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Classic Truck Articles

Ford F-Series
First Generation (1948-1952)

The F-Series truck was first introduced in 1948. Also known as the "Ford Bonus-Built", it replaced Ford's previous car-based line of pickups. It was very modern looking due to it's headlights that were integrated and a flat, one-piece windshield. Many options were available, including a windshield washer operated by a foot plunger and a passenger side windshield wiper (previously only the driver had a wiper). The passenger side of the truck also gained a sun visor and a tailight.

The design of the F-Series truck changed very little from 1948 to 1952. One one the design changes included the grill. From 1948 to 1950 it was a series of horizontal bars, with the headlights set into the fenders. For both 1951 and 1952, the headlights were connected by a wide cross piece with three aerodynamic supports. Also, the rear window was a little wider in later trucks and the dashboard was slightly redesigned.

First generation F-series trucks were built a no fewer than 16 different Ford plants. Using the serial number, one can determine the model of the truck, the engine, year built, which assembly plant, and the unit number. The most popular and common model was the F-1 with a 6.5 foot bed, closely followed in popularity by the F2 and F3 Express models which had 8 foot beds.

The following models were produced during the First Generation production years:

  • F-1: 1/2 ton (4,700 GVWR max)
  • F-2: 3/4 ton (5,700 GVWR max)
  • F-3: Heavy Duty 3/4 ton (6,800 GVWR max)
  • F-3: Parcel Delivery (7,000 GVWR max) & optional rear spring pkg (7,800 GVWR max)
  • F-4: 1 ton (7,500 GVWR max) & optional 1 1/4 ton pkg (10,000 GVWR max)
  • F-5: 1 1/2 ton: Conventional, school bus, and cab over engine (C.O.E.) (10,000-14,500 GVWR)
  • F-6: 2 ton: Conventional, school bus, and C.O.E. (14,000-16,000 GVWR)
  • F-7: Conventional (17,000-19,000 GVWR)
  • F-8: Conventional (20,000-22,000 GVWR)

Engines:

  • 226 CID Flathead 6; 1948-51 95 hp (71 kW) at 3,300 rpm ;F-1 through F-6
  • 239 CID Flathead V8; 1948-52 100 hp (75 kW) at 3,800 rpm ;F-1 through F-6
  • 254 CID Flathead 6; 1948-51 110 hp (82 kW) at 3,400 rpm ;F-6 only
  • 337 CID Flathead V-8; 1948-51 145 hp (108 kW) at 3,600 rpm ;F-7 and F-8
  • 215 CID OHV Straight-6 ;1952-53 101 hp (75 kW)
  • 279 Y-block (EAL) ;1952-55 145 hp (108 kW) at 3,800 rpm ;F-7 only
  • 317 Y-block (EAM) ;1952-55 155 hp (116 kW at 3,900 RPM) ;F-8 only

Transmission:

  • 3-speed light duty, F-1 only
  • 3-speed heavy duty, F-1 through F-5
  • 4-speed (spur gear), F-1 through F-6
  • 4-speed Synchro-Silent, F-4 through F-6
  • 5-speed overdrive, F-7 and F-8
  • 5-speed direct drive, F-7 and F-8

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