What are some things to consider before buying a 2002 F150 Supercrew Lariat FX4?

Hey everyone,

So, I’m new to this forum and I’ve got my eye on this 2002 F150 SuperCrew Lariat with the FX4 package and the 5.4 2v engine. It’s a one-owner truck and the guy’s really taken care of it - inside and out. It’s got about 105,000 miles on it and even comes with a color-matched topper for the 5.5’ bed.

Now, since I know the owner from work, I’m pretty confident he wouldn’t hide any issues from me. But he’s asking $8,500 CAD ($6,800 USD), which seems kinda steep for a truck that’s almost 20 years old.

I’ve done a bit of research and found out about some common issues these trucks have. So, I was hoping to get your opinion on a couple of things:

  1. I’ve heard about spark plug blowouts being a big problem with these engines. If I keep an eye on the torque and make sure they’re at 20-25 lb-ft, do you think I can avoid this issue? Or is it just something that happens no matter what?

  2. There’s also talk about a leaky passenger side head gasket at the rear of the engine, right over the starter. How common is this problem? I’m not too keen on shelling out for a pricey head gasket or engine replacement given the age of the truck.

I’ve heard that while this issue is pretty common, it usually just results in oil seepage instead of mixing coolant and oil. If that’s the case, do you think it’s okay to just live with the leak and top up the oil as needed?

And lastly, are there any other issues I should know about? I’m just worried about getting stuck with a truck that’s gonna drain my wallet with constant repairs. My daily driver’s a fun little Mazdaspeed 3, so this would be more of a secondary vehicle.

Thanks a bunch in advance for any advice!