If you can get them, nothing beats the factory service manual. That being said, you probably won't find one from ford, as even the dealers probably don't have them on their reference library shelves anymore. The next best thing I have found is Mitchell on Demand, which is an internet based library, but then there is a monthly subscription fee. So to have one in hand, and not have to pay dearly for the use, I would recomend Chilton. Have used them and Motors for years, when working at home on other than fords.
i have the haynes, chilton's and the 1979 ford engine manual. the ford one is by far the best. i wish i had the whole set. out of the other two, i'd say the chilton's is a little bit better as far as the depth of information goes.
I've never used the Clymer books before. but between Haynes & Chiltons. I'd give it to Haynes. Chiltons seems to be always missing things. In the past 25 years I've been buying these books. Only once did Chiltons have something in their book that Haynes didn't.. For me It's usually Haynes has the info & not Chiltons..
the chilton i have just for the fairmont, is thicker than the older book i have that covers ALL american cars from 72-79... it have Vac diagrams, Electrical Diagrams, and lots of interesting information, like exactly how an emissions system works... haynes is ok for starters, and a reference point, but other than that, they're kinda useless....
In a well organized shop, you will have a reference library that is controlled by either the service manager or the parts department. The dealership that I worked at prior to this one, I started in 82. Was the shop foreman there for 19 years and controlled not only the reference library (which I organized) but also the special service tools. We had books that went back into the 50s and tools from the 60s. The problem with both of the items in a dealership is that sooner or later you will have a bad apple that decides he needs this stuff worse than the dealer does. I have also organized the same here, when I started in 2001, but most of their older books were already gone.
The CD version is a new version of the shop manuals and has all the updated information as to the time of the disc manufacture. So, they are a little more accurate than the shop manual. You just have to do an install when you get them, but there is an install wizard with them .
I've got a Haynes myself,of witch is about as good as John Wayne t.p..
It'll get you through some tough crap but not all of it.
It's vague in some cases, and is quick to refer you to your dealer.o
While youtube can be sometimes helpful to me, the 1st chance I get I'm buying a Chiltons.:thumbsup: