How To Identify Jeep CJ-5, CJ-6, CJ-7 and CJ-8 Models and Years


CJ-2 1945 Identification

Although the Willys-Overland CJ-2 was not really available for retail. The CJ-2s, were the second generation prototype for the first production civilian Jeep. Using the Willys same “Go Devil Engine”, but stripped of all military features. The earlier models had brass plaques on the hood and a windshield that read “JEEP”. The spare tire was mounted near the passenger-side rear wheel on the earlier models and then mounted on the rear in the later additions.

1949 Jeep CJ-3 Identification

It featured a one-piece windshield with a vent as well as wipers at the bottom. There were also a shorter rear wheel-well (the wheel-well from the top front edge to the rear of the body is 32 inches (810 mm) on the 3A compared to 34 inches (860 mm) on the 2A) and moving the driver seat backward.

Identifying 1955-1983 Jeep CJ-5

To accommodate the new engines, the fenders and hood were stretched 5 inches starting in 1972 and the wheelbase was stretched 3 inches. Other drive train changes took place then as well, including the front axle becoming a full-floating Dana 30. In 1973, a new dash was used, with a single gauge in the center of the dash housing the speedometer, fuel and temp gauges. In 1976 the tub and frame were modified slightly from earlier versions. The frame went from an open channel to boxed in front of the rear axle, and the body tub became more rounded. The windshield frame and windshield angle were also changed, meaning that tops from 1955 to 1975 will not fit a 1976-1983 CJ-5 and vice-versa. For 1977, power disc brakes and the “Golden Eagle” package (which included a tachometer) were new options. An AM/FM radio became optional in 1981.

Jeep CJ-7 Golden Eagle 1977-1983 Identification

Came with a soft top or hard top option, Removable carpet, Radio, Moon roof for CJ7 Hardtops, Side steps, Power disc brakes, Power steering, Tachometer, 304ci V8, Air conditioning, and Golden eagle decals (massive golden eagle on the hood cannot miss it).

Identifying 1970-1983 CJ-7 Renegade

Has the same options as the Golden Eagle. The main difference was colors and interior. The renegade came with Levis’ denim interior.

1955-1971 Jeep CJ-6

The CJ-6 was simply a 20-inch (508 mm) longer-wheelbase (101 in, 1955-1971 – `04 in, 1972–1981) CJ-5. Introduced in 1955 as a 1956 model, the CJ-6 was never very popular in the United States. Most CJ6 models were sold to Sweden and South America.

Identify Jeep CJ-7, 1976-1986 Model Years

The Jeep CJ-7 featured a longer wheelbase than the CJ-5 and lacked the noticeable curvature of the doors previously seen on the CJ-5. To help improve vehicle handling and stability the rear section of the chassis stepped out to allow the road springs and dampers to be mounted closer to the outside of the body.

Identify Jeep Renegade 1976-1986

Equipped with a rear step bumper, cigar lighter, ashtray, air conditioning, tachometer, and rally clock, and sports steering wheel. The front seats have horizontal stitching. Usually the dead giveaway was the Renegade decals on the hood for the Jeep. They differ from year to year in style.

CJ-7 Golden Eagle 1976-1979 Identification

Came with a soft top or hard top option, Removable carpet, Radio, Moon roof for CJ7 Hardtops, Side steps, Power disc brakes, Power steering, Tachometer, 304ci V8, Air conditioning, and Golden eagle decals (massive golden eagle on the hood cannot miss it).

Jeep CJ-7 Laredo 1980-1986

Includes 15x 8” chrome wheels, chrome grille, front bumper, and rear bumpers. A swing-away spare tire in the rear with chrome latches, chrome mirrors, chrome hood latches, custom door panels, and limited decals and striping.

Identify the Jeep Jamboree Edition

To honor the 30th anniversary of the Jeepers Jamboree. On the exterior, all Jamborees came standard with Topaz Gold Metallic or Olympic White paint, Jamboree hood decal, chrome wheels and bumpers, black soft top, black rocker trim, and special spare tire cover.

