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  • OT - Chevy Factory Service Manuals

    I just bought a 1990 Chevy 3/4 ton pickup this weekend. Go ahead -- poke fun at me for the pink stripe down the side -- I will be removing that as my wife makes fun of me for it already :-)




    The first item of importance to me is getting a proper shop manual for working on it. I tend to buy either the Haynes or Chilton AND the Factory Service Manual (I like Haynes type for overview, FSM for in-depth coverage)

    I found a place online that sounds like they sell the FSM at http://www.helminc.com (item # ST37590K), but right before completing the order, I see the following note:

    <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">This manual is a copy of the original publication. It is possible that this item will be in loose-leaf format, if so, a binder will be included. Any wiring diagrams in the original shop/service manual are NOT reproduceable and are no longer available.</font>
    I will check with the local chevy dealer on Monday to see if they sell the FSM in the proper book form and/or call helminc.com to verify what form it comes in. I was just wondering if any of you have crossed this bridge before and what your results were. It'd be nice to get the FSM in book format, but if not available, the information contained is the real critical part. Thanks.

    Chad



    [This message has been edited by webbch (edited 04-02-2005).]

  • #2
    Helm is the original producer of the FSM if I remember correctly.
    John Burchett
    in Byng OK
    John Burchett
    in Byng OK

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    • #3
      Oops, I just checked again and the quote doesn't apply to the FSM, only Owners Manual (C9004) or the "Service and Owner Information Manual" (ST37589DIY)

      Anybody order from these guys before?

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      • #4
        That's interesting. So auto manufacturers sub-out the job of creating the FSM to Helm?

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        • #5
          I've ordered two sets of GM FSM from Helm with no problems. Expensive but well worth every penny...

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          • #6
            Helm has been producing official factory service manuals for years. They do Ford and Chevy for sure, probably others. Toyota does their own as does Chrysler.

            Forget Haynes, Chilton and Clymer unless you're changing oil or checking fuses as they are as worthless as teets on a rattler.

            Also, check ebay. I've gotten lots of FSM's off ebay. A "Mint" original 48 Hudson set was one prize!

            [This message has been edited by CCWKen (edited 04-02-2005).]

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            • #7
              CCWKen has it right in my opinion. Helm is fine but expensive. eBay usually has copies for sale cheaper than Helm. Try a search for "Factory shop manuals -Chilton -Haynes -Clymer" with your year and brand as part of the search. Wife bought, on line, a CD of the factory manuals for a Jaguar for 20 or 50 dollars. Local dealer wanted 600 dollars (more or less) for same thing.

              I long ago stopped even trying to trouble cars unless the owner has a manual. Haynes/Chilton etc beat nothing- but not by much. The CD versions are fine for me- I can print them out, mark them up and make my own comments for future use.
              Steve

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              • #8
                I purchaced the Helm manual for my '88 Z-24 immeadiately after I purchaced the car in 1987. It was the best thing I could have done. No dealer BS. There was an order form in the back of the vehicle owners manual. I've sent to them for other service manuals also and have had no problems with ordering and shipments.

                When you order make sure you get the service manual (higher price) and not the smaller maintenance manual. The smaller manual rates changing sparkplugs as a highly technical job.

                Frank

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                • #9
                  Thanks for all your input. I didn't see anything for a 1990 on ebay right now (although I'll check again using Steve's search idea), and I was prepared to pay the $105 asking price for the set of manuals Helm has available. The manual pays for itself in short order after having to do a couple repairs I think.

                  I have both the FSM & Haynes manual for my 1992 Honda Accord (guy I bought them from included it with the vehicle). Most of the time I use the FSM, but every once in a while I use the Haynes (mainly when the FSM is describing a procedure using a special tool I don't have and can't currently make without a mill, then I like to see how it is proposed to do the same operation w/o the special tool).

                  Anyone know if the same doors are used for models that come with the crank handle for the window vs. pw/pdl? It would seem poor design not to have them the same, but thought I'd ask. I think this model year came with pw/pdl as an option and I'm thinking of upgrading it, since I'm already considering replacing the door panels.

                  Chad

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                  • #10
                    As far as I know the doors are the same with different actuators. Be careful when you mess with the power windows. They are spring loaded and have to be locked in place so the don't try to close up when you unbolt them. There is usually a place to insert a bolt to lock them. I haven't worked on any of the new stuff but that is the way it was on the older cars and trucks.

                    Hope this helps.

                    Joe

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                    • #11
                      Joe,

                      Thanks for the advice on PW. However, it shouldn't be a problem as my truck doesn't currently have PW (wouldn't need to unbolt them) :-) I'll keep it in mind when trying to install them though.

                      Chad

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                      • #12
                        The door frames are the same. The lift mechanisum, wiring harness and inner panel trim bezel are the differences. 90-94 use the same panel with different bezels for PW/PL. The panel itself is the same.

                        It would be cheaper to get doors or the mechs. at a salvage yard than try to convert them with new parts. You'd still need to make a harness or get it too.

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                        • #13
                          Ken,

                          That's EXACTLY what I was hoping someone would know. Thanks!! I'll plan on making the trek to the local junkyards (er, I mean wrecking yards) to see if I can find some. I actually haven't been to any since I moved here (Tucson,AZ) last year.

                          I'll still probably price out what it would cost to do an upgrade (see http://www.a1electric.com/ ) as a price baseline -- sometimes those wrecking yards think their stuff is made of gold for some reason.

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                          • #14
                            The regulators in your truck should be rivitted in with a 1/4" cherry stile pop rivit,takes a large puller to pull them because they are steel. also it would require changing your I/P harness over from another truck that has PW/PL to complete your swap, a task I would wish on no man... Also doors/hardware and wiring from a GMC would also work, but the cosmetic interior pannel won't match a chevy . Shawn

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                            • #15
                              Thanks Shawn,

                              I'll wait until my Helm manual arrives, then try to figure out every last wiring issue I'll need to deal with before trying to salvage anything from another truck to tackle this project. Hopefully I'll be able to avoid the inevitable of forgetting something crucial off the donor truck. It's good to gain a perspective on what I may be getting myself into here. Thanks again!

                              Chad

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