: Easiest/Hardest cars to work on?



Jesda
02-04-06, 11:28 PM
Sometimes I open the bay of my wonderfully low-tech 525 and stare at all the open space. If I was a midget I could probably climb inside with a wrench and a hardhat.
http://q.spilky.com/bmw/100_0222.jpg

Contrast with the 300ZX:
http://www.guapozx.com/guapozx/d/929-1/P2040008.jpg

Of course, the 300ZX produces a lot more power with two turbos. The Maxima is pretty easy too. The VG30E, even mounted transversely, is ridiculously easy to get into. The oil filter is right on top and nothing is in the way of the plugs. Its a wide car so getting to accessories isnt as difficult as other FWD cars.

The worst, I've heard, is the Chrysler Sebring convertible (96-00), where dealers quote $500-$800 for plug replacement by the book. [You can of course do it in two hours by yourself.] Also the Porsche 944, which requires transmission removal for a few things, and the Q45 just for being too damn crowded (but logically arranged).

http://q.spilky.com/myq/qn5.jpg

Stoneage_Caddy
02-04-06, 11:35 PM
wasnt much easier to work on then a mid 70s chevy pickup with an inline 6 .....a close second was the ford , but i hated the carb on those ....

i changed a cylander head on a 88 MR2 once ....wasnt much fun ....

but i havent had the unique displeasure of dealing with a Porche Boxter yet ....i hear plug changes are a adventure that jules verne should have written .....

Night Wolf
02-04-06, 11:40 PM
By far one of the easiest engines to do nearly any work on... I'll even go on a limb and say its more easy then the 425 in the '79..... EVERY spark plug is in direct sight and super easy to get to (not so on the 425... anyone that knows that #7 cylinder knows that I mean) and stuff like changing the water pump is just about as easy, if not more easy.... only downside would be something like swapping out the cam, on the Olds, the enigne would have to be pulled. In all the work I did on this... which is basically any and all engine work short of removing valve covers/manifolds.... the most difficult thing was changing the PCV valve, just from the position of the rubber grommet.... a dream to work on.

http://inoventionseast.com/Oldsmobile/3800.jpg

The 4.9 is a PITA to work on... it really is... even something as simple as spark plugs, are just a PITA... I swear I hate working on that car because there is no room.... I am not looking forward to putting plugs in it tomorrow, it is all done by feel and I don't even remember where the freakin holes are... it really sucks.

Honda/Toyota are typically tought to do any decent work on just because everything is cramped in...

VW has to be the worst.... replacing a freakin water pump on a '94 Jetta 2.0... it was hell... EVERY engine accessory had to come off, the wheel fender thing, air intake, washer fluid thing, THEN the kicker... the freakin timing belt and pully! my gosh I told myself I'll never own a VW for that reason.... well, that and parts are so freakin expensive....

atleast I know that I wont be getting a vehicle more difficult to work on in the futre... the Jeep and 4.0 I6 are pretty stright forward, decent amount of rooom... and, well, the I6 is a nice design in that stuff like plugs and wires are easy to get to... longitudinal mounted so accessories are easy to get to etc...

Night Wolf
02-04-06, 11:42 PM
wasnt much easier to work on then a mid 70s chevy pickup with an inline 6 .....a close second was the ford , but i hated the carb on those ....

i changed a cylander head on a 88 MR2 once ....wasnt much fun ....

but i havent had the unique displeasure of dealing with a Porche Boxter yet ....i hear plug changes are a adventure that jules verne should have written .....

Dosn't the engine have to be removed on those to change the plugs?

I could imagine Subarus must be interesting too.... I personally really like H-O engines, but in some applications they can be a PITA to work on... like small cars.

Stoneage_Caddy
02-04-06, 11:56 PM
subarus are very easy to work on ....turbos are a little more difficault ....in fact i think outside a VW bug pulling the engine out is prolly easier then any car ever made , easy acess to all bellhouseing bolts ...and there is provisions ot get the plugs out ....

Vesicant
02-05-06, 12:05 AM
Catera's engine is hard to work on. Everythings in torx for the most part, and a majority of the problems require taking off the upper intake manifold - the white part or taking off the windsheild wiper cowling around it.

http://www.familycar.com/RoadTests/CadillacCatera/Images/Engine.jpg

My Integra Id say is fairly easy. Our 98 Silverado K1500's not bad with its big engine bay. Most Chevy trucks are easy.

