Ford F-Series (tenth generation)

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Tenth generation
Ford F-150 XL regular cab.jpg
Also calledFord Lobo (Mexico)
Ford F-250 (Mexico)
Ford F150 Heritage (2004 Only)
ProductionNovember 29, 1995–August 2004[1]
July 1996–1999 (F-250)[2]
1996-2009 (Mexico)
Model years1997–2004
1997–1999 (F-250)
DesignerAndrew Jacobson; Bob Aikins (concept: 1992, production design: 1993)[3][4]
Body and chassis
ClassFull-size pickup truck
Body style 4 door Super-crew
LayoutFR layout
4WD layout
PlatformFord P platform
RelatedLincoln Blackwood
Ford Expedition
Lincoln Navigator
6-Speed 6R Automatic
WheelbaseRegular cab/6.5' bed: 119.9 in (3,045 mm)
Regular cab/8' bed, SuperCab/6.5' bed, and SuperCrew: 138.8 in (3,526 mm)
SuperCab/8' bed: 157.1 in (3,990 mm)
LengthRegular cab/6.5' bed: 202.2 in (5,136 mm)
Regular cab/8' bed, SuperCab/6.5' bed, and SuperCrew: 222.3 in (5,646 mm)
SuperCab/8' bed: 239.4 in (6,081 mm)
Width79.5 in (2,019 mm)
Height72.7 in (1,847 mm) (4x2)
75.1 in (1,908 mm) (4x4)
PredecessorFord F-Series ninth generation (1992–1996)
SuccessorFord F-Series eleventh generation (2004–2008)

The tenth generation of the Ford F-Series is a line of pickup trucks produced by Ford from 1995 to 2004; it was sold from model years 1997 to 2004. In a major product shift in the Ford truck lineup, the F-250 and F-350 were split from the F-150. Beginning production in early-1998 (model year 1999) the newly branded Super Duty trucks had a distinct body and chassis, while still branded as F-Series trucks.

This generation of the F-Series was also sold by Lincoln as the Blackwood for the model year 2002 (2002-2003 in Mexico). In Mexico, the F-150 was rebranded as the Ford Lobo from 2004 to 2010, when it was replaced by the twelfth-generation model.


In late 1989, during mid-stage development of a facelift due in late-1991 for model year 1992, Ford commenced the PN-96 program on a new truck platform and designated Thomas Baughman as chief engineer. In mid-1990, Andrew Jacobson was designated as design director for the PN-96 truck program. By 1991, designers had developed clay models indicative of car like styling, based on a new design theme. Despite the disapproval from focus groups towards "softer" styling, during 1991 and 1992 in concept design clinics, Ford management backed the "aero" design philosophy. The end result by Bob Aikins reached in November 1992 and frozen for production in February 1993, took the aero styling further with a rounded nose on the new F-series. The PN-96 mules went into testing 1993, with prototypes running from early 1994. Pilot production began in 1995.[5][3][4][6][7][8][9]


Being the F-150's first major redesign since 1979, the redesigned truck went on a nationwide 87-stop tour to Ford plants and the external part suppliers in October 1995, prior to its release.[10] To build anticipation for the redesigned truck, the 1997 model was released in January 1996 with the first ad campaigns airing during Super Bowl XXX. Because of the radical styling, Ford predicted from marketing clinics that traditional truck buyers would not receive the radical and car-like 1997 well, so it continued to produce and sell the previous 1996 model alongside the redesigned 1997 model for a few months.[11]

A wide variety of body options were available: the 2-3 passenger regular cab and the 5-6 passenger SuperCab, 8 ft (2 m) and 6.5 ft (2 m) beds, and a choice of Styleside or Flareside beds on 6.5 ft (2 m) models. A new Lightning was introduced in March 1999, and Harley-Davidson and King Ranch versions were also created for the 2000 and 2001 model years, respectively. In 2000, the SuperCrew cab was introduced with four full-size doors for the 2001 model year. A Sport 4x4 model was introduced in 2000 as well. It featured the 5.4L Triton V8 and color-matched bumpers and mirror housings, and was available in regular cab and SuperCab in four colors: white, red, black, and silver. In 2002, an FX4 model was introduced, which came with skid plates, a carbon steel frame, Rancho shock absorbers, and unique 17" aluminum wheels along with more standard features that were optional on XLT. In 2003, a sporty STX trim package was introduced, aimed at younger truck buyers. The STX package featured color-keyed front/rear bumpers along with clear lens headlights and integrated round fog lamps. The package also featured chrome step rails, 17" chrome wheels, and a Kenwood Z828 stereo was installed in place of the standard Ford radio. Also in 2003, a special trim package "Heritage Edition" version with special badging was produced to mark the 100th anniversary of Ford trucks, available only in the 139" wheelbase SuperCab model.

