2016 Pentastar engine... worth considering?

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pfarber

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The oil filter on top is connected to the oil cooler plate system. This is a 3.6 Pentastar. This one is apart for the leaky filter housing/ oil cooler setup. Bad design with what looks like plastic epoxied plugs in the passages that fail with time and i'm sure petroleum contact like most epoxy. This is in a 2014 Charger awd vehicle. It's outside in the rain at the moment but tomorrow when its parts come and its back inside i'll put it on the lift and snap a few shots.
2014 is the old Pentastar. I'm specifically looking at the 3.2l post 2016 Pentastar. They are only used in one Jeep, the 2016+ Cherokee.
 

Quentin

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I sell Chrysler parts for a living. I can tell you our warehouse stocks around 30 of the 3.6 reman engines at any time. Probably sell 12 to 15 a month, mostly fleet and dealer to dealer sales. And I sell the oil cooler/oil filter adapters around 25 a month. Oil cooler is a weak spot, with at least one redesign. I sell every head I can lay my hands on as fast as I get them. Quit tracking them because they are so hard to get. I don't mind having one in my Jeep, since I know what to look for. (19 Wrangler) But I don't think I want one in my plane.
 

pfarber

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I sell Chrysler parts for a living. I can tell you our warehouse stocks around 30 of the 3.6 reman engines at any time. Probably sell 12 to 15 a month, mostly fleet and dealer to dealer sales. And I sell the oil cooler/oil filter adapters around 25 a month. Oil cooler is a weak spot, with at least one redesign. I sell every head I can lay my hands on as fast as I get them. Quit tracking them because they are so hard to get. I don't mind having one in my Jeep, since I know what to look for. (19 Wrangler) But I don't think I want one in my plane.
I read a bit about the oil filter leaking on the 3.6l but it seems like there is an aftermarket fix, or at least an easy to implement remedy. I've read that its either bad o-rings or cracked plastic housing.

The 3.2l is only on 1 or 2 models (the Cherokee and I think the Chrysler 200). I know the Pentastar would probably have a lot of plastic (that intake looks impressive, but all plastic) to save that precious weight.

Its still a 60deg v6 that's one of the lighter engines out there that will make 200hp. The 3.6's are a good option, but for the cost the 3.2 is, in my view, the better choice.
 

pfarber

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Pulled the trigger on a 2016 3.2l off ebay. low miles and comes with a harness and ECU.

Im aware of the oil filter issue and will take a serious look at it once it arrives. There seems to have been a redesign of the cooler/filter that alleviates some of the issues. But it still seems to be happening.
 

pfarber

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Just got a call from the auto recycler about the engine.

$503 delivered. Its basically the entire engine with the alternator and harness. No ECU, starter or AC. It is has the 'improved' oil cooler/filter assembly.

Not sure if I'll go aftermarket EFI or stock. ECUs after 2014 need decrypting ($200-ish) and a programmer (HP Tune) is another $300 + $100 in keys. I might be able to run an early ECU since there is no BCM to talk to about security.

Pentastar tuners are out there, but none seem to be doing stand alone ECUs like the LS/LV tuners.

Once it arrives I'll post mostly on the web site for my BD-4 build but will update here on significant milestones.

Its gonna be a fun summer.
 

pfarber

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Just found a way to add 20-ish HP to the stock motor for about $200. Port the throttle body and swap out the intake. Dyno'd engines pull anywhere from 12-18 more HP. All it does is improve intake CFM. No change in PCM needed. So at 5500 RPM I should be making well over 200hp. 2.04 reduction drive gets me to just under 2700 prop RPM.

Electric water pump is doable but not will require an inline pump. Will look at this closer when the motor arrives.

Gotta get a web site set up to start tracking progress.
 

pfarber

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I've found three articles that have put pentastar engines in (basically) a standalone mode (no BCM/ABS).

Verified that security can be disabled (no SKIM module) and the ECU can be put into a 'manual transmission' mode that negates almost all wheel sensors and speed sensors.

If they can put a 2016 3.8l in a 68 muscle car then bolting it to an airplane is just the next step.

300kg crane scale arrived today so I can get some weights. Will try and get some preliminary numbers for weight this week. Its just to darn cold to be in the garage this week.
 

xwing

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pfarber

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looking into this engine....
https://www.motorreviewer.com/engine.php?engine_id=167

dunno about plastic intakes these days, there were lotsa cracking/leak issues when they first came out ~ 2000

VVT also acts up, more parts, solenoids etc & maintenance can be a total pia

.....led to what's next
https://www.motorreviewer.com/engine.php?engine_id=168
Plastic intakes have been around for a long time and I have read no issues about problems. 2000 was a LONG time ago. And a car company operates at pace that quickly corrects any issues. The NHTSA will recall a car for any number of reasons, all at the company's expense. That's a HUGE reason to iterate designs quickly to improve a product. The FAA allows GA manufactures, through AD's, to shift ALL maintenance costs to the owner. GA engine manufacturers have ZERO reason to improve the product.

