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3.3 Vs 3.8 Engine


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27 replies to this topic

#1 miagarfunkle (converted)

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Posted August 17, 2005 at 12:25 am

I have read many old posts in here where people talk about the Grand Caravan and that the 3.3 engine does not have enough power to keep smooth at freeway speeds and accelerate with traffic without having to floor it. Also heard people mention that it cannot be loaded with full 7 passengers and luggage and travel at freeway speeds. Let me educate all those people out there who spent the extra money on the 3.8 and now want to put down the 3.3 to justify the purchase of the bigger engine. First lets talk about horsepower. The 3.3 makes 180 hp and the 3.8 makes 210-215. The van weighs over 4300 pounds. An extra 30 hp really does not make a noticeable enough difference to justify the cost. The 3.8 takes the Grand Caravan for 04-05 to 60 in 10.2 seconds. Now the 3.3 takes the same van with same features to 60 in 10.7 or 10.8 depending on what site you look at. Holy cow. I just spent all kinds of money for a half second difference to 60. I just recently purchased an 05 Grand Caravan with the 3.3 and I have never had it above 3500 rpms. The only time it saw over 3000 rpm with my family in it was when I had to maintain 70 mph up a steep hill here in AZ with the a/c on. At that time I got to 3500 rpms. If I loaded this van with full passengers and luggage the difference that you would feel between the two engines would be almost impossible to feel. It is all in your mind. One last thing for all those 3.8 owners out there that keep having to show their anger in wasting money on the bigger more gas guzzling engine by making fun of the smaller one may like to know that the 3.3 has been around forever and is built and manufactured by Mitsubishi and is one of the most reliable engines on the market in a domestic vehicle. I can't even count the number of people on forums that have well over 200K on the odometer without hardly any problems. Now the 3.8 was developed manufactured and put in the Caravan by Dodge here in the USA. It is well known for how extremly unreliable it is and has always been. They have made it a little better in recent years but not much. I hope the extra money was worth it for a half second to 60 and very little power gain as I have driven them both, because the repair bills will kill you.

#2 ET

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Posted August 17, 2005 at 01:43 am

Welcome to our website......

You certainly bring a lot to the table, but somehow I doubt you will stick around for long. :rolleyes: Your knowledge of the 3.3L and 3.8L engines is obviously well beyond what any of us can comprehend. :blink:

There must be other websites with much more knowledgeable members that would be able to understand your genius.

#3 JacobNewkirk

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Posted August 17, 2005 at 01:54 am

The 3.8 is unreliable? Since when? Tell that to the 207,000 mile 3.8 that lives under the hood of my '94!

In those many, many miles, the only parts of the engine I've replaced have been the water pump, the timing chain and sprockets, and the oil pickup tube, and the engine had over 174,000 miles when that was all done.

The 3.8 is a 3.3 that's been bored-out and stroked. If you're calling it unreliable, then you're calling the 3.3 unreliable by association.

As for the power difference, torque is the key here. The 3.8 delivers much more, and at lower RPMs where it counts. Horsepower is fine, but torque is what moves the van off the line.

You need to re-evaluate your "facts" and then come back when you realize you were wrong ... :huh:

#4 Chad_M

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Posted August 17, 2005 at 02:07 am

The 3.3 and 3.8 is not made by Mitsubishi, they are made by Chrysler.

#5 JacobNewkirk

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Posted August 17, 2005 at 02:11 am

Doggone it ... I missed that in my original reply. Well, I guess that's proof positive the guy's a troll, huh? :lol:

FWIW, around this area (W Kentucky/S Indiana), rare is the Mitsubishi engine in a Chrysler product that makes it to 100K without the telltale smokescreen making its appearance. Yet there may be hundreds, nay, even thousands of 3.3/3.8 CHRYSLER-ENGINED vans and cars roaming the streets here with no problems and far more miles. If my van is unreliable because I add half a quart of oil between changes (and then only when I take long road trips!), then I'd hate for it to be reliable!!!

Edited by JacobNewkirk, August 17, 2005 at 02:17 am.


#6 valiant67

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Posted August 17, 2005 at 05:18 am

Funny part is the 3.3 and 3.8 are the EXACT SAME engine, the 3.8 having a longer stroke and bigger bore. The 3.3 has been around an entire 2 YEARS longer than the 3.8. The 3.3 debuted in 89, the 3.8 in 91 but did not make it into the vans until 94 or so.

