Dodge Durango

meredithmeredith Member Posts: 575
edited July 2014 in Dodge
This topic is a continuation of TOPIC 1823....

The Dodge Durango Topic - III. Please continue
these discussions here. Thanks!

Front Porch Philosopher
SUV, Pickups, & Aftermarket and Accessories Host


  • jleadsjleads Member Posts: 2
    Looking into a 2000 Durango 4x4 with 4.7l engine. Would anyone with this setup be so kind as to disclose your best/worst gas mileage over an entire tank of gas. I'm very curious on this one. Everything I read about the Durango says, "Great SUV, but the gas mileage it atrocious". Is the 4.7L engine an improvement over the 5.2L?

  • nmcclungnmcclung Member Posts: 3
    I have the '00 w/3.55 rear. In the hills of NJ the best has been 13.5 mpg and 11.5 mpg. The truck is great, mileage is ehh. I may still be in breakin period. I put synthetic in and I believe it has increased.
  • drachirdrachir Member Posts: 5
    The link going back to Dodge Durango III is not
    correct. It should be Topic 1887, not 1823 as it
    is now. Can this be corrected?
  • q8740q8740 Member Posts: 12
    Has anybody heard any new info on the rebates on the durango, somebody said 5/10 was the start date
  • linartlinart Member Posts: 1
    I was in the market for a SUV for my wife. I considered the Durango (for at least 15 seconds, I think). You see, I bought a new Dakota Sport in '97 and it has been an absolute piece of junk. The power steering shaft sheared while she was driving it at 5600 miles. Scary! After 5 tries, Dodge still can't fix the cruise control. A window fell apart two month ago (the dealer refused to fix it under warranty), and there have been other problems requiring replacement ranging from a failed belt tensioner and fan clutch to an unbalanced drive shaft - almost too many to mention here, so, fed up, I've finally initiated the arbitration procedure.

    So what did I buy her? A loaded 2001 Nissan Pathfinder LE 4 x 2, leather, sunroof, 6 CD Bose, memory seats, the works. It's got the exquisitely smooth 3.5L 24V 240 HP variable valve timing V-6 derived from the Maxima, (with steel timing chain, incidentally), not those archaic and thirsty pushrod Dodge engines that were born in the 60's and 70's (maybe excepting the 4.7). Yeah, the Pathfinder is a bit smaller, but you know what? 85 cu ft cargo vs. 88 on the Durango. Not a big deal. The Pathfinder is very quiet at cruise. The Durango rides like a noisy log wagon in comparison and it has the usual fall-apart Chrysler interior bits.

    I'm a retired USAF test pilot, a practicing airline aero engineer and an FAA licensed airframe and powerplant mechanic. To me, Daimler-Chrysler and Dodge in my particular case, either haven't gotten the word or just don't care about the customer. They need to wake up to the reliability issues plaguing their vehicles. The need to learn that the man with the bucks in his grimy hand is King!
  • numbersguy1numbersguy1 Member Posts: 2
    Got the confirmation from my contact at the dealer that the $1000 rebate is expected to be announced tomorrow. I have had my deposit on a 4.7L for three days and plan to pick up my DD in the a.m.

    From the previous post, however, I don't know if I'm seeing a light at the end of the tunnel or an oncoming train !
  • q8740q8740 Member Posts: 12
    Hey Mike,

    What Dealer are you going through, I live in So. Cal. and still havent heard a word. I did advise that the rebates are coming and they said if they announce them I will get them.

    very cool since its there fault that they pushed my delivery time back two weeks and i would have already signed the deal if they were on time

