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 Post subject: LUV year by year changes
PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2003 10:49 pm 
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Following Larp's suggestion in another thread, lets pile all the info we have about what changed in which years up here. Stuff from motor style to bumpers, to the little trim stuff. If you know something is Mikado only or something like that, please mention that as well. It gets confusing pretty fast, but I think with the huge amount of experience we have here, we can sort it out. Keep in mind that some trucks have been changed by their owners too. I have a 79 with 4 headlights (only 2 work, heh) and wing windows. Obviously an older truck donated doors, lights, and trim.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2003 11:28 pm 
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1972 First year of production. Tail lights are round and positioned under the tail gate. The rear corners of the bed and the tailgate are different from later year trucks with lights up in the corners of the bed. Two reflectors were mounted on the tailgate as well.

1973 I don't know of any significant changes, though perhaps round tail lights were replaced with rectangular ones, still under the tailgate.

1974 Last year before tail lights went into the corners of the bed (?) First year for electric automatic choke.

1975 Tail lights in corners of the bed, red stop/tail and red turn lenses. Tailgate has 3 tie down hooks, and there are 4 on the bed sides. This was the last year for front drum brakes and for the original 1.8L motor. This motor has the intake and exhaust both on the driver's side of the motor, and has a bare aluminium valve cover.

1976 1st MAJOR update to the LUV. Disc brakes up front, new 1.8L motor with cross flow head. Intake and carb now mounted on passenger side of the motor. Valve cover is wider and made of sheet metal painted black. Motor mounts are in a different position on the frame than in earlier years.
The front bumper was changed to a wider design and the valance right behind it is different as well. This also changes the design of the front turn signal assemblies.

1977 Last year for hydraulic clutch, slave cylinder located on passenger side of trans, also last year for wing windows and 4 small round headlights. First year for amber rear turn signal lenses. Tailgate now has 2 tie down hooks instead of 3, sides have 3 hooks instead of 4.

1978 First year for no wing windows and two large headlights instead of 4. I believe first year for long wheelbase models, and there are some rumors of factory 4x4 models from 78, but I've never confirmed. The fuse block is now shorter with less fuses. (got rid of four, one for each headlight) Headlights now have a thermal circuit breaker up under the dash I think. This was the first year for the cable clutch, the clutch fork moved to the driver's side of the bellhousing to make cable routing easy.

78 or 79 ? Minor changes to interior trim, round gauges instead of of egg shaped, and different texture on the gauge cluster and glove box door. Side vent design changed to match. Ducting was added from the blower to these vents and the wind driven foot vents were eliminated. The seat belts also changed in 78 or 79 to use a different latch. They are not compatible with older belt buckles. The button on the latch became square instead of round with this change.

1979 First official year of 4x4 model. This was the first 4x4 production vehicle (according to what I've read) with IFS. Nothing major changed other than the unknowns between 78 or 79 above. 4x4 models have a different torsion bar configuration to go along with the front axle. Changes were made to the frame mounts for the torsion bars and axle.

1980 Basically the same as 1979, I believe the 4x4 dash light was added (but that might be a Mikado option from 79). There is a minor change to the side marker lights, the mounting and lenses are slightly different. The voltage regulator connector is round as opposed to squarish, but I'm not sure what else changed along with that. 1980 4x4 models got a larger clutch disc (8.5") with flywheel and pressure plate changes to go with.

1981 2nd MAJOR rework of the LUV. Body style completely changed, interior completely changed. Gas tank now on passenger side of truck. Frame and motor are basically unchanged, with a few exceptions. Distributor is now electronic instead of points, but still fits into older motors. I believe this was the first year a diesel motor was an option.

1982-1986 Isuzu PUP continues pretty much the same as the 1981 LUV. GM switches to the S10 line, some of the 1st years of which have the same 1.8L Isuzu 4 cyl motor. The PUP doesn't really change too much up to about 85 or 86 when the 2.3L 4cyl gas motor is added. Even then the motor mounts appear to be in about the same places. 87 or so they switched to a fuel injection 2.3L and 2.6L, but still probably physically compatible. 87 was the first year in Troopers for 4x4 transfer case to be seperate from the transmission(?). Before the the tcase and transmission (including the 5Spd) should be physically compatible to 76 and newer LUV motors.


