Are parts hard to get for a Ford F-150?

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1,935
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British Columbia, Canada
I'm still in the market for a truck and am leaning towards an older Ford F-150 (with a 6 cylinder manual). But there's a story on the Canadian Broadcasting Corp (CBC) website today that has me thinking again. http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/ford-f150-auto-parts-obsolete-go-public-1.3746577 Not being able to get a 7 year old vehicle fixed (without having a major consumer advocacy group go after Ford) is disappointing. What if it had been 10 or even 20 years old - would he have just been out of luck? Is anyone having trouble accessing any parts (OEM or aftermarket) for an older Ford F-150?
 
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Something doesn't seem right about that story. Here in the US you can't walk 20 feet without tripping over f-150 parts.
 
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18,431
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Michigan
Originally Posted By: KingCake
Something doesn't seem right about that story. Here in the US you can't walk 20 feet without tripping over f-150 parts.
Wouldn't be a good way to sell trucks.... They are all over here! Never could see that happen here...
 
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1,462
Originally Posted By: daves87rs
Originally Posted By: KingCake
Something doesn't seem right about that story. Here in the US you can't walk 20 feet without tripping over f-150 parts.
Wouldn't be a good way to sell trucks.... They are all over here! Never could see that happen here...
Right but they made it sound like they couldn't find parts on the net, either. Can Canadians not import stuff?
 
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2,169
Location
Saskatchewan, Canada
The Ford F-150 is one of the more common vehicles in North America. Parts for it are commonly available, and are far more numerous than most other vehicles, who quite simply sell fewer copies. The light truck arm of Ford accounts for half it's sales. Now, all is not perfect. One of the things I like least about Ford trucks is that company's traditional practice of changing mechanical parts in a very short time ... sometimes every year, sometimes a few years, but generally often. It's a result of a corporate policy going back to Henry Ford himself to constantly cut costs, and one way they do that is to revise part design pretty much on an ongoing basis. GM trucks tend to retain part design for a much longer time. So a part might be used for five, ten and even twenty years, the savings coming from economies of scale. It's just a different approach to cost accounting, but it does affect the owner when it comes to buying parts. A V-8 GM vehicle has the cheapest parts cost in North America, almost in every case. So perhaps you find that a power steering pump from a 2010 won't fit a 2008 or a 2012 model of the same vehicle. This does limit parts availability if you are into saving money. Ford parts tend to be comparatively expensive and comparatively scarce. Still, reread the first paragraph.
 
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Santa Barbara, CA
If the part in question is the one I am thinking of, then ya it is obsolete. It is the control head for a F150 with the Electronic Air Conditioning. You can get rebuilt ones fairly easily. All the more reason to get the traditional 3 knob AC when possible.
 
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1,462
Originally Posted By: Johnny2Bad
The Ford F-150 is one of the more common vehicles in North America. Parts for it are commonly available, and are far more numerous than most other vehicles, who quite simply sell fewer copies. The light truck arm of Ford accounts for half it's sales. Now, all is not perfect. One of the things I like least about Ford trucks is that company's traditional practice of changing mechanical parts in a very short time ... sometimes every year, sometimes a few years, but generally often. So perhaps you find that a power steering pump from a 2010 won't fit a 2008 or a 2012 model of the same vehicle. This does limit parts availability if you are into saving money. Ford parts tend to be comparatively expensive and comparatively scarce. Still, reread the first paragraph.
It's true ford likes to revise parts often, but there's still lots of overlap in coverage. If they can't find a certain part it's probably because of a recall and it's nationwide back ordered while they redesign and manufacture them. Like the F150 ecoboost vacuum pumps.
 
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490
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Australia
I wonder whether the part could have been repaired? But yeesh, a 7 year-old vehicle that where stuff is already NLA is pretty disgusting. Heck, you can even still find parts for Saab vehicles of the 1990s and 2000s - although this might link back to the GM connections for all those years, a bit of that technology was reused elsewhere (like the DIC system). My DD is a 23y/o BMW - mechanical parts are still easy enough to find. I'm not sure about interior and exterior trim pieces, but so long as the vehicle still works, that's the main thing. Going forward, the thing for modern cars will be the computerised doodads. What happens when they fail? Electronics repairers exist, for a price. But it may not be as simple as "bypassing" these parts, either.
 
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ME
Ford has a weird numbering system that makes it hard for the layman to figure parts out. I needed an alternator for a 97 grand marquis and it had this 10-ish digit alphanumeric combo. (Ford fans will counter-argue that it's actually cool, and the prefix is the year it was first engineered/used and the decoder ring has more to offer.) The junkyard parts finders considered it one of half a dozen options for that one year. Others would have "worked" but deciphering was a hassle.
 
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1,701
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'murica
How is it possibly a drawback to have a part number which gives you <span style="font-style: italic">application-part-option</span> (with a little practice), instead of a jumble of numbers and letters?
 
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Champlain/Hudson Valley
Lotsa parts changes, you say? The more that happens, the more likely an aftermarket supplier will drop the line. The smaller the players in the aftermarket game, the less likely they are to endure the hassles of international shipping, no? Kinks
 

ecotourist

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1,935
Location
British Columbia, Canada
Originally Posted By: KingCake
.... but they made it sound like they couldn't find parts on the net, either. Can Canadians not import stuff?
No problem with importing stuff into Canada. The story seemed to be that OEM or aftermarket parts were NLA anywhere. I don't recall whether they tried accessing used parts, but considering they involved a repair guy of long experience you'd think that would have been done. @bdCardinal I agree that electronic parts are often rebuildable, or can be bought as rebuilds. I had the ABS control module for my BMW rebuilt and (so far - knock on wood) it's working fine. And far cheaper and with a better warranty than OEM too. But OEM can be a good option too; having power steering hoses fabricated locally (in Edmonton) for my BMW was a little more expensive than buying OEM.
 
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another board mentioned that combination is so rare there were only a handful ever ordered that way - like single digits. It's the cooler delete option in that specific configuration that makes it very rare. that explains much.
 
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14,608
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Central NY
I recently bought some parts for my father's F350. I'm not sure that the parts were hard to find, but it was hard to find the right part. 8 different wheel bearings. 6 different belts.
 
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2,440
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snowblind in TX
Originally Posted By: Ethan1
How is it possibly a drawback to have a part number which gives you application-part-option (with a little practice), instead of a jumble of numbers and letters?
Yup. I always liked the old FoMoCo parts number system. Prefix (model year, original line), base part number, suffix (revision number). Each part number was like a little history of the part. Need a PFE/DPFE, ask for a 9J460, and have your cal code. Need a fuel pump....ask for a 9H307. 12B579.....ka-ching.
 
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