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Thread: 2005 Dodge Durango

  1. #1
    LASERs `R' Us JamesB's Avatar
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    2005 Dodge Durango

    Bought the beast on Monday evening. It's high mileage (a shade over 300,000km, but very well maintained) and we paid just CAD$2,900. There was another 15% sales tax added to the cost when I got to transport to register the change of ownership. The tyres had almost no legal tread and the front wheel alignment was way out due to the seller having just replaced the tie rod ends.

    We headed off for home just at the start of a heavy snow fall. With the bad tyres and in desperate need of a wheel alignment to fix toe-in/toe-out issues, it wasn't a pleasant or safe trip, and we got almost half way home before the decision was made to park the Durango in the car park of the Yarmouth Canadian Tire for the night, and nopics and I would continue home in the Discovery.

    It was Wednesday before the weather (and the roads) had cleared enough to make the trip back to the Canadian Tire to get new tyres fitted and have them do the wheel alignment.

    It's a HB5P74 model, which means it's a top of the line Limited edition with 4WD, 5.7 Hemi, and a 5 speed O/D auto. We've since discovered that it was ordered from the factory with the heavy duty towing option, so it's got an 8,900 lbs (4037 kg) load and 1200 lbs (544 kg) trailer tongue weight factory fitted Class IV hitch. It also had option boxes ticked for heavy duty suspension, recovery hooks, and skid plates.

    At the moment, it's virtually stock except for the exhaust. The hemi makes a nice burble as the previous owner replaced the stock muffler with a flowmaster.

    The plan is to turn this vehicle into our long haul tourer (with both rows of seats down, I should have enough room to sleep in the back) and tow beast (it's got a decent tow rating, so once we get a car trailer, it should be able to handle most vehicles we need to move).

    It'll remain pretty much as it is at the moment except for the addition of a few things to make it work better, such as:
    • decent set of driving lights (I have 3 unused pairs of Super Oscars in the garage ... 4 standard/2 pencil beam, so a pair of the standards will go onto the Durango)
    • good electric brake controller. AFAIK, the wiring for a brake controller is already fitted as part of the factory tow package
    • beefed up 12 volt connection to the trailer connector to power stuff like winches, etc, on our trailers
    • second battery with a RV type solenoid enabled charging connection/isolator

    At the moment, it's got some sort of electrical gremlin that causes the battery to occasionally drain flat overnight. It's got a brand new battery and alternator, but I think the accessory position on the ignition switch is occasionally not disconnecting when the key is turned off, and stuff on the accessory circuit is what's draining the battery.

    With the new tyres and alignment fitted on Wednesday plus a new serpentine belt that I picked up today, the total cost is still under CAD$4500.

    No pictures yet. The weather is still crappy, but with the new tires and wheel alignment, it's surefooted on the snowy roads and a very comfortable drive.
    James

    Nothing says unprofessional job like wrinkles in duct tape.
    Quote Originally Posted by Malcolm Nance (35+ years in US Intelligence)
    Coincidence takes a lot of planning!
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  2. #2
    Interested bystander
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    How do they go for reliability at that distance? The auto would surely have some band and clutch wear by now. Is the transfer case part-time or is there some full-time modes?

    The only Durango I have driven was a rental in Mexico (Leon) at about 1800m altitude and it felt pretty lethargic but I don't know if it was 5.7 (it was a v8). However, nothing seemed to have an excess of power there.

  3. #3
    LASERs `R' Us JamesB's Avatar
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    The second generation models are the pick of the bunch. The first generation models were smaller and based of the Dodge Dakota. The 2nd generation models were based on the next generation Dakota, but with some features taken from the Dodge Ram trucks. The current versions are based on a Jeep Grand Cherokee.

    The Hemi 5.7 was the top engine from the beginning of the 2nd generation models, but there were smaller V8s available in the 1st and 2nd generation models. A 2005 with the same specs as mine (hemi, 5 speed, 3.92:1 axle ratio) had a 0-60 mph time in the mid 7 second range with 1/4 mile times in the upper 15 second range with trap times in the upper 80 mph range.

