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Unread 03-24-2015, 08:18 AM   #1
teqmod
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3.6 over 3.8

I am looking at picking up a JK and it will be a "pre-owned". Thing is I know the new pentastar motor is also fairly new to hte market. The under powered 3.8 has been used by Chrysler since the 90s and while it did have its issues I would have to think most were worked out over the years. I have been doing some basic research on the reliability of hte 3.6 and see there were cylinder head issues and I am not sure how I feel about the head being the manifold for the exhaust. Chrysler says that heat was not the issue. For those that have these motors (especially those who have put some miles on) what issues have you had. If anyone has had both the 3.8 then the 3.6 what are your thoughts on reliability differences. I already know there is a substantial power increase, just questioning reliability overall.

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Unread 03-24-2015, 08:25 AM   #2
zjilla
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The 3.8 isnt under powered! Its just paired with the wrong geared transmission. All i know is that my 3.8 will outlast all of the 3.6s on the road today. Hands down. Every engine has had its run of problems. So its really up to you. People will tell u to stay away from the 2012ish 3.6s. Im sure u wont have any problems with a new 14-15 3.6. If u get a 3.8 and do larger tires, budget for a re gear. Ive driven both, and the 3.6 un-doubtibly has more ummmph when u press the gas but im more confident in my 3.8. Even if it burns a little oil


If u get a 3.6, buy extra idler pulleys and serp belts bc those as pretty much garbage if any dirt finds it way near them. Ive replaced 5 of them on two different 3.6s with less than 20k miles on the same jeeps that went through the same stuff as my 3.8.
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Unread 03-24-2015, 08:40 AM   #3
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All Wrangler engines have their weak spots, even the venerable 4.0L. The 3.8 never previously saw the sort of abuse Wranglers put on them and sometimes it shows, especially on the early JK models. The earlier JKs were also built at a time when Chrysler was switching over to 5W20 as the recommended oil on that engine. I'm not an automotive engineer, but I imagine that contributed some to its issues. The 3.8L has a tendency to burn oil (in some cases a LOT of oil) and it finds all sorts of ways for coolant to leak out of the cooling system. And rod bearings on the early JK models are prone to failure. I've never owned a 3.6L and have no idea how widespread its issues are, but with any year model Wrangler you should do your research on potential issues and be prepared to identify and deal with them. I personally wouldn't pass on a Wrangler I liked because of the engine (4 cylinders aside), but I might pass on one built during the first or second year model of an engine.
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Unread 03-24-2015, 08:52 AM   #4
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3.6 hands down, I wouldn't even consider a 3.8. Yes the 3.6 had cylinder head issues early on, but they've fixed that and ever since then the 3.6 has been proving to be a reliable engine.

One example I have is I just worked on an OSP patrol Charger with a 3.6. It has 200,000 miles on it (hard miles if you know how hard cops drive) but all thats been done to it is a water pump and cam sensor. It still had the original heads, ran smooth and made no noise at all. I was pretty impressed.
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Unread 03-24-2015, 09:12 AM   #5
teqmod
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For the early 3.6 I am assuming this was not a recall but more of a service bulletin. I wonder if this will show up under a Car Fax or not. All I have seen regarding the issue is a reported "ticking" noise. Is there a catastrophic failure associated with the issue or is it more of an annoying sound that mechanically is fine?
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Unread 03-24-2015, 09:14 AM   #6
zjilla
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LJameson
3.6 hands down, I wouldn't even consider a 3.8. Yes the 3.6 had cylinder head issues early on, but they've fixed that and ever since then the 3.6 has been proving to be a reliable engine. One example I have is I just worked on an OSP patrol Charger with a 3.6. It has 200,000 miles on it (hard miles if you know how hard cops drive) but all thats been done to it is a water pump and cam sensor. It still had the original heads, ran smooth and made no noise at all. I was pretty impressed.
Does any dodge charger have miles like this? This is kinda what i was refering too with the idler pulleys and such ( yes we did clean the engine bays out after riding):


image-3706209401.jpg



image-2385160668.jpg



image-2877630334.jpg



image-3836437209.jpg

Im not knocking ur dodge charger AT ALL. Just sayin that the 3.6s i deal with go through a different milage plan than ur charger

Plus pics are fun for a good laugh. Everyones experiences are different
image-3442870762.jpg

image-1118031075.jpg

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Unread 03-24-2015, 09:20 AM   #7
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Unread 03-24-2015, 11:03 AM   #8
Wrigley
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teqmod View Post
For the early 3.6 I am assuming this was not a recall but more of a service bulletin. I wonder if this will show up under a Car Fax or not. All I have seen regarding the issue is a reported "ticking" noise. Is there a catastrophic failure associated with the issue or is it more of an annoying sound that mechanically is fine?
A good buddy of mine bought a brand new 2012 and had to have the left head replaced with about 14,000 miles on it. The only tell tale sign was a ticking noise. There was no power loss or any other indication at all.

