Awesome Facts About the GMC K1500
- Truck star - That is what the GMC K1500 is. Being one of the few trucks that had played roles in Hollywood movies, the GMC K1500 boasts its appearance in the 2007 movie, Wind Chill. This 1981-1987 model year can easily be identified by looking at the GMC K1500 parts. With a brushed silver insert at the center of the tailgate and the logo placed off to the side, the GMC K1500 Sierra has shown that its blank blanks way beyond the auto industry and even reaches out to the movie industry.
- The easiest way to differentiate a GMC K1500 from a Chevrolet C1500 is by looking at its grille and taillight design. Chevrolet's grille and tailgate have its large, bow-tie logo, while GMC's grille features the division's initials. Another major difference is that the letter C in C1500 indicates a rear-wheel-drive, while the letter K in K1500 indicates a four-wheel-drive.
- The 2011 GMC K1500 Yukon Hybrid ranked fifth in the ACEEE's (American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy's) list of the Greenest Large SUVs for 2012. With a Green Score of 30, the K1500 passed both of the federal and California emission standards. The ACEEE's list of Greenest Vehicles (by class) takes into account all aspects of being eco-friendly such as manufacturing, materials used, and the amount of pollution produced on the road. The above-average Green Score of the GMC K1500 is similar with its twin's, the Chevrolet K1500 Tahoe Hybrid.
- What makes the 2013 GMC K1500 a strong competitor among the large SUV category is its new technology in fuel economy, the Active Fuel Management. Through this system, the K1500's fuel economy is maximized. Upon starting or idling, the Active Fuel Management delivers the responsive power of all eight engine cylinders. While at cruising speed, this system temporarily deactivates four cylinders to give you outstanding full-size pickup fuel economy.
- The GMC K1500's celebrity days go beyond the silver screen. In the TV series, Walker, Texas Ranger, the main actor, Chuck Norris, used to drive the GMC K1500 Sierra. However, in later episodes of the series, Chuck Norris replaced the GMC K1500 with a similar 4x4 truck, the Dodge Ram 1500.
- Did you know that classic GMC K1500 models, produced through 1975, can command as much as $12,500? Though it still depends on the truck's condition. Classic GMC models with mildly restored doors and bumpers can be priced as low as $5,000.
Frequent Faults of the GMC K1500
Before the turn of the century, one of the best trucks to own was the full-size GMC K1500. Its huge bed powered by a strong engine was among the qualities one would get from it. With a good four-wheel-drive system, the vehicle was an instant choice for anybody looking for the most in utility and practicality. However, there are a few mechanical faults with the GMC K1500 that may its owner headaches. Here are a few of these:
Some replacement oil filters from the Fram brand for the 1994-1999 GMC K1500 are reported to be defective and unsuitable for installation. The affected items manufactured from May 2006 up to September 2007 use a weak gasket that is prone to damage when exposed to high levels of heat and pressure. Since oil regularly passes through the filter, continuous use could result to a loss of engine oil and fire. To avoid this catastrophic consequence, Fram has ordered a recall on these products and will gladly replace any defective products for free.
Some models of the GMC K1500 from 1988 to 1993 have been recalled because of a transmission issue. Leaking transmission fluid from the vent tube has been observed because of unexpected heat coming from the gearbox. At its worst, the liquid may catch fire if ever it comes into contact with something that can ignite it. A longer tube placed on the left side of the engine compartment can prevent this problem.
Another problem is the hard shift from 1st to 2nd gear. It may persist no matter how much the truck is restarted. It may be due to a slipping transmission, busted torque sensors, burnt clutches, old solenoids, or a bad gearbox as a whole.
There is a technical service bulletin that involves some of the GMC K1500s manufactured between 1988 up to 1993. It states that one or both of the front doors of these trucks behave unusually. The door may appear dropped or sagged when open. It may also move awkwardly and make weird noises when opened and closed under extreme conditions. The cause of the problem may be a door-hinge pin and bushing that is prematurely worn.
A Quick Guide to GMC K1500 Upkeep
Your GMC K1500 is one of the most powerful pickup trucks ever made. It gives you the full-sized truck performance without any compromises in comfort. That's why the GMC K1500 remains one of the more popular truck models out there. Keeping your K1500 in top shape is as easy as 1-2-3, so don't worry. Basic pickup truck maintenance tips are listed below.
