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DIY: Do It Yourself
Post here to share or improve your wrench turning skills! All BMW E46 DIY tips, tales, and projects discussed inside. Learn to work on your car and know the right BMW parts you will need!

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Old 11-26-2015, 09:33 AM   #1
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Bentley Manual Review?

Has anyone seen a review of the Bentley Manual any where? There's only one review on Amazon and it was terrible. I was surprised by that, but it was only one.

I have a Bentley for my '69 Westfalia and use it all the time. On the VW forum we typically tell all newcomers to buy the Bentley before they get anything else.

The E46 Bentley is pretty expensive so I'm wondering if it's worth it. With this forum and YouTube it may not even be necessary.

After a search on this forum I've seen some references to the Bentley but not any praise for it. And with that one bad Amazon review it seems weird. Just looking for some feedback before I ask for one for Christmas.

'72 BMW 2002 (RIP)
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a couple of old Beetles (sold)
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Old 11-26-2015, 08:53 PM   #2
John in VA
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Originally Posted by ultralite View Post
The E46 Bentley is pretty expensive so I'm wondering if it's worth it. With this forum and YouTube it may not even be necessary.
A sentiment repeated here often. It's nice to have the manual, but you can do without this one.
John in VA
'13 328i xDrive
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Old 11-27-2015, 08:31 AM   #3
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Try eBay for a used Bentley manual. Do not waste your money on a Haynes manual. They suck. I have a Bentley manual and it's been well worth the $ I paid for it in 2000.
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Old 11-28-2015, 05:59 PM   #4
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+1 on the Bentley, as others have said, and avoid Haynes. Depending on the repairs you’re looking to tackle, the DIYs here and on other forums may be all that you need.

I tend to use the Bentley for referencing torque specs more than anything, and if you search around, the PDF can easily be found online for free. Handy to have when searching for specific words/phrases.

DIYs help you save money with repairs; let www.bmwpnpc.com help you save money with the parts.
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Old 11-28-2015, 06:17 PM   #5
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I've got Bentley manuals for both E36 and E46, even though I no longer have the E36. While the forums provide a lot of good "how to" videos and instruction, I don't trust them when it comes to torque specs and other critical information. If I had to choose between the interweb forums and Bentley, I'd choose Bentley.

They seem to be running at $90 - $100 right now, which is more than I paid for mine, but it's still worth it, imho.
“The test of the machine is the satisfaction it gives you. There isn't any other test. If the machine produces tranquility it's right. If it disturbs you it's wrong until either the machine or your mind is changed.”

Originally Posted by Mike Miller
I just don't know what I'd do with 560 hp that doesn't involve getting arrested.
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Old 11-29-2015, 05:39 PM   #6
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I use the Bentley manual as my first read for most projects. It's good, but not perfect. I augment that with DIY's, many of which are quite good. As others mentioned, save your money on Haynes.
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Old 11-30-2015, 10:39 AM   #7
The Snake
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The only major issue I've found with its instructions is on detentioning the belt to replace the water pump. It tells you to turn a hex bolt to the right, and doing so snaps it and ruins the hydraulic tensioner. The real location to tighten is lower than the book suggests

"If you aren't driving a stick shift BMW, you're just steering"
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Old 12-18-2015, 04:21 PM   #8
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I would recommend the Bentley manual for all E46 owners. It's not perfect, but still contains a lot of useful information including torque specs. Supplement this with forums and videos and you can repair almost anything on this car. It's a great read just to learn more about the systems in the car too.
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