Sales of the F-150 surged in the tenth generation from 750,000 to over 900,000 in 2001 as products from General Motors and Chrysler lagged. Ford's sales dropped, however, for the final years of this generation as the redesigned Dodge Ram and refreshed Chevrolet Silverado were released.

The new F-150 was Motor Trend magazine's Truck of the Year in 1997.[12] A minor facelift was introduced September 1998, with minor interior updates for 1999 models. In February 2000, the SuperCrew was added to the lineup early in the 2001 MY (Model Year), entering production on December 13, 1999. Ford also manufactured a limited run of "Heritage" (differentiated from the 2003 "Heritage Edition") F-150s of the 2003 body style to August 2004 as 2004 models to finish out production.[13][14][15]

This generation of F-150 was sold in Mexico alongside the new 11th generation F-Series through 2008. It was only available as a Regular Cab and in XL trim, while the newer model was available in more trims, SuperCab and SuperCrew configurations and the new model was badged as Lobo, while the older model retained the F-150 name.


A new lineup of improved efficiency engines were offered beginning for 1997. A 4.2 L OHV V6, based on Ford's 3.8 L Essex V6, replaced the 4.9 L OHV I6, while 4.6 and 5.4 liter SOHC V8s replaced the 5.0 and 5.8 liter OHV V8s. The 4.6 and 5.4 liter V8s were marketed under the name Triton and mark the first use of Ford's Modular Single Overhead Cam (SOHC) engines in the F-series pickups. Ford's own 8.8 IFS replaced the Dana 44 front end, while the Ford 8.8 rear remained. The Ford Sterling 9.75 axle was also optioned in heavy-duty versions. In 2000, the Sterling 10.25 axle became an option.


Engine Years Power Torque Notes
4.2 L Essex V6 1997–2004 205 hp (153 kW) 260 lb⋅ft (353 N⋅m)
4.6 L Triton V8 1997–1998 220 hp (164 kW) 280 lb⋅ft (380 N⋅m)
4.6 L Triton V8 1999–2004 231 hp (172 kW) 293 lb⋅ft (397 N⋅m)
5.4 L Triton V8 1997–1998 235 hp (175 kW) 330 lb⋅ft (447 N⋅m)
5.4 L Triton V8 1999–2004 260 hp (194 kW) 350 lb⋅ft (475 N⋅m)
5.4 L Supercharged Triton V8 1999–2000 360 hp (268 kW) 450 lb⋅ft (610 N⋅m) Lightning
5.4 L Supercharged Triton V8 2001–2004 380 hp (283 kW) 450 lb⋅ft (610 N⋅m) Lightning
5.4 L Supercharged Triton V8 1999–2004 340 hp (254 kW) 425 lb⋅ft (576 N⋅m) Harley-Davidson


  • Standard (1998 only) - Included: Vinyl upholstery, bench seat, manual mirrors, steel rims, 4-pin trailer wiring, manual windows, an AM/FM stereo with a clock, and a manual transmission.
  • XL - Included: Chrome bumpers, manual mirrors, styled-steel rims, polyknit (later, cloth) upholstery, bench seat, manual windows, a manual transmission, and an AM/FM stereo with a clock (and later, a cassette player).
  • XLT - Added: aluminum rims, cloth upholstery, tinted rear windows, cargo box light, tachometer, power windows and locks with automatic driver's side window, an AM/FM stereo with a cassette player (later, a single-CD player) and clock, air conditioning, and later, a leather wrapped steering wheel, an overhead console with compass and garage openers, speed-dependent wipers, and power mirrors.
  • Lariat - Added: cast aluminum rims, carpeted floor mats, power mirrors with turn signals, power driver's seat, automatic headlamps, leather trimmed seats, anti-lock brake system, and later, an automatic transmission, an AM/FM stereo with single-CD and cassette players and clock, and a keypad entry.


