3.6 pentastar turbo kit Jeep

FCA 3.6 Pentastar Turbo Kit Guide

Chandler Stark

Meet Chandler

Chandler is an automotive expert with over a decade of experience working on and modifying cars. A couple of his favorites were his heavily modded 2016 Subaru WRX and his current 2020 VW Golf GTI. He’s also a big fan of American Muscle and automotive history. Chandler’s passion and knowledge of the automotive industry help him deliver high-quality, insightful content to TuningPro readers.

Chryslers 3.6L Pentastar engine delivers respectable power and performance from the factory. Simple bolt-on upgrades can deliver significant power gains. For those wanting to take things even further, turbo kits are able to push the engine to 400-700+ horsepower. In this guide, I discuss 3.6 Pentastar turbo kits along with power gains, engine limits, and some of the best kits available.

FCA 3.6 Pentastar Turbo Kit Basics

The 3.6 Pentastar is a 3.6 liter, naturally aspirated V6 engine. It uses an aluminum cylinder block and heads, and has variable valve timing as standard. From the factory, it makes 285-305 horsepower and 251-269 lb-ft of torque.

Since the Pentastar is a naturally aspirated engine, adding a turbo kit is no small feat. For a reliable 3.6 Pentastar turbo kit build, you will need at a minimum a new air intake, new exhaust manifolds, an intercooler, a downpipe, and a new exhaust to the cat-back. You will also need the turbocharger and all the piping to connect everything.

What makes things interesting on this particular engine is the exhaust manifold. The OEM V6 Pentastar exhaust manifolds are actually integrated into the cylinder heads. This means you can’t replace the exhaust manifold without also getting new cylinder heads. Most turbo builds will integrate the turbo manifold into the existing stock manifold, which is difficult fitment wise. 

Fitment is probably the single biggest issue to turbocharging the 3.6 Pentastar, as it is very difficult to fit a full turbo kit under the hood. For that reason, a 3.6 Pentastar supercharger kit is a very popular alternative for those who want boost. Still, if you are ambitious enough you can make a turbo work in most Pentastar V6 models, even if the fitment is tight. 

Turbo Horsepower Gains 

Now let’s talk about power gains. With a 3.6 Pentastar turbo kit upgrade, there have been cars making as much as 700 horsepower. This is a pretty significant power increase and is more than double even the most powerful stock version. You don’t have to go that big in terms of turbocharging, and chances are the stock block and internals will not hold up for long if you do (more on that below). 

There are both single and twin-turbo kits for the 3.6 Pentastar, and usually it’s the single turbo kits that will make the most horsepower. For example, Prodigy’s single-turbo kit makes up to 700 horsepower, while their twin-turbo kit makes closer to 600 horsepower. Single-turbo kits are also much easier to fit inside the engine bay, and will be less limited in terms of turbo size.

Both single or twin-turbo kits work, it all depends on your goals. A twin-turbo kit will probably offer a little better response initially, while the single-turbo kits will give you the biggest horsepower numbers. 

Pentastar Block and Internals Power Limits

Now the inevitable next question is how much power can the Pentastar cylinder block and internals (connecting rods, pistons, crankshaft, etc) take before failing. While there is no magical number, 450-500 horsepower is about the limits of the stock internals. At that stage, you will want to start thinking about forged pistons, rods, and head studs for reinforcement. 

The block is likely good well past that for another few hundred horsepower before seriously being jeopardized. However, most people who do go over 500-600 horsepower are either race teams with built engines or are using the larger HEMI V8 power plants. So you are in a bit of uncharted waters pushing that with the stock Pentastar.

How much boost can it handle?

Most tuners will keep boost on a stock 3.6 Pentastar to 12-13 PSI maximum. Above 14 PSI and cylinder pressure starts to become an issue, which means knocking and detonation. It is possible to go above 14 PSI, but usually it’s not done on a stock engine.

3.6 Pentastar Turbo Kit Supporting Mods

If you plan on boosting your 3.6 Pentastar with a turbo kit, there are a few supporting mods you’re going to want to take care of. In addition to the turbo kit itself, you’ll need to look at upgrading the fueling, potentially the internals, and also set up a tuning solution.

For fueling, you will want larger injectors and a bigger fuel pump to increase the fuel pressure. Without upgrading the fueling, your turbo kit will probably end up causing lean air-to-fuel ratios that will result in detonation and eventually destroy the engine. Internally, if you plan on going past 450-500 horsepower, you will need to upgrade the connecting rods and pistons, and add head studs. 

