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With the tenth generation of the Ford F-Series pickups in 1997, truck enthusiasts got an entirely new hauler. Almost everything on the truck was different, especially the body. Until those all-new 1997 trucks broke the streak, all F-Series trucks shared a common body. So the same body could be found on F-150 light-duty, F-250, and F-350 heavy-duty trucks. In 1997, the F-250 got strange.

Ford had a problem with the F-250 in 1996

2002 Ford F-150
2002 Ford F-150 7700 | Ford

But Ford was faced with a problem. It wanted to separate the F-150 from its heavy-duty trucks. To do this, Ford created an entirely new body and beefier frame. And it called them Super Duty. The problem was that these unique F-250 and F-350 trucks weren’t ready to launch until 1999. 

This Forced the Dearborn automaker to produce a rather strange mix of light-duty and heavy-duty trucks. The mashup of different components created the 1997 F-250. It featured the new F-150 body, but the frame was a beefier, modified F-150 unit. This F-250 was not a Super Duty because there was no such thing until 1999. 

But it also kept selling its previous F-250 alongside the new F-150/250 for 1997. For 1998, the previous F-250 was dropped, leaving only the F-150/250 that year. The F-350 was not even offered for the 1998 model year. Finally, in 1999, the new Super Duty moniker was introduced, along with the new F-250 and F-350 bodies and heavy-duty frames. 

How long did Ford make these light-duty F-250 trucks?

2001 Ford F-150 7700 l
2001 Ford F-150 7700 light-duty | Ford

But Ford kept the F-150/250 in 1999. So there was both a light-duty F-250 and the Super Duty F-250. Just to confuse things further, in 2000, Ford called the light-duty F-250 “F-150 7700”. The 7700 referenced the truck’s gross vehicle weight of 7,700 lbs. The F-150 had a 6,600 GVWR. These light-duty F250s were made through 2004. 

So these light-duty F-250 pickups are fairly rare. How can you tell if you see one? First, if it looks like a 1996 and up F-150, but it has F-250 identification, it is one of these tweener F-250s. The other way you can tell is by looking at the wheels. These F-250 trucks have seven-lug hubs, whereas the F-150 had five-lug wheels. 

What are some of the differences?

2000 Ford F-150
2000 Ford F-150 7700 light duty | Ford

What Is Considered High Mileage For A Ford F-250?

It will also be geared lower than a standard F-150 and features both front and rear disc brakes. There is also a 130 amp alternator and heavy-duty radiator. And the frame is a stouter version of the F-150’s frame. 

According to Auto Trader, the 4×4 versions of these “heavy half” F-150s (or light duty F-250) are highly sought after just on rarity alone. Ford doesn’t break down sales figures, but if you see one for sale, it will have a high price from a knowing owner. That, or a low price by an owner unaware of its desirability. Or it’s a complete hunk of junk. 

So these odd-duck light-duty F-250s are rare, unique, and one of those oddities that pop up from time to time. The thing with Ford is that its F-Series success rests partially on the variety of configurations and options it offers. You can’t beat success, and this is one of Ford’s reasons for it.