Jeep Truck Model Changes Over The 1970s, 1980s, 1990s and 2000s

In 1971, the Jeep trucks transitioned from the Gladiator name and offered the J-10 (119-inch) or J-20 (131-inch) models. The upgrades included front disc brakes, a new front axle, six-stud wheels and heavier frame cross members. The vehicles paralleled each other with the same body design as the Jeep Wagoneer and Cherokee from the cab forward. In addition, they were provided with traditional slab-sided or step-side bodies. The J-10 J-Series vehicle assembly included the Honcho, Golden Eagle, and 10-4 trim packages.

The genesis was in 1973, as all Jeep CJs came equipped with AMC-built 304- or 360-cubic-inch V-8 engines. Renegade makes usually featured a 304 cubic inch (5L) V8 engine, stouter drivetrain, alloy wheels, and a Trac-Lok limited slip rear differential. A two-wheel drive edition DJ-5 was available for customers through 1974. Extremely popular with Jeep enthusiasts, the CJ-5 possibly has trekked more trail miles than any other Jeep vehicle. For three decades, the CJ-5 had the greatest manufacturing run of any Jeep automobile.

The Mid-70s-Mid-80s

In 1976, the popular Honcho model premiered. It proved to be a truck version of the wide-track Cherokee Chief and included two editions: the step-bed Sportside and the Townside. The Honcho featured gold striping on the bedside, fenders and tailgate, wide 8×15-inch spoker wheels and off-road tires, Levi’s denim interior, and sport steering wheel. The Laredo package would be debuted along with the Honcho in 1980.

Produced in 1977-1983, the 1977 Golden Eagle package included a grille guard, driving lamps, pick-up bed roll bar, eight-inch wheels, Levi’s seats, accent stripes and an eagle hood logo. The 10-4 trim package was manufactured from 1974-1983. The 1978 package primarily offering various options in color and detailing. The 10-4 package also provided an optional, factory-installed CB radio.

End of the 20th Century

In 1995, the Grand Cherokee replaced the Grand Wagoneer as a mid-sized luxury sports utility vehicle (SUV). It was a design class a lot of manufacturers did not hesitate to imitate. Renovated with more than 40 major improvements, the 1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee won “4×4 of the Year” and “Four Wheeler of the Year” awards.

In 1998, the crest of popularity kept going with the premiere of the quickest and most powerful Jeep ever: the 1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee 5.9L Limited. In 1999, the new Grand Cherokee premiered as “The Most Capable Sport Utility Ever” and swept the major 4×4 award competitions.

The revised WJ was a thorough renovation and provided better ride and handling. Additionally, there was a powerful and 4.7L V8 and Quadra-Drive 4X4 system. Though the style had many design components from the preceding model, there were only 127 carryover parts. It has an available 5.7L HEMI V8 engine and upscale amenities to make luxury car owners take notice.

New Millennium

In 2004, the Jeep model provided a “stretched” version of the TJ, Wrangler Unlimited. Ten inches longer in wheelbase and 15-inches longer in overall length, the Unlimited gave greater leg room, expanded interior cargo space, and a much improved on-road “feel” to the ride.

The Unlimited was relatively unlike the long military TJ-L model. It added five-inches of rear overhang but had less space in the mid-body. The increased wheelbase offered more refined on-road comfort, as well as more variety and enhanced strength to carry up to 3,500 pounds when properly equipped.

In 2005, the Jeep brand introduced the Rubicon Unlimited. It featured the wheelbase of the Unlimited and off-road options of the Rubicon. The 2006 Commander was the first Trail Rated Jeep 4×4 with a total seating capacity of seven.

Based on the ’05 Grand Cherokee (WK) platform, the squared Commander was only a little longer than the WK (two inches), but a higher stepped roofline and stadium-style seating feature provided for an additional set of seats in back. The Commander’s squared styling-with upright windshield and squared-off sides-instantly set itself apart from the Grand Cherokee.

The Commander’s basic power-and drivetrain features were like those of the Grand Cherokee. Just as with most Jeep 4×4 vehicles, the Commander had the Jeep Trail Rated badge. To be validated as Trail Rated, an automobile is required to uphold performance standards in traction, articulation, ground clearance, maneuverability, and water fording.

The Jeep Patriot is a compact hybrid-like SUV that comes with available Trail Rated components. The vehicle is front-wheel-drive with options of two available electronically operated 4WD systems for all-weather use: Freedom Drive I a full-time system for on-road use, or Freedom Drive II that is off-road capable.

In 2011, the Jeep brand celebrated its 70th Anniversary with a special edition of the Jeep Patriot. This unique vehicle was available with unique exterior paint color (Bronze Star Pearl), 70th Anniversary badging, and more.

Industry leaders such as 4 Wheel Drive are fully aware of the popularity of the Jeep brand with their customers. At various locations accessories to help with the maintenance and style of this vehicle are available to be bought. Knowledgeable, cooperative customer service representatives are at every 4WD store location, for example, to assist customers in finding the best products for their vehicles. Automobile owners should feel free to visit our stores at any time.