Have Automobile Forums Replaced Auto Repair Manuals?

Discussion in 'The Coffee Shop ~ Chit Chat' started by ChevyFan, May 17, 2012.

  1. PantheraUncia

    PantheraUncia New Member


    I just found one in ten words or less:

    http://www.dell.com/xfr

    - - - Updated - - -

    You can't print a schematic from a book either, you connect your laptop to a printer and print it out. Infact, you can connect your laptop to a plotter and print 60 inch wide x what ever length schematics you want :)

    Actually I stand corrected.... you can print anything you want up to 128 inches by how ever long the roll of paper is with this one.:


    Mimaki 320DS

    This 128 inch roll-fed printer uses eco-friendly aqueous ink for a direct dye sublimation printing and comes with a customization kit that allows you to add a ditch for ink runoff to prevent unwanted penetration of more porous materials such as mesh or flag. The Mimaki320DS has a staggered head array, utilizing four printheads for high speed printing. The printer also comes with Mimaki’s automatic nozzle failure detection, uninterrupted ink supply system, Rasterlink Pro III RIP, and automatic registration for doublesided prints. Made for the flag, banner, trade show fabric graphics, P-O-P, and soft signage markets this is a great printer with a max 720×1440 dpi resolution that can print 645 sq ft per hour.


    Is 128 inches big enough for your schematics?
  2. The Heater

    The Heater New Member

  3. Conlan Rose

    Conlan Rose Super Moderator

    I wouldn't say richest, but its not something an DIYer needs. Really if I needed I could do prints 36" wide on my dads full color plotter, but that would be a waste of time if I can find a pic that prints well on 8.5x11 or is in a manual. I think using both is the most beneficial. Use the manual for an overview and so basic pics then ask on line or look up and get more pics and expanded instructions.

    Some times manuals can get you through a project with out any problems, but sometimes you need more than just "remove the three bolts then pull the part off" Because a manual wont tell you that to get to those three bolts you need to have magical hands. I have had times when using a manual where it just didn't elaborate on very difficult processes, but friends on the site did.
  4. The Heater

    The Heater New Member

    Web forums for vehicles specific to what you have are a great source for pictorial instructions for installations that are not covered in a manual of any type, and this is the electronic source I use for aftermarket installations on some vehicles I own where I can find the thread for it and someone has been kind enough to put all the pictures. I needed to install a stereo in a car dash that at the time had no domestically available dash kit, and someone put a multi page instruction thread on an Infiniti forum for doing it, complete with desoldering and re-installation instructions for a button that had to be put on the replacement dash kit (they provided the source in Japan for the dash kit too). But I still use the OEM manuals for most procedures.
  5. PantheraUncia

    PantheraUncia New Member


    Well, that is why a $599 ipad/android tablet with a 10 inch screen and wireless to a 13x19 inch printer which will only set you back maybe $199 (printer) will be fine for printing out anything you need to take to the vehicle you are working on. That is allot less than a $3700 laptop and $30,000 plotter.

    And I am not so much worried about oil getting on the ipad screen because you would just wipe it off. Now I would not stick an ipad in a 5 gallon pail of oil. If you do that you really should not be working on your truck in the first place.

    :lol:

    Oh and the android tablet or ipad can also be connected via blue tooth to the OBDII port in the truck so you can get real time diagnostics while you are under it.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2013
  6. The Heater

    The Heater New Member

    Wow. OK, now that is a set up a lot of people could live with and buy. You got me on that one. I could see myself with that set up, for sure.

    I think it would make a great start to a new thread on what to buy to use in the shop if you are not a hard copy manual person such as myself.

    (I still believe at this juncture that as far as the original question of this thread, there are still more people using books than electronic media, in the CONSUMER realm. Repair shops, even small ones, have mostly gone to a monthly service of electronic research to get the data they need to work on vehicles. however.)
  7. AMac

    AMac New Member

    While I do love GMTC and all of the people who have helped me in the past, I did put a Silverado repair manual on my Christmas list; yes Santa brought it :)
  8. Conlan Rose

    Conlan Rose Super Moderator

    Personally I want the GM service manual for my truck, its two books and costs $300 but has everything!!!!!!
  9. SurrealOne

    SurrealOne Former Member

    I happen to have a sleep 'disorder' (which I consider an asset) that allows me an average of 18 waking hours per week more than someone who needs 8 hours of sleep per 24 hour day -- without building more sleep debt than said someone. Plainly put, my days are merely longer than yours with no penalty -- and I use this to my maximum advantage for both work and play. You only see the play side of it; my boss gets to reap the benefits of the work side of it.

    I only listed items to point out how ridiculous your criteria was when taken literally. You chose to talk about what belongs in 'a' shop (not 'your' shop, but 'a' shop -- which is an important word choice you elected to make). I was that literal with what you wrote bcause literally is the only way to take something in a textual medium such as this when you don't want to mistakenly read anything into it. Doing so was like winding up a wind-up toy in the hopes of watching it walk off a table so that observers could get a good laugh. I wound, you walked, and the result has been a hoot. Thank you for that and for being predictable.


    I have a Chiltons, and it's flat-out incomplete despite being the most recent for my model year. The schematics in it are incomplete. The pictures in it are incomplete. When you find printed material that begins complete and STAYS complete (i.e. remains updated) without having to reprint it, can be delivered in a matter of moments from its source location (i.e. where it was printed) to your shop without having to ship it, can offer constructive feedback on your efforts like forum responses can, and can even get more detailed than it was originally if you're having trouble understanding it like photo updates in how-to guides can ... then let me know, as I'll consider printed material something that trumps online material. Until then, online material wins with me because of its tendency to be more current than print and its ability to be interactive.

    I only own Stihls, myself (two of them) ... and if one falls 4 feet face down onto the bar ... the bar may be bent. Period. (You were merely lucky that yours wasn't.)
  10. PantheraUncia

    PantheraUncia New Member


    Congrats :) Where have you been hiding :)
  11. McClintoc

    McClintoc Super Moderator

    I don't think repair manuals are completely dead. Dying? Maybe, but not dead. Internet forums may have replaced physical manuals as the go-to option these days but there are plenty of people that still want a physical book to look at. I have been using Internet forums for over a decade now and joined GMTC to get some first-hand knowledge about how to work on my truck but I also recently purchased a physical repair manual. Think of it as one supplements the other. If you have/use both you can't go wrong...or at least shouldn't go wrong.
  12. Pikey

    Pikey Moderator Staff Member

    Some of the info I provide for members on this site comes from the manuals, info such as torque specs. The info needs to come from somewhere before someone can post it here.
  13. SurrealOne

    SurrealOne Former Member

    I have both, too. However the times I've pulled out the manual I found it lacking and had to come online to get either info it lacked ... or more detail than it had. My manual may soon qualify as fire starting material. But you're right, hardcopy isn't dead yet. ("It's just a flesh wound...")
  14. mfleetwood

    mfleetwood Moderator

    I agree that the hard copy manuals are dying but not only because of forums but also because most are available electronically. However, like many, I also have a book version. It stays with me in the truck. Who knows, I may be someplace where a computer or notepad is not available (or connectivity) and I'll need the help. I still think we are many years away from something like this completely vanishing.
  15. SurrealOne

    SurrealOne Former Member

    Connectivity is pretty ubiquitous with mobile devices being the rage, these days, so it's far more likely that you'll make a 'pit stop' at a gas station that has no toilet paper. Your hardcopy manual will serve you well in that scenario, too. :)
  16. mfleetwood

    mfleetwood Moderator

    Another use I had not thought of...not only the gas station but also may come in handy while off-roading. Very creative!

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