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The Haynes Teardown Ford F-150 Pickup Truck: Road Test

Haynes Teardown Ford F-150 Truck

As if you didn’t know, Haynes produces its manuals based on a teardown and reassembly of an example of the vehicle being covered. We have been doing things this way since John Haynes wrote his first book more than 50 years ago. One of our upcoming books is to cover the new generation, aluminum-bodied Ford F-150 trucks, and we recently just finished taking one apart and putting it back together.

Depending on your abilities in the garage, or your experiences with mechanics, you may wonder what we do with all those vehicles we have taken apart. Surely they don’t get sold off to the general public afterward? The truth is, they often do, and they are often in better shape than when we bought them.

Our 2015 Ford F-150 is a basic work truck, in white of course, with regular cab, long bed, and 2.7 liter EcoBoost turbo V6 motor. This truck is about as basic as vehicles come these days, with cloth seats, vinyl floor covering, manual seats, windows, and door locks, and the basic AM/FM stereo with 1/8” input jack. It does have power steering, power brakes, air conditioning, and an automatic transmission because nearly everything does these days. Surprisingly it did not have cruise control, and if it had traction control, it was not obvious.

Coming out of a regular cab Chevy Colorado of the previous generation, the first thing I noticed about the F-150 is just how big it seemed. The roof of the Ford truck’s cab is way up at 75”, more than 10” taller than my Chevy Colorado ZQ8 sports model, though it only has 3” more ground clearance. The wheelbase on the Ford was about 24” longer than on my regular cab Chevy as well, which you really notice in parking maneuvers. Width wise, where my Chevy struggles to pretend it seats 3 across, the Ford could almost fit four, which really made the manual window handle on the passenger’s side a pain.

Besides the size, this truck drove almost like a normal, modern car. Any complaints about ride and handling probably have more to do with this being the base model work truck than any intrinsic design or build issues. It does still ride like the truck of 30 years ago with no cargo in it (over sprung and under damped), but the Lariat and above trim levels have hundreds of pounds of options and insulation which make them much nicer. Chances are the long-wearing fleet grade tires contribute to its stiff-legged ride as well.

One thing that can’t be faulted is the power and fuel economy of the 2.7 liter EcoBoost. For a truck that Ford says weighs nearly 4,300 lbs, this motor moves it with authority. Cruising at 60 mph, if you stomp on the gas to make a pass you’d hit triple-digit speed before you realize it. The six-speed transmission shifts down to fourth, the turbo spools up, and you need to start looking out for smokey. The current version is listed as putting out 400 lb-ft of torque at 2,750 rpm, which matches what the 5.0 liter V8 makes at 4,000 rpm, though the V8 has more horsepower.

Ford F-150 Baker, CA at Sunset

What the EcoBoost has more of is MPG. It also features auto stop/start to save fuel in traffic. Rated at 19 city/25 highway the numbers on the instantaneous readout and trip computer confirm those estimates. Cruising at over 70 mph the dashboard readout tells me I was getting about 25 mpg. Surprisingly, that is even better than my little Colorado gets weighing nearly 1000 lbs less, and making a much smaller hole through the air. I am truly a convert to the magic of turbos!

The interior was comfortable enough, considering it is the base model. The central seat has a backrest that can be folded into a mobile desk, and a bottom cushion that folds up to reveal a laptop sized storage area. The climate control and radio buttons/knobs (yes it still has both) are sized for easy use with big hands, even wearing gloves. On top of the dash is a recessed area good for catching important papers, cell phones, or whatever. Even though this was the base model, there were several 12-volt power ports in the dash for charging all your modern devices.

As far as how our guys did with taking it apart and putting it back together, there were no issues that I noticed. You expect this sort of operation to lead to all sorts of little squeaks and rattles, but everything appeared to be as you would expect for a truck that hasn’t even his 10,000 miles yet. Way to go Haynes shop crew!