This article was last updated on: 09/21/2015
This document is always continually a work in progress, but you can drive it around.
So! In some way or another you have an old pre-1973 Chevy or GMC truck that you just had to have. Maybe the truck is a family heirloom and you just can not let it go? Possibly, like me, you saw one when you were a kid and said to yourself “oh! I am gonna get me one of those one day!”… now that you have your dream truck, you are probably wondering:
“Where do I find parts for this thing?!”
Well, first up there are the reproduction parts, which I must warn you are not always ‘as original’, oftentimes they are kinda somewhat close and you have to ‘make it fit’. This is the lay of land and comes with the territory when dealing with reproduction stuff(this is also sometimes the case with the original from GM replacement parts as well, from what I’ve been told from retired GM dealer mechanics). There have been numerous reports of high $$$ new reproduction chrome bumpers not fitting well in the same brackets or holes. I myself have personally seen so called reproduction new chrome pieces rust inside a month sitting outside in the weather. Therefore, as always it is a case of buyer beware.
Many of the vendors that sell New Old Stock(N.O.S.) and reproduction parts for pre-1973 GM trucks also sell Used parts. Generally, selling used parts is how most of the companies got started.
The Chevrolet & GMC Truck Parts Vendors List @ Woogeroo’s Autolinks
(over 60 vendors listed and linked… last time I counted ’em up)
The Lot’s O’ Links page at the Stovebolt Page – Click on Parts
(check out the other sections in the Links page as well, 900+ links & counting!)
Most of the Friendly Local Auto Parts stores(FLAPS) have lots of mechanical parts for our old trucks, still in their system, some new and some rebuilt. NAPA for instance(as well as other national parts store chains), still have lots of parts; like brake pads, wheel cylinders, carburetor rebuild kits, water pumps and other mechanical pieces and bits within their inventory. You might have to order the parts and wait a bit, but you can get the parts without having to pay for shipping, plus the return policies are the same as other parts they sell for that category(example: parts stores do not take returns on any electrical parts).
Now, to the main focus of this article: finding used truck parts. There are many reasons for seeking out used parts. Sometimes the original used parts can be saved, repainted, rebuilt and brought back to life and reused. If it is an original part, it will probably fit better and look better if it is in good shape or if it can be repaired to be used again. Also, some parts are just not reproduced yet and may never be reproduced, so if you are going for a stock class show truck or a truck that you wish to be close to original, you are going to be searching for all types of used bits and pieces.
If your truck is a base model, then most of the pieces were painted to start with and the truck had minimal or no chrome at all on the vehicle. This can be a good thing, as you can repair the metal pieces and simply repaint them. Otherwise you might have to go through the drama of re-chroming things or go down the path of replacing with suspect reproduction chrome parts. The base model truck specific used parts are often cheaper as everyone generally wants the flashy stuff and takes them off, so you can buy the used pieces, clean them up well and you are good to go.
Used Parts – links, resources on line.
There are the local venues to your geographical location; salvage yards, yard sales, old parts stores, local advertising papers or websites. Swap Meets that take place in your area will usually be organized by some kind of old vehicle group in your area. These meets are mentioned at car shows and cruise ins and other places old truck people hang out. Swap Meets also get mentioned and posted in event sections of old truck forums, on line. Be sure to peruse your various local classifieds from the newspapers to classified specific print publications which are available at news stands in your local convenience store or magazine and bookseller.
Car shows and cruise ins are a good place to meet people who know folks who have parts. I have seen people show up at shows and leave signs on their vehicles stating that they are looking for a certain part, and having their contact information(usually a cell phone number) on this ad. If you show up in your old truck and talk to your fellow truck owners you can then network and meet all types of people, many of whom have all sorts of parts and pieces hanging around in barns or storage spaces. They have the parts, because they have collected them over the years, but they do not always advertise this fact. However, if they know you are looking for a part they may have, they are usually willing to deal or trade.
Most of the time, when dealing with used parts, it is best to call on the phone and ask about the parts. If you know exactly what the part you are looking for is called and they know the name also, that works well. Then again, if you do not know what the part is called… or even if it is for the year model of your truck… that is when things get interesting. There is also the name that General Motors gave it originally in their parts catalogs and there is often a nickname or slang term for the part that has since developed. For instance, on a 1960-66 Chevy truck, the bottom window felt that snaps into the door itself on each side of the glass has the nickname of ‘cat whiskers’, because they are curved on one end like a cat’s whisker. I have seen this part referred to as window felt or beaded window seals. Parts searching is all part of the adventure, see?
Another example; on my 1965 Chevrolet C10, I needed a new door check, door stop… that piece inside the door that prevents the door from opening too far forward and slamming into the front fender. When I was searching for this part on the parts vendors websites, I found no less than 7 different variations used to describe this same exact part! All of the terms of course utilized the word: door. Each of these differently named parts in different catalogs all had an image or diagram of the exact same part. Hmnnn… are we having fun yet, class?
