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The book browser: what should you read when you've finished this month's Cars & Parts?

The times are changing. In the vintage car hobby, two of the most notable indications of this are the formation of Chrysler "K" car clubs and the AACA now offering inclusion of the first-generation minivan. How to Use Automotive Diagnostic Scanners is an ideal addition to the garage library for those of the plugs-and-points generation looking to move into modern collector cars. It also serves as an ideal manual for the younger set whose idea of a vintage car is a 1983 Monte Carlo. Concise, well-written chapters covering everything from the history of onboard diagnostics to catalytic converters ensure this book is a must-have for anyone wanting to service post-points ignition vehicles. However, it is the appendix--with diagnostic trouble codes, OBD-II automotive terminology, and OBD-I codes--that ensures this book will pay for itself with one use.

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Automotive Wiring and Electrical Systems

The simple and easy-to-understand text reflects the expertise of Tony Candela, an electronics and car-audio specialist with more than 20 years of experience. In addition to this work, he also writes training and application materials for automotive electronic systems and conducts training seminars. Explained in detail are the very foundations of electronic systems from Ohm's Law to voltage, amperage, and resistance. Likewise with tools and equipment, adding new circuits, wiring harness repair and installation, and adding modern accessories to earlier model automobiles. Enhancing the informative text are detailed photos in series. Then there are the detailed schematics that ensure all bases are covered. Add a cooling fan or power windows, install a complete harness or repair an existing one, or add a stereo system or period-correct accessories and do it with confidence. With this book as your guide, assembling, designing, and troubleshooting electrical systems is no longer an intimidating task.

Okay. When crossing the railroad tracks on the way home, the front fender falls off your new project. This is time for sheet metal fabrication. With Sheet Metal Fabrication as your guide, complex tasks such as forming compound curves and building forms becomes an easy-to-understood task, provided you understand the basics of body repair. However, though the subtitle states that this book is for beginners as well as pros, this is not actually the case. Specifically, many of the tools required for most projects detailed in this book are far beyond the average hobbyist's garage. Even with a detailed chapter on choosing and using tools, this book is at least two steps above the novice. If you would like to move beyond fill-and-sand or would like to be able to talk with the folks at your local body shop in a more knowledgeable manner, this book is for you.

Car Care For Car Guys

At its core, this book is for those eager to work on their cars, but a lack of knowledge or experience has them intimidated. From that perspective, this is a first-rate book with one caveat. There is little here for the enthusiast working on a pre-1975 vehicle. Many of the topics such as disc-brake repair, diagnosing trouble codes, and servicing sensors such as mass airflow and oxygen are not applicable to cars sporting a plugs-and-points ignition system. Still, the informative, concise, and professionally written text that reflects the author's expertise, as well as detailed photos in series, make this an excellent addition to the garage library. This is especially true for those who wish to maintain their later-model driver or the new generation of collector cars. As the press release says, this book is "the thinking man or woman's car care guide ..."

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How to Digitally Photograph Cars

Wow! If you have the remotest interest in photographing vehicles for fun, profit, or just to document your progress in resurrecting an old heap, this book is for you. How to choose the right equipment, check. Explaining megapixels, ISO, aperture, and filters, check. Photocomposition, time, weather considerations, lighting, white balance, check. Action photography, check. Processing from PhotoShop to editing RAW files, check. Selling and protecting your work, check. This book is far more than a mere introductory course in automotive photography. It is a complete step-by-step guide to capturing the automobile in exacting detail from engine bays to action shots. Hats off to Jason Siu (former West Coast editor of Modified Magazine and co-founder of www.tunerzine.com) and Josh Mackey (a freelance photographer with a lengthy list of cover shots to his credit and creative manager at Dynamic Events, Inc.) for a job well done.

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Muscle Car Interior Restoration Guide

Even though this book focuses on the intricacies and specifics of musclecar interiors, many of the techniques and processes can be utilized for adding that new-car smell to a wide array of vehicles manufactured from the late 1960s through the early 1980s. Covered in this one volume is every aspect, from steering wheel to dashboard restoration, in exhausting detail with concise text and excellent photography. Upholstery replacement, convertible top repair, and even firewall padding are addressed. Adding to the depth of coverage are sections on electrical system restoration and glass repair. For the hobbyist who wants the pride of completing a restoration in its entirety, this book is a necessity. Likewise for the collector who simply wants to cruise in complete 1970s comfort and style. If investment is your motivation, then this book will pay for itself with the correct installation of an eight-track tape player.

Hinckley, Jim