In response to the surprisingly popular Dodge Caravan and Plymouth Voyager minivans introduced by Chrysler Corporation in 1984, Ford brought out the Aerostar for 1986. Being built on a rear-wheel-drive Ford truck frame, the Aerostar was closer to a traditional van than the front-drive/unibody Chryslers, and that -- along with its available V-6 -- gave it a higher towing capacity.
1986 also brought a new name to Ford's medium-duty truck lineup: the Cargo. Unusual in that it carried a name rather than a series designation, it was referred to as a "low tilt cab," although the cab was in fact rather tall.
Designed around European styling themes, the Cargo was intended to replace the boxy ´50s-vintage C-Series Tilt Cab -- still in production -- but the two were sold side-by-side through the end of the decade. Also new that year was a SuperCab version of the Ford Ranger pickup truck.
With the F-150 firmly ensconced as the best-selling vehicle in the U.S., there was little reason to change it for 1986 -- and Ford didn't.
Newly offered on Ford's heavy-duty Cab-Over-Engine truck models for 1986 were aftercooler systems that coaxed more power and better fuel economy out of their diesel engines. Available options now included a chrome front bumper and exterior-mounted sun visor (both fitted to the CLT-9000 shown above), along with a Jacobs Engine Brake. A "Jake Brake," as it was often called, used the engine's compression to help slow the vehicle when coming to a stop.
Ranger offered a SuperCab body style for 1986 that added 17 inches to the back of the truck's cab. A pair of rear jump seats was optional. SuperCab trucks came only with a six-foot bed, while regular cabs also offered a seven-footer.
Newly available on the base Ranger S was a 2.0-liter four, while other models came with a 2.3-liter four or new fuel-injected 2.9-liter V-6 engine. Also offered that year -- but rarely ordered -- was a 2.3-liter turbodiesel. Four-wheel-drive Rangers got a new "shift-on-the-fly" system in 1986. The V-6 and diesel engines, along with the 4x4 system, were shared with the Ranger's Bronco II stablemate.
The long-awaited redesigns for Bronco and Ford's light-duty F-Series trucks arrived in 1987. Click to the next page to check them out.
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