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Old 06-25-2014, 01:57 AM   #1
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Pentastar 3.6 thoughts

So I have a 2003 tj and my mom has a 2013. I like my inline 6 and realize that it is a really nice bulletproof and proven motor. I am wondering how good you guys think these 3.6 pentastars are? I know they had some head issues or whatever but I figure since their used in many applications of vehicles jeeps and more, they will just become more and more reliable and somewhat like the old 4.0. So what's your guys thoughts on this motor? I mean fuel efficency and power is great and those are great but what about reliability? Just wondering what y'all think. Thanks.

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Old 06-25-2014, 02:07 AM   #2
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Besides the head issue some older ones had I haven't heard of any reliability problems... I am hoping mine will last for a long long time.

But, I think, only time will prove them (or not) in the long run...

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Old 06-25-2014, 02:21 AM   #3
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Yeah only time will tell. Aside from the left head, I haven't heard of anything either. Doesnt seem to be any common thread issues. We will see. Mine has 28k on it and runs like a champ. I do my oil changes with synthetic every 5k miles. Im pegging it at atleast 200k mile capable with proper care and nothing but leak repairs. Dealing with BMW's for so long I see no reason these equally complicated motors wont do that with proper care. Unless some other issue crops up.
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Old 06-25-2014, 02:22 AM   #4
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Having owned a couple of 4.0s, that engine had problems of its own. I was never impressed by its performance but it also never left me stranded so ...

The Pentastar is a much more modern engine and manufacturing issues aside, its strengths and weaknesses highly depend on how Jeep decides to tune/detune it via the PCM/ECU. I really enjoyed my TJs and the 4.0 but I don't miss them since I got my 3.6 JK.
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Old 06-25-2014, 07:59 AM   #5
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After two XJs with 4.0, along with the bad exhaust mannys, I'm really enjoying my current Jeeps with 5.7 Hemi and 3.6 PentaStar. No looking back for me. The V8 has 48,000 trouble-free miles, the V6 has 1500. Both of my XJs went to 175,000 before I got rid of them, so I've got a long way to go before I'd consider them equal reliability-wise. But I'd rather own this engine for 100,000 miles than own a 4.0 for 150,000 miles. Driving quality has got to be worth something!
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Old 06-25-2014, 12:54 PM   #6
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I've got almost 40k miles on mine, no problems so far. Even though my build date is right in the middle of the head problems, I haven't even had that.

It's been a great engine overall, plenty of power for whatever, not a ton of NVH. Also, the auto that comes with it is probably the best slushbox I've ever driven. It almost never has to try to figure out what gear to be in, and it shifts well. Contrast that with whatever trans Ford put behind the newer 5.0s...that damn thing never had any idea what gear to shift into.
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Old 06-25-2014, 12:59 PM   #7
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I've got almost 40k miles on mine, no problems so far. Even though my build date is right in the middle of the head problems, I haven't even had that. It's been a great engine overall, plenty of power for whatever, not a ton of NVH. Also, the auto that comes with it is probably the best slushbox I've ever driven. It almost never has to try to figure out what gear to be in, and it shifts well. Contrast that with whatever trans Ford put behind the newer 5.0s...that damn thing never had any idea what gear to shift into.
Mine has 32k and it's an early 2012, so it might need a new head at some point. But it runs great and no issues so far.
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Old 06-25-2014, 01:09 PM   #8
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The Pentastar engine is being use in one form or another through out the DCJ line. It is their "world engine" and they are betting heavily on it. My guess is it will prove to be a good engine over time.
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Old 06-25-2014, 01:54 PM   #9
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The Pentastar engine is being use in one form or another through out the DCJ line. It is their "world engine" and they are betting heavily on it. My guess is it will prove to be a good engine over time.
It's probably a cost-savings move, but instead of using a Ferrari engine Fiat is using a twin-turboed version of the Pentastar in the new Maserati.
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Old 06-25-2014, 03:02 PM   #10
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2014 cracked oil cooler housings - looks like a serious issue

