I have an 88 YJ with the straight 6 cylinder. I am needing to replace the water pump and all of the valve cover gasket and anything else that would cause oil leaks. What is everyones preferance as far as manuals to help me do this. I am not particularly a car repair guy but am mechanically inclined as I am a skilled machinist. Would like to hear your opinion on manuals to purchase.
For doing maintenance and basic repairs like you are tackling then a Haynes or Chiltons is OK. Usually about $15-$20 a copy.
If you get into more involved work then a Factory Service Manual (FSM) may be called for.
__________________ Baystate Jeepers Deep Woods Extreme New England 4 Wheelers
At the very least get the Haynes, as people will correctly tell you they are not great, but have enough detail (organized for a non mechanic) to cover jobs like you describe. The factory service manual is far and away more detailed (but it also assumes you are a proficient mechanic, so it does not explain much to a person just starting out).
BTW Haynes also has manuals hard to find elsewhere:
Either one is fine, they are basically the same book. I have a Chilton for my Jeep and a Haynes for my Miata, you can't tell them apart once you open the cover.
Do yourself one favor though, and find the older version that covers 1987-1995 Wrangler/YJ. The newer books have 1987-2011 Jeep wranglers and you end up having to read through 12 different sets of instructions to figure out what is going on.
Not that anyone here knows Miata, but I had a book that covered 1990-2011 Miata (3 different body styles) and it was a nightmare trying to find what I needed. I ended up finding a friend with a 1990-1997 (same body style) book and traded him, now it is much better.
The generic manuals are ok for finding out how many quarts of oil you need but that's about it; they cover too many years. For example the Chilton and hayes show a picture of the torque sequence for the exhaust manifold without mentioning that it's for the 4.0 and the 4.2 is different. There are also huge differences in the wiring diagrams from the older to newer models but the distinction is seldom pointed out.
I have the Haynes, and it has paid for itself. For general stuff it is more convenient that the FSM, which I also have. For example if you just want to know how to remove the heater box, the Haynes will put the info at your fingertips a lot faster than the FSM.
But as mentioned, the current Haynes covers far too many model years. If you can find an old used copy of the Haynes for just the YJ, snap that up. I've never seen one, but it should have less useless stuff to wade through.
Dodge did not build my Jeep.
1988 Wrangler,4.2L I-6, Howell EFI JP-1,GM HEI Ign, 5 Speed Peugeot, Zone 2.5" lift + 1/2" booms, BFG 31 x 10.5, Bestop.