3.8 vs. 3.6 towing questions - Jeep Wrangler Forum
Jeep Wrangler Forum

Go Back   Jeep Wrangler Forum > JK Jeep Wrangler Forum > JK Tech Forum

Join Wrangler Forum Today


Reply
 
Thread Tools

Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on WranglerForum.com
Old 02-13-2014, 09:29 PM   #1
Jeeper
 
Heat Miser's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Tampa Bay area
Posts: 52
3.8 vs. 3.6 towing questions

I searched and couldn't find the answer to my questions. I have a 2011 Wrangler Sport, 6-speed, with 3.21 gears. I tow a military trailer and a small travel trailer that's close to the 2,000 lb capacity when loaded. In most circumstances, it does fine with some downshifting (which I don't mind), but occasionally it seems to struggle. I'm considering getting a 2014 Sport, 6-speed, with 3.73 gears. Does anyone have any experience towing with these two engines? Is it worth considering getting a 2014, or will towing be similar to what I have now? I'm not concerned about the drive, feel, etc., just the engine. Thanks in advance.

Heat Miser is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 02-13-2014, 09:41 PM   #2
Jeeper
 
wassup8687's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 1,979
You'll notice a big difference just with the 3.73's. The newer 3.6 will put you over the top with its increased power.

wassup8687 is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 02-13-2014, 09:55 PM   #3
Jeeper
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Great White North
Posts: 260
I have the 2014 auto with 3.21 gears and I can tell you it struggles at some speeds without towing anything. I think in their effort to optimize gas mileage (and they sucked at it) they have the transmission upshifting too early in the torque curve.

So I doubt very much that changing to the new engine will completely eliminate the issue. You will find a hill and a speed at which the engine will just not have enough torque unless you downshift. If you really want to solve the problem then a diesel is probably the answer but you will have to wait a few more years until they make that available.

The 3.6 does have more power and the 3.73 gears would make a big difference and you would certainly notice it, but drop the revs low enough and it's still going to struggle. At least with a manual you can pick your gear so if the engine is struggling you picked the wrong one. Us auto drivers just blame it on the transmission engineers.

For towing you can't beat the torque of a diesel I just hope they provide something truly worthy and not some 165hp 4 cylinder engine that suits motoring around some Caribbean island where you never get over 30mph.
WorkingMan is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 02-13-2014, 10:33 PM   #4
Jeeper

WF Supporting Member
 
dgsholar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Kansas City
Posts: 362
I have a 14 w/ 3.73. I tow an enclosed 6x10 trailer. It does great 70 - 75mph. Honestly, I hardly know it's there.

I have automatic.
__________________
“I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.”
dgsholar is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 02-14-2014, 07:41 AM   #5
Jeeper
 
Michel347's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Laurentians, QC, Canada
Posts: 443
I have the 3.6L with 3.73, 6 speeds and it does real fine with around 2000 lbs load.
__________________
2012 Wrangler JK Sport 2dr, man 6 spd, 3.73 diff
Michel347 is online now   Quote Quick Reply
Old 02-14-2014, 08:23 AM   #6
Jeeper
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Great White North
Posts: 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michel347 View Post
I have the 3.6L with 3.73, 6 speeds and it does real fine with around 2000 lbs load.
So you don't find the engine struggles going up a steep hill in 6th at 55mph pulling your trailer? I would bet it does. My engine lugs whenever the RPM's drop to around 1000 without pulling anything.

I'm not saying the that if you keep the rev's up over 2,000 you will have a problem but as the OP says under certain low RPM conditions the engine lugs and moving over to the newer engine is not going to change that much. You need to keep the engine in the torque curve to avoid it. Something that will require downshifting on steep hills pulling a trailer no matter which engine or rear end you have.

Now a diesel likes to work and they run at lower RPM's and have massive torque so if they put a large enough diesel in the Jeep you just might be able to go up that steep hill in 6th pulling a 2000lb trailer and not have to downshift.

But saying you don't have a problem with a 3.6 and 3.73 gears pulling a trailer is misleading to the OP. He states his engine struggles under certain conditions and I am positive you can find a similar set of conditions with the 3.6 and 3.73 that will lug the engine. So having him spend money to move up to a newer Jeep only to find out that he still has to downshift on steep hills is probably going to led him to think he wasted his hard earned cash.

Granted there will be less downshifting and that may be all he is looking for but there still will be some and the only possible way to avoid it might be a diesel and even then there is going to be a steep enough hill to require it.
WorkingMan is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 02-14-2014, 08:53 AM   #7
Jeeper
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by WorkingMan View Post
So you don't find the engine struggles going up a steep hill in 6th at 55mph pulling your trailer? I would bet it does. My engine lugs whenever the RPM's drop to around 1000 without pulling anything.

I'm not saying the that if you keep the rev's up over 2,000 you will have a problem but as the OP says under certain low RPM conditions the engine lugs and moving over to the newer engine is not going to change that much. You need to keep the engine in the torque curve to avoid it. Something that will require downshifting on steep hills pulling a trailer no matter which engine or rear end you have.

