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Old 03-30-2012, 04:49 PM   #1
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Pros and Cons between the 3.8L and the new 3.6L

I have a 2011 JKU and wanted opinions on pros and cons for the two different motors? Wondering if I should have waited for the 2012 model.

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Old 03-30-2012, 05:02 PM   #2
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Old 03-30-2012, 05:07 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by northernjeeper View Post
I have a 2011 JKU and wanted opinions on pros and cons for the two different motors? Wondering if I should have waited for the 2012 model.
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Old 03-30-2012, 05:12 PM   #4
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2012 +80 hp
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Old 03-30-2012, 05:14 PM   #5
Really liking the Jeep...

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-and the transmission


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I'm just really glad I got the one I have.
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Old 03-30-2012, 05:19 PM   #6
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i wouldn't say your screwed up. If you are happy with your 2011 great. I had a 2007 Sahara 6 speed with 3.21 gears and while i loved most of the jeep, the thing i disliked was the performance. ijust lacked get up and go. i was always shifting on the hills and i thought it went a little fast even in 4-Low. I traded for the 2012 Rubicon with 4.10 gears and a six speed and have not regretted it one bit. My gas mileage went from @ 16 mpg to 18.9 - 19.5 most of the time and my grin went ear to ear.

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Old 03-30-2012, 05:44 PM   #7
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Congrats on your Jeep!! There is nothing like being a Jeep owner.

Here is my experience:

I have a 2012 Sahara JKU w/auto and 3.21 gears and my friend has a 2010 Sahara JKU w/auto and 3.21 gears. Driving hers around town then getting back in mine is night and day. Especially when it comes to Highway driving or hitting the passing gear when you are passing someone. Plus I am averaging about 17.5 mpg city and about 21 hwy... and I tend to have a heavy foot sometimes.

I got to drive hers for a week back in late 2010 and fell in love with it and was ready to go buy one. But when I researched and read they were putting the new Pentastar in it with damn near 80+ HP, I had to wait. I come from the Mustang world so the more HP the better in my eyes!!

But you really CAN'T go wrong buying a Jeep!
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Old 03-30-2012, 05:56 PM   #8
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I rented a 2011 Wrangler Sport last year, and I never really even considered buying a Jeep. After I drove it in the mountains and had to floor it to get up mountain passes and struggled to stay up to speed on the highway I dismissed the idea totally. Then the 2012 came out and I'm like oh....
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Old 03-30-2012, 06:00 PM   #9
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The biggest difference is the automatic transmissions. Both have the same manual trans and 99.9% of the people complaining about the 3.8 power are driving the auto.
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Old 03-30-2012, 06:05 PM   #10
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The 3.6 was made by magic fairies and the 3.8 by a bunch of munkees.

I like munkees....
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Old 03-30-2012, 06:46 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by daggo66 View Post
The biggest difference is the automatic transmissions. Both have the same manual trans and 99.9% of the people complaining about the 3.8 power are driving the auto.
And, probably have 3.21's. It shouldn't be a surprise that it's not going to move too quick. Gears and a 6spd (manually controlling your shift points) does make a difference with the 3.8. Even though there is no substitution for horsepower you decided on an 11, enjoy it, or take the hit on $ if you go to a 12.
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Old 03-30-2012, 06:51 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daggo66
The biggest difference is the automatic transmissions. Both have the same manual trans and 99.9% of the people complaining about the 3.8 power are driving the auto.
Almost, the 6th gear ratio is different (taller) on the 2012s.
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Old 03-30-2012, 06:51 PM   #13
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They should give you more options though, and add a V8 option
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Old 03-30-2012, 07:26 PM   #14
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Minus the engine and transmission differences...2011 (and prior) have a history of burning up, 2012's do not.
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Old 03-30-2012, 08:14 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snikt View Post
I rented a 2011 Wrangler Sport last year, and I never really even considered buying a Jeep. After I drove it in the mountains and had to floor it to get up mountain passes and struggled to stay up to speed on the highway I dismissed the idea totally. Then the 2012 came out and I'm like oh....
Did the same exact thing but in 2010. Completely dismissed it (sorry guys, I need a car that can comfortably do 75 in a headwind). Thought the new engine was coming in 2011 along with the interior (which I think it needed) - no. Waited. Ordered a 2012 after 3 test drives.
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Old 03-30-2012, 08:15 PM   #16
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I know the 3.6 has 80 more horse but most of that is over 5000 rpm's. really at driving speeds it more like 20 hp which is still a lot for what they produce at driving speeds.

The biggest problem with the 3.8 is it isn't geared correctly for what it is. A manual should have a minimum of 4.10's and the auto 4.88's. If they are geared correctly they are great.