It looks to me like Chrysler needs to do a little more testing on their parts before they make a change.
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Old 06-25-2014, 03:17 PM   #11
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I love the engine. Mine has 29k trouble free miles on it. The engine is very strong and it pulls hard all the way to redline if you decide to get on it. Very impressive.
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Old 06-25-2014, 03:20 PM   #12
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I love the engine. Mine has 29k trouble free miles on it. The engine is very strong and it pulls hard all the way to redline if you decide to get on it. Very impressive.
Yeah, I have to admit that I was shocked to discover that my new Wrangler has the same redline as my Porsche 911 Turbo. It still takes a little "prodding" on my part to keep my foot in the throttle on the Jeep and run up to 6k or so if I'm merging on the interstate; I was so used to the 4.0 having a low redline and being pretty worthless above about 3800 anyway, that the idea of a relatively high-revving twin-cam Wrangler still seems pretty strange to me!
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Old 06-25-2014, 03:26 PM   #13
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Yeah, I have to admit that I was shocked to discover that my new Wrangler has the same redline as my Porsche 911 Turbo. It still takes a little "prodding" on my part to keep my foot in the throttle on the Jeep and run up to 6k or so if I'm merging on the interstate; I was so used to the 4.0 having a low redline and being pretty worthless above about 3800 anyway, that the idea of a relatively high-revving twin-cam Wrangler still seems pretty strange to me!
From what I understand from inside sources, they did some work on the 4.0 to make it more modern and had a lot of luck. Much higher redline and a much more broad torque curve. Sadly, crash standards made it almost impossible to keep it around in the Wrangler. It's just too long nose to tail. A bias against "that damn AMC engine" inside of Chrysler didn't help it's future much either.

I wish I could have gotten some of those prototypes to put in a project Jeep though.
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Old 06-25-2014, 03:43 PM   #14
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Yeah, even BMW has all but abandoned the straight-six. Never thought that would happen. But it's a hard piece of hardware to package in a smaller layout.

I have a close Jeep buddy with a 2006 LJ, last year of the 4.0 in any form, I think (it was gone from Grand Cherokee by then, wasn't it?) Anyway, I get to drive his from time to time (last time was maybe 8 weeks ago.) It reminds me that time has definitely marched on -- not a very enjoyable engine in my opinion.
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Old 06-25-2014, 03:47 PM   #15
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From what I understand from inside sources, they did some work on the 4.0 to make it more modern and had a lot of luck. Much higher redline and a much more broad torque curve. Sadly, crash standards made it almost impossible to keep it around in the Wrangler. It's just too long nose to tail. A bias against "that damn AMC engine" inside of Chrysler didn't help it's future much either.

I wish I could have gotten some of those prototypes to put in a project Jeep though.
I think part of the engine's demise had more to do with emissions, mileage standards and probably packaging it into the dimensions of the current generation vehicle than anything else. I have a 2014 with the 3.6 and had a 2004 TJ with the 4.0.. I never looked back.
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Old 06-25-2014, 03:55 PM   #16
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My 2013 is running great! It just turned 8000 miles. Highly improved power and fuel consumption, over my past 2003 TJ, 4.0, plus mine doesn't burn/use any oil, (so far).

I run mine hard in the mountains of Arizona, along with very high ambient temperatures. So far, it looks like a great engine, but only time will answer the longevity question!
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Old 06-25-2014, 04:25 PM   #17
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I love the engine. Mine has 29k trouble free miles on it. The engine is very strong and it pulls hard all the way to redline if you decide to get on it. Very impressive.
Yeah, the 3.6 has enough low end to putter around town, and spools up nicely when you romp on it. You can feel the VVT kick in as it climbs the power band. Acceleration is pretty damn good for a 2-ton SUV.
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Old 06-25-2014, 04:57 PM   #18
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I think part of the engine's demise had more to do with emissions, mileage standards and probably packaging it into the dimensions of the current generation vehicle than anything else. I have a 2014 with the 3.6 and had a 2004 TJ with the 4.0.. I never looked back.
I talked to the head of the Wrangler division at Jeep when we went wheeling in the J12 concept vehicle in 2012. The new head they designed was making fantastic emissions and economy results. It really was trying to get a long engine to pass the new generation of crash tests that killed the straight 6.
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Old 06-25-2014, 05:12 PM   #19
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Yeah, even BMW has all but abandoned the straight-six. Never thought that would happen. But it's a hard piece of hardware to package in a smaller layout.