I think he's confused the Dodge 3.3 with Mitsubihi's 3.0. The 3.0's not a bad engine, just can be a oil leaker and oil burner but it can run forever if you keep oil in it. The 3.3 and 3.8 will last just as well with fewer oil leaks and no timing belt top worry about during those miles. However, the 3.0 is no longer available in the vans,

#7 grandcaravan01 (converted)

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Posted August 17, 2005 at 07:07 am

This guy's crazy. Trying to compare engines with 0-60mph times in vehicles meant to carry/tow weight is ridiculous. The real challenge would be to throw 1,000 lbs. in each and then run the 0-60 mph test.

Furthermore, posts about 3.3 being too slow are from people like me...who have Grands w/ the 3.3, not the 3.8! My van is fine with no one in it and the A/C off. Turn it on and have a few visitors, and it's underpowered. I drove a 3.8 Grand before buying mine. It is noticeably more powerful, particularly in low-end acceleration. I would have bought one with a 3.8, but they were impossible to find. I looked at 15 GCs in my price range and only 1 had the 3.8.

Edited by grandcaravan01, August 17, 2005 at 07:08 am.


#8 miagarfunkle (converted)

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Posted August 17, 2005 at 11:21 am

This guy's crazy.  Trying to compare engines with 0-60mph times in vehicles meant to carry/tow weight is ridiculous.  The real challenge would be to throw 1,000 lbs. in each and then run the 0-60 mph test.

Furthermore, posts about 3.3 being too slow are from people like me...who have Grands w/ the 3.3, not the 3.8!  My van is fine with no one in it and the A/C off.  Turn  it on and have a few visitors, and it's underpowered.  I drove a 3.8 Grand before buying mine.  It is noticeably more powerful, particularly in low-end acceleration.  I would have bought one with a 3.8, but they were impossible to find.  I looked at 15 GCs in my price range and only 1 had the 3.8.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



The 3.3 is still manufactured by Mitsubishi and I have already confirmed that with reliable sources. Torque is the key but My 3.3 in AZ with 115 degrees outside and the a/c on and 7 passengers in it and luggage I could maintain 80 on the freeway with cruise on with no problems. I also was able to climb hills fine to as long as I turned off the cruise and used my foot instead of the engines brain. The 3.3 has been loaded with all that inside and I have also towed a 2500 pound U-Haul trailer behind it and still maintained 80 on the freeway with speed limit of 75. Also I was able to maintain without flooring it or redlining it at least 65 over mountain passes. My dad had the old 3.3 in the regular caravan and was able to do the same thing. Guess for people who do the speed limit the 3.3 is just fine and gets better gas mileage. Go on edmunds.com and look up mileage as the key word under caravan posts and you will see probably over 100 3.3 with 200K or more miles and 5 with close to that. Everyone long term complains about the 3.8 I have read posts on many other sites with the same results. I even know somebody that had the 3.3 in a 2000 GCV and he towed like 6000 pounds in it with his family which I would not recommend doing and he had no problem at all other then he could not get over the passes going faster then 60-65. It seems with gas prices the way they are at $2.55/gal here in AZ that people would drive like they are high but I drive the limit to save gas and I see all kinds of other Caravan SXT's and SE's and older with the 3.3 and 3.8 blow by me at 80-90. Also put 1000 pounds in the van and run it to 60 with both engines it would still equate to the 1/2 second difference which is nothing. My fan flies off the line with the 3.3 and no it is not a hotrod but for a van it seems to manage just fine. If you have a 3.8 then the power to weight ratio which is really the key factor is 20.7 pounds for every hp and if you have the 3.3 then the ratio is 24.16 per hp. That is only 4 pound per hp more then the other. I can explain the one post with the high mileage 3.8 but go post on edmunds where the real knowledgable and intelligent people post I can guarantee you will be a star right away with mileage like that on a 3.8. I do not dislike people with the 3.8 nor do I mean to be rude but I just always read posts all over the net that bash the 3.3 like it is a go cart engine or something. Horsepower and torque don't mean much any more since you can make a 4 cylinder car like the Honda S2000 go to 60 in 5 seconds flat and get 26 mpg in mixed driving. That is a 4 banger. It is all about ignition timing and fuel injection. I could replace the O2 sensor on my 3.3 with another one that is better and right them I would have an engine that not only got better gas mileage but would outrun your 3.8 in a heartbeat loaded or not. Numbers are numbers but they don't really mean anything anymore. You could also do the same thing to the 3.8 to match mine with the 02 but that was just an example of something simple. Don't get me wrong I would love a 3.8 I just would not keep it long term and would have to consistently need to tow something really heavy to justify it. Gas is to high and money is tight so I don't need the repair bills so definitely would buy the ext. warr.