Now a diesel likes to work and they run at lower RPM's and have massive torque so if they put a large enough diesel in the Jeep you just might be able to go up that steep hill in 6th pulling a 2000lb trailer and not have to downshift.

But saying you don't have a problem with a 3.6 and 3.73 gears pulling a trailer is misleading to the OP. He states his engine struggles under certain conditions and I am positive you can find a similar set of conditions with the 3.6 and 3.73 that will lug the engine. So having him spend money to move up to a newer Jeep only to find out that he still has to downshift on steep hills is probably going to led him to think he wasted his hard earned cash.

Granted there will be less downshifting and that may be all he is looking for but there still will be some and the only possible way to avoid it might be a diesel and even then there is going to be a steep enough hill to require it.
1,000 RPM? Since thats only a few hundred over IDLE I would not expect ANY engine to pull a load at that speed. I don't know about you guys but my 3.6 is a turd below 1500 (as it should be since it's only a 3.6L). However the torque comes on quickly at 1600.

So as long as the OP does not have unrealistic expecations and does not mind droping a gear to keep it closer to 2,000 rpm when pulling up a hill he will be good.

I think the main thing he will realize is if he has to mat the skinny pedal for passing or merging it will be night and day difference between the 3.6 with 3.73 gearing and his current setup.

BTW...I have a sport 6sp with 3.73 and I know for a fact that if there is any significant grade to a hill, you better not be below 2k in 6th. I found this out when coming out of the flat lands up into some hills with the cruise set on 65mph in 6th. I noticed that I dropped a few MPH coming up the hill and I disable crusie to see how much was "left" and it was attempting to climb the hill at WOT and I had no idea. It would run up the hill like a freight train with just 400 more rpm but at this speed it was just not enough torque to maintain speed on this hill.

YMMV
loudvegas is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 02-14-2014, 08:57 AM   #8
Supporting Member

WF Supporting Member
 
Mcrock's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 276
I have towed with the 3.8 and the 3.6 and there is a noticeable improvement. But like any tow vehicle, there is always some degree of strain on steep inclines. Nothing that the 3.6 can't handle as long as you're not overloaded.
3.73s & 3200 lb trailer... No problems
__________________
'85CJ, '92YJ, '00 TJ, '08 JK, '13 JK, '17 ??
Mcrock is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 02-14-2014, 09:03 AM   #9
Jeeper
 
Roytheroach's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 130
Just jumpin in, i gotta say theres a lot of guys complaining that at certain speeds they have to downshift to go up hill. My math could be off, but with 3.21 gears on 32" tires the vehicle would be doing over 200 mph if it could magically reach redline in 6th gear.

If you're doing 60 and it doesnt quite give you that "umph" you so desire, you should expect it... I can idle down a flat even street at 30 mph in 6th so im not complaining. Much better than the 95 suburban k1500 i had before the wrangler.
Roytheroach is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 02-14-2014, 10:47 AM   #10
Jeeper
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roytheroach View Post
Just jumpin in, i gotta say theres a lot of guys complaining that at certain speeds they have to downshift to go up hill. My math could be off, but with 3.21 gears on 32" tires the vehicle would be doing over 200 mph if it could magically reach redline in 6th gear.

If you're doing 60 and it doesnt quite give you that "umph" you so desire, you should expect it... I can idle down a flat even street at 30 mph in 6th so im not complaining. Much better than the 95 suburban k1500 i had before the wrangler.
Hmm, what would it take to get 1,000 hp out of the 3.6? Given the wind noise and touchy handling at 90mph I did ONCE I think one may have their hands full at 200mph
loudvegas is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 02-14-2014, 10:50 AM   #11
Jeeper
 
digitalbill's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Lake Worth, FL
Posts: 331
Quote:
Originally Posted by loudvegas View Post
Hmm, what would it take to get 1,000 hp out of the 3.6? Given the wind noise and touchy handling at 90mph I did ONCE I think one may have their hands full at 200mph
You could put a spoiler on the roof...
Problem solved.
digitalbill is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 02-14-2014, 11:17 AM   #12
Jeeper
 
Heat Miser's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Tampa Bay area
Posts: 52
Thanks for the responses. To clarify, when I tow, I never use sixth gear. Hell, I can barely use it on a slight grade when I'm not towing. Downshifting is always necessary on a grade, and I'm fine with that. I've never owned an automatic and don't want to, so waiting for the diesel isn't an option. The Jeep I want will never be built, so that's why I'm considering trading in my 3.8 for a 3.6. The goal is less strain on the motor when towing, not necessarily less downshifting.
Heat Miser is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 02-14-2014, 12:07 PM   #13
Jeeper
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 132
I would not trade just for a different engine/gear option for a little more power on a 2 year old vehicle. It seems like a waste of money, but hey it's yours to do what you please.

