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I recently bought a 1982 GMC K1500 4x4 that I'm looking to restore. The truck body is in great shape but some of the mechanicals need work. I want to make it a daily driver, not a show truck.

I'm confused as to where to find part numbers for various parts. I've worked mostly on BMW cars before. Whenever I needed a part for a BMW, I would go to realoem.com, find the diagram and see the part number. Then I would order the part from any number of online retailers like ECS Tuning, FCP Euro, etc. Is there something similar to realoem for GM vehicles?

To make this more specific, I need a new coolant overflow tank. The current one has been replaced with a milk jug which I don't like very much.

I'm also interested in knowing whether GM produces a particular part. I always prefer to get OEM parts over aftermarket so I'd like to know if, for example, they still make that overflow tank. Other than calling the dealership, is there a good way to know?

Thanks!

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    Best place is you GM dealership, they can look it up, doubt it is still in production but they will have the original part number. Most aftermarket parts suppliers do not list the original part number to protect their business model, otherwise you can google the original part number and find a better source. – Moab Jun 11 '18 at 21:42
  • I was hoping to avoid dealerships. I have a feeling they're going to try to sell me a new truck. But if it's the only way... – user244924 Jun 11 '18 at 22:12
  • @user244924 - I can find the part for you, but as Moab stated, it gives their part number and not the OEM part number (on LMC Trucks). Most parts places only go back to 1985 for Chevy/GMC truck parts. I think in your specific case, calling the parts department at the dealership is going to be your best bet. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Jun 11 '18 at 22:45
  • @Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 did you actually find the OEM part? I've also found it on several of the catalogs (like LMC) but that doesn't claim to be OEM so I assume it's aftermarket. I'm not sure about the quality of these parts. I see mixed-bag reviews online and I'd rather not risk it when it comes to critical things like the cooling system. – user244924 Jun 11 '18 at 23:00
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    If you aren't going to make the truck show quality, what's the problem with a re-pop part? As long as it works, who cares? – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Jun 11 '18 at 23:14
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Per the official GM parts catalog, the coolant reservoir is 14067282. GM has discontinued the part. Your best bet is to try you-pull part yards or car-part.com

  • Where do you get the official GM parts catalog? I'd like to have that. – user244924 Jun 18 '18 at 20:13
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Google is your friend, and there are lots of pictures. A vehicle that popular will have lots of aftermarket options - especially on a part that fails often (that's how they make their money - they provide parts they know they can sell.)

Dorman is an awesome supplier with many many parts of this nature. They aren't the only game in town, but they are an awesome starting point.

Is this what you need??

Dorman Chevy/GMC coolant tank

ON EDIT:

Okay, maybe not that. But google "1982 GMC K1500 coolant reservoir", click on IMAGES, and find one or more that visually matches. eBay yielded this:

NOS Chevy GM coolant tank - 1981-87

It claims it's NOS GM, so if that's it, there ya go. I think you'd pay about a third for an aftermarket. Original may not even be available. Certainly seems difficult to locate, even for me - and I "restore" a lot of vehicles. [Actually it's just that all my fleet is old and decrepit...]

Here's one if you venture into "restoration" sources - maybe this is it?

Brothers 81-84 Chevy/GMC Overflow Tank

I can't find good parts diagrams that yield a Delco OEM part number. The problem is your truck is pre-internet, so none of that is digital unless somebody makes an effort.

A dealer still might be the best source, if you catch a parts counter guy in a reasonably good mood (go after lunch, not just before). He might have to get out microfiche, which they sometimes can't be bothered to do. I would think by now this has all been made digital at a dealer level. In any case, get the printout with the GM part number, and then apologize and balk at this price - which will Shirley be eye-watering, if it's not discontinued.

Good luck, happy hunting!

  • The Dorman 603-100 is for the 1991-2002 GM trucks. Unfortunately the Amazon "picker" doesn't always work correctly, and it's hard to reverse engineer. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Jun 12 '18 at 17:01
  • @Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Agreed. My strategy would be using images and matching - I'm editing my answer. – SteveRacer Jun 12 '18 at 23:21
  • @SteveRacer, I might just order that NOS tank. Thanks! I did call the dealership and they looked it up for me, the coolant tank is no longer being made. I forgot to ask for the part number though. It's also good to know that the 85-91 coolant tank will fit on my truck (as per the ebay auction). – user244924 Jun 13 '18 at 18:09
  • I'm familiar with Brothers, LMC truck, Classic industries and a number of the other catalogs with restoration parts. I assume (and infer from what I read online) that those are all aftermarket parts. They'd have to be I suppose since the OE tank isn't made anymore. I don't have any problem with aftermarket parts for things like the interior and other cosmetic items. But I'd prefer to keep things in the cooling system OEM unless it's clear that the aftermarket part is of superior quality. – user244924 Jun 13 '18 at 18:12
  • @user244924 It's a coolant overflow tank, not a radiator or a water pump. If you are building a concours show vehicle, that might justify the hideous effort and expense of tracking down a properly labeled NOS part. It's your project, but try not to obsess too much on a minor part. Get it back on the road and enjoy your ride. In all fairness, the original super-stock GM part has failed you. Maybe it's time to get a new one that may be even better than the stock Delco part. Brothers makes great stuff. You should also consider than even an NOS part is still probably 30 years old! – SteveRacer Jun 14 '18 at 7:30
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I'm not familiar with GMC stuff, but when I have been looking for parts for my own older cars (Triumph and Land Rover), I've found three useful sources:

OEM parts books - these can often be found on eBay, and are what the dealers and parts shops would have used before computerized systems, literally a book full of diagrams with part numbers.

Owners clubs/forums - there's always someone who knows every part number off by heart, or so it seems! There's usually also the practical guy who says "they don't make that part any more, but I used one off an X which fitted fine"

Supplier websites - the aftermarket suppliers will usually have lists of the parts they sell and what they fit, especially if you can find one that specialises in those trucks.

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