Need advice on potentially buying 3.8L - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 16 Old 06-16-2019, 06:41 PM Thread Starter
Mhendricks
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Need advice on potentially buying 3.8L

I have been looking at TJs, but a sweet deal on a 07 JK has come up. I’ve heard bad things. I’d like to hear from you all. It has 120,000 miles. Thoughts? Concerns?

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post #2 of 16 Old 06-16-2019, 08:07 PM
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Price?

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post #3 of 16 Old 06-17-2019, 03:06 AM Thread Starter
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Price is irrelevant to my question
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post #4 of 16 Old 06-17-2019, 03:44 AM
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http://www.fourwheeler.com/how-to/en...gine-problems/

imo avoid 07-012 unless one is planning an engine swap.

Semi-Retired Sr. Mechanical Assembler & Sr. Quality Assurance Inspector for Aerospace Industry
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post #5 of 16 Old 06-17-2019, 06:33 AM
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IMHO price is relevant because you can put up with shortcomings or problems if the price is low enough, but whatever.

I had a 2007 JKU. By far the worst vehicle I ever owned in my life. Absolutely no quality control. Numerous random computer and electronic problems. Used half a quart of oil per tank of gas. Steering box had so much slack / slop it was a chore to drive it. Metric bolts in sae bolt holes or vise versa to the point where the aftermarket made a bolt kit so you could reassemble your Jeep with correct fasteners because the mixed bolts caused unbelievable slop in parts that were meant to be held together. Programmed functions such as door locks, lights flashing, and horn would act one way one day and another way the next. Death wobble from hell that I eventually got resolved. Nonfunctional brake system two or three times forced me to take a Dutch at 60 mph or better to avoid hitting the car in front of me. Dealer denied there was a problem and I had to get corporate involved and threatened a public law suit. It would not over heat but when I would park in my garage it heated up my garage like something was on fire. My 2014 does not heat up my garage like that. Water pump went out at only thirty thousand miles. Rear differential gears crumbled apart. The timing cover was made out of porous metal and oil would ooze through the metal, not a gasket surface. I often had to play with the automatic shifter to get it to start. Dashboard prone to scratches. Huge gap between the windshield and dashboard swallowed up many objects including my keys. Traction control functionality of the computer was so piss poor that in mud the engine would rev while the computer applied the brakes which made the Jeep sit in place shaking, nearly tearing itself apart. I could keep writing for days how awful it was.

My 2014 is totally opposite and is one of the best vehicles Ievrr bought.

I bought the 2007 and the 2014 brand new off the lot for cash, sobit wasn’t the result of someone else monkeying around.

I often fantasized about driving the 2007 off of a cliff.

My experience was not typical but I certainly was not alone in that nightmare.

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post #6 of 16 Old 06-17-2019, 06:45 AM
Ross
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I know this is the JK section and I might get flamed but:

I had my TJ since new. Many of the people of the people I wheeled with had new TJs. Now I wheel with people with JKs and JKUs. They are capable, they are nice and all sorts of good stuff but even thought are new or at least newer they have more issues than I have with my 18 year old TJ.

Common ones deal with the power steering and the auto sway bar disconnect. We had one that would start and run perfect in park but as soon as you but it into gear it died. It had got stuck in some mud. He got home and somehow figured out it was the idler pulley, replaced the idler pulley (cheap easy job) and it ran like a champ. I have no idea how an idler pulley could cause a problem like that.

A JKU caught in fire in front of my brother in laws house as it was driving down the road. If you google you will find that happens on occasion.

I have no idea what years these JKs and JKUs are.

I am not trying to start a this sucks that sucks thread, I am just sharing my experiences.

If I were to be on l the look out for a Wrangler I would want a Rubicon LJ.

01 TJ,33X12.5Flaken WP ATs,Winch, ARBs F&R, belly up, some armor,4.0,5spd
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post #7 of 16 Old 06-17-2019, 06:48 AM
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I forgot to mention that my 2007 would sometimes die while driving and would not start back up. Not even a click. I would have to get it towed to the dealer and they would say it is fine, cannot find anything wrong, can’t duplicate the problem and it would start right up. It happened multiple times to the point where I had to buy a second vehicle until I could figure out what to do with the Jeep from hell.

I tried to trade it in and was offered five thousand dollars for it. I drive it to another dealer forty miles awat and gladly accepted nineteen thousand five hundred on trade plus other aspects of the deal were fantastic.

The damn thing even locked me out while it was running one time in the winter and I had to walk home five miles cutting through sugar cane fields in the winter because my phone and jacket were locked in the God foresaken Jeep to retrieve my spare key.

Even the paint was crappy as bugs ruined the finish of the grill and fenders in no time and dirt left stains on the doors,

Sometimes the driver’s window would not go back up but to fix that I had to **** the engine off for five to ten minutes and start it back up. The air conditioning was the same way.

