1978 Ford F250 (Specs And Features)

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You have spied a 1978 F250 that you’re considering restoring, but first, you need to research the vehicle. What are the specs and features of the ‘78 F250?

The 1978 Ford F250 is part of the sixth generation of F-series pickup trucks that began in 1973. The truck established the foundation for Ford’s dominance of the market as the best-selling truck for 46 years. The truck was offered in 4 trim levels (Custom, Ranger, Ranger XLT, and Ranger Lariat).

When it comes to longevity, there is no dynasty in the truck world that is better than the 46 years that the F-series has been the bestselling truck in the world. With a dedication to excellence, the Ford brand has captured the hearts and minds of the American consumer. But what makes the 1978 F250 better than the rest? Why is it one of Ford’s most popular trucks ever? And what spurs restorers to seek sale barns for this classic truck? Well, let’s explore the features and specifications of this classic truck to see if we can answer those questions and point you in the right direction.

Table of Contents


What Are The Features of the ‘78 F 250?

Let’s explore what makes the 1978 Ford F250 generate so much interest for an owner looking for a classic vehicle to restore to life. (If you happen to find one in great shape, be sure to snatch it up)


The 1978 Ford F-250 runs with a standard 4.9L 300 cubic-inch inline-6 cylinder, though the 400 cubic-inch 6.6L V8 and 7.9L 460 cu in V8 were offered as options. (Ford introduced the 400 as a replacement for the 360 V8 the year before).

Engine Specs for HP and Torque
300 cu in 4.9 L Inline Six 101 Horsepower
400 cu in 6.6 L V8 169 Horsepower
460 cu in 7.5 L V8 239 horsepower

The inline six-cylinder engine was a part of the Ford landscape for years, and while it stood the test of time (1960 - the mid-90s), it was never a winner in the power department. Only 8.5% of the F250s were built with the weaker six (most owners opted for the larger V8s), so not many of them were driven.

The ‘78 F250 offered transmissions ranging from the stock 3-spd manual to the SelectShift three-speed Cruise-O-Matic automatic were available. (According to Ford records, 60% of owners sought to outfit their trucks with automatic transmissions). New for 1978 was the 4-speed manual with overdrive, which also appealed to new buyers.

Power Steering and Brakes

The 1978 Ford F250 came with standard power brakes. The company had been using power sterling for a couple of years (since 1973).


In 1978, Ford offered a choice between Flareside and Styleside options. (Flareside trucks had rear fenders that flared out from the wheel wells. Stylesides were straight with no flaring).

Ford continues the “Dentside” identifying mark that ran along the side of their trucks, from the front parking light to the rear reflector light on the back side of the bed wall.

The split-grille front that had been a part of Ford’s front end was scrapped for a single grill appearance with larger, separate headlights silhouetting the sides of the grille.

The cab configurations included Regular Cabs, Supercabs, and Crew cabs, although the four-door cabs were reserved for sale for fleet work trucks mostly. The Std pickups offered two-size beds, 6.5 and 8 feet. The wheelbase was 139 inches for the shorter bed and 133 inches for the longer eight-foot bed.

Trim Levels

The 1978 Ford was offered in four trim levels (Custom, Ranger, Ranger XLT, and Ranger Lariat). In addition, Ford made 4x4 models with the choice of full-time or part-time 4-wheel drive.

Since Ford redesigned their internal transfer case, lowering the truck’s height, they could offer a Camper Special Package for these 4x4s without fear that a stiff breeze might blow them over. Owners who wanted a camper package as an option could slide a 12-foot camper onto the trunk’s bed.


Built on independent front twin-I-beam suspension, the truck had confident cornering and a solid feel on the road. The 2.5-inch springs on the rear wheels were designed for heavier payload capacities. The double-walled construction offered additional strength for the bed, and the 8-inch depth made hauling even big loads easy. Truck edges and insides were rounded to make cleaning easier.

