13th Apr 2004, 22:24

I have a 97 F150 off-road as well.

I had the leaking back window which took them three times to fix (very common on this model).

The brakes suck and always have. I and many others I have talked to have run stop signs when hauling trailers because the brakes are not designed properly. Of course, Ford won't admit it, they'll probably try to blame it on the tires.

I have the cracks on the door (very common on this model).

Beyond that, I have about 110,000 miles with not many problems.

Just replace the front seal on the rear differential.

The low maintenance ball joints are probably not a good idea, but you can get around that by installing zerts or replacement joints.

My local Ford Dealership is ABSOLUTELY worthless, that is why I drive to the town 30 miles from here if I cannot do it myself.

29th Sep 2004, 22:30

Hello everyone, I also have a '97 3 door XLT with the 4.6, and I have had similar problems. The leaking rear window and the chips in the doors are the only common problems I have encountered yet. By the way, I still owe a shade over 4K to the bank.

Also, I hear a 'clunk' underneath the truck in mid-turn. I can feel it in the steering wheel. It clunks on both left and right turns. I had the ball joints, tie rods and u-joints all replaced, yet the mysterious clunk still persists. I have had the truck for three years, bought it with 48K on it (October '01) and it will turn 100K next month (October '04.)

Another problem is the power window motors. The driver's side power window is fine. The passenger window (when pushed down) will actually stop moving after about 1/3 of the way. I have to raise the window slightly, then lower it back down again quickly for it to go down all the way. Sometimes I may have to go through this two or three times to get the window completely down. From the down position up, it works better. It only hesitates a little bit right in the middle.

Thanks to someone else, I know I am not the only F-150 owner that has a terribly annoying jingle sound coming from underneath the truck. I will try and do something about that tomorrow with some muffler clamps.

Through all of this though, it is not too bad for a truck that is almost 8 years old with 100K on it. I will just keep changing my oil and checking battery and engine fluids on time. That is all I can do. I will still consider Fords in the future.

26th Nov 2004, 12:19

I have a 98 f-150 long bed with a 4.6 v8. It is an XLT.

In 6 months my relationship with ford is history.

Allow me to explain what you all might already know about this vehicle.

I got my truck brand new.

It had the following warranty work done on it.

3 paint jobs. The paint is still coming off under the right side window.

Rear main seal replaced under warranty.

Drive shaft rebuilt, under warranty.

Complete brake overhaul, leaking fluid. Under warranty.

Thermostat replaced under warranty.

Ball joints done out of my pocket. 600 dollars.

Some kind of epa gas fumes recycle cannister to be replaced for the second time. first time out of my pocket.


23rd Feb 2005, 17:27

1997 F150 4.6 4WD Super cab, 103,000 miles.

I bought this truck 1 1/2 yrs old w/16k miles on it.

Absolutely fell in love with it - rode great, was dependable, gas mileage was hard on the wallet, but for the ride, it was acceptable. Through the next several years, only general maintenance was needed (plugs, wires, brake pads, battery, etc).

At about 80,0000, little things started - driver door handle screw stripped, PW motor lost power, noises in the suspension and engine at idle.

Since about 90,000, here's what I've had fail and replaced:

MAF sensor, O2 sensor, heater core, fuel filter, gas tank cap, both front sway bar links snapped, lower ball joints, Pittman arm, rotors.

I can now expect to replace U-joints, and what I believe is the clutch pressure plate, both big bucks if I have the shop do it.

My advice? Go ahead buy a new F150, but dump it around 70k when you can still get good $$$ for it. Just seems to me like these trucks are designed to fail just after the warranty runs out.

You can't say the Ford engineers aren't thinking - just not the way you would want them to think if YOU are the truck owner. I work in the jet engine business, and all the money we make is on service contracts.

Gotta go, gotta get to the bank : (

24th Dec 2005, 18:48

Never buy the first year of a new model/redesign. 1997 f150 case and point. Buy the 1996 year for the best value.