Proof You Cannot Kill a 1989 Ford F-150 with a Straight-Six Engine. We Tried! (Video)

Ford's legendary 300 cu-in. six cylinder is the real deal.

Tommy and Kase headed out to visit TFL’s friend and all-around good guy, David Morrow, and his yak ranch in Northern Colorado. His ranch is is where we left our $900 parts truck, a 1989 Ford F-150 with the 300 cubic inch straight six engine that purchased to help us with Project Gunsmoke. Throughout the project, hundreds of viewers have claimed that the inline six in our ’89 Ford is the most reliable engine the Blue Oval ever made. So we decided to see for ourselves, putting the Ford through a grueling day at the ranch. Just for kicks, we set-up a tug-of-war between the two-wheel-drive Ford and Kase’s 1994 Dodge Ram 4×4 with a Cummins diesel.

Dave Morrow
Dave Morrow behind the wheel of the Ford in the tug-of-war.

Ford F-150 and the Legendary Straight Six

Ford produced the 300 engine between 1965 and 1996. They had 30 years to get it right, and right they did. Our 4.9-liter 1989 Ford F-150 had 150 hp and 260 lb-ft. torque when new. Pop the hood and the layout is simple with ample room around it to dive in for repairs. At the ranch, the guys put it to the test. They pulled dead cottonwood trunks to the barn to be turned into firewood. They dragged a sled made from old tires across a pasture to turn yak turds into fertilizer dust. The guys took a break to play tug-of-war. Finally, they tackled a hill climb to the top of David’s property on a steep trail of loose rock and dirt.

Did the Straight Six Die?

Sorta. The boys did end up with a hole in the radiator. That ended the test. After limping back to the garage, they filled up the radiator and attempted to start the engine before the radiator leaked out again. And, like a legend, it fired right up, even after the guys noticed that the air intake hose wasn’t connected. Our final result, chalk this bad boy up against the Toyota Hilux/Tacoma as one of the most indestructible trucks ever made. To see the full day’s shenanigans, click on the video at the top of the post.