We had an 89 Isuzu Trooper 4cyl, and that had atleast 30 vacuum hoses going to the manifold, it was a real arse.

Stoneage_Caddy
02-05-06, 12:14 AM
ill take torx over phillips any day

Night Wolf
02-05-06, 12:20 AM
subarus are very easy to work on ....turbos are a little more difficault ....in fact i think outside a VW bug pulling the engine out is prolly easier then any car ever made , easy acess to all bellhouseing bolts ...and there is provisions ot get the plugs out ....

ah ok... I was just thinking back to the horizontally-opposed Lycomings and Contenentials used in A/C and how we kind ahae it easy because the cowling comes off the expose the whole engine... then picturing that in a car and how the sides of the engine bay are right there where the heads are.. spark plugs may be a pain...

I have personally always liked Subaru... dunno why... but I just do. They HAVE mastered the AWD thing... but I kinda have a thing for H-O engines... I think a NA Subaru 5spd in a car would be a nice little car to get around in as a DD..... only thing is, the AWD isn't needed in FL and it just adds weight/less MPG etc... ah well...

Before I got the Olds, the winter car I REALLY wanted, and came close to buying... was a late 80's Subaru Loyale wagon.... 5spd and 4WD. The one I almost bought wasn't 4WD (only FWD) and it needed some work... but if it was in fact 4WD, I would have bought it (since it was going to be a winter car) Thinking back... I am kinda neutral on the feeling... I mean, I didn't get that, but i got the Oldsmobile, which is one of the best cars I could have asked for... but still, that little Subaru was just pretty cool, neat interior, it was a 5spd which I really wanted, and want even more now... and 4WD, which from stories I have heard, those 4WD wagons were nearly unstopable. The fuel-injected Boxer-4 engine was bullet proof... it was a really cool little car.

danbuc
02-05-06, 12:22 AM
This is one of the easiest cars I've ever worked on. It's the 289c.i. V8 that was in the '66 Mustang I had. http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c48/danbuc/mustang-engine.jpg

Of course, this would be the L37 N* in my STS. One of the hardest cars I've had the pleasure of working on. http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c48/danbuc/caddy-engine.jpg

I would have to say thoguh, that the hardest car I've worked on to date, would be my friends 1976 Triumph TR6. The dual carb setup is nightmare to tune. All of the electronics were designed by the Prince of Darkenss (Lucas). Overall, it's just not that much fun to work on.


Hehe, You know your working on an old british car when......the voltage regulator on the back of the alternator bursts into flames while trying to charge the battery. That was fun.:helpless:

Night Wolf
02-05-06, 12:22 AM
Catera's engine is hard to work on. Everythings in torx for the most part, and a majority of the problems require taking off the upper intake manifold - the white part or taking off the windsheild wiper cowling around it.

http://www.familycar.com/RoadTests/CadillacCatera/Images/Engine.jpg

My Integra Id say is fairly easy. Our 98 Silverado K1500's not bad with its big engine bay. Most Chevy trucks are easy.

We had an 89 Isuzu Trooper 4cyl, and that had atleast 30 vacuum hoses going to the manifold, it was a real arse.

whats that huge hose/air inleft in front of the radiator?

I too like Torx... very positive grip... the only bad thing is when I get lazy and don't have the proper size, or its a metric screw but all I have is SAE and I say to hell with it and use the closest size I have... it tends to strip the screw.. and then its really a PITA... not fun anymore...

Night Wolf
02-05-06, 12:24 AM
This is one of the easiest cars I've ever worked on. It's the 289c.i. V8 that was in the '66 Mustang I had. http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c48/danbuc/mustang-engine.jpg

Of course, this would be the L37 N* in my STS. One of the hardest cars I've had the pleasure of working on.http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c48/danbuc/caddy-engine.jpg

I would have to say thoguh, that the hardest car I've worked on to date, would be my friends 1976 Triumph TR6. The dual carb setup is nightmare to tune. All of the electronics were designed by the Prince of Darkenss (Lucas). Overall, it's just not that much fun to work on.


