Jeep History

72 Virginians

New member
Staff member
1954-1983 CJ-5


Nearly 30 years in production, the CJ-5 outlasted all the other Jeep utilities by a comfortable margin. All told, 603,303 were manufactured, making them the most plentiful CJ by a bunch. Many special editions existed for the CJ-5, including the 1972 Super Jeep and the 1977-83 Golden Eagle. The CJ-5 has been the basis for countless trail buildups, and probably logged more trail miles than any other Jeep.

The CJ-5 was influenced by new corporate owner, Kaiser, and the Korean War M38A1 Jeep. It was intended to replace the CJ-3B, but that model continued in production. The CJ-5 repeated this pattern, continuing in production for 3 decades while three newer models appeared. A total of 603,303 CJ-5s were produced between 1954 and 1983.

In 1965, Kaiser bought the casting rights to the Buick 225 cu in (3.7 L) V6 Dauntless and the CJ-5 and CJ-6 got a new engine with 155 hp (116 kW) supplementing the Willys Hurricane engine.

A similar model, the Jeep DJ, was based on the CJ.

The company was sold to American Motors in 1970, and the GM engine was retired after the 1971 model year. (GM's Buick division repurchased the engine tooling in the early 1970s which served as the powerplant in several GM vehicles.) AMC began using their inline six-cylinder engines, the 258 cu in (4.2 L) in 1972 and offering one V8 engine in the same tune as a base V8 muscle car, 304 CID.

To accommodate the new I6 the fenders and hood were stretched 5 inches (127 mm) starting in 1972 and the wheelbase was stretched 3 inches (76 mm). Other minor drive train changes took place then as well.

In 1976 the tub and frame were modified slightly from earlier versions. The windshield frame also changed meaning that tops from 1955-1975 will not fit a 1976-1983 CJ-5 and vice-versa.

In the early 1980s, the CJ used a "Hurricane"-branded version of the GM Iron Duke I4.

Several special CJ-5 models were produced:

* 1961-1963 Tuxedo Park Mark III
* 1965 "Tuxedo Park Mark IV"
* 1969 Camper
* 1969 462
* 1970 Renegade I
* 1971 Renegade II
* 1972-1983 Renegade Models — featuring a 304 CID V8, alloy wheels and a limited-slip differential
* 1973 Super Jeep
* 1977-1983 Golden Eagle

Early Tuxedo Park models were trim lines, but the Tuxedo Park Mark IV was claimed as a separate model than the other CJ series (marked in 1965 as the "Universal"), with more differences than past models. The Tuxedo Park Mark IV was an attempt to crack the mass market; it was, according to Jeep, “a new idea in sports cars ... the sportiest, most FUNctional car on the automotive scene.” It added to the standard CJ chrome bumpers, hood latches, gas camp, mirror, and tail lamp trim. 81 and 101 inch wheelbases were available, with a variety of convertible top and seat colors, and front bucket seats in “pleated British calf grain vinyl.” Sales of this model, introduced in 1965, were low.

The CJ-5 has the distinct honor of being a vehicle that was hard to kill off. It came in 1954 and left in 1984, equaling the longest production run of note (and before you send letters to us, know that those are Jeep's defined production dates, so we're sticking to 'em, but we'll grant you the '55 model year). The push was that the Universal Jeep was truly universal--stick it in agriculture, public service, transportation, communications, industry, and it would do the job--from street sweeping to "acting as a public address vehicle" because it was "the world's most useful vehicle." Hey, if it was good enough to rid the roads of trash and Bob's Big Boy wrappers, it was good enough for public consumption.

The History

The CJ-5 was a bit bigger/longer than the CJ-3B and was based on the round-fendered '51 M38A1. Willys gave its latest Jeep Universal model lots of newness at launch. Completely new! New ruggedness! New dependability! New comfort! New versatility! The CJ-5 was stepping it up in the brakes, suspension, seating, and even the glovebox (now with cover!) departments. A new instrument panel, larger windshield, and hand brake were selling points. The CJ-5 graduated from Willys to Kaiser and then to AMC, saw itself get longer as a CJ-6 version, and even inspired the FC model--not a bad bio. Because of the CJ-7's arrival in 1976, the CJ-6 was dumped in North America.

The Model/The Body

Among the improvements made to the CJ-5s were a fully boxed crossmember for rigidity and flanged, overlapped sheetmetal for strength. There was a new, optional, all-weather top and a new instrument panel, plus the engineering refinements we mentioned.

In 1956 came the CJ-6, which had a 101-inch wheelbase and was 155 inches long; its curb weight was 2,336 pounds. For 1964, the CJ-5A and CJ-6A Tuxedo Park sports cars arrived, and in 1969, the brief 462 edition came out with skidplates and a swing-out spare-rubber carrier among the features. Come 1970, it was all about racing stripes, the Dauntless V-6, and the Renegade I; the Renegade II came the following year, and by 1972, it was simply Renegade. By 1974, it was a full-fledged model in the CJ lineup.

Specs vary on the CJ--some claim the overall length at birth was 135-plus inches, while others say it was 138 and change. But what is clear is that in 1972, the wheelbase of the CJ-5 jumped to 84 inches and the length to 142.1 inches, while the CJ-6 increased to 104 and 162.1 inches, respectively. Most of the increase came from the stretching of the front section, hence the name "long-nose" CJ-5 for the later years.

The Super Jeep had a brief life in 1973 and featured those racing stripes again, plus a chrome bumper. The Gold Eagle limited edition was an arrival in 1977, while the chromey Laredo joined the family in 1980.

By 1983, CJ choices were simply the Renegade and a base model. And because we know you can't take the anticipation anymore, the infamous Levi's upholstery made its debut in 1975. And the DJ-5 and DJ-6 were two-wheel-drive versions of the CJs. Numerous seemingly collectable versions of the CJ-5 were also built. Did you know there was a Playboy CJ-5?

The Engine

Under the hood of the original CJ-5 and CJ-6 was a four-cylinder Hurricane F-head with an optional compression ratio of 7.4:1 for high altitude. It had rotating exhaust valves, cast-in-head intake manifolds,aluminum-alloy pistons, and with the intake valves in the head and the exhaust ones in the block in an effort to improve gas mileage. Then 1965 brought the 225ci Dauntless V-6, which made 160 gross horsepower at 4,200 rpm and 235 lb-ft of torque at 2,400 rpm. Wedge-shaped combustion chambers and a deep-skirt block were utilized for longevity. The V-6's bore-and-stroke was 3.75x3.40-inch, with 9.0:1 compression. For 1967, a two-barrel carb was used, gaining 5 hp and 10 lb-ft of torque.

The optional two-barrel V-8 came in 1972--it was a 304 that made 150 net horsepower at 4,200 rpm and 245 lb-ft of torque at 2,500 rpm, with an 8.4:1 compression ratio and 3.75x3.44-inch bore-and-stroke. Additionally, the AMC one-barrel 232ci became the base engine (except in California), replacing the Hurricane. It made 100 hp at 3,600 rpm and 185 lb-ft of torque at 1,800 rpm and had an 8.0:1 compression ratio; it ran a 3.75x3.50-inch bore-and-stroke. An optional one-barrel 258ci V-6 was available (standard in Cali), with 110 hp at 3,500 rpm, 195 lb-ft of torque at 2,000 rpm, and a 8.0:1 compression ratio; the bore-and-stroke was 3.75x3.90-inch. Gone by 1979 was the 232, with the standard becoming the 258, now with a two-barrel carb. Getting the V-8 in California required power steering.

