Ford F-100 | Buyer’s Guide

Ford F-100 | Buyer’s Guide

(music) – I’m Stefan Lombard, executive editor of Hagerty Classic Cars. And today I’m at
Motostalgia in Austin, Texas with this 1979 Ford F-100. And we’re going to talk a little bit about what you should look for
if you want to buy one. Ford debuted its popular
F Series trucks in 1948. And this 1979 model was the
last of the sixth generation, which rode on the same platform that the fifth generation did and the fourth generation before that. So it’s a time-tested, proven truck. And there’s a lot to like about it. You could spec your F Series
with plenty of options, four-wheel drive,
air-conditioning, a bed cover, a sliding rear window, a CD radio. And in the case of this no-frills custom, if you wanted to smoke in it you could get yourself
a $22 cigarette lighter. Now the F Series was a durable truck and there’s not a lot
that goes wrong with them. But they were prone to rust, particularly here at the
base of the B pillar. And that kind of rust killed
a lot of these trucks. So if you’re looking at one, make sure that that’s a solid part. Another place to look is
at the front of the bed. This truck sit on a little bit of a rake and water would just pool there and sit. Check your wheel wells. A lot of times these trucks
were driven off-road, driven hard. All that crud that just sat in there could rot these wheel wells out. The front wheel wells were
fitted with a no-rust liner. The only problem was,
anything that got trapped above them could sit on
the metal and eat it away. If you’ve got a Phillips head screwdriver and if it’s still there,
unscrew a couple of the screws, reach up there with your
hand and check the condition of the metal. You’ll also want to check for
rust around the windshield, top, bottom and sides. Water tended to get trapped in this seal and any signs of bubbling
indicate that there’s rust you can’t see. And if it’s in the A pillars,
that’s a truck you might want to walk away from. These trucks came with a
versatile range of engines. Standard was a 300
cubic inch straight six, made about 114 horsepower
but 260 pound feet of torque. And that engine had been
around since the 40s, so it was tested and durable. Optional engines included
a 302, a 351, a 400 and even a 460. So let’s pop the hood on this truck and see what we’re dealing with. It’s a pretty bomb proof engine. There’s a lot that goes
wrong with these engines. It’s fitted with two
barrel carb and it’s tuned for low horsepower, lots of torque. And as long as it was treated
to regular oil changes and fuel filter changes,
you should be good to go. But as always you want
to check the condition of all the rubber in here. Make sure that the fluids
are all topped off, and that’ll give you some indication that the previous owner
took care of this truck. One mechanical gremlin to look for is the condition of the steering box. And you’ll notice, if
there’s a lot of play in the steering wheel,
either the steering box needs adjustment or it
needs to be replaced. And it’s about $150 bucks on eBay. While you’re in here,
look at the frame rail here on the passenger side. The VIN is stamped in there. You want to compare that with the VIN tag that’s on the drivers side door and make sure those numbers match. This particular truck
has its original engine, but that’s not always
going to be the case. And unless originality matters to you, a truck that’s been fitted
with a different 302, or 351, or a 400, or a
460, isn’t a big deal. And that speaks to the interchangeability of parts on these trucks. Just about every part
you need is available online, in junk yards and at swap meets. One of the hardest to
find parts on these trucks is this aluminum grille shell. They took a beating and
they’ve often been replaced. If originality is important to you, check this stamping right here. You should see the Firestone
F plus a date code. Another thing to look out for is the alignment of the
twin I-beam front end. You can check that by
looking at the condition of the front tires. Heavy wear indicates that you might be in for an alignment. Two great sources for
information, parts support and any other questions you might have are the Classic Ford Truck
Club and Chances are that any truck
you’re looking at from this era is going to have suspect paint. Orange peel is pretty
common from the factory, so don’t be put off by that. This was also an era of
bad paint in general. And it’s not uncommon to
find peeling clear coat and oxidation, particularly
on silver and maroon trucks. We always recommend a
pre-purchase inspection. It costs you a few hundred dollars and a specialist can get this on a lift, tell you exactly what you’re
looking at before you buy. It could save you a lot of money. And at the very least,
get it on a lift yourself so you know what you’re looking at. Trucks of this vintage didn’t
come with a rear bumper. But a lot of dealers, in certain regions, installed their own, stamped
with the dealership name. If you can find a truck fitted with one, or just find a bumper to put on yours, it’s a neat touch and it’ll
make your truck stand out. Spray-in bedliners weren’t
really a thing in the 1970s, but if the truck you’re
looking at is fitted with one, it’s a nice upgrade as it preserves the integrity of the bed. The interior of this F-100 Custom is a simple, barebones layout. You’ve got speedometer
straight in front of you, alternator, temperature not much more. This particular truck is a 3-on-the-tree. It was the standard
transmission back in the day, but you don’t see a lot of them anymore. This big windshield let
in a lot of sunlight. So chances are the dash might be cracked, something to consider. Same with your vinyl seating. If it’s ripped or torn, you
might have to replace it. XLT models had cloth inserts. But that upholstery is
widely available too. So last thing to do is fire
it up, see how it sounds and take it for a drive. (engine starting) I like it. This truck didn’t come with power steering and it’s really evident
when you’re navigating at slow speeds. (groans) It’s a good upper body workout. Everybody needs that. Truck buyers tend to
fall into three camps. Chevy guys, Dodge guys and Ford guys. If you’re a Ford guy, a
vintage F Series truck offers a lot to like. It’s simple, barebones. Even the Rangers and XLTs and Lariets, underneath they’re the same. If you’ve only ever driven cars, and an F Series is your first truck, There is a learning curve. It’s a big vehicle and you need to respect its size, its dimensions,
its road holding. So it’s always good to take
it out on a lonely road and just get a sense for what it does and what it doesn’t do well. While you have it out there,
let go of the steering wheel to see how it tracks. Are you going straight? Are you veering off to one side? They’re easy to keep on the road and you get a lot of
great looks from people who appreciate seeing a classic
vintage Ford on the road. And even if you’re not a Ford guy, and you just want an old truck, you should check out an F Series. (music)

