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Old 08-26-2014, 11:35 PM   #1
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Lack of power....or just a Jeep thing?

I've been driving a Ram diesel for 14 years and the wife has her 06' Liberty CRD and both have plenty of power. The 3.8 in our 2011 wrangler 4 door seems to lack a lot of power? Just taking a small incline on a hill at 60 mph requires at least one if not a two gear drop to keep my speed from dropping significantly. Of course this drops my MPG. I read that the 2012's came with an 80 HP increase. Is this true? This Wrangler has everything I desired, but I'm disappointed with the power. The wife said I should trade it in for a Jeep with the power I want. I did notice there were a few Wranglers at a dealer that were equipped with V-8's? Does anyone know what the verdict is on them? Did the 2012's and newer with their 3.6 engines come with a more powerful engine? I'm sorry if this subject has been discussed before but I couldn't find a search engine on this site to look it up.

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Old 08-26-2014, 11:59 PM   #2
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I have a 2011 too... got a great deal on it as all the 2012's were coming on to the lots... From everything I've read, BIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIG difference in power. We are getting a second Wrangler here in the coming months for my wife, and you can be damn sure its going to be the 3.6 liter. I'm reluctant to test drive one because I fear I won't want to drive mine anymore..lol. Just watch this vid... nuff said I think


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Old 08-27-2014, 12:04 AM   #3
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General consensus is the 3.6 has more power, go test drive one and see.
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Old 08-27-2014, 06:23 AM   #4
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I too have been driving a Cummins (5.9 and 6.7) for the past 10 years and now I have a 14 JKU. I miss the power of my Ram but I am having more fun with the Jeep. The 3.6 is a decent powerplant. You just have to get used to more gear changes and a little more footwork to get over hills or pass cars then you did with the Cummins, but it is worth it.
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Old 08-27-2014, 06:51 AM   #5
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install a RIPP supercharger on that 2011 and watch your frown to to a smile
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Old 08-27-2014, 07:00 AM   #6
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My stock Wrangler has more power than my stock V6 grocery getter Mustang had lol! Ironic. Everyone I have talked to said there is a world of difference between the 3.8 and the 3.6.
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Old 08-27-2014, 07:05 AM   #7
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JK's only have a 3.8 up until 2011 or a 3.6 from 2012 until the present. Any other type of engine has to be aftermarket. The problem with a JK with a 3.8 is either the auto trans., gears or the combination of both. If you have a manual a gear change to at least 4.10's and you'll notice a lot less of a problem, especially with a heavier 4dr. If you're not interested in doing that maybe a newer Jk would work out better for you.
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Old 08-27-2014, 07:16 AM   #8
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install a RIPP supercharger on that 2011 and watch your frown to to a smile
Or a Hemi conversion. My Lunatic has one and the look on peoples faces is just priceless. We pull up next to them in a brick on wheels with no doors or roof and they chuckle...until they realize they are eating our dust. On the way to one run we literally scared a guy in a BMW lol. Plus it just sounds really cool!
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Old 08-27-2014, 07:29 AM   #9
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I noticed the same thing but the 3.8 in the Rubicon made sense with the 4.10 gears less horse power but had plenty of torque. 3.6 with 3.21 or 3.73 gears more horse power for high way driving.
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Old 08-27-2014, 07:32 AM   #10
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If you can get a RHD JK you can find a lot with the CRD from the factory. Got to be able to find a kit to do this I would think
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Old 08-27-2014, 08:58 AM   #11
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I have a 2011 JKR with the 3.8. With the 4.10 gears, it feels very similar to a 2013 JKU with 3.73 gears around town. At highway speeds, it's not as powerful. I'll probably tune it with a Flashpaq to get a little extra before the ski trips and driving through the mountains. If I still find it lacking, I can always throw a supercharger on it next summer.
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Old 08-27-2014, 09:24 AM   #12
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My wife's 2014 Willys JKU has plenty of power, never driven a 3.8 though. My daily driver has been a 1998 5.9ZJ which has noticeably more torque (and less weight). The jeep is definitely faster than her saturn Ion2 though!

