1997 F250 (Specs And Features)

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You found a 1997 F 250 for a restoration project, but to be sure, you need to do some research. What are the features and specs of the ‘97 F250?

The ‘97 F 250 was one of the final years for the ninth generation of F-Series trucks built from ‘92 - ‘98. The F250 had three sizes of V8 gas engines and the 7.3L diesel engine for its ¾ ton. The F250 had four trim levels, Standard, XL, XLT, and Lariat, and a 6.5 or 8’ bed installed.

During the 90s, the Ford brand realized that there were two distinct groups of pickup truck buyers. Some owners purchased their truck as an extension of the family car, preferring to haul the occasional load. Other buyers needed commercial applications, using the truck as a work vehicle. The F-series began to split apart, with the F150 and ½ ton F250 adopting a more car-like atmosphere while the  ¾ ton F250 - full ton F350 did the heavy lifting. During the 1997 model, Ford began to lay the groundwork for what will become their Super Duty lineup for several decades.

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What Are The Features of the 1997 Ford F 250?

The F250 did see a few tweaks for the features of the 1997 model. (Ford skipped the 1998 model year for the F350 and offered the ‘98 F250 pickup truck with limited availability). An overview of the features is listed below.

One Old and One New

As mentioned, the F250 was sold as either a ½ ton or ¾ ton. The lighter-duty F250 took its design cues from the newly revamped F150. (It looked almost identical to it).

Ford F250 Light-Duty Half-Ton

The F250 light-duty truck came in two basic cab configurations; Regular Cab and SuperCab (extended cab). New for 1997 was third door access to the back seat that opened from a handle integrated into the side door frame.

The manufacturer offered the F250 was only offered as a Styleside with a choice of 6 ½’ or 8’ cargo box. The truck came in 2WD, or 4-wheel drive configurations, had a payload capacity of up to 3,600 lbs., and over 56 inches of width. The vehicle would tow up to 13,500 lbs GVCR with the 3.73 differential.

Ford F250 HD ¾ Ton

While the HD version kept the same square body shape from the previous year, little else was changed. The ¾ ton trucks were often paired with the larger V8 engine, like the 7.3 Turbo Diesel, with reinforced Dana 50 axles, and used twin-traction independent front suspension. Because they resembled their F350 counterparts, mechanics began to refer to the F250 HD as “OBS” models, which was short for “Old Body Style.”

The HD version offered Regular Cab,  ExtendedCab, and Crew Cab versions. The Crew Cab short bed is sought by collectors due to limited availability.


There were several motors built for the ‘97 F 250. While the 4.6L V8 producing 210 HP and 325 lb/ft of torque was standard for half-ton units across all trim levels, customers could buy the 5.4L Triton V8 (235 HP), which provided more power. Both motors were made with a single chain overhead cam (SOHC) and a dedicated cooling system. (These engines would become the centerpiece for Ford’s next decade of trucks).

The HD version short bed of the F250 had 7.5L V8, while most long beds were powered by a diesel engine (7.3L Turbo Diesel V8 - 215 HP - 435 lb/ft of torque). The turbo-diesel was produced between 1994 - 2003. Based on ownership complaints, it is considered by many to be the most reliable motor ever built. Used 1997 Ford F-Series with the Turbo diesel have great value in today’s used truck market.

Engine Output
4.6L Triton V8 Engine 210 HP - 325 lb/ft
5.4L Triton V8 Engine 235 HP - 325 lb/ft
7.5 V8 Engine 245 HP - 425 lb/ft
7.3L Turbo - Diesel (¾ ton) 215 HP - 435 lb/ft


A 5-speed manual with Overdrive was the standard drivetrain across the board for the 1997 Ford F250. Still, drivers often preferred to pay more for the automatic with Overdrive.

Trim Levels

The F250 had four trim levels - Standard, XL, XLT, and Lariat. A standard third door on the SuperCab was new for 1997 and present on all models.


The standard trim level was pretty basic, with few frills or amenities. The exterior had monochrome coloring in one of five colors, Tan, Black, White, Red, or Silver. (Two-tone paints were not sold on this trim level).

