So, you’ve finally become a Jeep Wrangler owner — welcome to the family!
Jeep enthusiasts make up an entire culture on their own. If you’re new to the wonderful world of jeeping, there are certainly a few things you need to know so you don’t sound like a complete newb out on the trails.
That’s why here at TopLift Pros — makers of the world’s best hardtop removal solution that puts other Jeep hardtop hoists to shame — we’ve compiled a comprehensive guide to the Jeep-life language, including all the Jeep jargon you might potentially hear out there from your fellow off-roaders. This way, you can avoid being the one in the club that chuckles nervously at Jeep references that you don’t truly understand — and maybe even educate your fellow new jeepers along the way.
Jeep Model Abbreviations
Each Jeep model, (with a few exceptions) comes with a two-character abbreviation:
JK – Wrangler 2007 – present Jeep model abbreviations
LJ – Wrangler Unlimited 2003 – 2006
TJ – Wrangler 1997 – 2006
YJ – Wrangler 1987 – 1995
CJ – Civilian Jeep 1955 – 1986
KL - Cherokee 2014 - present
XJ – Cherokee/Wagoneer (Unibody only) 1984 – 2001
WK2 – Grand Cherokee 2010 – present
WK – Grand Cherokee 2005 – 2010
WJ – Grand Cherokee 1999 – 2004
ZJ – Grand Cherokee 1993 – 1998
KK – Liberty 2008 – 2013
KJ – Liberty 2002 – 2007
MK - Patriot 2007 - present
XK – Commander 2006 – 2010
MJ – Comanche 1986 – 1993
VJ – Jeepster 1948 – 1950
DJ – Dispatch or delivery Jeep 1955 – 1985 (Willys/Kaiser/AMC/AM General)
FC – Forward control trucks 1956 – 1964
SJ – Full size 1963 – 1992 (SJ Grand Wagoneer, SJ Cherokee and SJ truck)
C101 - Jeepster Commando - 1966 - 1971
C104 - Jeep Commando - 1972 - 1973
Want to learn more about these Jeep models? Take a journey through time by checking out our blog on the history of the Jeep Wrangler that provides more detailed information on the evolution of the Jeep Wrangler over the years.
Jeep Jargon: Terms To Know
This refers to any Jeep Wrangler that has been modified with various aftermarket Jeep parts and accessories to be look and ride like a finely tuned off-roading beast.
This term is relatively easy to discern, but these are the modifications that are applied to a Jeep Wrangler. They can refer to the specific parts and accessories being applied for improving the look or the performance of the vehicle. In terms of Jeep modifications, there are three types of Jeep Wranglers on the roads:
Stock - A Jeep without any modifications performed outside of what was installed by the manufacturer.
Aftermarket - A Jeep that features mods that are substitutes for the “stock” components, such as an aftermarket grill, headlights, lift kits, and more
Built - A Jeep which has been completely modified by a professional with aftermarket parts for maximum performance
This is the act of performing work to your Jeep, whether it’s installing new mods, giving it a tune-up, or repairing a broken or damaged component. Wrenching applies to any time you’re getting down and dirty with your Jeep that is in the garage rather than on the trails.
Wheeling is trail running, rock climbing, and everything else you do off the pavement in your Wrangler.
Bogging, or “mudding,” refers specifically to times where you take your Jeep out in the mud. If you’re new to the off-road scene, we highly recommend sticking to traditional “wheeling” for a while before trying your hand in the mud pits — and when you do, have a winch nearby.
Also referred to often as “lockers,” these greatly improve your Jeep’s capabilities in low-traction environments, such as ice and sand. When they are needed, lockers will “lock” the left and right wheels of an axle together, providing a boost in traction.
A dreaded occurrence throughout the Jeep community, the death wobble is an ill-fated effect of the suspension of your Wrangler, which leads to intense front-end vibrations, or “wobbles.” This is due to the oscillation of the front axle, and it has the potential to end in disastrous fashion if not addressed immediately. This happens most often when aftermarket Jeep lift or suspension kits are made poorly or have been installed improperly, but it can happen with any Jeep, stock or aftermarket, with the perfect storm of conditions.
This term is used to describe the various exterior protection accessories that can be installed on a Jeep Wrangler — bumpers, sliders, rocker guards, skid plates, fenders and more.
Articulation is the amount of distance that a Jeep’s suspension will allow the wheels to reach upwards and downwards. There are two forms of articulation:
Droop - downward articulation, or how far the tires can reach below the vehicle
Stuff - upward compression, or how far the tires can be pushed upwards into the wheel housing
The tire bead refers to the edge of the tire that sits on the wheel rim, creating an air-tight seal. When the tire is inflated and the seal is formed, this is known as “sealing the bead.”
In a variety of off-roading scenarios, the tire bead can be compromised. For example, when climbing over rocks, tire pressure is reduced from what is used in daily driving to more easily climb. When pressure is reduced, the bead can easily become compromised. Many Jeep owners will buy a ‘bead lock’ for this very occurence to help the bead hold, therefore maintaining tire pressure.
We hope that this guide to Jeep lingo will help you on your quest to become a Wrangler aficionado. If you really want to impress your fellow Jeep owners and stand out from the pack, don’t opt for the standard, run-of-the-mil Jeep hardtop hoist. Instead, get your hands on the best Jeep hardtop removal solution on the market with the TopLift Pro. Not only will you have a handy tool that your fellow jeepers will envy, but you’ll be able to remove your Jeep hardtop and be out on the trails in no time!