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Ford F-Series (sixth generation)

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The sixth generation of the Ford F-Series is a line of pickup trucks and medium-duty commercial trucks that were produced by Ford Motor Company from 1972 to 1979. This generation was launched in December 1972 for the 1973 model year. These were the last generation of trucks to use the F-Series chassis introduced in 1965. After a decade as a compact SUV, the Ford Bronco was redesigned as a shortened version of the F-Series. This generation also marks the introduction of the F-150 (introduced in 1975) which today is the most popular model.

Sixth generation
73-75 Ford F-350.jpg
Overview
Production1972–1979 (USA)[1]
1973–1979 (Mexico and Venezuela)
1974–1980 (Argentina, F-100, F-250, F-600 and F-700)
1974–1981 (Argentina, F-350)
1973-1979 (Australia)
AssemblyDearborn, Michigan, USA
Edison, New Jersey, USA
Kansas City, Missouri, USA
Louisville, Kentucky, USA
Norfolk, Virginia, USA
San Jose, California, USA
St. Paul, Minnesota, USA
Wayne, Michigan, USA
Cuautitlan, Mexico
General Pacheco, Argentina (Ford Argentina)
Oakville, Ontario, Canada (Oakville Assembly)
Melbourne, Australia (Broadmeadows Assembly, Ford Australia)
Body and chassis
ClassFull-size pickup truck
Body style2 to 4 door pickup
LayoutFront engine, rear-wheel / four-wheel drive
RelatedFord Bronco
Ford B-Series
Powertrain
EnginePetrol
221 CID (3.6 L) Falcon[disambiguation needed] I6 (F-100, Argentina)
240 CID (3.9 L) I6
250 CID (4.1 L) I6 (1974-79, Australia)
292 CID (4.8 L) Fase II V8 (Argentine F-100/250/350/600)
300 CID (4.9 L) I6
302 CID (5.0 L) Cleveland V8 (1974-79, Australia)
302 CID (5.0 L) Windsor V8
351 CID (5.8 L) 351M V8
351 CID (5.8 L) Cleveland V8 (1978-79, Australia)
360 CID (5.9 L) FE V8
390 CID (6.4 L) FE V8
400 CID (6.6 L) 335 V8
460 CID (7.5 L) 385 V8
Diesel
203 CID (3.3L) Perkins 4.203 I4 Diesel (F-100, Argentina)
Chronology
PredecessorFord F-Series (fifth generation) (1966–1972)
SuccessorFord F-Series (seventh generation) (1979–1986)

This generation is noted for the body panels' durability as Ford used extensive amounts of galvanized sheet metal, zinc coated steel, zinc rich primer and fender liners, to fight corrosion. In 1976, the F-Series became the best-selling trucks in America, a position it has continued to retain ever since.

Contents

North American productionEdit

Model historyEdit

1973–1975Edit

 
1973–1975 Ford F-100 XLT

For 1973, a new model was offered: The heavy duty F-350 V8. This was a new heavy-duty pickup made with contractors and camping enthusiasts in mind. It rode on longer wheelbase than an F-100 or F-250 (140 in (3,556 mm) vs. 133 in (3,378 mm)) but had the same overall length. Ordering the Camper Special package for the F-350 SRW made it a "Super Camper Special", which was designed for the much heavier slide-in campers coming on the market at that time.

For 1974 (introduced September 21, 1973), the F-Series became available in an extended cab for the first time. Dubbed the "SuperCab", it offered the six-passenger seating of the crew cab in a shorter length, and competed with Dodge's Club Cab.

For 1975, the F-150 was introduced; this truck was designed with a heavier GVWR (over 6,000 lb (2,722 kg)) and maximum payload.

1976–1977Edit

 
1977 Ford F-150 Explorer

In 1975 (1976 model year), this familiar "split-grille" design was given a slight face lift to feature black accents around the headlights and a refined overall appearance.

