The information found in shop manuals provides a systematic procedure, identifies special tools and specifications relevant to the task. The objective of this procedure is to show you how to use a shop manual to identify the correct service procedure.
Part 1. Preparation and safety
- Use a shop manual to identify the correct service procedure.
Whenever you perform a task in the workshop you must use personal protective clothing and equipment that is appropriate for the task and which conforms to your local safety regulations and policies. Among other items, this may include:
- Work clothing - such as coveralls and steel-capped footwear
- Eye protection - such as safety glasses and face masks
- Ear protection - such as earmuffs and earplugs
- Hand protection - such as rubber gloves and barrier cream
- Respiratory equipment - such as face masks and valved respirators
If you are not certain what is appropriate or required, ask your supervisor.
- Make sure that you understand and observe all legislative and personal safety procedures when carrying out the following tasks. If you are unsure of what these are, ask your supervisor.
Points to note
- Shop manuals are developed by manufacturers to provide the service technician with correct information on performing all service and repair tasks on the vehicles they produce.
- The information found in shop manuals provides a systematic procedure, identifies special tools and specifications relevant to the task.
- Shop manuals are organized according to vehicle systems and have indexes for quick reference needs.
Part 2: Step-by-step instruction
- Understand information required
Decide what information it is that you need to know. About the job and about the vehicle. In this example, the job is to adjust, and possibly replace, the breaker points in the distributor. Make sure you know the make, model and year of manufacture of the vehicle, and the type and size of the engine. In order to adjust and replace the breaker points you need to know the procedure and specifications.
- Locate the appropriate manual
Find the appropriate Shop Manual for the make, model and year of the vehicle you are working on.
- Locate the correct section
The first page of the Shop Manual gives you the Group Index, or Section Breakdown. All you want from this page is the Group or Section Number. In this case it is the “Ignition System Group 9”.
Turn to “Group 9, the Ignition System.”
We see that it’s in three parts: “General Ignition Service”, “Autolite Dual Advance Distributors”, and “Specifications”. Scan through the General Ignition Section and, we find “Common Adjustments and Repairs.”
- Locate the service procedures
Here we find the procedures to help you remove and replace the distributor. The text and the pictures shows how to replace and install the breaker points, as well as procedures to adjust breaker point alignment, point gap, and spring tension. It shows you the tools to use, and how to use them.
- Locate the specifications
While this part of the Manual will give you the procedures, it does NOT give you the precise specifications for a particular vehicle or adjustment. For this information, we need to check the Specifications part of this section. There are several pages of Specifications for the Distributor but not the point gap specification. However by returning to the Head of this Section, we’ll find “Engine Tune-up Specifications”. Which refers us to another part of the manual for the point gap specification. Turn to the Engine Tune-Up Specifications page, and find the table on the distributor point gap. At this point we need to know the engine-type of the vehicle to find the correct specification. We are now ready to begin adjusting and possibly replacing the breaker points.