I have also experienced another fun little adventure when dealing with my 1965 C10 which it turns out has a 1971 steering column for a TH350 automatic transmission(which was not available in 1965 in trucks) and 1969 dual vacuum assisted master brake cylinder with a 1992 engine block and more than likely a 1967 – 1972 power steering box with the 1992 power steering pump! You are seeing a pattern here, right? It is all General Motors, it is all Chevy or GMC..? But.. uhm… what year model is it exactly and I REALLY NEED A PART(NOW!!!)!? Help ME! Undocumented parts swaps by previous owners, always adds to the excitement in finding parts for an old truck.
The exchange of digital photos can speed things up or help, but this only works if both parties are comfortable with digital photos and the use of the Internet. There are several used parts fellows on line who are getting quite handy with taking pictures and using on line photo albums and what not to show exactly what parts they have for sale, but a lot of old parts people don’t want to bother with the newfangled technology, but they have parts. Ah! This is where being polite and tactful comes into play, being nice will get you results.
Another bit of advice, always keep a look out on used parts(and some cash to buy them). If you have the space and you find a deal on some parts for your truck, go ahead and grab them. You might need to use them later or you might be able to trade them for something else you need. If you keep an eye on prices of things from month to month, you will always have a good notion of what it is worth to old Chevy/GMC truck people like you and whether or not you want to spend that much on it.
a site dedicated to GM parts numbers, scans of old parts books, along with photos of the parts and their boxes/packaging.
Old parts books or the site above can come in handy when trying to find parts… once you have the number… you can communicate with parts folks that also know the number!
Salvage Yards, Auto Recyclers(whatever they call ’em these days) online…
There are websites which provide a service, where you answer a series of questions about your vehicle and the part you are looking for. I’m not sure exactly what the term is for such a site, hence the long explanation. You provide contact information, a email address, a phone number, or both, etc.. This form, plus whatever comments you made will be sent out to bunches and bunches of salvage yards all over the place who are plugged into that particular service that is represented by that website. If a certain yard somewhere in the world has the part in question, or believe that they do, they will contact you with the information you provided stating that they have a part and how much money they want for it. Then you can discuss payment and shipping, etc.. Generally, I have found that these yards are quite pricey, but if you REALLY want it or just ‘GOTTA HAVE IT’, it is another avenue that is open to you in your search for old GM truck parts.
http://www.junkyarddog.com – the Internets largest salvage yard database
http://www.autop.com – used car, truck parts from salvage yards nationwide
The two sites linked above are examples of sites like those discussed in the above paragraph. I put them up as examples, there are others in existence.
If you do a search for salvage yards, used parts, used parts searching and so forth then you will find other options, or maybe more recent additions and versions of this type of service.
There are links to other yard searching sites as well as links directly to a few Salvage Yards with their own websites here:
A lot of on line truck forums or websites with information about old trucks may also have listings to Salvage Yards or a page full of links to salvage yard sites, so go forth and point, click and read. You never know when or where you will find a golden nugget of information that leads you to that perfect used part.
The other used parts resources on the web for pre-1973 GM trucks…
There is eBay which some use and some do not. eBay constantly changes their policies about everything, so READ the fine print before you use it for selling or buying! I have found several pieces for my ’65 C10 on there and I have had good experiences buying things so far, but I have heard many horror stories as well. When things go wrong and the buyer or seller does not want to act in good faith, eBay tends to leave you on your own, but they still want their cut of the pie, regardless.
From a on line Chevy truck buddy at ChevyTalk, dvalentine has this to write about eBay search tips:
Here is a easy way to search. In the search field use any of the following:
196* Chev* truck
196* Chev pickup
66 Chev* truck
66 Chev* pickup
( continue those last two with 65, 64, 63, etc etc )
If you shorten the Chevrolet to Chev* you will get all results that start with CHEV, same thing for 196* you will get everything from 1960-1969. See how that works ?
After that get creative. I often deliberatly misspell words as some of our old truck friends don’t spell too gudd.
UPDATE to eBay search engine tips, November, 2012:
Starting on November 5, we will no longer support wild card searches. We encourage you to revise your saved searches to whole words without the *.
Why are we making this change?
We’ve made many recent improvements to our search capabilities on eBay that now take into account many spelling variations. This has helped us to offer better search results to our buyers and sellers.
However, after November 5, your wild card searches will not return the same results you’re used to seeing. This means that you may possibly miss out on the new and recently-listed items that you’re used to seeing in your saved searches in My eBay and in the emails that we send to you.
