The Chrysler Minivan Fan Club Forums banner

1 - 20 of 30 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,

What's everyone's experience with the 3.3L? I'm interested in longevity information, known issues, etc. Assuming everyone has read my last post, I found a replacement for the dead '98. It's a 2000 with the 3.3L and about 98,000 miles. Seems tight and strong, although after the 3.0L anything might seem strong. I realize that I'm probably preaching to the choir, but I'm interested in informed opinions.

Thanks,

Mike
 

·
Man. Mopar. Minivan.
Joined
·
3,895 Posts
If I remember correctly, the 3.0L engine that went south on you was what many of us here call a "Mitsusquishy" engine. Rather, for this generation of vans, Mitsubishi manufactured the 2.4L and 3.0L engines used in the vans, and Chrysler built the 3.3 and 3.8L engines.

The 3.0L btw, also has a timing belt, not a timing chain. Something you'll find is more than enough to talk the majority of this forum out of that engine to begin with.

Also, I'm probably the only one on the forum who would solidly recommend the 3.3L over all the rest, even including the 3.8. Now, I'm hoping that my previous sentence won't ignite the flame-war I'm anticipating of people calling me various names because the 3.3 and 3.8L are essentially the same engine. Well if they are, then I'm a monkey's uncle because I've had two VERY different experiences with them, and even when running properly, the 3.3L to me performs better. [In truth, they obviously are the same engine with slightly different displacement, but you know what I mean...]

Be happy with your 3.3L! My first Town & Country has gone 12 years and is still going merrily on its way with its *original* 3.3L EGA V6. ...mind you this is after beating the veritable crap out of that van.

Take care of it, and you'll get a great life out of that engine.
 

·
Latent car nut
Joined
·
9,019 Posts
Hey Chris, when are you going to be in Connecticut next? I'm bidding on a project for Hartford Hospital and I'll be down there once a week with a properly running 3.8 if I get it. ;)
 

·
Senior Global Moderator
Joined
·
2,800 Posts
If I remember correctly, the 3.0L engine that went south on you was what many of us here call a "Mitsusquishy" engine. Rather, for this generation of vans, Mitsubishi manufactured the 2.4L and 3.0L engines used in the vans, and Chrysler built the 3.3 and 3.8L engines.
Leaving alone the fact that I think the 3.0 is every bit the engine the 3.3 is, Mitsubishi didn't manufacture the 2.4 in the minivans. That one is the same engine that is in my Stratus sedan and it was manufactured in Saltillo, Mexico by Chrysler. The only 4 banger Mitsubishi ever produced is the 2.4L in the Stratus coupe.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,332 Posts
I too am a big fan of the 3.3L. I have owned both the 3.3 and the 3.8. While both excellent engines, I think the power and torque gained with the 3.8 are not worth the trade off in efficiency.
The 3.8 is the same engine, with more displacement. They are both very strong, long lived engines that should easily outlast the vehicles they are powering.
 

·
Man. Mopar. Minivan.
Joined
·
3,895 Posts
I have owned both the 3.3 and the 3.8. While both excellent engines, I think the power and torque gained with the 3.8 are not worth the trade off in efficiency.
AGREED!
 

·
Latent car nut
Joined
·
9,019 Posts
I too am a big fan of the 3.3L. I have owned both the 3.3 and the 3.8. While both excellent engines, I think the power and torque gained with the 3.8 are not worth the trade off in efficiency.
The 3.8 is the same engine, with more displacement. They are both very strong, long lived engines that should easily outlast the vehicles they are powering.
I'm kinda curious about the "trade off in efficiency" thing. Other than the AWD models (which for the Gen 3 and Gen 4 vans are exclusively 3.8 liter engines), I've yet to see any conclusive evidence that suggests that the 3.8 is any less efficient than the 3.3. In fact, I've even read rumblings that suggest that on the highway at least, the 3.8 vans may actually get slightly better mileage than 3.3 liter vans.
 

·
Man. Mopar. Minivan.
Joined
·
3,895 Posts
Hey Chris, when are you going to be in Connecticut next? I'm bidding on a project for Hartford Hospital and I'll be down there once a week with a properly running 3.8 if I get it. ;)
I'll be back in August around the second week.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
24,354 Posts
I have found the 3.3 adequate to my needs and fairly peppy. The 3.8 has a little extra if you need it the odd time .... towing, loaded down, or whatever .... and logically, being of the same design as the 3.3, uses a little more fuel in the process.
To have the same efficiency as the 3.3 during normal driving, the 3.8 would need higher gearing, which would bog it down when .... towing, loaded down, or whatever.
A case of can't have your cake and eat it too, I'm thinking.

As to durability, both engines have lots of that.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
24,354 Posts
FWIW - I've had five 3.3's...most reliable power plant I've ever owned.
No doubt, one of the best. I've had two 3.3s. My Son has my first 3.3 now with around 330,000 kms, and still going strong.
Here's a little history of the 3.3/3.8 http://www.allpar.com/mopar/33.html including this statement:
Ervin added: “On the Caravan with the 3.3, take the bolt out of the front engine mount by the radiator and let the engine rotate forward as far as possible and then set the parking brake. Watch for clearance as you push the car in park and it will work. You can then use a socket extension straight down on the plugs and reach them easier.”
Anybody reading this ever take that approach????
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,029 Posts
Both the 3.3 and the 3.8 have been very reliable in my experience.

