Home » It’s Wrenching Wednesday. Which of Your Rides Are Easiest to Wrench On?

It’s Wrenching Wednesday. Which of Your Rides Are Easiest to Wrench On?

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Stef Schrader
Stef Schrader
1 year ago

For me? 944 FTW, hands down, not even a contest. It’s the 944. Easily the 944. There’s so much knowledge out there about how to fix a 944, so many how-tos and directions, tons of parts support…I love my 944.

Even when it’s a complicated job, there are numerous tutorials on how to do it, likely also videos, and a bunch of people to call when I get stuck. THERE IS NO SUBSTITUTE (for an obsessive fanbase, a solid classic parts program and active racing community), after all.

The VW 411 should be easy in theory, but the number of no-longer-available parts makes it a beast. Finding 914 bits for the engine or parts shared with the Type 3 and other cars is easy. Finding 411-specific anything is…well, you might have to make that part. I will say, the 914 crowd is awfully helpful on Type 4 problems, too.

We do not speak of wrenching on the Lancer. I’m scared of it.

Last edited 1 year ago by Stef Schrader
Stef Schrader
Stef Schrader
1 year ago
Reply to  Stef Schrader

UPDATE: GUESS WHAT’S BACK?!!!???!??!??!?!?!?????

https://www.instagram.com/p/Crj-XkIsMus/

Taargus Taargus
Taargus Taargus
1 year ago

Can’t really confirm this 100% because I haven’t don’t much in the way of wrenching on it, but my wife’s 2018 Forester has a rather empty front end with the oil filter sitting right up on top. It’s about the easiest oil change I’ve done. Everything else seems to be easily accessible.

My former Suzuki SX4 was… not exactly a joy to work on. As you can imagine, that engine bay way TIGHT. Replacing the serpentine belt was sort of a nightmare, and the oil filter was impossible to get to with normal sized hands. I loved that car, but I felt like everything fought me, even just doing brake pads revealed that the calipers were the sort that you need that weird square key thing to twist the pistons to compress them instead of just throwing a c-clamp on there.

Geo Metro Mike
Geo Metro Mike
1 year ago

91 Geo Metro.

Motor wore out. Carried it up to the 3rd story apartment for a rebuild.

Timing belt snapped. 45 minutes in a park & ride lot during a blizzard while the cops joke around.

Clutch burned out. Rolled it behind a 7-11 for the afternoon. Just needed a $99 clutch kit from Auto Zone, some sockets, and the scissor jack from the trunk.

Toughest job on that car was the fuel filter.

Bizness Comma Nunya
Bizness Comma Nunya
1 year ago
Reply to  Geo Metro Mike

Wow… where in the hell is the fuel filter if that was the toughest job? I am impressed by your skill set, which always get honed out of “I ain’t payin someone to do it” times.

I applaud your efforts.

Geo Metro Mike
Geo Metro Mike
1 year ago

Thanks for the nice reply 🙂

Filter is stuffed next to the gas tank. Not to hard, just a pain with the hoses in a tight spot. I was pretty broke back then and that car was a perfect step up from waiting at the bus stop, unless I needed a ride to Auto Zone.

Jamie Palmer
Jamie Palmer
1 year ago

Easiest: Triumph Spitfire. Heck, there’s even a seat (front tires) to work on the engine from once you tilt the *factory tilt front bonnet* forward. Hardest: Jaguar XJS V-12. It took me twenty years to get over refurbishing my first one before I lost enough brain cells to try it again. Same result — once I got everything fixed the trauma was bad enough I parked the car until it sold! NEVER ABAIN!

Staffma
Staffma
1 year ago
Reply to  Jamie Palmer

Too true. Spitfires are by far the easiest to work on out of the British brands.
I worked on a buddies MG GT and 50s Jag a few times before I realized how much of a pain they were. I used to tell people “I like British cars”, that has been amended to ” I only like Spitfires”.

