Want to know how to Identify a Jeep Wrangler? While they are all very similar, and even shared some parts over the decades, you still need to have an idea of what model you have.
How to Identify Jeep Wrangler JK and Unlimited JK Models and Years
Let's start with the most current Jeep Wrangler platform, the JK model. A JK can be a 2-door model, or a 4-door. But a 4-door model is known as an "Unlimited". So whenever you see JK Unlimited, you immediately know it's a 4-door JK Jeep. A JK can say many things on the body: Unlimited, Polar Edition, Willys, but it will still be a JK. If you try to order a part for a Polar Edition, it's almost impossible, but try and get a part for a JK, and you're going to see a lot of great products.
JK Wranglers range from 2007 to 2018.
To help identify a JK, the grille is slightly slanted back with a rake, with the bottom sticking out more than the top.
How to Identify Jeep TJ Wrangler and Wrangler TJ Unlimited Models and Years
The next chassis, going back in time, is the Jeep TJ. These were produced as a 2-Door model. The TJs were produced from 1997-2006.
The Unlimited TJ models are also known as a Jeep TJL, because their wheelbase is longer than the regular TJs. Another way to identify a TJ is the grille. On a TJ it's vertical, but has a slight "bend" to it, just a little more than halfway up. Notice the TJ also has 4 marker lights in front on the fenders.
How to Identify Jeep YJ Wrangler Models and Years
Our next Jeep is the dare we mention the Jeep YJ Wrangler. If there was ever a Jeep that took more insults than any other model, it's probably this one. It's known as the Jeep with the square headlights. Making it probably the easiest to identify out of any year Jeep, but marking it as the black sheep of the family as far as some Jeepers are concerned.
YJs were only available as 2-Door models, as were all previous Jeeps. The YJ were produced from 1987-1995. This was the last Jeep with leaf springs front and rear, so to some, it is also considered the last "real Jeep".
YJ owners usually defend their choice of Jeep, and in some sense, they dare to be different. No one has to guess what kind of Jeep it is, because with the square headlights, everyone knows it's a YJ. The Jeep YJ's have a similar grille to the later TJ, they have a bend molded into the, but the bend is almost exactly halfway up.
How to Identify Jeep CJ Models and Years
Now we're going back to what most would call the classic Jeeps. The almighty CJ series. The CJ designation was used from around 1945 all the way up to 1986. (CJ actually stands for "Civilian Jeep"). The first being a CJ-2A, and the last being the CJ-7 / CJ-8 models. The range is CJ-2, CJ-3, CJ-5, CJ-6, CJ-7 and the CJ-8 Scrambler.
While they are all very similar, and even shared some parts over the decades, you still need to have an idea of what CJ chassis/ model you have. It takes more detective work to figure it out if you're not sure. A stock CJ Jeep would be rare today, as they are so popular, and most have some modifications at one time or another during their long life.
How to Identify Jeep Cherokee XJ Models and Years
While we've covered the best known Jeep vehicles, as far as the other Jeeps in the line, they use chassis designations too. The most popular is the Cherokee, with the XJ being known as the nearly indestructible model that's built like a tank and seems to last forever. They refuse to die.