Chilton's Foreign Car Repair Manual Vol. II

Book Info:

Chilton's Foreign Car Repair Manual Vol. II, ©1972 The Chilton Book Company, 401 Walnut St., Philadelphia, Pa

ISBN 0-8019-5637-4

If you have a spridget made for the North American market, 1971 or earlier, this is not a bad manual to use. Unlike the Bentley, Clymer, or Haynes manuals it focuses on cars for the North American market which can make it easier to find some relevant information. This book was obviously not intended for the home mechanic as it is 8.5"x11", 1531 pages long, and the second of three volumes. The size of it allowed a bit more detail to be included than the later 1979 MG manual, and it also includes information on Sprites in an Austin-Healey section.
Curiously, some important information, like valve seat machining dimensions, valve specification, windshield wipers,, and piston and ring specifications are either omitted from or much less detailed in the Austin Healey section, so one should look to the MG section for some information if you have a sprite. Also some spridget info was omitted from the MG section that was included in the Austin Healey section (a section on Radios for example) . Perhaps strangest of all, is a "special tuning" section in the MG part of the book. It's just one paragraph that instructs you to contact British Leyland for info on special tuning parts and information.
While it's not exactly helpful to have nearly 1,000 pages of repair information on contemporary vehicles, it is interesting to see what other cars were around when the spridgets were new. Better still is a Datsun section that details how a 5-speed transmission is serviced (possibly the predecessor of the one used in 5-speed conversions these days). While i certainly wouldn't recommend using this manual to rebuild your 1978-1981 Datsun 210 5 speed gearbox, it can help you become familiar with what's involved.
I like it better than the later 1979 MG repair manual, but it's not for you if you have a 1500cc car. The sheer size of this book makes it impractical for the hobbyist so I don't recommend buying it, but if your library has it and you're just starting out with an early spridget, this is not a bad book to check out of the library. Still, you're probably better off with the bentley manual or a Haynes manual.

©Seth Jones 6/7/2011