Are there manuals out yet for the new generation models? I have checked the
web the best I could, and all the local dealerships. The dodge dealer wants
$100 for one. I have one I bought of ebay for $10, in cdrom format, but its
2800 pages. I would spend more in ink then I would buying the $100 manual.
Plus the dodge dealer one is most likely a shop manual, not as detailed as a
haynes or chilton. Thanks
Quite the opposite. First, there are no manuals available beyond the '98
model year from Haynes or Chilton's (that I've seen). Second, having both a
Chilton's, Haynes, and Factory manual for my older trucks, the factory
manual flat-out blows the others away as far as details. Granted, the
Haynes will sometimes give you alternative work-arounds for some of the
procedures that normally require "special" tools, but don't come anywhere
near the detail of the factory manuals.
Not only do the FSM's give you detailed removal/installation instructions
(with lots of diagrams - by the way, where do you think most of the diagrams
in the Haynes or Chilton's manuals come from? Yep - the factory manuals),
they also discuss the operation of each of the systems - giving you some
background on how exactly things are supposed to work.
Then there's the wiring diagrams... if you do any electrical modifications
to your truck, the electrical diagrams alone are worth the entire price of
the FSM. The Chilton's or Haynes will have maybe 10-20 pages of "typical"
wiring diagrams... "this is how it's probably wired in your truck - good
luck". The factory manual will give you EVERY circuit, EVERY connector,
EVERY splice location...nothing is left to guesswork. Why not go through
section 8W in your .PDF file, and compare that to what little information
you get in a Haynes. Or compare section 21, Transmission... with it's
step-by-step list and diagrams of how to disassemble and re-assemble your
transmission or transfer case, to the corresponding section in a Haynes
manual. Of course, the Haynes I have for the '94-'98 trucks has 7 (count
'em - that's seven) whole pages covering the automatic transmission. You're
not going to find any disassembly diagrams there... (not that you would
ever tear down your trans, unless you knew exactly what you were doing, but
this illustrates the difference in level of detail)
Now - as far as the .PDF file on CD goes... I have both the printed version
and the CD-ROM. Granted, it's sometimes nice to be able to flip through an
actual book, but I've found more often than not that the book is just too
big and bulky to keep around - not to mention getting the pages all greasy,
ripped, torn, etc. If I'm doing something specific to the truck, I print
out the relevant pages (usually a half-dozen or less), and I don't care if
they get grimed up - I'm throwing them away when I'm finished.
In short - there's a reason the FSM's cost more than an $11 Haynes
manual.... because they're worth it
I fully agree with the other posters.....order the shop manual.
It makes for good reading.
I also believe that a CD should be kept and used as another poster
suggested. Print the section needed ,single sided ,so it can be laidout
while working. Also get some clear heavy duty page holders for printed pages
so you can mark them up as work is being done (grease pencil) and be cleaned
for next job.
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