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“which car would you say was the easiest to work on?”
The one that a bank doesn’t technically own.
I’d say my 89 Chevy Celebrity. Started with a 2.8, back in 04 I swapped it for a 1989 3.1 in my dirt driveway. 310k on it now (317k on engine) and it still gets about 32 mpg highway which is well over EPA. Starts up quickly, doesn’t burn oil. Change 440T4 trans oil and filter about every 50k and never had problems. It’s extremely reliable and so damn simple. Diagnose with a paperclip. Main things I’ve to replace: ignition module (remove 4 bolts and lift out electric fan, then 3 bolts on module), crank sensor (1 bolt and pluck it out of the block.). Unlike GM’s 90 degree V6 where the crank sensor is behind the crank pulley. Alternator, water pump, power steering all right on top. Plugs and wires and belt quick and easy. I can block off the EGR to keep the intake cleaner and the computer doesn’t care. Have to clean the idle valve once a year (or maybe I should just replace it) but it’s right on top, along with TPS and CTS if ever needed. Many years that’s all I have to do to it. The 89 had speed density software so no MAF sensor. Just a simple little MAP sensor. Radiator lifts right out after removing a little plastic cover, thermostat right on top, heater core has an easy access panel without removing dash. Wheel bearings, struts, balljoints, everything is bolt in. No press required. Brakes just slip on, I swapped to Pontiac 6000 rear disc in 03. The 89 switched to nylon fuel line so fuel filter is quick. Tank is easy once you work loose the 2 bolts the first time and use anti seize. GM built these for so long and with so many shared parts that I can still get parts anywhere. Been driving it for 20 years and will keep doing so as long as I can. Park it for winter and it starts right up every spring.
Early 2000’s Hondas. So smartly designed and built. AND, they make it super easy to get cars up on jackstands by having a reinforced spot in the center under the engine to jack under, as well as using the tow hook in the back for the same purpose. As opposed to my 2011 Mustang, as one example, which has no obvious spots and, therefore, the forums are full of people posting pics of where to do it.
My 87 Subaru GL wagon—with AC & PS delete. Had to eliminate the power steering pump to accommodate the Weber 32/36 I put on to replace the crazy 11 circuit (that’s what I was told back then: I do not offer that as gospel ) carburetor.
easiest timing belt change ever: was less than an hour from raising hood to turning key! Clutch was around 5 hours (the 2nd time). Every 6 months I would replace axle, wheel bearing, tierod end & ball joint on alternating sides: that was about 2hours at a leisurely pace.
It was slow, and ugly, but I dearly loved that shitbox
Anything not from the rust belt. Seriously, wrenching on an older car from an arid climate is so nice. I don’t care what car it is.
99% of my wrenching involves cans of PB Blaster, a large mallet, breaker bar, and sometimes a torch. Oh, that just gets you past the first couple bolts. Whatever time the shop manual gives you, multiply it by 2.
My #1 reason for keeping my nice cars stored in the winter, and driving sacrificial shitboxes for winter. As long as they got reliable mechanical systems and got good tires, I don’t care about the rest.
Easy: 62 Mercedes 220Sb – change oil and filter from above, buy synchronizing the dual carbs, not so much. Sorry I ever sold that one. Toughest: 79 Renault 5 starter – have to remove carb & intake manifold and exhaust manifold with tiny hands. Hooo!
My ‘94 F150 with the 300 inline 6 is hands-down the easiest vehicle to service that I have owned. Where to start? It has a huge engine bay that you can practically sit in. The inline engine leaves a ton of space on either side to wrench. The engine is mounted longitudinally so the belts and such are right there in front. It’s OHV and has timing GEARS which are stupid simple. It’s RWD, which keeps things simple. On top of all that, they made millions of them so parts are super cheap and plentiful. The only thing that was truly a pain was replacing the head. That beast of a cast iron head was a b!+ch to pull out and put back in and the exhaust/intake manifolds are a pain to line up. Other than that, plastic parts aging out is my main issue, but that just comes with age.