1985 Ford F150 (Specs And Features)

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After two years of dynamic sales, Ford looked forward to 1985 to continue the trend as the King of the Hill, powered mainly by strong F150 sales.

The 1985 Ford F150 was a half-ton pickup built as part of Ford’s seventh generation of F-Series. The Lariat trim returned, and new electronic injection became a reality. The engine choices were expanded to five: 4.9L inline six was std, 5.0L V8 (2V), 5.0L V8 EFI, 5.8L V8 (4V), and 5.8L V8 HO.

While 1985 might be remembered for Cabbage Patch dolls and Teddy Ruxpin, Ford was basking in the energy of a string of two very successful years. Even though Americans were questioning the quality of American-made cars vs imports, Ford seemed to be winning customers back to the fold. Leading the charge was the F-Series outpacing the Chevrolet C/K and Cavalier as the best-selling vehicle in the US. Ford was back. Consumers were buying trucks and buying them in a big way. So what happened? Let’s review the 1985 Ford F150 to see how Ford used this year to lead into a new era of truck production.

Table of Contents


The Features of the 1985 Ford F150

Ford’s company culture experienced a shift in 1985. The president, Doug Peterson, felt Ford had spent years maximizing profits without being concerned enough about the customer. He initiated effective quality control programs and new ad directions to convince Americans to purchase American-made cars and trucks. (American automakers were under attack from Japanese imports).

Ford’s efforts to shift to a more customer-oriented company rippled across the business world as more organizations redefined themselves to become more consumer-minded. The public embraced the efforts as more trucks flew off showroom floors, and profits increased.


The most significant change for the 1985 model year was the introduction of an EFI system (electronic fuel injection) on the 4.9L inline six, 5.0L, and the 5.8L V8s. The EEC-IV had been used on the six-cylinder the year before, but now Ford expanded the computer-controlled equipment across all engines. Ford did continue to offer a naturally aspirated 5.0L since not every customer trusted computers to run their engines for them. (Ford had brought diesel to the dance for a few years but did not offer it in the 1985 Ford F150, reserving it for the F250 HD and above.

The Lariat name had been a hiatus for over a year, and Ford brought it back to owners’ delight everywhere. The XLT Lariat was the top-tier trim.  Trim lines were Standard, XL, and XLT Lariat.

Ford had instituted a lifetime guarantee on maintenance. Once a significant repair was paid for, customers were told that if the dealer had to fix it again, it would be free (both parts and labor). It was a popular program with owners, so Ford kept it in place in 1985.

The 150 Ford truck came in Regular Cab and SuperCab versions. Several options were available: cruise control, air conditioning, a digital clock, Western mirrors, and an AM/FM stereo with a cassette player.


The body of the F-Series stayed intact in 1985 since Ford was planning a complete redesign in a couple of years. The F150 continued to be offered as a “Styleside” with its straight sides extending along the truck’s profile. If customers preferred (most didn’t), they could have a “Flareside” with extended rear fenders.,

The straight-lined Styleside beds were 6 ¾ ‘ short or 8’ long beds. Ford had used double-walled galvanized sheet metal for decades and continued improving the paint polymers to help make the metal rust-resistant.

Ford had been limiting customers’ choices for exterior paint schemes for a few years (They offered 12 in 1985). Color choices included Light Desert Tan, Bright Canyon Red, and Bright Regatta Blue Metallic, among others. The company still offered two-tone schemes, which helped customers break up the monotony of a single color.


As mentioned, Ford’s most significant change for the 1985 model was the addition of electronic fuel injection across most of their engine lineup. The 4.9L had used the fourth generation EEC (Electric Engine Control) for a year, and Ford had already put the computers into their car lineup. The immediate result of the computer controlling the air/fuel mixture was a sudden uptick in horsepower and torque, which buyers loved. While naturally aspirated versions of the 5.0L and 5.8L would be offered, plans were to phase them out as soon as the EFI systems became more prevalent.

