padgett

Service manuals

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Is it too much to ask that everyone who plans to keep an old car have a service manual ? It makes helping someone so much easier, even a Haynes or Clymer can have value but personalluy have factory manuals for all of my cars though any more I prefer on CD/DVD. The nice thing is that with a factory service manual you can just point to the relevant section. For example instruction on how to access the on-board diagnostics for Cadillacs is in section 8D of the FSM. Even if the owner cannot use, a mechanic may find it useful.

 

Frankly this group often acts like a scriptless help desk, and it is often evident that the member does not understand some answers.

 

And like a help desk, we know the problem is solved when the originator stops calling.

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I always encourage old car owners to get a factory owner's manual and a factory service manual for their particular car if possible. Unfortunately, they never made a factory service manual for my 1931 Dodges.

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A parts catalog is good to have also. 
dave s 

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The Motor's Manuals for a particular year are pretty good and go back to the 30's.

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And if available,  factory assembly manual, especially for originality and details. 

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I agree, have some P&A (parts and accessories) and assembly manuals but consider a Service Manual to be essential. If not factory then at least a Haynes or Clymer. After many years have to measure mine in board feet, have shelves on all four walls in den even though prefer CD/DVDs or even downloads this century.

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It’s good to know who we can call to get the information we need if we don’t have a copy. With that many board feet of manuals you have half the antique car industry covered so we can save money on the manuals and buy more parts! Parts you can tell us how to install!  LOL 

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Is mostly GM but glad to help where I can. Also collect testers and scan tools. Have reprogrammed many of my cars. Judge is only pre-computer car right now.

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So my 38 Studebaker is out!  Oh well I have the manual and the parts book. Plus it is so simple to work on I can even do it. When they made it they even made it so the side panels below the hood come off !  So even an old arthritic old man like me can get to most parts under the hood. 
All kidding aside, shop manuals are a very good and necessary tool to have on hand for any car you plan to work on. 
have fun

dave s 

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I also am a big fan of factory service and parts manuals, the more information you have at your finger tips the better off you are, to figure out your own issues, and also to help other members and there vehicles and issues.

 

Bob

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Some manufacturers were better than others, particularly as time went on - by the 20's the cadillac manuals are ok but quite often you'll just get to a point where it just tells you something vague like "remove" and it will be something quite involved (or use a special tool with no description of what it even is or how to use it)

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For GM, special tools often had a Kent-Moore number. Had to go to them for information on what it did. I usually made my own.

 

Question: how many here feel competent to make their own tools as needed ?

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Today everyone thinks the answer is on the internet. Often times it is not. There is more information in books. The books were written by very smart people. Those people knew the exact answer. They were not guessing.

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TOH it depends on where you are. All of the manuals I've purchased recently (CD/DVD/paper)have been from online vendors. Any more I prefer digital copies I can search and print without scanning. For instance I now have three Allante FSMs, 87-88, 89, and 93. Also have an 87-93 parts manual. Total cost less than a Benjamin and both searchable and scannable. For instance one candidate has a bad fuel sender. Took me just a minute and no heavy lifting to find the FP is an EP375 and the NLA tank sender is just standard GM forever.

(copyrighted picture for informational and teaching purposes only).

 

 

fuelpumpassy89.jpg

 

Have "mixedand matched" parts to build a GM fuel pump and sender stack before, it is not very hard if you know what you are looking at, impossible otherwise.

So is essential for every old car to have one, whether or not the owner understands it.

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Better yet,... join the National Club for that make of car. Very often the Club members have "been there and done that" already. They are most likely to know what and where to get technical info, how to "remove" parts not spelled out in detail in manuals, and where to get parts, etc.

 

Just the savings in time and money not wasted is often less than the cost of a Club membership. 

 

Paul

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Very good (am a member of several including the AACA) but is more of an "also" than a "better" - often the forum answer is "See the FSM (factory service manual) on page XXXXXX." (at one time all of the Reatta service manuals were on line until GM lawyers rescinded the permissions, doesn't matter that most are NLA).

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one thing to remember with the factory or possibly haynes etc they do have misprints and mistakes.meaning they are not the end all nice to have but not perfect.

