• Image Credit: Joel Stockdale

See how the Wrangler is built

Jeep recently invited the automotive press to take a tour of the company's famous Toledo, Ohio, factory where the Wrangler is built. We were even allowed to take photos, which is how we're able to bring you along for a little virtual tour of the Wrangler plant.

Before we get into the assembly process, we do have some interesting history to share. There have been vehicles produced in the vicinity of the current Jeep plant since the first factory facility opened in 1904 to build bicycles. This facility was referred to as Parkway, and it began building cars in 1910, followed by the famous Willys Jeeps in 1941. Jeeps were built in the Parkway facility all the way through the 1990s. Then the current facility was added in 2001, and the Parkway facility was torn down.

Besides Wrangler, the North complex has hosted production of the Dodge Nitro and Jeep Liberty, as well as the revived Jeep Cherokee. At the moment, Wranglers are the only trucks coming out, but soon Gladiator production will start at the factory.

With that quick history lesson out of the way, let's see how Wranglers are built.

  • Image Credit: Joel Stockdale

VIN stamping

There are two starting points for finished Wranglers: frames and painted bodies. We're going to look at the former, first. As ready-to-assemble frames come in, each makes a stop with these robots to receive a VIN. The arm comes in and etches the series of letters and numbers that identify each vehicle. The same robot adds the VIN for every market, since all Wranglers sold around the world come out of the Toledo factory.
  • Image Credit: Joel Stockdale

Suspension and powertrain installation

After receiving a number, the frame is carried by an automated cart to assembly-line workers who install the various mechanical parts. That includes all the suspension, the engine and the drivetrain parts.
  • Image Credit: Joel Stockdale

Suspension and powertrain installation

The completed chassis is then carried over to a robot that lifts it onto another guided transport that will take it to the body and chassis decking system. We'll get to that in a bit.
  • Image Credit: Joel Stockdale

Painted Jeep bodies

First, we need to see what happens with the Jeep bodies that will be mated to those chassis. After leaving paint, the bodies are carried along this conveyor, much of which runs near the ceiling of the factory. They're taken over to where body hardware and other interior trim will be fitted.
  • Image Credit: Joel Stockdale

Body trim assembly

The bodies are fitted to large rotisseries, and the parts needing to be installed travel along with each body. The rotisseries are used to make it easier and more comfortable for line workers to access each part of the truck. Each worker also has a ceiling-mounted shelving unit with tools and hardware, and it can be moved along a track to keep it close to the moving body.
  • Image Credit: Joel Stockdale

Body trim assembly

The rotisseries can automatically flip the Wrangler bodies so that line workers on the underside of the body have easy access to that side.
  • Image Credit: Joel Stockdale

Glass installation

From the body trim area, Wrangler bodies proceed to have windshields installed. This process is fully automated, and involves a few robotic arms. Glass is brought out on a cart, and a robotic arm squirts adhesive onto the edge of the windshield. A large sensor above keeps track of the adhesive application to make sure there aren't thick or missed spots. The windshield is then handed off to another robot that picks it up, then positions it on the windshield frame of the Wrangler body.
  • Image Credit: Joel Stockdale

Body and chassis unification

The Wrangler bodies are finally ready to be mated to their frames. This process is also automated. The bodies are lifted up and then mounted on top of the frame. When the two pieces are connected, additional machinery puts in bolts and nuts, and torques everything down to the proper specification. From here, each truck is ready for final assembly parts such as wheels, tires and more.
  • Image Credit: Joel Stockdale

Final inspection

Once a Wrangler is built, it's driven over to a final inspection station to make sure nothing was installed incorrectly and that everything is present and accounted for.
  • Image Credit: Joel Stockdale

Awaiting transport

Once it has been determined that everything has been installed and everything is working, the finished Wranglers are driven off to lines where they will wait for transport to a dealer.

Thanks for coming along with us on this virtual tour of the Jeep factory in Toledo!

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