The 4.9L 300 cu inline-six was the standard engine, although not many customers opted for it. The 5.8L 351 high-output (HO) V8 introduced in 1984 was continued. Maintenance intervals were shortened from 10,000 to 7,500 miles between oil changes.

Engine Horsepower Torque
300 cu inline-six 118 - 122 hp @ 3400 rpm 223 ft/lb @ 1600 rpm
302 cu V8 135 hp @ 3400 rpm 243 ft/lb @ 2400 rpm
302 cu V8 EFI 185 hp @ 3800 rpm 270 ft/lb @ 2400 rpm
351 cu V8 150 hp @3400 rpm 263 ft/lb @ 2000 rpm
351 cu V8 H0 190 hp @ 3400 rpm 315 ft/lb @ 2000 rpm


The 3-spd manual was standard for Regular Cab trucks, while the 4-speed manual with overdrive was standard for SuperCabs. An automatic with overdrive and SelectShift automatic were popular choices.

Ford used the Borg-Warner 1345 Series 2-speed transfer case for four-wheel drive models, which it had used for several years, with a low range of 2.74:1.


Ford continued to use the Twin I-beam independent front suspension for 4 x 2 models, with lubed-for-life ball joints and adjustable cambers. Ford continued to use the Twin-beam suspension for 4x4 units.

Interior and Trim Lines

Ford returned the Lariat trim level in 1985, pairing it again with the XLT trim. Power steering and brakes were standard, but the F150 still had roll-up windows.

The Standard trim offered a durable vinyl bench seat with black rubber floor mats and a black steering wheel. While the base trim offered the basics, it tended to look like a typical truck interior.

The XL trim offered a cloth/vinyl bench seat. Aluminum scuff plates were installed, and some wood grain appliques were thrown in for good measure. Color-keyed headliners and flooring surrounded drivers.

The XLT Lariat was the most luxurious trim level, featuring color-keyed cloth seats with wall-to-wall carpeting. The soft-wrapped steering wheel with faux wood inserts accented the wood on the dash, making the interior look refined and luxurious. Ford installed double horn buttons, along with steering-mounted cruise controls. A dual air conditioning and heating system was an option, and color-coated cloth panels and seat belts accented the illusion of luxury. The XLT Lariat interior felt more like a high-quality sedan than a truck.

What Are The Specs For The 1985 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 Regular Cab
1400 lbs (Flareside short bed - pkg 1)
1410 lbs (Styleside short bed - pkg 1)
1635 lbs (Flareside short bed - pkg 2)
1325 lbs (Styleside long bed - pkg 1)
1925 lbs (Styleside long bed - pkg 2)
2510 lbs (Styleside long bed - pkg 3
2285 - 2345 lbs (Styleside - short/long bed)
Trim Levels Standard, XL, XLT
Power Steering Std
Power Brakes Std
Tires Radial P215/75R or P235/75R (opt)
Engine 300 cu inline six (std)
302 cu V8 (opt)
302 cu V8 EFI
351 cu V8 (opt)
351 cu HO V8
Horsepower 118 - 122 hp @ 3400 rpm (300 inline six)
133 hp @ 3400 rpm (302 V8)
150 hp @3400 rpm (351 V8)
185 hp @ 3400 rpm (351 V8 EFI)
190 hp @ 3600 rpm (351 H0 V8)
Torque 223 ft/lb @ 2400 rpm (300 inline six)
243 ft/lb @ 2600 rpm (302 V8)
285 ft/lb @ 2400 rpm (302 V8 EFI)
2833 ft/lb @ 2000 rpm (351 V8)
315 ft/lb @ 2200 rpm (351 HO V8)
Bore 4.0 (All engines)
Stroke 3.98 (300 inline)
3.0 (302 V8)
3.5 (351 and 351 HO)
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)

What Is a 1985 Ford F150 Worth Today?

According to Hagerty, the price of a 1985 F150 in good condition is $9,900, depending on the options. For a review of free listings of 1985 F-Series trucks and other classic cars for sale, see classiccars.com