Identify the CJ-8 (Scrambler)

The Jeep CJ-8 was a long wheel-base version of the CJ-7, introduced in 1981. It featured a 103-inch (2,616 mm) wheelbase and a removable half-cab, creating a small pick-up style box instead of utilizing a separate pickup bed. Many CJ-8’s were equipped with the “Scrambler” appearance package which included decal graphics and special wheels.

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20 Comments on How To Identify Jeep CJ-5, CJ-6, CJ-7 and CJ-8 Models and Years

  1. Hello!

    I am curious to know if the black ’76-’86 CJ7 Renegade in this article is using either BF Goodrich 31×10.5, 33×9.5 or 33×10.5. I have a friend building an almost identical one that wants to know. Thanks !

  2. Please enlighten me on CJ7 Limited series and the related options that were available on them.
    Also would really appreciate clarification on when the “wide track” rear axles became standard equipment on the CJ7.

  3. I recently purchased a 1983 CJ7 hardtop with graphics of what looks like a Hawk in red, yellow and black in the center of the hood as well as on the outside and inside of each door. it also has the stripping on the hood and the sides, The graphics appear to be original, I haven’t been able to find any examples of CJ’s with this graphic anywhere. Does anyone know of a sub-model with this design ?

  4. I have a 1986 Jeep CJ7, supposed to be a Larado. The seats are all black with the letters CJ on the head rest. Could these be original and if so what model did come on?

  5. Can I put an 82 cj8 chrome grill overlay on an 81? I know that wasn’t available on an 81 originally but did the grill dimensions change from 81 to 82? Thanks!

  6. I recently bought a 1979 cj7 the tub was shot can I use a 1981 cj7 tub and if so what changes if any would I have to make

  7. Will a top for a late model cj7, say 83, fit on an older 77 cj7? I’m always seeing a separation in years. IE. 76 – 81 cj7 vs 82 – 85 cj7/ YJ.

    • Our CJ-7 page on shows tops for 1976-1986 CJ-7’s. For example. the Bestop Tigertop (with hardware) is made for 1976-1986 CJ-7’s

  8. I’m having trouble finding a body or replacement tub for my 1973 Jeep CJ6. The 1971’s are available, but I’m not sure if I can mate the two. Any knowledge would help!

    • CJ6 tubs are hard to come by…I looked into it and according to my research, a ’71 is 4″ shorter than a ’73. So unless you lengthen the body or shorten the frame, you might have a hard time mateing the two

  9. Morris team member, Thanks for getting back to me.
    According to all the figures I have come up with,
    the `71 cj6 has a length of 155.5 in.
    and a wheelbase of 101 in.

    The `73 cj6 has a length of 158.9 in.
    and a wheelbase of 104 in.

    Theoretically, I could shorten the frame and a `71 tub would work great. Problem solved. Now the only thing left to do is commit to the job…
    Thanks again for the help. Dusty

  10. Windshield width 59 , round fender Jeep, one piece windshield, no factory door hinges, windshield retainer welded on vehicle, windshield at 90 angle to hood. CJ6 is the same basic vehicle as an early model CJ5 except with an extended rear body tub and 101 wheelbase for ’55-’71 and 103 wheelbase for ’72-’75. 5 x5.5 rim bolt pattern.

  11. I just bought a 1983 CJ 7 that was repainted some time ago. I’m trying to determine the trim level (limited, Renegade, etc…) for a proper restoration.
    It is unique in that the paint color code is 9E (1979 Jeep Wedgwood Blue)
    Seat code is 3 EB (Slate Blue, Bucket High back, Vinyl Denim )
    There is a separate tag hang on the left of vehicle tag that I have not seen before.

    So what type of CJ do I have or how do I tell?

  12. I have a 1978 cj5 it has the word Charkole on the hood I have not seen any other jeep with that do I have something good or has someone put it on there and is nothing

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