I bought 2 brand new 2013's and have not had any engine related issues at all. One of my 2013's already has 67,000 miles on it.

I thought I read something on this forum concerning a date stamp on the valve cover of the 2012's. If the date stamped is prior to such and such date, there's a very good chance that vehicle will have an issue with the head.

I'm sure someone more familiar with this forum can help you locate that thread.

Good Luck
Mike
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Unread 03-24-2015, 02:14 PM   #9
paul84043
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Wow, I'm glad I read this thread. I'm dumping my 2012 immediately. I had no idea my 3.6 was such a pile of crap. Seriously, how have I made it 50k miles with no problems, wheeling included.
I must be the luckiest person on the planet.

Do you know how many hundreds of thousands of these engines are out there? I guess I missed the memo where they were dropping like flies.

2011–present Chrysler 200[8] (Models: LX, Touring, Limited, S, and C)
2011–present Chrysler 300 (Models: 300 Base, 300 S V6, 300 C w/ V6, 300 C Glacier Series w/ V6, 300 C Luxury Series w/ V6)
2011–present Chrysler Town & Country (Models: Touring, Touring "L", Limited, S)
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2011–present Dodge Challenger (Models: SE, SXT, SXT +, SXT Rallye Edition)
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2011–present Dodge Durango (Models: Express, SXT, Crew, Crew Lux, Citadel)
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2011–2014 Volkswagen Routan (Models: S, SE, SEL, SEL Premium)
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2012–present Ram Cargo Van (Models: C/V Base, C/V Tradesman)
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Unread 03-24-2015, 02:28 PM   #10
JoeCitizen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paul84043 View Post
Wow, I'm glad I read this thread. I'm dumping my 2012 immediately. I had no idea my 3.6 was such a pile of crap. Seriously, how have I made it 50k miles with no problems, wheeling included.
I must be the luckiest person on the planet.

Do you know how many hundreds of thousands of these engines are out there? I guess I missed the memo where they were dropping like flies.

2011–present Chrysler 200[8] (Models: LX, Touring, Limited, S, and C)
2011–present Chrysler 300 (Models: 300 Base, 300 S V6, 300 C w/ V6, 300 C Glacier Series w/ V6, 300 C Luxury Series w/ V6)
2011–present Chrysler Town & Country (Models: Touring, Touring "L", Limited, S)
2011–2014 Dodge Avenger (Models: SE V6, SXT, R/T)
2011–present Dodge Challenger (Models: SE, SXT, SXT +, SXT Rallye Edition)
2011–present Dodge Charger (Models: SE, SXT, SXT +, SXT Rallye Edition)
2011–present Dodge Durango (Models: Express, SXT, Crew, Crew Lux, Citadel)
2011–2015 Dodge Grand Caravan (Models: SE American Value Package (AVP)or Canadian Value Package (CVP), SE, Crew, Crew Lux, SXT, R/T)
2011–present Dodge Journey (Models: SE American Value Package (AVP) or Canadian Value Package (CVP), Crew, Crew Lux, SXT, R/T)
2011–present Jeep Grand Cherokee (Models: Laredo "E", Laredo "X", 70TH Anniversary Edition, Trailhawk, Altitude Edition, Limited, Overland, Overland Summit Edition)
2011–2014 Volkswagen Routan (Models: S, SE, SEL, SEL Premium)
2012–present Fiat Freemont (Models: Freemont)
2012–present Jeep Wrangler (Models: Sport, Unlimited Sport, Sport "S", Unlimited Sport "S", Freedom Edition, Unlimited Freedom Edition, Altitude Edition, Unlimited Altitude Edition, 70TH Anniversary Edition, Unlimited 70TH Anniversary Edition, Sahara, Unlimited Sahara, Moab, Unlimited Moab, Rubicon, Unlimited Rubicon, Rubicon 10TH Anniversary, Unlimited Rubicon 10TH Anniversary)
2012–present Lancia Voyager (Models: Limited)
2012–present Lancia Thema (Models: Base)
2012–present Ram Cargo Van (Models: C/V Base, C/V Tradesman)
2013–present Ram 1500 (Models: SLT, HFE)
2014–present Ram ProMaster
2015-present Chrysler 200 (295-hp, 262-lb ft)

