1987 Ford F-Series Trucks
Ford's evolution of the eighth-generation F-Series took a key turn in 1987 with yet another refresh on the 1980 F150 redesign. This time, however, Ford took the equivalent of a giant leap in the styling department, and it helped make an already successful model sell even better.
Interestingly enough, the basic design of the F-Series remained the same - it's a testament both to how good the 1980 remodel was, and just how big a difference a stylish front end can make.
Either way, the 1987 pickup trucks from the Blue Oval were light years away from any other manufacturer in terms of style, and by the end of the eighth-generation tenure in 1991, the F-Series would go from being the best selling truck in America, to the best selling overall vehicle in America.
The days of pickup trucks being barebones work machines were well and truly over.
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What's New For 1987
A flattened, rounded, and otherwise sculptured front end evicted the angular lines and large egg carton grille from 1986. Flush headlights and wraparound amber turn signals combined with a simpler grille to give the F-Series a thoroughly modern look that no other manufacturer could touch. The new, aerodynamic headlights are also easier to service (i.e. you can replace bulbs without tools).
The changes went further than just the front end, however. Wheel arches became rounder and bumpers became smaller, all of which contributed to the new streamlined look. Inside, a completely redesigned dash board with new gauges brought the F-Series closer and closer to passenger car ergonomics and comfort.
The new looks went hand in hand with technological upgrades such as standard rear anti-lock brakes-an industry first for a pickup truck. The standard 4.9L I-6 engine received multi-port fuel injection, while recalibrations to the Twin I-Beam front suspension gave the F-Series a more precise on-road feel.
Other small changes for '87 include:
- The washer fluid reservoir capacity is increased to 80 ounces, with a widened filler mouth for easier filling
- The 4.9L and 5.0L engines now use a serpentine belt and idler pulley means no more belt tensioning and easier belt replacement
- The brake fluid reservoir is made of see-through plastic with a screw-on cap, it's now easier to check the level and add fluid
- Tailgate operation has been redesigned; and a redesign in the front suspension allows for easier alignments.
1987 F-Series Model Lineup
Regular and SuperCab models were available in the F-150 and F-250, with Crew Cab models reserved for the one-ton F-350. Styleside beds were the norm, with Flaresides still available in the F-150, though 1987 would mark the end of Flaresides until 1992.
F-Series shoppers only had three trim levels to choose from-the "plain Jane" Custom, mid-level XL, and top-of-the-line XLT Lariat. All models could be had with four-wheel drive, save for dual rear wheel versions of the F-350.
1987 F-Series Powertrains
Familiar engines populate the 1987 F-Series line, though fuel injection on the 4.9 liter inline six cylinder gave the base engine for the F-150/250 a much needed power boost. The high output 5.8 liter was standard for the F-350, though the 7.5 liter monster remained the heavy hauler power plant of choice.
1987 would also be the last year for the 6.9 liter diesel; a new 7.3 liter oil burner would take its place in 1988.
As for transmissions, the old-school three-speed manual "three on the tree" was finally replaced with a traditional four-speed manual as the standard transmission across the line (F-150 models used a four-speed with overdrive), with three or four-speed automatics all optional.
4.9 liter/300 cid I-6
|F-150 / F-250 / F-250HD (2WD only)||
165 / 275
5.0 liter/302 cid V-8
|F-150 / F-250||
185 / 270
5.8 liter/351 cid V-8
|F-150 / F-250 / F-250HD / F-350||
210 / 315
7.5 liter/460 cid V-8
|F-250HD / F-350||
225 / 362
6.9 liter/445 cid V-8 Diesel
|F-250HD / F-350||
170 / 310
1987 Ford F-Series Defects / Recalls
Only one significant recall affects the 1987 F-Series. Listed as ID 39696, this recall addresses a problem with the spring lock fuel line coupling, which could work loose over time, causing a fuel leak.
