Stephanie’s 1982 Jeep CJ7 Restored At Palm Beach Customs

Decoding Jeep CJ VIN Numbers 1971-1986

by | Jan 4, 2021 | Auto Body Tips, CJ-7 Jeep Restoration, CJ7 Builds, Tech Tips

Stephanie’s 1982 Jeep CJ7 Restored At Palm Beach Customs

Do you know what’s Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)? The VIN is unique for any specific vehicle, and it is a powerful source of information that shows vehicles’ unique features, specifications, and manufacturer. And the knowledge of decoding Jeep CJ VIN Numbers 1971-1986 will give you unlimited access to those important pieces of information.

People usually underestimate information that looks abstract and too technical, especially if presented in the form of a long line of numbers and letters like the VIN number. 

When we’re buying a Jeep, the most important thing for us is its condition and the account number that tells us how much money we should pay for it. But as soon as we get into the administrative part of the deal, many other numbers appear to be important, and knowing them is an inevitable part of owning a Jeep.  

VIN number is the most significant one. Without it, you can not register your Jeep or finish any other administrative work, bring it into a workshop for a repair, or sell it.

You must also know how to check if the number from the documents is the same as the one on the car’s frame. Wrong or fake VIN can lead to serious legislative procedures and issues.

Most people don’t know what a VIN number is, and others have no answer to most questions, like, why do we need it, what does it mean, where can we read it,  is there another vehicle with the same number, etc. 

That’s why, before we make the decoding Jeep CJ VIN numbers 1971-1986, we will explain some basics of the VIN number.


What is the VIN Number?

VIN number is a unique identifying code that can be found on any produced vehicle. Sometimes it is also called ‘chassis number’ or ‘frame number.’ There are no two vehicles with the same VIN, and by tracking this number, you can follow any activity related to the vehicle.

The automotive industry started using it in 1954. Before, they used the engine number for the same purpose, but problems occurred with replaced engines, and the changes were inevitable. 

But the VIN number was not standardized until 1981 when today’s 17 characters format was introduced for all different vehicles. 

Before, the format varied by different models in different years from 11 to 17 characters. And that is a significant moment in decoding Jeep CJ VIN numbers 1971-1986 because its time period is before and after 1981 standardization. That’s why decoding Jeep CJ VIN numbers 1971-1986 is an interesting process that unifies different standardization periods. 

But before the decoding, let’s briefly overview when we need a VIN number.  


When Do You Need a VIN Number?

There are some situations where knowing the Jeep’s VIN number is essential, like:  

  • When you are incurring the vehicle
  • During the manufacturer recalls
  • When making warranty services claims
  • When buying a used vehicle
  • When selling a used vehicle

The first three moments are strictly administrative. You must present the VIN number as an inevitable part of an administrative procedure. But the last two moments are the most interesting ones. 

Inspecting the Jeep’s condition in the workshop is only one part of the story when buying or selling a used vehicle. You have to know the Jeep’s VIN number to get many other valuable pieces of information like maintenance history, specific vehicle accidents, product recalls, airbag deployment, history of vehicle owners, current lines, and possible “lemon” status. 

Whether you are buying or selling, you have to ask and present this information. Proper decoding Jeep CJ VIN numbers 1971-1986 will be essential for a relaxed and successful negotiation process. 

But first, we have to locate it.  


Where Can We Find the CJ VIN Numbers for 1971-1986 Models

You can find the VIN number in the registration card, insurance card, and other similar ones. It’s important to know how to find this number on your Jeep, so you can see if it is the same number as the one on your documents. 

The wrong or fake VIN numbers in your documents can be an unpleasant situation. Even in the best-case scenario, if there were no frauds, steals, and similar legal irregularities, resolving the problem and changing the VIN in the documents will be frustrating and time and money consuming. 

VIN numbers are usually placed on a tin plate located in different places on your Jeep:

  • On the drivers’ side firewall near the brake master cylinder, 
  • On the drivers’ side dash or the inside body panel by the floor near the parking brake lever, and 
  • On the windshield wiper motor cover inside the Jeep in the mid 80’s models.

Also, an abbreviated version can be found on the top of the passenger side frame rail above the rear wheel. 

Now that we know what the VIN number is, when it is needed, and where to find it, it’s time for decoding Jeep CJ VIN numbers 1971-1986.


The Process: Decoding Jeep CJ VIN Numbers 1971-1986

Decoding Jeep CJ VIN Numbers 1971-1986 is not an easy task. Every character has a special set of possible values with a specific meaning.  That’s why decoding Jeep VIN numbers 1971-1986 is a precise process and should be carefully performed. 

Furthermore, the period between 1971 and 1981 is before VIN’s 17 character standardization, when VIN had only 13 characters. 

Decoding Jeep VIN number 1971-1986 has 3 variants, and we will present them in 3 consecutive tables.


Table 1: Decoding Jeep CJ VIN Numbers 1971-1974


Table Decoding Jeep CJ VIN Numbers 1975-1980

Table 2: Decoding Jeep CJ VIN Numbers 1975-1980


Table Decoding Jeep CJ VIN Numbers 1981-1986

Table 3: Decoding Jeep CJ VIN Numbers 1981-1986


These are the 3 options for decoding Jeep CJ VIN numbers 1971-1986 depending on the year of production. Using them, you can successfully decode your VIN and take the needed information from it. 

From the moment when you are looking to buy one, through all administrative procedures, workshop visits, to the moment of selling or restoration, you need correct VIN number information. Decoding Jeep CJ VIN numbers 1971-1986 is an important part of extracting information about your vehicle. We wanted to provide help to everyone who needed knowledge about decoding Jeep CJ VIN numbers 1971-1986.

We, at Palm Beach Customs, are devoted to Jeep CJ restorations. Since 1980 we have completed over 2100 restorations across the US, and we know that every detail is important.

If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to contact us. Our team of restoration specialists will be happy to share the knowledge and experience with you.



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