Author Topic: Tailgate Identification - What year do I have?  (Read 39512 times)

Offline bigblock73

  • Junior Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 504
  • Yeller
Tailgate Identification - What year do I have?
« on: September 07, 2007, 07:27:21 PM »
OK, I thought it would be a good idea to discuss and document the differences in 73-87 GM tailgates.  If we can get a good and accurate discussion going, I'll put this on 73-87.com for everyone else to see and use as a reference.  Anyone here with me?

Here are some of the pics I have. 

These are mid/late 70's gates.  I believe the white one is more mid 70's (maybe 75/76), while the green one is a late 70's (maybe 77-80)...



Here are comparisons of the latch assembly on the gates...




I tried to get a pic of my '73 gate, which is currently bare steel, but it didn't turn out...I'll try again later.  Until then, here is a picture of it from the side...notice the differences in the bottom trunion...




Soo...it would be nice to narrow down which ones are which.  If anyone can go out to their truck, snap a few quality pics, and post them here along with the information about the truck it is off...that would be awesome!  Also, if you know for a fact what the differences are between the years, it would be great to hear from you.
Jeff

'73 swb 2wd

73-87.com

Offline loudnlow87

  • Newbie
  • Posts: 82
Re: Tailgate Identification - What year do I have?
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2007, 10:48:22 PM »
im pretty certain the white one is 76-80, the green one is 81-87

but i prefer mine  ;D

stock really sucks

Offline 75 C20

  • Frequent Member
  • **
  • Posts: 372
Re: Tailgate Identification - What year do I have?
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2007, 11:26:42 PM »
the green one is 81-87
i'm 99% sure  the green one isnt 81-87
1975 Custom Deluxe 20 350 SM465 2WD Longbed
1979 Custom Deluxe 20 400 SM465 2WD Longbed
1968 Custom Sport Truck 20 327 TH400 2WD Longbed
1985 Silverado 10 305 700R4 2WD Longbed
1969 Pontiac GTO 400 Turbo350
2008 GMC 2500HD 6.0 6spd 4X4 Longbed

Offline bigblock73

  • Junior Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 504
  • Yeller
Re: Tailgate Identification - What year do I have?
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2007, 07:50:05 AM »
The 81+ gates have a more boxy recessed are with the raised script to the right side....not centered.

Anyone want to post some pics of their tailgates?
Jeff

'73 swb 2wd

73-87.com

Offline VileZambonie

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 18567
Re: Tailgate Identification - What year do I have?
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2007, 09:56:10 AM »
Here is the factory gate from my 74 GMC. Most noticeable differences are the hinge isn't quick release, the tailgate has to be unbolted to be removed. It has the upper tangs that stick into the bed sides. In the upper left hand corner the sheet metal is raised with the letters GMC and factory GMC letters on top of them. It also originally had the trim like your green one does.



Here is an aftermarket 81-87 gate on my 85

*photobucket links removed
« Last Edit: July 20, 2017, 06:40:54 PM by VileZambonie »
,                           ___ 
                         /  _ _ _\_
              ⌠ŻŻŻŻŻ'   [☼===☼]
              `()_);-;()_)--o--)_)

74 GMC, 75 K5, 84 GMC, 85 K20, 86 k20, 79 K10

Offline 1973c20

  • Newbie
  • Posts: 56
Re: Tailgate Identification - What year do I have?
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2007, 09:57:00 AM »
Can someone tell me why no one seems to sell the 73-75ish tailgates, but just the 76-up ones? I wanna get a new one for my truck but I cant find one anywhere short of looking on ebay. Sorry if this is a bit off topic.

Offline VileZambonie

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 18567
Re: Tailgate Identification - What year do I have?
« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2007, 10:02:12 AM »
Because of the slight differences in the design I don't think anyone wants to call it a direct replacement. All of them will interchange though so why not just get a reman?
,                           ___ 
                         /  _ _ _\_
              ⌠ŻŻŻŻŻ'   [☼===☼]
              `()_);-;()_)--o--)_)

74 GMC, 75 K5, 84 GMC, 85 K20, 86 k20, 79 K10

Offline Captkaos

  • OWNER and Administrator
  • Administrator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 18198
    • http://www.73-87chevytrucks.com
Re: Tailgate Identification - What year do I have?
« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2007, 11:01:47 PM »
I don't have pics, but from what I know, I believe it should break down like this...  Please feel free to correct me.  I do know 100% that 73-74 is unique and I am 100% sure 75 and 76 are the same (I have had both in my posession..)  There WILL be some early 75's that are like the 73-74....
73-74 (no quick release)
75-77 (white one pictured) first year of quick release
78-87 (Green one pictured)

Jeff, as you can see there are 3 holes in all of them, I believe that they are the same position just the later ones use only 2....

