RX-7 Yearly Model Differences


Subject: RX-7 Yearly Model Differences

Hey, y'all,


Yearly Model Differences.

To determine when a specific car was built, check the emmission control label on the rear of the driver's door jamb. The month and year of manufacture is given. There was a delay of approximately six weeks from this date to the arrival in this country.

EXTERIOR:

1979 - '80 Nearly identical. Doors appeared smooth - actually narrow rubber molding covered the body crease. Taillights were separated by painted indentation. License plate mounted above bumper.

Radio antenna 8 inches longer in 1980 for better reception.

Early 1979 models (built in 1978) had only a left rearview mirror and the hood propping rod was on the right side instead of the left.

There were 3,000 fully optioned Limited Edition cars built - all painted black.

1981 - '85 Few differences among them. Wider side molding located below body crease. Taillights extended across entire body.

Power mirrors, and rear window washer and wipers were optional. Longer wiper blades and two washer jets in '84. Front bumper and air dam changes produced lower drag and less lift at high speeds. Radio antenna controlled by engine ignition switch instead of separate console switch

Electric fuel filler door release standard. In 1983 the key operated fuel door release was eliminated.

1984 & '85 Panel below front bumper contained slots next to grille.

"IMSA" appearance package available. Includes front airdam, rear spoiler and brushed-finish roof band. [1]

INTERIOR:

1979: Console was uncluttered with coin holders behind the shifter boot (they weren't made to fit American coins). Speedometer range to 130 mph. No oil pressure gauge. Fabric seats. No hidden storage bins. Early 1979 models had no map pockets in doors.

1980: Vinyl seats available. Speedometer top speed was 85 mph. Sunroof mechanism improved.

3,000 "LS" model cars had all options.

1981: Console was updated with switches located behind the shifter where the coin holders were previously. Clock moved to console.

Switches for windshield wipers/washers and lights were reversed from previous models. Dome light design changed.

Better instrument lighting. Separate voltmeter. Needle and number colors reversed to orange numbers and white needles. Oil pressure gauge added.

Storage bin located behind seats. Leather seats and power windows optional. Upgraded radio.

Handbrake vinyl boot replaced with a plastic cover. Shifter control shortened. Vinyl boot on shifter lever replaced with rubber "accordian" style.

1982: Better audio system available.

1983: Firmer foam in seats and lumbar adjustment improved.

1984: Dial type ventilation controls on console. Ventilation much better with a four speed fan.

Steering wheel spoke design change. Instruments numbers changed to red from previous orange. Storage bins gained lights and locks. Seats received more support and plusher fabrics.

MECHANICAL DESIGN:

1979: Engine was a 12A (1200 cc producing 100 HP) with 3 electrode sparkplugs. Only leading plugs fired under certain conditions. Mechanical points/condenser ignition. Emission control-system used a "thermal reactor".

Brakes were vaccum boosted with discs in front and drums in back. Only GS model had rear antiroll bar.

1980: Similar to '79, but with electronic ignition. Brake power boost increased.

All models had front and rear antiroll bars.

1981: Catalytic converter replaced thermal reactor. Hotter electronic ignition. Both sparkplugs (4 electrodes) fired all the time. When engine decelerating, all air/fuel diverted to front rotor to prevent backfire. Lighter flywheel.

Disc brakes on rear and limited slip differential were optional (standard on GSL). Gas tank capacity increased to 16.5 gallons from 14.

Cruise control optional. Only manual transmission available was five speed.

1982: Wider tires. Minor changes to engine for better fuel economy.

1983: Oil cooler moved from below the radiator to the top of engine under the oil filter (12A). Stronger clutch. Shorter throw on shifter.

1984: SE model introduced (see below).

Optional automatic transmission was a 4 speed type - a 3 speed with an overdrive gear. Power steering (variable with speed) became an option on GSL and SE models only.

1985: Similar to '84.

1984 and '85 GSL-SE: 13B engine - 1300 cc, 135 HP, special six port design, electronic fuel injection. 14 inch wheels standard. Larger disc brakes. Limited slip differential. Power steering optional. Improved interior. Separate oil cooler mounted under radiator.

Dimensions/Capacities/Performance figures

Dimensions:

Length: 169 in. (170.1 in. for 1981 and later) Width: 65.7 in. Height 49.6 in. Wheelbase 95.3 in. (front wheels to rear wheels) Track, f/r 55.9/55.1 in. (left wheels to right wheels)

Weight:

Empty Wt - Varies with options and model year; 2350 lbs for 1979 4 spd S model to 2500 lbs for GSL model. Average wt = 2450 lbs 1984 & '85 GSL-SE 2512 lbs [1]

Engine specs: 1979 198? + 12A 12A 13B Displacement: 1146 cc/70 cu in 1146 cc/70 cu in 1308 cc/80 cu in Compression: 9.4:1 9.4:1 9.4:1 Horsepower: 100 @ 6,000 101 @ 6,000 135 @ 6,000 Torque: 105 @ 4,000 107 @ 4,000 133 @ 2,750 Induction: Nikki 4 bbl carb Nikki 4 bbl carb Bosch L Jetronic FI

Transmissions:

4 spd man, 5 spd man, 3 spd auto in 1979 and '80. No 4 spd man in 1981 and later models. 4 spd auto available in 1984 & '85.

