Manual Labor

Manual Labor
Manual Labor

Most car guys are loathe to ask for directions, whether on the highway, or in the garage. But sometimes that only gets you in deeper yogurt than when you started. If you’ve got a new project that is an old car, you’re not going to be able to just saunter down to Pep Boys and pick up a Haynes manual (reassembly is reverse of disassembly) along with your pine-scented air freshener and faux Buick portholes. That’s where the Old Car Manual Project will help. Whether you need a brochure for your Belvedere, a manual for your Marvel carburetor or some other out of print auto-related printed piece (1964 Chevrolet Songbook, anyone?)  they might just have it.
Are you looking for a Tatra parts catalog? How about a 1969 Pontiac owner’s manual? This is kind of like nirvana for old car geeks, which is exactly who has been building this site. And best of all, it’s free! So go check ’em out, and see if they have something for whatever you’ve got moldering away in your garage. Maybe that will be the inspiration you need get that project going again. Now about those faux Buick portholes. . .

0 Comments

  1. hey what's up guys. I thought I check out this site after reading the soap opera over on jalopnik's COTD. looks good! more about old, rare or weird cars, less about press releases.

  2. I’m content with the Bentley manual until I inevitably acquire something ancient and bizarre. A tip of the fedora to you, Rob, for showin’ up here, with a valuable resource no less!

  3. I’ve been a fan of that site for some time, on account of the assorted old car brochures.
    On a tangental and ranting note, as far as I can tell, Haynes doesn’t make a repair manual for the 2nd generation Hyundai Accent (my fiancée just bought an ’04, and I’m about to get an ’03). Like, just decided it wasn’t worth their time. Does anyone know of anything that isn’t the factory repair manual?

    1. Wow. Even Chilton’s doesn’t give a shit. Both companies make manuals for the older cars that weren’t actually worth fixing – hell, Haynes prints a damnManual™, too – but I can’t find anything. Sorry.

      1. No worries, I’m assuming I’ll either cave in when something breaks and make the trek to the dealer (or eBay), and until then, scour through websites with weird and unfamiliar domains.

        1. Just curious, but why no love for the factory manual? IME they are superior in every way to the very best of aftermarket manuals (by which, of course I mean Haynes).

          1. Price, really. Coming from spending $20 on a Haynes manual makes spending upwards of $70 on the factory manual hard to swallow. Especially since it`s a Hyundai.

  4. I still have my Yugo factory service manual…
    So, help a brother out, I’m trying to connect my empty wordpress blog gravatar to this blog and am shamefully unable to figure it out. What’s the “key”?

    1. I absolutely love that every one of the “my gravatar doesn’t work” posts is accompanied by a functional gravatar.
      How impatient you all are. It’s not the the internet is instant or anything.

      1. To further my embarrassment, I’m a progammer. Say, interested in unsolicited contributions of pictures? I’ve been apeing Murilee for a while and would love to share some of the Seattle Survivors I run into (not that I’m trying to steal the garter belt – she’s the inspiration for a bunch of uss two-bit photographers).

        1. We’ll be putting up a tips/submissions link in the next couple of days.
          We’re going to try and run as much “hey look at this cool car” stuff as we can, but it’s going to come down to hours in the day to get it posted. All of us have day jobs, so in a lot of ways it’s going to be the opposite of “elsewhere”: bigger content on the weekends, quicky light stuff midweek.
          Be patient with us, because it’ll probably be a bit bumpy for a little while.

  5. The number of hours one can burn on that site is probably the same as the GDP of all of sub-Saharan Africa, give or take a couple thou.

  6. What an awesome resource. Come Spring that A/C on the Olds Eighty Eight is gettin fixed.

  7. Check e-bay they often have the factory manual at a huge discount for the used ones. Another trick I learned when looking for a factory manual for an 84 Chevy truck that I had, the Chevy manuals were going for $40-$50, I picked up a GMC manual for $9. Is there a Kia that is “close enough”?

  8. Had I known about this, I might have actually kept the ol’ ’86 Mustang. Nah, the more I think about it, she was too far gone. Great idea for a future project though!

  9. This is a great resource, especially for car people who are too strange to stick to the mainstream stuff. Like, you know, all of us.
    My favorite car manual of all time is the one my father got in the early ’70s when he had a ’48 Willys pickup truck. He couldn’t find a proper civilian Willys owners manual, so he got a war-surplus Army Jeep manual. It has everything you need to know about the Go-Devil flathead four, plus useful information about machine gun mounts!

  10. Well, we are using a 1984 Toyota Cressida Shop Manual stacked atop a Chilton’s Jeep Cherokee 1984-1991 Manual to support the 13″ color TV/DVD perched on Randy’s desk hutch. Both vehicles have long since been sent to the crusher after meeting untimely mechanical death at the hands of Randy’s driving, but the manuals continue to serve our household.

      1. Yes. An ’84, with a 5 speed manual transmission. My former boss died suddenly, and I bought the Cressida from his widow (I socialized with them both). Randy had totaled the ’95 Cherokee in ’97, and I bought him the Cressida. A few short months later, he rear-ended a County utility pickup (while tailgating on a suburban surface street). The Cressida was totaled. A shame.

  11. Looks like they are still building their manual base… or perhaps I just have some really weird junk. Either way this is a cool resource. Thanks Graverobber!

  12. There’s something wrong with the article picture. You mean to tell me the ‘Vette, 911, and Volvo guides were used more than those for the Neon? Must have sold it off.
    Guess Chilton isn’t a going concern anymore? I have a large stack of them for GM products if anyone is interested. Can’t seem to give them away, and I haven’t exercised the old e-bay account in a while…

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