BACK IN THE DAY

Diesel World - - Feature -

1987-1991—The Flat­nose Era

In 1987 Ford un­der­took some restyling with­out chang­ing the ba­sic body shape all that much. To IDI diesel nuts th­ese trucks are known as the “Flat­nose” or “Bric­knose.” Flat­ten­ing the nose and us­ing flush head­lights achieved a more aero­dy­namic look. Fender well shapes changed as well as the in­te­rior. A small “Diesel” badge ap­peared un­der the driver’s head­light. Trim lev­els changed a lit­tle, the base level be­ing called “Cus­tom,” but the things in­cluded in each of those lev­els also changed, gen­er­ally mov­ing up­mar­ket. The 6.9L en­gine sol­diered on for ’87 but was re­placed by the 7.3L IDI for ’88. A big in­no­va­tion that oc­curred later in ’87 was the ZF five-speed man­ual trans op­tion. At first it was a choice be­tween the stan­dard T-19 four-speed, the five-speed and the C-6 au­to­matic. Later (by ’88) the T-19 was dropped and the five-speed be­came the only man­ual op­tion. Like the T-19, it had a taller first gear than the gas en­gine ver­sion.

For ’89 the E4OD over­drive au­to­matic was of­fered in the diesel line. That was a big in­no­va­tion, of­fer­ing the mpg im­prove­ments of over­drive to those de­sir­ing au­to­mat­ics, but it had taken Ford a while to build one stout enough for use in the higher GVW light trucks. There was a mix of three-speed C-6 and E4OD au­to­mat­ics that year and it re­mained that way through 1994, though in later years the C-6 was avail­able only in the com­mer­cial cab-and-chas­sis lines. Sus­pen­sion and axles stayed the same as the pre­vi­ous trucks, but in this era the Dana 44 TTB was dropped and the F-250HD in­her­ited the Dana 50 as the stan­dard front end for 4x4s. With a few ex­cep­tions, F-350s still used the Dana 60.

 The diesel badg­ing was un­der the driver-side head­light and more low-key than in pre­vi­ous years.

 When a big up­grade came to the Ford truck line in 1992 it would carry the IDI to its fi­nal bow and carry the first gen­er­a­tion of Power Stroke trucks to the next Ford truck re­dux. The only thing to mark a NA diesel in this era was a badge on the tail­gate. In the case of this ’93 turbo diesel truck it got an ad­di­tional “Turbo Diesel” badge on the fender, as shown here on Jon Miller’s stun­ningly re­stored ’94 F-350.

 The in­te­ri­ors moved up­mar­ket for the Flat­nose era.

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