    Scott Q
    [email protected]
  • pr4mncpluspr4mncplus Member Posts: 22
    Well, good for you. Be pleased with your purchase, but I could easily slam your Pathfinder for the negatives but don't choose to do so. I can easily give you many pro's in favor of the Durango that certainly outweighed our decision to purchase anything else in the SUV market, within the same price range. Certainly looks are at the top of the list. BTW, try towing much with that "smooth 3.5L 24V 240 HP variable valve timing V-6." We've had our Durango three months now and with the lone exception of an electronic solenoid reading a wrong error code and being replaced, the truck has been spendid. Also, the dealership gave me a Dodge R/T as a loaner while my DD was in the service bay. The Dodge trucks have significantly improved over their past brethren. You got a bad truck and hopefully you'll gain through arbritration, although with the truck being 3 years old now, well, good luck.
    About the gas mileage. With the 4.7L and the 3.9 gearing, the best I've gotten is 15.4 and the worst is 11.7 mpg. The real problem is my inability to stay out of the Magnum V8. If you don't want the taller gearing for towing, stay with the 3.55's. BTW, you probably know you can't get the 5.2L in any of the 4WD setups.
  • mrboostmrboost Member Posts: 32
    Hi Folks

    At 7K I am getting about 13.9 MPG City and 16.4 HW. This is distance/gallons, not from the computer. No problems at all with the D. Oh, I have the 5.9 with FT and 3.92 LSD. I run synthetics in the drivetrain except fot the tranny, which I will convert soon.

    It has been very good so far and love the power.

  • mrboostmrboost Member Posts: 32
    How much money do you think Mr. Ghosn told his minions to shave out of each Nissan so the company can survive 13 Billion $$ they are in Debt?? How long before the Renault influence will be seen in Nissan's product line??

    I wouldn't brag about Nissan's quality, if they were so good, why were they on verge of bankruptcy?

  • rcarbonircarboni Member Posts: 290

    Sorry to hear of your distress with the Dak. You are definitely the exception, as the Dak has proven to be a solid truck that just keeps getting better over the years. The loyalty of Dak owners is very strong because of the reliability and performance as proven by groups such as the Dakota Mailing List and the R/T group. This loyalty was a key reason why I choose a Durango.

    I hope you enjoy your Nissan. I ruled the PF out immediately in my decision because I had commuted to work (100 miles daily) with a buddy in his '96 PF for about a year. Although I found the truck to be reliable with little mechanical failure, the ride was comparable to a VW micro-bus with the wind pushing the truck all over the road. I also felt that my proximity to the door and windshield was very tight, and did not convey a feeling of safety. I also felt this with the Isuzu Trooper. Additionally, this close proximity had the detrimental effect of the sun (which was always on my side) beating down on me constantly.

    I'm not sure where you get the idea that OHC, multi-valve, variable-timing engines are so superior to pushrods. With 2.4 litres less in size, the PF is only getting 2 mpg better than a 5.9 Durango. You'll make that up on your first repair bill out of warranty. You've got a high-reving, cushy, grocery getter, and if that's what you wanted, then you're all set. I wanted low-end stump pulling power for a truck that's gonna work hard and not sit in the mall parking lot. Hopefully, we both got what we wanted.
  • ro5ro5 Member Posts: 2
    I know how the automatic rear view mirror is suppose to work.

    my question is why its not working in my new durango; are any others having problems with it not working ? i'm begining to think that tinting in the rear windshield dims the lights behind you so mauch that the automatic mirror sensor is not picking up the bright light. if this is the case then maybe the automatic rear view mirror was a waste.
  • dwh6dwh6 Member Posts: 10
    I would like to echo my sympathy over the troubles you had with your Dakota. But it seems as if your vehicle was a lemon and you may have had a remedy under the Lemon Laws of your state (just about all states have them now, I believe).

    My father is an executive with DC. He and my mother used to each get a new lease car every year and now get one every two years (the program rules changed). I also was able to participate in this employee lease program for a while (when I lived with them many years ago). As a result, I have had experience with many Chrysler products. My personal opinion is that Chrysler's quality these days is generally very good. Some vehicles have been worse than others in terms of annoyances (1998 Town and Country minivan just wouldn't stop squeaking in the rear end). And some have even had major mechanical problems (one car had a ticking in the engine that just wouldn't go away no matter what). But these were certainly the exceptions. There will always be people who have bad experiences in any consumer product.

