How to Project Prep: Paperwork Part 2

Click Here to Begin Slideshow It should be no secret that in this “age of information,” you really can’t get enough. And that applies directly to anyone modifying a car, racing a car, or restoring a car. The truth of the matter is, once you’ve armed yourself with information basic mechanics and high-performance work are pretty much guaranteed to march forward in a much smoother manner. But what information do you need? The basics include a selection of resource books, factory service publications along with catalogs from a cross section of aftermarket companies (this is really important when it comes to a restoration). Knowledge of a given car is one thing, but when the time comes to disassemble a component or subassembly, rebuild it or restore it and finally reassemble it, you'll often require more than aptitude with hand tools. Often there’s a specific way something is done. Occasionally, that specific way of working can prove contrary to logic! Because of that, it’s definitely in your best interests to purchase, beg, borrow or scrounge appropriate service publications. What follows is a list of various manuals. The examples are Chevrolet-based, and I’m using these because that’s what I’m familiar with. Many GM products have related manuals and publications available. Other brands also have comparable publications. You just have to seek them out. Factory Service Manual North American vehicle manufacturers printed factory service manuals for various makes and models. None of them will prove to be easy or light reading, but in the case of vintage GM products, they deal with minor service procedures, vehicle maintenance and component adjustment. In addition, they also show the correct way to remove and replace various components and sub-assemblies. Over the years, some manufacturers have bundled Service and Overhaul (below) manuals in one big book. Factory Overhaul Manual When it comes to vintage GM’s, the Overhaul Manual takes over where the Service Manual ends. This book examines the repair and replacement of major components. Where the Service Manual deals with minor repairs, the Overhaul manual delves into more difficult and involved tasks. As you can well imagine, this particular manual series is designed to be used in conjunction with the Service Manual. Body Service Manual Another GM vintage manual was the Fisher Body Service Manual. Essentially, it looks at topics not covered in either the Service or Overhaul publications and related to the actual body structure of the vehicle. A good is example is when you need to remove a special hidden clip on a car. This particular manual details the procedure on how to remove and replace that clip. Fisher Body Service Manuals for a given year cover all passenger cars from that model year (Chevrolet-Pontiac-Olds-Buick-Cadillac). Assembly Instruction Manual GM used a series of manuals on the assembly line for a given automobile, They’re called Assembly Instruction Manuals or "AIMs" and they’re available for many older (popular) GM makes and models. As expected, these were used by workers as the vehicle rolled down the line. Examples available are reprints. Most are printed in a loose-leaf format and feature large sometimes-exploded drawings of all components and sub-assemblies that were pieced together during the manufacturing process. These drawings show where the parts go and how they go together. Part numbers are included, but these are production line numbers, not service (replacement or dealership parts department) numbers. The assembly manual lays out how and where components are bolted together, glued together, indicate proper fastener orientation/installation, proper clamp location and orientation, the correct location of pierced holes and even vehicle ride height specifications. Production options are included along with correct location mounting points and special torque specifications for almost all parts of the automobile. This manual is typically broken down into two parts. The first part covers approximately one dozen basic assembly areas that range from labels to stickers to complete electrical installation. This portion of the Assembly Instruction Manual is called the "Uniform Parts Classification". Following the UPC section is the RPO or "Regular Production Option" portion of the book. Keep in mind many of the AIM’s available today are copies of copies. This can sometimes result is fuzzy text or images. None-the-less, they’re still invaluable when stripping and rebuilding a given automobile. That’s a wrap for this issue. In our next segment, we’ll look at parts catalogs, interchange manuals and aftermarket catalogs. You might be surprised with regard to what’s out there and what’s inside those particular publications. Watch for it. Click Here to Begin Slideshow

How to Prep Your Project Car - Paperwork Part 2

Part 2 of Wayne Scraba's Prepping Your Project -- Paperwork series breaks down which manuals will make your project, and thus your life, easier in terms of identifying parts.



