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Super Long Super Cab: 1978 Ford F-250

When it comes to trucks, the Ford F-Series has a very well-earned reputation for reliability and durability.  That durability was never more evident than in the heavy-duty versions of the company’s sixth generation of trucks.  If you have a need in your life for a truck that will still earn its keep daily or desire one so big it should have its own zip code, we have the one for you.  Take a look at this 1978 Ford F-250 Super Cab 4WD for sale on eBay in Tacoma, Washington.  With bidding currently at $7,972, is this truck going to a collector or the job site?

We are in a very curious situation regarding trucks.  To keep America moving, hundreds of thousands of companies big and small need trucks to function.  From carrying construction materials to hauling heavy equipment, no other type of vehicle will do.  The problem is that Covid, chip shortages, and economic ups and downs have made finding a used truck in good condition very difficult.  The reduced number of new trucks are selling at or near sticker, pushing prices up in the used truck market.  We are seeing an easing of this strain, but some folks need a truck right now.

To satisfy that need, a few enterprising souls have decided to pursue unconventional solutions.  One such solution is to look for a much older truck in good condition.  Craigslist, eBay, and Facebook Marketplace occasionally offer an older truck that still has a lot of life left in it for prices that look sane in comparison to the average used truck.  One advantage is that older trucks in good condition hold their value unless abused.  Another is that parts are available and usually less expensive than those of newer trucks.

An older truck will not have all of the electronic gadgets and gizmos that many have grown used to.  It will also not have all the headaches associated with the current reality of having every single part connected to a computer.  You can also add a modern infotainment system with aftermarket parts.  The only problem with these upgrades is that they will not blend in very well with a seventies Ford interior.

So if you want to take a chance on a 45-year-old truck, then you could do a lot worse than this 1978 Ford F-250.  The seller tells us that this truck has the Ranger appearance package, and is powered by a 400 cubic inch V-8.  That V-8 is backed by an automatic transmission.  An additional option that many will be happy with is a four-wheel drive system.  This system lacks modern conveniences like electronic shifting into 4WD.  The system does set the standard for the word “robust.”

While the parts are robust, there is always wear and tear to deal with.  The ad does not state the odometer reading.  The torn upholstery, the polished look of the padless brake pedal, and the truck’s overall condition would lead you to believe that the odometer would likely read over 100,000 miles.  Too bad we don’t have any concrete clues.  All of this wear could also be the result of a whole lot of short trips.  These can be even more damaging than regular road mileage.  Again, some idea of the truck’s history would likely result in more bidder interest.

Under the hood is the previously mentioned 400 cubic inch V-8.  The seller tells us that the truck runs, drives, and stops.  We are also told that there are issues with the carburetor.  It may be that the whole fuel system needs to be cleaned out if the truck sat for a while.  There is also a switch added to the dash that has the words “fuel pump” crudely labeled above it.   Why would the truck be equipped with an electric fuel pump?  What has been altered or tampered with?  When you add to that the fact that a new ignition coil and what appears to be a new Edelbrock carburetor are visible in the picture above, one could safely assume that there are issues to sort out before hitting the road in this big Ford.

The good news is that the body and frame pictures show nothing more than the usual wear and tear.  There is also a bit of surface rust, but absent is the corrosion you would expect from a 45-year-old truck from Washington State.  All told, a trip to a good Ford mechanic, a few thousand dollars worth of mechanical work and sorting, and a credit card to finance the fuel bill to drive it home is all that is needed here.  Someone willing to spend a bit more after the sale will likely find themselves with a very good truck.

Would you take a chance on this truck? Would you use it as a work truck, or keep it as a collectible?  Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Comments

  1. Avatar photo Scrapyard John

    I’ll bet this big ol gal doubles in price before the auction is over. Hence, it won’t go to a job site as you’d probably have less reliability issues out of a circa 2010’s F250 with 200k miles that can probably be had for a similar price.

    I do like this one better, though.