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Agree and why if you have a choice the "Final Edition" of the FSM is the best. Also the parts manuals have revisions and often a parts manual published five years after manufacture will have many parts either superceeded or NLA. Anything other than the FSM is often going to be limited. I usually leave a Haynes or Clymer in the car for emergencies. and keep the big stuff in my den.

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Agree.  That said I have found the knowledge needed to handle most issues on the supposedly complicated 89 MB 560 SL a few different ways.  Luckily this model has a very active, knowledgeable group on the Benzworld site and that is far and away my best source.  Manuals on CD, youtube, (amazing what obscure tasks are documented on youtube, like correct way to remove a radio from an R107 chassis MB, who knew?) and an online service a pal has that is for pro mechanics as well.  

 

On manuals though I was happy, no thrilled actually to pay $250 last winter for a full set of shop manuals for that car.  I had been looking for years, and have cracked them only to look at condition so far But if I need them...

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I agree and have many .pdfs and a few on virtual disks (speedy PC with an SSD is needful) but only once did I spend more than $75 for one ($164 for the CD FSM of my then-new 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee.).

 

Issue is that particularly on e-bay there are many on CD and for download in electronic form. Some are authorized (Bishko seems to deal only in approved CDs), others are questionable (particularly those under $20). Mercedes is particularly covetous of service manuals. Telling what has factory approval, which does not, and what is public domain is non-trivial.

 

 

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19 hours ago, hidden_hunter said:

Some manufacturers were better than others, particularly as time went on - by the 20's the cadillac manuals are ok but quite often you'll just get to a point where it just tells you something vague like "remove" and it will be something quite involved (or use a special tool with no description of what it even is or how to use it)

 

That sounds rather like a modern Toyota manual.

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Bush Mechanic said:

That sounds rather like a modern Toyota manual.

 My wife had a 2008 mazda 3 and the gearbox electronics failed at 60k miles, I looked at the service manual for the troubleshooting steps or replacement of things and no wonder it costs so bloody much to get stuff done these days...

Edited by hidden_hunter (see edit history)

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I can't lay my hands on the book right now, but many years ago I bought an early 1900's engineering text book with a quote on the frontispiece that went something like "One must study the many to thoroughly understand the one." That quote meant a lot to me because it was the way I learned from the time I could read. Old shop manuals and technical books have been my reading sources all my life. I have a family full of English majors and always get scolded because I do not read novels. After 60 years of studying a wide variety of what can be, I can approach a job with confidence in what "should be".

 

Years ago I serviced and operated a large ammonia refrigeration system that had been purchased and installed, used, in my plant in 1904. Not much documentation on that. Most recently I have been deep into Lambda sensors both pre and post Cat at a fundamental level and the diagnostics of their signals,not for a specific car, but their function in general.

 

Knowing the fundamentals is the key. At one time I taught the fourth year of an apprenticeship program. Many students did not know first year material. Repeating the fourth year would do them no good. The system had let them down. I went to the leadership and begged to teach the first year. They told me first year instructors were a dime a dozen. They wanted me in the fourth year. That story applies to fixing cars as well. Thoroughly know the basics and the manuals you do have will make good easy chair reading.

Bernie

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On 6/1/2020 at 4:32 PM, padgett said:

I agree, have some P&A (parts and accessories) and assembly manuals but consider a Service Manual to be essential. If not factory then at least a Haynes or Clymer. After many years have to measure mine in board feet, have shelves on all four walls in den even though prefer CD/DVDs or even downloads this century.

 

I can't imagine owning a vintage car new enough to be covered by a Haynes manual. I just call those ones " drivers / beaters".

Actually Haynes has been publishing a range of manuals lately for newer cars I sure would like to own. McLaren M 23 F1, or the Lotus 49. Unfortunately I doubt I will ever get the chance to put these manuals to use. But they do make great reading.

 

Greg

untitledlotus49.png

51MkNt+XlrL._SX390_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

51dp0jrV4SL._SX389_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

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Under parts for sale I have a good Motors transmission repair manual that covers 1966 through 79 domestic and some foreign,make offer of interested,Thanks,Greg.

IMG_20200528_124249_burst_02.jpg

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