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5 Best Mopar Motorcycles Ever (5 You Should Avoid)

2006 Dodge Charger Front View

Did you know that the Dodge brothers made engines for brands from all three major manufacturers? They first became famous making engines for Oldsmobile, which was owned by GM (Oldsmobile died in 2004). The engines were critically acclaimed and engineers loved them, so it was only natural that Henry Ford asked them to make engines for the Model T when he launched the Ford Motor Company, which remains a powerhouse today and a very series of brands. By 1913, the brothers became frustrated with Ford and decided to launch their own brand, choosing their last name as the namesake.



Dodge was bought out by Chrysler after the brothers’ deaths, and the rest is a history we’re sure you know.

Mopar (Chrysler-owned brands such as Dodge, Plymouth, Jeep and, of course, Chrysler itself) have long made efficient economy cars and road-pounding muscle cars, and some truly iconic engines have powered their unique cars. Legends from the HEMI to the Cummins diesel are almost synonymous with the brand, but Mopar has a few stinkers that buyers should warn of. Here are five of the best bikes to find in Mopars, and five you should avoid at all costs!

10 Avoid: Powertech 4.7L V8

Chrysler launched the Powertech engine line in 1999 in an effort to bring more efficiency and modern technology to the lineup, and to replace the aging Magnum 5.2L and 5.9L V8s that had been in service since the 1960s! The lineup featured a 3.7L V6 and a 4.7L V8. The engines were installed in SUVs and trucks from 1999 and were phased out in 2013 and replaced by the Pentastar V6 and HEMI V8s. Nearly 15 million were built during its 14-year lifespan. The 3.7L proved popular among Jeeps fans, with anecdotal evidence of the engine’s reliability and power. However, the V8 received less fanfare.

So why avoid it? Well, the most notable flaw is the lack of power. The 4.7L V8 in the 2003 Dodge Dakota made 230 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. The 5.9L Magnum V8 in the 1998 Dodge Dakota made 250 horsepower and 345 lb-ft of torque. Tell us which one you prefer to transport a trailer with. Power was eventually bumped up with a new head design, but the engine was still anemic compared to the 5.7L HEMI. The 4.7L got better fuel economy, but nobody buys a V8 truck for fuel miles. There were also complaints about sludge in the V8, which would lead to blown head gaskets… yikes! If it were up to us, we would sacrifice some fuel money for the power and reliability of the Magnum V8s.


9 Buy: 5.9L Magnum V8

The 5.9L Magnum V8 was actually launched in 1971 for use in Dodge and Plymouth trucks and muscle cars and is named for its size in cubic inches (360 cubic inches). The engine completely replaced the popular 340 V8 in 1974 and was one of only two V8s offered by Dodge during most of the 1980s and 1990s.

It was based on the LA line of V8s that actually started in 1964. The 5.9L and its smaller 5.2L brother were used in police cars, trucks, and the last of Chrysler’s muscle cars before the 5.7L HEMI hit the market in 2003. 1992 Chrysler renamed the last of the LA engines as the Magnum engines, along with upgrading some components and switching to fuel injection.

The 5.9 was a monster, with 250 horsepower and 345 lb-ft of torque when it was launched in 1971 and discontinued in 2003. The LA version was used in the Plymouth Duster, Plymouth ‘Cuda, Dodge Diplomat and all other Chrysler’s line of trucks until they switched to the Magnum nomenclature. The Magnum version was found in the Dodge Ram, Dakota and the Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited. This bike will be missed by Mopar fans young and old.

Related: 8 Cheap American V8 Cars (That Aren’t Camaros or Mustags)

8 Avoid: 2.2L Inline 4

When Lee Iacocca took control of Chrysler in 1979, the company was in financial trouble, about to file for bankruptcy and close its doors for good. To save the company, Lee Iacocca ditched the gas-guzzling V8s and switched to more efficient straight fours. These engines marked the beginning of a dark era in Chrysler’s performance, the era of the K cars. Sure, the K-car saved the brand, but it took the company’s charm with it.

Chrysler tried to turbocharge these engines and put them in smaller coupes, but they never caught on like the fox-body Mustang and 3rd generation Camaro. Many consumers complained of oil burn and poor performance, with 96 horsepower at the start of its life.

7 Buy: 2.4L SRT4

Want serious performance and economy? We recommend the 2.4L SRT4. The engine was the successor to the poorly received 2.2L 4-cylinder and was tuned with input from the famous Italian automaker Lamborghini… yes you read that right. The SRT4 used MPFI and a turbo to bring the total power to an impressive 230 horsepower.