    Like 8
  2. Avatar photo Todd Zuercher

    The first year for 4WD in the Supercab. We had one very similar to this as a family car from 1977 until 1993, except of course that it was a ’77. My dad wanted 4WD but it wasn’t available for the ’77 model year so he bought a 2WD SuperCab in a very similar color. A stripper (no radio but had A/C) with the 351M and the 4 speed. It served us well for many years – the 351M only made it until about 75K until it burned a valve and a 400 replaced it.

    Like 2
    • Avatar photo Rw

      This one doesn’t have heat.

      Like 4
      • Avatar photo Steven Baker

        Not actually a hard fix on these. I’ve owned a 78 Ford, the heater core is pretty accessible by comparison to modern vehicles,even the 94 that replaced the 78.

        Like 0
    • Avatar photo Yblocker

      Another 78 F250 4X4, not as nice as that other one, but not all that bad either, pretty hard to go wrong with these, they’re pretty much bullet proof, and there’s a vast array of after market parts, at probably $75,000 or so, for a new one, a person could make a helluva nice truck out of this for a lot less. The 400 was never available with a 4barrel, this one has been converted, and that Edelbrock carburetor was probably never setup right when it was installed

      Like 4
    • Avatar photo Big block head

      the correct year on this one is its a ’79 note the square head lights, ’78 model year has round head lights in the square door….. I have owned quite a few over the years…

      Like 0
      • Avatar photo Keith

        Only 78 custom had round headlights. 78 Ranger had square headlights just like all 79’s.

        Like 3
      • Avatar photo James K Stevens

        78 custom had round headlights. Ranger had square like the 79.

        Like 2
      • Avatar photo Yblocker

        Hard to believe, 45 years later, it’s still going on. In 1978, Ford first offered rectangular headlights on trucks, but only on upper trim levels, ie; Ranger, Ranger XLT, and Ranger XLT Lariat. Base “Custom” models still had “round” headlights. In 1979, they “ALL HAD RECTANGULAR HEADLIGHTS! My Lord!

        Like 2
      • Avatar photo Steven Baker

        Actually you would be surprised, the square headlight design was originally optional on higher level 78s past the mid year point. It became standard towards the end of the Model year run. All early 78s had the round headlights later had the square. And the only reason I know for sure is because I owned a 78 myself with the round headlights. My exwifes uncle was a technician at Rick Hunt Ford in Warrenton Virginia and I once thought like you do, until my dumbness was set straight by him. It’s an argument that’s been going on forever. But not everyone knows Ford switched mid 78 model year, why is still the mystery.

        Like 0
      • Avatar photo Eric

        Depends on the package high end ones had squares

        Like 0
  3. Avatar photo "Edsel" Al leonard Member

    Another nice rig..again on the wrong coast…probably needs a heater core- pretty easy fix there…and other minor things but it should be in the $10-12K range when bidding ends tomorrow at 3:51 PM.

    Like 5
    • Avatar photo Chris Cornetto

      Not on the wrong coast
      Take out a second mortgage for fuel and driver’ home….lol

      Like 2
  4. Avatar photo SirRaoulDuke

    Definitely a compelling candidate for restoration.

    Like 5
  5. Avatar photo Markmaz

    Had a 400 in a 77 TBird that came with the stock 2 barrel. Replaced it with an Edelbrock manifold and 4 barrel carb. I took it right out of the box and installed it. That combo ran fantastic with no adjustments! And, a lot more power!

    Like 3
  6. Avatar photo Chrissy Taylor

    If it’s anything like my 77 was….. I guarantee the tank is full of rust and the fuel pump keeps getting clogged up with rust particles. So they ended up running an electric pump and have put all kinds of inline fuel filters on it, and added a new carburetor (which probably wasn’t installed correctly like you said) lol. I ended up replacing the tank on mine which was dirt cheap and that pretty much solved the problem. This one’s in a lot better shape than the 77 super cab that I had. It had that famous rot under the extended cab rocker panels and so forth. But I ditched the 400 and put in a built 460 and did a few other things like the tank and replacing other odds and ends and I drove that truck for close to 12 years with zero issues! Probably the most reliable vehicle i ever owned! Lol

