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I'm looking at an 82 F-150, 4WD, automatic, for $2200. I'm going to haggle the price down most definitely, but wondering if this vehicle is worth pulling the trigger on.

There are some unknowns I need answered before I make an offer, so I don't know if I have enough info for you guys to help, but here goes:

Mileage unknown.
Body looks to be in great condition. Little bit of rust above the rear tires. Interior looks great.
A/C unknown.
Have no idea how it runs.

On the surface, it looks very well maintained. I know the owner's son quite well, and I am getting that this was his Dad's baby since the 1980s.

Assuming it's been properly PMCSed over the years, is it worth buying? Generally speaking are early '80s Ford trucks dependable? I mean heck, it's still running for this guy so this one has served him well. Anything I need to be watching out for?
 

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SBs Resident Non Prepper
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I'm looking at an 82 F-150, 4WD, automatic, for $2200. I'm going to haggle the price down most definitely, but wondering if this vehicle is worth pulling the trigger on.

There are some unknowns I need answered before I make an offer, so I don't know if I have enough info for you guys to help, but here goes:

Mileage unknown.
Body looks to be in great condition. Little bit of rust above the rear tires. Interior looks great.
A/C unknown.
Have no idea how it runs.

On the surface, it looks very well maintained. I know the owner's son quite well, and I am getting that this was his Dad's baby since the 1980s.

Assuming it's been properly PMCSed over the years, is it worth buying? Generally speaking are early '80s Ford trucks dependable? I mean heck, it's still running for this guy so this one has served him well. Anything I need to be watching out for?
What does the odometer read?
Check previous vehicle registrations
Does it have AC? Check operation
You need to drive it and check it.
 

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Militant Normal
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I have to assume you're in a dry, no-salted-roads region. That thing is a collector's item in my AO, since 98% of them have rusted beyond recall.

I've been a Ford guy all my life, but have come to hate the pickups prior to the 1998 body redesign. At that point I think they'd gotten the message.

Prior model years are notorious for body rust. Poor design traps water in pockets all over the thing. Even above the rear wheel wells. One thing to look at very carefully on a 4WD is the upper front spring mounts. They rust out and break. Not too hard to fix, but if one goes bang, you'll have to have it towed in. Gas lines rust through. Gas TANKS rust out. Brake lines rust through just below the driver's door. Rear spring leaves break. Those have all happened to me over the years. The brake line on all three F-150s that I've owned since 1981. I have battered owner syndrome - I still drive Fords anyway. 2000 E150 conversion van, and yet another rusty F-150; 1995 4WD I-6. Great driveline that deserved to be mounted in a better truck.

(Full disclosure - I served a 15 year sentence in Detroit; Tier One supplier to Ford and GM powertrain divisions. Retired 2009. Ford was OK to deal with IMHO, the mendacity of GM drove me to retire at 63. It was that or go postal.)
 

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Last Frontiersman
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I feel as though The Old Coach may be exaggerating the realities of the situation. Ford produced many excellent vehicles prior to 1998.

Dunno where the idea came from that they aren't capable off-road, either... What pickup truck isn't capable off road? That said, it wasn't designed as a rock crawler, so be reasonable with where you take it and you'll be fine.

OP, $2200 seems a little high, but if it's been maintained halfway reasonably then it should be a very dependable truck for you.

I'm an active member on the Ford Truck Enthusiasts forum; it's a huge forum with a lot of great members. I recommend you head over there and do some reading on your truck once you get it. They'll be able to tell you more about it than anybody here, and help you get any and every problem with it sorted out.

Good luck and congrats on a new Ford.
 

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Semper Fi
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What are you planning on using the truck for? Keep in mind it's only a 1/2 ton and not going to be hauling much in the way of bug-out supplies as such.

That year has the TTB independent front axle and personally I would look for something with a solid front axle in a 3/4 or 1 ton.
 

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Check out to see if the front hubs have 3 bearings. If so a trip to the machine shop for an oiled bronze center bearing will save you a lot of headache as there is no way to lube the center bearing. This is what the older trucks used and they lasted for the life of the truck.
 