This generation F-150 received an overall "Poor" rating by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) in the frontal offset test,[16] and was ranked the 2nd Worst Performing Vehicle behind the 1997–2005 GM U-platform minivans.

Ford has found that the cruise control system in many of their trucks could catch fire, because the switch system could corrode over time, overheat and ignite. Ignition was later blamed on spillage from the adjacent master cylinder. On March 5, 2007 Ford recalled 155,000 2003 full-size pickups and full-size SUVs for the defective part. During the previous two years Ford had recalled 5.8 million vehicles in because of the defective cruise control systems in trucks, SUVs and vans. That recall, one of the largest in history, covered vehicles from the 1994–2002 model years.[17]


F-250 (1997-1998)[edit]

1997-1998 Ford F-250 XLT SuperCab

At its January 1996 launch, the 1997 PN96 F-Series was only offered as a F-150; the F-250 and F-350 were produced as 1996 models on the previous-generation chassis. To bridge the gap between the F-150 and the heavier-duty pickups, a PN96 version of the F-250 was introduced nearly a year later (though also a 1997 model), slotted between the F-150 and the F-250HD of the previous-generation chassis. While nearly externally indentical to the F-150, the F-250 gained increased load capability from a heavy-duty rear axle and load-leveling rear suspension; the F-250 was distinguished by 7-bolt wheel rims.

The PN-96 F-250 was marketed in 1997 and 1998, with Ford offering two generations of the vehicle under the same nameplate. For 1999, the F-250HD and F-350 were replaced by the Super Duty F-Series; the suspension components of the PN-96 F-250 continued as a "7700" option package from 2000 to 2003.

SVT Lightning (1999-2004)[edit]

2001-2003 Ford F-150 SVT Lightning

The Ford SVT Lightning is a sports/performance version of the F-150, developed by the SVT (Special Vehicle Team) division of Ford. For 1999, the second generation of the Lightning was released using the PN96 platform, after a three year hiatus of the model line. As with its 1993-1995 predecessor, the Lightning was based on the F-150; all versions were produced with a regular cab, rear-wheel drive, and a 6½-foot bed length. In sharp contrast to its predecessor, the 1999-2002 Lightning was given a payload of 800 pounds (half the payload of a Ranger); for 2003, the figure was raised to 1,350 pounds.

While the first-generation Lightning chassis was a hybrid of the F-150 and F-250, to save weight and lower its cost, the second-generation adopted the stock F-150 frame. To improve handling, while the stock short/long arm front suspension configuration was used, the Lighting was lowered one inch with a 31mm stabilizer bar; the rear solid axle with leaf springs was lowered two inches, using a 23mm stabilizer bar. Monroe shocks were used from 1999 to 2001; Bilstein shocks were used from 2002 to 2004. In place of the 17-inch wheels of its predecessor, the second-generation Lightning was given 18-inch wheels with Goodyear Eagle F1 directional tires developed for the truck.

The second-generation Lightning was powered by a 5.4 L Triton SOHC V8 equipped with an Eaton M112 supercharger. At its launch, the Lightning produced 360 hp (268 kW; 365 PS) and 440 ft⋅lbf (597 N⋅m) of torque, increased to 380 hp (283 kW) and 450 ft⋅lbf (610 N⋅m) of torque (under 8 psi boost) in 2001. The supercharged V8 was paired with a 4-speed Ford 4R100 overdrive automatic transmission (shared with the 5.4L V8, 6.8L V10, and 7.3L diesel). From 1999 to 2000, the rear axle ratio was 3.55:1, shortened to 3.75:1 in 2001. The same year, a 4.5-inch aluminum driveshaft replaced a 3.5-inch steel unit.

Following the 2001 drivetrain revisions, Car and Driver magazine tested a Lightning, accelerating from 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in 5.2 seconds.

