I posted yesterday regarding my, um, surprise when I discovered that I’d have to remove the entire dash to get at the heater core in my
good ‘ole ’97 F150 pickup. Well, the job’s part way done, and we finally exposed the heater core. The above picture shows what it looks like right now.
I always liked my F150, but this job has taught me a few things about Ford pickups. First, you obviously don’t want to own one long enough to have to replace the heater core. People aren’t kidding when they say it’s a big job. It requires removing the dash, the HVAC vent system (that’s as big as the dash), and — if you beleve the manual — the steering column. As you can see, we managed to leave the steering column in, but that’s not really all that much help. We’re currently 12+ hours into the job, and the hard part is yet to come. And this is a couple of guys who’ve done their share of car work sitting in a shop chock-ass full of tools.
Secondly, Ford wiring harnesses — at least the ones in this year model — look like crap. Whereas we’re used to seeing tubing-loomed harnesses with labels in other vehicles, the Ford’s harness appears to be just bundles of wire haphazardly taped together with electrical tape. Hell, it looks like somehting your kid would make in crafts class.
If you’re just leasing one for two years, or if your completely sure you’re gonna dump it before it runs out of warranty, I guess you won’t really care about this kind of thing. You’ll be more worried about what sound system’s available and whether or not there’s a passenger side makeup mirror. But if you keep your trucks for the long term, you might want to think twice about buying one of these.
How ‘come they never tell you about things like this before you buy? I think from now on, I’m going to have a look at the repair manual before I shell out for a new truck.