View Full Version : Look'n at Get'n me a Ford Truck

11-19-2002, 11:31 AM
Ok, the trans is totally crapped out in my 92 Saab 9000T. While I try to decide what to do with that car, I have
considered getting myself a truck for the winter. I really need a
truck. (mostly to pull big boats around, as well as cars) I already
have a utility trailer for my Saab, but it just doesn't cut it for
pulling a
sailboat that weighs 6500 lbs on the trailer.

So, I found a 1991 Ford F250. 120,000 miles, 7.5 liter V8 (Thats
460 CI) 3 Speed Auto, 4X4. It has some rust on it, and needs a
front wheel bearing. I'm sure it will only get 10-15 miles to the
gallon, but that doesn't really matter, because I walk to work most
days. Price is cheap Probably below $2000 for it.

Does anyone have experiance with these trucks? How long are the
motors good for? It has never been plowed, and has had two
owners. Other stuff to look for?

Gary Bergman
11-19-2002, 01:17 PM
We've used nnuttin but 250's,350's and 459's at work. would use anything else. Myself, a 56 F=100 and a 98 Ranger 4x4. Nuff said

gunnar I am
11-19-2002, 01:22 PM
Hey!! Somebody go up in the attic and get Scott Rosen!! Heh,heh,We'll turn this thing into a 4 page thread! :eek: :eek: :D :D

11-19-2002, 01:35 PM
I'm going to go have a look at it in the next couple of days, but I have a feeling this might be a good truck. As long as there isn't too much rust to deal with/get worse. Once I get my Saab back on the road the truck will only be used occasionally, so I'm not too worried about stuff busting, but I don't want it to rust to the ground in 6 months.

Gary, how long have the engines lasted in your work trucks? I'm still not totally confident that the 460 will contiune to run without problems over 140,000 or so. Who knows, maybe it will go forever.

BTW, the other truck I'm thinking about getting is a 1956 Chevy 3100. We have a 55 that lost the war to rust, but still runs good. About the same price for the 56 as the 91, but it doesn't have 4 wheel drive, and it can't pull all that much.

Keep the info coming!


[ 11-19-2002, 05:02 PM: Message edited by: Noah ]

Jim H
11-19-2002, 03:54 PM
Ask whether or not the timing chain, water pump, radiator and fuel pump have been replaced. I have 158,000 miles on my '95 Bronco and just had to replace the "plastic" radiator.


11-19-2002, 05:44 PM
If'n yer thinkin' of hauling a heavy trailer w' a Ford automagic tranny, install a transmission oil cooler - even in winter. It's cheap insurance. Several buddies have or have had this combo of motor & trans (mostly contractors who do heavy hauling and/or winter plowing), and all say that the weak points are trans, timing chain, and if really brutalized the crank becomes an issue, though this latter one is unlikely in your case.

11-19-2002, 05:51 PM
I love my truck. I have a 89 f-250 xtra cab with the 460. 195,000 miles, replaced the heads about 60k ago, and the whole front end last year, but I plow with it.
I beat the piss out of it every day. 3/4 ton.......well I've had over 5000 lbs in the bed.
Check and make sure it's only a bearing, the front ends are expensive.

Mr. Know It All
11-19-2002, 09:01 PM
The 460 is a beast. Ditto the tranny cooler if used for towing. All Fords leak oil and require frequent PCV valve repacements. Had a 1975 Lincoln wth a 460. My many Ford Trucks have allways had either the 302 V-8 or the 300 6-cyl. Make sure the brakes are good before towing your boat anywhere. Sounds like a screamin demon :D
Kevin in Ohio

11-20-2002, 12:07 AM
Last I heard... 4WD trucks dont really have front bearings.... Least not in the same sense that a 2WD truck does....

11-20-2002, 12:39 AM
Mrleft8, oh, yest they do! I've got the receipts to prove it, unfortunately. :mad: ;)

11-20-2002, 12:04 PM
Thanks guys. This have given me the desire to at least go drive the thing. I was worried that if I did that I would end up driving it home, but who knows.

I'm not too worried about fixing stuff as I have done almost everything to a car that you can do, but it is the parts cost that really hurts...

One last thing, the seller mentioned that it pings going up a hill. The first thing that I would check is the timing, and then see if the dist. is advancing properly, but what else could be causing this? Too much carbon on the valves? Do you think that it spells more trouble?

If I get it I will out in a trans cooler before I go towing anything. It doesn't have a hitch on it, so I know that it wasn't used to tow before.

Also, what is required in rebuilding the front end? Bearings, balls joints, etc? What would the total cost be either in parts of having someone do it?



