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Old 12-12-2007, 11:32 PM
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Chilton vs. Haynes (Car Repair Manuals)

Which one's better? Is Chilton worth the extra $5 (30%), or does it just cost more so people will think it's better than Haynes?

I'm looking at the one for Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger, Dodge Magnum '05-'07 if it matters.
Old 12-12-2007, 11:52 PM
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I've always found the Chiltons to be better, but they're pretty close. The Chiltons seem to have more and better diagrams.
Old 12-13-2007, 12:11 AM
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Might I suggest that you check with a dealership on the cost of a bona fide service manual for your particular model?

It would be an order of magnitude better than these manuals, and might well pay for itself with the first repair.
Old 12-13-2007, 12:55 AM
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In my experience, it depends on the specific car in question. Some books are better than others.
Old 12-13-2007, 02:35 AM
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You are a mechanical engineer. Spring for the factory manuals. You'll be beyond the Haynes and Chiltons on the first repair.






ETA: C'mon, you know you want them.

Last edited by Dag Otto; 12-13-2007 at 02:37 AM.
Old 12-13-2007, 10:04 AM
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Flagon and Dag Otto are dead right. Spring for the real thing. In my experience, Chilton and Haynes both are way too vague.
Old 12-13-2007, 12:54 PM
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Sometimes Chilton's or Hayne's will try to combine multiple vehicle models in a single manual, so you end up with completely useless (or nonexistant!) information on certain subjects.

Go for the factory manuals.
Old 12-13-2007, 01:41 PM
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Thanks for all the replies, factory shop manual from moparmanuals.com on CD, done and done! It ended up being $103, whereas the others were $20 and $15, respectively. However, I trust Dopers, and I'm sure it will be better than the relative "paint by number" offered by the aftermarket books.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Dag Otto
You are a mechanical engineer. Spring for the factory manuals. You'll be beyond the Haynes and Chiltons on the first repair.






ETA: C'mon, you know you want them.
*Thanks for remembering!

*I do want it! I've been spending at least half the payment on this darn car each month for things it "needs"... headers, cold air intake, floomats, stereo system, decals, etc... Trying to hold off on the supercharger! *sigh*
Old 12-13-2007, 08:36 PM
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Floormats!?!!!

I think you could have gotten away with the Haynes manual for that install.
Old 12-13-2007, 09:11 PM
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I used to prefer Chiltons. Now the only manual I use is my checkbook.
Really though, don't you need a lot of special tools and instruments to work on modern cars? At least the kind of work that requires a factory manual?
Peace,
mangeorge
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Old 12-13-2007, 09:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mangeorge
I used to prefer Chiltons. Now the only manual I use is my checkbook.
Really though, don't you need a lot of special tools and instruments to work on modern cars? At least the kind of work that requires a factory manual?
Peace,
mangeorge
Well, I've been doing a lot of custom work on my car, and part of the problem is trying to find out where things are, where things go, and how to get to them. Between all the guys on the rugby club, we can put together a quite impressive collection of tools. Also, the diagnostics are built in to the computer, and display on the dash, so you don't need to plug in a special reader for them anymore.

The problem I'm having now is trying to get the electronic stability program and braking assist light to turn off, as well as getting the traction control to come on. They've been out of commission since I took apart the bumper to add backup sensors. I'm not sure exactly what I did, but would like to find out before I tear it apart again. That was a pretty necessary mod, IMHO, because the LX platform is as long as a Suburban, without nearly the rear visibility.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NurseCarmen
Floormats!?!!!

I think you could have gotten away with the Haynes manual for that install.
Oh, my, I'm still laughing out loud about this one. My dog probably thinks I'm crazy!

ETA: The floormats are awesome. I'm pretty sure you could fit a case of beer, poured out, into them, if not more.

Last edited by Santo Rugger; 12-13-2007 at 09:27 PM.
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