BlueOvalTech Logo

1988 Ford F-Series Trucks

Still fresh from the 1987 redesign, 1988 continued to build on the strong points of the F-Series, now in its eleventh year as the best selling pickup in America.

Black 1988 Ford F-150

Its combination of handsome looks, comfortable interior, and impressive list of standard/optional equipment continued to morph the F-150 from a work/recreation machine to an all-around family vehicle capable of most every duty imaginable.

1988 Ford Truck Commercial Video

What's New For 1988

Despite being only a year into the eighth generation, several notable changes befell the F-Series for 1988, especially in the mechanical department.

88 Ford F150

An all-new 7.3 liter diesel V-8 replaced the 6.9 liter, and all engines utilized electronic fuel injection as standard equipment. Also standard across the line was a new five-speed manual transmission, replacing the four-speed from the previous year. SuperCabs were offered in a short (139-inch) wheelbase and as a dually on F-350 models. The Flareside bed was discontinued, though it would ultimately reappear in 1992.

1988 F-Series Model Lineup

A "plain Jane" entry-level truck for 1988 would be the F-150 Custom, outfitted with vinyl seats, rubber floors, an AM radio, steel wheels, a black grille, and the 4.9 liter inline six with a five-speed manual transmission. The XL trim offered a bit more pomp and circumstance, while XLT and top-of-the-line XLT Lariat trucks offered a range of cloth interiors, power equipment, and electronic sounds systems similar to luxury cars of the day.

1988 F-150 Interior

Regular Cab and SuperCab models were available across the 150/250/350 line, with two-wheel and four-wheel drive Crew Cabs available in the F-350. The F-250HD edition served up increased payload and towing capability for the ¾ ton segment. Styleside beds were the only offering, save for the F-350's dual rear wheel option.

1988 F-Series Powertrains

The 6.9 diesel V-8 was replaced in 1988 by the all-new 7.3 liter diesel, built by Navistar (formerly International Harvester). This naturally-aspirated diesel was the largest of its kind offered in a pickup truck, making 180 horsepower and 345 lb-ft of torque. Though it was only a 10 horsepower increase from the previous diesel, torque was significantly improved, making the diesel an excellent choice for long-duration heavy hauling.

The other big F-Series engine, the 7.5 liter gas burner, received a similar power bump thanks to a fuel injection upgrade. Horsepower increased by 5 to 230, but torque jumped from 362 to 390 lb-ft. The 5.8 liter held steady at 210 horsepower despite its own fuel injection upgrade, but did pick up an extra 10 lb-ft of torque, going from 305 to 315. The base 4.9 liter six cylinder and 5.0 liter V-8 received fuel injection in 1987, so their power levels held steady at 165 and 185 horsepower.

Three-speed and four-speed automatics also carried over from 1987, though the base transmission gained an extra cog to become a five-speed manual.

Engine Availability Power/Torque
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-250 (4WD only) / F-250HD / F-350
230 / 390
7.3 liter/445 cid V-8 Diesel
F-250HD / F-350
180 / 345

1988 Ford F-Series Defects / Recalls

A significant electrical system recall (ID 39985) affected nearly 8 million F-Series trucks, beginning with the 1988 model year. The problem involved a short-circuiting ignition switch that could ultimately lead to a fire. Other F-Series issues continue to be rust in cab corners, and front-end clunks that are generally attributed to worn suspension bushings or ball joints.

1988 Ford F-150 Standard Features & Available Options

Major standard features include:

Several option packages (500A through 507A) were available, featuring individual and package-specific options. Major options include:

Interior trim colors include Medium Grey, Regatta Blue, Scarlett 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 1988 include:

1988 Ford F-Series Resources