I see this list and just got to say. The people who call the 3.6 a "minivan motor" look pretty stupid, juvenile, petty and small.
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Unread 03-24-2015, 04:13 PM   #11
zjilla
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paul84043
Wow, I'm glad I read this thread. I'm dumping my 2012 immediately. I had no idea my 3.6 was such a pile of crap. Seriously, how have I made it 50k miles with no problems, wheeling included. I must be the luckiest person on the planet. Do you know how many hundreds of thousands of these engines are out there? I guess I missed the memo where they were dropping like flies. 2011–present Chrysler 200[8] (Models: LX, Touring, Limited, S, and C) 2011–present Chrysler 300 (Models: 300 Base, 300 S V6, 300 C w/ V6, 300 C Glacier Series w/ V6, 300 C Luxury Series w/ V6) 2011–present Chrysler Town & Country (Models: Touring, Touring "L", Limited, S) 2011–2014 Dodge Avenger (Models: SE V6, SXT, R/T) 2011–present Dodge Challenger (Models: SE, SXT, SXT +, SXT Rallye Edition) 2011–present Dodge Charger (Models: SE, SXT, SXT +, SXT Rallye Edition) 2011–present Dodge Durango (Models: Express, SXT, Crew, Crew Lux, Citadel) 2011–2015 Dodge Grand Caravan (Models: SE American Value Package (AVP)or Canadian Value Package (CVP), SE, Crew, Crew Lux, SXT, R/T) 2011–present Dodge Journey (Models: SE American Value Package (AVP) or Canadian Value Package (CVP), Crew, Crew Lux, SXT, R/T) 2011–present Jeep Grand Cherokee (Models: Laredo "E", Laredo "X", 70TH Anniversary Edition, Trailhawk, Altitude Edition, Limited, Overland, Overland Summit Edition) 2011–2014 Volkswagen Routan (Models: S, SE, SEL, SEL Premium) 2012–present Fiat Freemont (Models: Freemont) 2012–present Jeep Wrangler (Models: Sport, Unlimited Sport, Sport "S", Unlimited Sport "S", Freedom Edition, Unlimited Freedom Edition, Altitude Edition, Unlimited Altitude Edition, 70TH Anniversary Edition, Unlimited 70TH Anniversary Edition, Sahara, Unlimited Sahara, Moab, Unlimited Moab, Rubicon, Unlimited Rubicon, Rubicon 10TH Anniversary, Unlimited Rubicon 10TH Anniversary) 2012–present Lancia Voyager (Models: Limited) 2012–present Lancia Thema (Models: Base) 2012–present Ram Cargo Van (Models: C/V Base, C/V Tradesman) 2013–present Ram 1500 (Models: SLT, HFE) 2014–present Ram ProMaster 2015-present Chrysler 200 (295-hp, 262-lb ft)
No one ever saidthe engine was garbage. I said i prefer the 3.8 over the 3.6 and the older models had a run of issues they obviously got over. Not every engine is blowin heads (obviously not urs).

Only thing i specificly said that was negativetowards the 3.6 is that it comes with some garbage idler pulleys when they are introduced to dirty enviorments.

Like i said, i prefer my 3.8 bc its been on the road longer than the3.6 penastar. Im sure the 3.6 will have its glory day and prove a point for reliability. Yours is right?

You will be hard pressed to find more posts about how people have great running engines with no problems than people without, bc most people are posting to fix a problem or learn something or ask why.
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Unread 03-24-2015, 04:39 PM   #12
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As far as 3.8s on the road, let's just say it's in the millions. Over 850,000 produced in the Wrangler alone before the 3.6 came.
I like the 3.6 but Im still happy with my 3.8L at 195,000 klm.
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Unread 03-24-2015, 04:51 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zjilla
Does any dodge charger have miles like this? This is kinda what i was refering too with the idler pulleys and such ( yes we did clean the engine bays out after riding): Im not knocking ur dodge charger AT ALL. Just sayin that the 3.6s i deal with go through a different milage plan than ur charger Plus pics are fun for a good laugh. Everyones experiences are different
That one pic looks like you drove into wet concrete! That looks fun to clean haha great pics
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Unread 03-24-2015, 09:18 PM   #14
duneslider
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It isn't just an engine here. I personally would probably still pick the 3.6 over the 3.8 if we were talking engine alone. However, the real deal here is the automatic transmission that comes with the 3.6. That is a much better transmission than the one stuck to the 3.8. I personally am not a huge fan of the manual transmission these come with.

I do however have a 3.8 and while the first one only lasted me 58k I am pretty confident my current engine will last a really long time and it is serving me well. I do look forward to the day I can drop a 4.1stroker in it though.
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Unread 03-25-2015, 05:20 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paul84043 View Post
Wow, I'm glad I read this thread. I'm dumping my 2012 immediately. I had no idea my 3.6 was such a pile of crap. Seriously, how have I made it 50k miles with no problems, wheeling included.
I must be the luckiest person on the planet.
Yours may not have an issue with the head.

Everyone I know that had a 2012 with a head issue occurred with 30,000 or less miles on it. I know a handful of people that own 2012's that have over 30,000 miles and don't have the head problem. Hopefully you will be one of those owners!

Mike
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