A 151ci four-cylinder built by GM (their Iron Duke) debuted in 1980 (Jeep called it Hurricane again), which was a two-barrel with a 8.2:1 compression ratio and 4.00x3.00-inch bore-and-stroke. It made 82 hp at 4,000 rpm and 125 lb-ft of torque at 2,600 rpm until 1983, when there was only the 258.

The Transmission

Out of the box, there was a BorgWarner T-90 manual three-speed, followed by a BorgWarner T-14 for the V-6. An optional T-98 heavy-duty four-speed was available for the CJ-5 Hurricane starting in 1966; the three-speed with the V-6 was fully synchronized. The 232 and 258 could be hooked to a three- or four-speed, while the 304 was mated to a three-speed; again, only the CJ-5 could opt for the four-speed.

A mandatory option (nothing like an automotive oxymoron) with the four-speed and the six-cylinder was a heavy-duty frame. In 1971, the T-14 three-speed was fully synchronized with the V-6; the four-cylinder had an optional T-98 four-speed. In 1972, the 232 and 258 used a BorgWarner T-14 three-speed and a T-18 four-speed; the V-8 ran with the T-15 three- and T-18 four-speed. In 1976, the Tremec T-150 three-speed was used, then the Tremec T-176 starting in 1980.

The Transfer Case

The Dana Spicer Model 18 was the first; the switch to Dana Model 20 started in 1972. By 1980, it was a Dana 300.

The Suspension/Axles

The CJs used semi-elliptic leaf springs both front and rear. The front axle was a full-floating Dana Spicer 25 until it was switched to a Dana Spicer 27 in 1966. The rear was a semi-floating 44, with available gearing of 4.27s until 1967; those were 3.54s. For 1972, the front axle was a full-floating Dana 30; the rear went to a semi-floating AMC 20 in 1976; 3.54s and 4.09s were available. A Powr-Lok diff was available starting in 1966, and Trac-Lok came in 1971, which was standard equipment on the Renegade.




72 Virginians

New member
Staff member
1954-1964 M170


Although the M170 is often referred to as the "military version of the CJ-6," it would be more correct to call the CJ-6 a civvy M170. As with the M38A1, this new Jeep configuration was developed first for the military. Only about 6,500 four-cylinder M170's were produced over ten years, many outfitted as field ambulances. Others were used by the U.S. Marines as light six-man troop carriers. One unique feature is the mounting of the spare tire inside the body on the passenger side, to allow stretchers to extend over the tailgate where the spare would normally be on a military Jeep. As a result, the unusually large passenger side door opening is partially blocked, particularly when a jerry can is mounted in front of the spare. The driver's side door is the same as an M38A1.

1955 Air Force Dispatcher


This two-whel-drive version of the M38A1 was built for the U.S. Air Force under Willys Engineering Project 11323, and photographed in January 1955. It retained the 24-volt electrical system of the M38A1, and body features such as the recessed headlights and battery box, but most of the heavy-duty accessories were apparently removed. A rear-mounted gas tank was filled from the right side, and the full hardtop had sliding doors. Powered by the Hurricane F-head four, the "Dispatcher" was intended for non-combat maintenance and delivery work on military bases. It's not known how many of these may have been delivered to the Air Force or to other branches of the military.

72 Virginians

New member
Staff member
1955-1975 CJ-6


The only common complaint among early Jeep utility owners was the lack of room. This call was answered in the form of the CJ-6. Essentially a CJ-5 with 20 extra inches of wheelbase (101 inches total), the CJ-6 offered the storage space of a small pickup and the mobility of a Jeep. The demand was not great for the stretched CJ but they stayed in production from 1955 until the advent of the CJ-7 in 1976. They continued in production for export until 1981. Only 50,172 were manufactured, making them a fairly rare bird these days.

The CJ-6 was simply a 20-inch (508 mm) longer-wheelbase (101 in) 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. The U.S. Forest Service put a number CJ-6 Jeeps in to use. American sales ended in 1975. Just 50,172 had been made when the series went out of production completely in 1981. Just as in the CJ-5, the V6 and V8 engine choices appeared in 1965 and 1972. Former President Ronald Reagan owned a CJ-6 and used it on his California Ranch

Drive Train

The original engine offered in the CJ-6 was the "Hurricane" F-Head 134 I4. The first optional engine offerred for the CJ-6 was the Perkins 192 I4 diesel followed by the "Dauntless" Buick 225 V6. When AMC purchased Jeep from Kaiser, they soon made the AMC 232, 258, and 304 available in the CJ-6.

The T-90 3 speed was the standard transmission for the CJ-6 for many years. It's close brother, the T-86 3 speed was used with CJ-6s with the Dauntless V6. The T-14 replaced the T-90 and later the beefy T-98 was an optional 4 speed for the CJ-6 until 1971 when the T-18 became the optional 4 speed.

Transfer Case
The CJ-6 used the Dana 18 from '58 until '71. From '72-'75 they used the Dana 20.

Front Axle
The CJ-6 was first offered with the Dana 25 until 1965. The Dana 27 replaced it and was used until 1971. From 1972-1975, the Dana 30 was used in the CJ-6.

Rear Axle
The Dana 44 with two piece shafts was used in the CJ-6 until mid-1970. A Dana 44 with one piece shafts replaced it after that.




72 Virginians

New member
Staff member
1956-1965 FC Forward Control


December 1956, the Willys Motors division of the Kaiser Corporation thought they saw the future of four-wheel-drive.

FC-170 The Forward Control Jeep, introduced that month, was a symbol of the resurgence of the Willys division, now turning a healthy profit after several years in the red. This profit was largely the result of concentrating on building Jeeps rather than passenger cars, and successfully selling the Jeeps not just in North America, but around the world. (See "Pulling Willys Off the Rocks," Business Week, 15 December 1956, pp.111-112.) And now the company apparently felt the time was right for the next generation of four-wheel-drive vehicles.

The Forward Control design was the latest vision from Brooks Stevens, who was probably the foremost industrial designer of the era, and had previously worked for Willys on the design of the Jeep station wagon and the 1948 Jeepster. Also in his portfolio were the 1939 Steam-O-Matic iron, the Miller High Life beer logo, the 1948 Harley-Davidson motorcycle, the Excalibur automobile, the Lawn-Boy lawnmower, and the 1956 Evinrude Lark Runabout motorboat.

What was perhaps most impressive about Stevens' vision of the Jeep of the future, is that the first version was built on an almost off-the-shelf CJ-5 chassis and drive train, allowing it to be developed quickly and cheaply. (He used the same approach for his 1958 Oscar-Mayer Wienermobile.) By 1957 the axles of the short FC-150 were widened for better stability, and it was joined by the longer FC-170, but the changes were minimal.


Willis produced utility vehicles that remained almost unchanged since 1947. As the marketplace grew more competitive in the 1950s, management developed a new range of modern cab and body trucks. Designer Brooks Stevens used styling cues from full-size cab-over-engine trucks. Engineering was based on existing CJ-5. Power came from the Hurricane F-head and L-head 4-cylinder engines.

The Forward Control models were primarily marketed as work vehicles for corporate, municipal, military, as well as civilian use. Regular pickup box beds were standard, but customers were offered a large number of "Jeep approved" specialized bodies from outside suppliers. These ranged from simple flatbeds to complete tow trucks, dump trucks, and fire trucks.

Proposals included a "Forward Control Commuter" design that could have been among the earliest minivan-type vehicles. Three operational concept cars were built by Reutter in Stuttgart, West Germany. Brooks Stevens was also involved in the transformation of this truck platform into a passenger vehicle

The FC Jeeps were exhibited to Jeep dealers in a closed-circuit telecast on November 29, 1956, and were on display for the public at the December 1956 National Automobile Show in New York City. The FC-150 hit dealer showrooms on December 12, 1956. The initial response to the four-wheel drive FC Jeeps was favorable. Their best sales year came in 1957, when 9,738 were trucks sold. After the introduction of the FC-170 in 1957, FC-150 sales dropped to 1,546 units in 1959, before rebounding to 4,925 in 1960. Neither model became the big seller that Willys had hoped. Total production in nine years was just over 30,000 units. The FC line was discontinued in 1964

Aside from Forward Control Jeeps being built for civilian use there were also four models manufactured for the military.

