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Old 02-28-2013, 10:12 PM   #31
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So how much of your driving is off-road? My TJ can't climb any kind of hill on the freeway without slowing way down (Phoenix is in a valley surrounded by mountains) but you get it off-road and it will climb with any JK I have been with. That is my dilema, I am not as worried about road driving as I mentioned this is not going to be a DD. However, If I can get more I always will want it but is it worth the addition cost?

It sounds to me the bigger factor is the tranny, not the motor. Since I am set on an auto that makes this difficult.
I think the transmission is a factor. The new 5-speed auto is a great transmission. But don't write the engine differences off -- I do notice a distinct difference between the 3.8 and 3.6. (I can only comment on the autos, though -- I don't do manuals anymore because my knees have seen better days.)

Off-road, it's hard to notice a difference, quite honestly, but then again, 99.999% of my wheeling is NOT done at WOT. Then again I've only wheeled the 3.6 once so far (need to get a set of dedicated wheels and tires for off-roading) compared to wheeling the snot out of my 3.8. One factor that makes me hesitant to draw any direct comparison in 4L is that my 3.8 was in a Sport (2.72:1 transfer case) and my 3.6 is in a Rubi (4:1 transfer case). Both have/had 3.73 gears, though.

Anecdotal observation -- I live in a hilly area. There are roads where my 3.8 would constantly be downshifting into 3rd that my 3.6 can climb in 5th gear without straining. The 3.6 really does feel a lot stronger than the 3.8 ever did, and on-ramps no longer worry me.

Naturally it's your choice and decision as to whether you should spend the extra money. Like others have said, you should probably test drive each. But if you do test-drive a 3.6, I would suggest trying to find one that has a few thousand miles on it because I noticed a significant difference in performance before and after the break-in period. Just my 2 cents.

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Old 02-28-2013, 10:24 PM   #32
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I am researching a new Rubicon and am trying to decide between a 2012 model or 2007-11 model. Several people have mentioned that i should stay away from the 3.8 as it is a dog and will hunt for gears (auto). Is it as bad as they say? I realize there is about 70-80hp difference but that can be a little misleading. The jeep will be used as a toy and spend most of it's time off-road excluding getting there time.

I am guessing this can be a argumentative debate but I cant seem to find any good references for the 3.8
3.6 all the way. It's not just the power, it's the fuel economy too. Also, the transmission differences are worth it too, with some people actually liking the auto more than the manual on the 12+s

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Old 02-28-2013, 10:25 PM   #33
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^^ (this thread moves to fast)
That is good advise and if there were a just a few things to change or add I would go that route. However, the more I jump into this new hobby the more I want to change and the more sense it makes for me to make the jump from my TJ sport into a Rubicon. I was set on getting a newer TJ Rubicon until I drove a friends JKR on the trail and he was able to do more and do it much smoother than I could and that makes for a happy family that I am dragging along. Along with the fact that I find rock climbing and moderate trails much easier to do with a auto. Which leads us back to the debate about 3.6 vs 3.8

The 3.6 I drove had about 16k on the odo.
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Old 02-28-2013, 10:37 PM   #34
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There is some really good info here (for myself and future researchers). So let's change the question.

How much worse or better is the 3.8 or 3.6 vs the 4.0? Again try to keep the info based on the auto tranny.
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Old 02-28-2013, 11:00 PM   #35
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3.6 all the way. It's not just the power, it's the fuel economy too. Also, the transmission differences are worth it too, with some people actually liking the auto more than the manual on the 12+s
I have yet to see where the mileage is any better with the 3.6. This is info I have goten from people I know not people who brag about geting 28mpj on the net. And yes I know one or two people who drive jeeps. And for the last 10years people have been liking autos more in jeeps.

I say if you have to have auto the new tranny is worth it. If you want a six speed eather motor will do as far as JK's go.

If you plan on wheeling the piss out of it an older JK would be cheaper to build up, but is you aren't going to be to hard on it a newer one can be moded without spending a ton of coin.
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Old 02-28-2013, 11:19 PM   #36
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Apexeater - back in 2008 my wife and I ordered/bought a Rubicon primarily for wheeling out here in Arizona too. Itís worked out great for us.

We go out all of the time with JKs, TJs and others. Guess what? Nobody asks what kind of engine you have when youíre out wheeling - especially crawling around on rocks, because it doesnít matter. What matters is your lift, lockers, gearing, armor, tires, transmission, etc.

We do drive it from our house to the trails, and up to Moab and Ouray. When weíre in a group with other Jeeps (which is most of the time), we all accelerate and drive around the same speed on the freeways and back roads. Also, we donít run out of gas sooner then any of the other Jeep sin the group.

