I'm not so much of an truck enthusiast as a major do-it-yourselfer.
When I researched what manual would be best to get for my 2003
Silverado 4x4, I read most of the posts about Chilton or Haynes
manuals. I decided to go full-blown
and get the FSM. ($140 at helminc.com)
What I didn't read about or expect is the shear amount of info in the
FSM. It comes in 5 phone-book-sized volumes. Stack the volumes on
top of each other and they measure 9" thick. Those are standard 8.5"
x 11" pages. I couldn't count the pages (in this lifetime) because of
the complex numbering. And this is just the main set of manuals.
There are several other specialized sets for diesel, emmisions, etc.
When I received the shipment I was perplexed why the box weighed so
much. When I opened it I worried for a moment that they got my order
wrong and sent me 10 manuals.
Anyway, I'm just posting this for people who don't realize this major
difference. Now I almost can't wait for something to go wrong with my
truck so I can try the manuals out!?!
Factory service manuals:
To any aftermarket manuals are akin to, comparing shit to Shinola!
But, in the service sector, you'd tie up a million dollars in FSM's. Also,
you'd tie up vehicles for a month waiting for the volumes you don't have.
So far the Mitchell On Demand was the best, but All Data is becoming the
standard now, because there is more information in the All Data CD or DVD
series now. Before All Data was limited, because they were a start up
I have allot of the FSM on my 1990 GMC and I'd feel equipped if I could
figure out where to look when something goes wrong!
I was disappointed, for an alignment it still says "use the alignment
machine". Gives me specs though!
If you have a level floor:
Or can compensate your floor, I use bubble gauges. To diagnose what the guys
with the fancy computer machines do, and the vehicles still wear tires.
The insurance companies refer me work, even though I'm freelancing in other
shops, and still trying to get another building.
I have two different sets of gauges and one set of toe plates. The
bubble gauges basically work the same , just different mounts.
First you need a level floor OR a way to level an area for the vehicle
to drive on. I have the later in that I use an old frame machine
plate. I check it for level every alignment. BUT once you have a level
spot you then check the ride height of the vehicle (all front/rear specs
are based on the vehicle being at that height as a starting point) Then
you attach the gauges. Then read the bubbles position. One set I have
has a level that you can preset to the correct camber angle and then if
it reads 0 your OK. The other just reads the angle. Caster angle is read
on an angle meter on the end of the gauge using a wire that you line up
with the upper and lower ball joints. Toe can be done easily with a tape
measure and a set of straightedges and 4 blocks to set against the rim.
Just measure and calculate out the difference. Wider in front = Toe out
Wider in the back = toe in.
If you don't have the specs handy and are just trying to get it close
enough to take it to a shop then you can use 0-1/8" toe in on rear wheel
drives, up to 1/8" toe out for front wheel drives.
"GMC Gremlin" < firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote in message
I did have a situation once where something was totally missing in the
factory service manual. An '85 Chevy 1/2 ton truck, 6.2 NA diesel. The
section on the glow plugs, removal, installation, discription, operation,
circuitry, the whole deal, was missing. Completely. Only time I've ever
seen that, though.
Agreed. While I think the aftermarket manuals certainly have their place for
the shade-tree mechanic who does not have the money to spend on the OEM
manuals, the aftermarket manuals certainlly contain incorrect information.
They try to include too many different YMM vehicles into one manual in order
to maximize profit.
I have the Hayes manual for my 1997 S-10 and it states the oil filter is not
on the engine and in a closed box. Nope... it screws into the engine just
like most oil filters. They were not even close.
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