Chrysler 3.7L V6 Powertech: Everything You Need To Know

In 2011, a newcomer came to town to take the place of a 3.7L Powertech engine. That newcomer impressed the former engine and eventually took a step back to allow enthusiasts to experience what that engine can offer.

The lack of engine power and fuel economy pushed Chrysler to set aside the older 3.7L Powertech.

The engine that replaced the 3.7L Powertech is the 3.6L Pentastar. This engine is way more advanced, efficient, and reliable compared to the 3.7L Powertech engine. However, the 3.7L Powertech has been the mainstay engine of Chrysler for their trucks for a decade – from 2002 to 2012.

Many Dodge Ram trucks and Mid-size Jeep trucks reap the benefits of having the 3.7L Powertech engine as their source of power. 

But, what makes the 3.7L Powertech engine different? 

What are Chrysler 3.7L V6 Powertech Engines?

The Chrysler 3.7 V6 Powertech engine, more commonly known as the 3.7 EKG, stems from the initial development of the American Motors Corporation. The engines debuted in early 1998 and put the credits under Chrysler since AMC was a lone automaker prior to joining Chrysler.

The Powertech engines are also fresh engines for the Chrysler lineup after the long drought since the 1960s. 

The Powertech engine offers different displacements and capacities – 3.7, 4.0, and 4.7 in V6 and V8 configurations.

The initial engine released bearing the Powertech badge is the 4.7 V8 that was installed in the Jeep Grand Cherokee in 2002 alongside the 3.7 V6 version for the Jeep Liberty. 

Powertech engines are produced and assembled at the Mack Avenue Engine Complex in Detroit, Michigan. 

So, go with the 3.7 Powertech engine. This engine was released together with the 4.7 L Powertech. It was also built in Detroit and had a 3.7 Liter capacity. Capable of delivering 210 HP and 235 lb-ft of torque in mid-range RPM levels. 

Further, the engine features a SOHC design with two-valve heads and employs a counter-rotating balance shaft placed between the cylinder banks to reduce vibrations in a V6 configuration. 

Engine Specifications and Design:

  • Production Run: 2010 – Present
  • Cylinder Head Material: Aluminum
  • Cylinder Block Material: Cast-iron
  • Configuration: V6
  • Bore: 93.0 mm
  • Stroke: 90.7mm
  • Valvetrain: DOHC two valves per cylinder
  • Displacement: 3.7 L (3701 cc)
  • Compression Ratio: 9.8 and 9.7Weight: 360 lbs. 
  • Maximum HP: 210 HP at 5,200 RPM
  • Maximum Torque: 235 lb-ft at 4,000 RPM

Engine Design

Let’s take a look inside the engine!

Cylinder Block

The 3.7 Powertech engine cylinder block is made from cast iron, the usual material for blocks. As we illustrate, the 3.7 V6 is almost identical to the 4.7 V8 version minus the two cylinders, but they share most of the features and the design. 

The cylinder banks have a 90-degree angle between each other in a ‘V’ configuration. Chrysler added a 30-degree split pin crankshaft to achieve an even firing because V6 engines with a 90-degree design have troubles with the crankshafts.

That is why the crankshaft was designed in the form of V8s. 

Moreover, a gear-driven counter-rotating balance shaft is mounted between the banks to reduce vibrations. The internals, such as the connecting rods, are made from forged powder metal and lightweight aluminum pistons. 

Cylinder Head

The cylinder heads feature two valves per cylinder with a single overhead camshaft design on each cylinder bank driven by its own timing chain. Centrally-located spark plugs are deliberately placed to efficiently burn the fuel resulting in better engine performance.

The cylinder heads are also insulated with stamped steel cylinder head covers for added heat guard. 

The cams through roller rocker arms actuate the intake and exhaust valves equipped with hydraulic valve clearance adjusters. Chrysler made the intake manifold in a tripartite section mace out of lightweight composite material and has its own tuned runners for each cylinder, shorter than those of the 4.7L engine. 

Two knock sensors under the intake manifold manage the prevention of pre-ignition. The 3.7 Powertech engine uses electronically controlled sequential fuel injection and electronic ignition. 

One more revision before the eventual exit

In 2005, the 3.7 Powertech engine received a revision regarding the compression rating from 9.8 to 9.7. Apart from that, other improvements include reshaped combustion chambers, new piston rings, a new cam profile, and plastic cylinder head covers.

