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Unread 06-19-2012, 09:37 PM   #1
boardwalk82
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Location: Salem, Va
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1st Jeep-v6 or inline 6?

I have finally come to terms that I can't afford a new wrangler so now I am shopping used. I am not in a huge hurry so I have time to find the "one" but have heard one v6 is better than the other. I am not mechanically inclined so have no idea what the difference is between a v6 and inline 6 and would love some advice. Also any other tidbits or thoughts on buying a used wrangler would be appriciated. Thanks!

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Unread 06-19-2012, 10:20 PM   #2
Jason
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91-06 Wranglers utilized a 4.0 litre Inline 6 cylinder engine with slight changes through the years. (Some had four cylinders, but since you didn't mention that, we'll forget about them for now.) 07-11 Wranglers had a 3.8 litre V-6. 2012s have a much improved 3.6 liter V-6 engine.

A V-6 (or V-anything) engine has a design where pistons are opposite each other, but sharing a crankshaft, forming a V configuration. This is an example of pistons in a V-6 configuration:


Inline 6s (again, or any # of cylinders) have all the pistons in a single line. This is a picture of a cylinder block on an inline 6. The pistons go in the big round holes.\:
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Unread 06-20-2012, 09:46 PM   #3
boardwalk82
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I understand the basic concepts of the two engines, my real question is one better or more preferred than the other, and why?. Will I be happy with an older model inline 6 or should I hold out for a newer one with a V. Also, what makes the 3.6 liter better than the 3.8 liter better than the 4.0?
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Unread 06-21-2012, 02:28 AM   #4
RogueSpear2023
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boardwalk82 View Post
I understand the basic concepts of the two engines, my real question is one better or more preferred than the other, and why?. Will I be happy with an older model inline 6 or should I hold out for a newer one with a V. Also, what makes the 3.6 liter better than the 3.8 liter better than the 4.0?
The 4.0L I6 is probably one of the most reliable, long lasting, and easy to work on engines ever made. What makes one better than the other, well the 4.0L is an old design and some what less efficient, it was changed to the 3.8L out of the Caravan as a stop gap measure in 07 with the new body design.

Basically the EPA standards were getting too strict for the 4.0L it meet, so in 07 with the new body design. Chrysler decided to switch engines they chose the 3.8L as it was a proven platform mated to the 42RLE transmission that had been transplanted into the wrangler in 03. The problem with the 3.8L/42RLE combo is it was designed for the minivans which are far more aerodynamic than a wrangler, and usually run at higher RPMs. Jeeps by nature especially off road run at lower RPMs, than you do cruising so the 3.8L at low RPMs creates less horsepower or torque for those applications, when compared to the 4.0L that was really designed to run at low RPMs. The main problem comes from the 42RLE because it has a very high over drive gear designed for aerodynamic minivans at interstate speeds, not well suited for wrangler with the aerodynamic qualities of brick at average lower speeds.

In 2012 with the new 3.6L Penstar was debuted initially available in the Grand Cherokee in late 2011. The Penstar was designed to be a light truck engine from the beginning with a transmission and proper gearing to match. The 3.6L was designed from the ground up to meet the newest EPA and emissions standards and will remain in the wrangler for the foreseeable future. Along with the new engine came a much needed increase in HP an Torque for the new 4dr wranglers. The 2dr wranglers also benefited from the increase in HP and TQ.

Basically what makes one better than the other is complex and has numerous factors to consider. You will be very happy with an older model, unless of course you need the 4drs then only an 07 or newer will work. You will be happy either way but if you are happy with the older models there is no reason not to get one.
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Unread 06-22-2012, 10:42 PM   #5
TJJP77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RogueSpear2023 View Post
Basically the EPA standards were getting too strict for the 4.0L to meet
Untrue, in spite of what Wikipedia and Allpar say. What killed the 4.0L was low volume (hard to justify a unique engine for the volume it was doing at the time) and crash regulations. The long/tall configuration of the I-6 makes it hard to meet frontal crash regs unless the front clip of the vehicle is long enough and the cowl is high enough to accomodate the engine.

