Jeep Life Terms and Phrases
In this Article
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:
- JK – Wrangler 2007 – present
- 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 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.
Terms & Phrases
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:
- Stock – A Jeep without any modifications. It is no more or less than what it was when it rolled off the assembly line.
- Aftermarket – Parts and accessories which do not come factory-installed with the Jeep. These are additions or substitutions for stock parts and can include lift kits, Jeep soft tops, axle housings and much, much more.
- Built – A “built rig” is a Jeep which has been modified with aftermarket parts for maximum performance.
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:
- Wheels – Different from tires, the term “wheel” refers to the inner metal part which your tire encircles. They generally come in either aluminum or steel and sizes and styles vary to match different types of tires.
- Tire Bead – The edge of the tire, which sits in a groove in the wheel when the tire is properly inflated and keeps the wheel and tire spinning together.
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!