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Dodge Durango



  • cwofergcwoferg Posts: 78
    For those of you who might be waiting for my post on towing my 6000-lb travel trailer, sorry for the wait. My wife had knee surgery and I underestimated the amount of work I had to make up for around the house!! Hope to do it soon. I did however pull a utility trailer with about 2000-2500 pounds and with the exception of a slightly slower takeoff (for obvious reasons, I didn't try to snatch it off of the line), it didn't even know it was there. Ater 10 mph, I was able to accelerate the same as always.
    CAUTION: Even in Tow/Haul mode, you have to watch your speed, it wanted to run and I got up to 75 without even feeling like it, so I lowered speed and engaged Cruise Control. The California Speed Limit with a trailer is 55, so I won't make that mistake again. The thing has so much power and is so quiet, it is amazing.
  • chasmanz28chasmanz28 Posts: 109
    hey at last a problem, im having the same problem you had with the ac blowing hot air it happened today, went to the store came back turned on the ac and it was blowing hot air. Just took it to the post office and its working fine now, what do you think it is the fuse? like i said its working fine now and i know if i bring it to the dealership with the ac working there not going to be able to fix the problem, what do you think i should do?
  • raiders63raiders63 Posts: 8
    I've installed a Yakima rack on my 2004 Durango to haul my kayaks around on. I had a Yakima rack on my 1998 Durango, liked it, and decided to keep with the same product line.

    Anyway, I now get a whistling noise when I go over 60mph. I'm wondering if this is caused by air going through the U-shaped roof rails and under the Yakima tower.

    I've moved the front tower as far forward as I can in the hopes of eliminating the noise. While it didn't do that, it did change the pitch of the whistle. I'm thinking of running black electrical tape over the rail opening between the tower and rail pillar to see if that helps.

    Has anyone else experienced and overcome this? My local dealer tells me I should go with the Mopar bars to resolve this....
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Ah, the infamous periodic vortex shedding issue!

    You can usually fix the whistling by wrapping cord around the bars with, say, a one inch gap between the wraps. Lots of car antennas have a "wire" that wraps around the antenna in similar fashion to prevent the antenna from singing in the wind.

    Alternatively, you could try a fairing or keep experimenting with moving the racks forward or back to try to minimize the noise.

    I bolted some 1x4's on my round Yak bars and that did the trick for me.

    Steve, Host
  • chasmanz28chasmanz28 Posts: 109
    found out what the problem is with the ac blowing hot air, went to the dealership today because i had the problem again today and they said its a software issue and dodge is aware of the problem, the new program should be out in a couple of weeks, whats happening from what they told me is that the computer is telling the clutch not to engage at certain times hence is why the compressor isn't turning on, when they pull the fuse or clear the codes it will work, but you will still have the issues until the new program is installed in the pcm
  • cwofergcwoferg Posts: 78
    Thanks for the update and sorry I didn't get back to you sooner. That is kind of what they said with mine. They had to pull the fuse and put it back in, then clear the error codes from the memory. After they did that, it hasn't done it yet. Working great, but thanks for the heads up. Next time it goes down, I will just call service and ask if the fix is out. But again, working like a champ once they cleared the codes. It has been a week and I have been using the vehicle quite a bit, not one miscue.
    Still love it!
  • milt721milt721 Posts: 83
    always complains about the Chrysler two-step radio preset process. It's MUCH better that way. With most cars, after you set the presets, you have to constantly hit the "band" button to access all preset stations. With Chrysler radios, you just hit the same button twice (2 presets per button without having to switch bands). I can see the 2-step process being a pain if you constantly switch preset stations, but most people set them and forget them. I've written to them on several occasions with this concern, but they always ignore me. What do you guys think? Do you like to always hit the band button, or would you rather hit the preset button?
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Full Test: 2004 Dodge Durango

    Yep, they don't like the buttons :-)

