Drove a 3.6L Wrangler - WOW!

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14,725
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Central NY
I have drove many Jeeps. A few 2.5s, many 4.0s, automatics, manuals, etc. I like the design of the JK Wrangler. Probably the best out of the box suspension for going off road, heavier duty steering, I can fit in one (too tall for a TJ or YJ) ... However, without getting into a p--g contest, the 3.8 just wasn't adequate. The 4.0 which it replaced was no race engine, obviously, being a glorified tractor engine, but it had ample torque to move itself around and was great for crawling. Aside from being underpowered, the 3.8 was known to drink oil and self destruct. Got a chance to drive a 3.6L with the NAG1 slushbox. No 6 speeds available (disappointed, I really wanted to try that. Maybe later). The wrangler I drove was a stock 2014 with the 3.6, NAG1, 225/75-16 tires and 3.21 gears. This is about 600 pounds heavier than my cherokee (3800 for a 2 door). Compared to the 3.8s I have driven (both auto and manual) ... there isn't any comparison. The 3.6 just has power everywhere compared to the 3.8. I accidentally peeled out a bit (traction control stopped that) trying to accelerate briskly. One of the things I was most critical about the 3.6 is how modern engines need to rev to make power and that it wouldn't have any low end torque. The 3.6, compared to my venerable old 4.0, definitely feels like it has a lot more torque down low than the 4.0. The 4.0 doesn't mind lugging, but it tends to like to wind up between 2000 and 2500 to really pull strong. Obviously being an automatic, it's going to downshift, but the Pentastar had no problem pulling STRONG under 2000RPM. I managed to figure out how to get the computer to lock the torque converter under 2000RPM (actually down to 1000) and accelerated briskly. There was a really good amount of power. Definitely felt significantly more peppier than my 4.0 Cherokee, which is MUCH more peppier than *any* 3.8L wrangler I have driven. I think I would have to drive one with a manual to really get a good feel for it (have driven may 4.0 manuals). My cherokee is modified and, while geared shorter, has a taller first gear - 3.55 Gears and 31'' tires on my Cherokee - 3.21 Gears and 27'' tires on the Wrangler - NAG1 / 3.21 gears have a SHORTER first gear than 3.55 gears and the AW-4 on my Cherokee - Wrangler is heavier. Really, really impressed with this engine! I don't see myself buying one as I have no use for the vehicle itself. Maybe in a few years I can pick one up for a good price to replace the Cherokee My car gets 35 MPG and will be paid off very soon - don't want to get into a payment and lose gas mileage. I keep the Cherokee around because it's quite useful and I enjoy off roading. No way would I take a newer wrangler off road until they drop in price. I wouldn't really enjoy beating up a $25000 vehicle.
 
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ME
Apparently you can get that motor in a <span style="text-decoration: line-through">Sebring</span> 200 also.
 
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Bolivia
I have the pentastar in my 2012 Grand Cherokee and it is great, even with a trailer up the mountains. Much better than the 3.7 I had in the 2009.
 
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Buffalo, NY
Originally Posted By: eljefino
Apparently you can get that motor in a Sebring 200 also.
Um no. The new 200 is nothing close to the old Sebring...
 
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I really like the Pentastar JKs, but I'm not ready to put my TJ out to pasture just yet...
 

Miller88

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Originally Posted By: MCompact
I really like the Pentastar JKs, but I'm not ready to put my TJ out to pasture just yet...
I don't see my Cherokee going anywhere until it either rusts out or drops some piston skirts. It's just so useful (and cheap) and I don't feel as bad for beating it up. Plus, I do like the simplicity of the 4.0!
 
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We recently traded the wife's 2011 Wrangler with the 3.8 in on a 2013 Wrangler with the 3.6. It really is amazing how much more power the 3.6 has. Seems to get about 1-2 more MPG too. Haven't towed our ATVs with it yet, but the 2011 didn't like it at all. I'm thinking the new one will do much better.
 
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The torque curve is impressive on that Pentastar, that is for sure. Makes me wonder why they don't make a V8 version for the Ram trucks. 4.9L, 400hp, 340tq. Probably eat too much into Hemi sales, and isn't "muscular" enough. But IMO it would make for a great half ton motor.
 
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MN
Originally Posted By: KD0AXS
We recently traded the wife's 2011 Wrangler with the 3.8 in on a 2013 Wrangler with the 3.6. It really is amazing how much more power the 3.6 has. Seems to get about 1-2 more MPG too. Haven't towed our ATVs with it yet, but the 2011 didn't like it at all. I'm thinking the new one will do much better.
That's a nice lookin jeep neighbor. thumbsup Terra Grapplers?
 
