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Old 05-03-2017, 04:05 PM   #1
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Is there a preferred service manual?

Looking to own a reference for maintaining my '02 S. I've been checking around online, and I'm seeing some printed manuals, some CDs, and some downloads, as well as miscellaneous other stuff. Curious to know if there is a preferred item to buy? Is there a difference, or any of this sort of thing to avoid?

Thanks,
Dave

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Old 05-03-2017, 04:13 PM   #2
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Bentley's is essential. 101 Projects for Your Boxster can be quite useful. There is a dowload manual which is good, someone have the link? Happy wrenching!
P.s. Oh, and this forum is a wealth of information.
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Old 05-03-2017, 04:46 PM   #3
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I've got both Bentley and 101 Projects. Not impressed that much with either as they lacked a lot of important steps and/or details. Key example is torque settings that aren't always easily found for all major bolts. Better than having nothing though.
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Old 05-03-2017, 09:13 PM   #4
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The Bentley is great to have on hand, it covers a lot of less common things you will not be able to find online. That said it can lack detail and clarity, but nothing else comes close to competing with it. The Bentley is a must have in my opinion.

Almost all of the information in the 101 Projects books is available online from the books website, and has additional pictures. Between the Bentley manual and a google search you should be covered 90% of the time.

The service manual PDF's available online can be a good a resource, but you have to be aware that they are constantly updated and a lot of the copies floating around the net are incomplete or outdated. That said they contain some diagrams you won't find anywhere else. Now if only someone would release a book with every torque spec.
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Old 05-04-2017, 08:34 AM   #5
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The service manual PDF's available online can be a good a resource, but you have to be aware that they are constantly updated and a lot of the copies floating around the net are incomplete or outdated. That said they contain some diagrams you won't find anywhere else.
I have the Bentley, 101 Projects, and a set of electronic manuals that I bought from eBay. As you mention, they haven't been updated but there is a lot of info that is helpful.

And for $7.95, its hard to go wrong.

PORSCHE BOXSTER 1996-2004 ( 986 ) FACTORY SERVICE REPAIR OEM WORKSHOP FSM MANUAL | eBay
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Old 05-04-2017, 06:01 PM   #6
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DaveNW

I started with the 101 Projects Book (written by the founder of Pelican parts who own this website) and then bought a copy of the Bentley Book. Lastly I got a copy of the Porsche service manuals (in PDF form) which I keep on my iPad. It's a lot handier than toting around the 15 volume set.

For the 101 Projects book, order it directly from Pelican. You won't find it cheaper (new).

For the Bentley book, get it on Amazon. They had the best price for it. I bought the hardcover version (I think there is also a soft cover version). It was selling for less on Amazon than used ones on ebay.

I would also check the FOR SALE section on this forum in case anyone is selling used copies.

For the factory service manuals, I would use the link that someone else posted earlier (the one that points to ebay) to get a digital copy. The only other place I think you can get a set is a printed set from Porsche (and the printed ones are very expensive).

Of the three books, I think the 101 Projects book is my favorite. It shows (with lots of pictures) how to fix and maintain most of the things you will run into on your car.

Lastly, don't forget to use the SEARCH function of these forums. There's tons of information here you won't find in any book!
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Old 05-04-2017, 07:15 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by rick3000 View Post
The Bentley is great to have on hand, it covers a lot of less common things you will not be able to find online. That said it can lack detail and clarity, but nothing else comes close to competing with it. The Bentley is a must have in my opinion.

Almost all of the information in the 101 Projects books is available online from the books website, and has additional pictures. Between the Bentley manual and a google search you should be covered 90% of the time.

The service manual PDF's available online can be a good a resource, but you have to be aware that they are constantly updated and a lot of the copies floating around the net are incomplete or outdated. That said they contain some diagrams you won't find anywhere else. Now if only someone would release a book with every torque spec.


