I recently had the opportunity to spend some time with the new Bentley Publishers Porsche 911 (Type 993) Carrera Service Manual for “last of the air-cooled” 1995-1998 cars. As a shop owner, I know how expensive and difficult it can be to assemble and use meaningful technical resources to work on or properly maintain these cars. The original Porsche manuals (now out of print) literally cost more than a thousand dollars when you could obtain legitimate copies; and most of the “bootleg” versions I have looked at on the internet are incomplete, often missing entire sections as well as any of the supplements and corrections that Porsche once issued to the set owners, not to mention the intellectual property issues associated with these questionable versions.
The 6 ½ lb. Bentley 993 manual is a well-organized and easily searchable hard bound volume that is extensively illustrated with many photos, most in color, as well as diagrams where appropriate. It contains sections covering just about any service item, including multiple sections covering engine disassembly and re assembly, something that is sorely missing from even the later factory manuals for the 986/996 water cooled cars. It carries a full set of factory wiring diagrams, as well as over 60 pages on individual OBD II fault codes and their explanations.
Is it perfect? No. As with all Porsche related service manuals, it assumes that the user has a modicum of both technical and mechanical skills, plus access to a good tool set that includes some of Porsche specialty tooling. The OBD section, while very comprehensive, lacks the decision tree layout of the factory manuals that provide even a novice with a “do this first, then this, then that” approach to diagnostics. But the OBD section is logically organized enough to help find the cause for the codes. There is one minor typo correction noted at review time (concerning how to check the oil level), but as with all Bentley manuals, each copy has an individual code number inside the back cover that allows the owner to register it online so that they will receive future updates as these are found and identified, and this error already has been corrected. This is something you would not be getting with bootlegged information.
At less than $150, it is an excellent addition to the technical library of any shop or car owner that will be working on these models.