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PERA’s Core Corner
‘Call It In The Air...Heads!’
By Roy Berndt
(Chrysler 3.3/3.8, That Is)
Before the beginning of many sporting events there is a coin toss. After the referee gives instructions to each team he will throw a coin upward and the designated player has to "call it in the air."
Once that coin leaves the referee’s hand and floats through what seems like a long time you can never know the result until you see it. That is not entirely unlike what happens with the Chrysler 3.3L/3.8L OHV/V6 cylinder heads in the 2002 model year.
In 2001, there were many casting changes with both the 3.3L and the 3.8L engines, one of which included the cylinder head (for full details, look for the Chrysler Engine Tech Guide, coming in next month’s issue of Engine Builder). Besides changes to the combustion chamber, intake/exhaust ports and valves, there was a dramatic change to the cylinder head to provide exhaust port fed EGR or AIR (see Photo 1, page 20). The feed, however, is only from the left front cylinder of the engine as you can see from the exhaust port view in the same illustration. The right side cylinder head has a block-off plate and gasket over the EGR feed port flange (see Photo 2, page 20) since it is not used. The cylinder heads are the same for both sides.
The EGR port itself is an as-cast port and is not drilled or machined. The possibility of drilling and tapping the port for a pipe plug might be a thought to create a universal cylinder head, however, any plug that would be installed would have to go below the mounting flange surface.
You may ask why go to that trouble? During the 2002 model year production, a running change occurred that eliminated the use of the EGR feed port of the cylinder, hence a cylinder head without a port on the EGR flange as seen in Photo 3, page 20. This head may not have an EGR feed port, but you’ll notice the top bolt boss is used. So if an EGR ported head was plugged you could use a 2001, ported 2002 or 2004 cylinder head in a non-ported 2002 and 2003 application.
Did you catch that, the 2001, ported 2002 or 2004 head can be plugged and used in unported 2002-2003? That is correct – in model year 2004 the cylinder head once again has the ported flange just as 2001 and part of 2002. To add to the confusion, all of these cylinder heads carry the same casting number: c/n 04694688AA.
So, as I started to say in the beginning, with a 2002 model year 3.3/3.8L, OHV/V6 Chrysler application cylinder head, until you see the port configuration, you don’t really know which way to go, unless you have created a universal cylinder head with a plug for the end. For the right side – which never uses the EGR port – you can use a non-ported head, a plate block-off head or a universal created head with a plugged EGR port for all 2001-2004 model year engines. The left side will be open EGR port 2001, the first part of 2002 and 2004 model year, or a closed EGR port the later part of 2002 and all of 2003. If a universal head is created using a removable plug it would be advisable to provide an instructional tag indicating to remove the plug when EGR is being used. This type head could be used for all left side heads 2001-2004 model year.
On a personal note, Joe Polich, PERA’s Executive Vice President, has left to follow a life-long dream to woodsmith. The executive offices and management of the association are now contracted to the Automotive Parts Rebuilders Association (APRA), 14160 Newbrook Dr., Suite 210, Chantilly, VA 20151-2223; phone: 703-968-2878; fax: 703-968-2878. The SourcePERA research offices are still in Illinois at the same address and phone numbers. We will truly miss Joe, as much as we look forward to the new chapter in PERA. God speed Joe!