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

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Chrysler'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.

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Bob 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

VehicleEngineBHPRPMOctaneCost As Tested
Intrepid/Concorde, 19982.7L2005800Regular$21,000
LHS/300M, 19983.5L2506600Regular$30,000
Acura 25TL, 19972.5L1766300Premium$30,478
Ford SHO, 19963.4L2356100Premium$28,250
Intrepid/Concorde, 19983.2L2206600Regular$24,000
Ford Taurus, 19963.0L2005750Regular$24,205
Cadillac Catera, 19973.0L2006000Premium$34,750
Mercedes E420, 19974.2L2755500Premium$53,522
Nissan Maxima, 19973.0L1905600Regular$24,675
LH series, '93-'973.5L2145850Mid-Grade$24,270
Mitsubishi Diamante, '973.5L2105000PremiumN/A

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

EngineChrysler 3.5 (e.g. 300M)Mitsubishi 3.5 (e.g. Diamonte)
Power250 hp @ 6400
250 lb-ft @ 3900
205 hp @ 5000
231 lb-ft @ 4000
Bore x Stroke3.78 x 3.193.66 x 3.38

Competitive information from manufacturer'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)
Valves24 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
9.9:110.0:110.3:19.6:1

Power
in hp (kW)


200 (149)
@ 6000*


220 (164)
@ 6600
250 @6400235 (186) @ 6,400 255 (190) @ 5,800205 (153)
@ 5,200

Torque
in
lb-ft (Nm)
@rpm


188 (254)
@ 4900*


222 (301)
@ 4000
250 @ 3900232 (339) @ 4,000275 (360) @ 4,000240 (325)
@ 4,000

Max. RPM

6464*

6800 rpm
?6,800 rpm5,800 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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