3.8 vs. 3.6 vs. 4.0


New member
I don't know if there is already a thread comparing the 3.8, 3.6, and 4.0.

With in the year we will be upgrading our fleet from a 94YJ that has over 200k with the stock motor and 2001 Tahoe that is pushing 200k also.

We are wanting the JKU's but things keep popping up about the 3.6 being not very reliable. The 3.8 I hear that it is a complete dog. I am very experienced with the 4.0 and trust it completely. So I guess between the 3.8 and 3.6, which is the best? What problems have you had with either one? What are the pro's or con's.

Thanks David


Staff member
Well, I have owned all 3 and can tell you this:

The 4.0L is a great, reliable motor that has a lot of torque and is easy to work on. HP is just okay and it isn't all that fuel efficient and it's not available in a JK, a Wrangler that I still find to be a BIG improvement over the TJ in every way.

The 3.8L is a motor that has been around for a long time as well and at least for me, found it to be pretty reliable. As you have already noted, it's a dog but only because the JK is so much heavier than a TJ. If you look at its specs, it actually puts out more HP and torque than a 4.0L. So long as you regear your axles to match the tires you are running, I personally found it to be not that bad.

The 3.6L is by far the best motor of the 3 in terms of performance. It delivers just shy of 300 HP (about 100 more HP over the 4.0L), has plenty of torque and is fuel efficient. I have a 2012 and did have a bad cylinder head that was replaced under warranty and at about 65,000 miles on the odometer, have started to burn about a quart of oil per 1,000 miles on the highway. Around town, it's negligible.

With all that said, if I had to do it over again, I would still opt for the 3.6L motor. It really is that much better in terms of performance and I find it hard to believe that the problems they've had early on will persist. It is after all, a flagship motor that they are using in everything.


New member
I have the 3.6 and have buddies with 3.8 and 4.0 and they both rode in my jeep and said they wished they had as much torque/hp in their engine as I had in mine. Speaks for itself. I have only had one small problem with my engine and got it fixed under warranty with no problem. Haven't had any problems since then!


New member
Ive had both the 3.6 and the 3.8.

Gas mileage is a joke in both. Thats not why we bought Jeeps :D
So with that said, I feel a VERY noticeable difference in the 3.6 and the 3.8 with the 3.6 being significantly better between the two. Don't get me wrong, the 3.8 was a rock solid engine and despite being the Caravan's engine first, it was reliable and I had zero problems. In my 14 with shy of 5k miles time will tell if the bugs have been worked out of the 3.6 but like Eddie said they are using it now in EVERYTHING.

The 3.6 when inserted into the 200 makes Chryslers mid sized car a powerhouse.

I've even had Chryslers 3.8 L Magnum in the 2002 Dakota and I'd probably still pick the 3.6 and I was very impressed with the performance from the 5 speed NV3500 and the 3.8 L combo. My .02

Sent from my SM-P905V using WAYALIFE mobile app


New member
Just like everyone else said the 4.0 is a great reliable simple motor i wish i kept my xj with it for a wheeler my friends 2010 jk with the 3.8 was a pig went thru 3 motors from having cracks in the cylinder walls and my new 13 jk with the 3.6 is a beast compared to both motors especially since i tuned it with a 93 performance tune its quick for a v6. I would take the 3.6 over noth then a 4.0 then the 3.8
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