Apr 30, 2012
2005 C6 1SB
Has anyone had any problem getting replacement parts for their Corvettes. I've heard rumblings about C4s in particular. GM eventually stops stocking low volume parts. I'd hate to see them drop the electronic computer modules that run our cars. Aftermarket only steps in if there is a big enough demand. With some cars, the parts are a one year only deal so the market can be pretty small. A friend had to do some looking for a ball joint for his '96 Impala SS. People are shying away from the early '90s ZR1s for this reason. Where do you get parts.
At this point, most parts for the C4 are still available through places like Corvette Central and the other clearance places. Some things are getting a little harder to find. The ECM being one of them, but if you shop hard enough, they can also be found. Mostly in the states, so shipping becomes a point of concern. Rock Auto will almost always have the parts you need listed on their site. I have never dealt with them, but I am told they are very good.
I work for GM and from what I am led to believe manufacturers only have to provide OEM parts for 10 years after the end of a model. Does anybody know if this is true? Maybe someone who works at a dealership? Given the number of old Corvettes out there and the longevity of modern cars lets hope the aftermarket can supply our needs.
Back when I started my apprenticeship in '65, in Oshawa, we had a job every fall. They would send a couple of apprentices and a crane operator out the the field to strip out the ten year old dies. The empty die sets would be saved to be used in building new dies. I have heard that they only have to go back eight years now. Don't know this to be fact. Rather than keep ten years worth of equipment around, I imagine GM would farm a lot of the smaller parts manufacturing out. I also remember them bringing in old dies and running fenders when the warehouses were running low. In the back end of one of the tunnels under the stamping plant were some 1958 Chev fenders that I imagine had been there for a long time. I think that the fear of not being able to get parts is what is killing the value of the early '90s ZR1s. The ZR1 engine, ZF six speed and an oddball BMW or something rearend keeps people worried. These cars come up from time to time on Kijiji and are always in the upper teens to lower twenties for pricing. Pretty low for such a rare super car.
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By a C2 or C3 and I don't think you will ever run out of parts; just money.

Seriously though, I swear I could rebuild my car with just a serial number. Something to be said for simplicity I guess. The electronic parts will be the downfall of keeping the modern Vettes on the road.
I'm afraid you are right Case. Hopefully, the electronics manufacturers will keep the supplies up and it won't be a problem but you never know. You never know, we might have to upgrade to C10 parts down the road just to keep our cars mobile. ;)
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