    Steve, Host
  • I agree with you. For most people, it's set and forget. When I travel, I'm usually playing CDs instead of finding new radio stations. It's nice to just press the button on the back of the steering wheel to access all 12 stations. On my Maxima, I have to hit the "mode" button in order to get to the second set of stations.
  • mark_325imark_325i Posts: 29
    look like a DCX minivan?
  • 300eguy05300eguy05 Posts: 39
    HAHAHA well, I will agree with you, from some views it does look like a mini-van. A friend of mine told me it looks like a mini-van on steroids. ;)
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    It took some getting use to on my '03 Dakota. There are two problems with the duplex single button; 1) it's different from the vast majority of radios, 2) depending if a person is right or left hemisphere it may not be intuitive. I personally have found that it is more convenient.

    If Chrysler would like to make just one ergonomic change my vote would be to utilize the push-away, pull-in control type for high-beam switching.

    Bst regards,
  • cwofergcwoferg Posts: 78
    It took about 12 days, but you were right, I have the same issues again. It is not blowing hot, it is just not blowing cold. Just ambient outside air. Sending it in again tomorrow. Let's hope it will hold until the software fix comes in. Could you do me a small favor? When your dealer gets it, let me know so I can get it done right?

  • chasmanz28chasmanz28 Posts: 109
    all you have to do if its blowing hot air is to turn the ignition off and on again that resets the pcm and should kick the clutch on, and yes as soon as the service manager calls me when the download is available ill let you know, another thing to i was told when you turning the ignition on turn it kinda fast dont turn the key slow, for some reason turning it slow can cause that pcm fault to occur more often
  • cwofergcwoferg Posts: 78
    I appreciate the info. I have it in the shop and I am sure they will find nothing wrong with it!
  • cwofergcwoferg Posts: 78
    Well, I finally did it. I towed my travel trailer this weekend. I did a twenty mile test on a combination of flat land and hills through the Vineyards of Temecula, California and Lake Skinner just to figure everything out. I have an '04 Limited Hemi with a 3.92 axle. I pulled an '04 Jayco JayFlight 27BH. The trailer is 29 1/2 feet overall and weighs 5026 pounds dry. I towed it with a full watertank (336 pounds) and about 300 pounds of miscellaneous gear inside. I have a Husky Weight Distribution Hitch, Prodigy Digital Brake controller, and a trickle charger for the trailer battery. Here is the run down:

    - Power: Not a problem, engine wise. Pretty darn good on takeoff and enough power to sustain the pull. That's the engine. As far as the tranny, I was a little disappointed. The shifter allows you to put it in 1st, 2nd and then Drive (it's a five-speed automatic). Even though I put it in Tow/Haul mode, it did a lot of shifting from 3rd to 4th to third going uphills. I was really wishing for a selector on the transmission to lock it into 3rd gear. Here is the problem - it races up third gear to get to speed, then drops into fourth gear and bogs down, now it has to drop to 3rd and start all over again. Kind of troubling. 2nd gear isn't tall enough to maintain a decent rate of speed as it is turning pretty high at 45 mph.

    - Fuel economy: the tranny's excessive shifting hurts here. With the A/C, 6.5 mpg, without the A/C 9.5 - 10 mpg. Without the A/C, it obviously shifted less, minus the pull of the compressor. Next time I take it out, I will not use the A/C at all. Therefore, I will mostly travel at night.

    - Ride quality: Fair. The vehicle moved around quite a bit since it was a windy day, especiallly through the Temecula Valley. Bottom line, I NEED A SWAY BAR! I felt it moving quite a bit. The sway bar should eliminate most to all of that. The manual says to get a sway bar for load above 2000 pounds. The guy at the trailer dealership said I shouldn't need one. I will go with the manual on this one! It also kind of lurched forward and backwards. Again, the sway bar will help there significantly.

    - Brakes: (not totally Durango-related) The Prodigy is awesome, I highly recommend it. After I got it tuned in, which is remarkably easy to do, stopping was non-eventful and easy to adjust to.