The prior year, in 2004, the manufacturer switched from the JTEC ECU to NGC ECU that controls an automatic transmission.

The latest update of the engine was made in 2007, which included an EGR installation as well as an electronic throttle body. 

Applications of the Chrysler 3.7 Powertech Engine: 

  • 2011- 2012 Ram 1500
  • 2002 – 2010 Dodge Ram 1500
  • 2004 – 2009 Dodge Durango
  • 2007 – 2011 Dodge Nitro
  • 2004 – 2011 Dodge Dakota
  • 2002 – 2012 Jeep Liberty
  • 2006 – 2010 Mitsubishi Raider
  • 2005 – 2010 Jeep Grand Cherokee
  • 2006 – 2010 Jeep Commander
  • 2002 Dodge M80

Engine Tuning, Potential, and Upgrades

You have options in upgrading or making your engine more powerful. There are aftermarket tuners available that are customizable depending on your build. Some owners tune their engines for added torque and power at lower RPM.

That means that it has a wide range of power bands without the need for high fuel consumption. 

Problems Surrounding Chrysler 3.7L Powertech Engine:

Since the production of the Powertech engines, the upgrades and revisions made to the engines to make them more efficient, reliable, and economical are also guided throughout the process.

This engine has been for more than a decade now, and some are recurring issues due to age, mileage, as well as external factors of maintenance and care. 

The issues may vary from owner to owner, but here are some of the common problems that you might encounter: 

1. Low Compression

The primary culprit and cause of this issue are the valve seats. Valve seats are located in the cylinder head and seal the intake and exhaust valves when off. Since there are only two valves per cylinder in the 3.7 Magnum, the head rests on the valve seat when one of the valves is closed. 

Valve seat failure may affect the supposed to be airtight valves. When that happens, the airtight seal will be broken, making it hard for cylinder compression.

When a cylinder has low compression or is under the rating, air will leak out of the cylinder, causing the compression to be ineffective and may negatively affect the performance of the engine.

Other serious engine complications might follow if not immediately solved. 

2. Excessive Heat

Anything inside the engine that produces heat more than the optimal rating may result negatively. It is evident in this issue. The 3.7 Magnum has an odd ring land design that causes excessive heat within the engine.

These ring lands make an airtight seal against the cylinder wall. 

Further, even though the engine has small oil drain holes, it does not alleviate the problem; but otherwise. You know what happens when you have high heat inside the engine. Oil leaks, oil deterioration, and many more.

Other ramifications of excessive heat include the failure of internal components such as pistons, heads, and valves due to the lack of lubrication. 

The tanks, hoses, radiators, etc., may also develop some leaks because of this. 

3. Oil leaks due to Positive Crankcase Ventilation Failure

The Chrysler 3.7 Powertech engine has a PCV valve. This valve is responsible for releasing excess gases that may go into the crankcase. So, basically, it works like a regulator. 

Naturally, the engine produced waste gases when after combustion. These gases go through the exhaust system before it goes into the air. Some of these gasses get trapped and go into the crankcase. 

When that happens, the gasses trapped in the crankcase will make the oil sludgy, leading to oil leaks throughout the engine. 

4. Stuck Lash Adjusters

Since the 3.7 Powertech engine is designed as a single overhead cam, it does not have lifters. But, the 3.7 V6 has hydraulic valve lash adjusters that work like the traditional lifters. 

These lash adjusters are placed in the cylinder head and manage the clearance between the cam follower and the valve. The ideal clearance is zero, contrary to the traditional lifters, which requires a little bit. 

However, in 3.7 Powertech engines, the lash adjusters have a problem; they sometimes become stuck mainly because of oil issues. Suppose you notice that your oil is too thick or it for you a long time to change it, lash adjusters become stuck.

When that happens, it will cause major performance issues. 

Summary

The Chrysler 3.7 EGK, 3.7 Magnum, or the 3.7 Powertech engine, though it has multiple names or alias, does not change the fact that this engine is recognizable. It was solidly built to power the early days of the truck when they were still rising to the top. 

Chrysler managed to keep the engine afloat despite some issues lurking behind those powerful blocks. Unfortunately, we will no longer witness more of this engine. But, on the final note, the reliability.

The durability and performance of the engine are top-notch. The only thing that affects the reputation of the engine is the emissions, fuel consumption, and vibrations that come with it. 

Apart from that, the engine is powerful and great. 

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