During its production, the 1999-2004 was offered in a limited variety of colors. Initially produced in Bright Red, Black, and White, for 2000, Silver was introduced. For 2002, True Blue (a very dark blue) was introduced, but was replaced by a lighter Sonic Blue for 2003, along with Dark Shadow Gray.

The Ford SVT Lightning was manufactured by Ford of Canada at its Ontario Truck facility in Oakville, Ontario; in was closed in 2004. Special features specific to the Lightning included:[18]

  • 5.4 L 2V Triton Supercharged Intercooled V8 engine
  • Modified 4R100 4-speed automatic transmission with OD lockout
  • Limited-slip differential
  • Auxiliary transmission fluid cooler
  • Eaton M112 supercharger
  • Engine super cooling system
  • Heavy duty battery
  • Unique front fascia with integrated, round fog lamps
  • Unique upper and lower grilles
  • Unique front lower air deflectors
  • Unique cab rocker and lower box moldings
  • Unique wheels and tires
  • 4-wheel ABS / 4-wheel disc brakes
  • Heavy duty front and rear shock absorbers
Year Engine Configuration Output Transmission Production
Power Torque
1999 Ford Triton V8 5.4 L (330 cu in) SOHC V8

(Eaton M112 supercharger)

360 hp (268 kW) 440 ft⋅lbf (597 N⋅m) 4-speed Ford 4R100 overdrive automatic 4,000
2000 4,966
2001 380 hp (283 kW) 450 ft⋅lbf (610 N⋅m) 6,381
2002 4,726
2003 4,270
2004 3,781
Total 28,124

Lincoln Blackwood (2002)[edit]

2002 Lincoln Blackwood

For 2002, the Lincoln-Mercury division of Ford introduced the Lincoln Blackwood, the first pickup truck ever sold by the Lincoln brand. Brought into production after a positive reception to a 1999 concept vehicle, the Blackwood was a variant of the Ford F-150 SuperCrew introduced for 2001.

Styled with the front fascia of the Lincoln Navigator SUV, the Blackwood diverged from the F-150 in terms of functionality. In place of a pickup bed, the Blackwood was given a stainless-steel cargo area lined with carpet covered with a power-operated tonneau; the plastic body panels of the pickup bed were styled as black wood with pinstripes. To match the simulated wood design of the pickup bed, Lincoln offered black as the only body color for the Blackwood. Sharing its interior with the Navigator, the Blackwood was fitted with four seats (with a center console between the rear seats).

Equipped only with rear-wheel drive, the Blackwood shared its 300 hp 5.4L 32-valve V8 with the Navigator.


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  2. ^
  3. ^ a b Louie, Elaine (December 12, 1991). "Currents; Students' Trucks Are Carlike". The New York Times. Retrieved March 25, 2016.
  4. ^ a b Naughton, Keith (July 29, 1996). "How Ford's F 150 Lapped The Competition". Businessweek. Retrieved 21 September 2014.
  5. ^
  6. ^ Ackerson, Robert (2005). Ford F-150 Pickup 1997-2005: America's Best-Selling Truck. Veloce. p. 7. ISBN 9781904788867. Retrieved March 25, 2016.
  7. ^ Dunne, Jim (April 1994). "Detroit Spy Report". Popular Mechanics. 171 (4): 114. Retrieved March 25, 2016.
  8. ^ Dunne, Jim (May 1995). "Detroit Spy Report". Popular Mechanics. 172 (5): 35. Retrieved March 25, 2016.
  9. ^ Dunne, Jim (August 1995). "Detroit Spy Report". Popular Mechanics. p. 42. Retrieved March 25, 2016.
  10. ^ "Ford plants and suppliers get sneak peek at 1997 Ford F-150" (Press release). 1995-10-16. Retrieved 2009-08-30.[dead link]
  11. ^ "Article: Contractors eyeball new pickup from Ford, like what they see". AccessMyLibrary. 1996-02-05. Retrieved 2009-08-30.
  12. ^ "Truck of the Year Winners List". Motor Trend.
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^ "Ford F-150, 1997–2004 models". Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. September 2, 2005. Retrieved 2009-05-14.
  17. ^ "Ford F150 Recall Information – Ford Recalls & Problems". Retrieved 2010-10-19.
  18. ^ 2001 Ford Lightning Owner's Guide Supplement - Printed October 2000