Is a Haynes Manual Better Than Chilton's?


Active Member
Mar 13, 2010
Sacramento, California
I checked out two Chilton Mustang II manuals one was 1974-1976 and the other for 1974-1978 at the local library and I must say they were terrible. I wanted to see a picture of the engine and some vacuum diagrams and a wiring schematic for my 302 boy was I disappointed.

The library did not have any Haynes manuals but I see a couple on eBay but before I buy one I was wondering what you guys think of them. My personal experience hasn't been that great with either one, the joke with these after market books is installation is the reverse of uninstallation, right?

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Feb 3, 2009
I have found that the Haynes manuals are better (in most cases). I have alot of the old Motor manuals with in my opinion are the best. The more info you have is always better. So multiple sources are always good.

As for reinstallation its is generally list as reverse process. Its just easier for them and keeps their books shorter.


Founding Member
May 19, 2000
Bangor, Maine
Both books can supply some information.

I have a MOTOR brand of book with alot of information. 25 years ago I had a guy stop at the garage to sell these MOTOR Manuals. I remember they were expensive at the time... 80 to 150 to 200 dollars for one book. The books would cover years instead of models. One book might be 1985 year print. It would have info on 1965 to 1985 years...Chrysler, AMC, Dodge ... GM, Chevy, Olds, Pontiac.... Ford, Mercury, Lincoln. Maybe you can buy one on EBAY... A swap meet- car shows... or a book store.

Best of all you can get most any question answered on Mustang II right here.

I've been on here for years. A great bunch of guys with a ton of knowledge.

(Ladies welcome too.)

I must say... As the years go by, Our Mustang II's just get better and better. I've had mine 27 years and still counting. I haven't passed one on the road in at least fifteen years.

At least once every summer I get someone comming at me ... arm out their window giving me a big thumbs up.:nice:


Active Member
Mar 13, 2010
Sacramento, California
Cobra 7 we need to talk, first of all you have the V8 like me, and I love your mods, I want to swap my heads too, I may just copy you, but I don't get the no headers stuff maybe you can explain that to me since I am a beginner, I thought you needed headers and unlike exhaust manifolds headers were good?

muszyngr at yahoo dot com


Active Member
Mar 13, 2010
Sacramento, California
So the Haynes manual arrived in the mail today. I tore into it as quickly as I could and began flipping through the pages. I was quickly disappointed. 90% of the book is dedicated to the four cylinder and the six cylinder engines, and the V8 is an afterthought mentioned in suplemental Chapter 13.

Chilton's Pros - detailed explanation of the systems, ie, Positive Crankcase Ventilation System, Fuel Evaporative Control System, Improved Combustion System, Exhaust Gas Recirculation System, Thermactor Air Injection System, and Catalytic Reactor System. Couple paragraphs each.

Chilton's Cons - no detailed wiring diagrams / schematics, no detailed vacuum diagrams, no engine component location diagram ie ported vacuum switches go here and here, water and oil sensors go here. Minimal step by step removal and reinstallation procedures. Conversion tables - what the heck, LOL.

Haynes Pros - Tons of specs ie valve seat run-out, lobe lift, journal diameter, detailed wiring diagrams / schematics, detailed step by step removal and reinstallation procedures.

Haynes Cons - no detailed explanation of the systems, no detailed vacuum diagrams, no engine component location diagram ie ported vacuum switches go here and here, water and oil sensors go here.

Even with exploded carburetor diagrams in both books I still don't know what half the nipples on my Motorcraft 2150 due, and what hoses should plug in to those. Luckily I can google that carb and download some PDFs.

I'm not renting here I am trying to help the next guy who like me will need a manual. And I'm so hell bent on the vacuum diagrams because I am in California, you know where emission controls come from, lol. Now waiting for my Ford Engine Car Shop Manual to come in the mail, and I may buy the Clymer as well, heck I might spend more on books than I did on this darn engine, $100.


New Member
Dec 11, 2009
A to the Z
yes! chiltons manuals suck! how hard is it to have a complete index!!!! 100 pages of wire diagrams then like 2 pages of index, shts missing like 95% of the stuff that should be listed


Founding Member
May 19, 2000
Bangor, Maine
I don't get the no headers stuff maybe you can explain that to me since I am a beginner, I thought you needed headers and unlike exhaust manifolds headers were good?

muszyngr at yahoo dot com
Headers are great for exhaust flow. Tubes on a header are made with slow curving bends. No tight corners for exhaust to go around to escape. Tube headers have larger openings than cast manifolds. Blow through a straw and you have some restriction. Blow through a paper towel tube and less restriction.

The down side of headers is with more surface, with all the tubes coming from each cylinder, you get more heat under your hood. It really cooks your starter. Maybe getting coated headers or wrapping the headers with heat tape would help.

I chose to stay with my cast manifolds because of less heat and I like to drive it mostly on the street.
To get more flow from my cast manifolds I hand ported them with a die grinder.

In the following photo the left port is done. (Large hole) The right port was from the factory. (Smaller hole)


I'm Mad as HELL and I'M not Gonna Take it ANYMORE!
Founding Member
Sep 1, 1998
NE Ohio
Far as 'reverse order to assemble', manuals are written assuming the reader has a familiarity with 'Standard Practices and Procedures". I don't have much experience with these pocket manuals, in my experience with real manuals (Chilton and Motor from the late 60's, 70's and early 80's) if something special was required, an alignment or installation tool, it would be noted. Maybe even illustrated.

A V8 section? I'm guessing the Chilton II manual is the II section from their 70's and 80's manuals reprinted in stand alone form. Back then the coverage in the II sections was minimal because the book had several other sections dealing with the same engine.

As an example I went through scans from way back and put together a page on the ignition system. It's been so long I don't remember which section of the manual the scans came from. Could have been the II section, could have been the Montigo section, or the Unit section (Section 2-x). They all work.

Wire diagrams? Good luck with that. I don't remember ever seeing an actual wire diagram of a II or other car from this era. I believe the only place those can be located is the factory manual.

Whats more is I'm pretty sure there are subtle differences in the wiring between the 4, 6 and 8 engines. That would make 14 schematics between the 5 model years.

I understand your pain. Especially since Ford has / had a habit of changing wire color code at connectors and deep inside the loom. Compounded by some of these cars having been exposed to ham fists who tore into the looms making the harnesses rats nests of wiring.

What else is here ....

Oh yeah, what I've seen of Haynes manuals I'm guessing they wouldn't work as TP.
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