What You Should Know about the GMC C1500
- The C1500 was a full-sized pickup truck sold under the Chevrolet and GMC nameplates from 1960 until 1999 in the United States.
- The "C" in the C1500 name indicates that the vehicle was a two-wheel drive. GMC also had a K1500, in which "K" meant that it was a four-wheel drive.
- In 1967, the GMC C1500 came with a new, modern look as well as a nickname, "Action Line." In this model year, General Motors made revisions to the truck by adding GMC C1500 accessories that give comfort and convenience. While it came standard with leaf springs, its Chevrolet counterpart was built with a coil spring and a trailing arm in its rear suspension.
- The model year 1967 was also the year of the small rear window. In 1968, however, this was replaced with a larger glass behind the vehicle. Another difference between the 1967 and 1968 GMC C1500 parts was that the latter had the addition of side-marker reflectors on its fenders.
- Beginning 1968, the letters "GMC" were no longer embossed in the horizontal crossbar on the C1500's grille. The component's design was changed again in 1971, in which portions of the grille were painted over with black.
- When the third generation was launched, the GMC introduced an all-new, clean-sheet redesign of the C1500 in 1972. While it had been developed beginning 1968, simulated assessments of the vehicle were only done on computers before the first prototype pickup was built for real-world testing. At the time of launch, the GMC C1500's design, particularly its cab, was considered revolutionary in appearance. This is because the design itself departed from the typical American pickup truck concept of that period.
- The third-generation C1500 was officially known as the "rounded-line" generation. Nowadays, some refer to it as a "square body" because the truck appeared square-like compared to contemporary automotive design standards. The "rounded" exterior was fashioned by GM's design engineers. This was done in an effort to improve the truck's aerodynamics and gas mileage by using wind-tunnel technology to help sculpt the body.
- Other design traits of the third generation were "double-wall" construction, sleek sculpted bodywork, flared secondary beltline, and an aerodynamic cab. The new traits then featured rounded doors that cut high into the roof. It also had a steeply raked windshield that had a hidden radio antenna embedded into the glass.
GMC C1500 Common Problems
Sold as a full-sized pickup truck, the GMC C1500 was sold from 1995 to 1999 before being replaced by the GMC Sierra. When launched in 1995, it received a lot of upgrades and revisions to differentiate it from the third-generation Chevrolet C truck it was based on. Now with the vehicle out of production, used models are being sold in the market. For those who are looking to buy this truck or have just purchased one, be wary of some common problems involving GMC C1500 parts and performance.
Many GMC C1500 owners found that their vehicle's anti-lock braking system (ABS) is not working properly. This failure was discovered after GMC dealers installed new brakes to the vehicle, but the new component didn't work properly. Instead of having this problem repaired elsewhere, GMC owners brought the vehicle back to the dealer who then found that there was a problem with the ABS.
Other service brakes failure include the brake pressure module valve, brake anti-lock control unit, and brake pedal and linkage.
Owners also reported that the steering speed sensor of their C1500 sometimes fails, causing the steering to suddenly jerk while turning at a corner. According to the drivers who had experienced this, the motion felt like the front wheels were hitting slippery ice.
Steering also becomes loose while the truck is cruising on curved roads, causing drivers to lose control of their vehicle. Some had even come close to an accident, leading many concerned owners to complain to GMC dealers. However, what they only got was a response saying that since there was no recall from the manufacturer, there should be nothing to worry about.
Some owners have problems seeing the road while driving, which is often caused by faulty windshield wipers. Drivers said that they don't always work, but they can be moved by hand, suggesting a short of some kind in the wiper's system. What's dangerous about this is when the wipers stop and the blades remain in the driver's line of sight, causing a major distraction. Other incidents include the wipers suddenly stopping during intermittent setting or even the component not stopping at all even after it's switched off.
Is there a difference between the GMC Sierra and the GMC C1500?
Both terms refer to the same vehicle, however it is important to note that GMC trucks are twins of Chevrolet trucks.
One of the big bad boys of the full-size pickup category, the GMC C1500 was Chevrolet and GMC's front liner from 1960 until 2002 in North America.The letter "C" referred to the rear-wheel drive configurationand came in the half-ton C10 and C15 (long bed), the three-quarter-ton C20 and the one-ton C30, while the letter "K" indicated the vehicle is equipped with four-wheel driveand were called K10, K15 and K20.
GMC's hauler was a tireless workhorse known for its endurance and reliability. Recent years saw GMC's full-size truck adopt the name "Sierra" which soon became synonymous with the weekday family car as well as transporter of home-improvement supplies, or boat tower on weekends.