    The transfer case has a centre differential, so normally it runs in fulltime AWD. The base 4WD models only had a single speed transfer case with just a lock setting, but mine has the optional 2 speed transfer case with 4Lock and 4Lo plus a driveline disengage for flat towing.

    The transmission in mine feels good, in fact the whole car feels tight, so I suspect that many parts have been replaced in the past few years. I know it has new brakes, wheel hubs, suspension, and steering (I have the old brake and steering parts) and the guy I bought it from just finished installing a new 160A alternator a few hours before I picked it up. He apologized for the state of the serpentine belt and knocked $100 off my offer to cover the cost of a new belt.
    James

    Nothing says unprofessional job like wrinkles in duct tape.
    Quote Originally Posted by Malcolm Nance (35+ years in US Intelligence)
    Coincidence takes a lot of planning!
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  4. #4
    Ellis Juan mizone's Avatar
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    Durangos are cool. Pics?

  5. #5
    LASERs `R' Us JamesB's Avatar
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    Some quick and dirty shots I took this morning while I was taking out the trash.







    James

    Nothing says unprofessional job like wrinkles in duct tape.
    Quote Originally Posted by Malcolm Nance (35+ years in US Intelligence)
    Coincidence takes a lot of planning!
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  6. #6
    anyone? MRMOPARMAN's Avatar
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    I wish they would bring those fuckers to australia.

    Good buy.

  7. #7
    LASERs `R' Us JamesB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MRMOPARMAN View Post
    I wish they would bring those fuckers to australia.
    Compared to the Disco, it's far more comfortable to drive on the road ... nicer seating position, lot more grunt, and rides better (an extra 20" of wheelbase helps). There's almost as much luggage room behind the 3rd row of seats as there is behind the 2nd row in the Disco.

    The general concensus is that for serious off road work, the rear axle is pretty good but an aftermarket live axle conversion kit should be installed to replace the factory front IRS system.

    Good buy.
    Everyone I talk to tells me that I got it way under market value. I'll know for sure if a letter arrives from the provincial tax office telling me that I need to pay tax on their valuation instead of what I actually paid, or pay for an appraisal from a specialist and submit the specialist's valuation of it's lower than the government's valuation.
    James

    Nothing says unprofessional job like wrinkles in duct tape.
    Quote Originally Posted by Malcolm Nance (35+ years in US Intelligence)
    Coincidence takes a lot of planning!
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  8. #8
    jack burton sez bv's Avatar
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    nice buy. As I said in the other thread, I have one also, same year and model. had it for... 5 years now? I just gave it a service saturday, its on 101K miles.

    its been tits. I use it to flat tow my jeep (rock crawler) around, otherwise its mostly my daily and the general camping beast.

    you said it feels tight - I don't know what it is about that model but most of them seem to hold together on the inside quite well. I would describe mine the same way - in great nick on the inside, everything works and no rattles. electric seat, all the motors etc. The only issue we had with it was the electric selector motor on the transfer case was buggy for a bit, it caused a loss of drive a couple times (and the SVC 4WD) light. Was easy fix.

    If you're sleeping in the back of it: I built a wooden frame for the back to get it level and throw a mattress down onto. The flaps that fold down over the middle row of seats dont provide any real support, and the floor isn't level by the best part of a foot. The frame also came in super handy as you can stow shit under it, or strap down cargo to it. I have camped in the back of it for 4 or 5 nights. not a lot of head room but works fine. I'm 6'. Would be cramped with two in there.

  9. #9
    LASERs `R' Us JamesB's Avatar
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    I'm a shade under 6'4", so it'll be a squeeze for me to sleep in the back.

