Thinking about buying 2011 JK Sport 3.8l 2 door auto. Any advice? - Jeep Wrangler Forum
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Old 11-09-2013, 07:19 AM   #1
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Thinking about buying 2011 JK Sport 3.8l 2 door auto. Any advice?

Hi all

I'm thinking about buying a 2011 JK Sport 2 door 3.8 auto. The auto transmission is my main source of hesitation, so does anyone have any experience with it?

I am aiming at fitting a 2" lift (old man emu) and maybe 33/34" tyres. (From what I've heard once you start getting to 35" your need to look at re-gearing). Does that auto transmission add any complications to a lift, get in the way of anything or exacerbate the gear ratio issues etc? Are you able to fit air lockers to the auto without complications?

More generally though, what do people think of the auto on this model? To be completely honest I'm leaning toward auto because I'm lazy and like to eat/drink and drive with an arm hanging out the window, and because the vehicle will realistically see most of its miles carrying me too and from work. What are the off road trade offs though? Modern autos are supposed to be pretty legit off-road, but I understand the 2012 3.8/auto isn't exactly a modern set up.

Of course, I'm tempted to spend an extra 10,000 (Aussie dollars, sorry) and just buy a 2013, maybe pick up a deal as they start to clear out dealerships in favour of the 2014.

Thanks in advance!

Tim

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Old 11-09-2013, 07:43 AM   #2
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The 5 speed in the 2012+ is much better. But saying that the 4 speed is bearable. I have 3.73s and 35s and it is tolerable. Eventually I will regear but if you're not expecting to be as fast as a corvette you'll be fine.

Is it really 10k more for a 2013 vs a 2011? The market there is a lot different if so.

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Old 11-09-2013, 07:44 AM   #3
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The auto transmission is poor in the pre-12 models. Most of the negative out there regarding the 3.8 engine being under powered is due to it's pairing with the auto trans. If you are buying a Wrangler with a 3.8, my advice would be to get a manual transmission.
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Old 11-09-2013, 04:48 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daggo66 View Post
The auto transmission is poor in the pre-12 models. Most of the negative out there regarding the 3.8 engine being under powered is due to it's pairing with the auto trans. If you are buying a Wrangler with a 3.8, my advice would be to get a manual transmission.
I agree. 3.73 or 4.10's would also be an improvement.
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Old 11-10-2013, 12:49 AM   #5
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Thanks guys
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Old 11-11-2013, 04:26 PM   #6
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Buy a 2014 had a 2011 two door after driving a 2013 big difference in power
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Old 11-11-2013, 04:33 PM   #7
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Do this: test drove a 3.8 and a 3.6. Then draw your own conclusions. I did this and preferred the 3.6. More "pep" and better MPG.
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Old 11-11-2013, 04:48 PM   #8
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Me personally - 3.6 was a huge difference and what I waited on to buy a jk- even the manual with 3.8 pairing felt anemic to me.

2012 and Later auto you have double
Whammy of more
Powerful engine with much better tranny. I think you should be able to find a good deal if you're patient.

My personal experience is that with the 3.6 jku manual transmission- 3.73s turning 35s is certainly drivable and will do 80 on the freeway but yeah don't expect to win any races.

3.8l with auto and 3.73s turning 35s - a stiff head wind or too much weight may keep you from being able to hit 70 and could get you frustrated quickly
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Old 11-11-2013, 04:53 PM   #9
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This time of year, dealerships should be offering 0 down, 0% financing on 2013s.

Just sayin'.
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Old 11-11-2013, 04:55 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by yjswampthing View Post
3.8l with auto and 3.73s turning 35s - a stiff head wind or too much weight may keep you from being able to hit 70 and could get you frustrated quickly
I have this setup and can cruise 70 all day long. People talk as if the 3.6 is some divine motor descended from the gods. It honestly isn't that much of a difference to the 3.8. I believe someone even posted awhile back that on a dyno it was only 20HP higher than the 3.8 at normal RPMs. MTH I think posted the graph.
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Old 11-11-2013, 04:58 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raiderfan001 View Post
I have this setup and can cruise 70 all day long. People talk as if the 3.6 is some divine motor descended from the gods. It honestly isn't that much of a difference to the 3.8. I believe someone even posted awhile back that on a dyno it was only 20HP higher than the 3.8 at normal RPMs. MTH I think posted the graph.
Well, my exhaust does have gold dust coming out of it. So I've got that going for me.
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Old 11-11-2013, 05:07 PM   #12
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I rented an '11 3.8 2 door Sport and I wasn't really that bothered by the engine. Around town it was absolutely fine. Cruising on the highway was also fine, but passing required the infamous 4 speed auto to downshift and scream the motor to get anywhere. I think I developed a foot cramp from mashing the accelerator.

My heavier 4-door Sport S with the 6 speed and 3.73s feels effortless on the highway and can really pack a surprising punch.

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