* M676 - Basically a civilian FC with minor modifications
* M677 - A four door crew cab with a canopy over the bed
* M678 - An FC with a van body
* M679 - An M678 refitted as an ambulance




72 Virginians

New member
Staff member
1961-1965 Fleetvan FJ-3/FJ-3A

People have been known to suggest that turning the CJ-3A into the CJ-3B by enlarging the hood in order to fit the F-head Hurricane engine inside, resulted in a Jeep that was, shall we say, ugly. Apparently this opinion was not uncommon even among those who worked in the Jeep factory at the time.

FJ and DJ But practicality was more important than looks to Jeep designers -- witness the Forward Control Jeep trucks. And perhaps the least attractive Jeeps of all were the ones which resulted when they beefed up the two-wheel drive DJ-3A Dispatcher with a Hurricane engine and some additional cargo space, to create the Fleetvan FJ-3 and the slightly longer FJ-3A.

The Fleetvan was produced first as the FJ-3 right-hand-drive postal delivery vehicle. Somewhat shorter than the FJ-3A, the FJ-3 was only 135 inches long but was rated for the same 1000 pound payload. It's identifiable by its horizontal grille slots, as well as its overall length and RHD.

72 Virginians

New member
Staff member
1959-1962 M422


The Mighty Mite was designed by the Mid-America Research Corporation, as a combat vehicle suitable for airlifting and manhandling. It was originally prototyped starting in 1946, and was further developed during the fifties by a team including four of the original Bantam developers. Starting in 1959 some 3,922 were built by American Motors for the U.S. Marine Corps. The M422's unique features included aluminum body, differential-mounted brakes, and an AMC V-4 air-cooled engine. At over $5000 per unit it was relatively expensive, which may account for the small production total.

1959-1978 M151


Tested and protoyped by Ford through most of the fifties, the M151 MUTT ("Military Unit Tactical Truck") went into production in 1959 and became the principal combat Jeep of the Vietnam era. It was produced by Kaiser Jeep, AM General and General Motors, as well as Ford. It had a four wheel independent suspension of unsophisticated design which was responsible for somewhat unstable behavior on bends -- the later A2 version adopted a semi-independent rear suspension to improve stability. There was also an M718 ambulance version with a rear body extension. The M151 was thought dangerous for civilian use on the road, so the Army used surplus MUTTs for parts, and the stripped vehicles had the frame and rear suspension cut before being offered for sale as scrap metal.

72 Virginians

New member
Staff member
1960-1968 M606


The little-known M606 was basically the CJ-3B straight off the assembly line, with the available heavy-duty options such as larger tires and springs, and a few special-duty add-ons including blackout lamp on the left front fender, blackout tail-light covers, and trailer hitch. The M606 used the standard F-head four-cylinder, and although it had its own Kaiser model number, serial numbers were in the regular CJ-3B series. The CJ-3B had been employed by the U.S. military mainly in non-combat roles such as Navy Shore Patrol, but the M606 designation was apparently used only for units exported as military aid in the 1960's. The exact year the designation was first used is unknown.

72 Virginians

New member
Staff member
1963-1991 Wagoneer/Cherokee/Grand Wagoneer


Jeep's SJ platform was part of the "FSJ" or full-size Jeep lineup. According to the International Full Size Jeep Association, an "FSJ" is any vehicle produced in North America, carrying the "Jeep" nameplate, with 2 or 4 doors, in rear or four wheel drive, whose wheelbase does not exceed 132 in, nor is less than 109 in, and whose tread width is no more than 67 in nor less than 57 in. This definition is known to include the following models:

* 1963-1983 Jeep Wagoneer
* 1974-1983 Jeep Cherokee
* 1984-1992 Jeep Grand Wagoneer
* 1963-1971 Jeep Gladiator
* 1972-1988 Jeep Honcho/J-Truck
* 1967-1969 Jeep M-715/724/725/726/6217 military versions

The Wagoneer was the first of a series of Full Size Jeeps (SJ) Introduced by Willys. From 1963 through 1983, the Wagoneer name plate was used on the full size wagons and went from Willys, to Kaiser, to AMC ownership. When the smaller XJ Wagoneer (1984-2001 Cherokee body design) was introduced, the Full Size Wagoneer name was changed to Grand Wagoneer. In 1987 Jeep was bought by Chrysler Corporation. During the Wagoneer production era, there were a variety of different models including 2 Door models with glass or metal panels, Wagoneer Custom, Super Wagoneer and Wagoneer Limited to name a few. Most the Grand Wagoneer's have the full side wood grain applied. There were some exceptions to this with special orders. The basic Wagoneer body went unchanged through all production years. This and the following pages show samples of sales literature and pictures of the classic Wagoneers still on the road and trail today...

There were some cosmetic changes to the grill design over the years. The 1963 through 1966 Wagoneers had a small grill inserted in the front valance that is more commonly known today in FSJ circles as the "Rhino" grill. The new Super Wagoneer introduced in 1966 was the only Wagoneers with the new Razor style grill. Beginning in 1967, the whole Wagoneer line adopted the full width Razor grill with exception of the 2 door Panel, which retained the Rhino grill. The Razor grill was used into the early 1970 models. During the 1970 model year another grill style was introduced to differentiate the Wagoneer from the J-Trucks which had also adopted the Razor style grill that year. The grill introduced on the 1970 Wagoneers has recently adopted the "Cheese Grater" style name and was used through the 1973 model. From 1974 through the 1978 model year, the grille had same basic frame, but with a plastice grill insert known as the "Egg Crate" style. In 1979 AMC introduced one piece bumpers and square headlights for a whole new face lift on the Wagoneer. The grill had horizontal chrome lines and has a name not worth mentioning here. This grill was also used on the Cherokees and JTrucks in 1979 and 80. In 1981, JTrucks and Cherokees got the vertical bars back in the grill, which is known as the "Muscle" design. Wagoneers had the same grill as in 1979 through the 1985 model year as the classic Wagoneer body design transitioned to the Grand Wagoneer. The 1984 Grand Wagoneer also changed in the rear and adopted the 1983 Cherokee style taillights. From 1986 to the last Grand Wagoneer made in 1991, the grill frame was similar to the JTrucks and has horizontal lines with much less chrome. The following pictures depict the different styles.







72 Virginians

New member
Staff member
The Wagoneer, powered by the first modern mass-produced overhead-cam six-cylinder truck engine known as the "Tornado-OHC" six, could also be had with an industry first automatic transmission on a four-wheel-drive vehicle and independent front suspension. It was offered in two and four-wheel-drive versions.

The second-generation Wagoneer also included a Super Wagoneer Station Wagon that featured three-tone body striping, vinyl roof, chrome roof rack, full wheel hubcaps and white-walled tires. The Super Wagoneer came with four-wheel drive and power supplied from a 327-cubic inch V8 engine, and said Kaiser Jeep, "constituted a unique and dramatic approach to the station wagon market ... designed for the prestige buyer who is rapidly becoming aware of the advantages of four-wheel drive. While being the ultimate in detailed elegance, the new vehicle still has all the traditional versatility and ability of Jeep vehicles to go on-or off-road."

