Is a pre-2000 year Ford truck, less crowded workspace-wise? Were engine and transimission "spaces" larger? I want to buy an older truck, maybe a Ford Ranger, and rebuild the engine and/or transmission, and by rebuild, more than likely it just means put new parts on. For example, the transmission. I don't really want to rebuild the guts of the transmission. I want to buy one and installed it, same with engine parts (though I could tackle a head gasket.)
I don't want anything that requires me to be super contorted to work on, though some difficulty is of course expected.
Are there other uncrowded workspaces that are commonly known about? Does it matter if it is automatic vs. manual?
I'm hope this is not too opinionated and will not be voted down. My hope is this is well known enough among the mechanic culture to be common and not simply opinion from person to person.