Which Year Is It?

A Cosworth Vega Field Guide

Tom Lippert's #3449

What are the differences between the 1975 and 1976 Cosworth Vegas?

The following chart shows the differences between the model years as reported on the Yahoo! cosworthvegas Group.





Body Style 1975_front_larson.jpg (10848 bytes)

Photo from Steve Larson
  1976_front_larson.jpg (10862 bytes)

Photo from Steve Larson

So what are the main differences between the 1975 and the 1976 CV? I noticed the vents in the front end of the body, but is there any difference in the chassis or the uni-body? Thanks. ~CHRIS #0754

1975_rear_larson.jpg (10681 bytes)  

1976_rear_larson.jpg (10030 bytes)

The front grill, headlamp buckets, and headlight bezels were metal in 75 and plastic in 76. The 75 used a clear front turn signal lens with an orange bulb while the different style 76 used an orange lens with a white bulb. (Chris)


Photo from Steve Larson
Photo from Steve Larson
Wheels and Lugs View Lug Picture

1975_1599.jpg (10967 bytes)


Larger Lug Nuts,
Larger Stud holes

1976_2551.jpg (16420 bytes)

The lugnuts were changed and the wheels were sized differently to accommodate the larger lug nuts in 1976.

Rear Brakes Regular 
Vega Brakes
  Larger (and better) Rear Brakes 

Along with the rear brakes change, the proportioning valve and master cylinder are also different.

Floor Pan Shares Same Pan with 1975 Monza   Bolt in Shifter Plates

Larger/Wider Transmission Tunnel

Chris: The biggest difference between the two years, besides larger (and better) rear brakes, is the 76 floor pan has a larger wider transmission tunnel. Some other items are softer springs, raised ride height (1"), relocated panhard bar with the ability to adjust the panhard bar, and bolt in shifter plates (which make it a snap to change from a 4-speed to a 5-speed or automatic). Tim

Springs / Ride Height Unique to Cosworth   Softer Spring,
One Inch Higher Ride
Panhard Bar  Mounts the panhard bar in front of the axle    Panhard bar mounting bracket is welded behind the rear axle.

The clutch cable assembly used a pulley or wheel in 75.... 

  ...and did not in '76.  
Transmission 4-Speed Only   4-Speed/5 Speed Option

In regard to the 1976 transmission tunnel, one should note that the shifter hole is further toward the rear of the vehicle if a 5-speed is installed. To swap from a 4-speed to a 5-speed or vise-versa will require cutting the floorpan for shifter access.

Rear Axle 3.73 also Posi Option   3.73/4.10 Option also Posi Option  
Exhaust Tail Piece Twin Tail Piece   Single Piece tailpipes.jpg (178268 bytes)
Coolant Temp. Sensor Under the EFI throttle body   Under the Thermostat Housing

Bob, the only difference I can think of is on the 75. there is a coolant sensor below the FI throttle body that they relocated to below the thermostat housing for 76. You may want to find that wire and re-route it before you install the harness...

Body Hardware 1975_emblem_larson.jpg (7874 bytes)
1975 Front 
Vega Emblem
Photo from Steve Larson
1976_emblem_larson.jpg (7959 bytes)
Front " Vega" emblem was changed and relocated. Rear "Vega" Emblem has different mounting stud dimension
Photo from Steve Larson

.. However, for future reference, I would leave the harness alone and relocate the sensor since they found that it was more accurate below the thermostat housing. Hope that helps. Chris.

Windshield Wipers Twin wire style   Single bar style  
Misc.   Coolant Overflow Bottle Heat Shield Changed


The seat fabric changed from the perforated vinyl in 75 ..


...to a solid vinyl in 76.


The lower rear seat was a one piece in 75... 


...and a 2 piece in 76, with a longer carpet to cover the trans tunnel between the rear seats


CVOA Registrar Steve Larson has documented many of these differences. 
Click here to check out his web site.