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Old 08-27-2014, 09:26 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by KYLiberty View Post
I have a 2011 JKR with the 3.8. With the 4.10 gears, it feels very similar to a 2013 JKU with 3.73 gears around town. At highway speeds, it's not as powerful. I'll probably tune it with a Flashpaq to get a little extra before the ski trips and driving through the mountains. If I still find it lacking, I can always throw a supercharger on it next summer.
That makes sense in my book....but it should be clear that you seem to be comparing a 2 door with 4.10's (and a 3.8) to a 4 door with 3.73's (and a 3.6).
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Old 08-27-2014, 09:34 AM   #14
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You CAN NOT compare a diesel to a gas motor, ever. The power delivery alone makes the diesel seem superior. We have a 2014 Rubicon with 4.10 and the 3.6L and it is a good engine with decent power, I have the same problem when I go from my 2001 ram 5.9l cummins into the Jeep, noticeable power difference between the diesel and the jeep but the jeep at 285hp is pretty good except under 120kph 6th gear is a little useless
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Old 08-27-2014, 12:48 PM   #15
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That makes sense in my book....but it should be clear that you seem to be comparing a 2 door with 4.10's (and a 3.8) to a 4 door with 3.73's (and a 3.6).
Yes, that's correct. Trying to point out that with less weight, and lower gears, the 3.8 feels very similar to the 3.6 with higher gears and more weight driving in town. At highway speeds, it still feels less powerful.
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Old 08-27-2014, 01:05 PM   #16
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JK's only have a 3.8 up until 2011 or a 3.6 from 2012 until the present. Any other type of engine has to be aftermarket. The problem with a JK with a 3.8 is either the auto trans., gears or the combination of both. If you have a manual a gear change to at least 4.10's and you'll notice a lot less of a problem, especially with a heavier 4dr. If you're not interested in doing that maybe a newer Jk would work out better for you.
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Old 08-27-2014, 01:13 PM   #17
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I absolutely love how people just throw out "supercharge it!" or "swap engines!" as if that's a viable option for most people on here. It's hilarious.
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Old 08-27-2014, 09:22 PM   #18
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I read that the 2012's came with an 80 HP increase. Is this true?
83 more HP, actually. And if you watched the video earlier in this thread you will see that it makes a BIG difference. Anyone who claims it doesn't is in denial.
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Old 08-27-2014, 10:09 PM   #19
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I absolutely love how people just throw out "supercharge it!" or "swap engines!" as if that's a viable option for most people on here. It's hilarious.
It very well could be a viable option instead of trading in a cherished Jeep on a new one. That costs money too and just because you can finance it doesn't mean it doesn't cost money. Totally possible that installing a supercharger or swapping engines (which would be relatively cheap if you do the work yourself and get the engine out of a junk yard) is a lot cheaper than buying a new rig, especially if you've got thousands in mods you'd have to replace as well.
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Old 08-28-2014, 11:43 AM   #20
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It is touched upon but OP- what gear ratio and what tire size? While a re-gear isn't cheap ($1000-$1500 generally) it makes a big difference. And it's a simple mechanical change- unlike a supercharger. Don't get me wrong- love a supercharger and have one on my sedan, but they're more complicated.
But in the end as mentioned the Pentastar has a lot more power. A V8 is not necessary. I drove both a 2011 and 2012 back to back and the decision on the 2012 was made in 5 minutes. Labor Day is THE perfect time to buy a vehicle- deals galore. It can't hurt to see what they'll do for you on a 2012. I'd suggest making sure you get 3.73s vs 3.21s however. If power is an issue for you get 3.73s in case you change tire size later. (Unless you go all out on a Rubicon- in that case go 4.10s).
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Old 08-28-2014, 11:52 AM   #21
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83 more HP, actually. And if you watched the video earlier in this thread you will see that it makes a BIG difference. Anyone who claims it doesn't is in denial.
If you drive like me, which is to say I don't rev the engine a lot, the difference is minimal. For most of the power band the 3.6 has an advantage of 10-15hp at most. Its up above 4k rpms that the 3.6 peaks while the 3.8 didn't. The biggest difference lies in the much better automatic. The difference wasn't as noticible on the 6 speeds.
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Old 08-28-2014, 12:31 PM   #22
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Torque difference between the 3.6 and 3.8 is significant. But I can understand why in a manual you may not notice as much. However in an auto- between the added power, torque AND 5 speed automatic like you said, the Pentastar Jeeps drive pretty differently.
But no matter what year they are all Jeeps and therefore cool. As mentioned 3.8s have their own advantages.
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Old 08-28-2014, 01:47 PM   #23
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Torque difference between the 3.6 and 3.8 is significant. But I can understand why in a manual you may not notice as much. However in an auto- between the added power, torque AND 5 speed automatic like you said, the Pentastar Jeeps drive pretty differently.
But no matter what year they are all Jeeps and therefore cool. As mentioned 3.8s have their own advantages.
Hmm I didn't realize the torque curves were quite that different. Especially right at 2k rpms. I did notice a huge surge in power at about 1800RPMs with the 6-speed. I used to own.
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Old 08-28-2014, 01:53 PM   #24
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Yup, the torque part often gets left out of the discussions....especially for the autos with have torque converters.

