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.

  • You might want to clarify: are you asking if pre-2000 trucks are less cramped than post-2000? – Bob Cross May 28 '14 at 20:58

I don't know about Fords specifically, but as a general rule of thumb, older vehicles are usually easier to work on than newer ones - They usually have less in terms of large crash structures etc, and fewer accessories in the engine bay taking up space.

Replacing parts is usually easier when those parts are mostly or wholly mechanical too, wheras newer vehicles tend to have more electronics, which often can't be fixed by a hobbyist.

I wouldn't use 2000 as a cut-off date though - most mid-late 90s vehicles are very similar to 2000s models - you tend to need to look back before the mid 90s to get the simpler models.

As for what else is around - that depends where you are. Traditional Land Rovers are a good example of a small truck that is easily accessible, as the entire vehicle can be easily dismantled, but they aren't as common in North America...

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