Dodge 3.6L Firing Order Explained (With Example)

dodge 3.6l firing order

Over the years, the 3.6L engine has become extremely popular among many drivers who like to have solid horsepower and incredible torque. This article will provide a detailed breakdown of the Dodge 3.6L firing order.

What Is the Firing Order of the Dodge 3.6L Engine?

The firing order of the Dodge 3.6L engine is 1-2-3-4-5-6. The passenger’s side front to back comes with sequence 2-4-6, while the driver’s side front to back sequence is 1-3-5. The sequence on the coil pack from the passenger’s side to the driver’s side is 5-2-3-6-4-1.

You can determine the firing order of your Dodge 3.6L by looking up the manufacturer’s documentation for your specific model. Most of the time, how the spark plugs are labeled is usually the correct order for ignition.

However, the firing order may be indicated by color codes on the distributor cap in some vehicles. These colors indicate a specific cylinder on the engine.

For instance, red indicates the first cylinder, blue means the second one, and yellow indicates the third cylinder.

Manufacturers can also use numbers to indicate cylinders. For example, 1 marks the first cylinder, 2 shows the second cylinder, 3 indicates the third cylinder, etc.

But, once you purchase a vehicle, manufacturers will indicate the firing order on the owner’s manual. Therefore, you can simply follow the instructions listed to know the firing order of your Dodge 3.6L engine. Later on, you’ll need this information when you decide to rebuild your engine.

What Do You Mean By Firing Order?

An engine’s firing order is the sequence of power distribution in every cylinder in a multi-cylinder reciprocating engine. For a diesel engine, the firing order corresponds to the sequence of fuel injection, while on a petrol/gasoline engine, the firing order corresponds to the sequence in which the spark plugs spark.

When car manufacturers design engines, they have to choose an appropriate firing order to reduce vibration, guarantee smooth running and enhance user comfort. When it comes to radial engines, firing order follows a specific pattern since the firing impulses have to follow the cranks’ motion.

Even though the firing order of an inline engine varies a lot, it is designed to ensure the cylinders and the crankshaft fire in an evenly distributed manner. Generally, firing order affects the symmetry of your vehicle’s engine’s power output, sound, and vibration.

This explains why cylinders don’t fire in a 1-2-3-4-5-6 sequence, as it can easily deform or even break the crankshaft. All cylinders need shuffling so that they create balance in the engine. As a result, no specific practice is used for numbering cylinders in V-type engines.

The following are the most common firing orders:

  • Two-cylinder engines: These engine cylinders can either fire simultaneously or one after the other.
  • Straight-3 engines: The firing order is usually 1-2-3 or 1-3-2. There isn’t a significant difference between the two.
  • Straight-4 engines: These engines usually use a 1-3-4-2 firing order. But there are also some engines that use a 1-2-4-3 firing order.
  • Straight-5 engines: These engines use a 1-2-4-5-3 firing order which is meant to reduce vibration from the rocking couple.
  • Straight-6 engines: They usually use a 1-5-3-6-2-4 firing order meant to create a perfect primary and secondary balance.
  • V6 engines: The engines with a 90º angle between the cylinders usually use a firing order of R1-L2-R2-L3-L1-R3.They can also use R1-L3-R3-L2-R2-L1. On the other hand, V6 engines with a 60º angle between the cylinders usually use a firing order of R1-L1-R2-L2-R3-L3.
  • Flat-6 engines: These engines use a firing order of R1-L3-R2-L1-R3-L2 or R1-L2-R3-L1-R2-L3.
  • V8 engines: They use different firing orders. 
  • V10 engines: These engines use a firing order of R1-L1-R5-L5-R2-L2-R3-L3-R4-L4 or R1-L5-R5-L2-R2-L3-R3-L4-R4-L1.
  • V12 engines use a variety of firing orders.

Generally, as the number of cylinders in an engine increases, so do the possible firing order combinations.

How Do I Know If the Firing Order Is Properly Placed in a Dodge 3.6L Engine?

When the firing order of the Dodge 3.6L is appropriately placed, the engine will run smoothly without any problems. Additionally, the proper firing order will ensure there is even fuel distribution throughout the engine. This results in a good fuel economy.

The following are common signs that the firing order in your Dodge 3.6L engine isn’t placed properly:

  • Rattling and pinging sound coming from the engine
  • Hard starting engine 
  • Reduced engine performance
  • Poor fuel economy
  • Visible damage to the catalytic converter

Here are the steps to follow to correct the firing order or your Dodge 3.6L engine:

  • Buy a repair manual for your specific Dodge make and mode. You can find these manuals online or at the nearby auto parts store. In this manual, you’ll find a diagram of the spark plug wires and firing order.
  • Locate the distributor rotor and determine which way it turns. You can do this by removing the distributor cap, which is located at the top or front of the engine.
  • Refer to the repair manual to locate the number one cylinder on the 3.6L engine. Most of the time, this cylinder is indicated using a mark.
  • Connect the spark plugs one at a time based on whether your distributor rotor runs clockwise or anticlockwise. This should take approximately two minutes if you have the right repair manual.
  • Compare the spark plugs on the engine with the manual’s firing order. Ensure that every wire is connected to the proper distributor terminal.

What If the Firing Order Is Not Sequenced Properly in Your Dodge 3.6L Engine?

The firing order of your engine’s cylinders usually determines its performance. If the firing order is not appropriately sequenced in your Dodge 3.6L engine, it’s likely that it won’t run as smoothly as you’d have hoped. Sometimes, wrongly placed spark plugs will cause engine misfires. The unburned fuel will then drip down to the exhaust and damage the oxygen sensors after a while.

If more than two spark plugs are placed incorrectly, your vehicle may not start at all, and if it does, it will run roughly due to the improper alignment of air and fuel combustion. If you drive the vehicle and the firing is not sequenced correctly, you risk damaging expensive valves. Therefore, it may be best to fix your engine’s firing order before driving.

Importance of Firing Order

A properly sequenced firing order comes with several benefits, including:

  • It minimizes engine vibration
  • It enhances engine balancing
  • It contributes to an even flow of power
  • It increases engine cooling
  • It leads to a decreased back pressure

Factors That Influence the Firing Order of the Dodge 3.6L Engine

There are several factors that influence the resulting firing order of your Dodge 3.6L engine. They include:

  • The molecular structure of the fuel
  • Spark timing
  • The air-fuel ratio
  • The temperature of self-ignition
  • The temperature of the combustion wall chamber
  • Spark intensity and duration
  • The effect of high temperature and resulting pressure after compression
  • The rate of burning

Does Firing Order Affect the Sound of the Engine?

Firing order doesn’t necessarily affect the sound your engine makes. However, it affects the sound made by the mechanical anger.

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