The 3.8 has been around for a long time and was a very good engine. I have had it in three vehicles and never had an issue. the last two I had, I put more then 250K on them and they were still going when I sold them.

Saying all that the 3.6 is a nice upgrade but the 3.8 is fine and can be great with the right gears
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Old 03-30-2012, 08:22 PM   #17
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Wait until the 2014's come out... man, you are really going to regret trading in that 2011 for the 2012.

@ESP: "Munkees." Too freaking funny.

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Old 03-30-2012, 08:22 PM   #18
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When they come out with something new, these same people that dog the 3.8 engine will be doing the same with the new one. Don't have buyers remorse, just enjoy what you've got. As long as we all recognize what the jeep can/will do off road, and have fun doing it, we should all be happy with our babies....
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Old 03-30-2012, 08:51 PM   #19
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Thanks, no regrets.....no speeding tickets either lol. Now what about off road...torque, rock crawling etc. Hows the 3.6 out there where Jeeps rule! Sounds like all the other comments was road driving. BTW...Love my Jeep! The 2014 probably wont even look like a Jeep?
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Old 03-30-2012, 08:54 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sandbaja
Minus the engine and transmission differences...2011 (and prior) have a history of burning up, 2012's do not.
Not yet anyway......
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Old 03-31-2012, 01:04 AM   #21
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I've been searching for an answer similar to this topic, but can't find it. I want to know how the 2012 Pentastar compares to 3.8 with the RIPP supercharger. I am looking to upgrade from my 06, looking at 2011 because of new interior. I would consider a used 2012 if it had the right gearing, but I have always been a little skeptical of the first year of any major changes, ie engine. If I land a 2011, it would only be a 6spd, I have no interest in that generation of the automatic, not even with a supercharger. I am moderately interested in the new 5spd automatic, but again, nervous about the new change. It sounds like early '12s had some engine problems but have been corrected. I'm not totally against the idea of a 2012, but just don't know enough. I am sure it would outright fly when the supercharges for the Pentastar get popular. But that would have to be a ways down the road due to the added cost of the newer version. Thoughts? How well would a 2011/6spd/4.10 gears/supercharged be set up? Looking for overall get up and go similar to my LJ with 4.56/33's......or even better! Thanks for any help, thanks OP for bringing this up.
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Old 03-31-2012, 02:12 AM   #22
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I have always been a little skeptical of the first year of any major changes, ie engine.
The 3.6 Pentastar has been around since 2010. They have built over one million of them.

The 3.6 made me buy another Wrangler, so it's a pro for Chrysler.
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Old 03-31-2012, 02:59 AM   #23
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My brother works at the Jeep plant in Toledo and didn't want to buy one until the 3.6. The 3.8 is not a bad engine, just outdated for a 30k+ vehicle.
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Old 03-31-2012, 03:13 AM   #24
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Quote:
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Thanks, no regrets.....no speeding tickets either lol. Now what about off road...torque, rock crawling etc. Hows the 3.6 out there where Jeeps rule!

Actually about the same. I read a comparison in one of the magazines. No one complains about the 3.8 off the road.
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Old 03-31-2012, 03:14 AM   #25
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Quote:
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Almost, the 6th gear ratio is different (taller) on the 2012s.
You sure about that? First I've heard of it.
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Old 03-31-2012, 05:50 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daggo66

You sure about that? First I've heard of it.
Yep

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Old 03-31-2012, 09:30 AM   #27
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U didn't screw up. If you get the 3.8L PROPERLY geared for the size of tires you will have plenty of power!!! Also, 3.8L has been tested for +20yrs by soccer mom's.
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Old 03-31-2012, 10:06 AM   #28
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U didn't screw up. If you get the 3.8L PROPERLY geared for the size of tires you will have plenty of power!!! Also, 3.8L has been tested for +20yrs by soccer mom's.
Lee Iacocca probably wept a little bit when this engine got phased out.
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Old 03-31-2012, 10:11 AM   #29
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I drove both when trying to find a wrangler to buy. I drove a 2011, was completely happy with it. Then I drove a 2012, was completely sold. Drove another 2011, and couldn't believe the difference.


If you are happy with your 2011, then don't worry about it. Get some 4.10's or something, that'll do it.
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Old 03-31-2012, 10:20 AM   #30
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The 3.6 is an aluminum block, it has more HP and more torque and weighs 90lbs less than the 3.8.It also has a better exhaust manifold configuration, won't leak oil like the 3.8s have in the past.

The Pentastar is not great,but it is clearly an upgrade from the 3.8


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