…but first, a Digression

If you’ve worked on cars as far back as the 1980s or 1990s there were several publishers for service manuals.  Among many publishers like Chilton, Haynes, and Clymer, Robert Bentley Publishers was at the very top in terms of quality.  Size too.  Thickness, length, and width.  It would seem that I’m waxing a bit phallic at this point, but it’s true.  And in this case, bigger was better.  I also can’t move past this subject without including a quote from one of my very good old friends, “Chilton is shit.”

Robert Bentley Publishers is still around and continues to cover some models from Volkswagen and other European automotive manufacturers, but only ‘online’ or DVD versions.  Only the old books were published in print form.

I mention all of this because of the state of the quality of the Volkswagen service information.  As one reads through the material, a discerning reader might question whether this actually is official Volkswagen material or maybe just a draft version before it was published.  As a person that had every Volkswagen, BMW, Saab, and Volvo book Robert Bentley ever published, I know what quality looks like and I know what Chilton looks like.  The VW stuff isn’t quite as bad as Chilton, but it reads as if it was written by a high school student paid minimum wage to stand next to a mechanic and write down the things said as stuff was taken apart (Please note, I was purposely gender neutral with that last sentence).  Additionally it would seem that Volkswagen elected to pass on the additional cost of an editor to go through and clean up all of the messy descriptions.  And it’s a good thing they only publish this in electronic form as the number of extra trees killed because of their frequent strategy of putting pictures and descriptions on separate pages is not fun to think about.

Even though all of the information is there, it is so discombobulated, I can definitively say I miss the quality editing of the Robert Bentley books.

And for the ultimate service manual and storybook combined, there’s this classic; How to Keep Your Volkswagen Alive; A Manual of Step by Step Procedures for the Compleat Idiot (That’s how they spell it on the cover).

The Documents

I have changed most of the original titles in the articles to more accurately describe what they cover, because as mentioned above, the quality issue spread to the titles too.

Please note that some articles refer to other articles instead of duplicating information.

I have also arranged them in the order of disassembly for this task by prepending a number to their title.

I couldn’t find the documentation related to removing the inner wheel housing lining, but all of the screws are easy to find and it isn’t tricky to remove.

Glaring Issues

Cam Shaft locks


…shout out to ECS Tuning (not affiliated with them at all), but they just seem to be making a really good modern effort; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9_u9SyslOnw

Note; The ‘busted knuckle’ and the ‘cool factor’ of sitting on the toolbox at the opening.  SuperFresh!

Categories: Thoughts