How much has the GMC C1500's engine configuration evolved?
In 1963, a new base engine (a 230-cubic-inch inline six with 140 horsepower) and an optional 292-cubic-inch inline six with 165 horsepower were introduced.
Many years and engine configurations later in the 21st century, a new line of V8 engines were put into production, ranging in size from 4.8 liters to 6.0, with horsepower and torque ratings that run from 255 horses and 285 pound-feet in the 4.8 up to 300 horsepower and 355 lb-ft in the 6.0. The base V6 as well as the 6.5-liter turbo diesel remain available as options.
With so much power under the hood, how safe is it to drive such a beast?
The third generation of the GMC C1500 was the first to offer what was called trim packages that used quality materials such as wood, vinyl, steel, and aluminum to line the cabin for safety and comfort. Along with the spruced-up interior, a patented collapsible steering column that absorbed energy from a collision was introduced in 1972. Lastly, dual front lap-and-shoulder safety belts with emergency locking retractors for outboard occupants came standard for the 1975-76 models, just in time to replace the outdated and inefficient lap belts previously installed.
Is there any explanation for many GMC C1500 owners reporting the "Check Engine" indicator lighting up for no apparent reason?
It has been verified by manufacturer that one or both secondary air injection check valves may have become restricted, causing poor air flow that result in the "Check Engine"lamp staying lit. The manufacturer recommends replacing both check valves even if a fault code is set for only one bank of cylinders.
It may be of additional interest to note that a loose or worn gas cap has been known to cause the "Check Engine" lamp to illuminate as well.
How does theGMC C1500 measure up to today's trucks?
Today's GMC C1500 sports a stronger frame and a powerful engine lineup to match their rugged good looks. Those engines included a 4.3-liter V6 (195 hp, 260 lb-ft of torque), a 4.8-liter V8 (295 hp, 305 lb-ft), a 5.3-liter V8 (315 hp, 338 lb-ft) and the "Vortex Max" 6.0-liter V8 (367 hp and 375 lb-ft). Enhanced suspension and rack-and-pinion steering drastically improved the ride and handling, while stability control and side curtain airbags became available for added safety, and adding to an overall customer value experience.
A Look on the GMC C1500 through the Years
People often find it hard to distinguish the GMC C1500 truck among all the other vehicles released under the General Motors brand. For those who do not have a clue, the letter ‘C’ means conventional, and refers to the series of full-size pickup trucks that were introduced in the market beginning the 1960s across United States, Canada, Brazil, and Chile. ‘C’ pertains to the trucks that are classified as two-wheel drives. Two of the most identified models among the Chevrolet trucks are the Silverado and Sierra series.
The year 1960 saw the introduction of the C series in the market, which showcased new features on pickup trucks such as the independent front suspension, a lower cab, a new ladder frame design, and an enhanced designation system that is unique in truck models from General Motors.
The trucks were originally released as four-wheel drives. But since the official launch of the conventional or ‘C’ trucks, manufacturers thought that a line of two-wheel drives would make a huge impact to consumers across the world, so they came up with a new class scheme for truck lovers. From then on, two-wheel drives were referred to as the C Series while the four-wheel drives were classified under the K series.
GMC C1500 is known as one of the classic truck designs from Chevrolet. The truck was designed for off-road driving and with the qualities to withstand extreme weather conditions without having any effect on the performance of the vehicle. The C1500 was also one of the first few trucks from General Motors that allowed drivers to maximize the overall function of the vehicle even without the need to add a whole new set of accessories for an instant boost.
Modern enhancements on the pickup
The C1500 actually dominated the market from 1960 to 1970. The years following that saw how the model began losing to some models of competing brands. But despite that, General Motors still made sure that loyalists of the Chevy trucks do not get shortchanged with the trucks they have.
In the latter years of the C1500 production, manufacturers came up with advanced features for the truck like the heated reclining leather seats, a built-in navigation system, rear-audio system controls, and a keyless entry among others. But aside from these, General Motors did not forget to bring in additional safety features for the truck such as the frontal and side airbags, passenger sensing system, and the emergency assistance system. It also boasts of the fuel efficiency feature that allowed drivers to run farther distances without the need to keep refilling their tanks with fuel. This is something that is very important to people who are fond of long cross-country drives with the C1500.
Over the years, General Motors has proven that the C1500 is a dependable pickup truck for consumers and that new models released in the market cannot trump the model easily.