Rebuilding Chrysler's 'Revived' Engine Family - Engine Builder Magazine

Rebuilding Chrysler’s ‘Revived’ Engine Family

Casting numbers, VIN codes, components and processes to rebuild/remanufacture these engines are compiled for Chrysler’s newly revised engine family including 4 cylinders, V6s and V8s

Chrysler made some major changes in their engine line-up starting in ’07. They replaced their four cylinder engines in everything but the PT Cruiser in ’07, updated the 4.7L V8 in ’08, added variable valve timing to the Hemi in ’09 and replaced their V6 motors with a new 3.6L DOHC beginning in ’10, so all of their engines were either new or improved by 2013. With that in mind, here’s an overview of all the changes they made along with some detailed information on a couple of them that we haven’t discussed before including the 4.0L SOHC V6 and the dual plug 4.7L. Let’s start with their four cylinder engines.

Chrysler teamed up with Mitsubishi and Hyundai to design a whole new family of four cylinder engines that were used by all three companies, although each one modified the basic engine design to fit their needs. They created the Global Engine Manufacturing Alliance with five factories in the US, Japan and Korea that built about 2,000,000 engines a year. These were usually called the “GEMA” motors by people in the industry, but Chrysler named theirs the “World Engines” and installed them in most of their front wheel drive vehicles beginning in ’07.

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There were three different engines in this family including a 1.8L, a 2.0L and a 2.4L with an aluminum block along with an aluminum DOHC head that had “dual electro-hydraulic VVT” on both the intake and exhaust cams. They all had a crank driven module inside the pan that incorporated the oil pump and two counter-rotating balance shafts, too.

There weren’t very many of the 1.8L motors built because they were only available in the base model of the ’07-’09 Caliber that usually came with the optional 2.0L that was standard in the small 2WD Jeeps. The most popular “World Engine” was the 2.4L that was installed in all of their mid-sized cars along with the 4×4 Jeep Compass and Patriot. There were a few of the turbo 2.4L motors  installed in the  Caliber SRT-4 in ’08-’09, but they were pretty rare. These “World Engines” were often criticized because they were a bit rough and noisy and they didn’t make much power at the low end, but they were cheaper to build than the original 2.0L/2.4L motors and they got better fuel economy, so Chrysler was happy with them for awhile.

The chart on below includes the applications, dates and VIN codes we found for each engine.

Chrysler ‘World Engines’

1.8L    Caliber                     ’07-’09        ’07-’09/C

2.0L    Caliber                     ’07-’12        ’07-’08/B  ’09-’12/A

Compass (4×2)        ’07-’12        ’07-’08/O  ’09-’12/A

Patriot (4×2)            ’07-’12        ’07-’08/O  ’09-’12/A

2.4L    Sebring                   ’07-’10         ’07-’08/K  ’09-’10/B

Chrysler 200            ’11-’12         ’11-’12/B

Caliber R/T              ’07-’12          ’07-’08/K  ’09-’12/B

Compass                 ’07-’12          ’07-’08/W ’09-’12/B

Patriot                      ’07-’12          ’07-’08/W ’09-’12/B

Journey                     ’07-’12          ’07-’08/K  ’09-’12/B

Avenger                    ’08-’12          ’08/K          ’09-’12/B

Caliber SRT-4           ’08-’09          ’08-’09/F

Chrysler teamed up with Mitsubishi and Hyundai to design a whole new family of four cylinder engines that were used by all three companies. These were usually called the “GEMA” motors by people in the industry, but Chrysler named theirs the “World Engines” and installed them in most of their front wheel drive vehicles beginning in ’07. 

This is our best take on these engines based on the information we found in a variety of sources that didn’t always agree, so consider it an overview and proceed with caution. We have included it to make sure you know about the “World Engines” that replaced the Chrysler-built 2.0L and 2.4L motors in everything but the PT Cruiser beginning in ’07 (Chrysler continued to use their old 2.4L motor in the PT through ’10).

Rebuilding the GEMA motors at a reasonable cost may be a challenge because the parts, including the balance shaft/oil pump module that has to be replaced because it can’t be rebuilt (you can’t even take it apart), are pretty expensive. Chrysler and Hyundai have better access to parts and cores than we do and they’re both selling their rebuilt GEMA engines for around $3,000, so that’s probably a pretty good benchmark to keep in mind. I personally know of one rental car company that spent nearly $5,000 apiece to install five of the remanufactured 2.4L engines in some 2011 Hyundai Sonatas that ended up with the wrong oil filters. That makes me wonder how many customers will be in the market for one of these engines when the time comes.

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But that’s not the end of the story for the four cylinder motors.  Chrysler bought out their partners in the Global Alliance in September of ’09 and announced that they were going to replace their GEMA engines with a new family of four cylinders that would be better than the existing engines and incorporate the latest technology from Fiat.

They’re replacing the 1.8L with either a 1.4L or a 1.8L from Fiat, but they’ve updated their 2.0L and 2.4L with a die-cast aluminum block that has a cast iron bedplate along with a new head that has roller cam followers and comes with a sophisticated intake manifold. Both of these Chrysler engines will have four valves per cylinder, but the 2.4L will be a SOHC motor that incorporates the Fiat “MultiAir variable-valve timing technology” for the first time in a Chrysler-built engine.

This next generation of their World Gas Engines – called the “Tigershark” family – will be installed in the new Dodge Dart in 2013, but the 2.4L engine is scheduled for “late introduction” so we haven’t seen any of them yet. All the rest of their front wheel drive cars and the mini-sport utilities will continue to use the existing 2.0L and 2.4L “World Engines” through 2013.