The Jeep Wagoneer for 1972 included the biggest standard engine in the 4WD station wagon field — a 258-cubic-inch AMC-built OHV 6-cylinder. In 1974, the Cherokee became the two-door version of the Wagoneer, and there was also the larger Custom Wagoneer. A four door model of the Cherokee was available by 1977.

Also introduced to the Wagoneer line during the ’70s was Quadra-Trac®, an automatic full-time 4WD system. This was another industry first.

The SJ series Jeep Cherokee was a full-size SUV produced from 1974 through 1983 by the Jeep division of the American Motors Corporation. It was similar to the Wagoneer. Other than the base model, the trim levels of the Cherokee included the S (Sport), Chief, Golden Eagle, Limited, Classic, Sport, Pioneer, and Laredo. It was designed by Brooks Stevens.

The Cherokee was a redesigned reintroduction of a two door body style, with a single fixed rear side window with an optional flip-out section. Previously, a two door version had been available in the Jeep Wagoneer line (1963–67), although this had the same window configuration as the four door Wagoneer. Based on the Wagoneer, the Cherokee was marketed as the "sporty" two-door variant of Jeep's station wagon. When it was equipped with the torquey 6.6liter V8, it would out-run just about any other 4x4 in its class, and, with 3.07:1 highway gearing, could reach speeds in excess of 100mph (early models had 120mph speedometers). A four-door was not added to the lineup until 1977. Engine choices consisted of AMC I6 or V8 powerplants. The Cherokee was marketed in left and right hand drive countries (such as the UK and Australia). Main production of the Cherokee was in Toledo, Ohio.

A range of AMC engines were offered: the 258-cubic inch (4.2 L) inline six-cylinder, a two-barrel 360-cubic inch (5.9 L) V8, a four-barrel 360, or the 401-cubic inch (6.6 L) V8. The durable 401 V8 had a forged crankshaft and forged connecting rods, as well as the high nickel content block of the other AMC V8s. The 401 was discontinued at the end of 1978. A T-18/T-18a four speed manual gearbox was standard for all years, while through 1979 the General Motors TH400, more commonly fitted to 3/4- and 1-ton trucks rather than SUVs, was optional. For comparison, the Chevy Blazer used the TH350 lighter duty automatic. After 1979, the TH400 was replaced by the Chrysler 727.

A gear-driven Dana 20 transfer case with 2.03:1 low range was standard with the manual gearbox (which had a much lower first gear of about 6.3:1), while the TH400 automatics received the permanent four-wheel drive QuadraTrac system. The chain-driven, aluminum QuadraTrac was quite advanced at the time.[citation needed] It included a center differential lock, which other full-time four-wheel drive systems at the time lacked (as do many today). The transfer case was offset, allowing it to sit just above the frame to avoid obstacles, and the chain itself is larger than nearly any other.[citation needed] A test by the Four-Wheel Drive Book[1] found that the Cherokee was the only vehicle unable to be dynoed because the transfer case would not allow the rear wheels to spin, unlike the other full-time four-wheel drive vehicles being tested. In the off-road test, the same held true. This transfer case was also employed successfully in Baja races, for example by Roger Mears in the Baja 1000.[citation needed] A 2.57:1 low range was optional on QuadraTrac.

In 1975, the Cherokee Chief package was introduced. Aside from trim changes, this model received larger fenders and wider axles. This allowed 31" tires to be fitted from the factory to further improve off-road ability. Four-door models were not available with "wide-track" axles.

Dana 44 model axles were used both in the front and the rear at least through 1979. Brake hardware was mostly General Motors equipment, with disc brakes up front (optional on earlier models) and drum brakes in the rear.

All Cherokees had semi-elliptical leaf springs in the front and rear.



1977 Cherokee Chief:





The Willys and Kaiser years

Conceived in the early 1960s while Willys Motors was owned by Kaiser Industries, the Wagoneer replaced the original Jeep station wagon, which dated to 1946. With competition from the Big Three advancing on Jeep's four-wheel-drive market, Willys management decided that a new and more advanced vehicle was needed.

The new 1963 Wagoneer, like its long-lived predecessor (which would, in fact, be sold alongside its replacement in the U.S. until 1965), was designed by industrial designer Brooks Stevens. Willys' engineering staff, under the direction of A.C. Sampietro, handled the technical development. The cost of development was around US$20 million.[2]

The original Wagoneer was a full-size, body-on-frame vehicle which shared its architecture with the Jeep Gladiator pickup truck. It was originally available in two and four-door body styles, with the two-door also available as a panel truck with windowless sides behind the doors and double "barn doors" in the rear instead of the usual tailgate and roll-down rear window.

Early Wagoneers were powered by Willys' new "Tornado" SOHC 230 cu in (3.8 L) six-cylinder engine, which had debuted in 1962 as an option for Jeep's older-style station wagons. The engine developed 140 hp (104 kW) and was noted for being quite fuel-efficient for its day. However, the engine was not without its problems; cooling issues were fairly common. And, in higher-altitude locales, "pinging" was a problem, leading the company to introduce a lower-compression version of the Tornado that developed 133 hp (99 kW) for 1964.


In early 1963, Willys Motors changed its name to Kaiser Jeep Corporation. This was to associate Jeep in the public consciousness with Kaiser's family of companies, said company president Steven Girard. Early Wagoneers were powered by Willys' new 140 hp (104 kW)"Tornado" SOHC 230 cu in (3.8 L) inline six-cylinder engine, which had debuted in 1962 as an option for Jeep's older-style station wagons. Although quite fuel-efficient for its day, it was prone to cooling problems, and also “pinging" at higher altitudes, which led to the introduction of a lower-compression 133 hp (99 kW) version in 1964.

There were few other changes for 1964, except for the option of factory-installed air conditioning.

Super Wagoneer

For 1965, the Wagoneer, together with the Gladiator pickup truck, was available with the 250 hp (186 kW) 327 cu in (5.4 L) AMC V8 engine, which proved a popular option. In 1966, the Tornado engine was replaced by American Motors' 232 cu in (3.8 L) OHV inline six. According to the automotive press this engine was smooth, powerful, reliable and easily-maintained.[citation needed] 1966 also saw the introduction of the more luxurious Super Wagoneer, initially with a higher-performance 270 hp (201 kW) version of the AMC V8, fitted with a four-barrel carburetor. With comfort and convenience features not found on other vehicles of its type at the time - e.g. push-button radio, seven-position tilt steering wheel, ceiling courtesy lights, air conditioning, power tailgate, power brakes, power steering, and console-shifted TH400 automatic transmission – the Super Wagoneer is now widely regarded as the precursor of today's luxury SUVs. It was made through 1969.


Two-wheel drive models, which the four-wheel-drives had outsold from the beginning, were discontinued after the 1967 model year, and at the end of 1968 the slow-selling two-door versions were also discontinued. For 1968 through 1971 Wagoneers were powered by Buick’s 350 cu in (5.7 L) 230 hp (172 kW) Dauntless V8. The Buick made less horsepower than the previous AMC V8 (230 hp vs. 250), but more torque at lower rpm (350 foot-pounds force (470 N·m) at 2400 rpm vs. 340 ft·lbf (460 N·m) at 2600), and it had 5 main bearings instead of the AMC’s 4. From 1971, following AMC’s acquisition of Jeep, Wagoneers reverted to AMC power.

The AMC years

In early 1970 American Motors acquired Jeep and set about refining and upgrading the range. AMC also improved manufacturing efficiency and lowered costs by incorporating shared components such as engines. Reducing noise, vibration and harshness improved the Wagoneer driving experience. The outsourced Buick 350 was replaced by the 360 cu in (5.9 L) AMC V8, and later the 401 cu in (6.6 L) was made available. The innovative Quadra-Trac full-time four-wheel-drive system, which broadened the appeal of Jeep products to people who wanted four-wheel-drive traction without the inconvenience of a manual-shift transfer case and manual locking hubs, was introduced in 1973. In 1974 AMC resurrected the two-door Wagoneer as the Cherokee. This replaced the Jeepster Commando, whose sales had not met expectations despite an extensive 1972 revamp. The Cherokee appealed to a younger market than the Wagoneer, which was regarded more as a family SUV.