1979 198? + Ratios: 1st 3.674 3.622 2nd 2.217 2.186 3rd 1.432 1.419 4th 1.000 1.000 5th 0.825 0.758 SE: 0.807 Reverse 3.542 3.493

Steering Radius: 16 ft.

Fluid Capacities:

Fuel tank: 14.5 gal (1979 & '80) 16.4 gal (1981 & later)

Engine oil: 5.5 qts (thru 1982) 4.8 qts (1983 & later) 6.1 qts (SE model)

Oil meter pump flow: 2.0 - 2.5 cc/6 min (1979 & '80) 1.8 - 2.2 cc/6 min (1981 & later) 0.8 - 1.2 cc/6 min (13B engine)

Transmission oil: 1.8 qts (1979 - '81) 2.1 qts (1982 & later - including 13B) 7.9 qts (automatic) Type "F"

Coolant: 10 qts

Wheels and tires: added by jes, May 27, 2000

Wheels Tires Steel 5"x13" 165 HR 13 (S, GS) Aluminum 5.5"x13" 185/70 HR 13 (option non-SE models) Aluminum ? 14" ? 14 (Limited and SE)

Performance Figures:

These are general figures due to the differences in driver technique, road surfaces, air temperature, etc on tests done at different places and times. Most published results were achieved with nearly new, well maintained cars.

0 - 60 accel 9 - 10 secs varies with engine/trans 8 - 9 secs SE model (13B engine) [2]

1/4 mile accel 17 - 18 secs/80 - 83 mph 16 - 17 secs/84 - 85 mph (SE model) [2]

60 - 0 mph braking 150 - 160 (drum rear brake) 160 - 170 (rear disc brakes) [2]

cornering "g" approx .78 approx .85 (SE model-different tires)

Vin Info:

Model Year VIN Ser Numbers 1979 SA22C - 500001 + 1980 SA22C - 600001 + 1981 FB33 - 500001 + (USA) 1982 FB33 - 600001 + 1983 FB33 - 700001 + 1984 FB33 - 800001 + 1985 FB33 - 856209 +

How to interpret the VIN (Chassis No.)

Vehicle Identification System for Mazda RX-7 series (1981 - )

Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) for RX-7 (1981 and later year models) consists of World Manufacturer Identifier, Vehicle Description Section (VDS), Check Digit, Model Year Code and Production Serial Number which is sequentially numbered within each VDS.

Shown below as an example is the VIN for a Mazda RX-7 (1981 model).

____ VDS (Vehicle Description Section) | ____V____ J M 1 F B 3 3 1 4 B O 5 1 2 3 4 5 ----- --- --- - - - - ----------- ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ Production Serial Number | | | | | | | | | | | | | |__ Assembly Plant Code (O = Hiroshima) | | | | | | | | | | | |__ Model Year Code (B= 1981, C = 1982, D = 1983...) | | | | | | | | | |__ Check Digit * | | | | | | | |__ Miscellaneous Identification Code ** | | | | | |__ Body Style Code | | | |__ Car Line Code (FB = RX-7 Series) | |__ World Manufacturer Identifier (All Mazda Passenger Cars are identified by JM1.)

* Check Digit is included as a VIN security feature to permit law enforcement verification of the authenticity of a suspected illegal VIN plate. This single digit number is determined, based upon a complex mathematical formula which is applied to each vehicle's VIN number.

** Miscellaneous Identification Code identifies major components such as engine, brake system, cab type, etc. However, if all models of the same car line use the same such components, this code is indicated as a numeric character "1" only.

List of Monthly starting VIN (Chassis No.):

1983 1984 1985 JAN 815218 881177 FEB 819695 885029 MAR 824687 889474 APR 829422 893766 MAY 834333 899625 JUNE 839137/850001 905108 JULY 850015 909988 AUG 856209 912608 SEPT 800001 861829 OCT 800882 866965 NOV 806531 871511 DEC 811185 876904

Factory List Prices:

Actual prices varied throughout production year, area of country, and of course depending on options.

S GS GSL GSL-SE 1979 $ 6,395 $ 6,995 (when introduced '78) $ 7,195 $ 7,995 (early in '79) 1980 $ 7,645 $ 8,395 $ 9,795 ("LS") 1981 $ 9,395 $ 9,895 $11,395 1982 $ 9,695 $10,295 $11,895 1983 $ 9,895 $10,915 $12,595 1984 $10,195 $11,295 $13,095 $15,095 1985 $10,945 $11,845 $13,645 $15,645

Footnotes:

[1] From 1984 Mazda RX-7 Sales Literature.

[2] From Feb. 1984 Motor Trend article on GSL-SE:

0 - 60 accel: 7.96 sec. 1/4 mile accel: 16.06 sec @ 85.1 mph 60 - 0 braking: 135 ft