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Hi All. Just joined .
Im looking at purchaseing a 1990 F150 5 speed manual with a 351 . What should I look for when inspecting the vehicle.
 

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Welcome to the forum!

Some key items I would look at/inquire about are the clutch (friction disc, pressure plate, throwout bearing) and how old they are, how often the gear oil has been replaced (if ever) to include the rear end. Any maintenance records would be a good thing to have and look over.

Find out where the truck is normally parked. Some sellers will move a vehicle to a different spot to mask the fact that it creates an oil slick in the drive or on the lawn! A good look underneath should also be on your list of things to do.

Tires...depending on the asking price of the vehicle, the condition of the tires is always a good bargaining chip if you think the price is too high and the tires are well worn or dry rotted.

The engine should start right up and without hesitation. It should idle smooth and there should be very little vibration to it. Acceleration should be smooth and there should be no odd odors/smells emanating from the engine.

The truck should drive well though with it being 22 years old you will hear some squeaks and such. When stopping the truck shouldn't bounce at all indicating worn shocks (something else owners almost never replace). Feel for excessive play in the steering wheel and ask what engine accessories (alternator, water pump, etc.) have been replaced during their ownership.

Trucks tend to hold their value a lot better than cars so don't be too surprised if the truck is solid the seller doesn't move much in his/her price.

All that said, nothing beats taking the truck to a mechanic for a good looking over. Most shops don't charge a whole lot for looking it over though a comprehensive check might run up to a couple of hundred dollars. If you can, bring someone else along who might also offer another set of eyes, ears and sense of smell, couldn't hurt!

Good luck and keep us informed!

Mac
 
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