1988 Ford F-800
The Ford F-Series medium-duty truck is a line of commercial vehicles produced by Ford since 1948. The medium-duty line, which evolved from the smaller F-Series pickup trucks, is now eighth. Initially positioned between the F-Series pickup trucks and the “Big Job” conventionals, subsequent versions were placed under the L-Series “Louisville” trucks; the latest two generations are Ford’s heaviest vehicles manufactured since its retirement from the heavy-truck category. Here we will focus on the 1988 Ford F-800.
The medium-duty F-Series has been utilized for a wide range of purposes throughout its existence and is available as a straight (rigid) truck and a truck tractor (for semitrailers) in various cab configurations. Before the Ford C-Series, the model line was also available with a cab-over-engine (COE) layout; a cowled-chassis variation (the Ford B-series) was utilized for bus manufacture. The model line has contested against medium-duty variants of the Chevrolet/GMC C/K (later the Kodiak/TopKick), the International S-series, and the Freightliner Business Class at different phases (FL-Series and M2).
1988 Ford F-800 Performance and Fuel Economy
The medium-duty F-Series was initially available with two gasoline V8 engines and two diesel V8 engines. A 370-cubic-inch V8 engine was standard, with an optional 429-cubic-inch V8 engine available; both engines were commercial-use variants of the 460-cubic-inch engine. In 1991, the 429 became the standard specification.
The primary diesel option when it was introduced in 1980 was an 8.2 L Detroit Diesel “Fuel Pincher” V8 (for F-600 and F-700 trucks); the 10.4 L Caterpillar 3208 V8 made a reappearance (redesignating F-800s as F-8000s). Ford debuted inline-six diesel engines in 1985, developed in collaboration with New Holland in Brazil; 6.6 L and 7.8 L inline-sixes were brought in to replace the Detroit Diesel V8 and the Caterpillar 3208. Versions with New Holland engines sported “Diesel” badging instead of an additional “0” in the model identification. Ford debuted the Cummins 5.9 L B-series and 8.3 L C-series straight-six diesel in 1992, gradually replacing the Ford-New Holland engines.
Design, Comfort, and Quality
The medium-duty F-Series received its first comprehensive makeover since 1967 for the 1980 model year. The cab and interior were developed from the F-Series pickup trucks of the time, with its predecessor, with medium-duty vehicles adopting their chassis, front fascia, powertrain, and suspension. A two-door cab was the basic configuration, with a four-door crew cab available. The previous generation’s model range was carried over, with the F-600, F-700, and F-800, the B-Series designated cowled bus chassis. The medium-duty F-series trucks shared external style with the more giant L-Series trucks.
The sixth-generation medium-duty F-Series trucks featured a higher, narrower hood line, forcing the reintroduction of separate fenders, after switching from the rectangular grille of the F-Series and Ranger to the trapezoidal grille of the L-Series conventional and CL-Series COE (for the first time since the 1957 “Big Job” trucks). The stock hood was rear-hinged, but the optional forward-tilting hood (styled like the bigger L-Series trucks) rapidly surpassed it in popularity. The medium-duty F-Series was the latest Ford vehicle to replace “F O R D” with the Ford Blue Oval grille insignia as a running change in 1983 (for the 1984 model year).
The sixth-generation medium-duty F-Series experienced minor alterations over its 19-year manufacturing life outside of engine updates. The medium-duty F-Series saw no external changes (apart from engine badging) after the 1984 logo change until 1995. The forward-tilting hood was standardized with a more aerodynamic design, coupled with an expanded grille. The turn signals were placed outboard of the headlights. The interior and dashboard of the 1980-1986 F-Series were utilized throughout the medium-duty F-Series’ production, except for the steering column.
1988 Ford F-800 Specifications
Engine type: Ford 429 7.0L V8 gas engine
Vehicle type: medium-duty truck
1988 Ford F-800 Factory Service Manual
The 1988 Ford F-800 service manuals are thorough and cover every area of the vehicle’s functioning. The service manual for your 1988 Ford F-800 is not included with the vehicle purchase.
- Cooling System
- Diesel Engines
- Exhaust Systems
- Fuel System – Gasoline, Diesel Engines
- Gasoline Engines
- Identification Codes
- Ignition System
- Starting System
The information in this manual may be useful to professionals and dealerships that conduct maintenance and repairs on the 1988 Ford F-800. A service manual should accompany any engine maintenance or repair work the owner performs. Likewise, a Ford F800 Parts Manual should be consulted to ensure proper reassembly in the project.
1988 Ford F-800 — Owner’s Manual
Customers who buy a 1988 Ford F-800 get an owner’s manual.
- Important Safety Instructions
- Maintenance Record
Although this list is thorough, the 1988 Ford F-800 owner’s manual has more operational recommendations to improve the user experience.