Flat6innovations has a torque spec book for 996's which should cover 90% of 986.
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Old 05-04-2017, 07:22 PM   #8
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DaveNW

I started with the 101 Projects Book (written by the founder of Pelican parts who own this website) and then bought a copy of the Bentley Book. Lastly I got a copy of the Porsche service manuals (in PDF form) which I keep on my iPad. It's a lot handier than toting around the 15 volume set.

For the 101 Projects book, order it directly from Pelican. You won't find it cheaper (new).

For the Bentley book, get it on Amazon. They had the best price for it. I bought the hardcover version (I think there is also a soft cover version). It was selling for less on Amazon than used ones on ebay.

I would also check the FOR SALE section on this forum in case anyone is selling used copies.

For the factory service manuals, I would use the link that someone else posted earlier (the one that points to ebay) to get a digital copy. The only other place I think you can get a set is a printed set from Porsche (and the printed ones are very expensive).

Of the three books, I think the 101 Projects book is my favorite. It shows (with lots of pictures) how to fix and maintain most of the things you will run into on your car.

Lastly, don't forget to use the SEARCH function of these forums. There's tons of information here you won't find in any book!

Thanks everyone for the tips! I ordered the 101 Projects book yesterday. I don't have any pressing need for any service manuals, but I'm one of those guys who likes to be aware of problems so if/when they do come up, I'll have an idea how to handle them. The other books you recommend will be ordered later.

Does anyone happen to know what sort of computers the CD posted upthread works on? I have a Mac, and would hate to unearth a five year old Windows computer just so I could try and read a disk. EDIT: Never mind. The linked website says it works on all operating systems. I presume that also means Macs. I just ordered the disk, too.

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Last edited by DaveNW; 05-04-2017 at 07:40 PM.
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Old 05-04-2017, 10:03 PM   #9
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Pretty sure the disc will contain PDFs of all the books, so it's readable on any computer that can read them (using Acrobat on PCs or whatever Macs use).

Bill
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Old 05-05-2017, 05:10 AM   #10
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Just be aware that that CD is woefully out of date, and does not include the more than 100 updates for those manuals, and was published in 1999, so it lack a lot of information about the later electronics and sensors (egas, CAN Bus, etc.), so it can be rather misleading.
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Old 05-05-2017, 08:04 AM   #11
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Just be aware that that CD is woefully out of date, and does not include the more than 100 updates for those manuals, and was published in 1999, so it lack a lot of information about the later electronics and sensors (egas, CAN Bus, etc.), so it can be rather misleading.
Good to know. Is there an updated version anywhere?

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Old 05-05-2017, 09:11 AM   #12
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Good to know. Is there an updated version anywhere?

Dave
Only in used hard copy form (been out of print since early 2004); as a thirteen volume set of ring binders, and then only if someone kept up the update inserts and revisions (more than 100). When published, this set sold for $2300, plus another $1800 for the OBD II manual.
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Old 05-05-2017, 07:05 PM   #13
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Only in used hard copy form (been out of print since early 2004); as a thirteen volume set of ring binders, and then only if someone kept up the update inserts and revisions (more than 100). When published, this set sold for $2300, plus another $1800 for the OBD II manual.

That's probably a little deep for my pockets and my interest. The CD probably will be enough to give me an idea of what may be wrong, and will help me use the right terms when speaking to my mechanic.

I saw a set of manuals that looked like looseleaf binders on eBay. The set sold for $197.50. If it's the same thing you describe, somebody got a deal. Porsche Boxster 986 Authentic Factory Service Repair Manual (15 volumes) - Rare! | eBay


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Old 05-06-2017, 07:33 AM   #14
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That's probably a little deep for my pockets and my interest. The CD probably will be enough to give me an idea of what may be wrong, and will help me use the right terms when speaking to my mechanic.

I saw a set of manuals that looked like looseleaf binders on eBay. The set sold for $197.50. If it's the same thing you describe, somebody got a deal. Porsche Boxster 986 Authentic Factory Service Repair Manual (15 volumes) - Rare! | eBay


Dave
That is the full service manual set, and was a steal at that price.

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