Here’s how to revise your saved search terms
Replace any * in a wild card search term with whole words.
EXAMPLE: Replace “Floral silk scar*” with “Floral silk scarf”
You can also include various spellings in a single search term by adding it in parentheses, with each additional term separated by a comma.
EXAMPLE: Replace “Floral silk scar*” with “Floral silk (scarf, scarfs, scarves)”
You can also exclude items from the results for your saved search by adding a “-(items to be excluded)”.
EXAMPLE: Replace “Porcelain minifigur* -lot*” with ” Porcelain (minifigure, minifigurines) -(lot, lots)”
Please update your saved searches today, so you can stay on top of the things you’re most interested in finding on eBay.
Woog. NOTE: you can still use variations of the searches above, just use them without the * . For example do a search for : 1964 GMC. Then do a search for 1965 GMC. Also, keep trying the misspelled words method, because the search engine looks for what is there, not what should be there. Things are also listed using nick names for parts, search for those as well, if you know them.
There is the Swap Meet in the Forums at http://www.stovebolt.com . The Swap Meet is a place where you can browse ads of parts or vehicles that are for sale. You must be a registered user to view, post and reply to ads, but the site is free to register and use(donations are accepted – cash or if you have parts you wish to auction to help with the costs of the site). The Swap Meet is just like the rest of Stovebolt forums, people post what they have for sale or want to buy and people can reply and ask questions regarding the ad. The Swap Meet has many different sections, but they only allow the selling of things for 1918 – 1972 Chevrolet/GMC trucks only. They fudge a little sometimes in the ‘truck parts for sale’ section as some folks want to add some more modern pieces to their old trucks. However, in the rest of the Swap Meet they are quite serious and strict about pre 1973 parts/trucks ONLY.
Trucks for sale, for complete trucks or rolling chassis.
Trucks wanted – people posting ads that they are looking for a specific type, year and model of a truck.
Truck parts for sale – parts.
Truck parts wanted – people posting ads that they are looking for a specific part
Misc. Stovebolt Stuff
’18 to ’72 GM related stuff like tools, original dealership sales literature, license plates, etc.
Those are the main sections of the Swap Meet at the Stovebolt page, there is also a section of eBay/Craigslist links to current auctions/ads of old truck parts and trucks for sale. The ‘Stovebolt Spotting Alert Network’ is where Stovebolters let each other know about cool old trucks they ran upon for sale in their area. There are other sections of the swap meet for perusing as well.
The Classifieds area at http://www.chevytalk.com
ChevyTalk now has a new area in the Forums section where supporting members can post ads of things they have to sell or are looking to buy. The new area is called: Supporting Members Classified Section. You must be a registered user to reply to the posts or to send private messages within the board. It is free to register and post on Chevytalk.
Double check the current forum rules for selling things on each site!!! before posting!! The rules may have changed again since I last edited this section!!!!
Hemmings Motor News – a search able site with classifieds for cars, trucks and parts.
This is also a print magazine with articles, ads and things. Before the Internet came along this print magazine was one of the few nationally available resources with classifieds listing used parts and services that rebuild various components of old vehicles.
I have been told by a man who restores 1930’s Chevrolet’s that if you are REALLY looking for a part that you just can not find, then put a wanted ad in this magazine. Here is the reason he gave me for doing this : folks who have the really good quality used parts and pieces in barns or warehouses, read the wanted ads in this magazine regularly and they will contact you. You may not want to pay what the price they want for it, but someone just might have the odd ball, hard to find piece you are looking for.
http://www.hotrodders.com – the thing about hot rodders is… they like to customize stuff by mixing and matching and cutting and what not. Many times they’ll want to get rid of stock parts that you really want but they no longer have a use for. Things like engines, transmissions, mirrors, stock rear end, steering wheel and column, maybe everything. What they do not want, you might need.
H.A.M.B. classifieds @ the jalopy journal – a traditional hot rods and customs site… with 10’s of thousands of members. You never know what might be for sale over there in the classifieds. Mind your manners when you are there, they do not tolerate fools and are rather quick witted… if you act a fool they will quickly delete your posts or ban you. If you are friendly and straight up they are some of the best old vehicle folks to know online(and in person as well). Why look for truck parts here? They may be getting rid of the parts you need.
http://www.chevytrucks.org – Specializing in information on 1941 -1959 Chevy trucks – In the classifieds sections there, they now allow pre 1941 – 1972 Chevy ‘trucks for sale/parts wanted’ sections.
http://www.aths.org – American Truck Historical Society – Incorporated in 1971, the not-for-profit American Truck Historical Society was formed to preserve the history of trucks, the trucking industry, and its pioneers. This group of old truck enthusiasts and their forums lean more toward information about ton trucks and semi tractors. However, be sure to look around inside the discussion forums as well as the classifieds section linked from the homepage. A lot of old big truck folks have old smaller trucks as well.
http://www.oldchevytruck.com – complete Chevy/GMC trucks for sale, this is a commercial classifieds site.
