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Discussion Starter #1
I've been looking around for a decently priced F-150 for a while. Haven't been to serious about it, as I do not really need another vehicle. But, I love the 92-96 body style F-series and Broncos. Don't get me wrong, I'm definitely going to get a Bronco sometime in the future. But a pickup makes more sense at the moment.

Let's say $3,000 price range.
Haven't been able to find many F-250's for sale (would like a heavier duty pickup), but there are so many F-150's out there, good deals can be had.
Must be 4x4

Want an 8' bed, but not absolutely necessary. Either regular cab 8', supercab short bed, or supercab 8' (think that covers everything besides reg cab short bed)

What Engine/Transmission/Transfer case should I be looking for. Which V-8? Prefer automatic, but maybe a manual. What kind of mileage should I expect/look for? Seems like the model year's that I am looking at are commonly around and above 100K, what kind of life expectancy would I be looking at?

Have been looking on Vehix, Cars.com, carmax, autotrader. Any other suggestions--F-150/Ford forums?

Any information/advice/suggestions would be appreciated.
 

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Well, what do you need? Do you need a pickup that you can beat on continuously and unmercifully, or would you like something a little more cush?

There are three engine choices: the 300 (4.9L) inline six (think Jeep 4.0 on steroids, but even more durable), the 302 (5.0L), and the 351 (5.8L). The 300 basically drives like a 4.0, lots of torque, little horsepower, and you can't kill it. The 302 is kinda puny on the low end in stock form, but loves to rev. The 351 has a pretty decent amount of power/torque, but expect around 13-15 mpg. For a work or wheeling truck, I'd recommend the 300, for something that you are gonna drive as your main vehicle and put money into, I'd recommend a 351.

There are only two transmission options: the M5OD-R2 (manual 5spd) and E4OD (auto 4spd). The M5 is only available with the 300 and 302. It's not an overly stout tranny, but it's not weak by any means. We have a member who pulls a sled with boggers (and isn't easy on the throttle) with his 150 and he has yet to kill it. A 1-ton tranny is a direct bolt in. The E4OD is a pretty nice tranny IMO. It works well, and is quite stout, but since many people have failed to maintain them for years, they have a tendency to die suddenly. They cost around $2500-$3500 to replace, so be sure you get one that's been maintained.

The transfercase is a Borg Warner 1356. It is an awesome T-case, tough as hell.

The TTB (twin traction beam) is an ok front suspension in stock form. Honestly, I'm not impressed by any TTB that's not a long-travel go-fast system. Keep it stock, and keep it maintained and it'll treat you fine.

The 8.8 rear axle is a pretty decent 1/2 ton axle as well. It's internals are comparable to the venerable 9" in terms of strength, but its tubes are on the thin side (.188 wall IIRC). Just don't fill the bed with sackcrete and jump it, and you'll be fine :toothless

Rear wheelwell rust is common.

Airbags were first added in '94. 1996 brought OBD II and Mass Air across the board. My personal favorite year is 1993, but I may be a little partial :D

What about your TJ? I have an 04 Rubi, and I love it. Thinking of a long arm system right now, but $2500 is hard to swallow :toothless
 

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I'd buy a southern truck with the manual shift t-case if you can find one,351 windsor,auto, but swap a ZF if you want a manual, shortbed unless you really need a 8 footer.

But I would really consider looking at a 96-97 F-350 with the Diesel.
Comes with a D-60 front.
 

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:stupid

Those trucks still demand a premium. No way you could pick one up (that you would want) for $3,000.
 

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1996 Bronco 5.0/E4OD/BW1356
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My F150 has a 4R70W - or an AODE
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Well, what do you need? Do you need a pickup that you can beat on continuously and unmercifully, or would you like something a little more cush?