Hehe, You know your working on an old british car when......the voltage regulator on the back of the alternator bursts into flames while trying to charge the battery. That was fun.

POSITIVE ground!!!!

danbuc
02-05-06, 12:30 AM
Not on this car.....it used a negative ground. It just had serious problems...like all old british cars. MG's used a positive ground in a lot of there older cars. I really never understood why......I probably never will either.

Night Wolf
02-05-06, 12:36 AM
I know Jag used them... and still does... and I have heard some interesting stories from unknowing people that tried to jump a Jag with their Chevy/Ford/Toyota etc...

danbuc
02-05-06, 12:42 AM
Haha...yeah, I would imagine it would be kinda interesting.

Kev
02-05-06, 01:14 AM
The easiest to work on for me would have to be my old Chevy pickup with the 327. There was almost enough room to climb into the engine compartment and stand to either side of it! I love changing the points and condenser, it was a snap to set the dwell with a meter and the right allen wrench. Plugs couldn't have been easier to swap out, so much room! The Carter AFB never needed adjustment, it was like the Eveready Bunny!

I~LUV~Caddys8792
02-05-06, 01:55 AM
The 4.9 is a PITA like Rick said. You can't even see the spark plug wires on the back four cylinders. And it's incredibly difficult to reach even the front four.

Krashed989
02-05-06, 02:29 AM
I would have to say that the easiest car to work on has to be an early 90's honda civic. That's how I first got started on learning how cars work, by having to completely disect one. I can truely say that I knew how to fix cars before I knew how to drive them.

The car that I've had the most difficulty with fixing so far is my own 94 eldorado. HAHA, Right now I'm ignoring a LOT of problems with it, LOL.

noahsdad
02-05-06, 08:17 AM
They don't come any easier than the old Chrysler slant-6. My buddies and I once did a valve job on one of these in high school auto shop in less than two hours start to finish. Great old engines too.

http://www.davesmopar.com/pictures/slant6.JPG


This one struck fear into the hearts of every Chevrolet mechanic in the mid-70s: The Monza with a 305 V-8. At the factory, they installed the engine before they put on the front end sheet metal.

http://www.ajovalo.net/Esitteet/E76ChevroletMonza.jpg

Without air, you had to remove one motor mount and the tranny mount, then jack up the engine to get to one bank of plugs. With air, the engine had to come out of the car to get the compressor off! It was a six hour job just getting the engine out.

mccombie_5
02-05-06, 08:50 AM
We had an 89 Isuzu Trooper 4cyl, and that had atleast 30 vacuum hoses going to the manifold, it was a real arse.

Dad won't touch our 95.

gothicaleigh
02-05-06, 09:01 AM
whats that huge hose/air inleft in front of the radiator?

That's part of the Multi Ram Air Induction System and is controlled by the engine throttle. The dual piping is to control resonance. It's the same system found on both the 3.0L Catera and 3.2L CTS.

Both cars come stock with a ram air system. The "TonyA" mod you see many CTS owners bragging about is simply opening this system to fresher air further from the engine compartment and lessening restrictions in the air box and stock filter.

EcSTSatic
02-05-06, 11:39 AM
So have you read about Volkswagen launching the Bugatti Veyron, billed as the world's fastest factory-produced automobile?

The Bugatti Veyron boasts a massive, rear-mounted 16-cylinder engine with 1,001 horsepower -- roughly the equivalent of a couple of Porsche 911s combined -- and a rear spoiler that helps keep the car from spinning out of control at high speeds. It needs just 2.5 seconds to accelerate from zero to 62 miles per hour, and burns rubber so quickly that its makers had to hire France's Michelin (http://online.wsj.com/quotes/main.html?type=djn&symbol=12126.FR) SCA to develop a special compound for its tires. Its top speed: 252.9 mph.

Talk about difficult to work on: Bugatti officials say their dealers will have staff trained to handle routine maintenance needs, such as oil changes. For more complicated problems, the company says it will send over technicians from Europe.

