44K Mile 1986 Ford F250 Dually

When I think about how many older gents I see putt-putting around in a truck that is way too big for their current navigational abilities, it’s of little surprise so many of them emerge as time-warp survivors later on. Once the owner enters their older years (and likely still owns the said truck, given how long it takes to pay one of these bad-boys off), the truck gets used less and less and eventually becomes one of the nicest ones left. This 1986 Ford F250 is the full-zoot package, with the extended cab and dually rear axle tucked neatly under a flareside bed. Find it here on eBay with just 44,380 miles and bidding at $3,950.

This F250 has an interesting history, as noted by the salvage title. I would love to unscramble this one: apparently, a year before the owner’s passing, the truck went missing. How or why is not explained. However, the insurance company found it in a questionable towing company lot, without a bit of damage (or reason for being removed from rightful owner’s possession.) The truck was returned to the elderly owner, with no explanation ever found. However, as a result, it was issued a salvage title.

I’m guessing the insurance company assumed it was stolen and cut the owner a check for his loss; however, I’m not sure if that jives given there was no evidence of theft (and presumably, no one charged). Did the owner buy the truck back after it was discovered? If it was only missing for a few days, perhaps the compensation from the insurance company was never prepared, but it seems odd a salvage title could be issued so quickly if that was the case. Regardless, the truck remained in excellent condition despite this ordeal, with the interior showing no major flaws and nicely preserved seats, door panels, and fake wood trim around the gauges.

The seller says the 460 V8 runs and drives great, and that the interior retains functional A/C. The body has had no paintwork and there’s no rust to speak of. Tilt and cruise are the other luxuries the original owner spec’d out, along with bucket seats and a center console. The F250 was used mostly for camping, hence the low mileage, so a tow-behind camper was likely used. With a no reserve listing, it seems likely someone is going to go home with a nearly new F250 that remains quite capable today despite the technological wizardry of modern pickup trucks. So, would you like to own this big boy?


  1. Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

    Didn’t the Ford 460ci have more HP with only a very few less #/ft of torque than their diesels? Might be why he used it to haul a 5th wheel trailer judging by the hardware in the truck bed! Very nice truck-I’d own it for that price (once we got to the REAL reason for the title), and I’m a true-blue Dodge truck guy. Interesting story RE: the salvage title. More than a few tow yards in the country have had shady dealings surface, though some states oversee the industry so closely the questionable businesses don’t stay open very long.
    Whatever the case, Jeff, you’ve piqued our interests and picked a good truck to highlight.

    Like 7
  2. john willis

    Don’t forget,Lavery,you,too will be one of those”older gents” soon enough….

    Like 5
    • Mountainwoodie

      . Just saw a mid eighties Ford dually the other day. I was following it on the freeeway and was transfixed by the odd profile it had from its backside. Very ungainly with those hard cornered rear fenders. And boy, do I hate velour.

      Out my way with gas at $3.75 a gallon, the “older gents” can’t seem to live without the biggest truck they can buy, usually with a handicapped placard hanging from the rear view mirror. Being one of those almost older gents, I dont get it. Maybe as some things get smaller other things get bigger, like your truck.

      I’m gonna have to buy a bigger truck. :)

      Like 3
    • CanuckCarGuy

      Indeed. And if you take away the modern cameras and park assist devices, most drivers I see today are outside their “navigational abilities”. I give these older gents in their older trucks props, for being “all natural” in their navigation.

      Like 1
  3. papa bear

    I guess that is a dually conversion on an f250. Maybe a Centurian coversion, had one a long time ago on an F250, wheel stud breaking junk. I think I still have some spares around the shop for the rear wheels some where…….

    Like 1
  4. geomechs geomechs Member

    Looks good but I’m rather skeptical about the dually part. The only dually I ever saw was on a 1-ton. The 3/4 ton trucks were converted. Problems with suspension, wheel studs and even frames. I knew a few ranchers who ran conversions and they ended up with the full-fledged 1-ton trucks within a couple of years. With this truck there won’t be any shortage of power as long as there’s lots of gas…

    Like 5
  5. poseur Member

    memory is that Ford offered crewcab (SuperCrew) four-door F350’s & extended cab (SuperCab) F250’s.
    if you wanted a crewcab 4×4 you got fleetside (not dually) bed only.
    alot of dually F250’s roamed western US, especially in 4×4 guise in the Rockies until Ford wised-up & widened their options

