1997 - 2004 Ford E Series

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Ford ’s trucks have a very long history behind and one of the best sold models in the company’s lineup was the legendary F Series.

In its long life, the truck has received a lot of upgrades and even today it continues to keep the standards high.

The previous generations were fairly capable as well and the F Series was always considered the perfect choice for those seeking for a reliable and strong working partner.

One of the most significant upgrades made to the F Series was marked by the year 1997. Back then, the F Series received new engines, dual airbags, side impact protection, new suspensions and a new exterior design. Also new for 2007 was the introduction of a third access door for the rear compartment for all SuperCab models.

Design

Ford E Series

The 1997 Ford F Series was redesigned from the ground up and its new exterior style was now rounder and more aerodynamic than ever. The cabin was also slightly larger and offered more space for the driver and passengers.

Though, many considered that the rounded body lines made the 1997 F Series less rugged and masculine. On the other hand, others admired the curvy shapes of the truck and received the new design language with enthusiasm.

The long nose was dominated by a massive grille which was available with a catchy shiny treatment. The grille was flanked by a set of dull headlights which despite their basic shape coped great with the rest of the body and made the truck look solid.

The hood was slightly raised and received two creases which converge toward the grille adding a touch of dynamism to the entire body.

The side body panels were pretty simple and didn’t receive any spectacular creases to break up the monotony.

The heavy duty nature of the truck was underlined by the flared wheel arches and the massive bumper. Sixteen-inch wheels were standard, but there were also available optional 17 x 7.5J rims, shod in P265/70R-17SL tires.

Interior

Ford E Series

Thanks to the well placed grab handles, you can climb inside without too much drama. Given the utilitarian nature of the truck, the cabin looks pretty good and the dashboard has a nice rounded style. There are also enough cubbies too keep you satisfied and the center console controls are laid out in an intuitive way being placed within easy reach.

The materials and plastics were selected for durability over luxury, so don’t expect to find many soft touch surfaces. The build quality however, is pretty solid and refined if judged by 1997 standards.

The instrument panel is fitted with two huge gauges for the speedometer and tachometer. All indicators are pretty clear and you can read them without too much struggles.

The seats are a bit flat for our tastes and are devoid of proper side bolstering. Though, they came with many adjustments so finding your favorite driving position won’t give you many headaches. The truck is also available with a central armrest which is fitted with a few useful storage places and cup holders.

The high driving position gives you a commanding view of the road and the visibility angle is great.

Engines and performance

Ford E Series

The 1997 Ford F Series was launched with two engines that were followed by a third unit soon after.

The entry level unit was a 4.2 liter V6 which delivers a maximum output of 210 hp at 5000 rpm with a peak torque of 255 lb.ft at 3000 rpm. This engine was the strongest standard unit you’d found at that time in this segment. The second engine option was a 4.6 liter V8 which develops 210 hp at a lower 4400 rpm and 290 lb.ft @ 3250 rpm. The strongest engine available for the 1997 Ford F Series was a 235 hp 5.4 liter V8.

The engines were mated to automatic transmissions and the truck’s maximum towing capacity was rated at 7200 pounds.

Ride and handling

Ford E Series

The Ford F Series had a pretty rugged ride and sends most of the road bumps directly into your spine. Luckily the truck stays pretty well planted on its wheels and the body lean is perfectly kept in check.

The Ford E Series handles pretty well, but the steering is slow to react to inputs. On the other hand you won’t have any complains about the stopping power as you can rely with confidence on the strong brakes.

The E Series is also ca capable off roader and thanks to its strong engines and the performant all wheel drive system.

Verdict

Ford E Series

The 1997 Ford E Series was upgraded from the ground up and the result was pretty impressive. The truck managed to keep all the good attributes found at its predecessor and raised them to a superior level.

The Ford E Series had also one of the most comfortable cabs in its class and the engines lineup included fairly strong units that were able to get the job done without whining. The handling was also pretty predictable but the ride quality wasn’t exactly stellar.


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