There are three engine choices: the 300 (4.9L) inline six (think Jeep 4.0 on steroids, but even more durable), the 302 (5.0L), and the 351 (5.8L). The 300 basically drives like a 4.0, lots of torque, little horsepower, and you can't kill it. The 302 is kinda puny on the low end in stock form, but loves to rev. The 351 has a pretty decent amount of power/torque, but expect around 13-15 mpg. For a work or wheeling truck, I'd recommend the 300, for something that you are gonna drive as your main vehicle and put money into, I'd recommend a 351.

There are only two transmission options: the M5OD-R2 (manual 5spd) and E4OD (auto 4spd). The M5 is only available with the 300 and 302. It's not an overly stout tranny, but it's not weak by any means. We have a member who pulls a sled with boggers (and isn't easy on the throttle) with his 150 and he has yet to kill it. A 1-ton tranny is a direct bolt in. The E4OD is a pretty nice tranny IMO. It works well, and is quite stout, but since many people have failed to maintain them for years, they have a tendency to die suddenly. They cost around $2500-$3500 to replace, so be sure you get one that's been maintained.

The transfercase is a Borg Warner 1356. It is an awesome T-case, tough as hell.

The TTB (twin traction beam) is an ok front suspension in stock form. Honestly, I'm not impressed by any TTB that's not a long-travel go-fast system. Keep it stock, and keep it maintained and it'll treat you fine.

The 8.8 rear axle is a pretty decent 1/2 ton axle as well. It's internals are comparable to the venerable 9" in terms of strength, but its tubes are on the thin side (.188 wall IIRC). Just don't fill the bed with sackcrete and jump it, and you'll be fine :toothless

Rear wheelwell rust is common.

Airbags were first added in '94. 1996 brought OBD II and Mass Air across the board. My personal favorite year is 1993, but I may be a little partial :D

What about your TJ? I have an 04 Rubi, and I love it. Thinking of a long arm system right now, but $2500 is hard to swallow :toothless

I appreciate all the info.

I've had my TJ for about a year and a half. Has been a lot of fun, work on it every minute I can. Started with a 2'' REBB and have 31" BFG A/T's on it. Performs very well, take it wheeling whenever I can. A Rubicon must be an awesome platform to work off of. Those lift kits sure are a pretty penny- I'm probably going to stay with a 2"BB for a while, maybe swap for 3'' coils or add a 1'' BL, don't need long arm anytime soon :histerica

For those of you who asked-- the pickup would need to be able to serve as daily driver, but would be primarily a work truck--run to the lumberyard, haul stuff around. Would definitely consider putting a leveling kit, or 4" lift on it and some 33'' tires.
 

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It's BTW Not AKA!
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If you are wanting a 302, I would say go with a 92. Last year before Mass Air IIRC. Plus they are coooooooler.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
If you are wanting a 302, I would say go with a 92. Last year before Mass Air IIRC. Plus they are coooooooler.
Your truck is very nice, could you post some pictures of it?:thumbup
I really like the color too.
BTW, how long is the short bed? about 6.5'?
I'd almost certainly get a tool box for the bed also.

I don't yet understand the OBD II, or Mass Air.
 

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:stupid

Those trucks still demand a premium. No way you could pick one up (that you would want) for $3,000.
If you look long and hard you can, I scored mine for that a couple years ago. I like the big six myself, it feels more like like a truck engine than the 302 I had in my old Bronco. It took me close to 6 months find the one I wanted, standard cab, 8 ft bed, 4wd, minimal rust, m5od.
 

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It's BTW Not AKA!
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Your truck is very nice, could you post some pictures of it?:thumbup
I really like the color too.
BTW, how long is the short bed? about 6.5'?
I'd almost certainly get a tool box for the bed also.

I don't yet understand the OBD II, or Mass Air.
Thanks alot.:thumbupThe color is 2004 Ford Toreador Red. It was factory on the F-150s and Superduties. If you check the link in my signature, there are plenty of pics.

The beds in this year of trucks were 6 and 8 foot. I have a toolbox on mine and still have plenty of room. ATV still fits in the back with the tailgate down.
 
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