    Current issue I'm battling is the notorious Dodge overnight electrical drain. We've had it just over a week, and the brand new battery has been dead flat on 2 mornings since a new battery was fitted on Wednesday and a bit low juice on this morning. Judging by comments in forums, it appears to be a regular malady on Dodges of that vintage. You can possibly add a 3rd dead battery morning, but that was with the unknown age battery that was in the car when we bought it. That battery was dead when we arrived at Canadian Tire on Wednesday morning to get new tyres fitted (left the car in their car park for two nights as it was just too dicey to drive it home with almost bald tyres and a really bad wheel alignment in the snow storm that started Monday and continued all Tuesday). Despite Canadian Tire's assurances that the old battery was shot, I'd be willing to bet that there was nothing wrong with the old battery other than the store wanting to sell me a new battery.

    Things that I know are draining the battery ... the fluorescent clock in the sound system is on all the time, as are the lights in the door lock and window controls in the doors.
    Last edited by JamesB; 27-01-16 at 03:33 AM.
    James

    Nothing says unprofessional job like wrinkles in duct tape.
    Quote Originally Posted by Malcolm Nance (35+ years in US Intelligence)
    Coincidence takes a lot of planning!
    Nova Scotia Lasers - LASER engraving
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  10. #10
    LASERs `R' Us JamesB's Avatar
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    I think I've found the source of the mysterious current drain ... the CD player.

    The Durango has a high end in dash 6CD player, and it appears that somebody has really mangled the 6CD mechanism, probably trying to retrieve some stuck discs. I was sitting in the car with everything turned off, and I could hear noises from the CD mechanism. It appears that whenever the car is turned off, the CD player keeps trying to load/play/unload/whatever the stuck disc(s), and once I had the Mitsubishi manufactured 6CD loader mechanism out, I noticed that there's at least 4 discs jammed in the mechanism. Bits are bent beyond repair. I disconnected and removed the CD mechanism, but it appears that the radio output is routed through the CD mechanism, so I got no sound, so I pulled the lot out.

    I'll run the car for a week without the player and see if it solves the battery drain problem.

    There's too much integration of some of the car automation through the CD player to consider fitting a non standard replacement. I can get an exact model complete working unit on ebay for USD$55 delivered, and the player appears to be pretty common amongst the higher end Dodges and Chryslers of the previous decade, so I'll see what the wreckers have.
    James

    Nothing says unprofessional job like wrinkles in duct tape.
    Quote Originally Posted by Malcolm Nance (35+ years in US Intelligence)
    Coincidence takes a lot of planning!
    Nova Scotia Lasers - LASER engraving
    1989 Jaguar XJ-S V12
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  11. #11
    jack burton sez bv's Avatar
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    i dont have the 6 stacker, but the unit is always connected to 12V yeah - the eject button always works. mine has been quite good on battery usage, always starts and i never put it on a charger

  12. #12
    Registered User irsa76's Avatar
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    I recall Chrysler had a thing for 1.5 din head units during this time, Crutchfield do/did a fascia kit to fit a normal HU.
    Last edited by irsa76; 28-01-16 at 05:25 PM.

  13. #13
    LASERs `R' Us JamesB's Avatar
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    Shoved the radio back in with the CD changer assembly attached, but with all the connections from the drive electronics to the drive mechanism disconnected. Everything works fine and so far it looks like my battery drain problem has vanished.

    The CD changer mechanism inside the radio is made by Mitsubishi and appears pretty common across a number of radios fitted into many car makes, and in many cases, the only difference between a 6CD changer fitted into a Chevrolet, Volvo, Subaru, or Dodge car stereo head unit is the two circuit boards. Other than a other than a few soldered in tabs that hold the boards in place, it's all connected by unplugable ribbon cables. I'm going to have a look at the 6CD changer in the Subaru Forester that I'm parting out and see if it uses the same model of Mitsubishi mechanism, and if so, I'll do a transplant.

    There's a good write up on disassembly of the Chrysler RAQ model stereo on the Allpar site. The stereo was made by the automotive division of Chrysler Electronics in Huntsville, Alabama (sold by Daimler Chrysler to Siemens).