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I didn't do it !
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Ain't nothin like an old Ford truck. You'll love it or you'll hate it, there's not much of an in between. Personally, I love em.
The cancer in the wheel wells makes it a $1,500 truck on average. Engine size would be a factor for me. 5.8, 5.0 or straight 6 ? For a BOV I'd skip on the 6. Either way I'm betting it's a 2bbl carb & if it needs one just buy a Holley. If it's 4bbl you should be ok.wheither it's an EEC3 or 4 ignition just buy an extra box & module & throw it behind the seat. You said it's a slush box but is it a 3apeed or an AOD? I'd pass on the 3. These trucks handle great on the street & if you disconnect the front swaybar theyll go anywhere off road as long as you have the ground clearance.

So, what to look for on these trucks;
Does it run?
Fuel gauge work?
Does smoke, rattle or knock?
Check the front end; ball joints, tie rod ends, etc....
Tranny ok? Old AOD's tend to make a hard bang on the down shift under a hard exceleration. (It just needs a shift kit)
The front u-joint on the rear shaft. Is it a u-joint or a CV joint? The CV's are weaker very expensive to replace.
Rear axle bearings ok?
If all that passes then mechanically it's a sound truck & worth making a deal on.

I would bother asking about a PM or service record on a 34yo truck. Just what parts have been replaced in the last few years.
 

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Warlord of the wastes
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707 Posts
What are you wanting to use this truck for? If it is for fun, then go for it so long as you want to tinker. If it is going to be a daily driver I would rather have something later model with better fuel economy and more reliable.
 

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Dunno where the idea came from that they aren't capable off-road, either... What pickup truck isn't capable off road? That said, it wasn't designed as a rock crawler, so be reasonable with where you take it and you'll be fine.
That's exactly what I meant. Too many people uninitiated into 4WD's think any of them are easily converted to unstoppable status, and while the TTB front is a good setup, it isn't exactly what you want for serious off road stuff.

Keep it within the parameters, which will suit 90 plus percent of the people, and it will work beautifully.
 

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@OneLostCowboy: Why would you skip on the straight six for a BOV? That's the best option of the three for a BOV. Light, fuel efficient, and absolutely bulletproof. What's not to like?
Yep, the 300 six would be my preferred choice as well.

Not a Ford lover, but that thing is as close to bulletproof as they ever made.
 

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I didn't do it !
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The 300 is a great engine & will run forever if ya take care if it but for the purpose of a BOV (bigger off road tires, bed fully loaded, maybe having to run for your life, etc...) I would personally want the power of the 5,8 or 5.0. On 35" mud treads with serious grip it will power thru that sucking mud that will bog down a 6cyl, climb any hill & run 120 down the hwy all day if needed. Now with a 5speed stick the 300 will do most of that but with the auto in that mud that sucks you down, black clay or deep sand you will be under powered.
As anyone will tell you it all depends on your porpuse of the vehicle but there is no replacement for displacement. I'm a firm believer in better to have it & not need it then need it & not have it.
 

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The 300 is a great engine & will run forever if ya take care if it but for the purpose of a BOV (bigger off road tires, bed fully loaded, maybe having to run for your life, etc...) I would personally want the power of the 5,8 or 5.0. On 35" mud treads with serious grip it will power thru that sucking mud that will bog down a 6cyl, climb any hill & run 120 down the hwy all day if needed. Now with a 5speed stick the 300 will do most of that but with the auto in that mud that sucks you down, black clay or deep sand you will be under powered.
As anyone will tell you it all depends on your porpuse of the vehicle but there is no replacement for displacement. I'm a firm believer in better to have it & not need it then need it & not have it.
Don't know how many you have driven, but the carbed 302 absolutely SUCKED for power, it would have been lucky to pull 35's much less thru mud. I seem to remember them being a whopping, 140 Hp...... The 5.8 was better, but sucked as much fuel as my 83 F250 with the 460 did.

Nope, torque would rule the day with that era truck.
 
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