About the Author: Michael Flood


  1. The 300 suffered terribly from the emissions controls of the time. Fortunately, it was easy to convert it to the "higher" power of the industrial 300's i.e. school bus, dump trucks, F-350 and above.. The heavy duty engine made 126 net HP. With the higher compression heads of the late 70's engine, I got 136 HP and 298 ft.lbs torque at the rear wheels. All with the single barrel carb. Very energetic engine and sharp throttle response!

    Besides getting rid of the EGR, I dumped the Carter YFA carb and put in the older Carter YF carb. The YF's have a larger venturi. There's a plug above the metering rod adjustment screw. Remove the plug and screw in the adjuster to richen it up. That greatly improves throttle response. The carb had sloppy linkages so, I bored the holes out and replaced the linkages with thicker solid copper wire to take out all the slop. The engine was super smooth because the fuel-air mix was better controlled.

    The Heavy Duty engine exhaust manifolds are not that easy to find but, I found one from a junk yard F-350. Those manifolds do help on the top end (above 3600 RPM).
    Ford vacuum advance cans are adjustable with a tiny allen wrench.

    That was it. The 300 in my F-100 woke up and was quite peppy.

  2. I don't know if it still this way in central Georgia or not but even when I left in 2004 there were still plenty of 70's era F-100's on the road as daily drivers. Some businesses were still using them for the business. You could walk into any parts store and they had everything for them. One after market company started making sheet metal for them, I delivered a few of those big hoods.

  3. I have my own 79’ F-150 with a 460 3 speed boy thing eats gas like I eat tacos it’s crazy dumb but it’s worth it. I’m looking for a salvaged 2015-2017 5.0 Mustang so I can engine swap maybe the rear end as well and eventually a stage 1 supercharger riding on some American racing rims 20’s and it is set

  4. I had a 79 short bed Highboy original Kansas City assembly Factory sticker it was set up for dirt racing my truck had a 406 big block Factory Double Springs front double shocks Dana 44 9 inch rear end the truck was bad to the bone I had a drunk driver hit me took out the front end custom grill and everything I let it go for 400 bucks I regret it now those trucks are going for 20 30 grand

  5. that's not a 79 it's a 78 bc 79 no longer had round headlights the but the 78 had the round lights with the square housing

  6. nice truck though you are too damn trusting to take your hands off the wheel going down the road man what if it just would of wiggled sharp to one side over correcting the steer would create a crash nope keep your hands on the wheel and make sure that beautiful old truck keeps on living

  7. I've had several F-100 once you get them running good they stay good for a long long time. And that 300 inline 6 Bulletproof gutless but Bulletproof I blew a radiator hose engine got so hot it actually swelled and seized waited a few hours for it to cool down replace the hose fill ER up with water crank right up. Unbelievably tough

  8. I have a 67 bronco i drive daily and it doesnt have power steering…'s not that hard to steer…..i cringed when you turned the wheel

  9. I honestly thought that they only put those circle headlights with the 78-79 grille on the 78 models only. I guess I was wrong lol

  10. Have to admit that's a Sexy ute ( Cough Pick up )

    Am a ford guy and the Ford comes first.

    But i like the U.S Chevs and Dodges

  11. My 79 F150 4×4 with a little baby 6 banger, is my DD. 😉
    Mine came with PS. Hell, she now has a saginaw pump.

  12. Repo mirrors, dash pad… 78 light inserts..
    meh.. it's a mutt. BUT… still a better love story than anything made since.

