• Sep 1, 2011
We can quit wondering why it took so long for Jeep to drop the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 behind the round headlights of the 2012 Wrangler. According to Wards Auto, the engine had to undergo more than a few tweaks in order to be fit for duty in the trail-rated Wrangler. Engineers had to start by moving the alternator up and away from the middle of the engine to provide for greater water-fording capability. A new intake was also fitted to increase the kind of low-end torque buyers demand on the trail. Meanwhile, on-road civility was increased by changing the intake to draw from the engine's left side instead of its right along with a unique acoustic cover.

While those changes took a little research and development, they've obviously paid dividends in the Wrangler. Chrysler may apply a similar approach when the company moves to offer the 3.6-liter V6 in the Ram line soon.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 39 Comments
      xspeedy
      • 3 Years Ago
      What the Wrangler really needs is a fine diesel. A fair displacement 4-pot would do nicely.
        guyverfanboy
        • 3 Years Ago
        @xspeedy
        2.8 CRD FTW!
          FightinBluHen51
          • 3 Years Ago
          @guyverfanboy
          Seriously! Why do the guys in the UK and Europe get 30+ mixed out of their 2.8s with start/stop and a crap load more HP and tq! Chrysler, Jeep, Fiat, are you listening?
      MAX
      • 3 Years Ago
      Wrangler has the highest resale value of any car.
      tributetodrive
      • 3 Years Ago
      "on-road civility was increased by changing the intake to draw from the engine's left side instead of its right" really .... why would that work? What does it matter which side the air comes from? I can understand redesigning the manifold/ throttle body for decreased noise and maybe slower tip in for better control but relocating sides.... there has to be more to that story...
        bowdowntozoltan
        • 3 Years Ago
        @tributetodrive
        It's probably because they didn't feel like redesigning everything under the hood. The master cylinder along with the abs module, pcm and washer bottle were there already when the 3.8 was in there. That way they don't have to spend $$ redesigning those systems.
        EXP Jawa
        • 3 Years Ago
        @tributetodrive
        My guess is that moving to the other side afforded more room for the acoustic cover also mentioned in the same statement. That reduced the intake noise, thus improving "on-road civility".
      mmm
      • 3 Years Ago
      yaaaaaaaaaaaawn where's the hi-tech diesel ?
      dukeisduke
      • 3 Years Ago
      That's wild; they turned the alternator around so that the pulley is on the back. Never seen that before.
      James Strickland
      • 3 Years Ago
      Is "the engine's left side" the passenger or driver's side?
        EXP Jawa
        • 3 Years Ago
        @James Strickland
        The engine's left side is the vehicle's left side, at least with a N-S engine layout. So, that would be the driver's side.
      Austin
      • 3 Years Ago
      There's also a "loop" in the exhaust that needs to be sorted out. According to Allpar.com, serious off roading may require some work underneath to protect (or eliminate) that little packaging compromise.
      Aaron Martin-Colby
      • 3 Years Ago
      Essentially, they're saying that it took almost no engineering ingenuity whatsoever, and the real reason for them not putting it in was laziness, incompetence, and bad management.
        EXP Jawa
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Aaron Martin-Colby
        No, it was really a matter of priority. Getting the new engine up and in production in the mainstream models has to take precedent over putting it in a niche vehicle. Once that was done, they could look into what was needed to adapt it to the requirements of a lower-volume model. It isn't laziness, it's focusing on what's most important to the company first...
        Mark S
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Aaron Martin-Colby
        They are working on recovering from the pillaging of Daimler and nearsightedness of of Cerberus. But laziness and incompetence is fightin words to us Mopar believers. In a couple of years I think you will be eating your words as the PentaStar engine evolves. Bring on the turbos and multiair! It gets almost 300 HP and 31 MPG in the 8 speed Charger. I'm not a Jeep lover, but since this is the only PentaStar that gets a manual tranny, I may have to drive one to see how it goes.
