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There are quite a few old threads, but just wanted to do a survey about the 3.8 and it's long term reliability. I've got a 2010 with 145k that I purchased recently, has been running great so far just needed to replace an AC sensor and now a leaky radiator. Curious how these "dreaded" 3.8's have been holding up 10+ years on.
 

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They aren't "dreaded" necessarily because they dont last.. They're 'dreaded' because they have no power and suck fuel.

..unlike the awesome 3.6 which has a tiny bit more power, and sucks fuel just as badly...
 

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There was a lot of moaning and groaning about the 3.8...how crappy the minivan engine is...and how how much the 4.0 is soooo much better...yeah the 3.8 gets a lot of unnecessary hate. The 3.8 Jeep JK/JKU does need a bit more power, but what vehicle doesn't need more power. The auto with piss poor ratios and 3.21 gearing really did a number on 3.8 optics.

I'm closing in on 150k with my 07 JKU Rubi manual.

sent via cone of silence
 

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I’d buy a 3.8 in a heartbeat.

I was telling a buddy the other day, I’m gonna pick up a Wrangler for my daughters to drive. 1st choice is a 4.0 TJ, next, a 3.8 Jk based on the value. I think the 3.8 is under valued (a bargain) and the 3.6 is overvalued (I’m not willing to pay the premium for a 3.6). Want to get a good idea of 3.8 longevity, search used Caravans for sale (a vehicle that gets driven
a shit load of miles) versus Jeeps (a vehicle that becomes a low mileage toy - mine included). Look at all the 200K+ mile Caravans out there for sale. The engine is tried and true, no worries.
 

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I'm currently just over 197k miles and counting. while replacing my plugs, coil and wires I did a compression check and was surprised at how good it was ! Lowest reading was 130 pwi, highest 140 psi ! Regearing makes all the difference in the world on driveable power. Would I rather an LS or Hemi swap ? sure, but after the regear, I'm happy to keep running it as is until she wont go any further.
 

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I just passed 187k on my 09. Been through one coil and two sets of cables. I know a friend who has a blower on his '11 and he has more. One issue comparing it to the 4.0 is that peak torque is so high on the rev range, especially for a pushrod engine, around 4000 rpm. I used to always short shift my TJ but on my JK, I run it out and it like to rev. Another reason the 3.8 is maligned so much is oil consumption. I get anywhere between 750-2000 mile to a quart and it doesn't burn it, it goes out the PCV valve. Where I really never had to check the oil in my TJ, I check the oil level at almost every fuel stop.
 

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I think the oil may be going through the crankshaft seal on my 2011 with only 78k miles. It is wet behind the crank pulley and there are stories of this repair stopping all oil use. I plan to tackle this in the spring.

 

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127,000 on my new to me 2010 JKU. Replaced the radiator after purchase. Think ball joints will be next. Engine is running great!
 

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195K and counting on my 2010. Funny thing is my 1997 Chevy 1500 is only at 202K
 

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2011 2 door with 42K. 2011 is the best year of all JKs. Has the new interior with the biggest engine ever put in a JK. No stupid canister oil filter. No ticking heads and leaking oil coolers and filter housings. Mobil One 5-30 every five K since new and never has used any oil. When I ordered it in late 2010 I knew the holy grail Pentajunk was coming out in the 12 models, but I didn’t want to wait another 6 months to order. So glad I didn’t wait to get the Pentajunk turd 💩! Still running the original tires and wheels with 4.88 gears and Eaton Elockers. Perfect gearing for the 3.8 auto with stock 32 inch rubber. The 3.8 runs pretty good with the right gears. They never sold a 3.8 with adequate gearing from the factory. Never been back to any Jeep dealer since new. Looks and drives like new.:drinks:
 

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Traded my 2008 in a year and a half ago with 312,000klm. Still ran like a top motor itself was all original never, touched. 5.38 gears, 37” Pitbulls and it was a solid driver.
Check your oil level often just to be safe. Mine burned about 1/2 - 3/4 liter of 5w20 every 10,000Klm, Less with 5w30 from day one.
Mileage on the highway, programmed for Premium fuel would be 16-17 mpg. Mixed hwy city about 15mpg.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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157K miles for my '08. Haven't owned it for too long but so far it burns less than 1qt between oil changes. Had to replace the rad and water pump, it has two bad catalysts and a weak parking brake, but otherwise no complaints.
 

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Bought ours new in 2010. Have nearly 135 thousand on her now. Pretty much problem free. Burns some oil between changes, nothing crazy. Slow as a dog, but I'm cool with it. Shes our towed too. (Tow behind our MH so probably should add 20,000 miles to her. Seems towing these things puts a pretty good toll on them ). I really love this rig. First Jeep. Nothing but impressed. Probably gonna get another one soon. JT most likely.
 

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We have 156k on ours that we purchased new in 2011.
 
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