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Ford Falcon XF

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Ford Falcon XF

1984 - 1988
6 cyl.
3.3 & 4.1 litre 6 cyl.
150 bhp / 122 kw (4.1 ltr.)
4 spd. man / 3 spd. auto
Top Speed:
Number Built:
1 star
Ford Falcon XF
Reviewed by Unique Cars and Parts
Our Rating: 1


The XF represented the last of the fourth generation cars, and featured softer, more rounded styling with revsions to the grille and bumpers, and new tail lamps. The XF had big shoes to fill, the XE having taken Ford to the top of the sales charts, however Ford needed the XF to be something special with the General's VK Commodore quickly closing the margin.

The Ford enginners gave the XF a softer styling treatment, and even a new dash which presented a far more modern look than the outgoing XE. Very popular, the XF would remain in production for 3 and a half years, from October 1984 through to February 1988. During its run, Ford made numerous improvements, and for the first time offered a 5 speed manual gearbox to most models.

The design was almost entirely new forward of the front pillars, and the rear had the obligatory tail lamp revision. Other less noticeable inclusions were the padded head rests, adjustable steering column on all models except the GL, and a fold down panel in the centre of the rear seat to allow long items to extend through from the boot.

The Ghia went one further, fitted with beautifully elegant alloy wheels, a body coloured grille, cruise control and one of the most impressive ever electronic dash displays. Having a long production run meant revisions were the order of the day, and the XF was available in Family Edition and S-Pack.

The Family Edition featured a centafold front bench seat and two-tone paint scheme, while the S-Pack featured firmer suspension, was lowered 10mm and fitted with alloy wheels shod with performance tyres. The fuel injected six cylinder engine, introduced in the previous model to replace the V8 received new management systems, and midway through the production run were modified further to allow the use of unleaded fuel.

The 25th Anniversary XF

September 1985 saw the release of the special 25th Anniversary Falcon, featuring a choice of three colour schemes and unique badging and interior. 2000 were sold. Ford did have something to celebrate. In 1986 there was a very minor XF Falcon facelift. A Ghia wagon - affected by the luxury car tax to the extent that a few standard items had to be removed from the specification just before it was announced - a manual five speed version of both 4.1 litre engines available for the first time, power steering and four wheel disc brakes standard for all passenger models, plus a touch of colour-coding for front and rear ends.

Perhaps a little boring, but it was all part of the honest, straightforward image projected by the Falcon since the “Blackwood” first made its appearance as the XD in 1979. At the time, Ford claimed the strategy with the revised XF was to build on the Falcon's strengths and expand its attributes. Mechanically, there had been few actual changes to the big Fords, but what was done help to refine what was, in reality, a pretty basic car. The availability of the five speed gearbox, for example, allowed the lowering of the final drive for better in-gear response while actually allowing a slightly higher-geared top. Wagons received a lot of NVH attention which included the fitment of a new, tuned driveshaft on five speed models, plus a quieter fuel pump to eliminate the whine of previous models, and a new exhaust system with a third muffler. The effect was to greatly reduce the familiar station wagon "boom".

The Ghia wagon, which hit the showrooms late in 1986, was fitted with the full top-line regalia, except for the premium sound system which, unfortunately, became a dealer fitment item as a result of the Keating luxury tax. The Ghia came with EFI engine, automatic transmission, central locking, electric windows, electric mirrors, digital instrument panel and alloy wheels. Previously listed factory options (such as the aforementioned premium sound system and trip computer) were now dealer-fitment items. Prices for the updated Falcons started at A$15,739 for the 3.3 litre GL four speed sedan (four speed became the standard transmission late in 1986). With previous XF models that may not have been fitted with four wheel discs or standard power steering, that represented an increase of around 6.5%. Other models were generally up by around 3.5%, except in cases where the standard equipment level changed.

The XF was finally replaced by the 5th generation Falcon, the EA, in February 1988, however the utes and vans would continue in production and, in April 1991, an S version was made available complete with sports wheels and wider side body stripe. Power steering and a five speed manual gearbox was fitted as standard on all versions, and all this happened over 3 years after the last XF sedan had rolled off the production line!
Ford Falcon XF

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Also see:

Falcon XF Specifications
Ford Falcon Commercials
Falcon/Fairlane Identification Guide
Reader Reviews page 1 of 1
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Posted 18 days ago
In reply to Jack and his comment saying dont see xf cars on the road anymore. I have 2 white XF FAIRMONT GHIA STATION WAGONS. 1986& 1987. Both mint condition.I keep them garaged and away from rain/water. And I do drive them regularly.Oh and In the nearly 30 years I have had only 1 breakdown.TFI module on distributor failed..fixed myself[electronics technician].
Posted 37 days ago
I have an XF Fairmont was a lovely mobile pub/boozer in its day. Now is repowered with a Toyota/Lexus 1uzfe + m90 supercharger combo! A weapon to get you and 10 of your friends to the next pub while doing burnouts on demand.
Posted 45 days ago
and bob if you new any thing who would get a 4. and the cd xe cameron out with both 302and351 in there cars what a tosser
Posted 45 days ago
they are. a great car dont no about gutless mine does 10sec bob dont be a right *** put a little money in it they are 30years old nothing status new for ever door handheld my only problem and price off fuel
Posted 79 days ago
Holden sixes make great boat anchors!
Posted 79 days ago
All the knockers here are just holden wankers, i had an 85 efi fairmont,it went like the clappers. In the 5 years i owned it,i replaced the waterpump! Thats all, never broke down once. As for a hq 6, i saw one struggle to pulla boat up a ramp. A mate had a ht van that wouldnt go over 60 kmh towing a car trailer! Holden lovers are the biggest bull *** ters going!!!
Posted 110 days ago
Had an '88 XF ute for 7 years, piece of crap engineering. The only reliable feature of this home grown junk was the steering & the tray.
Posted 480 days ago
Greg, although I agree with your point, your HQ was a 173 auto van-likely the slowest HQ possible. This will always leave a bad impression of the entire HQ range. Very few HQ buyers opted for this combo and I'm sure you would have found a 253V8 four speed Premier quite a rewarding drive........for the time.
Posted 504 days ago
In reply to Bob, Bob you claim a hq holden six has more power, I once owned a hq panel van with a standard 173 backed up by a trau(tri)matic, no they don't. You claimed you used to see xd-xf falcons on the side of the road over heated everyday, yeah so have I, I've also seen plenty of red/black engine powered holdens stopped on the side of the road dead with stripped timing gears (above mentioned hq van included) so what's your point?. You claimed that the falcons were bad cars to drive but in your comparison to the hq you failed to claim that the hq was a good car to drive, is this an admission they weren't?. Styling is just a matter of personal opinion, having owned an xf falcon as well as the hq I found neither's styling to be offensive. The new gutless (2012) falcon is now a 4cyl, ford is 20 years behind holden, correction- when it comes to installing a gutless 4cyl to family sized cars ford is closer to thirty years behind holden, I remember the starfire (backfire) 4cyl commodore of the early eighties only to well, you obviously have a very short memory!.
Posted 615 days ago
Hi I have a 93 xf s-pac falcon ute 5 speed with a 2.92 LSD factory diff my ute goes really well, and having all the mod cons of its time. The reason the efi models sometime seem "gut less" the injectors sometimes just slightly block up a quick bottle of injector cleaner and high octane fuel and the generally good as new maybe some should try this before bagging them out
Alex K
Posted 870 days ago
HI i have a xf ghia wagon on lpg.It has been used for surfing,daily transport,towing sharkcat for years.I turbo charged it 14 years ago and recently raced it.It ran a10.82. 1/4 mile and got me kicked off.(youtube-10 second xf lpg turbo)The motors are completely different when turboed.The younger crew (i am 40)often try to purchase it from me but it is not worth much,besides with the digital dash and funny gadgets abound it is kind of fun and serves a few purposes.I believe ford should slip the territory diesel engine in their falcons,but i think they have been asleep at the wheel soaking up tax money and missed the boat.
Posted 1003 days ago
i have a 87 GHIA XF falcon it has been around the mill been used by everyman and there dog az a piss wagg , the motor blew up the electric windows stoped going etc , however i have put in a 4.1 crossflow out of a XD along with the 3speed manuel gbox and XD steering column , is now 3speed column shift , the XD motor was carburettor so using the old loom and injection setup is now fuel injected again . i converted all the electrics too none electric out XD eg: windows/dash ,, is a great wagg now lol gloss black and on 14x8 12slots with eagers ... i personally think ford tryed to go to much to soon with electrical items in the xf and the XD are far more reliable and practical i do like the look of the xf better tho
Posted 1061 days ago
The Falcon peaked with the XE and XF models in terms of sales. After the EA's release,the Falcon began its slow decline to the point where it is now on life-support.After about 2016 the Falcon and Territory are history.Ford will be purely an importer-like Nissan.If Ford had moved with the times,the future could have been far more positive. How did it come to this? Millions in taxpayers money given to local carmakers,yet they're still pulling out eventually.