The weight savings of a plastic vs aluminum intake is huge. And replacements are cheap. If it becomes an issue in an E/AB it will be addressed, but right now I have not read anything bad about them on the Pentastar.
 

xwing

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did a quick search 'pentastar plastic intake''
https://dodgeforum.com/forum/jeeps/374968-serious-oil-leak-issue-2014-3-6l-3-2l-pentastar.html
I had a major oil leak, and when I took it in, the dealer replaced part number 68105583AA , which is the oil filter adapter. It is a molded plastic part that sits on top of the engine in the valley of the V, under the intake manifold, and which contains the oil filter cartridge, the oil cooler and oil and coolant passages.
article 2016
https://www.underhoodservice.com/plastic-intake-manifold-leaks/

Hate when pulling a plug ..only involves..
Only the upper intake manifold would need to come off to get to the spark plugs, so you get to avoid the potential mess of disconnecting the fuel line.
https://www.wranglerforum.com/f202/removing-the-intake-manifold-on-the-pentastar-3-6-a-952865.html#post14421034
 
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Angusnofangus

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pfarber

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Sure sounds like a POS to me after reading a bunch of posts in the Dodge forum.
You do know that Lycoming engines had an AD for a crankshaft that would fail. And not to mention the cam shaft issue, and lifters.

Sounds like certified engines are garbage, yet people still pay top dollar for them.

The oil filter on the Pentastar? Its been fixed. Now will there be some retard that tried to tighten the plastic oil filter cap with a 6 foot cheater bar? Yeah, you can't stop stupid.

With the required annual condition inspection this means every year, to be legal, the engine has to be examined. Now as the builder, its up to me to create that list of items (as well as incorporate the minimums in FARs).

So no, its not a huge deal. Its not even a detriment. A car motor in an airplane will be maintained at a level that a typical car motor would never, ever see.

And you also have to consider that many jeeps go off road. So that additional abuse. While a Jeep may have a history of being an off road vehicle (my 1942 Ford GPW was, in fact, a BEAST off road) you also have to consider the mods and abuse that people on an off roading incurs.

Also, if you read some of the mods on the last forum.. one guy added a turbo to his 3.6l. Forums are great sources of info.. with a grain of salt.
 

Angusnofangus

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You do know that Lycoming engines had an AD for a crankshaft that would fail. And not to mention the cam shaft issue, and lifters.

Sounds like certified engines are garbage, yet people still pay top dollar for them.

The oil filter on the Pentastar? Its been fixed. Now will there be some retard that tried to tighten the plastic oil filter cap with a 6 foot cheater bar? Yeah, you can't stop stupid.

With the required annual condition inspection this means every year, to be legal, the engine has to be examined. Now as the builder, its up to me to create that list of items (as well as incorporate the minimums in FARs).

So no, its not a huge deal. Its not even a detriment. A car motor in an airplane will be maintained at a level that a typical car motor would never, ever see.

And you also have to consider that many jeeps go off road. So that additional abuse. While a Jeep may have a history of being an off road vehicle (my 1942 Ford GPW was, in fact, a BEAST off road) you also have to consider the mods and abuse that people on an off roading incurs.

Also, if you read some of the mods on the last forum.. one guy added a turbo to his 3.6l. Forums are great sources of info.. with a grain of salt.
All I can say is good luck to that. Not sure what going off road has to do with airplane usage. But, hey, go for it.
 

BJC

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pf:

Have you considered starting a build thread on your engine conversion?

It would be interesting to follow along.

BJC
 

Chris Matheny

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From seeing your posts on other forums I noticed you had an interest in the honda J35 series of engine but have apparently decided otherwise. What was your reasoning for discounting that engine? I have one here and weighed it today and with complete with oil and coolant still in it it came to 320# on my scale. I really like the design and know of several places I could shed weight off of it easily. The only downside I feel would be the timing belt system but there are some really high quality parts available for that area now days. Just curious why the Pentastar over the J series?
 

Bradsopex

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On the wiring harness, no OEM wiring harness is really fit for aviation use. In aviation they are subject to a lot more vibration, and the connectors aren't great for it. My advice would be to go standalone EFI (Megasquirt would work well) to minimize sensors and use aviation grade connectors where able.

Chris, Honda engines are great car engines, but I would never use one for an aircraft. They use an open deck design that has the cylinder walls separated from the block to allow coolant to pass, and with the temperature variances we see in aviation would cause a number of issues (which is why you would never see me run a Viking).
 

Chris Matheny

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Chris, Honda engines are great car engines, but I would never use one for an aircraft. They use an open deck design that has the cylinder walls separated from the block to allow coolant to pass, and with the temperature variances we see in aviation would cause a number of issues (which is why you would never see me run a Viking).
The open deck design is an easy one to remedy with darton MID system liners (if that's your issue). Most all engines are mad that way these days, even the high boosted turbocharged engines that the OEM's are producing. The advantage I have seen in the design is that the load from the head studs or bolts is placed well away from the deck surface so bores can stay round under pressure and lower oil consumption, lessen oil contamination lowering LSPI events that cause a lot of the damage.
 
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Bradsopex

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True, there are sleeves and whatnot. Back in the day when I screwed around fixing up Civics I remember some sort of "plate" that fit between the block and cylinder walls to prevent any wobble. Not sure if those are still a thing. We boosted D series engines, some worked, some didn't.

The one good thing is they will run no matter what. There was a video floating around of some guys replacing the oil with straight water while redlining a D series engine and it took like 5 minutes to finally start failing.
 
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