Last edited 1 year ago by Staffma
Factoryhack
Factoryhack
1 year ago

By far, our ’02 Liberty is the easiest to work on:

Partly because it’s simple in most respects, and partly because it’s so old and semi-disposable that I’m not at all afraid to try stuff. Parts are cheap and readily available too.

I can now change out a blower motor in under 10 minutes, (after the fifth one). Window regulator, piece of cake. Flushing the radiator core, easy peasy. Brakes, like a hot knife through butter.

I wouldn’t try ANY of those things on the Stelvio. I’m not crazy.

Car Guy
Car Guy
1 year ago

My 1976 F-150 is pretty simple to work on since you can climb right into the engine bay and have the hood protect you from the elements. Everything is super accessible, except replacing the heater core which requires complete disassembly of the entire vehicle.

Carson Giardini
Carson Giardini
1 year ago

My mini Cooper 2016 is actually easier (not outright easy) than my 2006 sequoia because the sequoia is from the Midwest and the mini Colorado. Rusty shitboxes gonna shitbox

LactoseTheIntolerant
LactoseTheIntolerant
1 year ago

From my history: The easiest or most fun was the ’70 Beetle tied with the ’04 Ranger. Both were quick to fix anything with minimal cost.

Current Fleet: ’81 Jeep CJ-5. I’ve worked on it from front to back and there isn’t a thing I don’t think I could do. I took a ride that was sitting for 30 years and made it very, very dependable. The Jeep 258 is pretty amazing. Getting it tuned was almost too easy.

Rob Spiteri
Rob Spiteri
1 year ago

For being a dumpster fire, my Discovery is not too bad. It’s relatively straightforward. The little things I have done have been easy-to-follow step-by-step guides from Atlantic British and the owner’s workshop manual. However, in this thing, you often have to go through many other parts to get to the target one. This means you should (and often have to) replace the “in-the-way” parts as I like to call them. This is why most mechanics refuse to touch these Discovery 2s.

My 4Runner is relatively simple to work on. I mean, I have had to change a fog light bulb. Ouch. Oh, and one of my license plate screws was loose so I tightened it. Easy peasy! Other than that, nada, zip, nothing.

As per the other family cars, my mother’s Pilot is too new for me to go near and my brother’s Forester, well, that’s his problem. Our unproblematic Japanese cars never need attention!

Geoff Buchholz
Geoff Buchholz
1 year ago
Reply to  Rob Spiteri

Rob, how’s the Discovery sale going? Any takers yet?

Inthemikelane
Inthemikelane
1 year ago

The easiest thing I ever worked on, was a 1950s era International Harvester Cub tractor, does that count? OK, so how about a 1968 Caprice? (Almost 10 years old when I got it.) Everything was fairly easy to access, but lord, did I have to do that a lot.

Inthemikelane
Inthemikelane
1 year ago
Reply to  Inthemikelane

I should add, the worst thing I ever worked on was a friends 70s era v8 Mustang that I was helping change plugs. Discovered you’d have to lift the engine to replace the back two plugs. Who the hell designed this thing, insanity!

Inthemikelane
Inthemikelane
1 year ago
Reply to  Inthemikelane

Sorry to post three times on this, but those craftsman tools, oh man, love my old Craftsmans! Bought a full set of everything early 80s. Don’t know who made them, but the best tools this homestead mechanic could ask for.

trekra
trekra
1 year ago

The easiest of all- my 1978 CJ-7. 258 inline six, Tremec T150. Exposed bolts, T25 torx heads, no carpet, no pretentious plastic dash panels, no electronic gremlins to take out systems like HVAC, power door locks or windows, etc.

Sure there was an H and a little V to hint at a modern HVAC system, but your biggest climate controls were in the form of half doors and a bikini top for the sub-freezing temperatures, if you really needed that coddling.

I, with little prior experience, managed to change out nearly every component and system, including engine, transmission, and more. One might call it a confidence builder or entry drug to more devious and destructive drugs like Audis and Volkswagens, but I still yearn for the simplicity and purity of my old CJ.