    Like 3
  6. Chuck hills

    I love this truck never owned a fully but love the body style on this truck .lucky guy will get this one wish it was me got a 93 Cadillac Fleetwood I trade for that truck anyways great truck in my book .looks great .👍

    Like 1
  7. Wayne

    I have owned several of these. ( because they were cheap and I only used them for towing the 5th wheel) Horse power is not that great and the fuel economy is even worse. Even with several modifications including check balls installed in the carb. to keep the power valve from getting blown out. It just seems to take an X amount of fuel to move one of these things. In pulling my 5th wheel one time into a head wind. I as getting 10 gallons to the hour un-fuel economy. There are several things that can be done to these to help with the power. Replace the retarded timing gear set with one that brings the cam back up to 0 degrees. ( factory ones are 8 degrees retarded for emissions spec.) Also while there replace the very un-aggressive camshaft to one that has some lift and duration to it. It will not negatively effect the fuel economy. Also, when one of your in-tank fuel pumps quit. You will have to replace it with an on the frame rail pump. As no one makes a replacement in take pump that only has enough pressure for a carbureted system. All replacement pumps will not only overdrive the factory return/regulator. It will then also overdrive the needle and seat in the carb. The application in the parts catalogs are there. But the pumps are all for fuel injection. You do not want me to relate the 1.5 years story of how I know this to be true. Cheap to purchase and reliable. But not cheap to drive.
    One more thing, being an old guy, I take a little exception about the size of trucks. I would rather have a truck too large to do the job. Than see a single rear wheel truck pulling a 3 axle monster trailer. From someone who spec’ed trucks for a living and also worked in the tire industry for many years. ( meaning I know a thing or two about gross vehicle weights and vehicle weight loading) Most of the times that you see a single rear wheel truck pulling a 3 axle trailer. That vehicle is over loaded/not safe. Yes it might be empty at the time. But, there is no reserve left in the truck for emergency situations. Just a rear tire blow out in that situation can cause a lot more anxiety than would be the case with a dually.
    I had customer that bought a diesel 2500 truck from me. It had every power enhancer that Banks had available. The thing was an absolute blast to drive. He called one day to say that he needed to buy a larger truck. His wife had purchased a new horse trailer with live in quarters ( a very fancy large trailer) and the current truck just was not cutting it. My initial response was, “What? Not enough power?” His answer was, He’ll no! It has plenty of power. I am just tired of having to plan my stops and turns one mile ahead of time!”
    Sorry, I will get off the stage now.

    Like 6
    • geomechs geomechs Member

      Hi Wayne. I agree with you on getting the valve timing back to something that allows the engine to breathe plus run a camshaft that further promotes that. Whenever I worked on a big Ford engine (or even an FE) I installed an Intercepter or CJ timing set plus a Torquemaster camshaft (or equivilant). I also curved the ignition and completely reworked the carburetor (or replaced it with something else). My customers had really good luck with them and I heard few complaints. Well, there were those who felt that they should pull their 34 foot 5th wheel monstrosity over the Marias Pass on the stink of a grease rag. And yes, I always felt that those wanting to pull a three axle trailer should be running an F-450 or 550.

      Like 1
  8. Scott

    Wayne, at the risk of seeming rude what in the world did any of that have to do with THIS truck entertaining story not withstanding???

    Like 1
    • W9BAG

      Sometimes it’s just nice to ramble on with a truck story. Love the truck, but way overkill for me. I would like to have the very same truck as an F-150, and a 351. Beautiful truck.

      Like 1
  9. Wayne

    Scott, It might be a nice looking, running truck at this point. But I was trying forewarn others that these were never “wonderful” trucks to begin with. I was a Ford Service manager when these were new, so I already knew what I was in for when I purchased them new.
    Also I was responding to the “old men and big trucks” comment earlier in this discussion.
    Anymore questions?

    Like 3
    • Mountainwoodie

      LOL………………..a big part of the fun with BF is the incredibly knowledgeable posters like Howard A, Geomechs and others like you with specific model knowledge.

      I never tire of hearing people’s tales and I don’t have a lot of time to dither either………

      So carry on!

      Like 2
    • CharlesS

      It’s an F-350, not an F-250.

