Gifted F150

PandaDown

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My wife's dad is unable to drive anymore and gifted me his 1997 F150. It's a long bed that's appears in good shape. I was thinking of using it as my work truck when I just need to haul material. It has 118k on the 4.6 V8. I replaced the tie rods, wheels bearings, front brakes and ball joints.

It does have some bounce to it when driving, so I'm assuming it will need some suspension work. Also the engine could probably use a tune up. Any suggestions on what I should replace before I get stuck on the side of the road? I'm trying to be proactive. Also anything I should be looking forward too?
 

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dcline9163

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Tune up is a good idea. 118k isn't a lot of miles on a 4.6 L. Make sure you change the transmission fluid too. I'd start with shocks for the bounce, then go to springs if it doesn't greatly improve.
I agree with 331GT and would check date on tires, could be a knot or separated belt depending on age, get them balanced too.
 

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Yeah shocks, what does the tread wear on the tires look like?
Check for dry rot on the tires too. Don't forget the spare.

Definitely tune it, run techron fuel system cleaner in the gas, and do a top end intake cleaning with seafoam spray.



Consider replacing belts, hoses, thermostat.
 

PandaDown

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Tune up is a good idea. 118k isn't a lot of miles on a 4.6 L. Make sure you change the transmission fluid too. I'd start with shocks for the bounce, then go to springs if it doesn't greatly improve.


I was told not to change the fluid in transmission because of it having 100k. So do you suggest I do a drain and fill and not a flush?
Also should I just swap out the springs and struts at the same time? You suggest any one?
 

Robert cherry

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As far as the bounce while driving i bought an f150 stepside in 2005 and some idiot took the dogbones off the leafsprings and bolted them straight to the chassis you might want to check that because it was a really rough and bouncy ride until i replaced them
 

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I was told not to change the fluid in transmission because of it having 100k. So do you suggest I do a drain and fill and not a flush?
Also should I just swap out the springs and struts at the same time? You suggest any one?

I think most manufacturers recommend transmission drain and fill every 30-60k. It's up to you as to whether you want a drain and fill or power flush and fill. The latter will be more expensive. Check your fluid and see if it feels gritty and/or smells burnt. If either of those exist, I would at least drain and refill with a good filter and expect to do it again in 30k just to see if it's that way again.
As far as the suspension, if you can handle a set of wrenches and sockets, you can change out your shocks with the help of a good floor jack and a set of jack stands. I did my '99 in the driveway in just a couple of hours. I don't even remember if I used the jack stands or not. I wouldn't change springs unless your ride does not improve substantially with new shocks. Get some good shocks too.
 
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