The most customizable van in the industry is the Ford Transit III. Ford Transit III, England’s Golf IV.
The last British-built Transit. The ultimate wheelbarrow for those looking for a double-deck van to haul tons of cement from DIY to the gate and back because you’ve run into a customer who doesn’t know what they ordered and is now returning. But don’t worry, because you have a Ford Transit III. You put the pallets on sale and in half an hour you sell them.
I’m always raving around here about vans and saying every van is good for something. Like the Mercedes Vito which is good at carrying passengers and patients because the Vito has been the base for ambulances for a long time. Or it was the official van of the police and/or the swat. Then you have the VW Transporter, which is an excellent car for camping and holidays. Or you’ve got the Renault Trafic, where it excels at carrying goods.
And the Ford Transit?
The Ford Transit came in millions of customization combinations, from bodywork to color to options, and most came with a double axle, ready for work and action. Whether you have a boom or a flatbed, the Ford Transit III is the dirtiest, most intense van we’ve ever seen that only knows how to carry pallets and cubic yards of cement. That’s all it knows. Maybe the cargo space is smaller than the competition too if we’re talking closed bodies. It doesn’t even know how to run properly, but crap like brakes or rust or engine isn’t enough to stop the Transit.
Especially since the Ford Transit III was the last Transit built in England, and the Transit has a wealth of experience there and has sold in the billions, so inevitably the market here is also flooded with trench steering Transit’s. And if you can’t find the whole van, at least a part of a handle you’ll still find at the junkyard.
Ford Transit III Engines
2.3 MPI of 145 horsepower – I don’t know why you’d want a Transit with a 2.3 petrol, and I don’t think you’ll find one. But if you have a weird fetish for one, then you can buy it with confidence. It’s the same petrol as the Mondeo, except it has a chain drive instead of a belt drive so it’s even more reliable.
- 2.2 TDCI of 86, 110, 116, 131 and 140 horsepower – Some engines have chain drive, others are belt-driven, so it’s good to see. The EGR stays stuck open, and the pressure valve for the diesel fails. And, probably most important and most famous is the injectors chapter. If you look at this list you’d think all the issues under the sun had been gathered up and put under the Transit’s bonnet. Except that there are billions of Transits with this engine and that’s why all the issues and fixes are known, documented and have their solutions.
- 2.4 TDCI of 101, 116, and 140 horsepower – Same Duratorq in 4 cylinders as the 2.2 TDCi. Same issues, same wear. Yes, it has specific issues, but with how many billions of miles each engine has already, you can expect just about anything.
- 3.2 TDCI of 200 horsepower – Same Duratorq only in 5 cylinders, which obviously nobody bought because the taxes aren’t worth it.
Ford Transit III General Issues
- Rust, rust, rust. Whether it was that way from the factory or years of abuse are showing their effects, the Ford Transit III needs to be checked for rust “bark to bark”.
- You usually buy what’s left of a Ford Transit III and with that I can go home. That’s the main issue with the Ford Transit III in 2022. Goodbye, Mr. Prime Minister.
- The carrying capacity is below the industry average. But that’s not a concern for most owners, because they go on the premise “this law can’t stop me if I can’t read”, so the manual or the car book is as relevant and important as those traditional dance seconds at weddings.
Ford Transit III Verdict
And even if you buy what’s left of a Transit, the Ford Transit III remains a van that refuses to die. No matter how much abuse this van gets, the Transit keeps going. It wasn’t for nothing that it was the national van of the British and it’s still one of our most popular vans, so if you want a work van and that’s it, the Ford Transit has the answer for you. If you’re not interested in comfort or performance or reliability or any of the other girly stuff, if you just want something with a double axle and can carry 5 tons of cement, then the Transit is for you.
What engines do you recommend? Just the 2.2 TDCI diesel because that’s the only one realistically available.