    You certainly are justified in not buying a DC product - if I were in your shoes I would hesitate also. But I just bought a 2000 Durango 5.9L that has 7000 miles on it and is solid as a rock. Next year I'll be getting a Chrysler LHS (or maybe I'll wait a couple years until the new hemi 300 is released!). You can disagree, but the styling of DC products is the best of any manufacturer in its price range. Japanese cars all look the same and Ford and GM are just plain ugly, in my opinion.

    I'm happy with my purchase and am glad you are too.
  • q8740q8740 Member Posts: 12
    I called Dodge this morning and confirmed that a $1000.00 rebate on all durangos is effective today thru July 5, 2000.

    Scott Q
  • larryb9larryb9 Member Posts: 2
    When driving my 99 DD 5.2 I sometimes hear a clicking sound in the transmission(auto) in drive or reverse with OD on or off. It sound similar to a fan hitting on the fan cover. Trans must get warmed up for it to be noticed. This does not happen all the time but the two times last fall when I was towing my boat with OD off it happened and this bothers me. The sound goes away when you shift into park or neutral. The Dodge dealer here found and heard nothing when I took it in. They said bring it in when it is happening which is not that easy to do as they are usually not open when I am driving. Anyone heard or experienced this? I don't want trans problems when towing a boat this summer. Boat and trailer are about 4200 lbs.
  • drachirdrachir Member Posts: 5
    I have a 1999.5 Pathfinder that we are going to
    trade in real soon for a 2000 Durango. We got the
    PF a year ago and have loved it, but when it comes
    to towing power, it just does not have it! We have
    a 19' Travel Trailer that weighs 3600#, and we
    can't get over 45-50mph on small hills with the PF. We are taking the trailer on short trip this
    weekend, with the PF, and some real good hills,
    6% grade over 3 miles long, we'll see how badly
    it does. Nissan makes a real quality and safe
    SUV, but even the new engine is not good for
    raw towing power, not near enough torque!

    We are thinking about the DD w/ 4.7 V-8 & 3.92
    rear end gearing, in and SLT 4x4 DD. Can anyone
    give me some advise on towing with that engine
    and gear ratio. I don't really want to pay the
    price at the pump and have to go with the 5.9
    and 3.92 rear end. If I have to I will, I need
    to tow this trailer with relative ease.
  • captain13captain13 Member Posts: 10
    My dealer in so. Wisc. confirmed the $1000 rebate today also. They didn't know anything about it when I asked late last week, (after reading about it here). Thanks again numbers1guy. I'm picking up my SLT on Sat. Is it normal for the rebate to be applied after taxes?
  • numbersguy1numbersguy1 Member Posts: 2
    Glad I waited a week for the rebate to kick in. Picked up my 4.7L this a.m. So far so good (except this guy almost backed into me after having the car off the lot for only 10 minutes !!)

    My rebate was applied after the taxes. The pre-printed sales contract has a line for it in the down-payment section after all fees are applied.

    Captain13, I am obviously happy to get the rebate, but as I told my wife, I am just as happy that someone else out there in Cyberland could benefit too. That was the reason to post in the first place and the reason to follow up with more info. Good luck with your purchase.
  • pr4mncpluspr4mncplus Member Posts: 22
    I've got the 4.7L with the 3.92 rear gearing, as well as the FT4WD. It will pull your trailer with very little difficulty. I don't really see why most 2000 4WD DD owners would opt for the 5.9L unless they get the R/T or do A LOT of heavy duty pulling. My only recommendation, besides the towing package (of course), is to get the limited slip. Good luck.
  • cwofergcwoferg Member Posts: 78
    My Durango has left the factory headed my way, Should be 2-3 weeks. LUCAJA, have you got yours yet?
  • mrboostmrboost Member Posts: 32
    The 4.7 vs 5.9 Topic had been discussed on The DOC Forum. It appears to me that at best you may get 2 MPG better in city and maybe 1 MPG Highway.
    This seems to be the concensus.

    I am getting about 13.9 City, over 16 Highway. You dont buy these things for mileage. Note I have friends with Blazers 4.3's, GC with 5.2's and 4.0's, and Explorers with V6's. None brag too much about mileage, usually 12-15 City and maybe 16-20MPG highway. SO I dont feel bad knowing I have gobs of tourque, more pulling power and third seat plus a "proven" drivetrain that has been around for years.

