Ford Transit Review from North America

1979 Ford Transit 2.0L Gas

Year of manufacture1979
First year of ownership1989
Most recent year of ownership1991
Engine and transmission 2.0L Gas Manual
Performance marks 5 / 10
Reliability marks 6 / 10
Comfort marks 5 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
5.8 / 10
Distance when acquired120000 kilometres
Most recent distance150000 kilometres

Summary:

Basic, Fairly Reliable, No Frills Transportation

Faults:

Molded rubber elbow on fuel pickup tube cracked-- engine would stall without warning.

Front window blew out at 80 km/hour on German Bundesbahn (highway). Covered me with pebble sized glass. Cause unknown... Quite a bit of rust around opening discovered when new windshield installed...

Differential needed replacement at 145,000 km. 300 Deutsch Marks (about $200 US) at a local scrap yard.

General Comments:

This van is a basic, square box kissing cousin of the old U.S. Ford Econoline. The major difference being the van had a stubby nose as the engine was ahead of the driver.

I purchased it from a Turk while stationed in Germany with the U.S. Army. He had just driven to Istanbul and back with it. We drove it as a family vehicle for two years, and covered southwestern Germany, Eastern France, and 2 trips to East Germany.

It seated 9 people in a no frills interior with cargo space behind the rear seat. Seats were cloth covered benches. Vinyl covering on the floor. Fairly noisy at freeway speeds due to minimal insulation and old door and window gaskets.

Ride was rough due to solid front beam axle, but no worse than you'd expect from any similar sized vehicle.

Manual steering was stiff, but not terrible-- even considering we were a couple of Americans spoiled by power steering.

The engine was Ford's venerable 4 cylinder overhead cam gasoline (petrol or benzine)... 2.0 Liter in this case, and a near clone of the 2.3 Liter engine used in the American Ford Pinto and Maverick. Fuel economy was acceptable-- approx. 16-20 miles per gallon...

The transmission was a manual 4 speed with no synchronization in first gear. An overdrive transmission would have been nicer-- and some were available.

Heater was adequate, but not great, probably due to large interior space.

Van tended to lean quite a bit in corners, especially when full of people, but, hey, this isn't a Lamborghini...

Maintenance and service was very easy due to plenty of room in engine compartment and around drive train. Parts easy to find-- new and used, due to large quantities of these vehicles made.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th July, 2002

25th Dec 2005, 12:19

I have one of these, I liked them since I was a kid. it sure shows its age though... I am about to start customising mine with o/d box big wheels, tinted windows etc.

23rd Mar 2007, 22:14

With MPG figures, please bear in mind that the US Gallon is 3.8 litres whereas the Imperial Gallon is 4.55 liters.

5th Dec 2011, 15:42

"Front window blew out at 80 km/hour on German Bundesbahn (highway)."

Oh my! Please stay off the Bundesbahn with your cars and make sure you are on the Autobahn. Because the Bundesbahn is the national railroad!

I have fond memories about being picked up by a man with a Transit. We were hitch hiking and it was a very cold and foggy 5:00 am hour. The heater just about saved our lives!

Average review marks: 5.8 / 10, based on 1 review