If you dont have the proper service documentation, troubleshooting and repairing your car’s engine, or any engine for that matter is almost impossible.
How do I remove the cylinder head ? What size should the crankshaft be ? What are those bolt torque specifications again ? How about the valve adjustment ? Etc. All of these questions and many others have to be correctly answered if you are going to successfully repair your engine.
There are many sources for the information you need to do a successful repair.
A factory service manual is the preferred documentation, especially if you are trying to troubleshoot a modern car or truck engine.
If you are working on a late model car or truck engine, a very good alternative is to purchase a one year subscription to a service such as Alldata , which will give you online access to all of the factory specifications and repair procedures, along with service bulletins, recall information etc. The price is very inexpensive considering the amount of information available.
Another resource is your Automotive Machine Shop. If your machine shop is a member of the Automotive Engine Rebuilders Association they will have access to engine specifications and service bulletins for just about any car, truck, tractor, marine or industrial engine ever manufactured.
Many public libraries will now allow you to access some of the electronic service databases online. If you have a library card there is a pretty good chance you can find the information you need on the library web site.
There are also many very good books that have been published about almost any type of engine that you can imagine. Anything from Model T Fords to the latest GM LS V-8s and anything in between. Books are available for stock rebuilds all the way through the highest performance racing engines. Tractor repair manuals are available from several sources and are generally direct copies of the original factory documentation.
Without the proper specifications, it is virtually impossible to correctly repair or rebuild your engine. If you consider the total price of an engine repair or rebuild, the small amount you will spend to get the correct information will be a very good investment. All it takes is one bolt not tightened correctly to make a mess out of all of your hard work.