    • James

      I know this reply is over a year later, but I just kinda stumbled on this. I own an 86 F-250 Dually. As far as I can tell, it’s a conversion because the cutouts behind the rear fenders just look sloppy to me.
      It’s a fantastic truck, yeah they were not very good from the factory but with a little time and money invested they sure can be! I love mine, it’s my Country Cadillac! Yeah I’m that old man in a truck too big for his needs, but as mentioned earlier, I’d rather too big over too small and since I’m retired and don’t drive to work every day anymore, I don’t mind the mileage so much. New engine, new transmission and new buckets seats with a few modern upgrades I’d take this over a new one any day of the week!

      Like 1
  10. Wayne

    geomechs, Yes, C4500 0r F450 for ultra large stuff. But in most cases a 3500 or F350 dually is reasonable for a 3 axle trailer. For a while the CHP was pulling over 3 axle trailers being pulled by single rear wheeled trucks. And though I don’t regularly agree with what the CHP does. (particularly when it is in regards to my speed (lol)) But I agreed with that operation. They jump all over commercial trucks (DOT type stuff) for any infraction. (And for the most part they are driven by professional/skilled drivers) But Bozos driving over loaded/over taxed under trucked trailer combinations just gives me the willies.
    Where is Howard in all these comments on truck/trailer weights?

    Like 3
    • Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

      RE:Howard-yeah! Where’re you at theses days, Howard? Weigh in, please, and come out swingin’ knowledge-wise!

      Geomechs, your reference to the 34’ 5th wheels hit home as we have a ‘13 model double axle 29’ Raptor toy hauler that weighs in @ 11000#’s GVWR; the truck is an ‘06 Dodge 3500 Cummins SRW rated @16400#’s tow capacity.
      The same size 2007 model trailer was close to 14000#’s and was a triple axle. The new rigs weigh less with more features just as newer vehicles have also progressed.
      Addressing the drivers’ capabilities though is an entirely different subject matter!

      Like 2
  11. cidevco

    Here is the VIN Decoded

    Looks like its NOT a dually just a plain old Pickup. The Dually was added at a later date. Width is 70.0 inches as shown below Dually’s are 95.0 inches with Dual wheels

    GVW is 10,000 LBS

    Ford Truck VIN Decoder
    1986 Ford F-Series Pickup F-250 Styleside Supercab 155
    1986 Ford F-Series Pickup F-250 Styleside Supercab 155″ WB
    VIN: 1FTHX25L4GKA72539


    Summary Style & Trim Equipment Colors Tech Specs
    Narrow Down By Style
    General Information
    MFR Model Code
    Body Type
    Pass Doors 0
    Alternative Name
    Alternative Body
    Original Pricing
    MSRP $0.00
    Invoice $0.00
    Destination Charge $0.00
    Engine & Powertrain
    Type 8 Cylinder Engine
    Displacement L/CI 7.5/460
    Fuel Type Gasoline Fuel
    Horsepower @
    Fuel Economy 0.0 City / 0.0 Highway
    Fuel Capacity 0.0
    Net Torque @
    Tech Specs
    Manufactured By United States Ford

    Full Specs List X
    Make: Ford Model: F-250 Year: 1986 Body Type: Pickup Cab Type: Extended Cab Bed Type: LONG Doors: 2 Seats: 6 Drive Type: RWD Front Wheel Diameter: 16.0 in Rear Tire Type: 16.0 in
    Engine, Transmission, Fuel
    Engine: 7.5L V8 OHV 16V 4 BBL Engine Fuel Type: Gasoline Cylinders: 8 Engine Displacement: 7.5 L Fuel Induction: 4-Barrel Carburetor Cam Type: OHV Valves: 16 Towing Capacity: 10,000 lbs (Truck avg: 5968)
    Exterior Dimensions
    Length: 230.0 in Width: 70.0 in Height: 74.0 in Wheelbase: 155.0 in Curb Weight: 0 lbs

    Style & Trim »
    Enter VIN

    Like 1
  12. Grumpy

    Looking at the wheels and tires on this truck make me suspicious. I was a Ford tech back then, and sure don’t recognize them as stock. They look like they belong an a hiway tractor.

