I’m new to the forum and joined mainly because I’m looking at buying a 98 Ford F-150 and want to get up to speed prior to purchasing.
I have been around Triton V8s and V10s a bit as they were in a fleet of vehicles I drove with a pervious employer. From that experience, I took away that Ford Triton Engines are reliable and rugged work horses and that Ford Trucks are built better than the other two of the Big Three. Now, I must qualify that I am a huge Mopar Muscle Car fan, but modern day Chrysler Corp. has turned me off to Dodge trucks because of inferior build quality and cheap materials.
Okay! This F-150 I’m looking at -
I’ve only seen the truck a couple of times from a distance in a parking lot before it was for sale. At that time, I thought to myself that it’s a great looking truck. The owner has since left for college and his father is selling it for him. The truck has been for sale since Feb of this year and since it has not sold, I thought I’d ask the seller about it and hopefully get a great deal on it.
So this is what I know at this point, which isn’t much. I’ll be going to look at it this upcoming week.
It’s a 98 F-150 extended cab 4X4
I asked if it’s a 4.6L or 5.4L but he did not know.
I asked how many miles are on the truck, and he didn’t know that either, but thought 120K.
So with my limited information, I am hoping to get some ideas from this board as to service items that should have been done within the first 120K miles, e.g. timing set replacement, water pump, spark plugs, etc.
Also, I’d like to know in general what I may be able to expect as far as the service life left in 4.6/5.4 Modular engine with 120K on it? I know many factors play into this, so I’m just asking in general. How long have you guys seen these engines run?
Both the 4.6 & 5.4L are quite reliable. My work van, an E-250 with the 4.6L and 4.10 gears has gone 32,000kms between oil changes. Still runs like a champ.
Be sure to get as much previous maintenance history as you can. Check for frequent oil changes (unless synthetic), and how often the transmission, brakes, plugs, differentials and transfer case were serviced. It's not uncommon to find 200K+ on these engines, and those are ones that WORKED for a living. Strickly highway commuting with routine maintenance can net easily over 350K. Chances are, the frame will rust through before the engine dies.
If you can get the VIN off the truck, post it here and I'll send you what info I can, including engine size.
Okay! I actually took the truck on a test drive today and got more information.
It’s got the 4.6L and automatic transmission. (what type auto, what diff. gear ratios, limited-slip or not?)
Actual mileage 132,885
I spotted body colored paint on the black rubber hood bump stops. Don’t know if that is a factory thing or if the truck was in a front end collision?
There is semi-fresh motor oil on what appeared to be two rubber cooler lines down by the radiator. Don’t know if it was bad hoses or loose fittings.
The rear differential has a leak which appeared to be coming from the diff. cover.
On the drive the truck ran smooth, the steering was spot-on (not pulling to one side or the other), the A/C was ice cold. I did seem to notice some ball-joint vibration a couple of times.
The check engine light is on. Was told they took it to the Ford dealer and had the system scanned. The issue is said to be one of the six O2 sensors is bad.
I looked through the glove box for any sign of a service history but nothing of any value was found. There was a Jiffy Lube oil change sticker on the windshield. The oil is due to be changed 12/12/08 but the truck has been setting since approx. 1/15/09.
Other than that, the truck had normal wear and tear consistent with a truck that has 138K on it.
I did find the owners purchase agreement in the glove box and found out how much he paid for the truck two years ago. Judging by what he paid and what he is asking for it, I believe he owes more then it is worth.
So by what I’ve been told here on the forum, the engine should be good for a while longer. But again I am concerned about how much more time I might have with the engine timing set, water pump, etc.
Also, how does the automatic transmission hold up? The truck does have a trailer hitch and at one time there was an electric brake module mounted under the dash. Someone may have done some towing at one time?
Anyway, at this point, I want to tally a list of items that require attention so I can make a better determination on what to offer the seller.
If I do end up getting the truck and the big question is IF, I’ll be changing the fluids out to Amsoil synthetics. I am an Independent Amsoil Dealer here in the states.
I concur. With so many problems or potential problems, I'd be leery purchasing the vehicle. Depending on your state, you may not be allowed to safety/certify the vehicle let alone pass emissions testing until the light is off. Six O2 sensors can be troublesome, as they'll be around $50-65 each depending on the brand you get. Generally, when you replace one, the others will fail soon thereafter - guaranteed.
From the things you've mentioned the current owner is really hesitant to keep the truck in proper working order - so I'd be afraid. If there is a trailer brake on the vehicle, then that means it has towed at least 3500lbs or greater. So be watchful of rear bearing problems if the vehicle has towed heavily. If the transmission oil looks good, then I wouldn't worry too much unless it makes noise when it shifts - then stay away. So yes, I think this vehicle will give you more problems than what you were told. I'm sure if the engine light wasn't on the owner probably wouldn't even have told you about it. Some people scan the vehicle, erase the codes so they stay off for a few days - long enough to sell it! I'd shop around elsewhere.
Originally Posted by CompSyn
I am an Independent Amsoil Dealer here in the states.
I am an Independent Amsoil Dealer here in Canada - seven years running. Great stuff! One oil change a year!
I am an owner of a 1997 F-150 V8 Automatic. I basically received my truck in a similar way but the college student had graduated college and was getting a new F150 as a gift and his parents were selling the old one which I now Own. The student took care of the truck very well, except for a new paint and body issues that were very minor and unnoticable unless your upclose. I still own the truck which was purchased as a gift for my first vehicle for about 10,000. It only had 62000 miles on it. You could ask the current owner to take it to a Ford Repair shop and have it inspected and then once repaired then you will buy it or before the repair, deduct the price of what the repair cost will be from what he is asking for the truck
To ask a question is to be an fool for 5 minutes, to not ask is to be a fool forever!
The AutoGuide.com network consists of the largest network of enthusiast-owned enthusiast-operated automotive communities.
AutoGuide.com provides the latest car reviews, auto show coverage, new car prices, and automotive news. The AutoGuide network operates more than 100 automotive forums where our users consult peers for shopping information and advice, and share opinions as a community.