    Like 0
  7. Avatar photo Howard A Member

    That was a great write-up, describes our current situation, as bleak as it may be. Pretty obvious and you all must be tired of my “Uncle Fritz” stories, but that’s what’s happening. Those folks that had this stuff and wouldn’t sell until death,,,well, guess what? Been my experience, the Edelbrock is hard to tune, and an Autolite would be just fine. Many times, there is internal repair needed, probably valves, and the owner hopefully slaps a new carb on it, with poor results.
    I realize my info is dated, but with the problems the author stated with our current automotive scene will hopefully end, when we realize, this was good enough AND trouble free. The heated butt massage and vibrating cup holders and the hassle of maintaining them, just aren’t needed. Again, I’m just trying to add a little personality to the site, and someone is going to get dads pride and joy.

    Like 0
  8. Avatar photo Chrissy Taylor

    I used to own a super cab long box just like this except mine was a 77 2wd. But just by looking at it I can see a lot of the same issues that my truck had before I worked them out and built the most reliable truck I had ever owned in my life! That being said…. I can guarantee that the fuel tank (both tanks) are slam full of rust and the mechanical fuel pump kept getting clogged up with chunks of rust from the tank so instead of doing the right thing and replacing the tank they just put in an electric fuel pump and a bunch of inline filters! 🤦‍♀️ Also the heater core is bad in this truck and they have it bypassed. Probably has ignition system problems as you see they put a new ignition module and a used distributor in it and have a bunch of crimped wires running from the module to all the ignition parts. This is very common because the ignition modules would get hot and all of the silicone would melt out of the module and run down the inner fender. It was usually caused by corrosion at one of the buss plugs right there at the firewall. In a rainy State you’ll usually get a lot of corrosion there. Also this is a factory air conditioned truck but no compressor but the box is still there. Horns aren’t hooked up for some reason. Probably a bad turn signal switch. Also with the door open you can tell this used to be a two-tone Brown and tan pickup truck if you look at the door edges. Judging by the amount of rust at the bottom corner of the driver’s door I can almost guarantee you the rocker panel underneath the super cab portion of the truck is completely composed of Bondo! That’s a very common rust out point on these. Other than that it looks like a relatively solid truck that was probably parked in a yard for 10 years until somebody decided to get it running again. And now they’re dealing with Rusty tanks and all kinds of stuff. With a little bit of money invested in aftermarket parts along with some elbow grease and a halfway mechanical mind…… This truck could be made into a bulletproof vehicle again! It could be made into a relatively comfortable work truck if you really want to put the work into it! But for $10,000 which is where the bidding is already currently at….. It’s definitely not worth it! This might be a $4,000 to $5,000 truck. But over there on the Left Coast, they think everything they own is gold and that $10,000 is chump change! Lol

    Like 0
  9. Avatar photo "Edsel" Al leonard Member

    Sold……..$13,150……..

    Like 0
  10. Avatar photo TCOPPS Member

    Sold, $13,150

    Like 0
  11. Avatar photo William E Milot

    If it has an electric fuel pump and no regulator between it and that Edelbrock someone’s asking for a big fire under the hood in the very near future! The trouble probably isn’t a carb adjustment, I’ll bet it floods like crazy!

    Like 0
  12. Avatar photo Bob P

    I had a ‘78 Super Cab in 1993, 351M C6 transmission. It struggled to pull a 27’ 5th wheel camper. Found out later entire floorboard was rusted out and patched with scraps of sheet metal. Am old woman T boned it coming out of an apartment complex and it was bought by Allstate insurance for more than I paid for it, a blessing in disguise.

    Like 0
  13. Avatar photo Steven Baker

    I wouldn’t mind having this one, but the price would of course have to resemble something approaching sanity. Sadly the collection driven market often puts old fords out of reach of the average buyer.

    Like 0
  14. Avatar photo Chester Ruder

    I think I just bought this truck LOL it’s on its way to key West Florida

    Like 2
    • Avatar photo Chester Ruder

      This truck will be delivered to homestead Florida tomorrow and I will pick it up and drive it down to its home in key West we will see

      Like 3

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