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Technical Reference Books

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by zz29, Nov 23, 2018.

  1. zz29
    Joined: Sep 7, 2017
    Posts: 212


    I am a total newbie and have been struggling with very basic concepts of how a car is made. I found this book at a massive used book store in Detroit, Michigan, John K King. It’s from 1947 and seems to be an Army manual for soldiers in the mechanic program. It’s a great book, breaks every component down to basic levels. Pretty sure when I’m done I’ll know how an army truck works. ;-)

    What books do you have in your hot rod/custom car library? [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  2. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 43,498


    my dad got us boys the 1956 version of that manual, some time in the late 60s....I still have it. Great book!

    You might also see if you can find an automotive shop text book for high school, one from the 50s-70s should work great to teach you the basics of how to fix that stuff, as well as offering a different explanation of how things work.

    I have a bunch of factory shop manuals for cars from the 1930s-70s, which are great for detailed how to on specific parts. Say you're working on a hot rod with a 327 and 4 spd muncie, the shop manuals for a 1966 Chevy will give you a lot of useful info, drawings, specs, detailed assembly instructions, etc.

    I also have a bunch of old parts catalogs, which are handy for figuring out what parts I can use in which applications, and many of them have an illustrated buyers guide that will list all the available parts, with some basic specs, and applications. You can get a lot of this info from places like these days, but being able to thumb through a book sure makes it quicker, if you don't know the specific application ahead of time.

    There are also many history of hot rods coffee table books, that are neat to find out where this stuff all started, and get build ideas.
    classiccarjack, OahuEli, zz29 and 6 others like this.
  3. Elcohaulic
    Joined: Dec 27, 2017
    Posts: 530


    I still love getting the old books and magazines out on snowy days.. I usually come up with my best ideas during winter hibernation..
    Just Gary and stillrunners like this.
  4. RMR&C
    Joined: Dec 26, 2009
    Posts: 3,160

    from NW Montana

    MOTORS repair manuals are a wealth of information, I use mine all the time. Get one from each decade, they cover a range of years.
    Lots of pics and specs.
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  5. Beanscoot
    Joined: May 14, 2008
    Posts: 1,071


    The old books are generally extremely well written, concise and have excellent illustrations.
    It seems that at one time they hired proof readers, professional illustrators and used high quality printing.

    A different time.
    Just Gary, OahuEli, zz29 and 2 others like this.
  6. 19Fordy
    Joined: May 17, 2003
    Posts: 6,441


    Yes indeedy. The Military Manuals were top notch.
    stillrunners likes this.
  7. Fordors
    Joined: Sep 22, 2016
    Posts: 2,174


    Hot Rod Magazine should take a cue from Beanscoot comments ^^^^. The knowledge of some of their writers would sure benefit from proof reading and fact checking.
    Just Gary, zz29 and tractorguy like this.
  8. Boneyard51
    Joined: Dec 10, 2017
    Posts: 2,748


    I too, have a collection of motor’s manuals and a lot of old parts books. My go to guy at our local parts house still calls me upon occasion to help with a part, as he knows I still have the books he gave me.
    The first thing I do when I acquire a piece of equipment, is head to the internet and buy a factory manual for it. My Dad always told me to check the book. He said nobody knows everything. He also told me to shy away from the mechanics that said” I don’t need no book”.
    It would probably take a pick up truck to haul all my car related books. Every time I go to my books and look something up.... I hear his words.


  9. 302GMC
    Joined: Dec 15, 2005
    Posts: 5,730

    from Idaho

    Early start for me, around 7 or 8. No such thing as too much auto literature.
    Jan 28 Mags & kitties 024.JPG Jan 28 Mags & kitties 025.JPG Jan 28 Mags & kitties 026.JPG Jan 28 Mags & kitties 027.JPG Jan 28 Mags & kitties 028.JPG
    mgtstumpy, 54EARL, partsdawg and 2 others like this.
  10. Truck64
    Joined: Oct 18, 2015
    Posts: 3,593

    from Ioway

    Military instruction from that time period was really good. There are some "online courses" that have migrated to the web. Learning the basics makes for a better all around mechanic, while modern cars are a lot more complex the underlying faults are pretty much exactly the same, just overlaid by a bunch of bells & whistles. MoToRs Repair are good as well.
    Boneyard51 likes this.
  11. zz29
    Joined: Sep 7, 2017
    Posts: 212


    Boneyard51 likes this.
  12. Latigo
    Joined: Mar 24, 2014
    Posts: 588


    image.jpg I also have a collection of Motors Manuals as well as Chiltons.
    The vehicle specific manuals have been useful. Then a collection of how to build this or that. Just picked up " how to rebuild you small-block chevy" that covers 55 through 76 for $2.50 at a flea market, greasy fingerprints and all.
    Boneyard51 likes this.
  13. partsdawg
    Joined: Feb 12, 2006
    Posts: 2,429

    from Minnesota

    Back in 1977 I had a mechanic tell me if you want to rebuild a SBC just buy a 1958 issue of ‘How to rebuild your 283’ because nothing had changed about the machining or assembly part of the process. Parts have changed over the years but the assembly end of it hasn’t.
    As mentioned, I also buy a shop manual (paper variety) for every vehicle and piece of shop equipment I buy.
    Boneyard51 likes this.
  14. classiccarjack
    Joined: Jun 30, 2009
    Posts: 1,427


  15. Chappy444
    Joined: Jan 27, 2012
    Posts: 856

    1. Maryland HAMBers

  16. Truck64
    Joined: Oct 18, 2015
    Posts: 3,593

    from Ioway

    If it's the same people, they claim 1903... MOTOR data or somesuch.. Motor magazine. I see that auction site has a 1938, 11th Edition so that might be about right. I was reading some general troubleshooting and diagnostic stuff from the 1920s, it was amazing how little has changed.
  17. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 25,556


    If it hadn't got wet out in what was supposed to be a dry shed I would have a collection that rivaled 302GMC's
    The old manuals and text books and factory shop service manuals were written at a very basic reading level and the tech writer didn't assume that the mechanic in the had ever seen the type of vehicle he was working on let alone have any knowledge of it and the instructions were step by step in detail.
    The theory of how a carburetor works explained in that 1947 Military manual is still exactly the same for the carbs we work on now. The design changed but the theory is the same and the circuits work the same.
    I used my copy of How to rebuild your small block Chevrolet V8 to help me write my lesson plans when I taught the section on engine rebuilding to my students. I first used it when I rebuilt the 283 for my T bucket in 1973/4.
    When I was teaching I got pretty good at talking the text book reps out of copies of the new text books at the annual vocational teachers conference. I've got a good number of them that I still refer to to answer questions on here. I've got a couple of old ones that I rescued from the boxes they were stored in in the shop storage area from when I was teaching too. I think one copy is what I learned out of in the early 60's.
    302GMC and Truck64 like this.

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