It would be a noticeable difference but maybe not enough to ditch your current rig. It would be one thing if you got pickup truck like towing by upgrading, but neither Wranger can tow very much regardless of year.
loudvegas is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 02-14-2014, 12:36 PM   #14
Jeeper
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 2,412
I'm just wondering, isn't there some reference in the owners manual not to tow in OD with an A/T or 6th gear with a stick?
demarpaint is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 02-14-2014, 01:47 PM   #15
Jeeper
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Florida
Posts: 16
Here is what I tow

14" unlimited rubi. Auto, 373's this is what I tow. Tows it great but only gets 10 mpgs.. When I hit hills I auto stick it to hold so it doesnt shift too much between gears and burn up the tranny. I feel your pain. No one could answer questions about towing. I should say there were no consistent answers. I'm still trying to figure out if there is a true tranny cooler on mine. Also the new ones do not have a trailer tow function so I am looking for a programmer. I'll keep reading and driving.. Good luck!
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_2237.jpg
Views:	39
Size:	227.8 KB
ID:	765841  
fishspi is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 02-14-2014, 01:50 PM   #16
Jeeper
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by fishspi View Post
14" unlimited rubi. Auto, 373's this is what I tow. Tows it great but only gets 10 mpgs.. When I hit hills I auto stick it to hold so it doesnt shift too much between gears and burn up the tranny. I feel your pain. No one could answer questions about towing. I should say there were no consistent answers. I'm still trying to figure out if there is a true tranny cooler on mine. Also the new ones do not have a trailer tow function so I am looking for a programmer. I'll keep reading and driving.. Good luck!
What's that boat weigh?
loudvegas is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 02-14-2014, 02:12 PM   #17
Jeeper
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Florida
Posts: 16
Roughly 3,000, depends on ice and fuel.
fishspi is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 02-14-2014, 02:25 PM   #18
Jeeper
 
wassup8687's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 1,979
I have a 13' steel trailer with sides and I pull it with my Snapper 50" zero turn mower with no problems.

I can feel it back there but have no problems pulling it.

You should go to a dealer and do a test drive pulling your boat to see how you like it.
wassup8687 is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 02-14-2014, 08:19 PM   #19
Jeeper
 
Sasquatchewan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: LaPorte TX
Posts: 715
Images: 17
I have a 2011 JKRU with 411 gears & I tow my boston Whaler that weighs 3200 to 3300 & it's a auto tranny but I never ever leave overdrive on not even on my Excursion you need to always stay in the power band of whatever you tow with mine does fine it's no Excursion but does good my 2 cents
__________________
Sasquatchewan
83 Renagade / 88 Cherokee / 91 Grandwagoneer / 92 Sahara / 97 Sahara / 98 Sport / 11 JKRU
Sasquatchewan is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 02-15-2014, 06:44 AM   #20
Jeeper
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Boynton Beach
Posts: 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by fishspi View Post
14" unlimited rubi. Auto, 373's this is what I tow. Tows it great but only gets 10 mpgs.. When I hit hills I auto stick it to hold so it doesnt shift too much between gears and burn up the tranny. I feel your pain. No one could answer questions about towing. I should say there were no consistent answers. I'm still trying to figure out if there is a true tranny cooler on mine. Also the new ones do not have a trailer tow function so I am looking for a programmer. I'll keep reading and driving.. Good luck!
Not liking the way this sounds. I live only a few miles from the inlet. That would hurt for longer trips to the Keys or Cape. We do a couple to each a year.
Lostcjn is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 02-15-2014, 10:26 PM   #21
Jeeper
 
Slcbrian's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Spring Hill, FL
Posts: 146
Quote:
Originally Posted by fishspi View Post
14" unlimited rubi. Auto, 373's this is what I tow. Tows it great but only gets 10 mpgs.. When I hit hills I auto stick it to hold so it doesnt shift too much between gears and burn up the tranny. I feel your pain. No one could answer questions about towing. I should say there were no consistent answers. I'm still trying to figure out if there is a true tranny cooler on mine. Also the new ones do not have a trailer tow function so I am looking for a programmer. I'll keep reading and driving.. Good luck!
Here is our JKU with our pathfinder..

Towed it to Islamorada from the Tampa Bay area and got 14-16 MPG.. 2012 Auto 3.73, All Auto's 12+ have transmission coolers.
Slcbrian is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 02-17-2014, 11:12 AM   #22
Jeeper
 
Michel347's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Laurentians, QC, Canada
Posts: 443
Towing this, in between 1500 and 1800 lbs depending how much we are loaded, more frontal area than a boat. I would say that on the highway at 60 / 65, it's dropping my mpg from 20 to 16.8.

And no, I'm not letting the engine goes under 2000 rpm, and most of the time I'm in 6th gear. I take care of my JK on don't like to let the engine to struggle. I only need to downshift on steep or long hills, or really strong front winds.




__________________
2012 Wrangler JK Sport 2dr, man 6 spd, 3.73 diff
Michel347 is online now   Quote Quick Reply
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Jeep Wrangler Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




» Featured Product

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:19 AM.



Jeep®, Wrangler, Liberty, Wagoneer, Cherokee, and Grand Cherokee are copyrighted and trademarked to Chrysler Motors LLC.
Wranglerforum.com is not in any way associated with the Chrysler Motors LLC