Whether you get a brand new model or a second-hand vehicle, finally getting your dream Jeep gives you a fantastic feeling. Once you have your new pride and joy, you can start to envision how you want to use or even customize it. That’s part of the magic of Jeeps!
However, before making any modifications, it’s a good idea to get hold of the factory Jeep build sheet for your particular model. Essentially, a build sheet provides a comprehensive document that details the exact parts and specifications present on your Jeep.
Jeep owners love customizing their vehicles. If you’ve bought a second-hand Jeep, the build sheet can help you identify exactly what’s been changed.
In this post, we’ll explain what a factory Jeep build sheet is and why you’d want one. We’ll also explain what a VIN is and how you can use it to find your build sheet.
Is Getting Your Factory Jeep Build Sheet Possible?
While it may sound complicated, getting a factory Jeep build sheet is certainly possible for most models of Jeep. However, it can be a lot harder if you’ve got an older model that’s changed hands several times. All Jeep badges, from Cherokees to Wranglers, have their own collection of build sheets.
In some cases, getting the build sheet for your particular model of Jeep is incredibly important, especially if it’s a second-hand model that’s been extensively customized. Thankfully, Jeep has some dedicated services to help you locate your build sheet quickly and easily.
A basic rule of thumb when trying to get a factory Jeep build sheet is that if your Jeep rolled off the production before 1998, it’s pretty easy to get the build sheet. But for older models of Jeep, especially vintage or classic ones, it can be a lot more of a chore.
In essence, Jeep maintains a thorough record of the build sheet for almost every model constructed since 1998. These documents are stored on their online database and can be easily accessed by most owners if they have an internet connection.
But for models built before 1998, Jeep had not yet created its build sheet database. It’s highly likely that the build sheets for these models weren’t fully recorded by the company at the time. Some did get entered onto the system, but if yours wasn’t, don’t panic. You can still find the build sheet, but it typically takes some extra effort.
Why Get Factory Jeep Build Sheet?
Acquiring the factory build sheet for your Jeep is useful for several reasons. It helps you keep track of the exact specifications of your unique vehicle, making it easier to customize your vehicle and find compatible parts.
If you’ve purchased a brand new Jeep that you had customized at the factory, the build sheet will help you identify each of your custom parts. The document explains how your Jeep differs from a standard model. This is also something to keep in case you ever sell on your Jeep, giving your potential buyer a clear summary of the vehicle.
If you purchased your Jeep second-hand and the previous owner has already customized it, the factory build sheet will tell you exactly what parts the vehicle had when it originally left the factory. This provides a good foundation if you want to return the Jeep to its stock condition. It also helps you find compatible parts if you want to replace things that have been customized.
Knowing the stock parts of the Jeep can also help if things go wrong with customized pieces. For example, if the previous owner swapped out the engine and it’s suddenly been broken beyond repair, getting hold of the build sheet can help you find out which engine to replace it with.
A factory Jeep build sheet also acts as a kind of biography of your individual Jeep. This record contains data such as the vehicle’s production year, specific model or edition, where the Jeep was made, and which manufacturer made it.
The key to unlocking your Jeep’s factory build sheet is the VIN or Vehicle Identification Number. This is a collection of 17 letters and numbers that contains a lot of information about your unique Jeep. Using your Jeep’s VIN, you can easily find your build sheet online.
Here’s a quick breakdown of what the 17 parts of your Jeep’s VIN mean:
- 1st – Denotes the country where your Jeep was made. 1, 3, or 4 represents the US. 2 represents Canada, while a 3 accompanied by the first letter of a country’s name shows that your Jeep was built overseas (3M = Mexico).
- 2nd – This letter indicates the manufacturer of the Jeep, ie “C” for Chrysler.
- 3rd – Stands for the vehicle type, such as “4” denoting a passenger vehicle.
- 4th to 8th – A description of your Jeep, such as “4WD” or “SUV”.
- 9th – a Check Digit that helps verify if the VIN is legitimate.
- 10th – A letter or number indicating the year that your Jeep was made.
- 11th – The number of the manufacturing plant where your Jeep was made.
- 12th to 17th – Your vehicle’s Production Sequence Number.
You can usually find your Jeep’s VIN on the vehicle’s registration documents. If you don’t have those, then the VIN is also displayed somewhere on the vehicle, either under the hood or a piece of trim. Each Jeep model displays its VIN in a different location.