Despite Ford's use of galvanized metals, rust in cab corners, doors, and fenders are a significant problem for the entire eighth-generation F-Series. Many owners also complain about worn bushings in the front suspension, leading to clunks and a general looseness in the front end.
1987 Ford F-150 Standard Features & Available Options
Major standard features include:
- 4.9L six cylinder engine with multi-port fuel injection
- Four-speed manual transmission with overdrive
- Twin I-Beam front suspension (Twin Traction Beam on 4WD models)
- Power steering
- Power brakes with rear Anti-Lock
- AM radio with digital clock
- Halogen headlamps
- Chrome front bumper
- Full gauge cluster (oil pressure, engine temperature, and voltmeter)
- Easily removable tailgate
- Front/rear fender liners
- Bright hub caps
- Color-keyed sun visors
Eight Preferred Equipment Packages (500A through 507A) were available depending on trim level. They include: Custom-500A, 501A, 502A XL-503A, 504A XLT Lariat-505A, 506A, 507A
Major options include:
- Electronic AM/FM stereo cassette with digital clock
- Cruise control
- Air conditioning
- Power windows (XL and XLT Lariat only)
- Power door locks (XL, XLT, and XLT Lariat only)
- Tilt steering wheel
- Interval Wipers
- Captain's chairs (SuperCab only)
- Center console (SuperCab only)
- Cloth Seats (XLT only)
- Cloth / vinyl bench seat
- Roof clearance lights
- Dual fuel tanks
- Chrome grille
- Automatic locking hubs
- Lower bodyside and wheel lip moldings
- Combination/Deluxe/Roof & Rocker two-tone paint
- Heavy-duty front suspension
- Heavy-duty rear suspension
- Deluxe argent styled steel wheels
- Sliding rear window
- Argent rear step bumper
- Chrome rear step bumper
- Skid plates
- Trailer Towing/Camper Package (Front and rear stabilizer bars, heavy-duty springs, heavy-duty shock absorbers, 7-wire trailer wiring harness, heavy-duty flashers, super engine cooling, aux transmission cooler with automatic transmission)
Interior trim colors for 1987 include Medium Grey, Regatta Blue, Canyon Red, and Chestnut. These colors are coded to certain exterior paint colors and may not be available in all interior/exterior color combinations. Available exterior paint color choices for 1987 include:
- Light Chestnut
- Desert Tan Metallic
- Colonial White
- Dark Shadow Blue Metallic
- Dark Canyon Red
- Alpine Green Metallic
- Light Regatta Blue
- Bright Canyon Red
- Medium Silver Metallic
- Dark Grey Metallic
- Raven Black
1987 Ford F-Series Brochure
Here are some excerpts taken from the '87 F150 brochure:
The new style of the 1987 instrument panel has a curved, driver-biased shape that positions the speedometer in the center, where you get an unobstructed view through the steering wheel. A full complement of gauges for oil pressure, engine coolant temperature, ammeter and fuel are also standard. They are all backlit with lit pointers for excellent night readability. You'll notice a new indicator light in the F-Series instrument panel, too. It's one that you won't find on any other pickup manufactured in America. It's for the standard rear antilock brake system. The system contributes to smooth, sure stops by inhibiting rear wheel lock-up under most operating conditions.
Anytime rear wheel lock-up is detected, the computer processes signals and directs the pressure control valve to modulate rear brake line hydraulic pressure. The result is more controlled rear brake performance. Each time the ignition is turned on, a warning light check and a complete computer self-check are made. The computer continuously checks for any possible electrical malfunction. Should the system ever fail to operate, the warning light on the instrument panel will alert the driver that the computer has automatically shut down the system and converted the rear brakes to conventional non-antilock operation.
Notable advancements incorporated into the F-Series suspensions for 1987n are the use of gas-pressurized shock absorbers for a smooth ride and adjustable caster and camber for accurate alignment.
Scheduled maintenance intervals for the 1987 F-Series included a 7,500 mile or 6 month oil change interval. Spark plugs, air filter, and coolant are due to be changed every 30,000 miles (or 3 years for the coolant).