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Haynes manuals are a UK institution, and there’s no doubt that they’ve saved many car owners a lot of money and time by explaining how to do routine — and more challenging — repair and maintenance jobs.
The only problem I have with these guides is that they sometimes make things seem a little too easy, and tempt you to bite off a little more than you can chew. Speaking from personal experience, it’s embarrassing to have to ask for professional help to complete something you confidently told your wife was “just a simple DIY job — it’s all in the manual”.
Take the Haynes Volkswagen Bay Transporter Restoration Manual, for example.
This new guide does exactly what it promises — it provides a step-by-step guide to buying and restoring a ‘Bay’ — the classic second generation VW campervan. It’s actually a terrific book, well written, well illustrated and with copious amounts of useful information — from a man who has done it all before, many times.
But there’s the crux — early in the book, author Fletcher Gillett describes how his first restoration project ended up taking two years, rather than the three months he naively planned for. He now runs a business restoring VW vans, so it’s clear that the learning curve is steep, but manageable — but you will need time, patience, a certain amount of practical skill, and a decent selection of tools.
If you’ve got all that, and are looking for the nitty-gritty detail that will help you do the job right, without having to work everything out from scratch, then this is a great manual. It takes you right through the restoration process, and even includes a guide to buying a van.
Just don’t tell your wife that it’s “simply a question of following the instructions”…
Buy this guide from the Haynes website or on Amazon (Amazon⇒)
Title: Volkswagen Bay Transporter Restoration Manual