Pros: Robust, reliable, reassuring the 1994 F150 has it all and classic looks to boot!
Cons: Poor dealer service. Poor standard transmission design.
I drove my 1994 Ford F150 off the dealer’s lot in December 1994 with 5 miles on the odometer. Since then I have logged an additional 170,000 miles on the odometer with no hint that it will not stop kicking anytime soon.
The quality of design and excellence of manufacture of the 1994 F150 are superb. I wish I could say the same for my dealings with Ford dealerships. My initial small gripes about this truck were blown off by the dealer until I decided that had lost my business and I would not waste my time with them again. I will list all the failures I have had with this truck. Although this list may seem long please keep in mind the age and mileage of this truck. At about 5,000 miles I began to experience brake problems. The Ford dealership blew me off and I ended up having my mechanic replace the pads. Since that date I have replaced all four rotors twice and all the front calipers once. The pads have been replaced four times. At around 70,000 miles the rear main seal failed. This caused a major oil leak and was very expensive to replace. At around 100,000 miles the fan clutch failed. I replaced the unit myself. Removing the old fan clutch is a major mission demanding a special tool to do so. Clutch failed at around 160,000 miles. The standard M5R2 transmission failed and died at 168,000 miles. The clock spring has failed twice. The ignition failed once leading to the need to have a new ignition installed and a new key.
Again, I consider this F150 to a great investment. It has been very reliable and very reassuring to drive. Of all the things that have failed the only thing I can shake a stick at Ford over is the poorly designed Mazda made transmission. The standard five speed manual transmission is a poor design. It leaks lubricant that leads to premature failure. The transmission stands out as a poor component on what is otherwise an excellent truck. These trucks are made of the stuff trucks ought by right, be made of; steel, glass, rubber and more steel. They were meant to be driven long, used hard and given little consideration at the end of the day. I have pulled trailers and boats with mine. The bed is deep and long and takes a huge amount of load. The truck handles very well at all speeds, in all weather. My version has a dual gas tank that is very handy. With a fuel capacity close to 40 gallons I am able to go two weeks before a fill up. I wish there were more room in the standard cab to store items behind the seat and I wish there was a cup holder but these are trivial matters. In the end I strongly and with clear mind recommend the 1994 F150. It is a classic truck and will be sought after in the future by those who recognize its simple robustness and clarity of design as desirable and lost traits.
Six years after I wrote the original review and incredibly this truck is still kicking. It is starting to show it's age but it is a consistent daily driver that has not let me down. I have owned the truck for 16 years now. I am very impressed by this truck. I fully expect to still be driving this thing but the time it starts to look like Fred Sanford's truck and I fully expect it to still be haulin and truckin on down the road...classic American steel!