The final step will be setting up an engine management system for your turbo Pentastar. Without proper engine management, your ECU will have absolutely no idea how to handle the turbo kit. The engine will likely struggle to perform well at all, and might even throw itself into limp mode after it senses enough problems. You’ll also need engine management to turn off the various check engine lights associated with the new exhaust system. 

Best 3.6 Pentastar Turbo Upgrades

The best 3.6 Pentastar turbo kit upgrades are: 

  • Prodigy Twin-turbo kit
  • Prodigy Stage 2 turbo kit
  • On3 Performance turbo kit
3.6 Pentastar Turbo Kit Guide

1) Challenger and Charger Prodigy Twin-turbo Kit

First up on our list is the Prodigy twin-turbo kit for the 2015+ Dodge Challenger and Charger Pentastars. This is the only production turbo kit currently available for the 3.6 Pentastar powered Challenger and Chargers, and it is capable of some serious power. The kit is completely maintenance free and is designed to work with twin Precision Turbo ball-bearing, water-cooled turbos. 

With their twin-turbo setup, Prodigy was able to push out more than 500 wheel-horsepower out of their boosted Challenger. It was good for an 11 second ¼ mile at the track, which is a huge improvement over the high-14s the stock V6 Challenger runs. The kit comes with everything you need, including a front-mounted intercooler, new manifold, and all piping and mounts. For tuning, Prodigy uses HP Tuners, and their tuning solution is included in their kit. 

2) Wrangler and Gladiator Prodigy Turbo Kits

Next up on our list are the Prodigy single-turbo kits for the Jeep Wrangler and Gladiator. Like the Challenger and Charger, Prodigy is the only company currently producing turbo kits for the Wrangler and Gladiators with the V6 Pentastar. Unlike the Challenger and Charger, Prodigy’s kits for Jeep are single-turbos instead of twin-turbos.

Yet, the prodigy single-turbo kits can make up to 700 horsepower, which is more than the twin-turbo setup. These kits also use Precision turbos, but the single-turbo is much larger than the twins, resulting in much more power. Prodigy has a JL Wrangler Kit, JK Wrangler Kit, and a JT Gladiator Kit. The Prodigy Jeep turbo kits are by far the most reliable for the 3.6 Pentastar, even if they are a bit pricey.

3) On3 Performance Turbo Kit

For our final 3.6 Pentastar turbo kit recommendation, we’re looking at On3 Performance’s now defunct turbo kit. On3 made the kit for the JK 3.6 Wrangler, but due to low sales they have discontinued it. However, that means that they are massively discounting their kits and actually selling them below cost. 

The On3 3.6 Wrangler turbo kit uses either a GT30 or GT35 turbo, and comes with a large front-mounted intercooler. The turbo is good for a 120 wheel-horsepower increase over stock, and it has an outstanding power band. Make sure you get the On3 kit while you can if you want to boost your JK Wrangler, as these are an absolute steal. 

3.6 Pentastar Turbo Kit Upgrades FAQ

How much horsepower does a Jeep 3.6 Turbo have?

With a turbo kit, the 3.6 Pentastar Jeep can make as much as 700 horsepower with the Prodigy turbo kit.

Can I put a turbo in a Jeep Wrangler?

Yes, there are a few options for turbocharging the Jeep Wrangler JK/JL. The most popular is the Prodigy single-turbo kit, which can produce up to 700 horsepower.

Can you put turbo on Jeep Wrangler JL?

Yes. The Prodigy single turbo kit can be fitted to the Wrangler JL 3.6 and will make up to 700 horsepower.

How much does it cost to turbo a Jeep?

The most popular 3.6 Pentastar Jeep turbo kit is from Prodigy performance and comes in at $7,000 USD. That does not include internal upgrades or suspension upgrades, which will add another $3,000-$5,000 in costs.

Can I put a turbo on my V6 Challenger?

Yes. The Prodigy twin-turbo kit is a solid upgrade that can produce up to 500 wheel horsepower for the 3.6 Pentastar V6 powered Challenger and Charger.

Can you put a turbo on a challenger?

Yes. The Prodigy twin-turbo kit is a solid upgrade that can produce up to 500 wheel horsepower for the 3.6 Pentastar V6 powered Challenger and Charger.

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