How to find parts for your car

marty mopar

Well-Known Member
Mar 9, 2011
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Tempe AZ
I have a parts business that I have been running for 40 years.

Here's what I do when I want to find a part.
Get the part number using a part book. These are available online, in paper (dealership part books), Dealer Cd's or microfiche.
I have all the Mopar part books for car and trucks from 1929-2012 in various forms. I have a CD downloaded on my computer from Chrysler that has all the truck and car books from 1982-2012. After that year all the part books were delivered to the dealers via internet so you have to call the dealer to get that info.

If there is a part number on the part, you can use that too although it may be a casting # and not the service # in the part book. Sometimes numbers on parts are the number in the part book. If a part is an assembly such as a taillamp that has a lens, gasket, bezel and housing then the numbers on individual parts may be valid numbers but the lamp assembly will have a different number.
Numbers often are superseded for various reasons such as vendor change, design change, etc. There can be numerous changes some of which may look the same as the OEM part and other times it might look different.

I have old COS books from Chrysler (Cancelled, Obsolete, Superseded) that have all the old numbers that were "equivalent".
Numbers that are cancelled often come up as NS1 or something similar.
That means not serviced (as in obsolete or no longer available). At the dealership the guys would say "NFG" or no fuXXing good)

Parts that were serviced in various colors may have the same casting numbers but the part book shows different numbers for each color. These numbers are color coded parts.
Example: Black is typically X and white is W
the last digit is how dark it is. 9 is the darkest and 1 is the lightest Example:
EX9 is black black is always 9
DW1 is white white is always 1

The 1st alpha letter is often the year E is circa 1969-70 F is circa 1970-71.
The lettering system varies over the years.
1411EX9 is 1969 1404FX9 is 1970-71

other later models examples:
S690BL3 tan headrest sleeve 4018801 cast on part 1983-1984
S690DT3 tan headrest sleeve 4018801 cast on part 1985-1986
here the tan probably is a different shade but the casting # is the same

One way to find out what the status of a part # is to call my local dealership and give them a number to see if superseded. If it is too old they will say it is invalid which means Chrysler dropped it from their system. You might get lucky and there will be a trail of old numbers associated with the part. Or it goes to a specifier bulletin or has a recall # associated with it. I ask to see if any dealers in the country stock it as all of them are tied into the dealer locate.
Sometimes there is some dealer that has it!

Let's say you still can't find it. Using Google or some other search engine put in ALL of the OEM numbers including superseded ones and casting numbers this way:
3591016 Mopar (this is the number in the part book)
3591020 Mopar (this is the casting number on the part)

If you just put a part # into a search w/o the word Mopar you are going to get a crapload of stuff that has nothing to do with your part.
This will show you all the ads, E-Bay, forum posts, parts inventories, yard sales aftermarket stuff, anytime it was in print and had these numbers in them.

There are 2 parts locators you can use if you have the OEM or casting numbers:

This is a good wrecking yard site for later models cars and once in a blue moon something older (no part # needed):

When calling aftermarket sources (NAPA, Autozone, etc.) it is helpful
if you give them the OEM part number as they can crossover the # and
generally you get a better result.

The bottom line is to get a part # or you are pissing in the wind.