Identifying your Jeep 101...
All Jeeps can be identified by their 2 letter designation. Below is a short list of the most recent Jeeps that many offroaders are using today. Further down the page is a more detailed list of the 2 letter designations along with a little history as well.
Jeep 2 letter designations, their years and a bit of history:
Grand Cherokee (2005+) WK
Grand Cherokee (1999-2004) WJ
Grand Cherokee (1993-98) ZJ
Cherokee (84-01) XJ
Wrangler (1942-1986) CJ
Wrangler (1987-1985) YJ
Wrangler (1997+) TJ
Liberty (2002+) KJ
M170 - Similar to a military version of the CJ-6. 4155 of them were made in the mid-50's and early-60's.
- The first civilian version of the military-inspired short-wheelbase
Jeep, made '42-'86. Encompasses everything from flat-fenders to
Scramblers. Like many other early Jeep designations, "CJ" actually
stands for something: Civilian Jeep. Various numbers followed the CJ
designation, indicating different body styles within the CJ line:
- A flat-fender, very similar to the military MB ('45-49) except that
the headlights bulge out of the grill instead of being inset.
CJ-3A - A flat-fender, very similar to the military M38 ('48-53).
CJ-3B - A flat-fender, the top of its hood sits 4" higher above the fenders than the 3A to clear the new F-head engine ('52-68).
- Only one prototype is known to exist. It was discovered in 1997(?),
still in the hands of its second owner. It looks like a 50/50 mix of a
CJ-3A and a CJ-5, with only slightly-rounded fenders.
- The civilian version of the M38A1, but with the front shackles under
the bumper like most other models. 81" ('55-'71) or 84" ('72-'83)
wheelbase. Front fenders are rounded like all subsequent
short-wheelbase Jeeps. Easily distinguished from the CJ-7 by a small
doorway with a rounded, sloping rear edge.
CJ-6 - Essentially a CJ-5 that was stretched 20" ('58-75), intended for use as a small pickup.
- A compromise between the CJ-5 and CJ-6, having a 93.4" wheelbase
(like the YJ and TJ). The body tub is very similar to the YJ and TJ,
but the rear wheel wells are round instead of angular. Made '76-'86.
- Also called a "Scrambler." Similar to a CJ-7, but with an extra 10"
of wheelbase and an even longer rear overhang. Like the CJ-6, it was
intended as a small pickup, but never really found its niche. Only
27,000 were made from '81-'86. Commonly seen with half-cab tops that
surround only the front seats.
CJ-10 - A
more truck-like Jeep built mainly for export from 1981-85. Easily
distinguished by the square headlights in the fenders and the 10-slat
YJ - The original Wrangler, made
'87-'95 (though production actually continued into March of '96).
Rectangular headlights make it the ******* child of the of the
short-wheelbase line. Rear wheel wells are larger and more angled than
the CJ-7, but otherwise the two are visually quite similar.
- The second generation Wrangler, made '97-present (actually began
shipping May of '96). Round headlights, coil suspension, and a much
more car-like interior distinguish it from the YJ.
- The full-size Cherokee ('74-'83), Wagoneer ('63-'83), Grand Wagoneer
('84-'91), and J-truck ('63-'87). In 1984, Jeep introduced the
down-sized XJ and started calling them Cherokees and Wagoneers, leaving
only the Grand Wagoneer in the SJ lineup until its demise in '91.
M-715 - A 5/4-ton military pickup built '67-'69. It somewhat resembles a J-truck (SJ), only bigger and badder.
XJ - The down-sized Cherokee ('84-'01) and Wagoneer ('84-'89?). It was (probably?) the first Jeep to use a unibody chassis.
KJ - The Liberty ('02-present), which replaced the XJ in Jeep's product lineup.
- The Grand Cherokee ('93-'98), which replaced the Grand Wagoneer (SJ)
as Jeep's luxury cruiser after a 1-year hiatus. Though much more
aerodynamic than the SJ, it's obviously less rounded than its
replacement, the WJ.
WJ - As the more bubble-shaped, aerodynamic replacement for the ZJ, it continues the Grand Cherokee name ('99-04).
- The third style of Grand Cherokee has a more angular design than the
WJ and also joins the Liberty in having an independent front suspension
MJ - The Comanche pickup
('86-'92). It shares much in common with the XJ of that era, including
its front unibody chassis. It replaced the full-size Gladiator and
J-truck pickups of the SJ era.
DJ-3A - Dispatcher (postal) version of the CJ-3A, made '56-65. Only 2-wheel drive versions were available.
- Dispatcher (postal) version of the CJ-5, made '65-8? by Jeep and then
AM General. Only 2-wheel drive versions were available. A DJ-6 (long,
like the CJ-6) was also made from '65-68.
The Jeepster ('48-50) was an attempt by Willys to spice up their
vehicle lineup. 2WD, 72hp, and poor marketing doomed it to be
discontinued after less than three years.
- The Jeepster Commando ('66-73) was an attempt by Kaiser to compete
with with the Bronco and TLC. The C101 was part CJ and part Wagoneer,
advertised as a "happy combo, racy and rugged." This time around it had
4WD, and came in convertibles, hardtop wagons, and half-cab pickups.
FC - Forward Control pickups, with the cab directly above the engine. Made '57-'63