#9 JacobNewkirk

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Posted August 17, 2005 at 11:59 am

The 3.3 is still manufactured by Mitsubishi and I have already confirmed that with reliable sources.  ...  My fan flies off the line ...

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


OK, miagarfunkle, here it is one more time, and your so-called "reliable sources" are wrong, dead wrong:

THE 3.3 IS A CHRYSLER-DESIGNED, CHRYSLER-BUILT ENGINE!!! THERE ARE NO, I REPEAT, NO MAJOR DIFFERENCES OTHER THAN BORE SIZE AND STROKE LENGTH BETWEEN THE 3.3 AND THE 3.8!!!

And as far as your fan flying off the line, well, maybe you should get that checked out.

To everyone else: I apologize for the outburst above, but this guy's really got me steamed and I just hope he can read all caps, because that is just how I feel right now. :angry:

#10 Doug D

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Posted August 17, 2005 at 12:17 pm

The 3.3 is still manufactured by Mitsubishi and I have already confirmed that with reliable sources.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I strongly disagree. The 3.3L/3.8L engines are 100% Mopar designed and built. Only the 3.0L V6 is a Mitsubishi designed and built engine. So says Allpar - http://www.allpar.com/mopar/33.html.

From Allpar:

Introduced in 1990, the 3.3L was the first Mopar designed and built V6 engine to see duty in front wheel drive Chrysler vehicles. [A 3.9 liter engine, based on the LA series V8s, was the first Chrysler made V6, but it only saw truck duty.]Joined by a 3.8L version the following year, the 3.3/3.8L series features a traditional cast-iron block, aluminum head, overhead-valve design while also incorporating newer technologies such as sequential, multiple-port fuel injection (SMPI) and an integrated electronic ignition system supplanting the mechanical distributor, rotor and coil systems of the past.

Also in the 3.3/3.8L series, a 3.5L aluminum-block version saw early duty in the LH platform series. It was later replaced by an all-aluminum 24-valve 3.2L V6 featuring a unique (at the time) coil-over-plug design which eliminated the need for secondary ignition cables. The 3.2 itself was dropped, leaving the 2.7 and 3.5.

With ample torque available early in the rpm range, the 3.3/3.8L series was well suited to its primary application as a source of power for Chrysler's award winning minivans. These engines were also used in the Dynasty, New Yorker, Fifth Avenue and Imperial models until those vehicles were later replaced by the LH platform series, which was eventually powered by the aforementioned all-aluminum 2.7/3.2L V6s.


As with the 3.3-liter engine, the 3.5 was manufactured at Chrysler's Trenton, (Mich.) Engine Plant.


Name your reliable sources, I've named mine.

I don't recall many posters on Allpar complaining about the lack of hp in the 3.3 compared to the 3.8. Maybe on Edmunds, but not here. And usually those posters were comparing the 3.3L to the V6 in the Honda Oddity, not to the 3.8L.

I'm glad you are saisfied with the 3.3L. It is a good reliable engine made by Chrysler - not Mitsubishi. I've had good service from my 3.8L and a good friend had a 94 Grand Caravan with the 3.3L and he had no complaints about his 3.3L. Please note - I'm not bashing the 3.3.

#11 alec_b (converted)

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Posted August 17, 2005 at 12:22 pm

Wow is this guy ever off. Of course the 3.3/3.8 family of engines are the same, with minor differences. Mitsubishi had no part in designing any of those engines. And i've personally driven a 1997 3.3 and a 1997 3.8 side by side, and i'd never chose the 3.3. Also, my 3.8 is a T&C, so it's automatically heavier and has bigger wheels than the 3.3 grand caravan i drove, and it still kicks it in any situation. The mileage difference between the two is so slim it's worth it for the extra power. My 3.8 get's 20-21 on the open road and 17-18 in town, which is the same as i've ever seen any 3.3 get. So please if you can't contribute something worthwhile just don't contribute.