Vintage Chevrolet Club of America (VCCA) – look for the VCCA Chat Forum link and then go to Classified Ads for All Years – Vehicles wanted/for sale – parts wanted/for sale . This is a great site/group to belong to if you are interested in your truck being stock and restored to the original equipment.
http://www.inliners.org – Inliners is a website for a car club of people who like cars with inline cylinder engines, of all makes. Look in Parts for sale/wanted, trucks for sale
Classic Parts Talk – is a forum owned and supported by the parts vendor, Classic Parts of America. They have a Trucks and Parts For Sale/Wanted section. Free to register and to use(as of 12/2012), see the site to read about any rules for posting ads.
Three separate used parts related forums:
- GMC parts for sale
- GMC parts wanted
- GMC trucks for sale
- Book Store – for original GMC reference books
You must be a registered user to view the forums.
oldGMCtrucks.com is a restoration and preservation resource for GMCs built prior to 1960.
http://www.craigslist.org – Craig’s List is a site that has basic text classifieds ads, sometimes with images, sometimes not… for all sorts of parts. Sometimes they have a complete old truck for sale on there, or a part of some kind. There is a cars/trucks section for complete vehicles and a section for individual parts(auto parts).
The best way I have found so far to search CL for a vehicle is to search by year model and then wade through the results. For instance if I am looking for a 1964 Chevy truck… I merely type in: 1964 This will bring up every 1964 model vehicle, plus a few newer vehicles with the number 1964 somewhere in the ad, but it is usually only 15-40 ads in my area and I can skim through and look for the interesting things.
Below is an example of a search string that I use when I am perusing trucks for sale in my area in the Cars and Trucks section of Craigslist. This search string is written to look for trucks of the 1964 – 1966 model range in c10. This search will sometimes pick up a few other ads for a 1967 c10, etc., but it will whittle down all the ads for you to a page or so, depending on the number of trucks for sale. Play around with the layout to find what you are looking for. You can also search like this in the auto parts section.
cars and trucks
1964 | 1965 | 1966 chevrolet (truck | pickup | c10)
For actual parts I will try a combination of the actual name and the slang/nicknames of parts and pieces to search. For example, a small block Chevrolet engine block will usually be listed as a SBC. Trying misspelled words works well also, plus sometimes people put ads in the wrong section, so keep that in mind. I also search the auto parts and put in the cubic inch of the engine: 283, 327… and so on. For the transmissions you can use the model numbers like sm420 or th350… sometimes people put more information and put the old hydromatic tag in the ad. So, play around with your searching parameters as you never know what will get a hit.
You can also put wanted to buy ads on craigslist, in the parts section. However, check the rules on the way to do so. Last time I had a parts ad on the site, there was a rule about how often you could repeat the same ad, as I believe their ads stay up for a month or so. I found that including an image or a link to a on line image of the part in question is very helpful, along with any other information about the part such as length, size, weight, parts numbers, anything that you may know about the part you are looking for.
Parts and vehicles for sale. Commercial classifieds site.
This site searches various classified sites in one search.
I hope that you find that some of the information presented above is helpful to you in tracking down the used parts you need for your antique Chevy/GMC truck.
Searching for parts is half the fun!
Good luck and always remember,
Old trucks are fun!
— end article —
An article and list of where and how to find used pre-1973 GM truck parts.
This article was written by Woogeroo.
The names of other websites and/or companies in this article are the property of their respective owners.
The layout of this article and the specific text and descriptions of other sites is Copyright 2005-2015 by Woogeroo.
The original version of this article was first published on line: 02/07/2005.
Background and the origin of this article
The original list that this article evolved from was compiled with the idea in mind of writing an article with other truck folks about where/how to find used pre-1973 GM truck parts and putting the article on one of the old truck boards that I frequent. When I first posted on various old Chevy/GMC truck forums, there was little or no response in adding sources, critiquing it or making suggestions.
Eventually I decided to take what little sources and bits of information that I had and put it up in a simple list of sites fashion and leave it at that. Over time I began chasing more links here and there, digging around in forums, asking questions and sometimes finding answers, stumbling upon more ideas and things. I then started writing what eventually evolved into the article above.
I am by no means an expert on the subject of old parts searching, I am just sharing what I have learned as I have noticed that a lot of old Chevy/GMC trucks folks, even ones who have been at it longer than I have, do not know about all of these resources or some of the ways they can better utilize them.
If you have some tips, tricks or sources to add to this article about searching for Chevy/GMC truck parts, please let me know and I will be happy to give you credit if you wish.