The Features of the 1989 Ford F150
Ford enjoyed its third year of record profits in 1989 and rewarded stockholders with a 26% larger dividend check. While Americans seemed unfazed by a weakening economy, the average customer was beginning to show signs of defection. Millions were turning to modern imports in large numbers (Honda and Toyota were the top choices). Ford would find Americans parking an import car in their driveways more than ever before.
Ford raised prices by 2.6% in 1989, further angering their customers. While truck sales in the USA were expected to stay strong, Ford ignored the pickup market, concentrating on winning back buyers to cars like the Taurus, Sable, and Mustang (whose sales had fallen flat).
The most significant change in the 1989 F-150 was replacing the three-speed automatic with the electronically controlled 4-speed E40D. The new transmission was a C6 with electronic inputs added. This year would be the second one Ford would not offer any carburetor-fed engines. (Ford made a 7.5L diesel for the larger F250HD and F350).
Ford made a couple of minor tweaks to the front fascia for the Custom and XL. In addition, the four-wheel units received auto-locking hubs as standard equipment. The trim levels continued as they had since ‘87, with Custom, XL, and XLT Lariat.
The front of the 1989 Ford F150 was changed slightly from the previous year, replacing the blacked-out egg crate grilles with more aesthetic chrome ribs. The grille stood out more, and customers liked the change. A chrome strip sits on top of the black bumper, which wraps quietly around the base of the truck’s front toward the wheel. The body had no other changes but appeared just as it had for a couple of years.
The straight-lined Styleside beds were 6 ¾ ‘ short or 8’ long beds. The Super Cab offered families a rear bench seat or inward folding jump seats. Thirty-one cubic feet of storage space should drivers need to store gear. Owners could also choose a pair of Captain’s chairs up front with a center console. Families loved the slide and tilt feature, which gave kids access to the rear and kept them from crawling in and out over the center console.
The cargo box was made with double-walled galvanized sheet metal and then primed with specialized polymers before a double coat of exterior paint. Despite the efforts, Ford still had issues with rust and corrosion.
For 1989, twelve color choices were included (Colonial White, Medium Silver Metallic, Dark Grey Metallic, Alpine Green Metallic, Light Chestnut, Dark Chestnut Metallic, Raven Black, Dark Canyon Red, Dark Shadow Blue Metallic, Desert Tan Metallic, Bright Canyon Red, and Light Regatta Blue were the choices).
Ford had used electronic fuel injection engines for a couple of years, and other competitors were adapting the technology to their cars and trucks. While Ford might have been the first used EFI on a truck, both Chevy and Dodge had it on their select truck engines in less than a year.
The 4.9L six-cylinder engine remained the standard motor on the F150.
As mentioned, Ford replaced the C6 with the updated E40D. The four-speed automatic would continue to be used through the remainder of the eighth generation until the 4R100 replaced it. (Note: Most classic truck enthusiasts prefer the E40D that backed up the 5.8L V8, which was more robust than the units slapped on the 4.9L I-6 or 5.0L V8).
The M5R2 five-speed manual transmission with overdrive was standard for all F150s (Regular and SuperCabs; 4 x2 and 4 x 4 models) for the second year in a row.
Ford reverted to the Borg-Warner 1345 Series 2-speed transfer case for four-wheel drive models, having dabbled with the BW1356 the previous year. In addition, off-roaders were very excited when Ford made automatic locking hubs become standard equipment. (Manual locking hubs were still an option)
Interior and Trim Lines
The interior remained the same in 1989. The instrument panel was unchanged, with separate sections for the audio and environmental controls and the driver’s information displays.
The Custom trim offered a basic pickup truck feel with a vinyl bench seat and black rubber flooring. A plain black steering wheel, black seatbelts, and matching black accents on the dashboard were standard features. Many owners opted for the base model, and Ford found a good market in fleet sales as companies purchased the custom F150 in mass.
The XL trim level offered a cloth/vinyl bench seat. Aluminum scuff plates were installed at the base entrances. Wood grain rimmed the instrument panel and comfort/convenience areas. Color-key headliners and floor mats were also included.
The XLT Lariat was much more luxurious, with color-coordinated cloth seats. There was high-pile color-coordinated carpeting, although many owners needed floor mats to keep it from getting trashed. The wood-accented steering wheel was soft-wrapped in leather, and even though an AM/FM radio was standard, owners could opt for the AM/FM stereo with cassette player and digital clock. In some ways, the interior of the Lariat was better than many of the cars Ford produced.
Several accessories were packaged in equipment groups which Ford offered to customers. Packages included upgraded audio equipment, power doors, and locks, as well as increased payload capacities
What Are The Specs For The 1989 Ford F 150?
What Is a 1989 Ford F150 Worth Today?
Hagerty states that a 1989 F150 in good condition is worth $11,300, depending on the options. (Vehicles in excellent condition are worth more). For a review of free listings of 1989 F-Series trucks on sale along with their vehicle history, see classiccars.com
About THE AUTHOR
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