    Overall, not too bad for the first outing. Really impressed with the engine, less so with the tranny. I think that over time, I will REALLY hate not being able to lock into third. Third gear can easily maintain freeway speeds, even going uphill. With no way to keep it there, I will have to deal with the "see-saw" or "accordion" like feel of racing and bogging.

    RECOMMENDATIONS: Travel at night and GET A SWAY BAR. I will let you all know how much of a difference the sway bar makes when I get it. Any questions, send them!
  • chasmanz28chasmanz28 Posts: 109
    thanks for your input, i think you can buy a power programer whereas you can change the shift points to your liking, i think hyper tech is a place where you can get some information, i did notice on bumpy roads the dodge side to side motion is a little excesive, would putting a beefier sway bar solve that problem? dont get me wrong the ride is untouched IMO just wish they put a better swaybar on the dodge from the factory
  • cwofergcwoferg Posts: 78
    I was talking about the type of swaybar for towing. It goes with a weight distribution hitch. It is a bar that connects from the ball receiver assembly to the side of the tongue on larger trailers. But now that you mention it, it does jump a little on big bumps during turns. Not enough to bug me, but yes, it probably could use a beefier sway bar underneath the chassis.
    By the way, I got it back from the shop and they said the best way to avoid the A/C problem is to shut down the A/C before you shut down the vehicle until they get the fix in place. When you shut down the compressor with the engine, the computer thinks it is still on when you start the engine and therefore will not engage. Turning it off and restarting it clears this, but it is still a small nuisance until the fix comes out. Apparently it will take a little longer to come through in California because it has to go through some emissions board for approval. A short hurdle, but a hurdle nonetheless.

    Happy motoring!
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
  • mark_325imark_325i Posts: 29
    Alas, how true. A pudgy vehicle for the super-sized family. The ads for these things always put them in rugged settings with fit people getting their climbing gear out of the back. The reality is that these things are bought by the Klumps and the only "gear" taken out of the back are cases of chips from Costco. Crank up the DVD and pass the Big Gulp!
  • durango04durango04 Posts: 3
    I have an 04 Durango, HEMI, SLT. Anyone else with the HEMI notice a ticking sound at idle, akin to excessive lifter noise. I have listened to 3 other HEMI's at the dealer and they all have the same ticking sound, so it might be normal but annoying. Any ideas on what it is and if it can be made quieter. Note that you can't hear it from inside the vehicle.

    Also, intermittenly at start up the fan makes a loud whooshing sound before settling at idle..any ideas.

    Third, the brake pedal creaks when depressed. Have had the brake switch replaced twice..same creak..any suggestions....thanks.
  • Essentially calling Durango owners big, fat slobs does little to contradict the perception of BMW owners.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    If you read the article linked, while the Durango grew in size, muscle was mentioned - in fact, the editor specifically said it didn't feel flabby. They also said the seats weren't all that good for tall people, interestingly enough. Guess it still has room to grow.

    Steve, Host
  • cwofergcwoferg Posts: 78
    Have you driven the '04 Durango yet? Once you do, you wouldn't care if it looks like a late 80's-early 90's Nissan Sentra. Oh, wait, that is the 325i!
    Pick a different forum.
  • cwofergcwoferg Posts: 78
    It is just fine for tall people. My son is 6'1 1/2", 215 pounds and sits happily anywhere in the vehicle, including the third row. If you check the specs in the Motor Trend article, the third seat has more leg room and headroom than all but the Expedition (it is within an inch). The Sequoia, Expedition and Armada claim three can fit in theirs, but I would not want to be one of the three! Also, with the adjustable pedals, there isn't a great need to jam the front seat all the way back, so the middle seat is just fine. All you have to do is be considerate and everyone will be happy. If you are alone, jack the seat all the way back!
  • jcmartinjcmartin Posts: 1
    We have a 2001 Durango SLT+ 4x4 with the 5.9L engine, 3.92 axle, leather interior, and pretty well loaded. We ordered it without the third seat to get the extra legroom in the second row. It has performed well, and we still are quite happy with it 3 years and 72,000 miles later. Unfortunately, my wife had to go "offroad" to avoid an oncoming truck that was straddling the center line. She veered off into a ditch, went through a garden, and stopped the Durango with a large tree at about 30 mph. Thankfully, other than seat belt bruises, she is fine, as is our 7mo old daughter who was in her car seat in back. The Durango passenger compartment remained intact with the engine compartment absorbing all of the impact. It looks ugly, but the insurance company wants to repair it. We are going to replace it though and are looking at the 04 Durango.

