BACK IN THE DAY

Diesel World - - Feature -

The Ford Pack­age: 1983-1986—The Bull­nose Era

Ford had de­buted a new line of trucks in 1980 and the diesel en­tered the game right in the mid­dle of that ’80-86 gen­er­a­tion. To­day, this era of Ford trucks is of­ten called the “Bull­nose” for its broad snout. It came in a Stan­dard (base) trim, XL and the full­boat XLT. Body styles ranged from reg­u­lar-cab longbed, Su­per­cab longbed and, in some years, a crew-cab longbed. “Lariat” was added to the XLT des­ig­na­tion in ’85.

In this era you had the choice of two trans­mis­sions, the Warner T-19 four-speed or the leg­endary C-6 au­to­matic three-speed. If you or­dered four-wheel drive, it came with a Borg­warner 1345 trans­fer case. Axles var­ied by year. To mid-’85 the rear axle was a Dana 61 or 70 axle. In mid-year ’85 the 10.25-inch ring gear Ford Ster­ling de­buted in semi or full-float ver­sions (full-float only on the diesels). F-350 DRWS most of­ten had Dana 70 HD axles but there are DRW Ster­ling axles out there too. Up front, the Twin I-beam non-driv­ing axles car­ried the load for 4x2s. The F-250HD 4x4 had a twin trac­tion beam (TTB) Dana 44 as stan­dard with a Dana 50 TTB op­tional. The F-350 came stan­dard with the stronger Dana 50 TTB. In ’85 the Dana 60 solid front axle was in­tro­duced and most F-350s had it. Only two axle ra­tios were of­fered for the diesels, 3.55 and 4.10:1. This was to re­main the prac­tice all the way through the IDI era.

 The E-250 and E-350 vans were avail­able with the diesel op­tion, but only with an au­to­matic trans­mis­sion. The diesel E-350 dually chas­sis was pop­u­lar for mo­torhomes and well-liked for its much bet­ter fuel econ­omy vs. the big-block gasser. Jonathan Lalonde of On­tario, Canada, owns this 26-foot ’87 F-350 Cor­sair with a 6.9L, C-6 au­to­matic and 3.54 gears. At last count, this rig had nearly 170,000 miles on it!

 Never for­get the Idi-pow­ered F-350 cab and chas­sis was one of the most pop­u­lar chas­sis cabs for con­ver­sions. This new ’87 F-350 base model is ready for duty in any realm of busi­ness.

 The ’83-86 “Bull­nose” era in­te­ri­ors ranged from a rub­ber mats, vinyl seats, bare-bones, hose-out in­te­ri­ors to com­fort­able, velour, car­peted plush­ness with car­like op­tions.

 The ’83-86 diesels were de­noted by an in­con­spic­u­ous badge on each front fender and on the tail­gate… and the rau­cous diesel rat­tle when the en­gine was run­ning, of course.

 In 1990 you could get a diesel-pow­ered Su­per­cab F-350 XLT Lariat dually with all the good­ies, even if this one is in a plain white wrap­per.

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