1996 Ford F150 XLT from North America - Comments

13th May 2009, 19:51

I have a '96 F150 XLT I6 with 48K miles, bought new, and it's a total waste of money. I have had nothing but problems with this truck.

Engine light comes on in cold weather, one cylinder will not fire in cold, terrible gas mileage, had to replace directional due to a short. ($400) Clutch slipping, 4 wheel drive went out and had to fix. Hard time getting it out 4 wheel drive.

I went to get some warranty work done on it at a dealership three times for loud winding noise in the drive train, and was told that was normal in short box trucks. I then took it to different mechanic and he said that the rear differential spider gears were not lined up properly and would cost $1000 to fix. I took it back to the dealership and explained that to them and they said that I voided my warranty by taking it to another mechanic.

I will not ever buy another Ford truck as long as I live. I grew up with Ford trucks, but it only takes one and bad mechanical support to drive me to go another manufacturer. Time to buy a Toyota or Nissan.

3rd Sep 2009, 11:56

I ran Ford Trucks all my life... and still continue to.

Right now I have a 1989 Bronco with 158,000 miles on it.. ugly as sin, but a great plow truck.

A 1989 2 wheel drive F-150 with 273,000 miles on it, engine doesn't even burn oil and the body don't have hardly any rust!

A 1996 4x4 F-150 that I bought at 105,000 miles and ran it virtually trouble free for 10 years, now it has the check engine light problem and loss of power, poor gas mileage. My think tank of mechanics says it might be blocked converters... it also blew an exhaust leak in the manifold gasket... which seems to confirm this. If anyone has had any experience with blocked converters on these, I'd like to hear from you...

Just picked up a used 1999... I haven't driven it enough yet to weed out any issues, but it seems to have a front end vibration at 50mph range. Maybe a wheel or tire problem, hopefully nothing more.. all the joints are good?

My older ones are all 4.9 straight 6's with 5 speed manual tranny. That was the best combination Ford ever made. 302's had issues and not really any more power for the extra gas they used. New one is the V-6... just don't have a power, hopefully it'll hold up so I can get my money out of it. I wish they still made the 4.9.

20th Nov 2009, 14:47

Hello all.

Its great that everyone is being open about their experience with these trucks, it helps give potential buyers a handle on what they might be buying.

My mother's family has been collectively driving Ford trucks and cars practically since the first one rolled off the line.

To be fair my dad started life as a full out GM guy. After he married mom and started to drive his father-in-law's Ford products, he was convinced to buy one himself - 1983 F250 Supercab longbox with a 351 and 4 spd. It outpulled his 83 GMC 2500 reg cab 350 and 4spd routinely. After that he has been buying Ford trucks for over 20 years now. I grew up in a red 1983 F150 Supercab and a 1992 F150 Supercab, and both trucks have given us 400,000+kms and close to 20 years service collectively.

First the bad, Fords 302, 351, and 400 small block Windsors are notorious for blowing a piston @ about 200,000kms (at least in our harsh Canadian climate). We have put new engines in both are trucks as they both served well past 300,000km each. We figure over 10-15 years a $3000 repair bill once is acceptable maintenance, given that we have virtually zero other problems beyond basic maintenance.

Second, the front twin I beam is one of the smoothest and hardiest suspensions known to man. It served well over 30 years in the Ford truck/van lineup. It is prone to wear tires out quicker than A arm style suspension, but takes a hell of a beating along the way.

Third, if you own a Ford, the leaks are free... just add oil (s) and forget about it.

Fourth, older Fords are a little harder on gas but the power payoff is worth the compromise IMO. Compare a 302 with a 305 Chev and it's clearly day and night... in fact we have dusted off many of a 350 powered GM with our many Ford v8s.

The Good:

The most reliable vehicles my family has ever owned. My uncle has had a GM and a Dodge in the time we have had a latest Ford. He laments the day he left the Ford village. The 83 GM aforementioned had thousands upon thousands of repair bills in the years we owned it... and the body was completely shook off. I can't deny the years of service from the general around our place, but we got tired of bodies that shook off by 200,000km and low payload capacities. At least at 200,000km our Ford chassis were still worth putting a motor into... we couldn't say that for the many Chevs and Dodges we have owned as well.

I have tried to be fair to all makes represented here, but if there is any question were our loyalties lie, my dad is currently shopping for a 3rd 10 year old Ford F150 (we buy them low miles and older).

Thanks and happy motoring!

21st Jan 2010, 23:01

I would like to challenge anyone who can tell me why my F-150 4x4 with 4.9 six motor vibrates when accelerating. Coasting, or drop it in neutral, it's fine. Give it gas and it vibrates. Check engine light has been on for a long time, but still ran good. Hard starting at times when it's hot.

Thanks, Tazz.

22nd Jan 2010, 14:46

You probably need to replace your motor mounts. If they have started to become worn, then that will certainly cause your truck to vibrate upon acceleration.

14th Feb 2011, 00:27

I'm a Chevy guy, but my Ford does great. It's all stock with a 351. It rides good, brakes are wonderful, 4 wheel drive goes good; pulled a truck out last night in wet slippery clay. The truck was a one ton dually, and it was down to the frame, and yes it was a diesel. I was very proud. ps I'm 17 and I felt like a badass LOL.

4th Jul 2011, 17:00

The 4.9 is one of the best engines ever built. I know of one a friend of mine has that just rolled over 900,000 km. You show me a Dodge or Chevy that will do that without replacing any major components.

21st Sep 2011, 11:53

The truck in question does not have ball joints.

24th Sep 2012, 09:56

Have you changed the oxygen sensors? These are usually ignored, but will give the codes you mentioned and ruin your fuel mileage. They should be changed at least every 50,000 miles.

28th Mar 2013, 20:32

Not all Fords are great, but I've had a lot worse Dodge and Chevy trucks. I had a 96 Ford F150 4.9L 5 speed, and I got it when it had 11,000 miles. Delivered pizzas for 22 winters and did lawn care for 27 years (3 kids in college). It had over 800,000 miles on it. I couldn't honestly keep track anymore. Only problems were shackles, push rod cover gasket, head gasket and simple maintenance.

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