Ford’s highly sought-after factory big truck.
But what, exactly, makes a Highboy different?

It used to be when you said Ford Highboy you meant a 1928-1932 FORD roadster, with their fenders and running boards removed, exposing the frame rails.
It has even been used to describe certain types of Farm Tractors.
But we are talking about the Ford F250 with the production run from 1967 and ending midyear 1977.
Many people think they know what makes a Highboy a Highboy, but maybe they don’t know the whole story. And in many cases, the information they’ve read is simply wrong.

You can’t blame them, of course. After all, the term Highboy is not, and never was, an official Ford name, Like ‘Bullnose’ and ‘Dentside’, it’s a term given to the type by fans of the model, and the term stuck.

Below is some information to help clarify just what a Highboy really is.


The Ford ‘Highboy’ referred to here is a four-wheel drive F-250
produced between 1967 and 1977-½ with a divorced transfer case
(either Dana 24, NP203, or NP205), causing the front end to sit higher.
To even things out in the rear Ford installed 4-inch lift blocks.
Ford switched to married transfer cases midway through the 1977 model year,
at which point fans began calling trucks with the new setup “Lowboys.”


Despite the rear lift block, Highboys are not “factory lifted,” as many people incorrectly believe.

The front of the trucks only sits higher because of the divorced transfer case and does not feature a lift block.
The rear block, which sits between the axle and leaf springs, was something found in most trucks at that time.


All Highboys sat noticeably higher off the ground than other models, at least in the early years.

The 1967-1972 Highboy sits approximately 2.58-2.77 inches higher than a comparable F-100 4×4, 5.24-5.6 inches higher than the F-250 4×2, and 6.1-6.4 inches higher than the F-100 4×2.
Later Highboys didn’t sit much higher than their counterparts, as total height didn’t vary much between models.


The front leaf springs depending on gross vehicle weight came with either 5 or 6 leaves and were 3 inches wide.
These leaf springs are easily identified because they are noticeably more arched than non-Highboy leaf springs.
Rear leaf springs were 2 ¼″ wide and consisted of 9 leaves.

Highboy front axles consisted of either an 8-lug Dana 44, Dana 44HD, or Dana 60, all of which were low pinion.
The rear axles were either a 16 or 30-spline 8-lug Dana 60.
All Highboys used a 4.10:1 gear ratio.

Drum brakes were used at all four corners between 1967 and 1975, later models were available with disc brakes in the front. Power brakes were also optional from 1973-1977-½.

The Highboy frame is distinguishable from the F-350 by a front cross member just below the front bumper and is visible from the front of the truck. The rear cab mounts on a Highboy reside outside the frame rails because they are so narrow. Those frames measure 33.5 inches wide, the same as the F-350. All Highboys came in either ‘regular cab’ or ‘crew cab’ setup.
Ford didn’t build a Super Cab F-250 4×4 until 1978, probably because the Super Cab body doesn’t bolt to the narrow Highboy frame.
Early Highboys (67-72) had a 133-inch wheelbase, while later models measured 150 inches.

Engine options for the Highboy are a little bit of a mystery even to fans. Many believe that only 2 power plants were offered, but this is not true.
Depending on the model year, a total of six engine options could be ordered:
The 240 six-cylinder (1967-1974)
The 300 six-cylinder (1967-1977-½)
The 351M V8 (1977)
The 352 V8 (1967)
The 360 V8 (1968-1976)
The 400 V8 (1977).
Highboys from the factory were never offered with the 390 or 460 V8.
but It has become a very popular swap.

There were 3 Transmission options:
The Toploader 3-speed manual (1967-1971),
The NP-435 4×2 4-speed manual (1967-1977-½)
The ‘Select Shift Cruise-O-Matic’ C6 (73-77-½).

Highboys never came equipped with a rear gas tank, it was just too wide for the truck’s narrow rear frame rails.
Instead, they all came with in-cab gas tanks and optional (additional) side-mounted tanks.
The U.S. eventually outlawed in-cab gas tanks, which is why Ford ceased producing trucks employing them after 1977.
This might be why the production of the end of the Highboy ended.


Once Ford made the switch to married transfer cases in late 1977, the Highboy immediately became the Lowboy.
The 4-inch rear lift blocks were no longer needed, nor was the narrow frame. The Lowboy has a few advantages over the Highboy, despite having a weaker frame, however. A high-pinion Dana 60 became optional, as did integrated power steering and 3-inch-wide rear leaf springs.

But it’s the Highboy that’s the fan favorite. We simply love the look, not to mention the fact that you can stuff up to 38-inch tires underneath without any additional suspension work.



FUN-fact… the original Bigfoot was a Highboy.


No matter what the reason, if you’re looking for one, make sure you know what you’re looking at before you buy.