By 1978, Ford had been using zinc coatings, along with galvanized steel to help with rust and corrosion. The wheel wells were sprayed with aluminum spray-ons and rust inhibitors to help keep the front and rear quarter panels intact. The Ford f 250’s hood was reinforced with stronger steel and rivets as well.

Capacity and Payload

The 1978 F-250 has a max GVW of 8100 lbs and a maximum payload of 3,625 lbs. The 8-foot box included 73.6 cu. ft of cargo space. The truck also had options for both light-duty and heavy-duty applications, with a tow weight of 15,000 lbs for fifth wheels and 18,500 lbs for conventional trailers. The tow weight made the F250 one of the best trucks for farmers, ranchers, and RV owners.

Camper Special Option

The Camper option was designed for models with a V8 and 4-speed or Cruise-O-Matic transmissions. There were many specific upgrades, like HD rear springs, front and rear stabilizer bars, dual electric horns, and extra wide mirrors mounted on the doors. Oil gauge. 55 amp alternator, and upgraded battery.  Ford aptly called their camping add-ons as The Free Wheelin’ Package.


The f 250’s truck interior was color-coordinated bench seating, with vinyl or durable poly-knit fabric (regular cab only), which was easier for owners to clean as they maintained their vehicles. The bench seat configuration allowed additional passengers to sit in the back (seating six), or the owners could use it for storage, whichever they needed. The seats were often two-toned with contrasting colors, making them look luxurious and expensive. With seven inches of standard foam insides, they felt soft and comfortable for passengers as well.

Instrumentation with simple faux wood trim edging on the dash was elegant, reminiscent of something you might find in a sedan. (The tilt-steering wheel added to this impression) Controls were convenient and easy to reach. A stock AM Philco radio came with an AM/FM stereo option. One of the most interesting things that Ford had for their 1978 trucks was an integrated CB radio. Air conditioning was an option that many owners demanded and ended up appearing in about half of the trucks that were built.

New for the ‘78 Ford f 250 was carpeting on the floor, unlike the rubber flooring the Ford had used for decades.

What were the Production Numbers for the 1978 F250?

The units were built in North America, Argentina, and Australia. Production numbers are -

Pickup No. of Units
F250 Regular Cab 104,328
F250 SuperCab 31,853
F250 Regular Cab 4x4 67,226

The following model options for the 1978 F250.

Options Number of Units With Option
Automatic Transmission 60.8%
Power Drum Brakes 30.5%
Power Disc Brakes 100%
Power Steering 96.6%
V8 engines 91.5%
Trailer Towing Equipment 6.1%
Four Wheel Drive 41.5%
Air Conditioning 34.4%
CB radio 14.4%
AM radio 44.9%

What are the Specifications of the 1975 F250?

Below are some specifications of the 1978 F250.

Item Specification
300 cu in 4.9 L inline 6 101 HP - 223 lbs/ft of torque
400 cu in V8 169 HP - 327 lbs/ft of torque
460 cu 7.5 L V8 239 HP - 341 lb/ft of torque
Length 212 inches
Wheelbase 132.99 inches - 139 inches
Wheelbase Width 64.5 - 64.8 inches
GVW Weight 7700 lbs.
Payload 3,625 lbs.
Towing capacity 4500 lbs with braked trailers
Carog Space (8’ bed) 73.6 cu inches
Fuel Type Regular or unleaded gasoline
4x4 Optional
No. of cylinders (Regular Cab) 6 (300 cu inline) - 8 (351 cu V8)
No. of cylinders (Super Cab) 8 (460 cu V8)
# of seats 3 - (Bench style - Regular Cab)
6 - (Bench style - SuperCab)
Transmission 4 - speed Manual or Cruise-O-Matic
Front suspension Independent coil spring
Rear suspension Leaf spring
Front Brakes Disc
Suspension I beam
Tire size 265/75 R 16 or 235/80 R 17
Rim Size 6J x 16.5 E10
Air Conditioning Optional
Body Type Pickup
Doors 2
MSRP $7,099 plus tax