1983 Ford F150 (Specs And Features)

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Michael Jackson’s Thriller and Star War’s The Return of the Jedi were part of 1983, but it was also the year Ford killed one icon and crowned another.

The 1983 model year saw the death of the F100. The Ford F150 became the sole half-duty truck for the seventh-generation F-Series. Ford offered three engine choices; the 4.9L inline-six (std), with two V8 engines - the 5.0L and the 5.8L. Trim levels were Standard, XL, XLT, and XLS.

For the first time in years, Americans breathed a sigh of relief. Inflation fears were subsiding, Consumer prices were stabilizing, and more Americans were heading back to work. For the first time in years, the Big Three reported increases in sales as consumers headed back to showrooms. Ford notified their shareholders that domestic sales had bettered the previous year, and it looked like the storm clouds of the late seventies were starting to break. Now, halfway into the seventh generation of the F-Series, Ford continued to produce the F150 as the bestselling vehicle ever. While not much changed from the previous year, Ford kept rolling the F150 out of their showrooms and onto the roads of the American heartland. Let’s review this under-appreciated truck to see what we can learn about the 1983 Ford F150.

Table of Contents


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).

Engine Horsepower Torque
300 cu inline-six 118 - 122 hp @ 3400 rpm 223 ft/lb @ 1600 rpm
302 cu V8 133 hp @ 3400 rpm 243 ft/lb @ 2400 rpm
351 cu V8 136 142 hp @3400 rpm 263 ft/lb @ 2000 rpm


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?

Item Specification
Cab Configurations Regular Cab
Length 192.1 “ (6 ¾ bed)
208 “ (8 ‘ bed)
Wheelbase 117 “ (6 ¾ bed - Regular Cab)
133 “ (8’ bed - Regular Cab)
139 “ (6 ¾ bed - Super Cab)
155 “ (8 ‘ bed - Super Cab)
Max GVWR 5200 - 6100 lbs (Reg cab)
5450 - 6250 lbs (Super Cab)
Payload Capacity 1820 - 2530 lbs (Reg. Cab)
1710 - 2390 lbs (Super Cab)
Trim Levels Standard, XL, XLT, XLS
Power Steering Std
Power Brakes Std
Tires Radial P215/75R or P235/75R (opt)
Engine 300 cu inline six (std)
302 cu V8 (opt)
351 cu V8 (opt)
Horsepower 118 - 122 hp @ 3400 rpm (300 inline six)
133 hp @ 3400 rpm (302 V8)
136 142 hp @3400 rpm (351 V8)
Torque 223 ft/lb @ 2400 rpm (300 inline six)
243 ft/lb @ 2600 rpm (302 V8)
263 ft/lb @ 2000 rpm (351 V8)
Bore 4.0 (All engines)
Stroke 3.98 (300 inline)
3.0 (302 V8)
3.5 (351
Compression 8.0:1 (300 inline)
8.5:1 (302 V8)
9.5:1 (351 V8 - 2 bbl)
11.0:1 (351 V8 - 4 bbl)
Fuel Tank 19 gallon (std - Longbed) (16.5 shortbed)
Battery 36.1 amp (std)
63 amp (opt)

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.