I felt like a crazy person imagining all these things but it was really happening

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post #8 of 16 Old 06-17-2019, 07:44 AM
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@Mhendricks the objective is not to deter you from buying any jeep, but offer support for which ever jeep you decide to buy.

Semi-Retired Sr. Mechanical Assembler & Sr. Quality Assurance Inspector for Aerospace Industry
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post #9 of 16 Old 06-17-2019, 11:04 AM Thread Starter
Mhendricks
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I apologize. I meant to be more specific with my question. I need to know about the 3.8L engine and/or the Automatic transmission. Those are the two things I need to hear about.
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post #10 of 16 Old 06-17-2019, 11:52 AM
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My automatic transmission in my 2007 was ok once I regeared the differentials. Even stick it couldn’t figure out the right gear to be in it what gear it wanted to stay in. That being said it didn’t break or anything and the problem with starting was the neutral safety switch.

The 3.8L was ok except for excessive oil consumption after 38,000 miles. It was somewhat under powered and had to spin up to high rpm to make power.

By comparison the automatic transmission in my 2014 is a work of art and the pentastar 3.6L offers a nice flat torque curve. My main complaint about the engine in my /014 has to do with the engine oil cooler and oil filter adapter housing.

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post #11 of 16 Old 06-17-2019, 12:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mhendricks View Post
I apologize. I meant to be more specific with my question. I need to know about the 3.8L engine and/or the Automatic transmission. Those are the two things I need to hear about.
The 3.8L motor is a gutless turd and the 42rle auto trans doesn't help it at all. If you plan to stick with stock sized tires and not upgrade the jeep or add any weight to it then the motor will be ok. If you are going to build it up, even w/ re-geared axles, the motor and trans just suck. No real power at all. The 2012 and up motor is much better.

TC
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post #12 of 16 Old 06-17-2019, 02:03 PM Thread Starter
Mhendricks
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The Jeep I am looking at has 120K with no leaks and no consumption, according to the owner. He is running 37" tires with 5:13 gears and upgraded Axles. I'd be curious to know how the Jeep handles it.
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post #13 of 16 Old 06-17-2019, 02:11 PM
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Need advice on potentially buying 3.8L

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mhendricks View Post
The Jeep I am looking at has 120K with no leaks and no consumption, according to the owner. He is running 37" tires with 5:13 gears and upgraded Axles. I'd be curious to know how the Jeep handles it.


I just sold my 2008 w about 120k miles on it. Had 37ís on Prorockís and then 40ís on UD 60ís...and it was supercharged. 5.38 gears. Didnít consume any oil and, overall, was a reliable Jeep.

But, it was way under powered. And I had the transmission rebuilt twice.

I suggest driving the one you are looking at and let the seat of your pants tell you if itís something you can live with.

TC
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post #14 of 16 Old 06-21-2019, 06:48 PM
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I've never owned one, so I'm no authority on the topic; but in my search, I test-drove a 2008 2-door with a 6-speed manual (150k miles) and I honestly thought it got around quite well--even with wide 37s and the ridiculously-tall gearing (wouldn't bother with 6th gear except on the interstate at 70+). Everyone seemingly complains about the 3.8 being a "minivan engine," as if that's a bad thing. There's no shortage of 3.8L vans happily running well over 200k on the road today. By the way, the Pentastar is a minivan engine, too (it's also a Dodge Challenger engine, and even a Ram ProMaster engine). The 3.6 is fantastic all-around, and I'm glad that I spent extra to get one; but I feel like I would have been satisfied with the 3.8 manual 2-door too.

That said, I've never driven the automatic. Automatics have more drivetrain power loss, and with only four (technically five, I think) forward ratios, I could see that being quite slow. Then if we're talking 4-doors, I think the extra power and more efficient automatic on the 2012+ is worth saving for.

Test-driving is the only way to know. Given Wrangler aerodynamics, the highway is where you'd most-likely want more power--so definitely try it there. With the right gearing, a Geo 3-cylinder could carry a built Wrangler off-road, so that's a non-issue.

2012 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara | 2011 Chrysler 200 Limited 3.6
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post #15 of 16 Old 06-21-2019, 07:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bierdc View Post
I've never owned one, so I'm no authority on the topic; but in my search, I test-drove a 2008 2-door with a 6-speed manual (150k miles) and I honestly thought it got around quite well--even with wide 37s and the ridiculously-tall gearing (wouldn't bother with 6th gear except on the interstate at 70+). Everyone seemingly complains about the 3.8 being a "minivan engine," as if that's a bad thing. There's no shortage of 3.8L vans happily running well over 200k on the road today. By the way, the Pentastar is a minivan engine, too (it's also a Dodge Challenger engine, and even a Ram ProMaster engine). The 3.6 is fantastic all-around, and I'm glad that I spent extra to get one; but I feel like I would have been satisfied with the 3.8 manual 2-door too.



That said, I've never driven the automatic. Automatics have more drivetrain power loss, and with only four (technically five, I think)

Nope. 4 speed and the 4th gear is OD

TC
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