If youíre going to get it as a toy (not a DD) out here in AZ, get a Rubicon, automatic, 35s, and 2.5Ē lift. If you get a 2011 or older get 5.38s. Drop it into 4 Low and 1st gear, use the lockers as necessary and you can crawl over most anything. Lots of things to crawl around on out here.

We have 35s and 5.38s and the downshifting on the freeway is much less than it was stock. Then again, in both configurations we didnít have any problem staying with the group.

If youíre looking for a DD and drive the freeway a lot, then youíll get a lot of advice here.
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Old 02-28-2013, 11:49 PM   #37
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My 3.8 hauls my 6000k+ JKU around great, on the rocks and the freeway. I made a huge sand hillclimb (was part of the KOH corse) easily in it that lots of the 4.0's ran out of steam on. Granted I was in 4'th in low range at 5000rmp. Not going to lie it felt good siting at the top watching almost everyone else having trouble with it.

How a 3.6 would have done I dont know. There was not any of them out there. Come to think of it I was the only JK on the trails that we seen that week. But we did see a ton of them on the easier trails and rideing around hammer town. Point is that I have yet to see a 3.6 do something off-road that I couldn't do with my 3.8.

Can they do somethings better? I am sure they can, I just haven't ran into someone willing to hang with us with a 3.6 yet so we can compare.

When this happens I will gladly make a wrightup on it with video if I can swing it.
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Old 03-01-2013, 12:23 AM   #38
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test drive them both.
x2
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Old 03-01-2013, 07:57 AM   #39
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I have yet to see where the mileage is any better with the 3.6.
Agreed. I got better highway mileage with my 3.8 than I do with my 3.6. Best highway mileage I logged on my 3.8 was 21.5, best so far on the 3.6 is about 16.9.

But about the only thing that's the same between the two vehicles I'm comparing is the gearing, which was 3.73.

My 3.8 had the Goodyear Wranglers on it and my 3.6 has the BFG KMs on it, so tires may be a factor. I also have a tick in the driver's side head, so that may also come into play. If making comparisons between 3.8 and 3.6 Wranglers, it might be better to look at the 2013s 3.6.
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Old 03-01-2013, 09:48 AM   #40
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Apexeater - back in 2008 my wife and I ordered/bought a Rubicon primarily for wheeling out here in Arizona too. Itís worked out great for us.

We go out all of the time with JKs, TJs and others. Guess what? Nobody asks what kind of engine you have when youíre out wheeling - especially crawling around on rocks, because it doesnít matter. What matters is your lift, lockers, gearing, armor, tires, transmission, etc.

We do drive it from our house to the trails, and up to Moab and Ouray. When weíre in a group with other Jeeps (which is most of the time), we all accelerate and drive around the same speed on the freeways and back roads. Also, we donít run out of gas sooner then any of the other Jeep sin the group.

If youíre going to get it as a toy (not a DD) out here in AZ, get a Rubicon, automatic, 35s, and 2.5Ē lift. If you get a 2011 or older get 5.38s. Drop it into 4 Low and 1st gear, use the lockers as necessary and you can crawl over most anything. Lots of things to crawl around on out here.

We have 35s and 5.38s and the downshifting on the freeway is much less than it was stock. Then again, in both configurations we didnít have any problem staying with the group.

If youíre looking for a DD and drive the freeway a lot, then youíll get a lot of advice here.
Thanks that is some great info. If I had not just done Box canyon in a 3.6 I don't think I would be in the quandry I am in now. Guess I need to research 5.38s and regearing now.
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Old 03-01-2013, 09:56 AM   #41
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I have yet to see where the mileage is any better with the 3.6.
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Agreed. I got better highway mileage with my 3.8 than I do with my 3.6. Best highway mileage I logged on my 3.8 was 21.5, best so far on the 3.6 is about 16.9.

But about the only thing that's the same between the two vehicles I'm comparing is the gearing, which was 3.73.

My 3.8 had the Goodyear Wranglers on it and my 3.6 has the BFG KMs on it, so tires may be a factor. I also have a tick in the driver's side head, so that may also come into play. If making comparisons between 3.8 and 3.6 Wranglers, it might be better to look at the 2013s 3.6.
Agreed,
3.73 to 3.73, I don't think the mpg are any better in the 3.6 than the 3.8.

The difference is in the gearing of the both the auto and manual tranny's, along with the power available in the 3.6.

