Workshop Manuals

How do these work nowadays, with I'd guess most being available electronically? I've given up buying proper manuals now electronic
versions are quite freely available, and found the last Haynes I bought too vague - even the servicing info wasn't useful.
I tend to print off the relevant pages. But then I have to work on my car in the street, and wouldn't want to risk a tablet or laptop to that sort of environment, apart from the muck it'd pick up. Maybe if I had a workshop I'd lash up a VDU and an old keyboard and trackpad - do commercial workshops do that? Or do they still use paper versions?
Just curious!
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Cheers, Rob

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With my last few cars I've found PDF copies of the factory electronic versions on sale on Ebay. Almost certainly iffy from the copyright point of view, but the makers don't seem that worried. No idea if they can be found for every make and model, though. If a hardcopy (or even the PDF) could be bought legally from the maker, I'd likely do that as I did in the past. Never did much care for Haynes.
And yes, you can print off the pages you need - or even the complete thing if you wanted to.
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*What are the pink bits in my tyres? Cyclists & Joggers*

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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On Sun, 14 Apr 2019 12:06:27 +0100

The death of the man Haynes was reported the other day as though he had invented the workshop manual. I also never warmed to them, they never seemed to show the part that I wanted to view and have expalined.
--
Davey.

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On 14/04/2019 14:39, Davey wrote:

As time passed their policy had changed from full dismantling to treating units like the gearbox and differential as indivisible units.
In short the manual got thinner and thinner and so of less use to the average DIY mechanic.
As mentioned earlier, the abundance of pdfs from eBay and filesharing websites has changed things for the likes of myself. I recently purchased a vehicle and was able to purchase a pdf of the vehicle that would put a Haynes manual to shame.
Youtube also has a fantastic wealth of information for common vehicles.
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On 14/04/2019 14:39, Davey wrote:

The motorcycle ones weren't too bad.
Honda CJ250T manual was 90 pages, the factory manual 118 pages.
Most car ones where woeful compared to a factory manual.
Typically being about 400 - 450 pages while the factory manuals will run to over 1000 pages.
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Haynes manuals used to be good but went down hill in the 80s. They claim, or used to, that every manual was based on a ‘strip down ‘ of a car. On more than one occasion I really did wonder ‘Ok, which car ?’ Plus, some very popular cars didn’t have manuals.
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On 15/04/2019 08:21, Brian Reay wrote:

Yes the later ones are dire from when they started having "x spanner" jobs and 5 spanners was considered beyond the readers competence.
but probably true as anyone with enough nounce to be competent would have found the factory manual online.
My factory manual has 136 pages on the engine management alone and that's run by a striped down 1 Mhz 8 bit "BBC model B" with a fiendishly cunning timing chip doing the work. The "BBC" works out the timing and injection duration then programs the timing chip, 25 degrees, 5 milliseconds please. It is so simple that the only "special" tool is a multi-meter and it can't do lambda control over 3200 rpm [1]. The complexity of modern 16 and 32 bit systems that have even more integration and OBDII test procedures would run to many more pages. The next model had a 16 CPU and has 213 pages on the engine management.
[1] Is that an emissions cheat? Means its not a "full range" "advanced control", is not in VOSA list of CAT test emissions, and takes the non-CAT MOT test. So the cat has been put out.
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On 15/04/19 09:18, Peter Hill wrote:

To be fair, I freely admit my days of stripping engines, changing clutches etc are long gone- partly as we buy new cars and dispose of them before major work is needed. But, that aside, even if something more complex (especially needing heavy work) was required, I'd use a local garage. (I had a stroke some years back and some things are just too much hassle.) I do basic things- brakes, servicing etc. Having said that, looking at the Hybrid, once the service contact has run out, I'm not sure I will even service that. Even the previous motorhome was a pain due to our drive no being level and draining/checking the oil being a pain. The new one is under warranty.
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On 14/04/2019 12:06, Dave Plowman (News) wrote:

Or pop it on a tablet for viewing in the garage
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On 14/04/2019 07:40, RJH wrote:

About the only things I look up are specific stuff like cambelt trickery, service light procedures, wiring colours, torque settings, and maybe print them off or jot down something. Similar for other mechanics I know. If you get something weird like a gearbox fault you can usually find a youtube video of how to do it. (last year, merc autobox with the fault of secondary turbine sensor failure springs to mind)
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