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Should I buy a JKU with the 3.8?


Hobbes62

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Joined
Jul 20, 2019
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Winder GA
Wondering if I should consider purchasing a 2011 JKU with 30,000 miles? Would be for the wife. If so how much? I think I could snag it for 15K. Has 3.73 gearing on it, Probably needs 5;13s. I am worried that the gas mileage would be terrible (Wife would daily drive it). Thoughts?

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billiebob

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Oct 31, 2015
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Kootenays, BC, Canada
The 3.8 is not one of the better engines but price, mileage and condition like this... I'd buy it.
How many miles will you put on? The 3.6 is only a bit more economical. No Wrangler will reduce yer gas costs.
 
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Hobbes62

Hobbes62

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Winder GA
Would probably get 10K miles a year. Thinking it may be a good deal for the price.
 

02GreenTJ

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Jul 21, 2017
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I know many people with the 3.8 that are happy with it. The issue comes with the automatic transmission. If it has a manual it is even more desireable. That said with that amount of miles I wouldn’t hesitate.
 
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Ct_tj

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Apr 29, 2019
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Brookfield, Ct
I see no reason to avoid the 3.8. My best friend and my dad both have jks with the 3.8, both problem free. A lot of my customers that have the 3.6 have had tons of tiny little problems that add up to a big headache. Not to mention the oil leak issues..
 
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pagrey

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Apr 10, 2018
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I've heard oil consumption on the 3.8 is normally over a quart every 3k on young engines. Epic turd is a really great description. Do a little research into people replacing those engines, it should scare you off.
 
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Hobbes62

Hobbes62

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Jul 20, 2019
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Winder GA
That's what so interesting seems like its a 50/50 split on the oil consumption issue. Seems like something to ponder. I have spent time in the seat of the 3.6 auto. Really liked it.
 

Alex01

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Mar 23, 2018
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Martinez, CA, USA
I drove a 3.8 jku when we rented one in hawaii. It was fine except when we took it to the summit of Mauna Kea (13,000 ft). At that altitude I had it floored just to get up a slight hill. At sea level it was very liveable.

If the price is right take it for a test drive and see what you think. I would drive both though just so you can make a more informed decision.
 
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Ct_tj

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Joined
Apr 29, 2019
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Brookfield, Ct
The 3.6 is a nice running engine, but problem filled. The early ones had misfire issues on one of the banks causing cylinder head replacement (recall). There is no doubt that the oil cooler gaskets will blow out way sooner than they should, that's another $700-$1000 depending on the shop if you dont do your own work. Not to mention the horrible valve train noise that could start around 30k miles for no reason at all. Sounds like the engine has no oil in it.
 
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TurboTJ

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Jan 5, 2019
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Walnut Creek, CA
I've got 60k miles on the 3.6 in my 2014 Grand Cherokee. It seems to be a fine engine. I have had zero problems with it.
 
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zebra12

2005 TJ Unlimited Rubicon
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Apr 9, 2018
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Corvallis, OR, USA
I had an AWD Journey with the 3.6 and have a Grand Caravan with the 3.8. Not exactly an apples to apples comparison, but the 3.6 feels like it is a race car engine compared to the 3.8.
 

oldjeepman

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Jan 14, 2019
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Nebraska
If you can find a 2012 or newer, better engine and the interior was redone in 2012.