Teardown Reveals Why So Many Jeep EcoDiesel V-6s Fail

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America has a complex relationship with diesel engines. Diesels are the life-blood of the transport sector, providing power for all sorts of trucks and commercial vehicles across the nation. But sometimes, American carmakers make diesels that develop horrendous reputations.

Eric from the I Do Cars YouTube channel finds out why Jeep’s EcoDiesel engine has such a bad reputation in his latest teardown video. Originally found in the last-gen Jeep Grand Cherokee and versions of the Ram 1500, they’re well-known for failing prematurely, with tough-to-find parts and lots of extremely tight packaging. 

The only reason we know this engine is bad is because it couldn’t be spun by hand, indicating something’s gone wrong with the rods or crankshaft. From the outside, it looks fairly healthy, with no visible signs of damage. You wouldn’t know it was broken judging by the heads. The areas under the valve covers are like-new, without any staining and minimal scoring. 

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It’s only when Eric removes the heads does the damage become clear. One of the pistons, at some point, smacked into the valves, making a clear imprint on its face. Sure enough, when the oil pan is removed we can see copious metal shavings that, according to Eric, used to be bearings for the connecting rods.

The bearings disintegrated, causing one of the rod caps to detach from the rod, freeing the crankshaft to chuck the piston into the head. The rod cap bounced around in the crankcase before wedging itself between the crankshaft and the block, seizing the motor. Yikes.

Eric suspects a lack of maintenance and a lack of surface area for the bearings are what led to the failure. Seeing as how he’s takes engines like these apart for a living, we suspect he’s onto something. Eric has taken apart numerous EcoDiesels, and says they’ve all had similar problems with the bottom end. 

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Our suggestion? Just go for the gas engine instead.