Ford went through the same thing when it got rid of it's 4.9L I-6 in the F-150 back in '97. They actually built 1997 F-150 mules with the engine for crash testing, but couldn't get it to pass with acceptable scores - too much damage to the legs/feet. Even BMW is starting to move away from inline sixes, in spite of the fact that their engines were tilted over on their side and would fit below a relatively low cowl. It's just becoming increasingly difficult to meet crash regulations with a long engine like that on anything smaller than a 3/4 ton truck.
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Unread 06-23-2012, 12:18 AM   #6
Luke95
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TJJP77 View Post
Untrue, in spite of what Wikipedia and Allpar say. What killed the 4.0L was low volume (hard to justify a unique engine for the volume it was doing at the time) and crash regulations. The long/tall configuration of the I-6 makes it hard to meet frontal crash regs unless the front clip of the vehicle is long enough and the cowl is high enough to accomodate the engine.

Ford went through the same thing when it got rid of it's 4.9L I-6 in the F-150 back in '97. They actually built 1997 F-150 mules with the engine for crash testing, but couldn't get it to pass with acceptable scores - too much damage to the legs/feet. Even BMW is starting to move away from inline sixes, in spite of the fact that their engines were tilted over on their side and would fit below a relatively low cowl. It's just becoming increasingly difficult to meet crash regulations with a long engine like that on anything smaller than a 3/4 ton truck.
This is true my dads I6 5.9 CTD is a long engine and it would be hard to fit into a k1500
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Unread 06-23-2012, 02:13 PM   #7
RogueSpear2023
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The 4.0L also had low power rating when compared to the 3.8L as well, even though they were more in RPM range the jeep would use than the 3.8L. Chrysler had done their best to squeeze every ounce of power from the old 4.0L 2 valve design, my guess is in 07 the Penstar was already in the works at least on paper somewhere, the 3.8L which they make a ton of was ready and available, so that's why it was used, beyond the test ratings.
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2003 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon
4.0L, 42RLE, Dual Tops, Full Doors, JKS Front Disconnects, Cragar Soft 8 Black Wheels, 33x12.5x15 Goodyear Duratracs, .75" Front Coil Spacers, Bushwacker 6" Flat Fender Flares, Skid Row Steering Box Skid, LubeLockers, Rubicon Locker Mod, OBA, Cobra 19 Ultra III CB, 3' Firestik, Rough Country 2.2 Steering Stabilizer, RC 1.25" BL, RC 1" MML, RC Grab Handles, Fog Lamp Bent Pin Mod, 4" Apline S Series Speakers, Kenwood Excelon 6.5" Speakers, 6.5" JL Audio 6W3V3 Subwoofer (in center console) w/MTX Thunder 202 amp, IPF H4 Headlight Housing, Sliverstar H4 bulbs.



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"Buying a jeep and not taking it off road, is like buying a dragster and never taking it to the track"
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Unread 06-25-2012, 10:42 PM   #8
tangJKU
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Get a new one. I sell them, have driven all of them many many times and the new one is 'the one'. I swore I would never buy a Jeep and had no choice after I drove the pentastar. Badass ride all around.
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Unread 06-29-2012, 07:31 AM   #9
hotrod351
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well i say the V6, plenty of power and rpm,s. ofcourse i have a V8 so am bias. but ive always figured a V6 was the perfect engine for a jeep.
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Unread 06-29-2012, 07:54 AM   #10
Dwebber18
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Since you can't afford a new one you can look for a used 2012 if you can find one with low miles and an ok price but I doubt it. I'm probably just get a TJ with the 4.0 and use the money you saved for mods and such. Of course if you need to 4dr then you've got to decide if you want to van engine or if you want to spend the extra and get a 2012
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