1986 Ford F150 (Specs And Features)

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While the Ford Taurus boosted profits by filling showrooms and winning MotorTrend’s “Car of the Year” honors, the 1986 Ford F150 kept trucking to greatness.

The 1986 Ford F150 was the last year for Ford’s seventh generation of F-Series. The engine choices were paired to three: a 4.9L inline-six was the standard engine, the 5.0L V8 (electronically injected), and the 5.8L V8 HO was a naturally aspirated high-performance engine with a 4V carburetor.

The American economy was puttering along on all cylinders in 1986. Consumer confidence was up, inflation was at a twenty-year low, and Americans were busy living comfortable lives. Ford was on track to do well, introducing the new Ford Taurus. The car resulted from ten years of dedicated research, and when it finally rolled off the assembly line, MotorTrend had no trouble making it “Car of the Year.” Ford could afford to be excited about its future due to steadily increasing F150 sales. (The Ford F150 had been the top truck in America for sixteen years. It would not be long before it became the best-selling vehicle). In 1986, Ford saw no reason to mess with perfection. Let’s review the 1986 Ford F150 to see what makes this underappreciated classic truck so unique.

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The Features of the 1986 Ford F150

Due to the excitement and attention that the Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable caused, Ford put the F150 on autopilot. Sales had been excellent for a couple of years and had lined Ford’s coffers with a lot of profits. Ford didn’t expect to duplicate that success, but it didn’t balk at the $3.3 billion the company did during the year either.


Since Ford had installed electronic fuel injection on all their models, truck owners were getting used to a computer-controlled truck. Ford did continue to offer a naturally aspirated high-performance 5.8L V8, but the standard 4.9L inline-six and the popular 5.0L were EFI engines.

Ford continued to use the Lariat name it had resurrected the year before by pairing it with XLT as the top trim. The trim lines were Standard, XL, and XLT Lariat.

The 150 Ford truck came in Regular Cab and SuperCab versions, either as a Styleside or Flareside. Several accessories continued to be available: cruise control, air conditioning, a digital clock, Western mirrors, and an AM/FM stereo with a cassette player.

While most F150s were single-cab trucks, the SuperCab was a popular choice by many clients with its additional seating in the rear. The seating arrangement included a bench seat that could be folded down for storage or inward-facing jump seats. The SC also gave customers a choice of Captain’s Chairs with a deep center console. Many XLT Lariat owners paid extra money for the unique seating.


The body of the F-Series stayed the same in 1986 (Ford knew that the eighth generation was about to hit the market).

The F150 continued to be offered as a “Styleside” with its straight sides extending along the truck’s profile. The “Flareside” with extended rear fenders gave customers a sporty look, similar to the Free-Wheelin’ packages of the seventies.

The straight-lined Styleside beds were 6 ¾ ‘ short or 8’ long beds. Ford offered three different payload packages, each with higher-density rear springs to handle the additional weight.

For 1986, eleven color choices were included (Colonial White replaced Wimbledon White which had been part of the Ford color lineup for decades). Medium Silver Metallic, Dark Grey Metallic, Dark Spruce Metallic, Light Desert Tan, Dark Canyon Red, Dark Shadow Blue Metallic, Desert Tan Metallic, Bright Canyon Red, and Bright Regatta Blue Metallic were other choices. The company still offered two-tone schemes.


As mentioned, Ford’s most significant change for the 1986 model was the addition of electronic fuel injection for the 5.0L V8. Early reviews of the computer-controlled engine were mixed. Owners reported rough riding or faulty circuits controlling the fuel pump and black smoke pouring out of their exhaust. Despite the issues, Ford remained committed to the EFI engines.

For truck owners who wanted a naturally aspirated engine, Ford stuck with the 5.8L HO. The engine had a 4bbl carburetor, an enlarged air filter, and a specially designed low-pressure exhaust.

The 4.9L 300 cu inline-six was the standard engine, although not many customers opted for it. Most customers were put off by the lack of towing power the smaller engine had.

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


The 3-spd manual was standard for Regular Cab trucks and was one of three powertrain options. In contrast, the 4-speed manual with overdrive was standard for SuperCabs and four-wheel models. An automatic with overdrive and SelectShift automatic were the most popular choices since the days of manual transmissions, and clutches were fading quickly.

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. Manual locking hubs were standard, but automatic locking hubs were an option.


Ford continued to use the Twin I-beam independent front suspension for 4 x 2 models, while it offered a Twin-beam suspension for 4x4 units.

Interior and Trim Lines

Ford had returned the Lariat trim level to the lineup in 1985, pairing it again with the XLT trim. Power steering and brakes were standard.

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 came with an AM radio (although Ford allowed owners to receive a credit if they wanted it pulled). Dubbed the “Standard” truck, Ford made more of these than any other model, and most were 4 x 2 Styleside Regular Cabs.

The XL trim offered a cloth/vinyl bench seat. Ford replaced their “buckle up” seat belt warning with a more pleasing chime than the annoying buzzing noise it had previously had. Dome lights were activated by switches in either door, and aluminum scuff plates were installed at the base of the door entrance. There were some wood grain appliques thrown on the dash just to distinguish it from the Standard. Color-keyed headliners and floor mats were also included.

The XLT Lariat was the height of luxury with color-coordinated cloth seats. The high-pile carpeting looked terrific until the first time it got dirty. The soft-wrapped steering wheel with wood-tone inserts accented the heavy use of wood-tone on the dash. While an AM/FM radio was standard, owners could opt for the cassette player. The interior look refined and luxurious. The XLT Lariat interior felt more like a high-quality sedan than a truck.

What Are The Specs For The 1986 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 EFI
351 cu HO V8
Horsepower 118 - 122 hp @ 3400 rpm (300 inline six)
185 hp @3400 rpm (351 V8 EFI)
190 hp @ 3600 rpm (351 H0 V8)
Torque 223 ft/lb @ 2400 rpm (300 inline six)
285 ft/lb @ 2400 rpm (302 V8 EFI)
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)
11.0:1 (351 V8 - 4 bbl)
Fuel Tank 19 gallon (std - Longbed) (16.5 shortbed)

What Is a 1986 Ford F150 Worth Today?

According to Hagerty, the price of a 1986 F150 in good condition is $9,900, depending on the options. For a review of free listings of 1986 F-Series trucks and other classic cars for sale, see classiccars.com