    The RAQ head unit is a popular upgrade for older Dodges as it is one of the last "high end" Dodge head units that will work without a connection to the car's CanBus system. Later Dodge head units will do nothing other than load or unload discs without the right signals from the CanBus system.
    Last edited by JamesB; 29-01-16 at 11:14 PM.
    James

    Nothing says unprofessional job like wrinkles in duct tape.
    Quote Originally Posted by Malcolm Nance (35+ years in US Intelligence)
    Coincidence takes a lot of planning!
    Nova Scotia Lasers - LASER engraving
    1989 Jaguar XJ-S V12
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    2003 Land Rover Discovery SE7

  14. #14
    LASERs `R' Us JamesB's Avatar
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    One thing I learned about in my search for the elusive battery drain problem was the IOD (Ignition Off Draw) fuses that can be pulled to kill much of the parasitic electrical drain caused by "always on" circuits. It appears that the level of the normal parasitic drain in many of the Dodge vehicles is rather high.

    From the "Owners Manual":
    NOTE: If you are leaving your vehicle dormant for longer than 21 days you may want to take steps to protect your battery. You may do this by disconnecting the battery or by disconnecting the two ignition-off draw (I.O.D.) fuses located in the Auxiliary Power Distribution Center (PDC) located in the engine compartment. The I.O.D. cavities include a snap-in retainer that allows the fuse to be disconnected, without removing it from the fuse block. Pressing the I.O.D. fuse back into the cavity reconnects it.
    Took me a while to find the IOD fuses, as it appears to be a Dodge foible that they don't provide a legend for the function of each fuse in any of the 3 fuse compartments (one by the driver's feet and two in the engine bay), and until I found the above note in the Owners Manual, everything I'd seen posted seemed to indicate that there was a single IOD fuse located somewhere near the battery. Well, I found the unlabeled fuses in their carrier (circled), in one of the two engine bay fuse compartments, both of which are located on the opposite side of the engine compartment to the battery.

    Last edited by JamesB; 29-01-16 at 11:15 PM.
    James

    Nothing says unprofessional job like wrinkles in duct tape.
    Quote Originally Posted by Malcolm Nance (35+ years in US Intelligence)
    Coincidence takes a lot of planning!
    Nova Scotia Lasers - LASER engraving
    1989 Jaguar XJ-S V12
    2008 Chrysler Aspen Limited (mini van on steroids)
    2003 Land Rover Discovery SE7

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    Registered User Berger's Avatar
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    Nice one
    Last edited by Berger; 15-10-16 at 09:26 AM.

  16. #16
    LASERs `R' Us JamesB's Avatar
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    And the battery drain issue continues ...

    My best guess is that the CD player problem was just a minor issue, and the real issue has most likely been "operator error" due to an ignition key lock mechanism that could do with replacing.

    The night before last, I was outside and I noticed that the radio was still on a few hours after it should have automatically shut off. With the ignition switch in the "Lock" position and the key removed, the accessories are supposed to run for 10 minutes or until the drivers door is opened (the drivers door function is something I was unaware of until I found it in the manual yesterday). It is not supposed to be possible to remove the key in any position other than the lock position, so I've been working on the assumption that I could just Lock the ignition, remove the key, and everything will shut off after the 10 minute delay.

    This is the first vehicle I've been regularly driving since I moved to Canada that has an "Accessories" position further anticlockwise past the "Lock" position. While it's not supposed to be possible to remove the key in any position except "Lock", I discovered that I've been turning the key past "Lock" to "Acc", and the worn lock mechanism is allowing me to remove the key while it's in the "Acc" position. As a result, none of the devices are shutting off after 10 minutes. The major mystery power drain is most likely the power amplifiers for the premium sound system remaining powered up all night. I've also been seeing variations in what the vehicle does when I use the remote to lock it. Testing has proved that with the switch in the "Acc" position, the vehicle still locks and unlocks fine using the remote, but the lights don't flash like they are supposed to for the lock/unlock cycle, and there's no horn beep when it locks.

    I've ordered a new uncoded replacement ignition lock cylinder. It's a piece of cake to replace the cylinder as long as I have a key that fits the assembly I am taking out and another key that matches the one going in. The uncoded replacement lock cylinder kit comes with a full set of pins so it can be configured to match existing keys. It should be a simple fix and hopefully should solve the key removal issue. While I wait for the new lock to be delivered, I will just have to be vigilant and watch what I'm doing with the key.

