Awarded by Ward’s “Ten Best Engines” for three consecutive years – 2014, 2015, and 2016, the Chrysler 3.0 EcoDiesel engine is a breath of fresh air for some since it is not your typical engine.
It powered the heavyweights of trucks – RAM 1500, Jeep Grand Cherokee, and many more.
It was revolutionary to the modern era of truck engines because it forced its competitors to open V6 gates with smaller displacements.
What are Chrysler 3.0L EcoDiesel Engines?
Before we talk about the specifics of the Chrysler 3.0 engine, let’s talk about the EcoDiesel first so we can have a solid background to build from. So, the EcoDiesel engines are diesel engines first used in the RAM 1500 and Jeep Grand Cherokee way back in 2014.
However, the production of EcoDiesel machines started in 2011, but the production for the 3.0 EcoDiesel is in 2014.
In 2015, 20% of the RAM 1500s were equipped with the EcoDiesel engine. These vehicles are amongst sold in North America.
FCA or the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles used two different engine names. The first one is the VM Motori A630 DOHC 3.0L, the North American variant, and the L 630 engine, which is for European Markets – both are basically the 3.0 EcoDiesel.
The latter is used in the RAM and Grand Cherokee trucks. The other engine is the Fiat 3.0 diesel used in the Ram ProMaster.
Though the Chrysler 3.0 EcoDiesel began its production in early 2011, the development did not stop there. FCA, its creator, delivered updates, the most recent in 2020 when they left out the Grand Cherokee in their arsenal but got a new look in the fifth-generation 2020 MY RAM 1500.
The engine got an excellent revision and updates to give more power and torque.
By the numbers, the 3.0 EcoDiesel engine is a torque-dominant engine, almost double the horsepower it produces. With that, the 3.0 EcoDiesel is a perfect fit application for torque-demanding activities like towing, dirt, off-road, and other stuff you can use torque.
Engine Specifications and Design:
- Production Run: 2011 – Present
- Cylinder Head Material: Aluminum
- Cylinder Block Material: Compacted Graphite Iron
- Configuration: V6
- Bore: 83.0 mm
- Stroke: 92.0 mm
- Valvetrain: DOHC four valves per cylinder
- Displacement: 3.0 L (2987 cc)
- Compression Ratio: 16.5 and 16.0
- Weight: 485 lbs.
- Maximum HP: 260 HP at 3,600 RPM
- Maximum Torque: 480 lb-ft at 1,600 – 2,000 RPM
Lets take a look at the inside of the 3.0L EcoDiesel!
1. Cylinder Block
The most common and famous applications of the Chrysler 3.0 EcoDiesel engines are Jeep Grand Cherokee, Jeep Wrangler, and RAM 1500 trucks. These guys are heavy-duty trucks and do things easily at their own pace.
The owner must be proud to have an engine only applied to several vehicles because it gives the “rare: vibe kind of feel. It is exhilarating.
Let’s proceed with the engine design of the truck.
Despite the large body size of these trucks, the engine is lighter relative to their weights, and also, if you compare it to other truck engines, it will still be lighter and even at face value. This is because of the CGI blocks.
CGI blocks or Compacted Graphite Iron blocks are solid and compact but light. It is also sturdy and can absorb large units of pressure and cycles even at a lighter weight.
Many believe that if you have a heavier vehicle, you must use a heavy block to equalize the weight disparity. But, that does not hold true for these trucks though.
In addition to that, cast-iron blocks are inferior in terms of strength and durability compared to the CGI blocks. This is due to the added bedplate fastened by eight 12-mm bolts and 14-mm bolts for the main.
Inside the engine are a forged steel crankshaft, cast aluminum pistons, and cast-iron connecting rods. These internals are reliable and can contain vast amounts of pressure inside the engine.
Further, each cylinder has an oil squirter dedicated to spraying oil into the piston to regulate the temperature. It is important to regulate the heat to avoid unnecessary expansion causing too much friction during cycles.
3. Cylinder Head
The Chrysler 3.0 EcoDiesel has aluminum DOHC cylinder heads with four valves per cylinder – two for both intake and exhaust sides. Each of these valves is actuated by a roller-finger follower managed by a lobe on the camshaft.
The roller timing chain drives the camshafts linked to the exhaust camshaft. FCA equipped the 3.0 EcoDiesel with low voltage ceramic glow plugs in one for each cylinder to reduce emissions and quick starts.
4. Fuel Management
The Chrysler 3.0 EcoDiesel engine also features a high-pressure fuel injection system known as the MultiJet II. This kind of engine needs a high-pressure pump so that it can provide the necessary pressure to inject the fuel.
This technology introduced by Fiat can accommodate up to eight fuel-injection events per cycle due to the servo-valve injectors instead of the piezo injector counterparts.
As a result, the engine is more efficient, quiet, powerful, and lesser emissions.
We mentioned earlier that this engine needs a high-pressure pump. Well, that is true; Fiat tapped Bosch for the pump duties. The pump is mounted to the front engine and maintains 29,000 psi of fuel pressure in both fuel rails.
The exhaust camshaft drives the pump through a gear.
The Chrysler 3.0 EcoDiesel engine is equipped with a turbocharger. Its V6 configuration is heavily favored to have this enhancement because its raw power seems slightly lower than other V6 engines.
It is a gain for the engine because it is undoubtedly a field day for the 3.0 EcoDiesel when turbocharged.
Apart from that, the turbocharger is a water-cooled Garrett variable geometry turbocharger (VGT). The water-cooled centerpiece also works as a heat guard to prevent oil cooking and stretch the unit’s life.