For the 1976 model year, a limited edition Bicentennial Option Group was offered on Custom styleside pickups, in either Wimbledon White or Bahama Blue, with a golden eagle stripe on the side, and red, white, and blue cloth inserts on the seats. [2]

1977 models received a redesign of exterior trim, with the cowl insignias made smaller and moved near the windshield. The bed received a rectangular fuel door to conceal the gas cap. The fuel tank located behind the seat was discontinued due to safety concerns. It also would be the last year of the medium-duty F-500.

Starting in the 1977 model year Ford dropped the "Super" from "Super Camper Special" in favor of calling the F-350 models with camper packages "Camper Special", a name that was previously only assigned to F-250's with camper packages.

1978–1979Edit

 
1978 Ford F-100 Custom

For 1978, the appearance of the F-Series changed the most since 1972, when the split grille was overhauled in favor of a single-piece grille insert design. Much larger than before, the grille no longer incorporated the headlights, turn signals or the "F O R D" letters. The headlights were located in housings beside the grille, and the park/turn signal lamps were located below them. Additionally, a new chrome-plated letter set reading "F O R D" could now be seen on the hood immediately above the grille. In 1977 (1978 models), the round headlight design was retained for the Custom trim level. A luxury "Lariat" trim was also introduced for 1978; Ranger, Ranger XLT, and Ranger Lariat trim levels incorporated rectangular headlights with optional chrome headlight bezels and the chrome grille insert. Dual Fuel tanks in the bed became standard. For 1979, round headlights were replaced by rectangular ones on all trim levels, and the surrounding grille insert that framed the headlights was now available in either black or chrome to match that of the aluminum grille frame. Also new for 1978 was the option of part- or full-time four-wheel-drive on SuperCab models. Full-time four-wheel drive utilized a chain-driven NP203 transfer case, while part-time four-wheel drive was equipped with a gear-driven NP205.

ModelsEdit

  • F100 F101 F102 F103 F104 F105 F106 F107 F108 F109 F10N: 1/2 ton (4,550–5,700 GVWR max)
  • F110 F111 F112 F113 : 1/2 ton (4×4)(5,250–6,500 GVWR max)
  • F150 F151 : "heavy" 1/2 ton (6,050–6,500 GVWR max)
  • F250 F251 F252 F253 F254 F255 F256 F257 F258 F259: 3/4 ton (6,200–8,100 GVWR max)
  • F260 F261 F262 F263 F264 F265 F266: 3/4 ton (4×4) (6,500–8,400 GVWR max)
  • F350 F350 F351 F352 F353 F354 F355 F356 F357 F358 F359 F35P: 1 ton (6,000–10,000 GVWR max)
  • F-360: 1 ton (4×4) (8,550 GVWR max)

The GVWR ratings for these trucks was tied to a combination of wheel, spring, axle and brake combinations. The series code on the ID tag denotes which model and from that it can be determined what weight rating each vehicle has. 4x4 trucks can also be identified by the Vehicle Identification Number and on the ID plate as a serial number. For example, F10 is an F-100 2-wheel drive, but F11 is an F-100 4x4, and so on. Serial numbers beginning with an "X" are SuperCab models.

TrimEdit

  • Custom
  • Ranger
  • Ranger Lariat (1978–1979)
  • Ranger XLT
  • Free Wheeling (1977–1979) - accent tape stripes, blackout grille, and unique interior trim[3]

An optional "Explorer" trim package was available with the "Ranger" trim level.

