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What Engine Has The Most Impossible Part To Get At?

Illustration for article titled What Engine Has The Most Impossible Part To Get At?

Engines have to be designed not only to work, but to be fixed when they stop working. But whether through compromises, poor design or just a lack of regard for who the second or third or fourth owners might be, some engines are far more of a pain to wrench on than others.


Our new friend Peter today documented how the starter motor on the Lexus LS 400—a car that is normally close to bulletproof if you keep it running right—is nestled deep within the “V” of the engine itself and requires a coolant drain and a removal of the intake manifold to get at. That is not great design, Toyota!

I am happy to report that the 2.7-liter inline-six on my E30 has proven relatively easy to wrench on, which is great because I’m a garbage mechanic. One annoyance is that my oil filter is underneath the exhaust manifold. You want your engine hot when you’re draining the oil so it comes out nice and easily, so filter replacement is kind of a messy, tricky job that requires your sleeves rolled down so you don’t burn your arms on the manifold and working by feel rather than sight. But it’s not that bad.


A friend with far more E30 wrenching experience than I have tells me about the “Bitch Clip”:

There’s a pin that holds the shifter carrier arm to the top rear of the transmission. To keep it from vibrating out, it has a clip attached to it that holds it in place on the transmission. It is impossible for mere mortals to remove.

That does not sound fun!

What’s the most annoying part placement or accessibility issue you’ve found?

Editor-in-Chief at Jalopnik. 2002 Toyota 4Runner.

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Engine: a Honda engine.

Impossible part to access: Torque