1980-96 Ford Truck & Bronco Vehicle History
Rather than softening the squarish styling of 1979 and earlier models, Ford's 1980 and newer full-sized Trucks and Broncos have an even crisper look, seen most prominently in the angled corner at the rear of the cab on the truck as well as a similarly angled opening at the rear of the doors. Taller side windows that dip below the base of the windshield as well as a taller windshield that now blends with the forward edge of the cab roof mark the remaining, most visible changes for Trucks and Broncos. The grille was revised and the parking lights were now recessed directly beneath the headlights. New wrap-around tail lights were used. Also new was twin beam independent front suspension, replacing the former rigid axle.
There were no exterior styling changes made on the 1981 Truck and Bronco. A premium sound system was introduced. Standard features included: vinyl sun visors, padded instrument panel, armrests and inside hood release.
The most noticeable styling change for the 1982 Truck and Bronco was the removal of the Ford name from the face of the hood. It was replaced by the Ford oval in the center of the revised, rectangular slots theme grille. Also new were lubed-for-life ball joints and adjustable camber.
Styling was carried over from the previous year. As a means of saving horsepower and fuel, F-Series trucks came with a viscous type fan clutch. It engaged the fan only as needed. Standard features for truck included chrome front bumpers and bright door mounted mirrors. In 1983, Ford regained its traditional irst spot in sales from Chevrolet. Sales of the F-Series Pickups gave that model the number one sales rank among all cars sold in the U.S. Ford's F-Series models were simply America's most popular vehicle of any type. Bronco styling was carried over from the previous year.
The F150 was now Ford's base light-duty truck. Styling was carried over from last year. Among standard features were key-in-ignition warning buzzer and a parking brake engaged warning light. Standard Bronco features included: black front and rear bumpers; bright hubcaps and black scuff plates. Options included an underhood tool box.
Basic styling for Truck and Bronco was unchanged for 1985 although optional body side moldings now started below the front sidemarker lights. Standard features included Twin I-Beam independent front suspension (4x4s had Twin Traction-Beam independent front suspension). A new Bronco option included white styled steel wheels.
The F250 was only offered with the 8 foot Styleside box. Truck and Bronco convenience options included carpeted lower door panels with map pockets and a soft-wrapped steering wheel with wood-tone insert. The Eddie Bauer Bronco included two-tone paint, dual bodyside paint stripes, privacy glass, all-terrain raised white-letter tires and Eddie Bauer garment and equipment bags.
Ford introduced smoother more aerodynamic body styling. New aerodynamic impact resistant headlights with easy to install halogen bulbs relpaced the old inset sealed beam style. The interior was also redesigned to a more streamlined appearance. Standard equipment now included rear wheel antilock braking system, power steering and power brakes. The 4.9L and 5.0L Engines now had Electronic Fuel Injection and serpentine drive belts. The F250 was given heavier duty front and rear suspension, and now included 16 inch 8 lug wheels for an increased GVW rating.The Eddie Bauer Trim package was offered for Bronco and a 4,000 lb chrome step bumper became standard.
Electronic Fuel Injection and serpentine drive belts became standard for all gas engines. The Flareside bed was dropped. Manual transmissions were now ive speed and the heavy-duty 5 speed is now standard on the F250.
Basic styling was unchanged for 1989. The four speed manual transmission was brought back as an option.
An all new heavy-duty E4OD electronically controlled 4-speed automatic transmission was offered with the 5.8L engine and was later available with the 4.9L and 5.0L.
Basic styling was unchanged for 1991. An all black Night model was also offered for the F150 and Bronco with aluminum deep dish wheels and a handling package. In commemoration of 25 years of Ford sports utilities a Bronco silver anniversary model was offered.
A 75th anniversary F150 was offered. The Flareside was brought back on the short chassis only. The front and cab of the Truck and Bronco were restyled, most noticeably the grille. The grille was redesigned with park and turn signal lamps now fully under the headlights and wrapping around the side. Two vertical bars on the grille replaced the three bar style used since 1982.
The F150 Lightning was introduced mid year with a 240hp 5.8L engine. The Truck custom trim packages were dropped as the base model and replaced by the XL. For Bronco four wheel ABS became standard equipment, the Night model and the 4.9L engine were no longer available and the transfer case became the New Process 200.
Drivers side airbag on Truck and Bronco and side door guard beams on Truck were added as standard equipment. Stainless steel exhaust also became standard equipment. The XLT Bronco sport package was introduced with bright red exterior paint and body colored cab steps.
A new Eddie Bauer trim level was added to the F150. This was also the last year for the F150 Lightning series. Bronco changes were minimal.
No signiicant changes were made for the F-Series this year as Ford began tooling for the redesigned 1997 models. The last year of Bronco production offered no signiicant changes besides the new signal mirrors offered with the XLT and Eddie Bauer series.