We will answer the following questions:
- What boost kits are available on these 3.6 Pentastar motors?
- Are there any upgrades or pre-boost modifications you should do before fitting a turbo or supercharger?
- In what order should you do the upgrades to get the most bang for your buck?
- What kind of power can we expect?
Table of Contents
How To Get More Power Out of a 3.6 Pentastar (Performance Upgrades)
Before you drop a load on upgrades that will return minimum performance gains, let’s first look at the top 5 things you can do to increase the HP on the 3.6. before you go Supercharged
Below is a brief overview of each item and its role in enhancing vehicle performance.
|Cold Air Intake
|An enthusiastic reference to forced induction systems, such as turbochargers or superchargers, increase air intake to the engine, resulting in a substantial power boost.
|Essential components that provide traction and stability to a vehicle, influencing overall performance, handling, and safety on various road and off-road surfaces.
|Catback Exhaust System
|An aftermarket exhaust system that replaces the stock exhaust from the catalytic converter back. It may claim a horsepower increase of 10-18, enhancing engine efficiency and sound.
|Components responsible for providing the spark needed to ignite the air-fuel mixture in the engine cylinders, improving combustion efficiency and potentially increasing power.
|A personalized adjustment to a vehicle’s engine control unit (ECU) settings, optimizing parameters like fuel delivery and ignition timing for enhanced performance and efficiency.
|An enthusiastic reference to forced induction systems, such as turbochargers or superchargers, that increases air intake to the engine, resulting in a substantial power boost.
Cold Air Intake
Cold air intake is a very debatable performance addition. Some hate it, others love it. Whatever the case may be, your 3.6 will sound insane! Even if it’s just for an audio upgrade, it’s a worthwhile upgrade and doesn’t cost you much in terms of upgrade costs these days.
If you are a pro C.A.I. guy, then at least make sure you get the enclosed setup to avoid sucking in all the hot engine air. If this modification is done correctly, the Cold Air Intake mod is an inexpensive one that should release a few extra ponies and put a smile on that dial.
When you think of performance mods, somehow big tires don’t spring to mind immediately. Your rubber is one of the most important mods you’ll do. This should also be one of the first upgrades you do since power without handling is useless, as well as dangerous.
You want to bridle those horses in the best way possible. More about that here: Biggest tire you can fit on a Stock Jeep Wrangler
You can choose to simply change out the mufflers or do a complete system upgrade from the Catalytic converter to the back. Either way, the exhaust system upgrade should be high on your list.
The purpose of a bigger diameter exhaust is to decrease the backpressure after you’ve done a few modifications to increase the HP. This is important to avoid restricting the flow of exhaust gases too much.
However, If your engine is factory stock, without any other modifications, you might not get the full potential from the Cat-back upgrade just yet.
It is only once you start doing CAI, tunes, and other performance modifications that the CAT-back mod will come into its own, since the back pressure on your system won’t be too high or restrictive, therefore allowing for additional power. Besides, it sounds incredible!
Upgrading to high-output Ignition coils is a modification that returns better gas mileage and improved performance. Performance/Upgraded coils are a direct swap to all 3.6 Mopar Cars, Trucks, and Jeeps and will be a nice improvement over the stock factory coil packs.
How Do They Work?
Well, most conventional (petrol)/gas engines have ignition coils. The coils or coil packs sit above the cylinders and provide the spark energy in the combustion chamber by igniting the fuel and air mixture, creating an explosion, and ultimately creating the HP, which is sent through the drivetrain, and finally to the wheels.
Coil packs are fairly reliable components and seldom fail. So why change them?
- By increasing the spark with a high-output ignition coil, you essentially provide more spark energy to the spark plug and into the combustion chamber, resulting in a more efficient combustion process.
- When the energy in the combustion chamber is increased, your HP is essentially increased across the entire (RPM) rev range.
- This results in a more responsive throttle and more fuel-efficient vehicle.
Custom tunes will extract more reliable HP than straightforward canned tunes. Make sure you go to a specialist. Preferably somebody who has done this tune on a 3.6 and knows what they’re doing. Like the experienced guys over at RIPP!
NB: Always make sure the vehicle is dyno-tuned before and afterward to see the actual BHP readings on the wheels. They are slightly more pricey, but it’s a worthwhile expense. You’ll see exactly where your money went and you’ll get a completely customized tune for your specific vehicle.
This is an insane upgrade if you have deeper pockets. Wow, simply slapping on a supercharger, without even doing any of the above mods will give on average, 330 RW BHP and about 440 BHP at the crank. Performance tuners even claim the 3.6 has proven to be stronger than the V8 once supercharged!!!!
How Much HP Can a 3.6 Pentastar Handle
Just how much is enough? Well, some say it’s not about the figures, but how the vehicle puts the available power to the ground. Also, the transmission shifts and utilizes the available power, and that’s where your tune comes in.
Based on the averages being thrown around online, it appears you can get anything between 25 and 25 extra BHP from just a CAI + CATBACK + TUNE.
- Once you start messing with headers etc that figure increases to 35-45 additional BHP As seen above.
- Slapping on a supercharger on a stock 3.6, there is a gain of 200BHP
- Add some coil packs, a ported throttle body, and a few other bits and bobs and you’ll be well and truly in the 450+BHP zone.
How Much Boost Can a 3.6 Pentastar Handle
Reputable kit builders suggest that gaining 400+ RWHP is readily obtainable within safe boost levels.
The v6 Pentastar engine is quite a robust lump and was designed to handle various configurations. Off the line they are detuned quite a bit so extracting more HP isn’t a mammoth task. As was shown above on a stock Pentastar, simply slapping on a supercharger, increases the HP by over 200BHP without sacrificing reliability.
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