Do any service manuals exist?

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    After looking long and far for anyone with a reprint of a service manual for the 31 Model 43 I’m now wondering if they exist. Does anyone know what is available to learn about and work on them?


    You can try the library link to the left. It may have what you’re looking for.


    No service manuals were ever made. Parts list catalogs can sometimes be helpful. That’s half the fun of a Pierce. You have to figure it out yourself. This board is better than anything that ever has been published. Any question or problem is always cheerfully answered by many members. Ed


    Mark — Just curious. Are you new to old cars or is this just your first Pierce and you’ve owned a variety of other Pre-War cars most of your life?

    There’s a lot of fundamental “need to do / need to know” stuff when acquiring a car like yours and getting it on the road for the first time.

    Ask lots of questions here. No such thing as a stupid question, and chances are someone else will benefit as well.


    I find that the Care and Operation manual on your model car has a lot of information that will help you greatly. Maybe there is 1 on your car in the PAS library.


    Hello Mark. Welcome to the PAS.

    As Ed stated above, there were no service manuals written. The factory sent out Service Bulletins regarding and factory known issues and the ‘official’ repair of same. This is where our ‘Service Bulletins’ come from. About 1/2 or more of the Service bulletins are reprints of Pierce Arrow Factory bulletins.

    There were illustrated Parts manuals published, I have heard ‘rumors’ that there was one published for the 1931 year, but the latest one I have is a 1930 version. There are only a few differences between ’30 and ’31. One being a ’31 Model 43 has a direct gear-to-gear driven camshaft. All other 8 cylinder Pierce engines had chain-driven camshafts.

    The closest to a service manual will be the oldest printing of ‘Motors Factory Shop Manual’. This publication by the Hearst publishing company covers most cars in production at the time of printing, and goes back about 4-5 years. I have a 1941 edition in front of me, it is a ‘Fifth Edition’, First Printing, copyright 1940.

    This ‘manual’ offers a mere 6 pages of specifications, and techniques for Pierce Arrows starting with 1935. And of course the few 1938 cars were the last produced.

    I have a ‘Fourth Edition’ that has some information on the 1932 and later cars. But that is the oldest version I have ever found.. I wonder if there really was a First Edition, Second Edition and Third Edition? There were often many printings of certain versions.

    I’ve always wanted to find an early edition and see if there is any info on say, ’27-’30 cars.

    As Ed mentioned, asking questions on this message forum will get you many answers from experienced Pierce owners and owner/restorers. Personally I find actual, hands-on information much better than something written by a editor/publisher.

    If you do not have a copy of the Automobile Quarterly publication 28-4, it was the only AQ published on a single Marque. There is a lot of information available in this illustrated book. I have several that I offer for sale, just email me if you want one.

    Another great way to learn and experience the Pierce Arrow Society is to attend local/regional events [a few ] or come to the Annual Meets. [shameless plug] : This year’s meet is in NE Indiana, June 11-15th. Located in Indiana’s Pokagon State Park, which has a wonderful resort hotel: The Potawatomi Inn.

    At Annual meets, you will get to see a selection of Pierce Arrow cars, trucks, bicycles, and talk with their owners. I’m sure there will be a Model 43 or two in attendance.

    You can reach me best via email:

    Hope this helps.. and hope to meet you in Indiana this summer !!

    Greg Long


    Thank you Ed, seems like you’re the quickest with a helping hand every time I ask!

    Like, 90% of my antique car experience is with Fords, I have also had a 24 Studebaker, a 23 Bay State (Long story there, pun intended) and worked on several other orphans over the years. I learned a lot from my father who was into anything with wheels.

    I planned on getting the CD of the bulletins but prefer a book that I can flip thru.

    I appreciate your reply Greg, once I get to see my “new” car I will have a better idea of what I will need to know.


    It may have been said, contact the AACA Library in Hershey and they can copy the parts book for you.


    Order a “Wiring & Tune-Up Guide” covering 1913 to 1938 from the “Company Store” on the website. I also fill orders from the “Back Issues” section, but am presently out of stock for the Guide.

    Dave Stevens



    All of the above suggestions are good. Your idea of buying the PASB Disk is also good. It has all of the PAS service bulletins going back to the sixties. The latest (2018) PASBs are on the website for download. A lot of information on the disk, some factory service letters, some from knowledgeable PAS members (including some that worked for Pierce) and some Message Board threads. Like you, I prefer printed. I have printed all of the PASBs off the disk that pertain to my car and put them in a binder along with the appropriate section of the “Wiring and Tune up Guide” and the Owner’s Manual(that has a LOT of useful info). The disk is searchable using Adobe Acrobat. The trick to it is using the correct search phrase. Too specific you will get nothing, too general and you will get too many hits. It takes a little practice. This Message Board also has a search feature. The same caveat applies about the search phrase.

