BACK IN THE DAY
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.