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The 3.2, 3.5, and 3.8 Liter V6 Mopar (Chrysler-Plymouth-Dodge) Engines

This page is being phased out. Please see:

2.7 liter engine vs 3.3 liter engine3.2 liter vs 3.5 liter

3.5 liter chrysler v6 enginesChrysler's 3.2 liter V-6 engine was a new design, using aluminum blocks and heads, based on the original 3.5 liter V6; it was discontinued in 2002 to simplify the engine lineup.

The 3.5 litre V6 engine was, at the same time, modified and switched to an aluminum block, to produce between 242 and 253 hp; a re-engineered 3.8 liter engine, related to both, was released later.

These engines could be shipped with a variable intake system, building on Chrysler's work back in the 1950s and 60s (to be fair, other automakers have used variable intake systems). It varies the length of the intake manifold tubes to create a small, but useful, supercharging effect at different engine speeds. In the past, tuning the air tubes for a boost at one engine speed sacrificed power at another; this is similar to variable valve timing in that it avoids choosing one engine speed over another for performance increases.

Both the 3.5 and 3.8 liter engines are being phased out in favor of the new Pentastar V6, engineered by Chrysler, and appearing first in model-year 2011.

Chrysler V6 engine comparison chartBob Sheaves suggested that these engines are derived from the larger 3.3/3.5/3.8 family, with creation in this order ("I refer to the development design and components, and not what eventually became production.")

  • 3.3L pushrod to replace 3.0 Mitsubishi engine in Dynasty and New Yorker
  • 3.8L pushrod for more torque in minivan AWD and New Yorker/Dynasty (bored/stroked 3.3)
  • 3.5L first generation- High output 3.3 for first gen LH, all aluminum, overhead cam (3.3 was cam-in-block pushrod)
  • 3.5L second generation - higher output 3.5 for LH, Prowler, minivans (never installed in these- they stuck with the 3.8L - but it was installed in the minivan-based Pacifica). This is SOHC, where the 2.7 is DOHC.
  • 2.7L - higher efficiency, smaller displacement version of the second generation 3.5 (DOHC)
  • 3.2L - increased torque 2.7, midline engine between current 3.5 and low end 2.7 (SOHC)

According to Bob, the 3.2 was developed from the 3.5. Willem Weertman’s Chrysler Engines book suggests that the 2.7 was based directly off the 3.5, but should be considered to be in its own engine family.

The following information was provided by Chrysler.

Chrysler V6 engines compared with those of competitive cars, 1998

Vehicle Engine BHP RPM Octane Cost As Tested
Intrepid/Concorde, 1998 2.7L 200 5800 Regular $21,000
LHS/300M, 1998 3.5L 250 6600 Regular $30,000
Acura 25TL, 1997 2.5L 176 6300 Premium $30,478
Ford SHO, 1996 3.4L 235 6100 Premium $28,250
Intrepid/Concorde, 1998 3.2L 220 6600 Regular $24,000
Ford Taurus, 1996 3.0L 200 5750 Regular $24,205
Cadillac Catera, 1997 3.0L 200 6000 Premium $34,750
Mercedes E420, 1997 4.2L 275 5500 Premium $53,522
Nissan Maxima, 1997 3.0L 190 5600 Regular $24,675
LH series, '93-'97 3.5L 214 5850 Mid-Grade $24,270
Mitsubishi Diamante, '97 3.5L 210 5000 Premium N/A

For those who think the Chrysler 3.5 is made by Mitsubishi, here is a comparison:

Engine Chrysler 3.5 (e.g. 300M) Mitsubishi 3.5 (e.g. Diamonte)
Power 250 hp @ 6400
250 lb-ft @ 3900
205 hp @ 5000
231 lb-ft @ 4000
Bore x Stroke 3.78 x 3.19 3.66 x 3.38

Competitive information from manufacter's press kits and data books - sorted in order of output per liter. Fuel mileage not available.  Note that the most powerful engine in this list, the Mercedes 4.2 liter, requires premium gas, comes in a car that costs twice as much as the Intrepid, and is considerably larger.

Chrysler V6 engine specifications - “LH” series, 1998-2007

Category 2.7 Liter
(a)
3.2 liter
(1998-2002)
3.5 Liter (LX) 3.5 Liter
(JS)
4.0 Liter
(2007+)
3.8 Liter
(2006+)
Bore x Stroke 3.39 x 3.09
(86 x 78.5mm)
3.66 x 3.19
(92 x 81mm)
3.78 x 3.19
(96 x 81mm)
3.78 x 3.58
(96 x 91)
3.78 x 3.43
(96 x 87)
Valves 24 valves (4 per cylinder) 12 valves!
Valve System Hydraulic end-pivot roller followers, hydraulic lifters
Fuel Injection Electronic sequential multi-port injection (SMPI)
Construction Semi-permanent mold aluminum block with cast-in iron liners, cross-bolted main bearing caps, cast aluminum heads
Compression 9.71:1*
9.5:1 9.9:1 10.0:1 10.3:1 9.6:1
Power
in hp (kW)

200 (149)
@ 6000*

220 (164)
@ 6600
250 @6400 235 (186) @ 6,400 255 (190) @ 5,800 205 (153)
@ 5,200
Torque
in lb-ft (Nm)
@rpm

188 (254) @ 4900*

222 (301)
@ 4000
250 @ 3900 232 (339) @ 4,000 275 (360) @ 4,000 240 (325)
@ 4,000
Max. RPM 6464* 6800 rpm ? 6,800 rpm 5,800 rpm ?
Fuel Unleaded regular, 87 octane 89 preferred, 87 OK 87 Octane
* Chrysler later retuned the 2.7 liter engine to 190 hp (142 kW) at 6,400 rpm and 190 lb-ft (258 Nm) at 4,000 rpm, with a redline of 6,600 rpm and a compression ratio of 9.9:1.

Emissions: all use at least one three-way catalytic converter, quad-heated oxygen sensors, EGR, and internal engine features. 3.8 meets Tier 2 bin 5 (federal) and LEV 2 (CA) specs; 4.0 meets Federal tier 2, bin 8 and ULEV1 (CA) specs.

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