  13. Not to brag but…ok I'm bragging. I have a 79' F100 Stepside, wood panel bed, Straight 6, PS, PB, and AC. It's 2wd but maybe someday I'll make it a 4wd. I had a 76' High Boy but recklessly sold it to get m a r r i e d. Hopefully soon I'll be posting videos of it's rebirth back onto the road and some simple mods for some mud. I do like this video. Mostly informative and useful. If you are looking for a tough reliable truck then the older F series is the truck for you. Plenty of aftermarket parts to keep it running like new. 🙂

  14. Do you know what your talking about here? That is a 1978 model. As they never produced a 79 with round headlights, only the 73 through 78(for 6th gen). They might've been changed but I doubt it. The door could be from a 79, if thats where you got your info. but still the headlights tell a different story. Maybe you got it from the vin. But, the cab holds the vin, and the cab can be switched between vehicles, if done so it changes the vin of the old truck to that of the new cab. So that might have been a 78, but with a 79 cab. What i'm trying to say is that, if you want to be such a respected company as you could see yourselves than I suggest knowing what the vehicle is before telling people otherwise. Also our 79 has stock power steering so that was an option. And it looks as though its a stock F-150 not 100. The suspension and everything else under the chassis on that truck strongly resembles an F-150. Also F-100 were very low compared to that truck.

  15. I've got f100 was two wheel had 240 3 speed ok gear drive 4 speed and 4×4 streight axel Dana and 4-78 near great timing it saw that 3 v notch on bottem was tdc 10 btdc and runs great so also I was adjusting lifter tinckering and found in if tighten it speeds up so brought back on torq like rest how

  16. Dude, are you shopping for trucks at auto museums? “fire it up and hear how it runs”. Lol, most of time when you buy a truck that old, it’s coming home on a trailer.

  17. U didnt say anything about the front cab mounts rusting! It's a problem & a big enuf problem that they get scraped becouse of it! U talked about cab corners & windshields with were easy fixes. Yet nothing about can corners. Now I question ur knowledge.

  18. Not a 79,looks like a 78 to me "round headlamps" with single grill insert to my knowledge is 78 only,although some 78s had rectangular head lamps

  19. Between all year -4-78 the sane grill or was it other smaller blunker fronts and chrome around tail light

  20. Had a 1978 F100 that basically looked the same as this one. "Stove-bolt" inline six and three on the tree. Ford monkeyed with the ignition and timing for a "lean-burn" system that would pass EPA standards, but the engine would continue to buck and kick after switching the ignition off – would have to pop the clutch to stop the engine…

  21. This must be a 1978 because all 1979's had square headlights as that was standard equipment in 1979.

  22. It did come with power steering, at least my '78 did.

    That also looks like a '78, I thought all of the '79s had square lights.

  23. Have an all original 1976 Orange full size 2 wheel drive has a 360 rebuilt from top to bottom with all Factory parts original C6 transmission heavy duty 9-inch rear end and goes down the road straight as an arrow I did have to replace the original gauge clusters and Council when do LMC set me back over $700 but well worth it my interior for its age is in near good condition all orange truck with black interior is awesome these are some awesome trucks and I love the hell out of them now I'm fixing to get a 1972 Ranger XLT two wheel drive long bed with the 360 and automatic you can't go wrong with these classic trucks

  24. Great truck. I bought one new in 1978 and drove it for 14 years. Should have bought two and saved one for later.

  25. Nice. This guide is completely useless if you are buying anything that's not in basically show condition. I'm talking projects and stuff that hasn't been perfectly stored for 40 years

  26. One of these for sale rn in my neighborhood for 2700 is that worth that price? Looks a little more beat up and has a V6 engine of some sort

  27. @Hagerty, I would love to see an extensive guide that explains the differences and common traits between the F100, F150, and F250.

    Is it possible that your team could produce such an episode?

    Also, I'd love to see as much content as possible, on the history of COE trucks of all makes.

    Thanks a bunch! I love your channel. Great stuff.

  28. …Dude, IF that is the original grill in that truck, then it is a 1978, not a 1979…that is DEFINITELY a 1978 grill…in '78, the Custom series (base models) had ROUND headlights, like this one…the higher-line models/series had RECTANGULAR headlights…they may have also been available as an extra-cost option on the Customs as well, but I'm not sure about that one…what I AM sure about, is that the round headlights were available with this style grill ONLY in 1978…ALL 1979's had RECTANGULAR headlights, even the Custom series…so if this is a '79 truck, it has a '78 grill……

  29. I had a 1974 f100 , my first truck, it was 1981, I was so excited, I had numerous trucks over the years, I now have a 2017 f 250 4×4, I still think about that f100, I had what a special time that was, I

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