PowertrainEdit

Engine Years Power (SAE net) Torque (SAE net) Notes
240 CID Straight-6 1973–76 F-100 only
300 CID Straight-6 1973–79 117 hp (87 kW)
302 CID Windsor V8 1973–79 130 hp (97 kW) Only available in 2wd pickups
360 CID FE V8 1973–76 143 hp (107 kW)
390 CID FE V8 1973–76 161 hp (120 kW)
460 CID 385 V8 1973–79 200–239 hp (150–162 kW) Only available in 2wd pickups
351 CID 351M V8 1977–79 156 hp (116 kW)
400 CID 400 V8 1977–79 169 hp (126 kW)

Australian productionEdit

 
1978–79 Ford F-100 Custom XLT, with right-hand drive in Australia

Ford Australia assembled right-hand drive sixth generation F-Series that were fitted with a lineup of locally sourced engines. The base trim level was called Custom, with a higher spec XLT level only available on the F-100.[4]

Model historyEdit

1973–1975Edit

Initially they were available with US sourced 240 and 300 CID Straight-6 engines. From August 1974 the 240 CID engine was replaced with locally sourced 250 CID Straight-6 and the 300 CID was replaced by the locally sourced 302 Cleveland V-8 engines. The 302 Cleveland was a destroked 351 Cleveland built using tooling exported to Australia after the closure of the Cleveland production line. The F-100 with a 302 Cleveland model was the first Australian Sixth Gen to receive an automatic transmission as an option, the six cylinder powered models and the larger F-250 and F-350 were limited to a four-speed manual.[4] The Canadian built 4x4 F-250 was added to the lineup in 1975 with the 300CID Straight-6 engine to supplement the locally assembled rear-wheel drive F-100, F-250 and F-350.

1976–1977Edit

The 250CID Straight-6 was upgraded with a new crossflow head and rebadged as the 4.1 litre, increasing power and lowering emissions to meet new legislation being introduced in Australia.[4] At some point during 1976, the GVM of the F-100 was quietly[citation needed] increased from 2,586 kg (5,701 lb) to 2,770 kg (6,107 lb) ahead of the release of the 1977 specs. In 1977, a locally assembled 4x4's F-100 with Australian built engines was added to the lineup to replace the fully imported 4x4 F-250.

1978–1979Edit

In 1978, the 351 Cleveland V-8 replaced the 302 Cleveland V8 in the F-250 and F-350. The 302 Cleveland continued alongside the 351 Cleveland in the F-100. The 4.1 litre inline 6 cylinder continued to be sold across the range. In 1979, the 302 Cleveland was discontinued, leaving the standard engine as the 4.1 litre Straight-6, with the 351 Cleveland (badged as the 5.8), as the only upgrade, except the F-100 4x4's which was only available with the 5.8 litre V8. The F-250 and F-350 had an automatic gearbox as an option for the first time in Australia, though still only on the V8 engine.[5]

PowertrainEdit

Engine Years Power (SAE net) Torque (SAE net) Notes
240 CID Straight-6 1973–74
250 CID Straight-6 1974–79 106 hp (79 kW) @ 3500rpm in 1975[6] 190 lb⋅ft (258 N⋅m) @ 1400rpm in 1975[6]
300 CID Straight-6 1973–77 117 hp (87 kW) F-250 4x4 only after 1974
302 CID Cleveland V8 1974–79 130 hp (97 kW) @ 4000rpm in 1975[6] 224 lb⋅ft (304 N⋅m) @ 2200rpm in 1975[6]
351 CID Cleveland V8 1978–79

Argentine productionEdit

Like Ford Australia, Ford Motor Argentina assembled CKD F-series kits and fitted their own engines. These were the Ford Motor Argentina cast and assembled straight-six and Y-Block V8 along with Perkins 4-cylinder diesels.

Model historyEdit

1976Edit

The F-100 was available with three engine choices, the 221CID "Econ" straight-six, the 292CID Y-Block V8 and a 203CID Perkins 4 cylinder diesel. The only transmission on offer was a 3-speed manual.[7]

PowertrainEdit

Engine Years Power (SAE gross) Torque (SAE gross) Notes
221 CID Straight-6 120 hp (89 kW) @ 4,000rpm Argentina Market[7]
292 CID Y-Block V8 160 hp (119 kW) @ 4,000rpm Argentina Market[7]
203 CID Perkins I4 74 hp (55 kW) @ 2,800rpm Argentina Market[7]

Ford BroncoEdit

 
1978–1979 Ford Bronco (modified)

For 1978, Ford redesigned the Ford Bronco, basing it upon the F-Series chassis (shortened to a 104-inch wheelbase). Taking on the wagon bodystyle of the 1966–1977 Bronco, the full-size 1978 Bronco was designed with a removable camper shell hardtop, similar to the Chevrolet K5 Blazer/GMC Jimmy. The new Bronco incorporated design characteristics which eliminated leaky roofs and body flex associated with other full size removable top utility vehicles of the era.