There were few styling changes during this time. However after introducing the Cherokee, AMC began to move the Wagoneer upmarket, culminating in the 1978 Wagoneer Limited, which brought critical acclaim[citation needed] and high demand from a new market segment. The Limited, more luxuriously equipped than the earlier Super Wagoneer, offered air conditioning, power-adjustable seats, power door locks, power windows, tilt steering wheel, cruise control, leather upholstery, plush carpeting and “wood grain” trim on the body sides. Even though the US$10,500 suggested retail price was in luxury Cadillac territory,[citation needed] the Limited’s high-level specification attracted buyers and sales were strong. With the V8s the primary choice among Wagoneer buyers, the 258 cu in (4.2 L) six-cylinder engine was dropped in the 1970s, only to return as an option when Jeep sales – particularly of the high-volume Cherokee – were hit by the 1979 fuel crisis. (The Wagoneer continued to sell relatively well.[citation needed]) When reintroduced, the engine came with manual transmission as standard equipment, but in 1983 automatic transmission with “Selec-Trac” four-wheel drive became standard. With this combination the Wagoneer achieved EPA fuel-consumption estimates of 18 mpg-US (13 L/100 km/22 mpg-imp) city and 25 mpg-US (9.4 L/100 km/30 mpg-imp) highway – outstanding for a full-size SUV.[3] This allowed the company to advertise good fuel mileage, although the more powerful 360 V8 remained popular with certain buyers despite its greater thirst for fuel.

The Chrysler years

Despite its advancing age the Grand Wagoneer remained popular. Instrument panel, grille, and taillamps were redesigned for 1986, followed by minor revision to the woodgrained sides in 1987, the year that ownership of the company passed to Chrysler Corporation. Chrysler largely left the Grand Wagoneer alone, and even continued to build the Grand Wagoneer with the carbureted AMC V8 instead of its own (and, arguably, more modern[citation needed]) fuel-injected V8s. Year-to-year changes were minimal; Chrysler added new features such as an overhead console taken from Chrysler's popular minivans and a rear-window wiper/washer system for 1989, but otherwise new model years through 1991 were marked only by new paint colors.

End of the line

By the time production of the Grand Wagoneer ended, Jeep's flagship model contained parts from all of the Big Three automakers and those "adopted" by Chrysler from AMC: Chrysler transmissions (the A727 automatic), GM steering columns, light switches, and transmissions (Turbo-Hydramatic 400 during the 1970s), Ford carburetors and electronic engine controls, and AMC engine (the 360 V8).

The final 1,560 SJ Grand Wagoneers were produced in the 1991 model year. Each had a "Final Edition" badge on the dashboard. There have been (4) documented 1992 Grand Wagoneers, making these the most rare.

Grand Wagoneer parts, service and accessories are still available from various suppliers.

72 Virginians

New member
Staff member
1963-1971 Gladiator

The Jeep Gladiator was a full-size pickup truck based on the SJ Jeep Wagoneer SUV. It was introduced in 1962. Gladiator designations were: J200 for short wheelbase trucks up to mid 1965 followed by J2000; J300 for long wheelbase trucks up to mid 1965 followed by J3000; and J4000 which was the first model with the longer 131-inch (3,300 mm) wheelbase.

Gladiators were available in RWD and 4WD with a solid front axle or independent front suspension, with the optional dual rear wheels in configurations such as cab and chassis, wrecker, stake bed, and chassis mounted campers with extended wheelbases (see the Dually Registry listed in the links below for more information). Variations on the bed were: Townside, Thriftside (a "stepside"), and stakebed. The Gladiator name was dropped after 1971, after which the line was known simply as the Jeep pickup with J2000 and J4000 models until 1973 then J10 and J20 from 1974 to 1988. Military versions of the Jeep pickup included the M715 and M725.


72 Virginians

New member
Staff member
1965-1975 DJ-5


The two-wheel drive DJ-5 Dispatcher 100, almost identical to the CJ-5 but using a Dana 27 rear axle, finally replaced the DJ-3A Dispatcher in 1965. The F-head engine was standard, with the V6 optional in some years. The Dispatcher 100 used a column-shift T-96 and later a floor shift. An I-beam front axle was replaced with a tubular unit in 1968, and the Dana 44 replaced the Dana 27 in the rear in 1969.[/

1965-1973 DJ-6


The longer-wheelbase DJ-6 version of the two-wheel drive DJ-5 Dispatcher 100, was produced in small numbers from 1965-1973

72 Virginians

New member
Staff member
1966-1971 Jeepster Commando C101

The Jeepster was revived in 1966 in the form of the Jeepster Commando ("C101"). The F-head Hurricane straight-4 was used (a direct descendant of the original Go Devil engine) and four-wheel drive was finally added. This engine produced 75 horsepower (56 kW) at 4000 rpm and 114 lb·ft (155 N·m) of torque at 2000 rpm. The 160 horsepower (119 kW) Dauntless V6 was optional and preferred with its 235 lb·ft (319 N·m) of torque. A total of 57,350 Kaiser-spec "C101" Jeepster Commandos were sold between 1966 and 1971.

There are several unique body styles of the Jeepster Commando: Station wagon/SUV, Convertible, Pickup, and roadster. One unusual offering was the deluxe station wagon, with sliding rear windows and full interior trim. In rare cases, these models were finished with a two-tone exterior.

The 1971 Hurst Jeepster built with modifications by Hurst Performance is possibly the scarcest model of all production Jeeps.Standard equipment included a Champagne White exterior with red and blue stripes, a roof rack, a sports steering wheel, and Goodyear G70 x 15 raised white letter tires mounted on wider steel wheels. Hurst equipment included special exterior insignia, an 8,000-rpm tachometer on the back of the hood scoop in the driver's line of sight, as well as a Hurst T-handle shifter on manual-transmission cars or a console-mounted Hurst Dual-Gate shifter with the optional automatic transmission.

The convertible came in three types: Revival Jeepster, Commando convertible, and an open body roadster with no top at all. The Revival Jeepster was the showcase vehicle of the fleet, offering deluxe interior appointments, powered convertible top, and a Continental tire kit. The Commando convertible offered the same body with just the basic finish and equipment.


* 1966-1971 - F134 Hurricane I4 —134.2 CID (2,199 cc)[1], 75 hp (55 kW) and 114 ft·lbf (154 N·m)
* 1966-1971 - Dauntless 225 V6—225.3 CID (3,692 cc), 3.75 in (95 mm) bore, 3.40 in (86 mm) stroke, 160 hp (119 kW) and 235 ft·lbf (318 N·m)


72 Virginians

New member
Staff member
1967-1969 Kaiser M715

The Kaiser Jeep M715 is an American wheeled military vehicle based upon the civilian Jeep Gladiator. In 1965 the design and developing for the M715 began. This was the U.S. Government's first attempt to try a commercial off the shelf truck to be used in a military capacity. The U.S. Government purchased these trucks to replace the M37. Between 1967 and 1969 over 33,000 trucks were produced at the Toledo, Ohio plant. The M715 was considered by the U.S. Government to be underpowered compared to the M37 it replaced. Kia is currently designing an M715-type vehicle named the KM450 for the South Korean Army on license from the U.S. Government. India's Tatra/Vectra is also entering an M715 type vehicle as a candidate for the Indian Army's LSV requirement.

