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Old 11-13-2010, 03:01 PM   #1
elizilla
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eBook versions of shop manuals?

One of the things I would like to do with my Sony PRS650 is carry the factory shop manual for my motorcycle, when I'm traveling. I always buy the paper manuals and probably always will, since it's convenient to have them in the garage. But if I'm a thousand miles from home and have mechanical trouble, it would be nice to be able to just call it up on the reader even though it would likely not be the easiest format to view it in.

I doubt there is a legal source for electronic copies anywhere, but if anyone knows of such sites please speak up. The other alternatives are to scan it myself, or to, um, informally acquire a scanned copy from somewhere if I can find one.

Anyone have advice on this topic? Does anyone here view vehicle repair manuals on their reader? I don't have a scanner, so if I have to scan it myself what should I look for to buy or borrow?
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Old 11-13-2010, 03:20 PM   #2
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One of the things I would like to do with my Sony PRS650 is carry the factory shop manual for my motorcycle, when I'm traveling. I always buy the paper manuals and probably always will, since it's convenient to have them in the garage. But if I'm a thousand miles from home and have mechanical trouble, it would be nice to be able to just call it up on the reader even though it would likely not be the easiest format to view it in.

I doubt there is a legal source for electronic copies anywhere, but if anyone knows of such sites please speak up. The other alternatives are to scan it myself, or to, um, informally acquire a scanned copy from somewhere if I can find one.

Anyone have advice on this topic? Does anyone here view vehicle repair manuals on their reader? I don't have a scanner, so if I have to scan it myself what should I look for to buy or borrow?
You might be able to find a PDF version of your manual online. I've found them for my electronics and, although viewing on an e-book reader is less than ideal, it beats having to lug around a bunch of paper manuals.
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Old 11-13-2010, 04:23 PM   #3
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The Haynes manuals - or at least some of them - are available from dark and dangerous places. Haynes themselves, for reasons they might be able to explain to their investors, do not have their manuals available electronically.
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Old 11-13-2010, 06:05 PM   #4
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As Lady F... noted, viewing pdf manuals on readers can be problematic. I've pretty much downloaded most manuals for my products as soon as I buy them. But I've copied about 3 to my kindle 3 and they are not easy to view. Some are not standard notebook paper size and I have to windup zooming and scrolling to see the pages - not easy to actually read through.

But give it a go if you can find the manuals you need.
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Old 11-13-2010, 06:22 PM   #5
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My partner has found viewing PDF workshop manuals on the iPad (via Goodreader) invaluable while working on one of our cars. He is accessorizing it, and has made minor repairs. and pinching-and-zooming into blown-up diagrams of parts and wiring is, to use his word, "fantastic!". We've tried to get every manual for everything we have into a shared Dropbox folder for this purpose.

Sorry I can't help you with locating workshop manuals. Any searches I have done have always been fairly random. Forums dedicated to your particular brand of device/machinery are often a good place to follow and seek advice, as they've often a lot of folk "hacking" the thing in the absence of, or the presence of, said manuals (or their own derivatives).

Cheers,
Marc
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Old 11-13-2010, 07:45 PM   #6
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As Lady F... noted, viewing pdf manuals on readers can be problematic. I've pretty much downloaded most manuals for my products as soon as I buy them. But I've copied about 3 to my kindle 3 and they are not easy to view. Some are not standard notebook paper size and I have to windup zooming and scrolling to see the pages - not easy to actually read through.

But give it a go if you can find the manuals you need.
You are absolutely correct when you say that viewing many PDF manuals on an e-book reader is iffy at best. Still, it beats lugging around several paper manuals when on the go.
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Old 11-14-2010, 02:48 AM   #7
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I've taken to collecting PDFs of things like motherboard manuals (nowadays, often the only form they're supplied in anyway). The CD that came with the thing, or the manufacturer's website, will almost always provide one. Having a manual on my ebook reader when the computer that would otherwise read it is disabled could be a lifesaver.
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Old 11-14-2010, 08:56 AM   #8
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Auto shop manuals - Bentley http://www.bentleypublishers.com/

But their preferred business model is of on-line "subscriptions" with too frequent updates, too intrusive 'security' too expensive. BTDT
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Old 11-14-2010, 01:43 PM   #9
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Have you checked with the bike manufacturer? My BMW bike's OEM manual is ONLY available electronically. I actually prefer a printed manual for the garage. Not as if I'm going to have an expensive electronic gadget or any sort of fragile screen anywhere near my spinning wrenches and sloshing fluids. Annoying to have to print out relevant pages if I need them at my side during the work.
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Old 11-14-2010, 08:18 PM   #10
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I agree with Penforhire. I'm not sure why you would want an expensive and delicate ereader around any sort of garage area. All my manuals gradually start turning black, because usually when I'm stumped in the middle of some repair is when they get used.
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Old 11-16-2010, 12:38 AM   #11
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Thanks for the suggestions!

I agree about not wanting to endanger my ereader in the garage. I have a paper manual in the garage and intend to keep using that there. But the official Honda shop manual for my bike is the size of a calculus textbook, and my luggage is heavy enough without it! The electronic version will be to carry on road trips, for emergency use only. With luck I will never need it, but compared to the cost of a tow and the loss of days out of the middle of a vacation, the ereader might not inspire as much protectiveness.
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Old 11-16-2010, 01:27 AM   #12
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I have a PDF scan of the '51 Studebaker shop manual, and it is great. I can easily look things up, and if I need it when I am working on the car and all greasy, I can print out the needed pages. That way I don't have to worry about the ebook reader, or my original shop manual getting messed up.
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