    As previously mentioned, your Owner’s Manual is downloadable from the “Library” section on this website. The Parts Book and several sales books are listed and are available from the AACA library. Have fun with the new car.



    Mark. the 1929 OM is the last one with mechanical adjustment information. Anyone with a 1930 or 1931 is well advised to ALSO download a 1929 OM, because most of the info is identical–but your 1931 used a different distributor and a UUR-2 carb rather than a UU-2.


    Mark, welcome to the PAS. I confess to being a first time antique car owner, with limited experience in working on cars, so from that viewpoint I want to stress the resources that this website provides. Whenever a new question comes up with my car, a 1933 1236 EDL, I search the message board for a possible answer, and if no answer comes up, I post a question. You will get a plethora of answers, and in the process get to know a great group of people. One thing I have done is to create a series of folders in my computer, covering the various aspects of my car, and I copy and paste relevant posts covering my car into these folders, so I have them all for ready reference. Based on the information I’ve received over the years, I have been able to do many minor repairs on my car and learn when a repair is major enough to turn over to an expert.

    There are so many things in a Pierce which are unusual that it’s a good idea to ask before doing anything, as a well intentioned repair or service might wind up causing some major damage to your car. For example, I never would have realized that the worm gear drive in my car was bronze and requires specific lubricants. I have run across a lot of guys who “know everything about cars,” yet when listening to what they want to do you discover it is completely contrary to the advice of the experts here.

    Welcome aboard and hope to see you at one of the meets!


    Greg, here is an answer to your question.


    I have the earlier version that runs from 1910 to 1926, and it has all the stuff in it you could imagine……..Knox, Cole, Simplex, if you can name it, it’s in there. Ed


    Period Motors Manuals may be helpful.


    There were a number of published “manuals” in the early days, including Motors Handbooks, Dyke’s Encyclopedia, and Lester Steele, among others. You can also find a lot of information in the SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) transactions. Fred Clymer put out an antique car handbook for cars 1927 and prior. To a lesser degree, the Holland Interchange manuals are helpful.

    None of these were for a specific marque, but all have some value to a point, as many manufacturers used parts from independent manufacturers, like Delco, Bendix, etc.

    There is also a McLure’s Magazine, giving some specs and pricing for cars. The 1917-18 book shows the model 66-A-4 cost as much as $8000 from the factory! In addition to the standard specs, the Pierce also included windshield, speedometer, autometer, clock and demountable rims.


    The earliest MoToR’s (TM) manual I’ve seen (but don’t own) covers about 1931-36. Much more common are the 1935 through (up to) 1953. The most comprehensive in terms of systems (ignition, carbs, starters, generators, fuel pumps, etc.) is the 1935-46 edition, almost twice as thick as the 1935-1942 version.

    Ed posted a title page from a National Service Data (NSD) manual. This was an (almost) all-marque subscription service to auto repair shops. When you shop for these on eBay or other places be aware that there were two different versions: (1) ignition and electrical only and (2) ignition & electrical + Other Systems including gearboxes, differentials, steering boxes. The ignition & electrical only seems to be more common, probably because most were likely bought by garages which performed only light work.

    The apparent predecessor (I suspect but can’t prove that the NSD was the successor but can’t find any overlapping publication dates) to the NSD was the Reed Service Manual, which covers ignition and electrical ONLY. Mine covers 1912-1922.

    There is also the RADCO service manual which covers very basic info from about 1925-1930. You may be able to find an electronic version of the RADCO manual online. (RADCO was also a subscription service). The Pierce-Arrow section is only about 8 pages long and covers 1925-1930.

    The NSD and Reed manuals had hard covers with brass posts, and aggregated years (the shop got one set of covers and kept adding annual updates) can be as much as 10 inches thick, which makes them difficult to use and almost impossible to photocopy without disassembling. Moreover, the “search feature” (index) pertains, at most, to only one covered year. Pages are now old and fragile, and some pages may have been torn out over the years.

    The PAS Tech Committee is working on an approximately four-page document with a working title of “How to Get Information on Your Pierce-Arrow” which addresses many of the issues in this thread.


    I agree with Geroge’ Comments 100 percent. I took me twenty five years of looking to locate the 1929 first edition, and it’s the only one I have ever seen. I bought it from a rare book dealer, who commented to me “that’s the rarest automotive service book I have ever sold.” I agreed with him…………National Service Manuel’s from 1935 and later are common, and very good ones should run 150 dollars or less. Go earlier and they get expensive. Most people who only have one car really only need a copy of their one to three pages. The books are heavy and can be hard to use. In the shop I take photos of the page with my camera phone, and print it out enlarged as I can’t see as well as I once could. Also helps thr books clean and less likely to tear.


    Some photos of the contents of the national service data books…



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