I have a close Jeep buddy with a 2006 LJ, last year of the 4.0 in any form, I think (it was gone from Grand Cherokee by then, wasn't it?) Anyway, I get to drive his from time to time (last time was maybe 8 weeks ago.) It reminds me that time has definitely marched on -- not a very enjoyable engine in my opinion.
The 2014 3 series comes with either a turbo 4 or a turbo 6 depending on which model you get. I've been pricing them lately.

They have been building their car around that 6 cylinder for a very long time. I believe they do not have a V6 of any kind as an option so they probably did the work to make it pass crash tests where Chrysler had several V6's to choose from (down to 1 now) so it was cheaper for them to design the JK around a more compact engine.

My suspicion is that they dropped the naturally aspirated 6 cylinder in favor of the turbo 4 to meet fuel economy standards rather than crash tests.
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Old 06-25-2014, 05:21 PM   #20
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Sadly my 2012, with 19K miles, goes to the dealer this week for head replacement. Another JK owner just had hers done. Both head #2.
I'd still take my 2012 JK 3.6 over my 1998 TJ in heartbeat.
HOWEVER- I reserve the right to retract that statement if the head replacement doesn't fix my problem.
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Old 06-25-2014, 05:25 PM   #21
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Honestly I kind of wish mine would develop the head problem before it's too late to get it replaced under warranty.
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Old 06-25-2014, 05:42 PM   #22
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Honestly I kind of wish mine would develop the head problem before it's too late to get it replaced under warranty.
Its my understanding they are covering head for 10 years 150k miles. Had my 2012 replaced at 13k last month.
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Old 06-25-2014, 05:52 PM   #23
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Honestly I kind of wish mine would develop the head problem before it's too late to get it replaced under warranty.
"Excuse me- I'd like to voluntarily have my head examined for removal please."
I feel ya. Mine didn't start running badly until after the tranny cooler replacement- so if you haven't had that done maybe you'll get lucky.
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Old 06-25-2014, 06:25 PM   #24
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The better gear spacing on the auto really works well together with the Pentastar's high rpm performance. I have the auto with 3.73's and 32's. From a stop it is pretty good but once the Pentastar gets to 4000 or so it really seems to boogie. I kind of wish I'd gotten 4.10's, the engine just loves to rev.
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Old 06-25-2014, 07:30 PM   #25
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Yeah, the 3.6 has enough low end to putter around town, and spools up nicely when you romp on it. You can feel the VVT kick in as it climbs the power band. Acceleration is pretty damn good for a 2-ton SUV.

I know what vvt is but how do you know when it kicks in
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Old 06-25-2014, 08:42 PM   #26
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I know what vvt is but how do you know when it kicks in
You don't. Its seamless and works in the background. Its only evidence is a nice fat powerband. Thats a benefit of being able to advance and retard cam timing on the go. Technology is wonderful, most of the time.
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Old 06-25-2014, 09:14 PM   #27
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Driving my JK 3.6 makes me not miss my TJ 4.0 That 4.0 was a dog IMO. I had several issues with mine in under 40k miles. Love the 3.6
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Old 06-25-2014, 09:38 PM   #28
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Well I had a 2004 TJ 2.4L. And the difference is night and day. I have a 2014 rubicon with a little over 2k on it. No major problems. Still not used to all this power. Driving the same route back and forth to work and home I noticed I don't have to down shift going up hills. I get to work earlier. Home earlier lol. I haven't really pushed it too hard yet to see what it can really do though. My mom has my TJ now and I drive it when it needs an oil change. I really don't like driving it anymore lol. I also had 31" MT's on the TJ so that weighed it down a bit.
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Old 06-25-2014, 09:42 PM   #29
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Well I had a 2004 TJ 2.4L. And the difference is night and day. I have a 2014 rubicon with a little over 2k on it. No major problems. Still not used to all this power. Driving the same route back and forth to work and home I noticed I don't have to down shift going up hills. I get to work earlier. Home earlier lol. I haven't really pushed it too hard yet to see what it can really do though. My mom has my TJ now and I drive it when it needs an oil change. I really don't like driving it anymore lol. I also had 31" MT's on the TJ so that weighed it down a bit.
Yeah, my 3.73 JK 3.6 compared to my buddy's 4.10 TJ 4.0 Rubicon is night and day indeed. If they were both running the same rear end, it would be night and... Christmas.
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Old 06-25-2014, 09:52 PM   #30
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