    We are looking at the Limited 4x4 with the Hemi and 3.92 axle. Took a demonstrator home for the weekend (with the 3.55 axle) and pounded on it for a while. It definitely has a nice ride and a lot more space. It hesitated a bit when I would punch it, but then accelerated well. Anyone know if this is the same with the 3.92 axle in place? The seats don't seem as comfortable as the ones in our 01 Durango, a bit hard. Do they get better as they break in? Other than the recent posts about A/C issues with the pcm program, sounds like there aren't any nagging issues with the new design.

    I don't think the dealer we are talking to is giving us a good price (41,490 SP - 5,000 in rebates and then 14,900 in trade on the 01 Durango (oh, and then add tax)). They are the ones we ordered the 01 durango from, and it is in their body shop right now. The trade is probably overvalued, but I'm not sure how much. They are giving 14,900 on the final repaired Durango which is about 1000 more than the wholesale book value, but it is a loaded car and the interior is still in super shape (plus the tires and brakes on it only have about 2,000 mi on them). Finding what we want seems to be an issue also - they did locate one though. I am trying to decide whether to work on getting a better price from them on this one, or just waiting until we can order an 05 model.
  • cwofergcwoferg Posts: 78
    Glad all is well. I watched an '01 Durango go through a brick wall at around 50 mph right in front of my house and both of the passenger came out fine. One had a seatbelt burn because he wasn't wearing a shirt. They are seriously tough.
    As for the hesitation in takeoff, there is a significant difference to the 3.92 (which I have), but the intake system is still going to have a slight delay. Once it kicks in though, your head goes back!! I am thinking of getting a cold-air intake to get rid of this. A good friend of mine also has a Hemi and the difference in throttle response is night and day with the cold-air intake. As for the seats, yes, they will break in.
    As for the pricing. Go to my Post #1198 and find out how I got a Fleet deal. This will allow you to custom order yours. They build it especially for you and you will get it in about 4-6 weeks. If you are willing to wait for an '05, than this should at least be an option for you.
  • etze_etze_ Posts: 27
    I am looking at buying a 2001 Durango SLT with the third seat. I test drove one and really love the feel of it and the exhaust note is really nice. The best thing for me though is the huge amount of head and legroom for the drive.

     Since we will be using three child car seats in it we will need to put two of them in way back seat. I could not find any latch system for either back rows and the salesman suggested using the cargo tie downs for the top teather.Is this what everyone else uses or do you just use the seat belts ? Also do you have any problems fitting the car seat in the small third seat ? I measured the seat bottom and it is only 12" wide while my child seat are 16" wide , does anyone have a problem fitting these seats in the back ?

     I know this is alot of questions, but I was looking for real world advice on how the older Durangos function with kid.

     I have always loved the Durangos, and with the price of gas rising and the new body style out this seams to be a good time to get a good by on the Durango classics.

     Thanks for any advice.
  • pepsigirlpepsigirl Posts: 1
    I am interested in purchasing a 1999 used durango. It's car fax report came out wonderful and has had only one previous owner. We are a young couple with one child and one very big dog. We do some traveling but mostly stay local- country. Do any of you have any advice-positive or negative? Please respond soon our other car is on it's way out! Thanks
  • durango04durango04 Posts: 3
    The rear cargo tie downs are not designed for a tether and could be dangerous if you use them in this manner. I have only two car seats, in the middle row, one on each side and there definitely is no room for a third one in between. I would put one in the middle row either behind the passenger or driver and two in the back...however the ones in the back would have to be secured the old fashioned way...with the seat belt, using a locking clip.
This discussion has been closed.