To lower production costs over its predecessor, the Bronco was designed with interchangeability with the Ford F-150 4x4, sharing nearly all exterior body panels from the front doors forward, many interior and trim parts, and the same powertrain. The 351M V8 was standard, with a 400 V8 as an option; all Broncos were fitted with four-wheel drive.

Medium-dutyEdit

 
The similarities between 1967 and 1972 medium-duty F-Series, compared to those made between late 1972 and 1979.

Largely unchanged since 1966, medium duty-trucks saw little change during the 1970s. 1973-79 models are most easily distinguished by their larger headlight surrounds in the grille in comparison to 1967–1972 models. For 1977, a 370 cubic-inch version of the 460 V8 replaced the previous FE engines. Shared with the L-Series trucks, the Caterpillar 3208 V8 became an option in F700 and F800 models; diesel-powered trucks were distinguished by an extra "0" (i.e., F-7000/F-8000). The lowest-GVWR F-500 was discontinued after 1977.

HighboyEdit

The term "Highboy" is a nickname given by enthusiasts to 1967-1977 F-250 4x4's, which used the narrower width (34" versus 37") F350 frame and a divorced transfer case (Dana 24 or NP205).

F100/F150 4x4's did not use the narrow frame or divorced transfer case and used a different front suspension, with radius arms and coil springs, instead of leaf springs.

The F250 "highboy" 4x4 is also historically significant, as the basis of the first "monster truck", Bob Chandler's Bigfoot.

The F250/350 "highboy" 4wd frontend was higher than the F100/150 4wd, due to the narrow frame and tall front leaf springs. The spring was mounted on top of the left side of the front differential housing. The rear axle used spacer blocks under the leaf springs, to match the frontend height. The rear leaf springs were 2.25" wide.

Mid-1977, Ford discontinued using the narrow frame and divorced transfer case for the F250/350 4wd pick-ups. People then started referring to the 1967-1977 F250/350 4wd pickups as "highboys". There is an incorrect, albeit common, belief that Highboy was an option package available on all 67-77 Ford pick-ups. It was not.

There are very specific differences that separate 67-77 Highboys from Non-Highboys:

  • Engines: 1V denotes a 1-barrel carburetor, 2V denotes a 2-barrel carburetor.

240 1V inline six (1967-1974) 300 1V inline six (1967-1977.5) 351M 2V V-8 (1977) 352 2V V-8 (1967) 360 2V V-8 (1968-1976) 400 2V V-8 (1977)

  • Frames: All Highboys, like the F-350, have a narrow frame that is 33.5 inches wide. As well as being narrower than other frames, all Highboy frames received an extra front crossmember under the bumper. It is the only difference between Highboy frames and 67-72 F-350 frames. Highboy frames were different from other F-series frames and thus required a different bed than other F-series trucks.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ http://www.fordification.net/tech/production-numbers.htm
  2. ^ https://autoweek.com/article/car-life/patriotic-ads-ford-f-150-gets-bicentennial-fever
  3. ^ 1977 Ford pickup brochure (US)
  4. ^ a b c Ford Australia F-Series Sales Brochure, November 1976
  5. ^ Ford Australia F-Series Sales Brochure, June 1979
  6. ^ a b c d Ford Australia, F-100 Specification Sheet, July 1975
  7. ^ a b c d Ford Motor Argentina SA, F-100 Sales Brochure, 1976