V6 Engine Modifications

Chrysler made another major change in their engine program with the introduction of the new 3.6L aluminum DOHC “Pentastar” motor in 2010. It replaced all six of their existing V6 engines including the 2.7L, 3.3L, 3.5L, 3.7L, 3.8L and the 4.0L in all of their cars and trucks by the end of 2012. We knew that all of these existing engines were “lame ducks,” but we didn’t know exactly when they were replaced or what might have been changed since our last update in ’07, so we spent a lot of time in the Hollander manual, Mitchell Online and the Chrysler parts book to come up with some answers. With that in mind, let’s take a look at them, one at a time, starting with the 2.7L V6:

  • The 2.7L/167 CID DOHC engine was used up through 2010. The VIN was changed from ‘R’ or ‘T’ to ‘D’ in ’09 and ’10, but the engine was pretty much the same.
  • The block that was modified for starter clearance in ’01 was used up through ’10 along with the new “lightweight” head castings that came out in ’06.  You can identify the lightweight heads visually or by the 4892064AA/4892068AA casting numbers. There’s only one difference in the engine after ’07: Chrysler changed the width of the primary chain and used two link chains instead of the roller chains to drive the intake cams beginning in ’09 or ’10, but we don’t know exactly when they made the change because they’ve superseded all of the original timing sets to the later design that requires new gears and chains along with all four cams and a different water pump. The bad news is that none of these late model timing components are available in the aftermarket, so you better make friends with your Chrysler dealer if you decide to rebuild one of these engines with all the latest parts.
  • The 3.3L/201 CID OHV engine was used in the minivans up through ’10 before it was discontinued.  The VIN code was changed to an ‘E’ in ’09 and ’10. This engine got new heads in ’01 and a new block casting (4666031AB) in ’07, but nothing was changed after that so the engine stayed the same up through ’10.
  • The 3.5L/215 CID SOHC engine was used in both the front and rear wheel drive cars up through ’10. The VIN codes can be a little confusing in ’09-’10 because the FWD cars were a VIN ‘V’, just like the RWD cars, even though the engines weren’t interchangeable.The long block remained the same as an assembly, but the short block had new, heavy duty, forged steel rods that had a cracked cap and a tapered small end that used a unique pin bushing. The piston was changed to a lightweight design that helped offset the additional weight of the new rod, so the combined weight of the early and late piston/rod assemblies is nearly the same. Knowing that allowed us to use the early rods and pistons in the later engines until DNJ began supplying the late, lightweight piston. The bad news is that there aren’t any pin bushings available for either rod, so we’re having them made for both applications.
  • The 3.7L/226 CID SOHC motor was used up through ’11 in the Dodge Dakota and the Nitro and up through ’12 in the Jeep Liberty and the Dodge pickups. It was always identified as a VIN ‘K’ from ’02 thru ’12.The 3.7L used the same short block from ‘02 through ’12 except for the change to the NGC tone ring in ’04. The heads got new kidney–shaped chambers in ’05 and EGR was added to the left head in ’07, so there’s a 53020984AC head casting on the right side and a 530200983AD casting WITH EGR on the left side. Nothing was changed after that, so the ’07 version of this engine that came with the NGC short block and the lightweight heads that had EGR on the driver’s side was used for everything up through ’12.
  • The 3.8L/231 CID OHV pushrod engine was used in the minivans through ’10 and installed in the Ram Cargo Vans (minivans without windows) along with the Jeep Wrangler up through 2011 before it was replaced by the new 3.6L Pentastar engine. Watch out for the VIN codes when selling one of these engines, because they vary from year to year and both the front and rear wheel drive applications share the same VIN code in ’10. The Wrangler was always a VIN ‘1’, but the minivan was an ‘L’ in ’07, a ‘P’ in ’08-’09 and a ‘1’ in 2010.
  • The 3.8L was usually updated when the 3.3L was revised because they’re both part of the same family, so the 3.8L got the new heads in ’01 and the 4666031AB block casting with the extra bolt holes for the RWD Wrangler in ’07. Nothing was changed after that, so the same long block was used for everything up through ’11, although the complete engine assemblies came with different pans and front covers, depending on the application.
  • The 4.0L/241 CID SOHC is the last V6 motor on our list. It’s a stroked version of the 3.5L so they share a lot of common parts, but there are some important differences, too. The 4.0L showed up in the Pacifica Limited and Touring editions along with the Dodge Nitro R/T in ’07 and it was used in the Chrysler Limited minivans from ’08 through ’10. The new 3.6L Pentastar engine replaced the 4.0L in everything except a few of the Dodge Nitros in 2011. Be careful when cataloging these engines, because the VIN codes overlap again. The FWD applications were always a VIN ‘X’, but the RWD Nitro that was a VIN ‘6’ in ’07 and ’08 became a VIN ‘X’ from ’09 through ’11. That can create a problem if you sell an engine based on the VIN code without knowing the application, because they have different front covers so they’re not interchangeable.
  • It took us a while to figure out how to catalog the 4.0L engines because Chrysler says there are four different short blocks including early and late versions of both the front and rear wheel drive motors, but there’s actually only one short block along with two long blocks. Chrysler changed the oil coolers and the pans on all the 4.0L motors in ’09, so they have to list the early and late part numbers for both applications because they include the oil pan with all of their short blocks.

With that in mind, here’s what you need to know about these engines in order to rebuild them.

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