Yeah, use dark blocks, or panels on top to reduce the amount of details you have to draw. Big bard, pistons and springs are a good way to hide a lack of feasible movement, and don't be afraid to use work-arounds.
I bought a $5 pack of cog vectors, then used the 3D extrude tool in Illustrator to get them shaped and in the right (ish) position so I didn't have to draw them all by hand.
Long story short. Mechanics are hard, find ways to make them easier whenever you can