Tip #8: The 1-Page Service Manual
Oops, 2 days late… What a hangover!
Wrench time is for working, not for reading. Nothing breaks your mechanical rhythm like wasting 10 infuriating minutes searching through an 800-page service manual for each toruqe spec as you try to reassemble an entire engine. Service manuals are usually organized (if they're organized at all) by job, not by part, which is why the torque specs for two adjacent bolts are inevitably in diagrams hundreds of pages apart.
If you've got the attenition deficit disorder like me, by the time you find the torque spec, you will have forgotten – hey look a rabbit!
Here's what you do: Dig through your manual for all the diagrams that cover the part of the car you're planning to work on, make copies of them, grab some scissors (no running!) and cut them all out. Now trim them down so you have each relevant torque spec covered somewhere on some diagram, then grab the paste and arrange them on a page.
Make several copies of your new 1-page manual so you can grease one up without having to go through this whole ordeal again. Do it right and you can fit an enire SR20 rebuild on the front and back of a single sheet of paper. The Picture above is every toruqe spec on a Mazdaspeed3 suspension. Front on one side, rear on the other.
Got any tips of your own? email them to firstname.lastname@example.org!