Chrysler used the 2.4L in several cars, from the Neon SRT4, PT Cruiser GT and several models only available in Spain. The SRT4 pushed up to 15 lbs of boost, but that’s more than you would ever need in everyday riding. So get your own little pocket rocket and enjoy your own piece of SRT technology! Related: These Are the Most Ridiculous Modifications for a Dodge Caliber SRT4

6 Avoid: 2.7L LH V6

Used in Chrysler cars for nearly 12 years, thousands of these small V6s were fitted into many Dodge and Chrysler favorites such as the Charger, 300 and the Intrepid. Chrysler engineers envisioned the LH V6 as the way of the future, hoping to beat the competition if automakers moved away from the V8 engine layout.

So, what was so bad about a little gas-saving V6? Oil sludge. A bad head gasket and water pump design had doomed the engine from the start. Coolant would slowly leak into the oil causing catastrophic failure unless addressed immediately. This engine could be blamed for tarnishing Chrysler’s reputation as the “engineer brand” and placing Chrysler cars at the bottom of the reliability rankings. The next time you see a car with the 2.7L LH V6 for sale, run away.

5 Buy: 225 Slant Six

You’ve probably heard of this legend of a motorcycle, probably because of its iconic 30-degree lean. Chrysler engineers found that slanting the combustion chamber allowed for a more efficient combustion process and allowed it to fit in cars with a low hood. These can be found in everything from the classic Dodge Dart, the Dodge D150 pickup, and the odd Dodge A100.

Aside from its quirky design, the Slant-Six is ​​known for its absolute reliability. The Slant Six stands above legends such as the Toyota 2JZ, Chevrolet LS and the Volvo B5. A simple design and strong materials have enabled the Slant Six to achieve astonishing mileage, with some owners hitting 300k miles with no problems!

Related: The Chrysler Slant 6 Was The Underdog Of The Muscle Car Era

4 Avoid: 3.0L EcoDiesel

Dodge and Jeep launched the EcoDiesel to take advantage of the Ram 1500 and the Jeep Grand Cherokee. The idea was a more fuel-efficient alternative to the HEMI range of engines offered on both. While the EcoDiesel delivered fuel efficient (promising 1,000 miles for a fill up), it was bland everywhere. bad for a petrol engine.

Did we mention that this motor is fire sensitive? Correct. Cracks are common in the EGR coolers, which can cause coolant to leak onto the hot exhaust manifolds and cause a fire. 108,000 models were recalled by FCA for this issue. We recommend staying away from this engine and forgoing the extra dough for a HEMI.

3 Buy: 5.9 Cummins Turbo Diesel

Sure, the 6.7L is more powerful, and we recommend it, but the 5.9L Cummins Turbo Diesel stands out for its price, reliability and a slew of aftermarket support. The 5.9 Cummins made a whopping 650 lb-ft of torque at the end of its production in 2007. The engine was used from 1989 with the first-generation Ram, which lasted over twenty years before being upgraded; so there are plenty of parts cars. Many have found their way as a bargaining chip for Dodge muscle cars, and even a few Ford and Toyota trucks.

So why buy a diesel instead of a petrol engine? Well, there are three main advantages. The first is towing power, which is due to a slightly different combustion cycle than a gas engine. The next uptick is fuel economy, with a 5.9 Cummins hitting 24 mpg, compared to 12 from the 5.9L Magnum. Finally, diesel engines last longer due to slower engine wear. So if you decide a diesel is for you, there’s no doubt… the Cummins Diesel is the way to go. Related: The Hidden Truth Behind The Cummins Diesel Engine

2 Avoid: 3.5L SOHC V6

The SOHC V6 replaced the LA-based Magnum V6 and Slant Six. Sure, the V6 had good fuel economy and decent power, producing 250 horsepower. The engine found its way into everything from Dodge economy cars to VW minivans (yes…a VW), but it lacked memorable features…at least good ones.

Like the 2.7L LH V6, the 3.5L SOHC V6 was plagued with reliability issues, including the dreaded oil sludge. Many engines also had problems with cooling. So what should you buy if you want a reliable engine in your Dodge truck or car? We’re sure you already know the answer.

1 Buy: 5.7L HEMI V8

This is the obvious choice for power, reliability and wait and see… fuel economy. The MDS cylinder shut-off system allows the 5.7 liter HEMI to achieve higher MPG depending on driving habits. We recommend that you find a reliable mechanic who can disable the system to extend the life of your engine.

The HEMI made an impressive 345 horsepower at launch and plenty of parts and spare engines are available over a lifespan of almost 20 years. The HEMI was popular with the police as proof of its reliability. No reason why car fans love the 5.7L HEMI so much. There is a HEMI for every application, so find the one that suits you!