Dave
Dave
1 year ago
Reply to  trekra

Oooh, yes. Mine was a 1980. Loads of space, Easy to find & inexpensive parts, and the only electronic bit was the useless AM/FM radio.

trekra
trekra
1 year ago
Reply to  Dave

I truly can’t believe there is any easier vehicle to work on that a CJ. 5 wires, 10 bolts and some tires. 🙂

Theotherotter
Theotherotter
1 year ago

The 911 is the easiest, unless I have to do something in the tunnel. With a low-profile Megasquirt system, backdated heat and no A/C, there’s looots of room in the engine compartment. I can see the Triangle of Death with my eyes. Really, they’re easy and nice cars to work on.

S13 Sedan
S13 Sedan
1 year ago

My Nissan Laurel is extremely easy to work on. Everything in the engine bay is right there with plenty of room to reach everything. Two years ago, I needed to pull the engine to replace the oil pump and you can seriously pull the engine with pretty much nothing more than a 10mm, 12mm, and 14mm socket.

Last weekend, I needed to replace the fuel pump. The tank is underneath the trunk but Nissan put a nice access panel in the trunk for you. A few 10mm bolts later I was ready to unbolt the pump from the tank. The whole thing took maybe an hour or so and that was because I was working at a very leisurely pace. I don’t work in a shop anymore, no sense in rushing when I don’t need to.

CSRoad
CSRoad
1 year ago

My sleeper Honda Shadow VT750 ACE is easy, the valves can be checked and clearance set if need be in about 1/2 an hour now and it takes about 20 minutes to R&R the carbs, instead of about 3-4 hours each task, some engine parts are not how Honda buried them or even what they intended. (-: Anyway it is the easiest of my rides to work on, no layers of crap to remove, but looks stock at a glance. As far as cars go my 2014 Fiesta beats the wife’s 2012 Impreza cold thus far.

Gubbin
Gubbin
1 year ago
Reply to  CSRoad

A sleeper VT750? That’s mighty intriguing.

Lew Schiller
Lew Schiller
1 year ago

I’d say my Morris Minor(s)
All the complexity of a 4 passenger garden tractor

Jack Trade
Jack Trade
1 year ago

My 2000s era Fords are nicely medium – not easy but not terrible either. They both have plenty of quirks (like Mustang’s sparkplugs are obnoxious to access and Focus requires removing most of the front just to replace the freakin’ headlight bulbs), but things are fairly straight forward.

The biggest problem always seems to be save-a-buck materials choices by Ford, but parts aren’t hard to come by at all – one of things I love about them.

Mark Tucker
Mark Tucker
1 year ago

My easiest by far is the MGB GT. It’s just such a simple car: pushrod 4 cylinder with carbs and points, solid rear axle on leaf springs, basic 4 speed manual, dead-simple electrical system (which is now a GM-style harness and not the original Lucas one, thank you very much). It’s also not rusty underneath, so things come apart easily. The worst job, so I’m told, is the clutch – the engine and gearbox come out as a unit and then you separate them. So if I ever need to do the clutch, I’ll need an engine hoist.

The truck should be easy, except that GM crams everything waaaay back against the firewall. You need a stepladder to reach the distributor. On the plus side, you can change the oil and filter without jacking it up.

3WiperB
3WiperB
1 year ago
Reply to  Mark Tucker

Yep, the MGB is my easiest too. The clutch was easier on my MGB than on my Dad’s MGA. It was just time consuming. An engine leveler for the hoist and jacking the back of the car way up is critical. It seems like a pain to pull both the engine and transmission on the B, but it’s way easier to assemble them outside the car than to try to mate them together in the car like on the MGA. I did both about a year apart.