Offline Blazin

  • Blazin new trails!
  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6130
Re: Tailgate Identification - What year do I have?
« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2007, 08:54:25 AM »
The folding thingamajigs that keep the tail gate from laying on the bumper have two different styles too. Not sure what the year was but I had to fix another shops screw up one time. They had put one of each style on a 76 C 20, Hence the gate would not go all the way down. One would hold it while the other still had slack!
 Also not sure on the year is when the CHEVROLET embossing went to the right hand side of the gate, I want to say around 80 / 81 to 83.
Some people are like Slinkies. Not really good for anything, but they still bring a smile to your face when you push them down a flight of stairs

Offline Bitzer!

  • Junior Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 906
  • Smiles per gallon
Re: Tailgate Identification - What year do I have?
« Reply #9 on: March 25, 2008, 07:34:49 AM »
Because of the slight differences in the design I don't think anyone wants to call it a direct replacement. All of them will interchange though so why not just get a reman?

Are you sure they all interchange? Its just I need to order one from you're side of the world and want to get the right one!!

cheers
1979 GMC CrewCab  C20 1t
454 750 Holley,TH350, 14bolt diff fully floating
Why aren't there 8 days in a week!
A K5 rolling shell *new addition*

Offline VileZambonie

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 18567
Re: Tailgate Identification - What year do I have?
« Reply #10 on: March 25, 2008, 08:09:20 AM »
Yes they will just the hardware is different. For the 81-87 style you'll need the bolt on hinges on the gate itself and on the bedsides. The latches have the hook on them on 81-87 for the hinge latches.

The 73-80 gate has it directly on the gate itself. So with a hardware change they will all interchange but I personally like the fitment and hardware of the 81-87 design myself. I have a bunch of them in stock
,                           ___ 
                         /  _ _ _\_
              ⌠ŻŻŻŻŻ'   [☼===☼]
              `()_);-;()_)--o--)_)

74 GMC, 75 K5, 84 GMC, 85 K20, 86 k20, 79 K10

Offline Bitzer!

  • Junior Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 906
  • Smiles per gallon
Re: Tailgate Identification - What year do I have?
« Reply #11 on: March 25, 2008, 08:18:42 AM »
You wanna mail me a mint one?
1979 GMC CrewCab  C20 1t
454 750 Holley,TH350, 14bolt diff fully floating
Why aren't there 8 days in a week!
A K5 rolling shell *new addition*

Offline HAULIN IT

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1542
Re: Tailgate Identification - What year do I have?
« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2008, 08:41:47 AM »
The one difference that has not been mentioned is the bottom lip. In '81, I believe it went from rounded over to more like a bottom of a door, this does not effect anything, but since were talking about differences. The pictures are a little hard to see, but the White one looks like '75-'76, if it's a "quick change". The Green one is the '77-'80, In my opinion. The older gates ('76 & back) had welded on pins for the straps,ect. right? And the '77 & up were part of the longer latch. You need to replace the bed half to match during the swapping somewhere along the way. I have an original '85 with original paint if someone would like me to take a picture of it to add to the collection.
Lorne 

Offline Bitzer!

  • Junior Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 906
  • Smiles per gallon
Re: Tailgate Identification - What year do I have?
« Reply #13 on: March 25, 2008, 08:55:33 AM »
Were they're any made with a fog light in the middle? Either that or someone swapped the handle out? The only replacement ones I can find are plain - no imprinted Chevrolet logo etc  :(
1979 GMC CrewCab  C20 1t
454 750 Holley,TH350, 14bolt diff fully floating
Why aren't there 8 days in a week!
A K5 rolling shell *new addition*

Offline Captkaos

  • OWNER and Administrator
  • Administrator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 18198
    • http://www.73-87chevytrucks.com
Re: Tailgate Identification - What year do I have?
« Reply #14 on: March 25, 2008, 09:06:01 AM »
I have some with the Script, so I know they are out there.