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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old Mar 2nd, 99, 10:40 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Vancouver, WA
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While I was in college the FIRST time around, I spent several years working part-time in a Chevy dealer's parts department. I used to get a big kick out of looking up parts that were still available from the General for my '65 Impala SS. Someday, the car will be back on the road, but that's beside the point.

What I'm getting at is that there are still lots of parts available directly from GM, and the vast majority of hobbyists are going through the middleman. A good portion of my Year One catalog showcases GM parts that are still available from GM. Now its great that we have vendors who are making GM and repro parts available to us, but the fact of the matter is that we can simply trot down to any GM dealer, not just the Chevy ones, and order these same GM parts without having to worry about shipping costs. Just give them the number(s) and have them special order it.

What I'd like to propose is that we create an area on Team Chevelle that lists part numbers that are still available. Some of these numbers are floating around in various posts, and it would be nice to have them all in one place.

I'm willing to give a hand (although grad school take up alot of time!), and I've got some parts books to reference. Does anyone work at a dealership that could check on availability? I do have a connection that could do some of the checking. Can one of the administratiors give some feedback on the idea?

PS - Access to the numbers could be another little membership perk when we go with dues!

------------------
Rainer
'68 SS396
'70 LS3 400 Malibu
[email protected]

[This message has been edited by Rainer (edited 03-02-99).]
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old Mar 3rd, 99, 6:26 AM
Al
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Al McKenzie
 
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Sounds like a solid idea to me Rainer, thanks for offering. I'll send you email on this.

Sorry if I miss a few things here for awhile guys, I got the keys to the new server and I'm doing some head scratching getting ready to move.
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old Mar 3rd, 99, 7:00 AM
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I know that there are parts books with this info, but has anyone ever seen a CD with it?

Considering the huge amount of data involved with this, if it were already in digital format, it would save a lot of time and effort.

Kurt

------------------
The 68 Chevelle info page. [last updated Nov. 30, 98]
www.geocities.com/MotorCity/Garage/6873/Chevelle/68_Chevelle_Info.html
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old Mar 3rd, 99, 9:06 AM
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I got a surprise a couple years ago. I was looking for a pair of front fenders for a 70 Z28 Camaro. Went to dealer and he said he could order them and "we'll see". Well he ordered them, they came in ok. I got looking them over and they were manufactured two weeks before shipment. Strange to say the least. Either I hit it just right as they were tooled up to make them or there is a small plant somewhere that builds this stuff. Considering all that GM is and isn't these days, kind of amazing, I think. tom
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old Mar 3rd, 99, 9:25 AM
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I can write a CGI program that can make a chart with the year, partnumber, price, etc... that can be updated from anybody from this site (just like how the posts are made on this site). If you guys like, I can start one on my web site to see if anybody likes it. I already have some GM partnumbers for items that I got from the local GM dealer and can put them in the database to start it out. E-mail me if you are interested in doing this [email protected] or post a reply here.
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old Mar 3rd, 99, 9:46 AM Thread Starter
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David -

Thanks for the offer. I'm waiting to hear back from Al on this. One concern with people making submissions is the accuracy of the information. My feeling is that we should be verifying any info that gets passed along. Also, the parts books will indicate all the years that a part number applies to. We would not necessarily get that information from submissions. I'll keep you posted.

As for Kurt's suggestion, the dealers certainly have access to electronic databases, but this info is not available to the general public. My sense is that this effort will be a work in progress at first, so that we'll be adding numbers on a regular basis. Much of the work has actually been done already by the vendors such as Year One. There probably isn't much more that's available from GM that they haven't already included in their catalog. Nevertheless, I'm sure I'll turn up a few odds and ends that they haven't covered.

------------------
Rainer
'68 SS396
'70 LS3 400 Malibu
[email protected]
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old Mar 3rd, 99, 1:07 PM
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You have to have absolute faith in your parts man. A couple of dealerships in our area have parts people who are too lazy to look in the old parts books. All the new stuff is on computer. My parts guys are great. Les can almost tell you the page number that the part is on. Pontiac dealers can get Chev parts here in Canada. Over the last few years I have received 75-80% of the '69 Chevelle parts that I have ordered. I ordered new Chevelle quarters last year and had them in a couple of days. They can trace all the parts in GM warehouses across the country. I think that there were 10 quarters available across Canada at the time. I think the manufacturing is farmed out to outside stamping plants. When there is a big enough order then the run of parts is made. Sometimes you have to wait while at others the parts are as close as the nearest warehouse. It seems that they are only making the parts where a profit can be made. One bonus is that you don't have the big shipping charges for the parts which can be considerable on something as big as a quarter.
Dealers can also do a search of other dealers whose inventory is on the system. Our parts man found me a disc brake backing plate at a dealership in the middle of the US.
I have had no luck at all with Pontiac Lemans parts. Pontiac must have gotten rid of everything.
Years ago a friend of mine worked in the salvage department at GM Oshawa and recalls running SS wheels through the band saw for scrap. Boy does that hurt.
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old Mar 3rd, 99, 1:26 PM
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Something else to consider:
GM sells a catalog (GM Restoration Parts) that lists the companies that have purchased the right to reproduce various parts. I assume that if the right to make a component has been sold to another manufacturer, GM would not be in competition with that manufacturer. I always consult it after I can't find what I'm looking for. The dealer is then my next stop.

