i love toyota cars and trucks from the 80’s and early 90’s. they’re so reliable and easy to work on. unfortunately, my wife needed a big truck to pull a horse trailer and the only thing in our price range was an early 90’s ford. we wound up with a gas guzzling 7.5L V8 gas engine f-350.
i did a bunch of maintenance on it to make it solid and reliable. it wound up performing well on the 4000 km road trip to burning man and back last month but i still hate the piece of shit. there are so many stupid little details that just don’t make any sense, things that make me wonder what the fuck were the designers thining? stuff like this:
- seats do not recline. so everyone, whether 5′ or 6.5′ tall, short arms or long arms, etc. has to sit at the exact same angle. discomfort for one and all, equally.
- no tilt steering. you’d think that since you can’t change the angle of the seat, you should at least be able to adjust the angle of the steering wheel. ford disagrees.
- can’t see the dash cluster. i’m about 6′ tall, which i like to think is about average for men, and the only way i can see the top half of the speedometer is to sit so far back i can’t drive. did they design this giant work truck specifically for children?
- weird fan controls. whereas every other vehicle uses a sensible ‘off/low/med/high’ switch for the blower, this truck has a ‘low/low med/high med/high’ switch, and you turn it off with the air direction switch. so that switch is like ‘defrost/upper vents/lower vents/OFF’. that’s like adding the ignition switch to the turn signals, like “uhhhh these things are close together, why don’t we mix them up a bit?”
- hidden hazard switch. the hazard switch is located on the bottom of the steering column so you can’t fucking see it. it’s hard enough to find that thing when you’re already in a panic, and then they put it where you can’t see it unless you get out and stick your head where your feet normally go and look up. jesus christ.
- poor wiper switch location/shitty wiper settings. the wiper switch is a knob located low down on the dash, near the driver’s left knee. so when it suddenly starts pissing rain and you can’t see, you have to take your eyes off the road and look down at your left knee to find the wiper switch, or feel around for it while the monsoon blinds you. then you only have the options of ‘fast’ and ‘really fast’, as if it only ever rains hard and harder. what about when it’s lightly raining? are we supposed to be content with the nails-on-chalkboard sound of the wipers dragging across a dry windshield?
- mismatched switch knobs. the wiper switch knob is right next to the headlight switch knob but they look like they belong to two different vehicles. the wiper knob is a broad, black octagon with a flat face while the light knob is small, round, and silver. they’re right next to each other yet they’re totally fucking incongruous! how hard is it to find a unified theme to a vehicle’s interior? it’s not rocket science. maybe if the switches weren’t positioned so closer together, they wouldn’t need to be so fucking different from each other to keep people from mixing them up.
- no option to turn off interior light. when you open the door, the interior light is on, ALWAYS. BUT SOMETIMES I WANT THE LIGHT OFF WHEN THE DOORS OPEN, FOR FUCKS SAKE.
- needlessly complex ‘check engine’ light procedures. to get the codes on every other old car with a check engine light, you just put a wire between two terminals and count the flashes of the light. on this truck, there are three different stages and types of codes you have to retrieve, and the procedures are so arcane and complex, like “turn the ignition just until you hear 2 clicks and then climb under the truck and unplug the yellow and green wires from the hidden sensor and then wait until the second full moon at which time…” that is seriously only a slight exaggeration of how bad it is, it’s incredible.
these are relatively minor complaints but they are things that will bother almost every driver (ok, maybe not the last thing but i really hate it and wanted to get it out there) and i think that makes them both obvious and very serious. how can a company be so stupid as to do make their product so unfriendly to virtually their entire market?
i realize it’s been 23 years since ford made this piece of shit and everyone who played a part in making it have probably long since retired or died but i’m still mad at ford for being so inept, so foolish as to design and mass produce something so clearly, horribly flawed.
i’ll stick to 4wd tercels, thanks.