileage is about 12-17mpg depending on how heavy my shoes are. It's comfortable for a bench seat. The lumbar airbag thing rocks.
Basically, this looks to be a vehicle that if you maintain properly, it will treat you well (if not, it's expensive as is any other vehicle.) And that's a fair deal, if you ask me.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 25th June, 2003