Nashco
Posts: 537
Joined: Wed May 29, 2013 12:00 am
Location: Portland, OR

Official Spark EV service manual

Mon Nov 03, 2014 11:19 pm

The official 2014 Spark EV service manual is now available for us common folk to purchase. If you're interested in getting a copy, it's Helm item number GMP14SEV and it's currently only available in paper form. I ordered mine at http://www.helminc.com and received it in less than a week.

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It's not a light read! I plan to bring mine to Kinko's, have the binding removed, scan it into PDF format, and make a text searchable file out of it. I've done this in the past and it is well worth the few hours extra for tinkerers like me to save time in the long run and have a digital file instead of lugging books around. If anybody is interested in a good method to do the same digitizing with your manuals, let me know. Also, please don't ask, of course I won't be sharing my PDFs! Aside from obvious legal reasons, I also want Helm to sell every copy imaginable to make up for the hassle of GM and Helm making this book available for such a low volume car!

Bryce

aviatorjames
Posts: 55
Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2014 6:17 pm
Location: Moss Beach, California

Re: Official Spark EV service manual

Sun Dec 28, 2014 9:33 am

Curious what you think of the manual set...
Does it seem to have a comprehensive fault diagnostic / troubleshooting system?
" ...someday's it's not even worth chewing through the restraints... "

Nashco
Posts: 537
Joined: Wed May 29, 2013 12:00 am
Location: Portland, OR

Re: Official Spark EV service manual

Sun Dec 28, 2014 10:25 am

The books are very complete. This is the same information the dealership uses, so it has to be!

Bryce

Pawl
Posts: 118
Joined: Sun Dec 07, 2014 8:46 pm

Re: Official Spark EV service manual

Sun Dec 28, 2014 6:46 pm

By right the 2015 manual should be easier to produce—much easier—so do you think it will be published sooner than later?

aviatorjames
Posts: 55
Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2014 6:17 pm
Location: Moss Beach, California

Re: Official Spark EV service manual

Mon Dec 29, 2014 9:07 am

Pawl wrote:By right the 2015 manual should be easier to produce—much easier—so do you think it will be published sooner than later?
2/9/15
" ...someday's it's not even worth chewing through the restraints... "

Nashco
Posts: 537
Joined: Wed May 29, 2013 12:00 am
Location: Portland, OR

Re: Official Spark EV service manual

Wed Dec 31, 2014 9:25 pm

To be more specific, I scanned the papers into PDFs today and it's almost 3,500 pages; a significant chunk is dedicated to the EV specific parts (motor, transmission, battery, HVAC, wiring, diagnostics, etc.). This isn't just quantity, either...the quality is quite high as well. To reiterate, it's quite complete service information!

Bryce

aviatorjames
Posts: 55
Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2014 6:17 pm
Location: Moss Beach, California

Re: Official Spark EV service manual

Thu Jan 01, 2015 10:11 am

Good to hear that it's a very thorough manual set!
I will be buying the 2015 service manual when it's available next month.

Curious about the scanning? ...heck of a scan!
It doesn't look like it's loose-leaf?
( I prefer paper manuals )
Was the 2014 not available in digital format?

Thanks for the review!
" ...someday's it's not even worth chewing through the restraints... "

Nashco
Posts: 537
Joined: Wed May 29, 2013 12:00 am
Location: Portland, OR

Re: Official Spark EV service manual

Thu Jan 08, 2015 9:40 am

Final update on converting my paper manuals to PDF. Here's how I did it and what I ended up with:

1. Buy your manuals.
2. Have your local document services store remove the spine of the book. I went to the FedEx Office (aka Kinko's). This will cost from $10 to $30.
3. Scan the documents into .pdf. Most modern office copy machines can do this automatically with the normal front/back scanning top loader. In my case, the machine I used was limited to 15 mb files, so I split the documents into their respective sections. I scanned them at 200 dpi, which seemed to have good enough quality to get 99.9% of the details with acceptable file size. This took me about three hours due to the limitations of the machine I used.
4. Once scanning is complete, take the manuals back to your document service company and have them "drilled" (3 hole punch) if you'd like to store them in binders on your bookshelf. This will cost from $5 to $20.
5. Download a program that has "OCR" (optical character recognition) functionality. I used this free one and was very pleased: PDF-Xchange Editor
6. Perform the OCR function and save the files. This process can take several hours of machine time, but only takes seconds of human time to start and let it run in the background.

Let my experience be a lesson. I drilled the documents before scanning and wished I hadn't. I started at 300 dpi on the scans, but the file sizes were pretty large and I found it wasn't necessary. It took longer to scan the documents than I thought it would...might be worth seeing if your document service provider can scan the documents to .pdf for a reasonable price if your time is valuable.

Obviously, this works for ANY paper documentation that might be valuable to have in more than just a pile of paperwork (ie. irreplaceable, frequently used, or fragile documents). I find it to be a huge time saver if I'm looking for something specific because I can search the entire document for a keyword and find where that item is in thousands of pages in a matter of seconds instead of hours. I can also take screen shots or copy/paste text if necessary. It's very handy, and well worth the extra $30 and few hours I invested into it. I sure wish GM/Helm would have provided it electronically from the start!

In the end, the files add up to about 140 mb. As mentioned above, it's about 3,500 pages for these manuals.

Bryce

solder
Posts: 94
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2015 12:16 pm
Location: 2015 Spark EV, NorCal

Re: Official Spark EV service manual

Sat Jan 10, 2015 12:34 pm

I went through a similar exercise, but I used an online book scanning service (1dollarscan); the big downside is that you don't get to keep the loose paper after they're done (they destroy them, I suspect for copyright reasons). I ended up doing 300dpi, and then spent far more time than was really called for playing around with the PDF optimization options in Adobe Acrobat Pro (free trial). I was able to get them down to about 80MB total.

Say, do you (or anyone else who has bought these manuals) have a lot of printing errors in your copy? I have smears on many even-numbered pages -- very noticeable if you view the PDF in 2-page mode and page down through the entire document.

For example, p1-22, all the way to the right:
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p1-80, same place:
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aviatorjames
Posts: 55
Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2014 6:17 pm
Location: Moss Beach, California

Re: Official Spark EV service manual

Sun Jan 11, 2015 11:41 am

Good information...thanks Bryce...

I like the idea of having the binding removed and three-hole drilled...
Service Manuals need to lay flat!!
" ...someday's it's not even worth chewing through the restraints... "

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