    Best advice would be to use synthetics in all your drive train to improve mileage.
  • jleadsjleads Member Posts: 2
    Mrboost, you are the second person that has recommended the use of synthetic oils to enhance performance. It sounds like great advice. What Lubrication recommendations can you make and what portions of the vehicle should be protected.

    As far has performance/gas mileage topics go... I have a coworker that uses a product called "Tornado" in the air intake of his Jeep. It's a fan like device made of sheet metal that creates a vortex in your air intake to enhance oxygen distribution to all cylinders. He says it gives him a 1-2 mpg increase as well as off the line torque. It might be something to research.

    Thanks for your time.
  • mrboostmrboost Member Posts: 32

    In 4X4 you have a lot of losses in the drivetrain due to two differntials, Transfer case etc. I use Amsoil synhtetics in mine. I changed the front and rear diffs with their 75W-90 Gear Lube, added the Mopar Posi add for the LSD in the rear. My D takes ATF in the Tranfer case and ATF+4 7176 in the transmission. I have to do the transmission next. I also use their 0W-30 in the engine along with their Super Duty spin on oil filter and a drop in oil wetted foam 2 -stage air filter. This is a life time washable filter, good deal, work great. I have used the AMsoil in all my vehichle for the past 15 years and keep accurate mileage figures. On some used cars I have bought, I changed them over and found bout 3% better mileage in FWD. I dont really know on the D since some of the mileage increase could be due to break in. I would expect better MPG just due to the syns better flow in cold weather, less drag = better fuel economy.

    As far as your tornadoe device, I dont know but would be skeptical. I have seen mods to raise the "hat" on the plumbing from the air box to throttle body, but 1-2 MPG sounds high to me. I guess it depends what it costs. I just use my standard air box with the drop in oil wetted foam element.
  • rcarbonircarboni Member Posts: 290
    I have switched to synthetics throughout, using Redline C+ in the tranny, Redline 75w90 in the diffs, and Mobil 1 10w30 in the engine. My '98 5.9 gets consistently 15+ mpg in "country" driving when I can keep the pedal off the floor. ;)

    My personal opinion on the Tornado is that it is a scam. To produce optimal volumetric efficiency in an engine, the intake air must be as "straight" as possible. Creating turbulance in the air produces a negative effect to air streaming and would therefore hinder the movement of air into the combustion chamber by disrupting flow. A reduction in volumetric efficiency translates into a reduction in performance, and ultimately a reduction in MPG.

    The auto makers are constantly fighting against better MPG regulations. Don't you think that if something this cheap and simple actually produced better MPG, they would all be using it?

    If you want better mileage, keep your vehicle well tuned, keep the proper air in the tires, and go light on the pedal. For more perfomance, straighten out and open up your intake and exhaust.
  • tessel8tessel8 Member Posts: 1
    If you go to and click on
    the "durango" link, then the "incentives" link,
    you will see the new rebate up there. Woohoo.