#12 kallsop

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Posted August 17, 2005 at 12:28 pm

The 3.3 is still manufactured by Mitsubishi and I have already confirmed that with reliable sources.



It takes a special kind of fool to keep digging the hole deeper. Thanks for the entertainment and it has been at your expense.

As many more will point out, the 3.3L is a Chrysler engine through and through. Always has been.

#13 NeonHomer

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Posted August 17, 2005 at 01:23 pm

Check with Chrysler themselves... the 3.3 and 3.8 are both made by Chrysler Corporation (now Diamler-Chrysler).

A longer stroke gives more torque. Why do you think car crafters put stroker kits into motors... more torque gets you off the line better.

Also, gearing has a lot to do with how well you perform. I used to have a 4cyl Dakota that I used to pull all kinda crap with. It had 3.55 gears in it.

Now, my 87 Diplomat has a 318 V8... but doesn't pull trailers too well.. thats because the rear has 2.23 gears.......

#14 ET

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Posted August 17, 2005 at 03:53 pm

The 3.3 is still manufactured by Mitsubishi and I have already confirmed that with reliable sources.  Everyone long term complains about the 3.8  .......post on edmunds where the real knowledgable and intelligent people post....

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I can't believe you still grace us with your presence! :P Someone with your intelligence and knowledge of these vehicles is really wasting your time here with us knuckleheads. :rolleyes:

#15 touringmike

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Posted August 17, 2005 at 04:38 pm

I can't believe you still grace us with your presence! :P  Someone with your intelligence and knowledge of these vehicles is really wasting your time here with us knuckleheads. :rolleyes:

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Knuckle Head here, I didn't have a choice with my Van, It only came with the 3.8L.

Of course, I spent extra money on the whole thing, because I got the Platinum Edition, bu tthen again, my wife doesn't race the thing (anywhere near the RPMs required to achieve the extra 30 ponies), But we're satisfied knowing the power is there if we need it.

Knuckle Head Out


PS, Ours is an '04, bought it off the Internet, and got a better price reduction than what Chryco is selling the current additions at "Employee Prices" for.

Knuckle Head Double Out

#16 99caravan

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Posted August 17, 2005 at 05:10 pm

Adam's back! Hey man, how is the fiero doing?

#17 vtec11

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Posted August 17, 2005 at 05:32 pm

The 3.3 is still manufactured by Mitsubishi and I have already confirmed that with reliable sources. 

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Posted Image

Edited by vtec11, August 17, 2005 at 05:32 pm.


#18 ksconekiller (converted)

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Posted August 17, 2005 at 06:01 pm

Pretty much everything in my mind has been said here, so the only thing I'm going to add to this topic is this. It was stated that people who spend the extra money on the 3.8 are wasting their money. Last time I checked, the 3.8 is not a stand-alone option on the line. I wish it was. People buying the 3.8 are getting it along with a bunch of other stuff. My guess is that most consumers are spending the extra money for the comfort and convenience options, not the larger engine. I bought an 05 Caravan (not Grand), and am stuck with the 3.3 engine. It's not a bad engine at all; in fact, it serves our purposes quite well. But the fact is, I would have upgraded to the 3.8 in a heartbeat if given the option box.

Even though it's apparently a piece of junk not made by Mitsubishi. (Oops, let that one slip.)

Mike

#19 ksconekiller (converted)

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Posted August 17, 2005 at 06:02 pm

Now, my 87 Diplomat has a 318 V8... but doesn't pull trailers too well.. thats because the rear has 2.23 gears.......

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Wow. Don't know what else to say about that one.

Mike

#20 Oklahoma Wolf

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Posted August 18, 2005 at 12:54 am

It is well known for how extremly unreliable it is and has always been.


My dad's 3.8 outlasted the '96 GC LE it was in. At 423,000km (almost 263,000 miles) when the tranny went for the last time, it's had only two engine related repairs other than oil changes and new spark plugs once in a while: water pump and EGR valve. Other than that, it still purrs like a brand new engine.

Poor thing is sitting out there in a van that can no longer make use of it. Had I a good tranny to go with it, I would be very seriously tempted to try and shoehorn it into my New Yorker as a replacement for the Mitsubishi 3.0 ;)


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