1997 Ford F150 XLT 4.2 SPI from North America
Looks good, but don't buy one
The 1st thing that went wrong with this was the door locks.. There are little switches that signal to the computer that the door is open to the computer. And these switches would stick. I fixed that with some silicon lube..
Then A piece of the exhaust started to rattle.. It seems that All the '97 F150's have the same exhaust only modified to fit the length of the truck.. In my case, with extended cab, there was a 2' extension pipe in the center of the exhaust works. This was fixed with new muffler clamps.
The shifter knob then pulled off... This was irritating because I have never found a way to get it to stick back on.. The end of the stick has a spline and the knob is pressed on.. HOW STUPID!
There was always a squeal when I would turn the steering wheel. I took it to the dealership and they fixed it.. It was a bad pitman arm.
Another day I noticed a drip of 80/90w on the bottom of the rear end.. Took it to the dealership again and they replaced the rear end pinion seal.
Then I noticed small cracks in the doors above the handle, along the edge.. Ford will do nothing about this. They'll get theirs...
Over time the wind noise from the doors got worse.. This is due to the cracks mentioned above.
Then lights started going out in the instrument cluster.
The engine light turned on.. A shop charged me $90 to put it on their scanner. they told me it was the downstream O2 sensor.. I replaced that, helped alittle, but the engine light's still on..
Lately I have noticed the truck has gotten alittle "bouncier" than it has been.. I don't know what is causing this.. Bad rear shock, perhaps?
Then the transmission failed... This gets to me in a bad way.. Driving home from work everything seemed just fine, then I went to shift it into 3rd. 3rd was no where to be found.. Very discouraging.. It limped home and I went on the internet to look at transmission prices.. The transmission for this truck isn't even made by Ford, It's a Mazda/Toyo. Explains alittle..
The '97 '98 Ford F150 is very friendly at a glance. The ride is superb. The best handling truck I have ever driven. The power is good. The 4.2 litre split port induction V6 has 205Hp and with 2 wheel drive you get 25-27 Mpg. It has good looks and a nice feel. But they didn't spend enough time on the design, I'm afraid. And the 2Wd version is nothing but Cheap! When Ford builds a truck so cheap they won't even put one of their own transmissions into it- it's cheap. So cheap, in fact, that now I can't even sell it.. The truck is only worth $4,500 in good running order, and I still owe $9,000. My only option is to fix this pig and keep paying on it. It's really sad when you get suckered into something by someone you trust, into a nightmare of which you cannot wake yourself. This truck is the very 1st vehicle I have had with under 100,000 miles on the odometer. And this truck has had more problems than any car I have known to exist. My advice to you, if you own one of these is insurance fraud.. Wrap the damn thing around a tree and be done with it. For that is the only way you can escape it. Don't let this turn you away from Ford or 150, however.. I just got the bad one. If you get a 4x4 that is newer than '98 you should be OK. The '97 and '98s are bad and I got the one with the smallest engine, 2wd, and a manual transmission.. I guess I asked for this nightmare.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 23rd January, 2003