Ford Motor Company has begun rolling out new-and-improved workshop manuals, including more sections for collision repair procedures, new 3D graphics and the addition of a feature that allows repairers to view two procedures at the same time.
The enhanced treatment of collision repair procedures means the old body repair section (501-35) has been expanded to seven sections covering the following specific areas: body repairs (general and vehicle-specific information); front-end sheet metal repairs; roof sheet metal repairs; side-panel sheet metal repairs; rear-end sheet metal repairs; and paint (general information).
Along with the new collision sections, the standard graphic line-art has been replaced with advanced 3D renderings, giving repairers a far superior look at important vehicle details. A new "window-within-a-window" feature has been added as well, letting repairers view two separate but related procedures simultaneously. This also allows for direct links to the applicable wiring diagram cell or connector location when performing pinpoint tests.
Gerry Bonanni, Ford’s senior damageability engineer, has long advocated the need to research the repair procedure before any work is done, and believes the revamped manuals can help that process.
"As more and more advanced materials and metals are used in vehicle construction, researching the repair will only grow in importance, and we think these improvements will allow repairers to do a more thorough job," says Bonanni.
Additional enhancements include a new service information section with safety warnings, a symbols glossary, diagnostic methods and explanations of the various colors used in the graphics and illustrations throughout the manuals, and better indexing than previous versions.
The redesigned format is being used on manuals worldwide as part of an effort to globalize Ford’s official repair procedures and information. So far, the new manuals have been released for the following vehicles:
2013 C-MAX / C-MAX Energi Plug-in Hybrid
2013 Fusion / Fusion Hybrid
2013 Focus / Focus Electric
2013 Lincoln MKZ / MKZ Hybrid
Manuals for the upcoming 2014 Escape, Transit and Transit Connect will also employ the new format and features, while those for all other vehicles will be updated as the vehicles undergo significant revisions.