Jeep Axle Identification by VIN [Detailed Guide]

VIN is for the Vehicle Identification Number, which differs for each car. Knowing your VIN is essential if you are looking for any spare parts or simply want to upgrade your Jeep.

VIN leads to information including your Jeep’s model type, manufacture, and other essential things.

This blog is a complete guide to grow your VIN literacy and why is it important to know your Jeep’s VIN.

Related: How Much Does it Cost to Replace a Jeep Engine?

What is a VIN?

VIN stands for Vehicle Identification Number. VIN works as a thumbprint, and no vehicle that carries the exact VIN as the previous one has been made until now. 

VIN consists of 17 characters, a mixture of alphabets and numbers, each telling you a different story.

By knowing the VIN, you can find out about the vehicle’s specifications, information about the make, manufacturing area, and other vital features.

Where to find your Jeep’s VIN?

Finding your VIN is simple; look in your Jeep’s owner documents or maintenance record. If you are unable to find out in your documents, locate it physically in the places below:

  • Engine cylinder block
  • On the door jam
  • On the steering column
  • Near the Jeep’s firewall
  • Under the windshield
  • Under the hood

Finding it for the first time might be tedious, but once you know it, you will not depend on someone else while upgrading or finding spare parts for your Jeep.

How to decode a VIN?

VIN combines alphabets and letters and is kept 17 characters long.

It was initiated in 1981 by the United States for the unique identification of each vehicle.

VIN is divided into four parts.

With an example, Let’s figure out what your VIN (WVAZZZ5NZJM138450) tells you.

  • The first three characters- of a VIN – (WVA) represent World Manufacturer’s Identification. It tells you about the manufacturer’s origin and country of make.
  • The fourth to eighth characters – (ZZZ5N) represents the Vehicle Description Section, referring to the body, model, and engine.
  • The ninth character – Z is the VIN accuracy check digit that verifies the authenticity of the Jeep.
  • The tenth character – J, represents the model year.
  • The eleventh character – M, represents the car production plant.
  • The twelfth to seventeenth characters – 138450- represents VIS and a unique identification sequence that is kept different for each vehicle.
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How do I know what Jeep axle I have?

To know the axle type, check for a unique number and when it was made. 

It is engraved on the metal tube or cover near the wheels. You can then compare this info using a chart.

Also, you can ask a nearby car expert to look at the axle for you.

Once you find your right axle model, you can also find your axle ratio.

Use the below chart to find out information about your Jeep’s axle.

Axle ModelDifferential Cover ShapeCommonly Found in Jeep ModelsYears UsedAdditional Information
Dana 30RoundWrangler, Cherokee, Grand Cherokee1984 – PresentCommon front axle
Dana 35OvalWrangler, Cherokee, Grand Cherokee1984 – 2006Light-duty rear axle
Dana 44HexagonalWrangler, Cherokee, Grand Cherokee1940s – PresentStronger rear axle option
Dana 60SquareWrangler (heavy-duty builds)Varies by special buildHeavy-duty rear axle
AMC 20Oval with 1 flat sideCJ, Cherokee (older models)1967 – 1986Found in some older Jeep models
Chrysler 8.25Oval with 2 flat sidesCherokee, Grand Cherokee1984 – 2001Common rear axle

Can I use my VIN to find parts?

When you provide an accurate VIN to the dealership, parts store, or online retailer, they look for the correct parts by your provided details.

These are some of the benefits of knowing your exact VIN in finding spare parts:

  1. Precise fit:  Accurate VIN information helps get the accurate part that fits and works well with your vehicle.
  2. Provides detailed information: You can access information like trim level, optional equipment, and gear ratio.
  3. Ensures warranty terms: If you have correct VIN information, you can even claim your warranty from the dealer, saving you from high expenses.
  4. Vehicle maintenance record: Some retailers might even provide you with the service information or any accident records when proving the correct VIN. 
  5. Time-saving: It saves a lot of time, making the process efficient and worthwhile.
Related: What Does ‘Duck, Duck, Jeep’ Mean?

Wrap up:

Knowing your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) gives you all the needed information about your Jeep during overhauling or upgrading.

Besides, if you are buying a used Jeep, in that case, you can compare the authenticity of the documents by comparing the engraved VIN on the engine block with the one given in the documents. 

So, it is always best to keep hold of all the essential data about your Jeep so no one can school you at the time of need.

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