Posted 1062 days ago
The XD-XF are the most under power gutless car and were so bad to drive Ford would not fit a V8 in them. I use to see them on the side of the road over heated ever day. A Holden HQ 6 has more power and looks a hell of a lot better. The NEW (2012) gutless Falcon is now a 4cly.
FORD 20 years behind HOLDEN and counting.
Posted 1083 days ago
I've got two - they are awesome!!!
Posted 1268 days ago
Never see XD-XF wagons on the road anymore.When Territory came out they must have all gone to the wreckers as buyers finally had a replacement with decent styling. V8 should have been available on the XF,but the big sixes were decent haulers.
Posted 1322 days ago
I've got a nice Fairmont Sedan with a 4-speed manual - never had a problem with gutlessness, found she goes like a shower of sh*t! She's rather unique since she has ghia options like the digital dash and power mirrors and contrary to the models with no power steering, she is really easy to maneuver.
I found that door handle breakages are more common on these X-series falcons - that and the hinges drop (making the whole door drop out of alignment with the frame) but go figure, when supporting these heavy doors. They would be the biggest cons for falcons. Pros: These girls are designed to take the family and all their luggage, they are big! Comfortable too (taking into consideration their age and market rivals at their inception) with great leg-room in the rear - especially if you have a short-arse driving. I've found they are also great at towing - solid on the road and so easy to drive, it's like you're not towing anything. Nowadays, I think they are more popular as paddock-bashers unfortunately.
Posted 1445 days ago
i had a xf ute 84,
4.1 litre 4 spd manual i had a bit of work done to it but the doors where a problem but never had a problem with the power it went pretty well transmission starting sticking but other then that it did well
Posted 1493 days ago
I had a Fairmont Sedan with a 4.1 fuel injection engine what a gutless *** box's please tell me how they get so little power out of a big engine.
Posted 1506 days ago
I own an xf falcon ute which i got cheap with lpg. like others the doors werent right but did not need urgent fixing.
Although i had lpg i only used gas due to the lack of servo's with lpg pumps but i felt it weld well on the fuel so that to me was a plus.
Transmission-I realised that the transmission was leaking alot of tranny fluid and a kept topping it up but did not think of getting it fixed. Because i left it the bands wore out and i was left with basically no reverse. I took it to the mechanics and they said it is a common problem amongst falcons thus wreckers know this which means exspensive parts. Seeing i got the ute for 1600 and it would cost 1100 for a new tranny and rego i traded it in.
Doors- this may be due to the doors not being aligned properly but i put my key in once and the internal cable broke off meaning a broken door.
so yeh preety much make sure the tranny is serviced when buying
Posted 1803 days ago
Hey i got a 85 xf ute it goes well sounds great need to fix it a bit but want to sell it just need to know exactly some little things cause the doors arent right and it sounds petty but its just not that easy to fix
Posted 1812 days ago
Hi,i have an xf ute,but i need new doors,someone told me that only ute and panelvan doors fit,sedan and wagon don't fit utes,are they write,does anyone know.Thanks Tex
Posted 1858 days ago
hi mary jane putting in a bigger engine is alot of work aswell as alot of money because the xf wasn't designed for a v8 i'd reckomend looking for a decent xe with the bigger motor already in it
Mary Jane
Posted 1980 days ago
i have an 85 s-pac, brought it with 60,000kms a year ago, looks great
but i want to put a bigger engine in it. Whats the biggest engine that will fit? Im not a car enthusiast just need a little help
Posted 1992 days ago
choose a 6 seater xf wagon or kia carnival for 29 grand, went the xf, now on gas, gas worth more than the car, we all happy
Posted 2049 days ago
I have a 92 XG GL Panel Van. Great reliable Falcon for camping or carting. We tow a bot with it up and down the Clyde Mtn on the South coast with little fuss and it just keeps on going.
Posted 2173 days ago
i have an 1985 xf s-pac sedan, im doing it up so far have resprayed it monza red its original colour, put 17 inch chrome mags on it, all stainless steel sports exhaust, tinted windows and have had all my seats reapolstered. im wanting to put an 302 4.9 v8 in it next.
Posted 2214 days ago
i have a 87 xf fairmont ghia, deceased estate with gen 140,000klms. its the most original i've seen in faultless burgandy. what a find!!!
Posted 2404 days ago
are xf s packs have LSD diffs
Posted 2414 days ago
i have an xf very good car is an s pack but im changing it in to a fairmont ghia GO FORD
Posted 2496 days ago
my every day driver tows well,drives well,and very good for long trips,all thow mine is an s pac unleaded with a stroked 6 (4.4lt)and re chiped efi to cope it still has the same fule usige wich i thourt was strange a good solid car over all and relable as hell but parts are getting harder to find (window belts for example)
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