Sailin' Shoes
Sailin' Shoes
1 year ago

Easiest to change oil – 1962 Benz 220S. Filter and drain plug on driver side of engine with 8 inches of clearance. But not easy to synchronize the dual carbs. Sure miss that old Benz.
Hardest job is starter motor on Renault 5 – under intake AND exhaust manifolds with NO clearance. Design from hell…

A. Barth
A. Barth
1 year ago

Historically, the Super Beetle was the easiest. Basic tasks were a breeze, and even after it caught fire I got it rolling again with a Leatherman and a roll of 18ga wire (and distributor parts).

In the current fleet, the early-1980s Yamaha XT250 holds the title: it’s an air-cooled single-cylinder bike with a metal gas tank and no bodywork beyond a couple of side covers. It’s only marginally more complicated than a lawn mower. 🙂

legit Craftsman tools purchased throughout the 60s (they’re mine now)

I have a lot of my dad’s tools as well – Craftsman from the 1970s-1980s, and some of my own from the 1990s and later.

Top tip for the group: go to swap meets and look for inexpensive and high quality tools. Also bring a folding/collapsible wagon to carry stuff around, because the weight adds up quickly.

Parsko
Parsko
1 year ago

I saw two vehicles driving down the road today with wobbling rear wheels. I was not able to alert either driver of said condition. I’m posting this for them.

Steve Karo
Steve Karo
1 year ago

I have a Porsche 914, a 1966 C2 Corvette, a 2012 Range Rover Sport and a 2018 Range Rover Velar. I have had BMW 6 and 4 series. They are all roughly the same to work on if you have the right tools and have shop manuals. For instance, the Porsche 914 (ahem, VW Porsche) is the easiest if you need to remove the motor and transmission (less than 1 hour). But, you still need to raise the car so you can drop them – if you don’t have a quickjack, lift, or multiple car jacks with jack stands, virtually impossible. Certainly, an air cooled engine is very easy to work on since there is no timing chain, but try changing the fan belt without dropping the motor. The Corvette is easy access most everything, but unless you have a PhD in carburetors, you may spend more time messing around and still have to find one fo those geniuses. My final answer is – it depends on the issue and the car itself. My last oil change for the Velar was a suction tool through the oil dipstick (harbor Freight tool connected to an air compressor), an oil filter change from the top of the engine, and new oil. No mess, no drain plug access needed. That is pretty damn easy.

Gubbin
Gubbin
1 year ago

Not counting the Zeros, the Buell Cyclone is the easiest to wrench on. Everything’s just hanging out in the breeze. You’ll eventually remember which bolts are metric and which are SAE.
Good thing too because I just got a set of rebuild kits for the front and back brakes. Seems someone snuck in and cleverly replaced my bike’s brake fluid with butterscotch pudding.

LTDScott
LTDScott
1 year ago

I just bought my first Toyota (an ’04 Sequoia) and so far working on it has been relatively easy with few complications. It’s clear Toyota spends a lot of time engineering their products. Even one of the most infamous jobs on the 2UZ V8 — replacing the starter in the engine V under the intake — was pretty straightforward, if time consuming.

Now where did that 10mm socket go…

Boulevard_Yachtsman
Boulevard_Yachtsman
1 year ago

My ’66 Biscayne is certainly the easiest to wrench on in my current fleet. That thing is bicycle-simple. Six cylinder, drum brakes, three on the tree, red is positive, black is negative, and Bob’s yer uncle. Spark plugs can be leisurely changed in about 15 minutes. A far cry from the ’99 F-250 I spent the better part of last weekend changing plugs and packs on. Granted, those were original to the truck which had 160,000 miles on it.

OrigamiSensei
OrigamiSensei
1 year ago

The passenger side aircon blower in my Jaguar has been making a ton of noise. On Saturday I started the process of trying to get to that buried sucker and at this point the passenger side under the dash is half apart along with a goodly portion of the wiring harness disconnected. Sadly I still can’t get it out, which means I have to do some more disassembly.

If anyone has a line of where to get a full-fledged shop manual for a 1988 Jaguar XJ6 Vanden Plas I’d appreciate the pointers. I don’t think a Haynes or Bentley manual will cut it for this job.

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