Jeep M715 Series

M715 Variants include;

* M715 - cargo/troop Carrier
* M724 - cab/chassis
* M725 - ambulance
* M726 - telephone maintenance

The Kaiser provides a couple of wheeled vehicle configurations. These are cargo/troop carrier, ambulances.

* Length: 220 in (5,588 mm)
* Width: 85 in (2,159 mm)
* Weight: 5,180 lb (2,350 kg)
* Height: 95 in (2,413 mm)
* Engine: Inline 6-cyl, 230.5ci overhead camshaft "Tornado"
* Horsepower: 132.5 hp (98.8 kW)
* Transmission: Warner, T-98 four-speed, synchronized
* Transfer case: 2 speed, NP200, 1.91:1 low range
* Axles:
o front: Dana 60
o rear: Dana 70 full-floater
o ratio: 5.87:1
* Electrical system: 24 volt utilizing two 12 volt batteries in series
* Brakes: Hydraulic, 4-wheeled drum
* Fuel type: gas
* Fuel capacity: 28 US gal (106 L/23 imp gal)
* Top Speed: 55 mph (89 km/h)
* Turning Radius: 28 feet (9 m)
* Tires: 9.00 x 16 8-ply



72 Virginians

New member
Staff member
1971-1987 Pickup J10/J20


Contrary to belief among many non-Jeep experts, the Honcho was not the name for Jeep's full size trucks after AMC bought Jeep from Kaiser in 1970. They were sold as the Gladiator for a few more years and after that were known simply as the J-Series trucks.

.The Jeep Honcho was a trim package on the full-size J-Series (J10) pickup truck, and was offered from 1976-1983. It consisted of bold striping and decals, and was offered with factory extras such as the Levi's interior or a roll bar. It was one in a series of special decal packages offered for J-Series trucks in the mid to late 1970's, which included the Golden Eagle[1] and 10-4 which offered an optional CB radio along with the decals. The Honcho package was only available on the sportside (stepside) and short bed trucks. Between 1980 and 1982, only 1264 of the sportside versions were produced.



72 Virginians

New member
Staff member
1971-1973 Jeep Commando C104

The Jeepster name was removed after 1971, but the model remained in production for two more years as the Jeep Commando. In 1972, it received a "conventional" full-width grille (see picture). The Commando had one of three AMC engines, the 232 cu in (3.8 L) or 258 cu in (4.2 L) AMC Straight-6 or the 304 cu in (5 L) AMC V8. A total of 20,223 AMC-spec "C104" Jeep Commandos were made in 1972 and 1973.


* 1971-1972 - AMC 232 I6— 231.91 CID (3,800.3 cc), 3.750 in (95.3 mm) bore, 3.500 in (88.9 mm) stroke, 100 hp (74 kW) and 185 ft·lbf (250 N·m)
* 1971-1972 - AMC 258 I6—258.08 CID (4,229.2 cc), 3.750 in (95.3 mm) bore, 3.895 in (98.9 mm) stroke
* 1971-1972 - AMC–304 V8—303.92 CID (4,980.3 cc), 3.750 in (95.3 mm) bore, 3.753 in (95.3 mm) stroke



72 Virginians

New member
Staff member
1976-1986 CJ-7

The CJ-7 offered a compromise between the CJ-5 shortie and the long-arm CJ-6. With a 93.4-inch wheelbase, it was just long enough for room and comfort but short enough to get down and dirty on the trail. It has proven a popular rig on all fronts. A total of 379,299 units were built in just 10 years of production; 1976-79 models were available with the hi-po 304 AMC V-8. The extra wheelbase also allows for a wider variety of drivetrain modifications than does the CJ-5.

The CJ-7 featured a longer wheel base than the CJ-5 and lacked the noticeable curvature of the doors previously seen on the CJ-5. It was introduced in 1976 and 379,299 were built during 11 years of production.

The CJ-7 featured an optional new automatic all-wheel drive system called Quadra-Trac, as well as a part-time two speed transfer case; an automatic transmission was also an option. Other features included an optional molded hardtop, and steel doors. The CJ-7 was also available in Renegade and an upgraded Laredo model. Noticeable by their different body decals, the Laredo model featured nicer seats, steering wheel tilt, and a chrome package that included the bumpers, front grill, and mirrors. An optional Trak-Lok differential was available for the rear. Ring and Pinion was typically 3.54, but later went down to 2.73.

A diesel powered version was made in the Ohio factory for export only. The engines were provided by General Motors, the owners of Isuzu Motor Cars. Production of this diesel version is believed to have been only between 1980 and 1982.


* 150 cu in (2.5 L) AMC I4
* 258 cu in (4.2 L) AMC I6
* 304 cu in (5 L) AMC V8
* 140 cu in (2.3 L) Isuzu Diesel C240


* Warner T-18 (4 speed)
* Borg-Warner T-4 (4 speed)
* Borg-Warner T-5 (5 speed)
* Tremec T-150 (3 speed manual
* Tremec T-176 (4 speed manual)
* Borg-Warner SR-4 (4 speed)
* GM TH-400 (3 speed automatic)
* Chrysler TF-999 (3 speed automatic transmission - 4.2L)
* Chrysler TF-904 (3 speed automatic transmission - 2.5L)

Transfer Cases

* Dana 20 (1976-79)
* Dana 300 (1980-86)
* Borg-Warner QuadraTrac #1339 (1976 -1979)


* Dana 30 Front (1976-86)
* 2-Piece AMC 20 Rear (1976-86)
* Dana 44 Rear (1986)




72 Virginians

New member
Staff member
1981-1985 CJ-8 "Scrambler"

After the CJ-6's demise in 1975, there was another cry by owners for more room. AMC answered with the CJ-8 "Scrambler." Built as a 103-inch-wheelbase pickup with lots of rear overhang, the CJ-8 came in hard- or soft-top models. A steel hardtop version was exported to Australia, and reportedly 176 insulated panel delivery units with automatic transmission were sold to the U.S. Postal Service for use in Alaska. The Scrambler was a very modest seller, with only 27,792 built. An upswing in popularity in the 1990's has turned the old CJ-8 into a very hot item with lots of room for trick modifications.


The (CJ-8) Scrambler was a pickup truck version of the CJ-7, introduced in 1981. It featured a 103-inch (2,616 mm) wheelbase and a pickup bed. Only 27,792 were built in the five years of production before being replaced by the similarly-sized Comanche.

The Jeep Scrambler(CJ-8) did not offer the Quadra-Trac system. The majority of Jeep Scramblers (CJ-8) used the traditional transfer case and manual front-locking hubs to engage the four-wheel drive. Most Scramblers(CJ-8) used a four- or five-speed standard transmission but a three-speed automatic transmission was an available option.

A right-hand drive, full length hardtop CJ8 based on the Scrambler but without any pickup bed was made for Alaskan mail delivery van, using right hand drive. This version was sold in Australia as the "CJ8 Overlander", with small differences including full length rear windows on the Overlander.Jeep Australia (Circa 1984). "Jeep Overlander CJ8 Specifications and Dimensions". Press release.

Former U.S. President Ronald Reagan also owned a blue Scrambler (CJ-8) and used it on his California "Rancho del Cielo" property with the license plate "Gipper.


