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Jeep enthusiasts make up an entire culture of their own, and a key aspect of understanding any culture is knowing the language. Don’t be the new one in the club who chuckles nervously at Jeep references you don’t actually understand: read our expert guide to Jeep Speak.
Each Jeep model, (with few exceptions) comes with a two-character abbreviation:
Want to learn more about these Jeep models and where they came from? For a history of Jeep and a more in-depth look at these models, check out our Jeep History page, complete with graphic representation and our comprehensive 4WD Jeep Family Tree graphic.
A rig is a Jeep or other off-roading vehicle that has been modified with aftermarket parts and accessories.
One of the great perks to owning a Jeep is the ability to modify it with parts and accessories. Some common lingo associated with Jeep modification includes:
Wrenching is the act of working on your Jeep. Whether it’s installing new aftermarket parts and accessories, giving it a tune-up or repairing a damaged part, wrenching encompasses most things you do with a tool in your hand and grease under your nails.
Wheeling is taking the Jeep out for a ride off-road. Synonym: trail run.
Bogging or mudding refers to taking the Jeep out into the mud. There are specialty tires and other aftermarket parts for mud bogging and a winch is highly advised.
Jeep tires come in many shapes and sizes, from 35” Pro Comp Xtreme M/T2 tires to 42” Super Swampers and beyond. Each is defined by its size a tread style and should be chosen based on what you use your Jeep for most. A few things to keep in mind about Jeep tires:
A lifted Jeep has been fitted with an aftermarket Jeep lift kit. Kits often include many suspension parts, such as shocks, springs, spacers and control arms. There are many types of lift: long arm, short arm, suspension and body – all of which can be broken down into subcategories. 4WD sells Jeep lift kits ranging from 2.5 to seven inches of lift.
Learn more about Jeep lift kits in this article.
A Jeep’s suspension is the complex system of parts which connect the body and chassis to the wheels, including shocks, springs, axles and etc.
Dreaded throughout the Jeep community, "death wobble" is an ill-fated effect of suspension physics which causes intense front-end vibration due to oscillation of the front axle with the potential to be disasterous. Many a Jeeping genius has attempted to quantify the death wobble, only to be confounded by a wall of advanced mathematical voodoo.
Jeep armor is a term used to collectively refer to the different exterior accessory protections available for Jeeps. Different types of armor include bumpers and sliders, rocker guards, skid plates, fenders and more.
Ground clearance refers to the amount of space there is between the lowest point of a Jeep’s undercarriage (the underside) or axle and the ground. Lift kits and large tires are used to increase a Jeep’s ground clearance, allowing it to move over larger obstacles without damaging the undercarriage or becoming snagged or “hung up”.
Articulation is the amount of distance that a Jeep’s suspension will allow the tires to reach up and down. “Droop” is downward articulation, or how far the wheel can reach below the vehicle. “Stuff”, or compression, is how far a Jeep’s tire can be pushed upward into the wheel housing.
Need to know more about articulation - or just need more articulation? Check out our recipe for optimum suspension articulation here.
The Jeep Wave
A requirement of Jeep culture, the “Jeep Wave” is a custom amongst the Jeep community dictating that if you own a Jeep and you see another person in a Jeep, you must wave to them or forever be “that jerk”.
Rachel Bowes loves Jeeps and words, which is why she became a copywriter for 4WD!