How the Bugatti Veyron Works (http://auto.howstuffworks.com/bugatti.htm)

Veyron images from Google (http://images.google.com/images?q=Bugatti+Veyron&hl=en&hs=0cR&lr=&client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&sa=N&tab=ii&oi=imagest)

hardrockcamaro@mac.c
02-05-06, 01:43 PM
Well the 4th Gen LS1 based Camaros are tricky when it comes to changing plugs, partly becuase the engine seems to be halfway under the dsh.

Getting to no8 plug on my IROC is also a PITA as the AIR system and umpteen other things are in the way so you have to do it blind from underneath.


Got to say, the Northstar in my STS certainly looks a real sod to work on...

pimpin88
02-05-06, 08:25 PM
by far, the easiest car i have ever worked on is my 1989 geo spectrum.

the plugs are right in front staring you in the face, and the distributor is on the side of the engine which would also stare right in your face if you stood on the side of the car.

although its an extremely small car, there is PLENTY of room to work on it. i swear, the engine is only about 10 inches wide, and then the intake with carb in on the back side of the engine and adds approximately another 10 inches max.

the 307 in a pain in the ass to work on if you dont know where any of the vacuum lines go. GRAR. i didnt label them when i disconnected them for the cam swap, and now i am thoroughly confused.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
02-05-06, 10:25 PM
I would have to say the easiest engine to work on I've ever seen is the 3800 in the 1992 Oldsmobile Ninety Eight Regency Elite I almost bought. The engine bay is pretty much the same size as the engine bay in my deVille. But with the Ninety Eight, it looks like "too little engine, too much space" where as with the deVille it looks like "too much engine, too little space".

Its funny what difference 1.1L and 2 cylinders makes....

davesdeville
02-06-06, 05:38 AM
Easiest I've worked on:
1978 Volvo 245dl - it was an I4 in an engine bay that could easily fit a SBC, plenty of room to do everything, no complex electronics.

Hardest I've worked on:
92 Taurus SHO - that cool looking 12 runner intake manifold gets in the way of EVERYTHING, even simple plug wires have to snake through it instead of just going around it like normal.

Notables:
My 75 isn't hard to work on, there's room for most things, it's a front-mounted distributor, no complicated electronics.

My 95 ETC has the northstar crammed in there. But it's surprisingly not too hard, other than the fuel line brace for the SS rail that is on top of the EGR valve - it's not like the fuel line is going anywhere without that brace, and it's not like a brace for a fuel line needs to be made of 1/8" thick steel. But plugs and wires are downright easy.

wht2000
02-06-06, 08:25 PM
Easiest cars I've ever worked on were my '65 Chevy Bel-Air with a 250 cu. in. 6...I swear I could have sat on the fender wells and worked on it...or my dad's '66 Impala with the 283 cu. in 8. Very easy to work on.

caddydaddy
02-06-06, 08:43 PM
My vote is for the Volvo B230 series engines! RWD 4 cylinder 2.3 liter, you could almost climb in there and sit next to the engine! And so simple to work on!

fast66
02-06-06, 11:58 PM
wouldnt one of those mazda's rotary engines be the worst, Ive never worked on one but Ive heard stories. Either rx7 or rx8

Kev
02-07-06, 12:38 AM
wouldnt one of those mazda's rotary engines be the worst, Ive never worked on one but Ive heard stories. Either rx7 or rx8I don't know about the rx7 or 8 but I did have an rx2. It was one of the simplest enginges I've ever worked on (I forgot about it!). The seals blew on mine as they did on most rotarys of the day. I broke it down and rebuilt it myself. There was nothing to it.

I had it ported out and put it back together. The toughest part about that job was fitting all the seals. Each rotor had 21 seals, most of which had to be cut and filed to fit by hand.

I replaced the thermal reactor (cast iron exhaust manifold) with a header and drove it un-corked across town to the muffler shop. It was extremely loud but didn't sound like any engine I'd ever heard. It sounded like a very mad, giant hornet on steroids.

JC316
02-07-06, 02:12 PM
The easiest was an 88 Silverado with the 350TBI, with room for a 454 under the hood, the 350 looks pretty pathetic under there.

Hardest North Star.

Elvis
02-07-06, 05:15 PM
I agree with Danbuc--the 289 in most Ford configurations from the mid-60's is very easy to get to everything. I replaced a starter motor with ZERO experience. I was 18 or 19 and had never done anything more involved than an oil change.