In our last issue, we started an examination of various reference manuals you can (and most like should) have in hand if you’re starting a project. That project can be almost anything for almost any application. Often times, a seemingly simple task on a car can prove monumental. Someone once said a simple fifteen-minute project is one stripped bolt away from a three-day ordeal. Truth. That’s why a manual that spells out the exact process is so valuable. But that’s not the end of it. In most projects you’ll find you need parts. Sometimes plenty of parts. And that’s what this segment is all about. We’ll look at OEM parts, used parts and aftermarket parts. Here, manuals are also your best friend(s). Check it out:

Factory (OEM) Parts Catalog

Reprints of vintage Original Equipment Manufacturer parts catalogs (or originals) are readily available if you do a bit of digging. These catalogs typically list the part numbers for various components, and most also feature blow-up illustrations of a wide range of components. If you’re dealing a 1969 vintage vehilce, then one of the best bets as far as parts catalogs are concerned are the reprinted 1970 or 1971 examples. Why is that? Simple. The numbers are usually more stable in that they haven’t been changed up (superceded). Obviously, almost all of the part numbers will be discontinued while the few remaining ones have been changed up in the past decades. But the real beauty here is if your car needs a specific component, you’ll actually have a part number to search for. It makes shopping and scrounging the internet a whole bunch easier.

Hollander Interchange Manual

Speaking of scrounging parts, you’ll sometimes find some bits and pieces can seem almost impossible to locate. There is a publication that can help. It’s called a Hollander Interchange Manual. It was used forever by wrecking yards and it allowed them to determine what parts fit what cars. For example, many pieces in a given car are direct interchanges with other similar (or not so similar) "corporate" offerings. As an example, a Nova four-door sedan or even something like a Buick Apollo can supply a host of goodies for your SS396 project. Items like suspension pieces, electrical components, some transmission components and even certain trim parts and myriad accessory or optional components are virtually identical.

The Hollander Interchange is a huge manual that can prove to be four or so inches thick. It includes information on all "hard" parts including identification of those components. Little items such as trim pieces are not included.

If you have a mid-sixties car, consider the 1964-1974 issue, Volumes 1 and 2. This is an expensive package, but the dollars saved during the restoration will be well worth the expense.

If the high price scares you off, try searching for a used "41st Auto-Truck Interchange Edition" (like the one shown in the accompanying photos). It covers domestic vehicles from 1965 to 1975 and as a result, will encompass all vehicles from that era. Where do you find used Hollanders? Your local wrecking yards are good bets. FYI, the Hollander Interchange Manual is considered the "bible" of the dismantling business. Any reputable wrecker will know what you're talking about.

Aftermarket Support

Some cars don’t have a lot of aftermarket support. Others do. The old Chevy’s I mess with fall into the “good” side of the equation. Before you even begin the build (and perhaps long before you buy a car), you should consider the availability of things like reproduction parts, NOS parts and aftermarket high performance parts. With really good resources such as these, its whole bunch easier to piece together a good car. In the end, it's a good idea to collect as many pertinent catalogs as possible that pertain to your car. Some of the vendors offer decent discounts to regular customers too. When it comes to aftermarket vendors, some are good. Some are great. Some are not so good. Research is your friend.

As you can see, lining yourself up with a number of manuals can make any job on your car go faster and smoother. Recall what we said about the fifteen-minute job (above). It really does apply. Having a stack of reference manuals on hand is something you’ll never regret.

How to Prep Your Project Car - Paperwork Part 2

OEM or “Original Equipment Manufacturer” Catalogs are important. They often consist of an illustration catalog (or section) along with a parts listing. You’ll need them both. If you search it’s possible to locate lightly used originals or reprints.

How to Prep Your Project Car - Paperwork Part 2

This honking old book was initially used by wrecking yards to identify parts and to show interchanges between specific vehicles. It’s a Hollander Interchange Manual. Hollander still prints manuals.

How to Prep Your Project Car - Paperwork Part 2

Hollander even prints smaller examples dedicated specifically to one line of car (for example, 1968-79 Nova’s as shown here). When it comes to scrounging used parts, this is your Bible.

How to Prep Your Project Car - Paperwork Part 2

Sooner or later you’ll need to get some help from the restoration or high performance aftermarket. These are just a few catalog examples. The aftermarket is jammed with them. Some will find it easier to drag one of these into the shop than to look at an IPad or lap top.

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