Another dimension to this idea would be to take submissions for the needed parts. Then, specific information as to the manufacturers, part numbers and available sources for these parts could be provided (ie., the dealer, aftermarket or local auto supply). This would be a more direct approach to each individual's needs.
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old Mar 3rd, 99, 1:53 PM Thread Starter
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Keith is absolutely right about some parts guys not wanting to bother looking up the old stuff. But you can imagine having to deal with people that come to the counter and want a huge list of parts looked up, 99% of which are no longer available. You have to draw the line somewhere. That's where having the part number really pays off. All the work has been done. The counterman simply has to verify that the number is in the database (which it should be if we've done the checking already) and enter the order.

Re: searching other dealers' inventories, as Keith suggested, I have been able to find some discontinued items that dealers still had in stock. These are often non-returnable items that the dealer has had to sit on because the packaging has been opened, or the item is slightly damaged. This is where you really need a willing counterman.

As far as your idea, Alan, it would be nice, but unfortunately it would take a TON of time to process all the requests that came in. I've already had someone ask me to look up a number for them (you know who you are)! As I noted earlier, most of the stuff that's still available has already been identified in the vendor catalogs. Once our list was put together, there should be no need to look up additional items. It may be useful to have a general list of the kind of items that are no longer available.

------------------
Rainer
'68 SS396
'70 LS3 400 Malibu
[email protected]
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old Mar 3rd, 99, 3:54 PM
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Great idea, Rainier. If this comes to fruition, can we somehow distinguish between original style and replacement parts? In other words, GM sells a replacement shock for a '70 Chevelle, but it is a gas shock, etc.

------------------
Stan Hanek
'70 SS - 396 4 sp.
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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old Mar 3rd, 99, 5:37 PM
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I can check GM numbers for availability.I was a parts manager until about a year ago and I trained the guy in my place.He usually lets me behind the counter anytime so when you guys get it all figured out I'll be glad to check any numbers you have.

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John 67SS
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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old Mar 3rd, 99, 8:31 PM
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Excellent idea, Count me in!
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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old Mar 3rd, 99, 9:07 PM
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I see two problems here. (fortunately I have a cooperative parts guy-I'm restoring an LS5 for him) One- several part numbers change numbers two-three-four times or more in the history of the part. Several times I've called him with a part number from the assembly manual, and that number not be on file. BUT when he looks up the part in the catalog it is available under a different number.
Two- Many parts are in stock in limited quantities...here today, gone tomorrow. How do you propose to keep up on discontinued parts?
Additionally, some parts that were originally different numbers for different models, say A vs. F-body...the part along the line got standardized into a replacement part. Here's a good example...The wiper motors for the 68-72 A-body originally had the wires in a different place for the washer pump than the one currently offered. This requires a different pump. It basically looks the same, but under close scrutiny it is different. Someone doing a 1000 point resto will not accept this part. Most of these parts are marked in most suppliers' catalogues as "Although this is a GM part that will function as original, it's appearance is different than the original"

Just a few thoughts...
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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old Mar 3rd, 99, 9:24 PM Thread Starter
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Dave -

Some good points, but I wouldn't consider them problems. Re: the part number changes, you're absolutely right. That's why assembly manuals aren't good for that purpose. We'll only post numbers we know are good and available at the time of posting, by having them verified. If its not on our list, that doesn't necessarily mean you can't get it, though

Re: the discontinued parts, we'll have to rely on people giving us feedback. If its discontinued, then you're out of luck. It happens to the vendors, too. How can they be sure everyone has a current catalog - they can't. We won't be making any guarantees about availability.

Again, the vendors have done alot of the work in figuring out what's still available and whether its a service replacement or not. If all we end up with is a list of GM part numbers for stuff in the Year One catalog, I say alot of people will still be thrilled. I don't think we should promise the moon, and I don't think people should expect it either.

------------------
Rainer
'68 SS396
'70 LS3 400 Malibu
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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old Mar 4th, 99, 7:34 AM
 
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I could write pages on this subject but I'll keep my comments brief.
- I do this sort of research as a hobby and have a number of resources. Most are focused on '69 Chevelle.
- Parts people can be helpful if you have a part number. Most aren't very helpful if you just have an appliocation.
- Best way to determine availability is to get a paper copy of the "GM DEALER PARTS AND ACCESSORIES PRICE SCHEDULE". I pick these up at swap meets, usually $5-10. My latest is Aug. 98. If you can't find the part in the price list, then you can no longer buy that part from GM. Price list does not show substitutions. "Parts Finder" service can be used to search dealer inventories nationally for discontinued parts.
- Computerized parts systems - I looked into this but could not find a system priced in the "hobby" range.
- Count me in as a participant. I have purchased most of the parts for my '69 El Camino from GM.

Fred Aldrich
www.GeoCities.com/~69_chevelle


[This message has been edited by Fred Aldrich (edited 03-04-99).]
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