1981 GMC Caballero

Doug Chahoy

Comic Book Super Hero
Nov 21, 2016
2,549
113
Hi, I just purchased a 1981 GMC Caballero. It is a 3.8 base model. Is it an A body or a G body? Thanks!
Definitely, no question a Gbody only the first couple years GM was confused and labeled them As I’ve got a 79 Elco and I’ve ALWAYS bought everything G body
 

5spdCab

Royal Smart Person
Supporting Member
Dec 29, 2019
1,120
113
Tukwila, Wa.
81 Caballero, welcome to GBF from Seattle, Wa. with a '78 Caballero and a '79 El Camino.
It seems that "technically", if my understanding is correct, that a '78-81 is considered an Abody, and '82-87 is Gbody. I don't know if it is because they went totally metric, or for another reason, but when ordering parts online, parts are typically listed as A/Gbody. So it seems that there is only a minor, or technical difference between them.
 
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pagrunt

Geezer
Sep 14, 2014
6,896
113
Elderton, Pa
81 Caballero, welcome to GBF from Seattle, Wa. with a '78 Caballero and a '79 El Camino.
It seems that "technically", if my understanding is correct, that a '78-81 is considered an Abody, and '82-87 is Gbody. I don't know if it is because they went totally metric, or for another reason, but when ordering parts online, parts are typically listed as A/Gbody. So it seems that there is only a minor, or technical difference between them.
It was the FWD A's that came out in '82 which were ment to replace the RWD A's. Some how the bean counters allowed both A platforms to be produced at the same time. So for a solution to not have 2 A's they decided to make the RWD's G which was used for the '69-'72 Grand Prix even though it was a A with an extended wheel base. There might be a better story but this is how I understand it. Side note: back when I was working for the body shop supply place I found old PPG literature for '82 that still listed the RWD's A & the new FWD's G. Wish I would of grabbed a few back then.
 
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81 Caballero

n00b
Thread starter
Aug 24, 2021
3
1
Definitely, no question a Gbody only the first couple years GM was confused and labeled them As I’ve got a 79 Elco and I’ve ALWAYS bought everything G body
Thanks for the info. I appreciate it!…. I’m wanting to replace the brake system with new rotors,calipers,hoses. And also rebuild the suspension. with new a-arms but I’m just worried I’m going to order everything for a G Body and it doesn’t fit.
 

69hurstolds

Geezer
Supporting Member
Jan 2, 2006
5,675
113
pagrunt is correct. With an 81, if you can TRY to order stuff for an 81 A-body, do that. It's not that G-body stuff won't work, as most all of it will, but there's little stupid things that changed from 81 to 82. As was mentioned, more metrics stuff started showing up. For example, 81's used SAE wheel stud threads and lug nuts. In 1982, they went to metric. So if you get generic front rotors from NAPA for instance, you have to check if it's metric studs or SAE. Because your factory lug nuts won't fit metrics. Unless you're going to get new metric lug nuts to match.

G-bodies are full of metric/SAE mix and match surprises when you first start working with them.
 
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