72 Virginians

New member
Staff member
1984-2001 Cherokee (XJ):

The XJ Cherokee was introduced in 1984 as the first unibody Jeep. Designs of the XJ Cherokee date back to 1978 when a team of American Motors (AMC) and Renault engineers drew several sketches. A few clay models were based on the existing SJ Cherokee. Early sketches of the XJ Cherokee had an European influence, and most of the styling cues were done by AMC engineers. The ongoing debate suggests that Renault sketch artists were involved right after the 1979 partnership with AMC.[citation needed] Noticing that General Motors was developing a new two-door S-10 based Blazer, AMC decided to design an entirely new four-door model, but worried about rollovers Gerald C. Meyers hired one of Ford's best engineers, Roy Lunn to design what is known as the Quadra-Link suspension.[3] François Castaing developed the drivetrain using a much smaller engine than normally found in 4WD vehicles and reduced the weight of the new model.

Both two- and four-door versions of the XJ Cherokee were offered throughout its lifetime, each having exactly the same track and wheelbase measurements. Two-door models, however, received longer doors and front seats that could fold forward to assist in rear passenger entry and exit. This was in addition to extended-length rear windows that did not open, although an optional rear vent window was available on some models. Its appearance has led some to mistakenly believe that the two-door models are a short wheelbase version of the four-door.

A variation on the Cherokee from 1984 through 1990 was the Jeep Wagoneer. It was sold in two trim levels: the Wagoneer and the Wagoneer Limited. Both Wagoneers were distinguished from the Cherokee by the four headlights. The Wagoneer Limited came with vinyl wood trim on the sides.

This version was the first to be sold in Europe; it was launched in 1992 in some markets, 1993 for the United Kingdom. Early versions had the 4.0 L (242 CID) six-cylinder engine only: the 2.5 L (150 CID) engine did not arrive in Europe until 1995.

American Motors's compact XJ Cherokee was to be replaced by a new and larger model known as the XJC (later named the Jeep Grand Cherokee when introduced in 1993) that was under development by AMC.[5] However, the smaller model's continuing popularity caused Chrysler executives, as the new owners of AMC, to rethink this decision. The Jeep XJ has remained a popular choice by off-roading enthusiasts due to its potent off-roading capability in stock form. Its popularity has resulted in strong ongoing aftermarket support in the form of a wide variety of products and upgrade availability.


* 1984-1996 2.5 L AMC 150 I4, 105 hp (78 kW) – 130 hp (97 kW)
* 1984-1986 2.8 L GM 60° LR2 V6, 110 hp (82 kW)
* 1985-1987 2.1 L Renault turbodiesel I4 (initially sold in U.S. and until 1993 in Europe)
* 1987-1990 4.0 L AMC 242 I6, 173-177 hp (41 kW) with Renix fuel injection system
* 1991-1996 4.0 L AMC 242 "High Output" I6, 190 hp (142 kW) with Chrysler fuel injection system
* 1994-1996 2.5 L VM Motori turbodiesel I4 (sold in Europe and South America)



After 13 years of production, 1997 saw the Cherokee receive updated exterior and interior styling. Both the two- and four-door bodies remained in production, receiving a steel tailgate (replacing the fiberglass one used previously),a new taillight design, additional plastic molding along the doors, as well as a new front header panel that featured more aerodynamic styling; the interior was similarly updated with an all-new design and instruments, and a stiffer unibody frame brought improvements to Noise, Vibration, and Harshness measurements. In the middle of the 1999 model year, vehicles with the 4.0 liter engine received a much improved intake manifold. This was done to help counteract smaller exhaust porting on the latest casting of cylinder heads, which was done to meet more stringent emissions control laws. Both the 4- and 6-cylinder engines were offered through the 2000 model year, though only the straight-six was available in 2001. For the 2000 and 2001 model years, all six-cylinder XJs received a distributorless ignition system using coil-on-plug ignition replacing the 'traditional' system previously used; coupled with better exhaust porting and the newer intake manifolds, this gave a minor increase in power over the previous models. Transmission, axle, and transfer case choices were carried over from the previous models.

However, major changes were underway with a new executive, Wolfgang Bernhard, who was "known as a cost-slasher" nicknamed "whirlwind", came from Mercedes-Benz to turn around Chrysler. "One of the first moves Bernhard made when he came to Chrysler in 2000 was to help kill the Jeep Cherokee, an aging somewhat bland SUV." Thus, the (XJ) Cherokee line was replaced in 2002 by the Jeep Liberty (KJ) , although it is called the "Cherokee" in most foreign markets.

When (XJ) Cherokee production ended in mid 2001, the portion of the Toledo South Assembly Plant devoted to its production was slowly torn down.


* 1997-2000 2.5 L AMC 150 I4, 130 hp (97 kW)
* 1997-2001 2.5 L VM Motori turbodiesel I4 (sold in Europe, Australia and South America)
* 1997-1999 4.0 L 242 Power Tech I6, 190 hp (142 kW)
* 2000-2001 4.0 L 242 Power Tech I6, 193 hp (144 kW)

Trim levels

* Base - 1984-1993
* SE - 1994-2000
* Wagoneer - 1984-1990
* Briarwood - 1991-1992
* Pioneer - 1984-1990
* Pioneer Olympic Edition - 1988
* Chief - 1984-1990
* Sport - 1988-2001
* Country - 1993-1997
* Classic - 1996, 1998-2001
* Limited - 1987-1992, 1998-2001
* Laredo - 1985-1992
* Freedom - 2000
* 60th Anniversary - 2001

Manual transmissions

* 1984 – 1987 : Aisin-Warner AX4 4-speed manual, used with 2.5 L I4 only.
* 1984-only : Borg-Warner T-4 4-speed manual, used with 2.5 L I4 only.
* 1984-only : Borg-Warner T-5 5-speed manual, used with 2.5 L I4 and 2.8 L V6.
* 1987 – Mid-1989 : Peugeot BA-10/5 5-speed manual used with 4.0 L I6.
* 1984 – 2000 : Aisin-Warner AX5 5-speed manual, used with 2.5 L I4, 2.1 L I4 diesel, and 2.8 L V6.
* Late-1989 – 1999 : Aisin-Warner AX15 5-speed manual, used with 4.0 L I6.
* 2000 – 2001 : New Venture Gear NV3550 5-speed manual, used with 4.0 L I6.

Automatic transmissions

* 1984 – 1986 : Chrysler A904 3-speed automatic, used with 2.5 L I4 and 2.8 L V6.
* 1994 – 2000 : Chrysler 30RH 3-speed automatic, used with 2.5 L I4.
* 1987 – 2001 : Aisin-Warner AW-4 4-speed automatic used with 2.5 L I4 and 4.0 L I6.

Transfer cases

All the transfer cases used on the Cherokee were chain driven with aluminum housings. Command-Trac was standard on XJ models built with 4WD.

* 1984 – 1987 : New Process NP207 "Command-Trac", part-time only, 2.61:1 ratio with low range
* 1987 – 2001 : New Process NP231 "Command-Trac", part-time only, 2.72:1 ratio with low range
* 1987 – 2001 : New Process NP242 "Selec-Trac", full-time/part-time, 2.72:1 ratio with low range


The Jeep XJ utilizes front and rear solid (live) axles as opposed to independent front and/or rear axles. This configuration allows the XJ to have superior off-road capability and performance at the expense of some on-road comfort and drivability.

Front Axle

* 1984 – 1996 : Dana 30, High Pinion, Reverse Cut, 27-spline axleshafts (1989 – 1995 : with ABS used 5-297x universal joints, non-ABS had 5-260x universal joints. Note: Certain XJ models were produced with constant-velocity joints instead of universal joints.)
* 1996 – 1999 : Dana 30, High Pinion, Reverse Cut, 297x/760 universal Joint, 27-spline axleshafts.
* 2000 – 2001 : Dana 30, Low Pinion, Standard Cut, 297x/760 universal Joint, 27-spline axleshafts.