The problem is that it is hard to compare the two equally....especially the auto's. 3.21's in the +2012 auto are more like 4.10's in the 07-11 auto's from a final drive ratio perspective. 3.73's in the new auto are a lot like 4.88's in the old auto.
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Old 03-01-2013, 10:17 AM   #42
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Had 3.21s in a stock 09 jku and now have them in a 12 jku and even after leveling kit and 33 duratracs and I still see numbers higher than I ever saw with the 09. Highest I ever got was 18 with the 09 and that was coasting whenever I could, with the 12 I see 18 easy still
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Old 03-01-2013, 11:07 AM   #43
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Thanks that is some great info. If I had not just done Box canyon in a 3.6 I don't think I would be in the quandry I am in now. Guess I need to research 5.38s and regearing now.
Box Canyon if FJ is nice as you are down in that narrow canyon thinking what it would be like if a sudden storm comes through. We saw our first Gila Monster in there.

I think that if you're going to be using your JK primarily for wheeling in AZ than you can go with any model year. It all depends on how much money you want/can to put into your Jeep, and how expensive of a machine you want to subject to the trails. For example, if you wheel it here you will get AZ pinstriping and so youíre paint won't look pretty - some people donít like that aspect. Also, youíll come up to some fun obstacles, do you try the obstacle, or do you fear scratching/denting/breaking your Jeep so you take the bypass (if there is a bypass)?

If you get a 2007-2011 youíll want to re-gear and make specific mods that work for those years, if you get a 2012+ you may get away without re-gearing and youíll make mods that work for those years. In either case, for wheeling, you wonít have to mod either of the engines.
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Old 03-01-2013, 11:45 AM   #44
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I have yet to see where the mileage is any better with the 3.6. This is info I have goten from people I know not people who brag about geting 28mpj on the net. And yes I know one or two people who drive jeeps. And for the last 10years people have been liking autos more in jeeps.

I say if you have to have auto the new tranny is worth it. If you want a six speed eather motor will do as far as JK's go.

If you plan on wheeling the piss out of it an older JK would be cheaper to build up, but is you aren't going to be to hard on it a newer one can be moded without spending a ton of coin.
Yeah right! There are threads on here with people posting their fuel consumption and confirming the better mileage in the 3.6L, this is not a debate.
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Old 03-01-2013, 11:58 AM   #45
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Yeah right! There are threads on here with people posting their fuel consumption and confirming the better mileage in the 3.6L, this is not a debate.
Yeah, but is impossible to get an "apples to apples" comparison because every 3.8 is mated to a different tranny (both auto and manual) than every 3.6.

I bet a stock 3.8 auto on 4.10's gets as good, (and probably better) fuel economy than a stock 3.6 auto on 4.10's. It would have nothing to do with the engines, and everything to do with the gearing.
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Old 03-01-2013, 12:11 PM   #46
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Yeah right! There are threads on here with people posting their fuel consumption and confirming the better mileage in the 3.6L, this is not a debate.
I think Panthermark is right on in saying it's hard to get an apples-to-apples comparison given the transmission differences. As for me, I have yet to record mileage on my 3.6 that is anywhere near what I got with my 3.8. So from my perspective, the 3.6 is way thirstier. I'm not complaining too much, though, because I'm loving the extra ponies.
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Old 03-01-2013, 12:30 PM   #47
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My 3.8 hauls my 6000k+ JKU around great, on the rocks and the freeway.
6000LBs? What do you have a Fiat in the back seat?! Lol!
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Old 03-01-2013, 12:32 PM   #48
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I think Panthermark is right on in saying it's hard to get an apples-to-apples comparison given the transmission differences. As for me, I have yet to record mileage on my 3.6 that is anywhere near what I got with my 3.8. So from my perspective, the 3.6 is way thirstier. I'm not complaining too much, though, because I'm loving the extra ponies.
Right, because they added the dohc vvt in the 3.6 only so jeepers can say they have vtec too... And in no way is it helping things to have an extra gear in your tranny... Why keep up with technology when you can cruise around with minivan gear on your rig pre '12 all the way! Or if you're really masochistic, get a pre '11and make due with the old interior too
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Old 03-01-2013, 12:36 PM   #49
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6000LBs? What do you have a Fiat in the back seat?! Lol!
Mine is 3 tons as well. It adds up fast.
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Old 03-01-2013, 12:39 PM   #50
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Mine is 3 tons as well. It adds up fast.
Yeah I'm sure all the heavy duty stuff would add up. Just thought that was a lot! Lol
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Old 03-01-2013, 12:40 PM   #51
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Yeah I'm sure all the heavy duty stuff would add up. Just thought that was a lot! Lol
It is a lot. But easy to do.
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Old 03-01-2013, 12:55 PM   #52
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Box Canyon if FJ is nice as you are down in that narrow canyon thinking what it would be like if a sudden storm comes through. We saw our first Gila Monster in there.