Anyone and everyone please feel free to kibitz this and add to it. I left off Mikado options this pass, I'll research some of the discussions we've already had on that and add it in.


Last edited by 800xl on Sun Nov 28, 2004 1:48 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2003 12:50 am 
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Excellent thread.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2003 6:06 am 
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nice man :D

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2003 12:17 pm 
Great thread I loved the info!! Although my 75 has 1.8 but the Valve cover is the one with Isuzu on it....... maybe it was from a different engine?? not sure really but it does have the Int and Ext on the drivers side? Who knows but it was like that when I bought it, so could be someone elses work.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2003 1:49 pm 
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1978: first year for the hemispherical combustion chamber, before this it was a wedge.
theres my little snippet 8)

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2003 6:42 pm 
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MEPR wrote:
1978: first year for the hemispherical combustion chamber


That thing got a hemi??? :lol:


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2003 7:15 pm 
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1978- first year for round gauges just to clarify that

1979- muffler was moved to where the spare tires usually went for 78 and 80. i think this was the only year it was here. spare tire went on a mount atached to the inside of the bed behind the driver.

thats all i can think of for the moment

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2003 9:44 pm 
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My 79 has muffler and hangers all in the same position as my 77 and no mounts in the bed for a spare. Could that have been some sort of dealer option or an owner mod? Maybe something for step side beds or long wheelbase models only. Granted my truck has some black holes in its history so the bed and exhaust may not be original, who knows.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2003 10:55 pm 
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anyone know what years stepsides was offered?

sorry guys i aint got jack to add :(

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2003 8:00 pm 
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well both 79 i have seen have the muffler where the spare tire usually goes but they whereboth 4wd so maybe it was a 79 4wd option only but im not sure but i know both that i have seen have it like this.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2003 8:44 pm 
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I have a theory on this one now. I think this might be a California emissions thing. It looks like 79 might have been a rules change year for the type of cat that was put on, which changed the exhaust layout. The quick fix would be to push the muffler back and find someplace else for the spare tire. I realized that I have three 79s and all of them look the same, but I have no cali emissions models so that could be the difference.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2003 12:18 am 
1985 there was a change of grill and weel style and that was about it. then the big change came in 89-90 the 4x4's went on 16" rims as standered :(


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2003 11:14 am 
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Does anyone know when they changed the seatbelts from the old clip together type to the retractable type?

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2003 1:47 pm 
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I've had a couple of 75s with the retracto seatbelts, so sometime prior to that.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 28, 2004 1:46 am 
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I've been running into some more info on year/series changes lately so I thought I'd update this. I editted the post above to include some additional info I've come across since it was written. I'm writing up a detailed doc on this now that covers quite a bit more. I've been looking at seatbelt changes lately actually, and the 75 shop manual actually shows non-retracting belts. The one truck I have that I thought was a 75 is actually a 76, so now I'm not so sure 75s didn't come with lap/shoulder belts that just hang there.

I'll keep working on the series changes bible doc and see if I can get it all cleaned up and orderly. I'll probably be throwing out a few questions for you 72-75 owners to see if I can pin down some of that stuff. I don't have trucks to go through for those years.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 28, 2004 7:05 am 
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800xl, my 76 is the retractable type, and my 75 has the 2 piece w/ the shoulder belt looped and hanging....

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 28, 2004 8:56 am 
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some info on stepside beds and the diffrent emblems might be useful.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 28, 2004 10:48 am 
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This is really great info for everybody on this site. Why not post an article link on to the information page so it is readily available to everyone. I always have to search the posts when ever I need information.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 28, 2004 11:27 am 
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An article for the info section is a great idea. But as it turns out, not many will go to the info section to get answers to their questions. It could be that they dont have a program that will work with .pdf files. Or their computers are painfully bogged down with running programs and a phone modem that just takes too long to get the files. Or they're just lazy and would rather have someone bring them an answer than to go and look for them.

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