My engine is finally broken in (I have 10,800 miles in almost 2 years). Between the 3.6, 3.73's the WA580 tranny, and the LSD....my 4 door can haul ass (in a straight line) if need be. And unless I'm on a gigantic hill on the highway....even loaded, the tranny does not downshift when cruising at 70mph.
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Old 08-28-2014, 02:00 PM   #25
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I didn't see it mentioned...and having driven the 3.8 JKs and owning 2 of the 3.6 Jks I noticed a huge difference...maybe it has to do with the 60-70 Hp difference in the "smaller" motor......
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Old 08-28-2014, 03:56 PM   #26
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.38

Not the best engine --they changed it for a reason.
A lot of oil eating -like a quart every 1500 miles. Mine also leaks --everything.

A weak sister -- OK off road for me so go figure - Mine is an 07 so maybe they got the bugs out by 11.

Good
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Old 08-28-2014, 04:51 PM   #27
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Jeep Wranglers are not for built for speed especially the ones with the 3.6 motors. I think my 2014 Wrangler has plenty of get up and go for me. Speed gets you in trouble and higher insurance rates. Jeep Wranglers are all weather and all terrain vehicles it can get you almost anywhere. You want speed buy the new Dodge Hellcat but good luck when it snows.
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Old 08-28-2014, 07:27 PM   #28
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Power is subjective.
Our 2014 JKUR is the slowest vehicle we own, so I am not all that impressed with a 285 hp Jeep. After getting out of our 622 hp vette, or 850 hp drag car, our Jeep seems pretty slow.
But that is ok,,, because it is not meant to be fast, just dependable off road.
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Old 08-29-2014, 01:25 PM   #29
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Thank you for all your input!!

We went huckelberry Jeepin in North Idaho above Priest Lake and took some nasty trails. One trail I've had my Ram up partially and had to park it. This time we took the Jeep past our parking spot and negotiated some of the largest rocks, gouges and deep ditches that I haven't even taken our 4 wheeler on. We were so surprised how well the JK seemed to take everything we could throw at it. We had plenty of power (4 low in first gear) and the suspension didn't buck either of us even crossing deep gouges in the trail. Now I hope when we get home I can rub out the branch/bush scrapes off the side of it. I think I just need to get used to the 3.8 on paved roads and I'll be fine. This JK (70th Anniver) has all the whistles and bells of a Mercedez and the DW really likes the ammenities. I know we would lose most of them if we traded it in on a newer model. But, your input did put me at ease and fretting about HP. I like Mooney201's way of looking at it. If I need something to burn the pavement up then a Jeep was the wrong choice.....but I needed something to take me where my present rigs won't and that made Jeep (whether 3.8 or 3.6 engine) the right choice.
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Old 08-29-2014, 04:04 PM   #30
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I was expecting more out of the 3.6, 3.73, 6 speed, 2 door. After reading lots of posts describing it as "quick" and "powerful", I'm left a little underwhelmed. The word I would best describe it as is "adequate".

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