How to Get Factory Jeep Build Sheet (Step by Step Guide)
Finding the factory Jeep build sheet for your vehicle is simpler than it sounds. This step-by-step guide will show you exactly how to do it, depending on when your vehicle was made.
Steps 1 to 3 cover how to find a build sheet for a Jeep built after 1998. Steps 4 and 5 offer some options to try and help you find your Jeep’s build sheet if the vehicle was built before 1998 and isn’t recorded on Jeep’s main database.
Step One – Locate the VIN
The VIN code is typically displayed on a sticker or panel located somewhere within your Jeep. This could be hidden in the engine bay or located on one of the door jams. Each specific model of Jeep has the VIN stored in a different place.
You can also find your VIN by checking your vehicle’s registration documents or enlisting the help of a specialist Jeep mechanic.
Step Two – Search for the build sheet
Once you have the VIN code, you can use it to find your build sheet online. You can use the official FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automotive) website or use an online Jeep VIN decoder. These websites typically have access to Jeep’s records, allowing them to search the database for your VIN. These Jeep VIN lookup sites are typically free.
Step Three – Download or print the build sheet
Once you’ve found the build sheet for your Jeep using a Jeep VIN decoder or a Jeep VIN lookup website, you can choose to either print the document or download a copy to your computer or smartphone. This now gives you a complete record of everything about your Jeep. It’s as simple as that!
Step Four – Try the FCA’s historic database (for pre-1998 Jeep models)
If your Jeep was constructed before 1998, there’s a good chance that the build sheet won’t be stored on Jeep’s main database. But for owners of older Jeeps, the company has also created a historic department. This section of the company can track down factory Jeep build sheets for older models, such as classic or vintage Jeeps.
To get in touch with the FCA’s historical department, give them a call and specify that you’re searching for a pre-1998 Jeep build sheet. Completing a Build Record Request Form via email or post can also be an option. You’ll need to find your vehicle’s VIN code for this.
Step Five – Try searching online (for pre-1998 Jeep models)
An alternative option to contacting the FCA’s historical department is to use the Internet to try and track down your pre-1998 Jeep’s factory build sheet. Again, you’ll need to locate your car’s VIN code, which is usually located somewhere in the vehicle.
After finding the VIN code, you can use free tools like a Jeep VIN lookup website or a Jeep VIN decoder to garner some information on your vehicle. This data can then help you track down the right build sheet for your make and model.
VIN Locations by Generations
As mentioned earlier, different models and generations of each Jeep vehicle display their VIN codes in various places around the vehicle. It can sometimes feel like looking for a needle in a haystack, but you can narrow down your search radius by checking some common VIN locations.
If you possess the registration documents for your vehicle, then you’re in luck. The VIN code should typically be located there. If your Jeep was manufactured before 1980, the VIN combination should consist of 12 letters and numbers. For Jeep’s built after 1980, the VIN switched to a 17 digit alphanumeric combination due to a change to Federal Law.
But if you don’t have those documents, you can still locate the VIN code. It may involve an in-depth examination of your vehicle, as various Jeep models from different generations displayed the VIN code in different places. If your mechanic specializes in Jeeps, then it’s worth asking them if they know where to find the code.
Common areas that display the code include:
- The engine bay
- The pillar or jamb of the driver’s door (especially for Jeeps built between 1962 and 1971)
- The corner of the dashboard on the driver’s side, typically in the space where the window meets the dashboard
It’s also worth perusing Jeep forums online for some guidance. Other Jeep enthusiasts may have the same model of Jeep from the same year as yours, and they may have found the VIN location already. It’s definitely worth asking around or searching online.
Final Thoughts on Jeep Vin Build Sheet
For Jeep aficionados, a factory Jeep build sheet can be an indispensable resource when it comes to modifying your pride and joy. These comprehensive documents contain vital information about your car, such as the year it was made, the exact engine fitted under the hood, and specifications about its parts.
This comes in handy when trying to find components that are designed to fit your exact model. A build sheet is also a good starting point when returning a previously modified Jeep to its factory condition. When selling your vehicle, the build sheet can also help show a prospective buyer exactly what they’re getting.
Remember that to find the right factory Jeep build sheet for your car, you’ll need to find the vehicle’s VIN code. Armed with this 12 or 17 digit code, you can track down your build sheet quickly and easily, helping you to start customizing your beloved Jeep.
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