A combo of the Haynes and Chiltons for starters, but you do need patience and some basic understanding of cars and tools. You can't tighten every bolt to 300lbs you just get a feel for what's tight and what's not tight enough. Use a torque wrench on the engine and safety related parts. Learn the tricks for removing rusted bolts without breaking them. The right tools and some improvisation at times are a must. I've been so pissed that I've thrown wrenches and 2 x 4's at a car, now I just stand back, take a break and tackle it again (unless I really don't care about the car).
I have a son that has over $20,000 invested in a 2001 Neon, he has no patience, thinks everything should be easy and wants to use air tools on everything. Needless to say, he's always breaking shit, costing himself more money and something is always wrong with his car.
Sure the manuals may leave out some steps but usually they're steps that are obvious. Forums like these are your best bet if you get a detailed reply from someone who's done it. I've done every car repair for 35 years on my own just by reading and hands-on. Now we have the internet...makes it one hell of a lot easier.
Someone mentioned AllData, that's a decent program but it does cost.
P.S. If your friend's a mechanic what's he need a Haynes manual for?
Last edited by 311; 07-31-2009 at 03:48 AM.