Monday, 05 March 2012 11:31

Manuals; Do YOU Really Need Them?

The prudent answer is YES  and absolutely !

At the same time you pick up a screwdriver or wrench and get ready to  perform some work on your trusty Rotax engine, be it a 2 or 4 stroke, you should also be reaching for your engine manual. Let’s face it a manual is as important as your wrench. Your neighbor is not a walking Wikipedia and won’t always provide the correct advice or at least perhaps not in correct sequence.

Even if you think you know, or remember what to do, something unexpected always comes up. What to torque a bolt or nut is a good example. You may need the Line Maintenance manual, the Heavy Maintenance manual or the Parts manual. Another good manual application would be to check if you are required to have a space between certain parts and if so how much space.

This list can go on forever. All smart mechanics and owners will know that the path to easier maintenance and successful engine ownership requires manuals for reference. Even if you are screwdriver challenged and never intend to touch your own engine reading up on the particulars of your engine will help your and the mechanic and you may be able to keep them on a correct path. If your mechanic doesn’t have your engine manuals then have him print them out or you can give him a set for his birthday.

You should source and have on hand all the manuals that apply to your engine. For example the Rotax 912 series engine has 5 manuals that apply to your everyday needs and will answer just about any question that may come up pertaining to that engine.

Many questions right here on the forum can have an answer ascertained from these manuals in a few minutes. I do agree that sometimes there could be a little more information provided or maybe just a little better explanation, but the manuals are an absolute must. The reason you need them all is because information may not be in the book you are using on a specific task. An example of this is the torque settings on many nuts or bolts for a special application. It may have a special torque value that is not the same as another nut or bolt found somewhere else on the engine of the same size. You can buy these manuals or you can print them out right here on the Rotax-Owners Forum.

Purchase a three ring binder and crank up your printer. While you’re at it make sure to print any Service Bulletins, Alerts or Service Information that pertains to your particular engine and keep them on hand as well.  I use the manuals all the time in the shop. You just can’t remember everything, besides you need to know when your neighbor’s advice was wrong. These manuals are your Bible, encyclopedia and teacher. You need them to make life easier for yourself and your engine. Follow them and the inspection periods and maintenance schedules will stand a good chance of not having any major issues.

I do realize that engines are mechanical things and do fail so this is another reason the keep your manuals on hand. All engines need maintenance for proper functioning and neglected engines will usually cause the engine owner grief of some sort sooner or later.

Don’t wait for a problem to arise. Read through each manual or table of contents and get some idea of where things are, and read up on how to accomplish a simple procedure. The night before you are going to perform some specific task is a good time to flip open the manual and read up on the procedure.

I know this isn’t a technical article, but I get questions everyday about fairly simple things that are already in the appropriate engine manual. Don’t get me wrong I really don’t mind the calls and I enjoy talking to people from all over the world, but if I can get them to pull up the manual and then point them in the right direction chances are better they will get it right and the next time they will have it right at their fingertips be better equipped to deal with many issues right on the spot… all at home… with that trusty manual.

Manuals:  http://www.rotax-owner.com/support/engine-manuals

Service Bulletins:  http://www.rotax-owner.com/information/service-bulletins


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