Ford F-Series (tenth generation)

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Tenth generation
Ford F-150 XL regular cab.jpg
Manufacturer Ford
Also called Ford Lobo (Mexico)
Ford F-250 (Mexico)
Ford F150 Heritage (2004 Only)
Production November 29, 1995–August 2004[1]
July 1996–1999 (F-250)[2]
1996-2009 (Mexico)
Model years 1997–2004
1997–1999 (F-250)
Designer Andrew Jacobson; Bob Aikins (concept: 1992, production design: 1993)[3][4]
Body and chassis
Class Full-size pickup truck
Body style 4 door Super-crew
Layout FR layout
4WD layout
Platform Ford P platform
Related Lincoln Blackwood
Ford Expedition
Lincoln Navigator
6-Speed 6R Automatic
Wheelbase Regular 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)
Length Regular 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)
Width 79.5 in (2,019 mm)
Height 72.7 in (1,847 mm) (4x2)
75.1 in (1,908 mm) (4x4)
Predecessor Ford F-Series ninth generation (1992–1996)
Successor Ford 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 trucks 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 until the twelfth generation 2010 model was released there.


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 1997–2003 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 1999–2003 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 1999–2003 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 2001–2003 380 hp (283 kW) 450 lb⋅ft (610 N⋅m) Lightning
5.4 L Supercharged Triton V8 1999–2003 340 hp (254 kW) 425 lb⋅ft (576 N⋅m) Harley-Davidson


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]



With the initial introduction of the new F-Series, only the F-150 was produced. To bridge the gap between the F-150 and the previous generation heavier-duty models (to be replaced by the Super Duty series for 1999), the light-duty F-250 was produced as a temporary model for 1997-1999. While externally similar to the F-150 (with the exception of its 7-lug wheels), the F-250 gained increased load capability from a heavy-duty rear axle and load-leveling rear suspension.

This meant there were two 1997 F-250 models. The light-duty F-250 was based on the new F-150. The F-250 HD (Heavy Duty) was in the same series as the F-350, continuing the old body style from the previous generation for a final model year.

After the release of the Super Duty version in 1999, the light-duty version of the F-250 was discontinued; the heavy-duty suspension continued on as the "7700" package for the 2000-2003 F-150 (noted on the tailgate emblem).

SVT Lightning[edit]

The SVT Lightning is a sports/performance version of the F-150, released by Ford's SVT (Special Vehicle Team) division.


Ford F-150 SVT Lightning

In 1999, after a three-year hiatus, Ford SVT unveiled a new Ford Lightning powered by a modular SOHC 16-valve 5.4 L Triton engine producing 360 hp (268 kW; 365 PS) and 440 ft⋅lbf (597 N⋅m), with a factory-installed Eaton supercharger. The 4R100 automatic transmission was used, and the rear gear ratio was 3.55:1. The Lightning featured 18" wheels and Goodyear Eagle F1 295/45ZR-18 tires. The suspension system, which lowers the truck one inch in front and two inches in the rear, was also modified from the standard F-150. It retained the front short-and long-arm system with coil springs and a 31 mm solid stabilizer bar along with the rear solid axle with five-leaf springs and a 23 mm solid stabilizer bar. Monroe shocks were used from 1999–2001 then replaced with Bilstein shocks from 2002–2004.

For the 2001 model year, the engine design was slightly altered to produce 380 hp (283 kW) at 4,750 rpm and 450 ft⋅lbf (610 N⋅m) at 3,250 rpm. Also, the previously leaky intercooler was redesigned. This problem was addressed as a recall in earlier models. A cast iron block was used instead of aluminum. These upgrades were critical in order to support the 8 psi (0.55 bar) of boost delivered from the stock Eaton M112 roots supercharger. Another engine revision came in the 2003 Model Year when a weakness in the heads, the lack of sufficient threads for spark plugs, was addressed and fixed, although "piston slap", a mild knocking noise while the engine is cold, was still present. At the other end of the drivetrain, the final drive ratio was shortened to 3.73:1 with a 9.75 inch rear end in 2001. Also, in 2001 the drive shaft was increased in size to a 4.5-inch (114 mm) aluminum unit, from the previous 3.5-inch (89 mm) steel unit. The specially developed 295/45ZR-18 Goodyear Eagle F1-GS unidirectional tires were upgraded utilizing a new generation F1 GS rubber compound. With these engine and drivetrain revisions, Car and Driver magazine drove a Lightning from 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in 5.2 seconds. For 2003, the Lightning's cargo capacity was raised from 800 lb (363 kg) to 1,350 lb (612 kg).

The second generation Lightning was initially offered in just Bright Red, Black, and White paint colors. The 2000 Model Year brought the addition of the Silver color to the lineup. In 2002, True Blue, a very dark blue, was offered, but replaced with a lighter Sonic Blue in 2003. The 2003 Model Year also saw the introduction of the Dark Shadow Gray color.

These trucks were manufactured at Ford's Canada Truck Facility in Oakville, Ontario until its closure. 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 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 Power Torque Production
1999 5.4 L supercharged Triton V8 360 hp (268 kW) 440 ft⋅lbf (597 N⋅m) 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


  1. ^ Baker, Ken (December 6, 1995). "Today's Focus: Tough And Ready". Daily Press. Retrieved March 25, 2016.
  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.
  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, 1997–2003 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