Even easier was that inline-6 with the Holley 1-bbl. Falcons, Comets, Mustangs, even later Mavericks all had that.

I do not like working on Hondas at all. This is what a Prelude looks like. My intake was an AEM-cold air intake, and the filter was located outside the engine bay. But that's as close a picture as I could find.

http://www.auctionthink.com/~texasauto/YC006288-54sm.jpg

Something as simple as changing the oil was a major ordeal. I installed an intake and pulleys. Not pleasant, even with the complete shop manual and the right tools.

peterb
02-07-06, 06:19 PM
There was loads of space under the hood of my dad's '58 Rambler which had the little 3.2L (~200ci?) straight 6 .... not that we ever had to do any major work on it. It had about 100k miles on the clock when he sold it after 25 years.

Kev
02-07-06, 06:43 PM
There was loads of space under the hood of my dad's '58 Rambler which had the little 3.2L (~200ci?) straight 6 .... not that we ever had to do any major work on it. It had about 100k miles on the clock when he sold it after 25 years.Hey Peter, was that a flat head in 58 or over head valve?

DBA-One
02-07-06, 07:52 PM
My Eagle Talon Turbo was easy to work on. The top part of my wife's Legend isn't so bad but I don't think I want to change a serpentine belt on that pile of shit

peterb
02-07-06, 08:29 PM
Hey Peter, was that a flat head in 58 or over head valve?
It was OHV. I think the '58 was the first model with 3 speed and torque converter, rather than the 2 speed fluid flywheel, and it had a neat push-button gear selector on the dash.

Oly396
05-11-12, 05:44 PM
Catera's engine is hard to work on. Everythings in torx for the most part, and a majority of the problems require taking off the upper intake manifold - the white part or taking off the windsheild wiper cowling around it.

http://www.familycar.com/RoadTests/CadillacCatera/Images/Engine.jpg

My Integra Id say is fairly easy. Our 98 Silverado K1500's not bad with its big engine bay. Most Chevy trucks are easy.

We had an 89 Isuzu Trooper 4cyl, and that had atleast 30 vacuum hoses going to the manifold, it was a real arse.

unless they are lifted, as Chevys should be!

Playdrv4me
05-11-12, 07:06 PM
^How does this happen?!

ryannel2003
05-11-12, 09:40 PM
Lol at Catera... horrible cars that are expensive to maintain like a BMW. Why would a person just buy the BMW or Benz? Oh, wait...

This thread is 6 years old btw. You have to dig around really hard to find threads like these.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
05-11-12, 10:17 PM
It's neat seeing some of the long lost members.

Faded Crest
05-11-12, 11:54 PM
There are plenty of cars that are difficult to work on, but I think the Northstar has to be right up there near or at the top. I am trying to chase down an air conditioning leak and just found out that if it is the evaporator that the engine has to be removed to access it! :shocked2:

drewsdeville
05-11-12, 11:57 PM
Near the top of my list for hardest to work on is the V6 Contour/Mystique/Cougar. Big (externally) DOHC V6 jammed into a compact sized chassis, FWD configuration.

BIGREECE
05-12-12, 12:37 AM
Late 80's Ford Econline vans, what an electrical nightmare, and engine compartment was tight, mine was an 88 with the 302 efi, motor was solid!!

vincentm
05-12-12, 12:51 AM
Water pump on a Dodge Neon, ****in controlled by the timing belt...what the ****

ryannel2003
05-12-12, 01:39 AM
There are plenty of cars that are difficult to work on, but I think the Northstar has to be right up there near or at the top. I am trying to chase down an air conditioning leak and just found out that if it is the evaporator that the engine has to be removed to access it! :shocked2:

I don't miss that about my Seville at all.

At. All.

truckinman
05-12-12, 03:13 AM
My dad use to have a 1981 ford F250 for his farm truck. Had the 302 in it. HUGE engine bay. Could climb up into it, put your feet on the engine mount, while you sat on top of the fender, and that was easy. I remember changing a Fuel filter with my dad once on there, and from start to finish, the filter was plain as day in our sights with out taking anything apart.

