We have developed this simple step by step illustrated key that will allow you to positively identify your Jeep vehicle. This will enable you to find and order the correct publications and literature that you require to service, repair or restore your Jeep vehicle.
Be aware though, over the years someone always seems to have had a "better idea" than the Jeep designers and engineers. Engines, transmissions, transfer cases, axles, leaf springs, brake systems and steering systems are "swapped" for the sake of "better performance".
The vehicle frames are often lengthened or shortened, rear body panels are cut out for tailgates, Tailgates are removed and sheeted over, monstrous heavy bumpers are added, windshields are swapped from one model to the next, huge wheels and tires are installed, seats, fuel systems and gauges are "upgraded".
In many cases the original vehicle may be totally unrecognizable from the original manufacturer's configuration.
Obviously, the first place to look for to find the model of your Jeep is the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) plate. In most cases the Jeep model is plainly printed on the plate. The vehicle model is usually indicated on the title.
The VIN plate can usually be located in a few standard locations. The military models had data plates with their serial numbers stamped on them located on the right side of the dashboard. The MB, GPW and early CJ's had the serial number VIN plate riveted to the inside of the driver's side frame rail just behind the front bumper. Later CJ's had the VIN plate located on the engine side of the firewall and stamped on the top of the driver's side frame rail near the upper shock absorber bracket. Jeep wagons and trucks usually have the VIN plate located on the body on the driver's side rear door pillar.
If your VIN plate can't be found the easy way to identify your vehicle is to get a tape measure and a friend and measure the distance from the center of the front wheel hub to the center of the rear wheel hub.
This figure is known as the "WHEELBASE". After you have determined the wheelbase go the appropriate section in our JEEP VEHICLE IDENTIFICATION KEY. Click on the Jeep with your wheelbase, answer the questions and follow the steps. In most cases you will identify your Jeep in a matter of minutes. Every Jeep model in its original factory configuration is illustrated in each section as well.