When it comes to industry-leading, printed materials for the service and repair of older vehicles, Detroit Iron Repair Manuals and Detroit Iron Parts Books are the way to go. They’re simply the best.
Compared to today’s models, antique and classic cars/trucks aren’t nearly as complex. While that statement is true, they’re by no means simple machines. With thousands of parts and fasteners which require working within specific tolerances, you’re going to need to know the correct procedures and specifications in order to get (and keep) your vintage vehicle looking and performing at its best. That’s precisely where the Detroit Iron Repair Manuals and Detroit Iron Parts Books come into play.
History of Detroit Iron Printed Shop Manuals and Parts Catalogs
Detroit Iron Information Systems has been faithfully serving the do-it-yourself (DIY) community since 1997. At that time, we recognized a need to preserve the quickly disappearing information related to these cherished older cars and trucks. While we have a well-regarded history for delivering digital products, we’re undeniably excited to offer an expanding line of exceptional printed manuals as well.
By 2015, many of our customers asked us if we were considering introducing printed products. They certainly loved our digital goods, but indicated to us that many of their end customers preferred paper versions. We responded by asking our customers why they wanted us to introduce print products when we already had a few competitors providing licensed print products. Their answers entailed receiving many customer complaints about the printed manuals from some of the other licensed Ford, Chrysler and GM competitors. Customers stated the images inside their manuals were not clear (and looked more like scanned black smudges!). They also noted the ink would come off the covers as soon as the book was opened. Other issues included the use of extremely thin pages which would yellow like old newspapers. Additional complaints were that one competitor would not drop ship manuals, the other competitor’s prices were too high, the drop ship service was not good (sometimes they didn’t know if the drop ship competitor even shipped the manual to the end customer). One competitor outsourced their printing and there were also concerns about numerous SKUs being out of stock for many days.
We understood the frustrations and, once again, stepped in to meet the market’s needs. To begin our addition of printed products, in 2016, Detroit Iron decided to create high resolution print masters and we outsourced the printing to a local Dallas TX printer. In February 2018, we took the next step when we acquired approximately 150 high quality print master assets for Ford, GM and Chrysler manuals from the Bob Johnson’s Auto Literature estate assets. Then, in June 2018, Detroit Iron resolved to take full control of the print process with the addition of a first class, in-house digital print shop which includes high quality digital presses (color and BW), first rate binding, cutting and shrink-wrapping machines. We control the product, and our print quality is second to none.
Above:Detroit Iron Print Shop Views
To date, we have released 870 outstanding printed products for cars, trucks, military vehicles and tractors. Detroit Iron continues to release 60-100 new print products every few months. With almost 900 manuals already available, we definitely have a wealth of these much-loved, older vehicles addressed. It would be overwhelming to list all of our shop manuals here, but to help give you an idea, here’s a high-level, overview of ONLY the shop manual years of coverage. You’ll find the General Motors brands ranging from 1915 to 1999, Chrysler Corporation print shop manuals span 1937 to 1989 and Ford service and shop manuals comprise 1909 to 1979.
Detroit Iron Print Product Manufacturing Overview
How do we produce such excellent printed Detroit Iron Shop Manuals and Detroit Iron Parts Manuals? It probably isn’t how you picture it. The first thing you need to know is that it is NOT possible to obtain print masters from Ford, Chrysler and GM. Instead, we must create our own print masters. Exactly how do we do that? It starts by obtaining the best ORIGINAL factory manuals. That is, ones with sharp visual aids, such as black and white photographs and illustrations. We all know what happens when you make a copy of a copy. That’s the main reason we start with a suitable original… and then, we work extremely hard to make it as good as new, or better! First, each page is photographed using a Kodak or Eagle high resolution camera. Once all of the manual’s individual page photos are done, they are run through incredibly powerful software to enhance the text, images and page layout quality page by page. Dedicated team members check the quality of the software going through each page. Careful attention is paid to make sure the images and visual tools look their best. Grease spots, “helpful” notes and other “aftermarket additions” are removed/cleaned. Our procedures extend WAY beyond the industry method of merely scanning and printing. It’s what makes our printed Detroit Iron Shop Manuals and Detroit Iron Parts Manuals the finest available. As the insides of the manuals are undergoing their extensive beautification, our graphic artists are hard at work creating magnificent, unsullied covers based on the original’s exact artwork. Another important choice in the pursuit of delivering a superior product is the use of high-end paper for the pages, regardless of what was found in the factory original. Just like with paper towels and toilet paper, there’s a big difference in quality.