    It's only taken me 2 weeks to get to this stage.
    James

    Nothing says unprofessional job like wrinkles in duct tape.
    Quote Originally Posted by Malcolm Nance (35+ years in US Intelligence)
    Coincidence takes a lot of planning!
    Nova Scotia Lasers - LASER engraving
    1989 Jaguar XJ-S V12
    2008 Chrysler Aspen Limited (mini van on steroids)
    2003 Land Rover Discovery SE7

  17. #17
    LASERs `R' Us JamesB's Avatar
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    Went for the 2 year vehicle inspection on Friday. I replaced a few blown light bulbs before the inspection, but the weather has been far to wet/snowy/cold to do much more without a garage or workshop at home. The Durango didn't pass the inspection, but it was nothing really difficult to get fixed. It's got a worn out ball joint in the left rear stabilizer link and the rear brakes are pretty terminal (scored rotors, delaminating pads, and the hand brake mechanism is binding). It does explain the funny feeling from the rear suspension, the pulsing from the brakes, and the tendency for the hand brake not to release properly. I know the front end had been done before just I bought the car, but it looks like the rear end hadn't been touched. While there's no requirement for me to have the inspecting workshop do the work, I have no problems having them do it as their quote came in for less than it would cost me for the parts, and as soon as they've done the work, they'll sign off on the inspection. So much for the "It'll only need new tyres to pass the inspection".

    The good news was that they didn't find any rust problems or oil leaks, and the general comment was that it was in excellent condition for an 11 year old vehicle with almost 310,000km on the clock that's spent it's entire life dealing with winter salt in Nova Scotia.

    I had expected to be told that I'd need to have the muffler replaced (to the point where I had a replacement bookmarked on an online parts supplier's site), as technically it's a different construction to the stock muffler. The stock muffler is about 3 feet long and a proper muffler. The guy I bought it from replaced it with a FlowMaster that's about a foot long. The Hemi makes a wonderful sound through it when you put the boot in. I do like the sound that the Hemis make.

    In other news, I'm going through the process of trying to get a replacement transponder/remote/security key for the beast. I got two keys with the Dodge. One unworn key that has both a noticeable bend and a twist in the key portion, but the transponder electronics works fine. The second key is straight but quite worn and the transponder electronics are long gone. Without the transponder electronics, that key is pretty useless (it will start the engine but it shuts off after a second and after 6 starts in a row with that key, the car is dead until the transponder key is used. I can program up to 6 extra keys in the vehicle (for a total of 8 keys), but to do this I need to have two working transponder keys. The general opinion is that you should have at least 3 transponder keys so you can deal with the loss of a single key.

    There's nobody local that can program a replacement key (the two local Dodge dealers won't program a key and require you to order a replacement key through their spare parts division based on your VIN). The best figure I was quoted for a VIN number supplied key was $172 + tax for one key, and it'll only work if nothing in the security system has been changed since the car was delivered. I've just set the tumblers in the new ignition lock barrel to match the old keys (although the bent key is a bit of a problem in the new/unworn lock), so I have the 8x4 key cutting coding, but I need to extract a 4 digit pin from the car's electronics before I can order a key online from a mail-order auto locksmith (the pin is apparently supplied with the keys, but the card with the PIN is long gone). A company in the US will supply and cut a key based on your VIN or key code and rent you a reader/programmer, but their cost is USD$95 plus 2 way shipping of the programmer. After some discussion with a few locals, I've figured that the best thing to do is buy a low end key programmer that will do the $25 a pop eBay transponder keys. There's some real nasty key cloners around that will duplicate some transponder keys, but what I'm after is one that can read the PIN out of the security system and actually program the key correctly, but I can get a base level Chinese programmer that plugs into the OBD2 port, reads the security pin, and then programs the new key with it in the ignition, for around $150 delivered. I just need to find a local locksmith that's willing to work with me and cut the keys if I start to offer a key programming service. Fortunately the Dodge keys are simple 2 sided, 8 tumbler, 4 depth keys, and not the fancy LASER cut keys that cost a fortune for the cutting alone.
    James