    From their site..
    Current national consumer incentives:
    U.S. cash allowance of $1,000 on 2000 Durango models available through 7/5/00.
  • drachirdrachir Member Posts: 5
    Thanks for the input on your DD. I suspected that
    would be a good choice for both towing, and somewhat better mpg than the 5.9 V-8 and 3.92
    rear end gears. I think that is what I will end
    up going with, if I can find one here in Oregon.
    I searched 3 dealers over last weekend and not 1
    to be found in over 50 DD's on their lots. A lot
    of 5.9's & 3.92. Most 4.7's have 3.55 gears, and
    SLT Plus and all the gooey options. I just want
    a plain Jane SLT, no leather, big tires, and wife
    and son want the rear air, Oh Well!
  • gilesgiles Member Posts: 15
    The A/C on my 2000 SLT+, 5.9L, rear air option seems a little weak. Last week was the first time I really needed it. The outside temp was in the mid 90's and the A/C really didn't get very cold. I called the service tech when I got home. He said to measure the center air vent temperature with the fan and control on high. I should read "in the 40's" according to him. I used two thermometers-one said 51 degrees the other said 49. I had the rear A/C fan off at the time. I ran the engine at 1500 RPM for several minutes until the reading leveled out. That temperature seems high even for the newer (R134 ?) freon. I know this has been discussed before but wondered if anyone else has measured theirs. I read somewhere there was an A/C mod for the '99 but the 2000 had it from the factory.
  • gilesgiles Member Posts: 15
    When I did the A/C test above the outside air was in the 70's.
  • captain13captain13 Member Posts: 10
    I picked up my new 4.7l SLT today. Drove it about 50 miles or so, (already had 250 miles on it) when I noticed that the check engine light was on. I called the dealership and they said not to worry, probably something minor like a sensor that needed re-calibration or something. Sure enough after driving for a while the light went off. Has anyone else experienced this and if so what was the remedy?
  • fredlyfredly Member Posts: 201
    Just a few comments,
    My brother in Law recently had one of his dodge
    vehicles in for service and they gave him
    a brand new Durango as a loaner, just 8 miles on
    the ODO. I like the styling, its roomy I'm 5 10 and fit in every seat, nice sound system, and lots of amenity's
    Power great power
    I was concerned however when I took a peek under the hood and found Oil dark dirty oil seeping from around the valvehead cover-nuts. Is there any issue of this with other durango's ?
  • auto_curiousauto_curious Member Posts: 1
    Has anyone had an after-market retractable sunroof installed on their Durango or has anyone done any research ?
    If so, Can the information be shared to direct me Where to look ?
    Any help is appreciated !
  • q8740q8740 Member Posts: 12
    Dodge is advertising a $1500.00 rebate on durangos with 5.9 and 4x2.

    Question is, dose this apply to 4x4 also or only 4x2
    I called dodge and they said its a regional rebate and they have no info other than the std. $1000 rebate
  • mrstiffymrstiffy Member Posts: 2
    Erie Insurance lists the safest cars in its experience. Their criteria are listed at tough standards

    and include good records for death, injury, repair, and safety features as well as laboratory test results.

    Durango is shown on their "preferred" list at: sport utility vehicles

    This information may be useful to those concerned about Durango's safety based only on laboratory crash test results.
  • slclark3slclark3 Member Posts: 18
    Just bought a new Durango with 4.7. It felt stronger than the 5.9 I drove plus hopefully will be better on gas. Both vehicles had the 3.92 rear gear. Has any one else made a comparison?
  • rcarbonircarboni Member Posts: 290

    You didn't mention what engine was in the Durango you looked at, but I have the 5.9 and replaced my valve covers with Mopar performance aluminum covers. When I did, I noticed that the stock gaskets are very good quality with reinforced rubber, and are not prone to leaking. Sounds like it might be a quality control lapse and someone forgot to torque them down properly.


    For info on A/C, sunroofs, etc., you might want to try the Durango Owners Forum. There is a good FAQ page on all things Durango, and lots of owners to query:
  • jbecker5jbecker5 Member Posts: 1
    I just bought a Durango (5.9L, 3.92) and was surprised to see that the recommended engine break-in period was only 300 miles. If I recall from a new vehicle purchase about 10 years ago,
    this number was more like 1500. With the Durango, I plan to tow a 3500lb. boat in mountainous areas, and wonder what others know about breaking in the new engine. Any suggestions?
  • ro5ro5 Member Posts: 2
    i'm going on a vacation in my new D and was wondering: other than a bug screen, what else if anything, can i do to protect the paint from bugs ????

  • jimmyjamjimmyjam Member Posts: 1
    With the quick turning response of the D,you
    should be able to "DODGE" most of them!!!

  • dwh6dwh6 Member Posts: 10
    ro5 (#39): One thing that helps significantly is putting a good coat of wax on the vehicle before going on the trip. That way, any bug "stuff" that gets on the car, really only gets on the wax. It is also much easier to remove!
  • donm4donm4 Member Posts: 3
    I'm currently negotiating a lease and my salesman says the 1000$ rebate doesnt apply with the special chrysler lease plan he's using(the best lease plan available)
    Has anyone heard of this? Does he benefit?
  • q8740q8740 Member Posts: 12
    I would call dodge, there web site says $1000.00 on all durangos
    and $500 dollars on lease's w a 5.9 motor.