The turbo is located in the back of the engine, in the engine valley. The charged air goes through the air-to-air intercooler.
You can say that the 3.0 EcoDiesel is a modern Diesel engine due to the screaming technologies it has – mostly is emissions reduction equipment.
The machine includes Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF), Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR), Diesel Oxidation Catalyst (DOC), water-cooled Exhaust Gas Recirculation, and Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF).
More Powerful and a Fresher Engine For a New Decade
The 3.0 EcoDiesel engine received an update in the recent decade transition. However, the Grand Jeep Cherokee would not witness the changes since it would no longer power the vehicle. These updates are primarily performance-based, such as better fuel efficiency, economy, and lower emissions.
Moreover, the 2020 3.0 EcoDiesel engine got new pistons with optimized piston bowl geometry, low-friction piston rings, and coated piston skirts. The cylinder heads are also restyled with optimized intake port geometry and the fuel injector nozzle size.
The variable geometry turbocharger was also revised and came with a new long slung intercooler. The low-pressure exhaust gas recirculation system is restyled and suited to pass the standards of the current emission standards used in the modern era.
The updated 3.0 EcoDiesel engine is 20 horsepower more powerful and an additional 60 lb-ft of torque as well.
Applications of Chrysler 3.0L EcoDiesel Engine:
- 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee 238 HP at 4,000 RPM and 406 lb-ft at 2,800 RPM
- 2012 Chrysler 300 – 236 HP at 4,000 RPM and 406 lb-ft at 2,800 RPM
- 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee 247 HP at 4,000 RPM and 420 lb-ft at 2,800 RPM
Engine Tuning, Potential, and Modifications
You have two options for the Chrysler 3.0 EcoDiesel engine – Tuning and Deleting. Since the engine is already turbocharged, the amount of power, I think, is already enough to compensate for the loss without it.
However, it is up to you if you want the turbocharger to be changed or added.
Certainly, the tuning you will receive in shops is emissions equipment because diesel engines are notorious for emissions. For the deletion, it is the reversal – but it can increase your horsepower.
Problems Surrounding Chrysler 3.0L EcoDiesel Engine:
Even though the engine is still young and has a lot of improvements to undergo, we will tackle some of its issues. This list is not conclusive and may vary depending on how you maintain the engine itself.
Improvements are made due to the problems arising from the engine, and the 3.0 EcoDiesel is not an exemption.
1. Exhaust Gas Recirculation Failure
The primary role of the EGR system is to recirculate the exhaust back into the combustion chamber and once again be burned. As a result, this reduces the amount of nitrogen oxide blown in the environment.
Since diesel engines produce high exhaust gas temperatures, FCA, in the form of the 3.0 EcoDiesel, equipped it with an EGR cooler. Cooling down exhaust gas air temperatures is vital to the intake system.
However, due to the high temperatures, the EGR cooler is susceptible to sustained heat. Cracking and deterioration are the common failures that EGR cooler faces. Hairline cracks from the EGR cooler may cause coolant leaks into the engine bay and cause fires.
Apart from the grave risk of EGR cracking, another critical aspect of the engine is also affected – the performance. A faulty EGR cooler may send back hot air going into the machine, resulting in engine overheat.
2. Faulty Oil Cooler
Oil is the lubricant inside the engine. It keeps the internal components running smoothly without any mess. It has a heavy workload because it maintains the proper lubrication and temperatures to prevent problems.
However, the problem is not the oil itself – though it can be if not quality oil. But the oil cooler.
Like the EGR cooler, an oil cooler keeps the temperature in check inside the block – internal components. If the oil temperature increases above the optimal temperature, the oil deteriorates and decreases its efficacy especially lubricating duties.
So, when the oil cooler fails, the engine coolant and engine oil mix together. When that happens, the whole cooling system is contaminated because oil and coolant are contradictory to each other.
It will expedite the wear and tear of the internal components.
3. Timing Chain Issues
The 3.0 EcoDiesel engine, though recently updated, uses the old-school timing chain to run the valve timing. The timing chain, however, is driven by the crankshaft and wraps around camshaft sprockets.
It controls the timing so that the exhaust and intake valves open and closes at the proper time. If the timing chain jumps teeth, the timing would be off and out of sync.
A singular bolt holds the gears on the exhaust side passenger in the 3.0 EcoDiesel engine. Under different processes and cycles, the heat and stress are caused by the continuous expansion and contraction of the metal, allowing the gears to slip.
Subsequently, the gear slips to the point that the pistons and exhaust valves collide with each other.
4. Exhaust Couplers Leak
The 2014 and 2015 3.0 EcoDiesel Ram trucks have issues with leaking exhaust couplers making the truck interior smell like diesel exhaust. The exhaust pipe in the turbo is connected to a flex pipe or coupler.
However, the coupler is much vulnerable and prone to cracking, causing an exhaust leak. Therefore, disseminating the exhaust fumes in the engine bay.
Further, the reason behind the leak is a poor method of manufacturing. Dodge issued a recall for the coupler and restyled the coupler in late 2014, thus the defective selective 2014 and 2015 year models.
Don’t worry because this issue commonly affects only the 4×2 Ram EcoDiesel models.
The young and upcoming truck engine of the FCA finally welcomed the new decade with a bang. Coming from the previous years with some issues, it has picked up itself and made a name for itself.
Its lightweight cylinder block combined with strong and reliable internals accommodated the truck’s turbocharging enhancements and heavy-load duties. It is also a torque-dominated engine which means it is ready for an adventurous ride whenever you feel like it.
With its tag price, it is a worthy price to pay. It can last hundreds of thousands of miles with proper maintenance and quality engine oil.