Tune up on my ‘11 3.8l and automatic - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 09-27-2018, 03:11 AM Thread Starter
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Tune up on my ‘11 3.8l and automatic

What’s the best performance upgrade plugs,wires,coil etc...I have about 60k on it ?


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post #2 of 7 Old 09-27-2018, 03:47 AM
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What’s the best performance upgrade plugs,wires,coil etc...I have about 60k on it ?


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if you research Allpar website under the Engines section, it'll have some of the Mopar 3.3l - 3.8l v6 engineers talking about the variations etc. They discuss how the 3.3l was bored-out to the 3.8l , it's low tolerances for oil paths, the head bolts and heliocoils , everything about it.



They even interview Can-Am racers from the 80-90s that attempted to use power adders to the little v6 that started in minivans but was "refined" for Neons and Wranglers. What I am getting at is they ultimately will reveal that they recommend there are no real viable add-ons that can be bolted to the thing to attain much additional performance at all. I believe the wording is ," the already maxed-out, bored to it's maximum powerplant , even with better seals and cams & that still has thick enough cyl walls to not destroy itself in the last form ( our 3.8l variant) does not make for a good aftermarket upgrades candidate.." ..
now, there are plenty of guys I know & on this very forum that have gotten good , large mileage out of the 3.8l with a supercharger ,so I cannot say that is not viable however, if you are over ( my gauge and limit) 50k, it seems like a bad idea to superrcharge the thing unless you completely rebuild it or else you are potentially going to have some form of problem. You may not, but then again, that is the deal with this motor. It gets a bad rap ; it is not a horrible motor it just is a medium power engine that had many consolations made for environmental requirements of the era and just does not take high performance parts well. It may have to do w/ the fact that the Wrangler JKs saw it mated with the very non-Heavy-Duty 42rle auto where its most lackluster performance is seen. 's'a bad combo, that pairing. The manuals trans JKs are not much better.

Turbo charging is not a good idea.

re: having a company like the infamous 505 Performance attempt to add a hot cam or make it a 4.0l displacement will generally result in failure. there is a good thread on WF that some guy in Cali had a 3.8 low mileage wrangler hotrodded and the thread just stops a short time after he was trying-out his newly souped-up 3.8l out that it just ends ( from if destrying itself). The engine is also hindered somewhat because of the iron block with the aluminum top end & stuff centered around the two metals cooling at different tempts and rates. It's just a bad candidate for any add on power parts.



I have multiple Jeeps.

One of my i6 XJs from '95 is just about 400000 original miles. I have naother 4.0l HO wrangler that is nearign 200k and my JKU is an '11 with your 3.8l that is nearing 92,000. I have eeked as much performance out by good maint, running a quality , more viscous oil ( 5w-30 Amsoil ) with top end oil filters, a drop in ,more open air filter from AfE I think , & a nice easy breathing pre-axle dump exhaust , , regularly changed fluids , a better electric fan & I have only run non-ethanol, 89 oct fuel that I have a Superchip Flashpaq on a mid level tune for. I have tried "hotter" plugs = they hinder the perf. I have tried the livewires and Demon coils = not any difference. I reverted back to copper Champions, Mopar OEM sparkplug wires and coilpack.

I have not DD the Jeep for over 4 years as it is a towed crawler only . That is why I run non-ethanol ( it sits for sometimes 2 months long without running) fuel.

The best performance gains are to lighten it as much as you possibly can , maintain it as though it were an F1 car and you are heaad pit crew guy and cool the tranny via aux cooler if you run the auto trans.



that, or get an LS or HEMI or diesel engine.



I would go HEMI if I ever have to. However, for my crawling/trailriding needs, I have a four door that is under 4900lbs with a 37" spare in the back and shorter gears. IMHO, regearing the thing is the number one performance gain for the 3.8l JK/JKUs . But beyond that and some generally accepted maint , there just aint much one can do to the already performance increased by Mopar 3.8l engine





Again, if you have a loweer mileage 3.8 , you could absolutely look into super charging it. I just would not use one that already has some accumulated mileage on it for that, personally





hope that helps



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post #3 of 7 Old 09-27-2018, 04:30 AM
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What’s the best performance upgrade plugs,wires,coil etc...I have about 60k on it ?


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OEM is about the best you can do.
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post #4 of 7 Old 09-28-2018, 02:28 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the great advice. I will go OEM and come out cheaper until it blows up.


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post #5 of 7 Old 09-28-2018, 04:28 AM
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Thanks for the great advice. I will go OEM and come out cheaper until it blows up.


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if you're crawlin' it & maintain her it probably won't blow-up.





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post #6 of 7 Old 09-28-2018, 05:47 PM
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What’s the best performance upgrade plugs,wires,coil etc...I have about 60k on it ?


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There is only 1 long term viable performance upgrade for the JK 07-11. Put a V8 in it. Hemi, or LS. You can also do diesel in a 2.8L cummins, or 4bt
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post #7 of 7 Old 09-30-2018, 05:51 PM
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Having put 312,000klm on my 08 3.8L Auto the best performance mod you can do is first regear and then reprogram with a tuner.
The sluggish response of the 3.8 is attributed to very poor gearing right from the factory.

For comparison a 3.8L Auto with 4.10 gears is equivalent of a 3.6L Auto with 3.21 ..
I ran 5.38 gears with an Auto on 37s and it was not gutless.


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Mods -- 3.5" Rock Krawler front springs, 2.5 TerraFlex BB rear, Mopar D44HD/J8, OX Locker, RCVs, 37x12.50x17 Pitbull Rockers on ProComp 7069, AEV Premium front bumper, Smittybilt X2O 12K Comp winch.
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