1971. First production 4/19/71. Grille shell painted body color (pre-production units were dark gray) and had 3 horizontal slots. 4-196, 6-232, 6-258, V-304, and V-345 engines, T13/14 3speed, T44/45 4speed, T-39 Warner Gear Automatic transmissions. FA-13 Dana Model 30, FA-44 Dana Model 44 Front axles, RA-18 standard and RA-28 Trac-loc Dana Model 44 Rear Axles. 3.31, 3.73, and 4.27 ratios available. Spring ratings 2200# and 2400# front, 2000#, 2000#HD, and 2500# progressive rear. Black vinyl upholstery and dash standard, blue, sage, black, and red nylon optional.
1972. Grille shell changed to silver, rear seat back angle revised to be more vertical. 6-232 engine dropped.
1973. Grille changed to vertical bars, divided in the center, painted body color, thin chrome "pencil" trim around halves of grille. Vertical ribs added to rear inner panels to stop drumming (running change during year). 4-196 engine dropped, T-407 Chrysler automatic transmission and TC-143 chain drive transfer case offered. Finned front brake drums in front, optional console and clock. Spring ratings 2500# front and 2700# rear available. Merchandising kits for optional stripes appeared.
1974. Chrome overlay over the 1973 vertical bar grille, square mirrors replaced round. Dual exhaust standard with V-8s. FA-44 standard (but FA-13s were substituted on some vehicles due to a shortage of FA-44s). Disk brakes standard on front with 6" rims replacing the 5.5" to provide caliper clearance. 7" chrome wheels and radial tires offered. Front sway bar standard on 1/1/97. White and woodgrain vinyl side applique panels, and a wide white stripe applique at the bottom of the sides available.
1975. Same grille as 74, but with square headlight bezels added. XLC (Xtra Load Capacity) model designations introduced to avoid emission requirements of lighter duty models. Spring ratings of 3100# and 3200# on front, and 3100# and 3100# progressive rears offered to reach the required 6100@ GVW rating. 4-196 engine reintroduced in place of 6-258. V-345A engine with some lighter-duty features replaces standard V-345. 3.07, 3.54, and 4.09 axle ratios offered. T-427/428 4 speeds and T-332 3 speed with synchronized low gears introduced. Tanbark vinyl interior standard, optional Saddle, Tanbark, Parchment, Wedgewood Blue, and Ivy of woven vinyl offered. Woodgrain dash trim, "Mid-high" back bucket seats (from the Chevette), optional low-profile rear view mirrors, stainless steel, non-adjustable whip radio antenna (mid-year), 4WD Engaged light, bezels, padded covers on console and rear inner quarters added. Numerous items such as chrome bumpers and locking hubs standard. Side applique was continuous rather than seperate panels.
1976. Grille is divided into 3 sections with horizontal bars in each section, chrome overlay standard. Traveler and Terra added. 100" pickup dropped. Non-turbo Nissan diesel offered. New side applique: Rallye, white, cork, and feathers. Rear springs re-arched to make rear sit level. "Selectro/Dualmatic locking hubs optional. Steel fuel filler pipe in place of plastic, Spirit and Patriot models built.
1977. 2 horizontal slots in grille with 3 small verticle supports. Optional interiors now Saddle or Parchment vinyl and Tanbark or Wedgewood Blue nylon. 1/3-2/3 bench seat now folds on driver's side. Black Warn Lock-O-Matic hubs with spring loaded manual operation available. SSII introduced 3/77. 8" white spoke wheels with hardened front spindles offered.
1978. Same 2 slot grille used, but support bars are blacked out. New arm rests (from S Series), Prestolite "Common Base" distributor with integral electronic ignition used after 10/6/77. 3.73 rear axle ratio optional, Tiempo All-season tires optional, plastic tail light and marker light housings after 2/78. Lock-O-Matic Hubs have steel ring in manual section replacing plastic 3/6/78. New appliques: Rallye has "hash" marks, white and woodgrain with pattern that varies from front to rear, stripe is now thin strip between markers. Rustproofing improvements are gradually being made.
1979. Few or no visible exterior changes. New interiors: Black standard, Sierra Tan or Black winylv and Russet or Highland Blue fabric in Custom interior, bolsters on high-back bucket seats, engine-tuned trim on dash, carpeted door panels with map pockets and carpeted rear quarter panels, vinyl headliner, redesigned console lid with cup holders. Catalytic convert/no-lead fuel required, Thermoquad 4-barrel carb on V345A. TC-143 single speed transfer case dropped. Terra not available as 4x2. Restricted option list for 4-196 engine due to emission certification requirements, Engine oil cooler available. Selective Edition model with Brown or Black paint, SSII grille, gold spoke wheels and Tracker tires, and a gold side strip built.
1980. New plastic grille shell with square headlights. Standard window frames and bumpers are black instead of gray. New caster/camber specs for front axle (2.5 degrees and .5 degrees) to improve front tire wear. 15" styled steering wheel is standard, Nissan Turbo Diesel offered, polycast wheels, 2.72, 3.31, 3.54, and 3.73 were axle ratios, TC-146 Dana 300 transfer case, new air conditioning housing which is full width of dash (introduced during '79 model year). New applique: Rallye, Waves, Spear, and Flare styles. 85mph speedo head in place of 100mph, Scout decals on rear quarters, stick-on vinyl side trim in place of stainless steel, power steering is standard, black manual locking hubs with Scout id, no T-332 or T-427 deep low transmissions in Traveler, Tartan Blue is blue interior color, brushed satin trim on dash.
T-427/428 4-speeds introduced in '75 were the T19, close and wide gear boxes
prior to '75, T-18 non-sync 1st gear close ratio offered.
6-232 and 6-258 were AMC motors.
T-407 Auto tranny is the Chrysler TorqueFlight 727.
Standard Transfer case, TC-145, is a Dana 20.
Grille illustrations courtesy of Kyle Thoreson.