          graphikzking
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Mark S
          Hyundai has a 270+hp 4cylinder that gets 34mpg with only a 6 speed. Don't get me wrong (I know i will be downranked by fanboys) I think Chrysler has done a tremendous job the last 1.5 years but they still have a VERY long ways to go to be competitive. They still don't have a good compact car (don't tell me the fiat that thing looks like a toy). Give me a small Elantra/Focus Competitor. Then give me a good midsize car. The Sebring(chrysler 200) still isn't up to the market leaders just yet. They are still 3-4 years away from being competitive but they are on their way. I always hated that jeep used that ancient engine in their wrangler and could never understand why you couldn't even put the Pacifica engine in there 7 years ago.. now I know. They didn't have the money, Cerberus didn't care and there was more to it than just swapping out the engine. Happy to see jeep putting in some decent engines and look forward to their future products!
      EZEE
      • 3 Years Ago
      constantly listed on Consumer Reports special list of cars to avoid. And, on another website, pictures of a jeep assembled with both 2011 parts (driver side) and 2012 parts (passenger side). POS! http://www.leftlanenews.com/oops-jeep-factory-puts-wrong-fender-flares-on-12-wrangler.html
        sirjaysmith
        • 3 Years Ago
        @EZEE
        being knocked by a bunch of pansies for unrefinement does not make it a POS. WITH that said, your link is hilarious.
      Making11s
      • 3 Years Ago
      I've always liked the Wrangler, but having this engine in it actually makes me want to buy one.
        thedriveatfive
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Making11s
        Me too, its like they fixed everything that was wrong (interior quality, engine power) and left all the suspension goodies in place.
      ICantDrive88
      • 3 Years Ago
      2012 maybe a very goof year for Chrysler. 3.6 in the Wrangler/Ram, 8 speed auto in the Charger/300, cheaper pricing on many models... I think that's all you can ask for, cheaper and better!
        HydraulicDragon
        • 3 Years Ago
        @ICantDrive88
        How about some competent engineering? And reliability ratings as high as their competitors?
          Frank
          • 3 Years Ago
          @HydraulicDragon
          Reliability has never been the problem. Some of it was good some was bad, most of the time they were mid pack. It wasn't that long ago that Chrysler's reliability was ahead of Nissan's, and it's still ahead of VW, Mitsubishi and others. *Quality* is what took a dive under Daimler's cost cutting. Now Quality is coming back.
          bowdowntozoltan
          • 3 Years Ago
          @HydraulicDragon
          How can you complain about engineering in a car that's barely being released? Same goes with reliability. Yeah, they're old **** sucks. All the stuff that's gotten the terribly reliability ratings are all the engines that are being phased out. the 3.3, 3.8, 3.5, 3.7, 2.7 are all gone now, the 3.6 filled all of those gaps.
          Luke Blatherwick
          • 3 Years Ago
          @HydraulicDragon
          Jeep doesn't have any competitors
      Rob K
      • 3 Years Ago
      I don't why it was a challenge to stuff the 3.6 into the Wrangler. There are plenty of aftermarket Jeep shops that have been stuffing Hemi V8s and GM's LS motors into these Wranglers for the last few years with little difficulty.
        DrEvil
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Rob K
        Listen up Rob. DOHC V6s are actually physically larger than most pushrod V8s. The length was never an issue, remember a straight six once resided there.
          AngeloD
          • 3 Years Ago
          @DrEvil
          The latest gen Wrangler, the JK, never had the 4.0L inline 6. It started out in '07 with the 3.8L (pushrod) V6.
        Austin
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Rob K
        That's because after market shops don't need to crash test or offer much in the way of warranty coverage.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Rob K
        [blocked]
          EXP Jawa
          • 3 Years Ago
          Exactly. The OEM installation requires meeting crash and emissions standards that aren't an issue for an aftermarket swap. Just because a V8 can be physically squeezed in doesn't mean that it will have enough room around it for proper energy absorption in a crash. Also, a manufacturer has to sign off on a revised suspension to account for the weight difference, which could significantly alter its ride/handling. That could make the vehicle dynamics much less acceptable then normally allowed. Really, there's a lot more to it that a manufacturer has to contend with than simply dropping the engine in.
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