Ian McColgin
11-20-2002, 12:07 PM
I've forgotten. Does it stand for





Jim H
11-20-2002, 01:45 PM
That's funny, my '95 Bronco XLT (302) has a transmision cooler built into the exhisiting radiator (Which I discovered yesterday to be a plastic shell crimped onto an aluminum core :mad: ). I would imagine that you'd have the same set-up in the 250 & 350 series.

11-20-2002, 03:28 PM

Some guy just tried to cut me off on the inside. He was in a toyota p/u. While my truck came out ok,(gunched my fender and quarter panel) my bumper tore off his quarter pannel, driver's door, flattened both tires and removed his rear axel from the frame.his bed is also now convex.

11-20-2002, 03:51 PM
This Just happened? Sorry to hear about it, and I'm glad that you are ok, and so is your truck...

I'm kinda looking forward to getting this thing.

Redone, what kinda gas mileage do you get?

11-20-2002, 04:18 PM
Ohhh-ohh! Noah, ya shoudn't aughta ask this....

11-21-2002, 09:53 PM
Well, tonight I went and drove the truck.

I'm thinking I'm going to pass on this one. From what I can tell it needs brakes (maybe a master cylinder) they were very squashy, and almost went to the floor. The pads and rotors were ok on the front, so that makes me think that it either needs calipers or a complete bleeding, which could possibly fix it.

When you really put your foot to the floor you can here some valve knock, which makes me think that the timing chain is stretching or something like that. Either way, I would say that it needs to be replaced along with a complete tune up.

That is really all that's wrong with the truck, but it does have some rust which worries me. I think that in the next year it will be a total rust bucket. (at least would need a new bed and two front fenders)

I think that I could get it for around $1500, which is a pretty good deal, but I would end up sinking another $500 minimum into the thing in the next six months, and it really wouldn't get that much use.

Thanks for your advice, and I would be intersted in hearing what you Ford guys think I should do. Maybe I'm being overly cautious, but usually if you can find 3 things wrong on a test drive there are more to come.


11-22-2002, 07:23 AM
A 1991 truck with medium/high mileage and two previous owners is entitled to have a few things wrong. Spark knock in a 460 when you really put your foot in it is pretty much normal. Those engines were almost designed to use high test gas which almost nobody buys especially for a beater. If the brakes are spongy but still effective it sounds like air or water in the lines. A bleedout isn't expensive and you can do it yourself. Even replacing the pads is an easy afternoon job.

I wouldn't worry about the nickel and dime stuff as it sounds like you're only going to use it as a part time hauler anyway. Front bearings and seals on a 4x4 can run into some serious green. That would be my focus.

11-22-2002, 09:29 AM
The transfer case worked fine. Both 4wd Hi and Low worked great with no problems.

There was some clunk when you put the thing into gear, (not from the transfer case) IE U-joints, but it wasn't too bad.

I'm still thinking about getting it, but I have a gut feeling that it will need more.

I think that the soft brakes could be a real problem...


[ 11-22-2002, 09:31 AM: Message edited by: Noah ]

11-22-2002, 09:48 AM
It WILL need more ... at least a few times each year "you pay it in payments, or repair" or something like that, right?

I don't care how good of shape a vehicle is in, at 120,000+ miles, there will be consistent maintencance if you want to keep it effectively running for more than a year or two.

That being said, there is a reason that FORD has been the best selling truck in the US for what, 19 years now? They're doing something right ... and it ain't just advertising ...

David Tabor (sailordave)
11-22-2002, 03:02 PM
Well yes, Fords are pretty good and I (mostly) like my '96 F-250 SuperCab 4WD. BUT, in '97 the MLT sensor (shifts the tranny) went out while we were on vacation in RI, '99 the front 4wd hub went out; they fixed under warranty, a month later, the week after the warranty expired the other hub went out in a snow storm... They still fixed it as a warranty item. 2001 the Torque converter went out, $1000 thank you very much and this after I had complained of a noise for some time. (sounded like the ping pinging of a jet engine that's NOT running but the blades are turning from the wind blowing through it) I've also had it start shifting really hard like the tranny fluid is built up and the computer code says that's the problem but they can't find any other sign of trouble and then after the computer is cleared it goes away....
Overall it's a pretty good truck and the 3/4 ton capacity is great, but it's the only American vehicle I've ever bought and probably will be the last....

Doug B
11-22-2002, 05:49 PM
if you want answers about ford trucks try www.ford-trucks.com (http://www.ford-trucks.com) The folks there are as passionate about fords as we are about wood boats.