The Features of the 1983 Ford F150
The year would see one icon’s death and another one’s crowning. While Ford continued to offer the light-duty F100 alongside the more hefty F150, it was clear that the country preferred the heavier half-ton pickup. Ford was being pressed by the rise of small imports like Nissan and Mitsubishi (which prompted the development of the Ranger). The “Ranger” name had been transferred to the smaller pickup Ford had introduced the year before. (The popularity of the smaller Ranger made the F100 unnecessary). This model year would end the F100, as Ford retired the pickup from its line after a thirty-year rain.
The big news in 1983 was the reshuffling of trim lines for the second year. The base trim was the Standard, followed by the XL, XLT, and XLS. The Lariat name was discontinued in 1983, so the XLT became top tier. The vehicle came in Regular Cab and SuperCab, even though some owners wished that the rebirth of the CrewCab had extended to the F150. (Ford had finally seen fit to offer it. Sadly, Ford offered it only on the heavy F350).
The 1983 Ford F150 varied between $7600 - $10,4999 depending on the cab configuration (Regular or SuperCab) and the options purchased. Several accessories were offered, including air conditioning, a toolbox under the hood, cruise control, tilt steering, and an AM/FM radio with an 8-track player.
There were no changes in the body of the F150 in 1983. The truck had a lower coefficient of drag than previous models. (Ford accomplished this by building contours in the hood and roof and sloping the front glass back to help channel airflow). Ford’s small blue oval centered on the front grille. The iconic Ford lettering was removed from the hood lip and replaced with the small blue oval Ford would be known for. (It was positioned dead-center in the front grille).
Ford manufactured the Regular Cab and SuperCab configurations. The SuperCab offered 37.4 cubic feet of space and came in a bench seat or inward-facing jump seats that folded up when not needed.
Both Styleside and Flareside options were available. While customers could order a 6 ½ bed in the Flareside, the straight Styleside offered a 6 ¾ ‘ short bed or 8’ long bed. The cargo bed was sturdy with double-walled galvanized sheet metal. Ford primed the metals with zinc to help resist excessive corrosion. To help convince customers of the effectiveness of the process, Ford included a 36k-mile anti-perforation warranty.
Ford offered seventeen exterior paint choices, along with two-tone schemes. While the XLS trim level had black bumpers with a blackout grille, other trims had chrome bumpers and accents.
Ford saw no need to change engine choices for the 1983 Ford F150. Advertising extolled the virtues of fuel efficiency, and Ford needed some insurance so that younger buyers would continue to purchase their trucks. (Many of them were environmentally conscious). The 4.9 L 300-cu inline-six was the standard engine for the F150. The V8 engine choices were the 5.0 L 302 and the 5.8 L 351 V8. A majority of the F150s had the V8 engine. (The 351 is the most sought-after engine from this generation of F150s - primarily because it is virtually indestructible).
The seventh generation introduced an automatic with overdrive that kicked in around 45 mph. In addition to the 4-speed automatic, the 3-speed manual transmission was standard and operated from either floor gear shifts or three on the tree. The 4-speed manual was also an option. For 4 x 4s, Ford used the Borg-Warner 1345 Series transfer case, which it had been using for several years.
Ford continued to use the Twin I-beam front suspension for 4 x 2 models, with lubed-for-life ball joints and adjustable cambers. Ford used a Twin-beam suspension system with large coil springs for four-wheel drive models.
Interior and Trim Lines
The ‘83 F150 had power steering and integrated power brakes as standard features. Power windows and locks were still optional. The SuperCab offered optional Captain’s chairs with a center console on Standard, XL, and XLT trims but was unavailable in the sporty XLS.
The Standard trim offered a durable vinyl bench seat with black rubber floor mats and a black steering wheel. The base trim concentrated more on practicality than luxury, and many F150 owners embraced the base truck for the work they needed to do.
The XL trim offered a cloth/vinyl bench seat. Aluminum scuff plates were installed, with some wood grain applique as an instrument panel accent. Color-keyed headliners and flooring surrounded drivers. The overhead dome light had a switch activated by either door.
The XLT was the most luxurious trim level, featuring color-keyed cloth and vinyl seats. Wall-to-wall carpeting covered the floor, and wood grain was used around the instrument panel and on the steering wheel. The cabin had extra noise-absorbing foam and stripping to quiet the interior. Many owners remarked how the top-line trim of the F150 felt more like a luxury car than the inside of a truck.
The XLS was designed to appeal to a younger crowd longing for a sporty, new look. The outside of the truck was distinctive, with blacked-out bumpers and styled steel wheels. The truck had a cloth and vinyl seat, with brushed aluminum trim throughout the interior.
What Are The Specs For The 1983 Ford F 150?
What Is a 1983 Ford F150 Worth Today?
According to Hagerty, the value of a 1983 F150 in good condition is $9,500, depending on the options. While market values vary, most F150 4x4s are worth more than two-wheel drive models. For a review of free listings of 1983 F-Series trucks and other classic cars for sale, see classiccars.com.
- The XLS featured unique striping across the doors to attract younger buyers to the brand.
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My name is Matt and I've been around cars all my life! I have owned and worked on many different classic vehicles, so I started this site to share my experiences. If you're new to classic cars, then this website is for you.Read More About Matt Lane