I have gotten better mileage with the 3.8 than I ever got with the 3.3. Comparing apples to oranges, I know, because the 3.3 was in a 2nd gen, and the 3.8 is in a 4th gen.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
148 Posts
The 3.3L in our '99 DGC now has 152,000 trouble-free miles on it. I've kept up with maintenance per the book. Some attachments have gone south, most recently the water pump for the first time, about two weeks ago. I also had to replace an idler pulley a few years ago. Otherwise, this engine purrs right along.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Newbee Point of View

Just bought a '92 for $500. 198,000 km....

My local mechanic told me horror stories of "...fuel rail failures" and lifters. I have yet to find out what these are, but yet I held the 3.3 V6 and it sounded strong.

Oh, yeah! Apparently there is a pin that over time will break loose and grenade the engine and transmission...something to do with lack of proper lubrication during high torque circumstances.

Other than that I am also interested to know more about these motors.

He (the mech) did say that of the "mini van world", the caravan is the best option, to quote....

"they made them first, they made them best."

He drives a '96
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,079 Posts
Before I bought my DGC earlier this year, I researched the reputation of the engines in the Ford, GM, and Chrysler minivans. The Chrysler pushrods were, by far, the best of the lot. I was partial to GM 60 degree V6 pushrod engines, at least when they used green coolant. Now, not so much.

My parents had a 1989 PGV and a 1994 PGV, both with the 3.0L. The first van gave its life killing a deer but it had well over 100,000 miles on it. My dad gave the second minivan to a family in my church who desperately needed it. It had 194,000 miles on it when I rebuilt the front suspension and delivered it to them. Neither van EVER had a problem with the engine. At about 175,000 miles I used the van to move a piano from the parents' house to mine, and it did just fine at speeds up to 100 MPH -- with the piano in the back. Not very smart perhaps, but a lot of fun.

Edited to say: I forgot about a 1990 Dodge Dynasty they had with the 3.0L. It also ran for well over 150,000 miles without a single hitch in the engine, and it was driven by at least two teenagers who did what teenagers do.

I had always assumed the 3.0L was a superb engine, and it wasn't until I did some reading that I realized the superiority of the pushrod motors.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
24,354 Posts
Just bought a '92 for $500. 198,000 km....

My local mechanic told me horror stories of "...fuel rail failures" and lifters. I have yet to find out what these are, but yet I held the 3.3 V6 and it sounded strong.

Oh, yeah! Apparently there is a pin that over time will break loose and grenade the engine and transmission...something to do with lack of proper lubrication during high torque circumstances.

Other than that I am also interested to know more about these motors.

He (the mech) did say that of the "mini van world", the caravan is the best option, to quote....

"they made them first, they made them best."

He drives a '96
The 3.3 is a great engine. Reliability is among the best.
As to a pin breaking, I believe he might be eluding to a transmission problem whereby it isn't wise to spin your wheels and have them fetch up suddenly.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,079 Posts
I have found the 3.3 adequate to my needs and fairly peppy. The 3.8 has a little extra if you need it the odd time .... towing, loaded down, or whatever .... and logically, being of the same design as the 3.3, uses a little more fuel in the process.
To have the same efficiency as the 3.3 during normal driving, the 3.8 would need higher gearing, which would bog it down when .... towing, loaded down, or whatever.
A case of can't have your cake and eat it too, I'm thinking.

As to durability, both engines have lots of that.
The 3.8L has taller gearing so there can be at least a little cake eating. Per my 2000 DGC factory service manual, page 21-89:

Gear Ratios
First --> 2.84:1
Second --> 1.57:1
Third --> 1.00:1
Overdrive --> 0.69:1

Final Drive Ratios
2.4L --> 3.91
3.3L --> 3.62
3.8L --> 3.45
 

·
Senior Global Moderator
Joined
·
2,800 Posts
I had always assumed the 3.0L was a superb engine, and it wasn't until I did some reading that I realized the superiority of the pushrod motors.
The 3.0 IS a superb engine. Don't let all of the rhetoric around here fool you, you've seen three great examples for yourself. IMO, you can pick between having a great engine in your van or an even better engine. Which is which is entirely up to you, and this is coming from someone who has owned both.

I'm sure all those GM 60 degree V6 owners with Dexcool replacing intake gaskets wish they had something like the 3.0 in their vans. Or owners of the Toyota and Chrysler sludge monster engines.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
24,354 Posts
The 3.8L has taller gearing so there can be at least a little cake eating. Per my 2000 DGC factory service manual, page 21-89:

Gear Ratios
First --> 2.84:1
Second --> 1.57:1
Third --> 1.00:1
Overdrive --> 0.69:1

Final Drive Ratios
2.4L --> 3.91
3.3L --> 3.62
3.8L --> 3.45
Chocolate cake, I bet. :biggrin:
What speed does 2000 rpms give you in overdrive? My 3.3 gives 100 kph / 62 mph. Are you getting 105 kph / 65 mph?
 
1 - 20 of 30 Posts
Top