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Florida
Originally Posted By: supton
The torque curve is impressive on that Pentastar, that is for sure. Makes me wonder why they don't make a V8 version for the Ram trucks. 4.9L, 400hp, 340tq. Probably eat too much into Hemi sales, and isn't "muscular" enough. But IMO it would make for a great half ton motor.
Typically a V6 engine would have a 60 degree bank angle, whereas a V8 would have a 90 degree bank angle. Those angles were chosen because that would result in better balance. The only 60 degree V8 engines I can think of were the 3.4L Taurus SHO engine and the Volvo XC90 V8. 90 Degree V6 engines were more common, think of the GM 4.3 V6, Dodge OHV 3.9, and Dodge SOHC 3.7L. None of those V6 engines were known for smoothness.
 
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Nowthen, MN
Originally Posted By: possum328
Originally Posted By: KD0AXS
We recently traded the wife's 2011 Wrangler with the 3.8 in on a 2013 Wrangler with the 3.6. It really is amazing how much more power the 3.6 has. Seems to get about 1-2 more MPG too. Haven't towed our ATVs with it yet, but the 2011 didn't like it at all. I'm thinking the new one will do much better.
That's a nice lookin jeep neighbor. thumbsup Terra Grapplers?
Thanks! Yes, they're 285/70/17 Terra Grapplers. Apparently at some point in the 13,000 miles the previous owner had it, they decided to drop $2000 on tires and wheels.
 
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NH
Originally Posted By: artificialist
Originally Posted By: supton
The torque curve is impressive on that Pentastar, that is for sure. Makes me wonder why they don't make a V8 version for the Ram trucks. 4.9L, 400hp, 340tq. Probably eat too much into Hemi sales, and isn't "muscular" enough. But IMO it would make for a great half ton motor.
Typically a V6 engine would have a 60 degree bank angle, whereas a V8 would have a 90 degree bank angle. Those angles were chosen because that would result in better balance. The only 60 degree V8 engines I can think of were the 3.4L Taurus SHO engine and the Volvo XC90 V8. 90 Degree V6 engines were more common, think of the GM 4.3 V6, Dodge OHV 3.9, and Dodge SOHC 3.7L. None of those V6 engines were known for smoothness.
True, so it'd be a bit more design work than I thought. But still. I think it would be a logical step.
 

Miller88

Thread starter
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Originally Posted By: supton
Originally Posted By: artificialist
Originally Posted By: supton
The torque curve is impressive on that Pentastar, that is for sure. Makes me wonder why they don't make a V8 version for the Ram trucks. 4.9L, 400hp, 340tq. Probably eat too much into Hemi sales, and isn't "muscular" enough. But IMO it would make for a great half ton motor.
Typically a V6 engine would have a 60 degree bank angle, whereas a V8 would have a 90 degree bank angle. Those angles were chosen because that would result in better balance. The only 60 degree V8 engines I can think of were the 3.4L Taurus SHO engine and the Volvo XC90 V8. 90 Degree V6 engines were more common, think of the GM 4.3 V6, Dodge OHV 3.9, and Dodge SOHC 3.7L. None of those V6 engines were known for smoothness.
True, so it'd be a bit more design work than I thought. But still. I think it would be a logical step.
Fiatsler will call the Pentastar V8 the CheetaWhale or something haha
 
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Southeast Michigan
While a 'V8 version' of the Pentastar wouldn't exactly be practical, there's no good reason why the design philosophy that went into the Pentastar couldn't be applied to V8 or I4 engines. Chrysler has a winning formula with the current Hemi engine family, so they're not going to try too hard to reinvent the wheel until regulatory or market pressure forces them to do so. All that being said, I'd be shocked if Chrysler's next generation of truck V8 engines with DOHC valve trains, direct injection, and whatever other goodies they might be putting on them, isn't already well along in its development cycle.
 
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KY
Originally Posted By: Miller88
Originally Posted By: MCompact
I really like the Pentastar JKs, but I'm not ready to put my TJ out to pasture just yet...
I don't see my Cherokee going anywhere until it either rusts out or drops some piston skirts. It's just so useful (and cheap) and I don't feel as bad for beating it up. Plus, I do like the simplicity of the 4.0!
x1,000,000
 
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Connecticut
The 3.6 is fun to drive, but I sure wouldn't want to work on one. I'll keep my 4.0 till it drops, and then I'll put in a 4.7L stroker. Talk about fun to drive. slobber
 

Miller88

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Central NY
It's an impressive engine, but I'm just not sure how much of a problem it would be when it gets old and the sensors start to wear out - or how well they perform after years of off roading or sitting around. I guess the good news is - there's so many of them being put into newer cars that finding replacement parts shouldn't be terribly hard. The engine bay on the new 3.6L wrangler is CRAMPED! I was looking at one - even with the hood cover removed it's pretty cramped. And the alternator is mounted ahead of the engine, backwards. Not sure why. Not a huge fan of the integrated head/manifold.
 
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