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19731980 gmc & chevy truck vin decoder chevy truck parts, Usa1 industries chevy truck parts has made an easy to read diagram for vin number decoding. 1973 1987 chevy trucks chevy truck parts, Usa1 industries chevy truck parts has easy to read vin decoder along with explaining the differences in the trim packages and years between 1973 to 1987.. How To Decode a VIN  Prior to understanding how VIN decoding works, it is important to know what it is all about. The letters I, O, and Q are not used in VINs, at least from 1981 until today (and into the future). The first 3 digits of the VIN are known as the "WMI", which is an acronym for "World Manufacturer Identifier".
Tenth: The tenth digit is the year, which is amazingly helpful if you're in a junkyard or showing off to your friends.
In addition to VINs there are also a plethora of option codes located somewhere in the interior of every vehicle. The last thing worth noting is that some foreign car manufacturers switch around these VIN numbers slightly. All 1967 through 1972 Chevrolet 10 thruough 30 series trucks are identified by this model designation system. All photographs and text by Brian Chang appearing in this picture page are the exclusive property of Brian Chang. 19-Feb-2011 06:01Is it possible the "Z" really is a "2" and therefore this is a 2002 model year? 19-Jun-2008 16:40manufacturers do not use an "I" or a "Z" because they can be confused with a 1 or 2 respectively.
Brian Chang15-Feb-2008 13:33I have no other information on the 10th digit and therefore have no idea what year "Z" would be. 29-Oct-2007 07:26Grateful if you can explain why Japanese Automobile Manufacturers are now using character "Z" as the 10th digit in VIN Code.
That encompasses the country of origin, the manufacturer, and the division that the vehicle is built for.
This doesn't necessarily mean the "make" of the car though, because companies like General Motors have many different divisions.


In the case of General Motors, the division would be the more specific Buick, Pontiac, Oldsmobile or whatever it is. They include things like safety, engine size, body style, and the series that the vehicle is. So if you have a special option,heavy-duty truck with the eight lug wheels, or a towing package, this is the digit that will tell you "Hey this vehicle has a special suspension and brake package." It might also reference a specific safety restraint package, like if the vehicle had a two vs.
In the 1980's for example, General Motors built full size trucks that were C and K series along with and R and V series. So if the vehicle is a convertible, a two door, four door, or wagon, it is defined in these two digits.
You can easily figure out which years match up to which letters and which numbers with the simple handy dandy chart below. Long ago, they used to be actual printed pieces of paper, that were stuffed into the seat springs. On many Volkswagens for example, the 3rd through 8th digits are in a different order than the American brand cars and trucks. Before we go any further on this automotive journey, I think we need to briefly talk about redundancy. So if you were to go to a junkyard, this digit is really helpful for vehicles that had two different engines during the same year. This doesn't often matter so much, unless you are talking about certain cars that have major followings. This is normally not a super important number as far as buying auto parts goes, unless you have one of those vehicles that changed production specifications halfway through a production run. In modern cars, it is usually a printed sticker in the glove compartment, console, or trunk.
The formal VIN started in 1981 since before that there were different formats used by different manufacturers.
A Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is the 17-digit string of numbers that an automotive manufacturer assigns to a specific vehicle that it produces.
In today's example, the tenth digit is "M", so you dance over to the handy dandy chart, and see that "M" is 1991.


So, you might have a vehicle that had different mirrors if it was built in April of 2004, than if it were built  in August of 2004. When you combine the VIN number with the option codes, you get the entire genetic makeup of the vehicle from top to bottom. Typically the engine, vehicle series, body type, restraint system, and model are the ones to watch out for.
The standardization of the numbers was done to get rid of chances of similar VIN’s appearing. You can find out a lot about your car or truck if you are able to read and decode its VIN number, and that's why we are going to show you how to do just that. Both of these trucks could have come with a 4.3 liter that was a Z series engine or a W series engine. If you have one of those vehicles, you need to know where it was in the production line, which is where these last six digits become important. The country, make, check digit, year, plant, and serial number are usually in the same positions regardless of the vehicle manufacturer. The digits that are found on car VIN indicate the year the vehicle was manufactured, assembly point, country of origin, model as well as other important details that will prove helpful in its identification. This is great in a junkyard because you can walk up to a VIN number and say "Hey this is a VIN J, which means it's a 1988".
Vehicle manufacturers could have used 8 digits, 10 digits, 25 digits, or really whatever they wanted. So, to make America a better place, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration put their foot down in 1981, and made all of the car manufacturers use 17 digits. It is called a check digit because the purpose of it is to check the rest of the VIN number for legitimacy. The 11th digit of the VIN number is the one that confirms the plant at which the vehicle was built.



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