How do we know we’re hitting the mark? We’re thrilled to receive a huge number of positive reviews regarding the quality of our printed products. Customers routinely comment about the clarity of our images and illustrations, as well as the legibility of our text. We dare anyone to compare the Detroit Iron Ford Model T service manual to our competitors' versions. The Detroit Iron Manual is loaded with exceptional photographs. The other licensed reprints simply do not compare. We appreciate the customer feedback acknowledging Detroit Iron has achieved success with regards to offering a product free of bad printing, bad covers, horrible photographs, low quality materials and other unfortunate characteristics which have been so prevalent in the automotive literature reproduction industry over the years.
Above:Detroit Iron Versus Competitor Print Quality Comparison
Detroit Iron OEM Shop Manuals – Chassis
Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) factory shop / service manuals provide comprehensive mechanical instructions along with detailed diagrams, photos and specifications for the mechanical components of your vehicle such as the engine, transmission, suspension, brakes, and drive line. Wiring diagrams are often included in Chrysler and GM service manuals.
What’s the difference between an aftermarket manual and an OEM reproduction Detroit Iron Repair Manual? Short answer: A lot! Longer answer: Let’s take a look. I happen to have a copy of the Haynes manual which covers Chevrolet & GMC pick-ups. This particular manual covers all models from 1988 thru 1998 as well as C/K Classic 2WD and 4WD from 1999 thru 2000. That’s quite a few years covered in just one book. The Haynes manual contains 304 pages. By contrast, the Detroit Iron Repair Manual for the Chevrolet C/K truck for the 1998 model year ONLY is an eight- volume set with approximately 7,000 pages! That’s not an apples-to-apples comparison. It’s barely a grape to a watermelon comparison. Let’s say you wanted to specifically look up information on the manual transmission. Haynes gives you less than three pages, while the Detroit Iron resource provides 24 pages. Not a bold enough comparison? Okay. How about the automatic transmission? Haynes gives you six pages. The Detroit Iron reprint houses 498 pages for that section!
Above:1998 Chevy GMC C/K Detroit Iron OEM VS. 1988-2000 Chevy GMC Haynes - Service Information Comparison
The OEM prepared manuals offer the most maintenance and repair information you’ll find regarding your vehicle. Remember, they were written by the company which built the vehicle, and were designed for use by their professional dealer mechanics. While they are typically more expensive than aftermarket manuals, you unquestionably get what you pay for. Not only the sheer amount of information, but the level of detail and quality provided. They’re invaluable resources for having the information you’ll need to get the jobs done accurately, completely and efficiently.
Detroit Iron OEM Body Shop Manuals and Parts Catalogs
In addition to the exceptional shop and service manuals, we offer a large number of Detroit Iron Body Shop manuals and Detroit Iron Parts Catalogs. Just like the service guides, these are superior reproductions of the factory originals. Let’s look at what you’ll find with each. An OEM Body Shop Manual provides comprehensive instructions thoughtfully paired with detailed diagrams, photos and specifications relating to the body components of your vehicle such as the sheet metal, headlining, windows, interior and doors. The body manual contains vast amounts of material not found in other books. How about the Detroit Iron Parts manuals? You’ll be pleased to find that these Parts Catalogs are exact reproductions of the ones which were used by the dealership part’s departments back when the vehicles were brand new. They also contain information NOT found in the main service and shop manuals. Providing much more than part numbers (though original factory part numbers are often retained and used by parts manufacturers), they are excellent additions to your automotive library and incredibly useful for repair, restore and rebuild projects. These catalogs often contain numerous outstanding exploded views of components and first-rate illustrations and/or photographs. They’re definitely excellent tools to use for identifying interchange options for parts and fasteners. By knowing which OTHER years and models carried your same parts, your search for replacements becomes much easier (online, at swap meets and salvage yards). Don’t forget that SHOP manuals assume you already have all of the parts and that they are correct. PARTS manuals will help you determine if anything is missing, or doesn’t belong!
Detroit Iron Print Product Future
Detroit Iron Publishing will continue to add Ford, GM and Chrysler manuals. In addition, we’re working to obtain supplementary licenses to enable us to print other auto, tractor and motorcycle manufacturers.
Detroit Iron Distributors
Detroit Iron Publishing works with distributors. Some of them are full-service parts stores; others are restoration shops and some are literature retailers. We’re ALWAYS looking to work with additional distributors. Please email us at: [email protected] to setup an account.