Hey, woo-hoo, look at me, I'm a semi-published writer! I wrote a review of a Haynes Technical Manual for my Mini Cooper and got it published on the website where it is sold.
I've already told some of you guys this, but the following is one of the reviews I wrote. I hope it will be the most entertaining technical manual review you read today.
A quick word of caution here, this manual reads like a manual and an English manual at that. If you are a particularly verbal person who really needs things explained in words you can understand, this might be a little difficult for you. Should you be the kind of person who needs but a general comprehension of the task at hand and a lot of pictures guiding your novice hands through carbon based bliss, this is your book. The manual is a standard explosion diagram of most every nut, bolt, belt and fan in the vehicle based on a teardown and rebuild of each individual component throughout the entire automobile with step by excruciating step instructions requiring an understanding of descriptions such as “spongy clutch pedals” and a tolerance for accidental alliteration as in, “slacken the securing screw slightly using a stubby screwdriver.”The illustrated diagrams throughout the book are truly an invaluable resource and are accompanied with black and white photographs of a poorly manicured shop hand pulling parts, affixing wires and leads, turning wrenches, and applying “everyman oil”. While useful for many applications in the manual, the lack of quality in the aged black and white photo masks details and oftentimes leaves an untrained eye wondering what exactly it is being shown. Furthermore, there are certain “improvements” the previous owner made to my Mini, which apparently are not altogether uncommon, which are not covered, nor even addressed by this manual, such as the possible presence of a HS carburetor which will leave the mechanic, me, scratching his head and running to the internet message boards to figure out where his “float chamber body” is.That being said, I had trouble finding additional faults with the repair manual in order to provide an actual objective overview. The level of detail is agonizingly specific and comprehensive for the different base models in the course of the ten years covered. The manual expressly distinguishes between the procedures to be taken in removal and refitting an early model instrument cluster and those required of the Super de Luxe models. Haynes even goes so far as to include an English to American dictionary in the opening pages so us “Yanks” can better understand that a spanner is simply another word for wrench and we do not need to run out to Sears for more tools, (then again, this might just be the excuse you’ve been looking for,) though I believe I could have figured out what a vice and a tyre are.
With a car a few years older than myself, we are both realizing that we are not quite as young as we once were and are requiring a little more maintenance to run down the highway with the younger, sleeker models. I got into owning an older vehicle knowing full well that the two of us would have our ups and our downs, our “for betters” and our “for worses”, our “for riches”, and our “for poorers”. Luckily for my Mini, Haynes made a manual, unfortunately for me; they have not quite finished the one for people yet. The HAYNES 59-69 MINI WORKSHOP MANUAL, is an indispensable tool when completing maintenance and repairs on my ‘67 “Cooperized” MKI, kept right there between my open ended wrenches and my ratchet set.
In short, the book is wonderfully written and gives the mildly mechanical and adventurous novice the knowledge necessary to make doing-it-yourself auto projects a little more bearable and can save you hundreds of dollars in labor bills.