I think that if you're going to be using your JK primarily for wheeling in AZ than you can go with any model year. It all depends on how much money you want/can to put into your Jeep, and how expensive of a machine you want to subject to the trails. For example, if you wheel it here you will get AZ pinstriping and so youíre paint won't look pretty - some people donít like that aspect. Also, youíll come up to some fun obstacles, do you try the obstacle, or do you fear scratching/denting/breaking your Jeep so you take the bypass (if there is a bypass)?

If you get a 2007-2011 youíll want to re-gear and make specific mods that work for those years, if you get a 2012+ you may get away without re-gearing and youíll make mods that work for those years. In either case, for wheeling, you wonít have to mod either of the engines.
Again thanks for the good info, did you get the regearing done locally or do it your self?
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Old 03-01-2013, 01:00 PM   #53
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Again thanks for the good info, did you get the regearing done locally or do it your self?
Iíve done all of my other upgrades, but didnít touch the gears. I went with a local shop that had a good reputation for re-gearing JKs.
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Old 03-01-2013, 01:09 PM   #54
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Right, because they added the dohc vvt in the 3.6 only so jeepers can say they have vtec too... And in no way is it helping things to have an extra gear in your tranny... Why keep up with technology when you can cruise around with minivan gear on your rig pre '12 all the way! Or if you're really masochistic, get a pre '11and make due with the old interior too
I'm not joking -- I've calculated the mileage. I got better mileage with my 3.8. Why, I have no idea, but I still like my 3.6 better.
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Old 03-01-2013, 01:16 PM   #55
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T
There is no question tho if you put your foot down the 3.6 will beat every previous wrangler engine. That debate is over. As far as just cruising around. It'll be better but if you look at a dyno it won't be too much better in the useable range (1000-3500) the gearing of the new auto is better tho.

If you bought an old auto and put a regear on it, I think it would be almost as good.
I was about to start a thread on this...I have a 3.8 auto and was wondering whether I should regear soon and keep my 2010, or just wait til I can afford a '12 or newer.

Do you have any charts/graphs comparing the engines (besides the gearing ratio chart)? I'm looking for actual facts concerning regearing a 3.8 vs a stock 3.6.
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Old 03-01-2013, 01:24 PM   #56
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I was about to start a thread on this...I have a 3.8 auto and was wondering whether I should regear soon and keep my 2010, or just wait til I can afford a '12 or newer.

Do you have any charts/graphs comparing the engines (besides the gearing ratio chart)? I'm looking for actual facts concerning regearing a 3.8 vs a stock 3.6.
Courtesy of JP magazine. In the useable range, their power band is very close. The pentastar makes some more toque but gearing can put you in a range where that is not such a big deal

Lets say your jk is worth about 6k less as a trade than its identical brand new counterpart you'd buy. You get a supercharger for 5k and a regear for 1.5k. You spend only a bit more than trading it in and you have significantly more useable power and torque than any pentastar. There is another way to look at it.

Bottom line. If you like the way your jeep is now. Just regear. If you really like the new interior or a new color/top/door/transmission configuration you might want to trade because you won't get much of the money you put into the regear back on trade.

I tried to find an actual wheel dyno chart for a stock pentastar for comparison but I couldn't. If anyone has one(max horsepower will not be close to 285) they could put it up for comparison to a charged 3.8
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Old 03-01-2013, 01:27 PM   #57
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Why keep up with technology when you can cruise around with minivan gear on your rig
Before you throw stones the pentastar is currently use in the VW routan... A minivan
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Old 03-01-2013, 01:30 PM   #58
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Originally Posted by jkjeeper06 View Post

Before you throw stones the pentastar is currently use in the VW routan... A minivan
And in the Dodge Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country. It seems that until the wrangler gets a v8 or a diesel, it will always have a minivan engine
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Old 03-01-2013, 01:33 PM   #59
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I wonder if people in minivans ever say...."I have a Wrangler engine..."?


Probably not....
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Old 03-01-2013, 01:39 PM   #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkjeeper06 View Post

Before you throw stones the pentastar is currently use in the VW routan... A minivan
Correct me if i'm wrong, but the 3.8 was simply moved to the wrangler from a minivan... The pentastar was designed to be the workhorse of the brand, and planned from the factory with different variations for specific models. Imo that's a big difference

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