- Keep your truck bed free from rust and corrosion
Your GMC K1500 has a bigger cargo bed than most pickup trucks. With constant use and exposure to the elements, it can get easily and quickly banged-up. The greatest enemy of your vehicle's cargo area is rust. So make sure that you wash your truck bed after it rains or snows to prevent salt build-up. Automotive shampoo and warm water can do the trick. If you see scratches, take care of it immediately, before rust sets in. If you think it's too much work, you can install bed liners and tonneau covers to cover the truck bed. These accessories will certainly provide the protection your vehicle's cargo area needs.
- Make a check list of engine maintenance must-dos and prioritize what must be done regularly.
The engine of a pickup as powerful and heavy as the GMC K1500 has to work doubly hard especially when you use it to haul heavy items. To avoid engine breakdown, make sure you have do regular maintenance tune ups. One of the most important things to do on your engine is to check the motor oil that keeps it lubricated. Make sure that the motor oil is clean and at the right level. Replace the engine oil regularly to prevent costly engine damage. Another thing is to make sure that the engine cooling system is working properly. The engine normally generates so much heat when running but you shouldn't allow it to overheat. It is essential to keep the engine at the acceptable temperature. Just make sure there's always coolant in the radiator and that the hoses are in shape and tightly connected to avoid nasty leaks.
- Have a periodic tire check up routine
Tires bear the brunt of the weight of the GMC K1500 (more than three tons). This is the reason why you need to check your tires regularly. Check the tire pressure weekly to ensure that the tires are properly inflated. Both under-inflated and over-inflated tires can cause premature and uneven tire wear. It will also cause additional strain your vehicle's engine because it will take additional effort to make the vehicle move, this will then result to low fuel mileage. This is a chain reaction you certainly want to avoid. Another thing is don't forget to rotate your tires so they will wear out at the same rate. It is also important to have your wheels aligned and balanced at least every year. This will ensure that your vehicle's tires will last longer. And last but not the least; check your tire's tread depth. Driving on bald tires is very dangerous because of the handling problems it causes.
GMC K1500: The Humble Beginnings of a Formidable Truck
The GMC K1500 pickup was manufactured in United States in 1960. It had four generations spanning to almost forty years until its final release in 2000. Apart from its production in North America, some pickup models were also assembled in Brazil, Chile, Argentina, and Canada. The K1500 had numerous changes and upgrades from the engine to the body, as it stood the test of time from the classic to the modern era.
1960 – 1966: First generation
The arrival of the GMC K1500 had marked the change in the designation system for trucks by GM, and the “K” nomenclature indicated the four-wheel drive system for pickup trucks. The first GMC K1500 model had a torsion bar front suspension and a trailing arm rear suspension. There were three different engine types for the K1500. The first was the GMC 305 V6 engine for the base trim line, next was the 135 horsepower straight-six engine, and the last was the 185 horsepower V8 engine. In 1963, a coil-spring front suspension was introduced; while the air-conditioning was added in 1965.
1967 – 1972: Second generation
A different look and the nickname “Action Line” for the K1500 came in 1967. The aim of GM was to add more comfort to the vehicle. Thus, the pickup models had standard leaf springs, and the coils springs became optional. The drivetrain of the vehicle had a three-speed manual transmission system, while a four-speed manual transmission was optional. A year later, changes in the engine followed, and a bigger 310 horsepower V8 engine was used. The grille of pickup was redesigned to an “egg grate” style in 1971. Also in the same year, a new trim line called Sierra was introduced.
1973 – 1987: Third generation
Before the start of the 1973 model year, GM had already started the development of the new pickup trucks. Prototypes had been tested on computers before it was produced. The design of the K1500 was changed, and it was referred to as “Rounded Line” because GM’s aim was to improve the truck’s aerodynamics and fuel efficiency. In 1982, the 6.2 diesel type engine debuted, but it was only available on two-wheel drive pickups. In the latter years of the third generation, TBI or throttle-body fuel injection was introduced for V6 and V8 engines that gave the K1500 an increase in horsepower up to 210 hp.
1988 – 2000: Fourth generation
After two years, the fourth generation of the GMC K1500 was born, and it had an independent front suspension compared to its predecessor’s solid front axles. The start of the 1999 debuted the 4L80-E automatic transmission for the one-ton version of the truck. In the same year, a turbocharger was made available for the 6.5 diesel engine. The Vortec V8 engine that produced 255 to 290 hp was introduced in 1996. Two years before its production was stopped, the GMC K1500 design was upgraded with an airbag system and the PASSLOCK II anti-theft system.