    • CharlesS

      If this is an F-250 converted to a dually, then someone has swapped out the differential for one from an F-350 dually pickup. The differential units used for the pickup models have longer axle housings compared to an F-350 single wheel truck, an F-350 cab and chassis model, or an F-250. The F-350 front hub extensions will attach to the single wheel hub and brake rotor assembly so that the reversed one ton wheels can be used. If this is the case, this is certainly a Frankinstein truck. I would have to see it in person to consider purchasing it.

  13. Wayne

    Charles S, you are correct about the different axle widths. I found that out by mistake when I purchased a rear used diff for my F350 dually. (3.55 gears just did not cut it in the most mountainous state in the lower 48 and trying to drag a 5th wheel up them) The diff came off of a “low” GVWR F450 (cab chassis) with 8 lug wheels. (Most F450s came with 10 bolt wheels) I really liked the 4.56 gear as I had tall LT235/85R16 tires. I had to relocate the spring pads on the axle, but then the axle was still too narrow for the inside dually wheel to clear. So the truck ended up getting 12″ wide aluminum 16″ wheels with very large single rear tires. The net overall gear ratio was the same as if I had installed 4.10 gears, so it was an improvement. But the truck looked cool with the big tires that did fill the wheel wells. But the ride was so much better as the alloy wheel/single tire was quit a bit lighter than the dually set up. It took some research to find a tire that would fit AND carry the load. If I remember I did not have a choice. Only one tire fit the criteria and it lasted easily 100,000 miles. (Used up a minimum of 3 pairs of front tires.)

  14. Colin

    Im 14 years old and my step-dad has a 1986 ford f-250 dually him and I are going to restore rebuild and fix up for me when im 16. It has 150k miles on it and has never been in an accident, engine rebuilt at 75k, and new clutch every 60k. We are going to put $5,000 into it and when im 16 I only have to pay him $50 a month until $2,000 is payed then its put into my name and Im done paying. Im just wondering if this truck would be a good opportunity for me like will it last and not break down on me all the time and take up all my paychecks, and is that deal going to be worth it. Please if you have any good info on these trucks let me know. Thanks!


    Like 1
    • Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

      Colin, your Ford truck will last as long as you can respect and appreciate it. As you’ve probably seen here on BarnFinds, there are old machines that are becoming more scarce made especially so by fewer available parts and even fewer people that can intelligently work on them. Fortunately you have an analog web connection here so to speak with a phenomenal wealth of information about your first machine and how to keep it running as long as you want it.
      Chevy Guy (another truck follower of your generation) can better address this about the folks here being the best source for any question about whatever your concerns may be about your ride-don’t hesitate to ask them!
      Just remember to pay forward what you learn and appreciate.

      Like 1
    • Mountainwoodie

      Colin: Grammar Police here.

      Its “HE and I are going to restore, rebuild and fix up….. ” You and your step dad are the subjects of the sentence not the direct object which is how “him” would be used in a sentence. I can’t help myself. I guess you’re in the eighth or ninth grade. No time like the present to start writing correctly; even on this website. :)

      So as to your question, read the comments above about what to look for in a dually like yours. Then do some basic google searching combined with establishing whether you have a Centurion conversion or some other hybrid. Read Charles S’ comments about the differential and geomechs’ comments about what to look for. He is a long time mechanic and one of Barn Find’s go-to-guys.

      Save up your money for gas too :)

      I’ve happy to see you have the old truck bug too.

      Like 1
  15. Wayne

    Colin, unsure of the appearance side of your grandpa’s truck. But mechanically speaking, I would make the modifications that geomechs and I specified. If you watch Craigslist regularly you should be able to come up with an intake manifold cheap. I would remove the carburation one install a throttle body fuel injection system. ( Summit Racing (Summit brand) has one for less than $1,000 and you can stick with the stock fuel pump/return set-up to keep the system “clean and stock looking”. In 2 or three years the fuel savings will more than pay for it’s self. Not to mention better drivability. As will the more aggressive camshaft in this application. Also, resist the temptation to put on wide tires. ( particularly the front tires) stay with LT215/80R-16 size and be religious about rotating the tires every 3,000 to 5,000 miles. Twin I beam front suspensions really like narrow tires and you get improved wet weather traction and slightly better fuel economy. ( not that you would really notice on one of these trucks) With the recommendations geomechs and I have made ( including the fuel injection) it “could” be possible to actually get 12 mpg at times. Versus 6 to 8 mpg all the time.

    Like 1

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