Originally Posted by spezjag
I suspect you already know this, but with a Jeep, the numbers do not tell the whole story. The I-6 makes 70% of its peak torque at idle. Sitting in traffic, you can creep forward in second gear without touching the gas. So the 3.8 making "more" torque is misleading.
My '05 Rubicon is a very flexible vehicle - from inner city DC traffic to very rural California living, it has been fantastic. I came close to trading it on a '12 4-door Rubicon, but luckily the dealer tried to severely low-ball me on the trade, and I could look him in the eye and say "not gonna happen" knowing I already had a Jeep I loved.
Not true. Nothing wrong with the I6, and certainly nothing wrong with a TJ. But this should put that widely believed misnomer to bed:
The big difference between the "feel" of the I-6 4.0 and the V-6 3.8 is the V6's electronic throttle, which makes it feel a bit more sluggish because the throttle is more linear than the I-6. If I were to have any complaint about the V-6 it would be that it has a bit too much flywheel effect for my taste for every day driving. But it wasn't quite built for that, was it? That same flywheel effect has been wonderful out here this week in all of the rock crawling. In combination with the 4:1 transfer case and 6-speed transmission it provides fantastic engine braking and has been able to idle up almost everything in 2nd or 3rd gear. I spent a lot of time when I first got out here going down to first for climbing shelves or onto big fins until I realized I just didn't have to.
Do I think the 3.8 is a great engine? Not really. It's had more than its share of oil consumption issues over the years and a few other glitches. But it is the last of the "easy to work on" generation of engines (pushrods, cam in block, etc.). I've considered trading my '09 on a '12 with the new engine several times, but at least for the time being am glad I kept the '09 with the 3.8. The '12's have gotten a lot of bad press with cylinder head issues and other items. I'm confident they'll be great when the bugs are worked out, but Chrysler has barely crept out of the bailout/repurchase days. My belief is the '12 Wranglers were developed during the time when Chrysler was absolutely cash crunched, and that may have had an effect on the build quality by squeezing suppliers and cutting manufacturing costs wherever possible. I think the '13's and even the '14's will continue to get better under new ownership, and eventually I may pull the trigger. My '09 hasn't been perfect, but I believe (or at least hope) I have the bugs worked out of it at this point. I'll just keep it and drive the wheels off of it until said time I think it's good to take the leap of faith (come on diesel!), and much like putting a few years between one's self and any addiction I find I don't miss the grand ol' I-6 nearly as much as I thought I would