    I did call a local dodge dealer and the fleet mgr did not want to tell me that there is a rebate. I was inquiring on a R/T and he said there is no rebate on that vehicle fore sure.....

    WRONG ......another scam
  • humpyhumpy Member Posts: 1
    Does anyone have any information on what is new for the 2001 Durango and when will it be available? I want to buy a new D but was curious about the new models.
  • dwh6dwh6 Member Posts: 10
    I haven't heard much, but I did hear that the model will be "refreshed" and that it will have some additional features, such as heated seats, that were not previously offered.
  • emaleemale Member Posts: 1,380
    i'm helping a friend with a possible durango purchase and need some advice. i know that the 4.7l engine and new 4 speed tranny can be had with a full-time transfer case, which i believe is basically the same as the one in the jeep grand cherokee. however, there seems to be quite a few driveline problems with those similarly equipped jeeps. has anyone here had a problem with their 4.7l powertrain including the full-time transer case? thanks.
  • fboykinfboykin Member Posts: 2
    Anyone with experience towing a 2000 lb. boat and trailer with the standard 4.7l engine and 3.55 axle set up? I'll be towing occasionally and was looking to get the "standard" engine package for all around gas mileage plus that seems to be a common set up at the dealers around Atlanta. I know there are lots of pros & cons; I'm hoping to hear from someone who's actually towed with one. Thanks.
  • nrd525nrd525 Member Posts: 109
    The Jeep had two DIFFERENT full time 4wd setups,the QuadraTrac (the one with all the problems),and the selectrac,just a full time transfer case,no oddball differentials,and no problems associated with it.
    A Durango with the full time 4WD should be as trouble free as one with part time.I was going to buy one,but it was just a LITTLE too small.So I ended up with a full size 4Dr truck.With a bed lid,it's as useful as a Full size SUV,for thousands less!
  • nrd525nrd525 Member Posts: 109
    My friend bought a Durango to tow his 18' boat,it has the 4.7 3.92(i think that's the number),full time transfer case,and 4wheel ABS.I would think twice before going with the 3.55 for towing.His is ok,not spectacular.It does tow better than his late Dakota Club Cab 4x4 5.2 3.55 that was wrecked last year.I have driven both,and ridden in another Dakota 5.9 with 3.55 gears,and it was miles ahead of the other two.I was only a test drive away from buying a 5.9 3.92,fulltime 4wd,4wheel abs.If it had just a little more comfortable seats,and a little more room in the front area,I would have gone for it,in Patriot blue!
    The milage penalty with the higher gears would only be maybe a mile per gallon,and the Durango would be peppier in all conditions.
  • dwh6dwh6 Member Posts: 10
    I agree with nrd525. (Isn't amazing how BIG Durangos look from the outside, but how COZY they are in the front passenger area?).

    Fboykin: I suggest you go to the Durango Owners' Club forum ( ask your question. Someone there will be able to tell you specifically what your limitations are going to be.

  • slclark3slclark3 Member Posts: 18
    I too have driven both 4.7 with 3.55/3.92 and the 5.9 with 3.55/3.92 and I found the 4.7 quicker with both ratios of rearends. Both 5.9s felt strong but a little slugglish. I thought since I wasn't going to tow anything the 4.7 was best for me. With 4.7 overhead cam it turn quicker from a lower R.P.M. range. The 5.9 would work better as a tow vehicle but if you want a SUV that accelerates like sports car I would go with 4.7. It is also better on gas. I went with 4.7 with 3.92 gears.
  • terryo2terryo2 Member Posts: 1
    I am looking at the Durango to tow a small to medium sized trailer. The specs indicate that either V8 should do the job with the 3.92 axle.
    The 4.7 is billed as a next generation engine in the brochure. What is new about it? Is there a reliability advantage with either engine?
This discussion has been closed.