The black manual mirrors and argent-painted bumpers gave the truck a subdued appearance. The Std trim levels included easy-to-clean vinyl seating surfaces with black vinyl floor trim. Driver and Passenger airbags were standard, but 4-wheel anti-lock brakes were options. Cruise, a tilt steering wheel, and a cassette player were all listed as optional equipment. It wouldn’t be long before the Standard trim level would end with the XL becoming the basic tier.


The XL was very similar to the lower Std trim, but added Pacific Green Metallic as a color choice (included on the XL/XLT trim).  The 502A package brought styled steel wheels and a chrome rear step bumper to the truck, which matched the standard chrome front.

The interior of the XL had poly-knit bench seats with a 60/40 split back. The rear bench seat on the SuperCab was also divided, with additional storage behind the back. Everything else was the same between the std model and the XL.


In years past, the XLT Lariat had been the top tier in the F250 lineup during the late 80s, but not anymore. Ford lowered the XLT nameplate to continue its designation as the middle model and used the simple Lariat name to designate the higher model.

XLT models were equipped with a sliding rear window, chrome bumpers, and 60/40 split seats with a center armrest and cup holders. An illuminated entry system was standard, although keyless entry was only an option.

The inside of the XLT had cloth seating and carpeting. Customers opted for the XLT equipment pkg (507A); they could receive the addition of air conditioning, AM/FM stereo cassette/radio, and polished aluminum wheels.


The Lariat was considered the most expensive trim level for the ‘97 F250. With the Lariat Package, owners could have a two-tone paint scheme. There were many other options, such as air conditioning, carpeted floor mats, and a six-way power driver’s seat. A six-CD changer with an upgraded sound system was an option at the time.

The Lariat offered six colors on the exterior, with grey or tan leather interiors. The front bench seat had a center armrest. When folded down, it had two cup holders and an additional cubby for storage. Many owners loved the leather which was stock, and made the light-duty F250 feel more like the passenger cars and SUVs they had been driving for years.

The Lariat trim would continue to serve Ford. Still, with the introduction of the King’s Ranch (1999) and Platinum (2013) supplying even more luxury, the Lariat came to be a middle-level entry.


Depending on the trim level, you could have vinyl or cloth seating and your choice of vinyl flooring or carpeted floors. The instrumentation was straightforward and simple, allowing the driver clear access to all controls. Additional map pockets and a wide glove compartment were part of the interior. Interval wipers that adjusted with the vehicle’s speed, cruise control, auto headlights, and a tilt steering wheel were part of the option package for the XLT and Lariat trims.

What Are The 1997 F250 Specs?

The specifications for the ‘97 F250 are listed below.

Item Specification
Engine (Light-Duty) 4.6L V8 - 210 HP - 325 lb/ft (S)
5.4L Triton V8 - 235 HP - 329 lb/ft (O)
Engine (HD) 7.5L Triton V8 - 235 HP - 325 lb/ft (S)
7.3L Turbo-Diesel - 225 HP - 450 lb/ft (O)
Transmission 5-speed manual with Odrive (S)
3 speed automatic (O)
Rear Axle Differential 3.55 (O)
3.73 (0pt. - HD Pkg or Class III Tow Package
Cab Configurations (Light-Duty)
Cab Configuration (HD)
Regular Cab and SuperCab
Regular Cab/SuperCab/Crew Cab
Shift on Fly 4-wheel drive Optional on all lines
Wheelbase 139 inches - 155 inches
Bed Length 6.5’ - 8’ bed
Bed Capacity 72.6 cu ft (8 ft)
58.6 cu ft (6.5 ft)
Payload (LD - Reg. Cab - 4x2 - 139 wb - 8’ box) 2640 lbs (Pkg #1)
3340 lbs (Pkg #2)
Payload (LD - Reg. Cab - 4x4 - 139 wb - 8’ box) 2485 lbs (Pkg #1)
2835 lbs (Pkg #2)
Payload (LD - SupCab - 4x2 - 139 wb - 6.5 box) 2420 lbs (Pkg #1)
3075 lbs (Pkg #2)
Payload (LD - Supcab - 4x4 - 139 wb - 6.5 box) 2430 lbs (Pkg #1)
2775 lbs (Pkg #2)
Payload (HD) 3460 lbs (Shortbed)
3530 lbs (LongBed)
Towing Capacity Up to 13,500 lbs
Fuel Capacity 30 - 37.2 gallons
Base MSRP $8.661 - $12,761