I've always liked working on the straight six engines on jeeps. From the old 4.2 carbed engine that I believe originated when AMC owned jeep. Either AMC or Kaiser. That's the engine my dad had in his jeep wrangler from the say he bought it brand new in 86 as one of the first ever wranglers off the lines for the 87 model year. He put 300k+ miles on that engine and NEVER even had to rebuild it once. I dont think he ever even had to remove the head ever. But then again, it wasn't a weak aluminum block/head. Cast iron. Then in 91, they started putting the much more familiar 4.0 straight six in the wranglers, which is what every wrangler I had, had. Just about the same as the 4.2, still cast iron, but now fuel injected with a lot more power. But those 4.0s where easy as hell to work on. All 6 spark plugs right in plain view. But on 98, jeep switched the 4.0 from cast iron to a much weaker aluminum.

Now, I haven't had to work on my STS yet, but it looks like with the V6 there's plenty of room to work on it, once I remove all the plastic trimming.

brandondeleo
05-12-12, 03:53 AM
I hear people whine and complain on the Sebring convertible forum that "they're so hard to work on!" and "it's so cramped!" I'll admit, shoving a V6 in an engine compartment that's similar to the size of a Neon's engine compartment (cab forward...) is annoying, but when I see them bitching about it, I'm like "stop your bitching." and attache a picture of a N* engine compartment. :lol:
It's pretty easy to work on my car, for the most part. The water pump being driven by the timing belt thing is pretty common in Chrysler products from that era. It's irritating. There are spots where it's really difficult to get to, given that it's such a tiny space, but it's simple and quick for the most part. I can get my intake manifold off in about half an hour, taking my time, so long as I can get that one damned bolt out from the back.

Jesda
05-12-12, 10:29 AM
On the other hand, Chrysler's LH cars are pretty easy thanks to the space under the hood and the longitudinal layout.

brandondeleo
05-12-12, 10:51 AM
LH.... <3

http://static.cargurus.com/images/site/2008/01/02/02/39/2004_chrysler_300m_special-pic-42245.jpeg

drewsdeville
05-12-12, 12:40 PM
Water pump on a Dodge Neon, ****in controlled by the timing belt...what the ****

That's actually quite typical - has been for decades.

Aron9000
05-12-12, 04:57 PM
Easiest was my old 91 Caddy with the 350 TBI. Loads of space under the hood. Only problem is that I am too short to reach certain parts of the engine since the car was so wide, had to get out a step stool.

Faded Crest
05-12-12, 11:34 PM
^^^ Spark plugs are no picnic on a '91 Brougham with a 5.0. You have to go through the wheel well to get one or two of them and it's still difficult.

Stingroo
05-13-12, 12:22 AM
Easiest was my old 91 Caddy with the 350 TBI. Loads of space under the hood. Only problem is that I am too short to reach certain parts of the engine since the car was so wide, had to get out a step stool.

This. I am tall enough to get to the plugs in the wagon, but some things I have to peer over it. Normally I put a towel or rug down on my front bumper, stand on that, and kneel on the fan shroud. :lol:

I'll also say, Corvairs don't seem too bad either. Kinda fun, actually.

drewsdeville
05-13-12, 08:57 AM
Easiest? Most of the recent FWD GM Ecotec cars. Fantastic powertrain to work on, solid chassis cars.

truckinman
05-14-12, 02:19 AM
On the other hand, Chrysler's LH cars are pretty easy thanks to the space under the hood and the longitudinal layout.

Yea sir. My folks had a first gen LHS when I was a kid and it did have decent room. But wow what a POS. They bought a 94, first year for the LHS, when it was just one year old, and from day one, nothing but problems. Hell, the month they bought it we drove from Ohio to las Vegas for a family vaca, and as we were going thru the rocky mnts, the AC started blowing ice outa the vents. Then the compressor froze up. Lol. Ever been to Vegas in middle of summer with no AC? Lol. Not fun. They eventually traded it for a new Lexus which they never had a single problem with for 230k miles. Lol

CadillacLuke24
05-19-12, 12:32 AM
lh.... <3

http://static.cargurus.com/images/site/2008/01/02/02/39/2004_chrysler_300m_special-pic-42245.jpeg

so much want!!!!