Rear Axle

* 1984 – 1989 : Dana 35, non c-clip, with anti-lock braking system (ABS) or non-ABS.
* 1990 – 1996 : Dana 35, c-clip, ABS or non-ABS.
* 1997 – 2001 : Dana 35, c-clip, ABS.
* 1991 – 1996 : Chrysler 8.25", c-clip, non-ABS, 27-spline axleshafts.
* 1997 – 2001 : Chrysler 8.25", c-clip, non-ABS, 29-spline axleshafts.
* 1987 – 1990 : Dana 44, non-abs, 30-spline axleshafts.

Axle Gear Ratios

Jeep XJs came in several standard gearing ratios:

* 3.07:1, manual transmission, I6 engine.
* 3.54:1, automatic transmission, I6 engine with Dana 44 rear differential.
* 3.54:1, manual transmission, I4 diesel engine with Dana 35 rear differential.
* 3.55:1, automatic transmission, I6, V6 engines; manual transmission, I4 engine.
* 3.73:1, automatic transmission, I6, Tow Package, UpCountry Package.
* 4.10:1, manual transmission, V6 automatic transmission, I4 engine.
* 4.56:1, automatic transmission, I4, offroad or tow package.

Note: Dana 44 rear ends came with manual transmissions with the towing packages in 1987.


The Jeep XJ utilizes a coil spring front suspension with a leaf spring rear suspension.

Front Suspension

The Jeep XJ utilizes the Quadra-Link front suspension. This suspension design locates the axle with four control arms to control up and down movement, two above the axle and two below it. A panhard rod, also referred to as a track bar, is used to locate the axle central to the vehicle. Two coil springs are seated on top of the axle housing as well as two gas-charged shock absorbers. A sway bar is utilized to reduce body roll in turns.

Rear Suspension

The XJ uses a leaf spring rear suspension. Each leaf pack contains four leaf springs with a fixed eye at the front of the spring and a shackle at the rear of the spring. Two gas-charged shock absorbers are also used, along with a mild anti-sway/anti-roll bar. The suspension used on vehicles with the optional UpCountry Package did not employ the rear anti-sway/anti-roll bar and provided one inch of lift over the standard suspension.


72 Virginians

New member
Staff member
1986-1992 Comanche (MJ):

The Jeep Comanche (designated MJ) is a pickup truck version of the Cherokee compact SUV that was produced from 1986 to 1992. Rear-wheel and four-wheel-drive models were available as well as two cargo box lengths of six and seven feet.

The Comanche was a unibody vehicle, an unusual form of truck like the Volkswagen Rabbit pickup and Dodge Rampage. Jeep designers based its body, styling, and suspension on the Cherokee, which had been introduced for the 1984 model year.

AMC's Jeep engineering staff designed a subframe that connected to the modified Cherokee Monocoque (unibody) structure to support the cargo box. Two such subframes were designed; one for the long-bed model, which appeared first, and a second, shorter version for the short-bed, which debuted for 1987.

The Comanche uses the Cherokee's front suspension, with coil springs and upper and lower control arms. The Cherokee and Comanche were the first Jeeps to use this new "Quadra-Link" suspension. It was argued that the coil springs allowed for greater ride comfort and axle articulation during off-road excursions. A trackbar is used to keep the axle centered under the truck. Modified versions of this same basic suspension system were later used on the Grand Cherokee and the TJ Wrangler.

For the rear suspension, the truck uses leaf springs that are considerably longer than on Cherokees, which give Comanches good load-carrying capacity. There is also a heavy duty "Big Ton" package available (known as the "Metric Ton" package outside the U.S.) for long-bed models. The package included heavier-duty leaf springs and wheels, larger tires and an upgraded rear axle to a Dana 44 instead of a Dana 35, which increases stock payload capacity from 1,400 pounds (640 kg) to 2,205 pounds (1,000 kg), well above that of any other pickup of the Comanche's size. In fact, a Metric Ton Comanche's payload rating is higher than that of many larger pickups.

Jeep offered the Comanche with a selection of engines, including the 4.0 L, 242 CID straight-6 engine found in many 1980s and 1990s Jeeps.

The inaugural 1986 Comanches could be equipped with one of three engines. The AMC 150 2.5 L, 150 CID I4, General Motors LR2 2.8 L V6, and Renault 2.1 L I4 turbodiesel were all offered from the start. The V6, which was the same basic unit used in the first generation Chevrolet S-10, had seven fewer horsepower than the base four-cylinder, only slightly more torque, and was equipped with a two-barrel carburetor instead of the four-cylinder's electronic fuel injection. In addition, fuel mileage with the V6, particularly in four-wheel drive models, was generally poor.

Changes to the engine lineup happened in the truck's second year on the market. For 1987, the 2.8 L V6 was replaced by the new fuel-injected 4.0 L, 242 CID AMC 242 inline-six that delivered 173 hp (129 kW), 63 more hp than the V6. The new six-cylinder was also more fuel-efficient. The slow-selling turbodiesel was officially dropped at some point during the model year.

Other changes under the hood occurred in 1991, when Chrysler adopted their own engine control electronics to replace the original Renix (Renault/Bendix) systems. One positive effect of this change was that the 4.0 L, 242 CID, I-6 engine gained 17 hp (to 190 hp (142 kW), having already gained 4 hp (3 kW) in 1988), while the 2.5 L, 150 CID, I4 engine jumped from 117 hp (87 kW) to 130 hp (97 kW). In addition, most parts for the Chrysler systems are easier to come by, even though many Renix parts were borrowed from GM at the time, and are still widely available today and most are surprisingly cheap. Most people won't consider a Renix Comanche, as it has no Check Engine Light. (CEL) But if the owner can operate a simple and cheap multimeter, they will find that Renix systems are quite easy to diagnose and keep running.

During the production life of the Comanche, six different transmissions were offered, manufactured by Aisin, Chrysler and Peugeot. Aisin provided the AX-4 (four-speed), AX-5 and AX-15 (five-speed overdrive) manual transmissions, along with the AW-4 four-speed automatic that was used beginning in 1987. The AX-15 was phased in to replace the Peugeot BA-10/5 five-speed that had been used from 1987 until mid-1989 behind the 4.0 L I-6 engine.

Although Chrysler purchased AMC (and, by extension, Jeep) in 1987, only one Chrysler transmission was ever used in the Comanche, and that was prior to the takeover. 1986 models equipped with the 2.5 L I4 or 2.8 L V6 were offered with Chrysler's three-speed TorqueFlite A904 automatic. Throughout the Comanche's production run, Chrysler would continue AMC's practice of purchasing Aisin automatics that began in 1987.

After the Chrysler buyout, the Comanche, like the Cherokee, received only minor changes, primarily those that would improve reliability and parts interchangeability with other Chryslers. The lack of an extended cab body style, which all other compact trucks were offering by the time of the Comanche's debut, and the fact that the Comanche's prices were, in any given model year, higher than those of the top-selling American compacts (Ford Ranger and Chevrolet S-10)[citation needed], led[citation needed] to lagging sales as customers went elsewhere for roomier trucks.

As sales dropped, the Comanche was planned for discontinuation. A rumor existed that the Comanche would be replaced by a restyled Dodge Dakota (its body-on-frame sibling from Dodge), but Jeep dealers disliked the idea because the Dakota was generally heavier and less reliable than the Comanche.[citation needed] The company chose instead to cancel the Comanche at the end of the 1992 model year, after only a few thousand trucks had rolled off the Toledo, Ohio assembly line.


* 1986-1986 - Custom
* 1986-1986 - X
* 1986-1986 - XLS
* 1987-1992 - Base
* 1987-1988 - Chief
* 1987-1990 - Laredo
* 1987-1992 - SporTruck
* 1988-1992 - Pioneer
* 1988-1992 - Eliminator