    Nothing says unprofessional job like wrinkles in duct tape.
    Quote Originally Posted by Malcolm Nance (35+ years in US Intelligence)
    Coincidence takes a lot of planning!
    Nova Scotia Lasers - LASER engraving
    1989 Jaguar XJ-S V12
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  18. #18
    LASERs `R' Us JamesB's Avatar
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    In other news, the battery drain problem seems to have been solved with the vigilant monitoring of the position the ignition switch is in when the key is removed. Also it's been noted that once I figured this out, it's only when nopics has driven the truck that it has problems, so I suspect she's not as careful with the key position. We bought her a 2002 Saturn SL1 on Friday to use as a commuting vehicle, so there's no need for her to drive the Durango unless the weather is bad.
    James

    Nothing says unprofessional job like wrinkles in duct tape.
    Quote Originally Posted by Malcolm Nance (35+ years in US Intelligence)
    Coincidence takes a lot of planning!
    Nova Scotia Lasers - LASER engraving
    1989 Jaguar XJ-S V12
    2008 Chrysler Aspen Limited (mini van on steroids)
    2003 Land Rover Discovery SE7

  19. #19
    LASERs `R' Us JamesB's Avatar
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    Dropped into the workshop today and they told me that a big crapload of rear brake and suspension parts turned up yesterday afternoon. I'll be there bright an early tomorrow morning to have them fitted.

    The 2 yearly safety inspections here are strange. Technically, if you buy a used car and the inspection is more than a month old then you are required to get a new inspection ... but nobody bothers. The big selling point on a cheap car is how long it has to run on the inspection sticker. Nopics' Saturn was inspected in November last year, so the 21 months it still had on the sticker was important.

    There's no connection between the registration date and the inspection date, and it really does appear that nobody keeps track of when a vehicle is due for an inspection. I have friends in the area that have gone over a year past the end of validity on the inspection sticker and were only nailed when they were pulled over for something or the local police were having a blitz on the inspection stickers. The Subaru's sticker expired at the end of August last year (no way it was ever going to pass another inspection) and Nopics went through a roadside "inspection sticker" check point in a week into September. They gave us until the end of September to present valid inspection paperwork at the police station ... we didn't bother, and haven't heard from them since. Officially the Subaru was de-registered last month when I put the Subaru's old plates on the Dodge.

    Here the plates belong to the vehicle owner and are attached to a vehicle they own or held by the plate owner until they have a vehicle to put them on. When you sell a car, you retain the plates and put them on your replacement vehicle, and the licensing just continues uninterrupted on the new vehicle.
    James

    Nothing says unprofessional job like wrinkles in duct tape.
    Quote Originally Posted by Malcolm Nance (35+ years in US Intelligence)
    Coincidence takes a lot of planning!
    Nova Scotia Lasers - LASER engraving
    1989 Jaguar XJ-S V12
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    2003 Land Rover Discovery SE7

  20. #20
    LASERs `R' Us JamesB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JamesB View Post
    Went for the 2 year vehicle inspection on Friday. I replaced a few blown light bulbs before the inspection, but the weather has been far to wet/snowy/cold to do much more without a garage or workshop at home. The Durango didn't pass the inspection, but it was nothing really difficult to get fixed. It's got a worn out ball joint in the left rear stabilizer link and the rear brakes are pretty terminal (scored rotors, delaminating pads, and the hand brake mechanism is binding). It does explain the funny feeling from the rear suspension, the pulsing from the brakes, and the tendency for the hand brake not to release properly. I know the front end had been done before just I bought the car, but it looks like the rear end hadn't been touched. While there's no requirement for me to have the inspecting workshop do the work, I have no problems having them do it as their quote came in for less than it would cost me for the parts, and as soon as they've done the work, they'll sign off on the inspection.
    As they took the brake bits apart, they discovered more and more problems (mostly due to rust/corrosion) and pretty much everything outwards of the axles needed to be replaced ... backing plates, hand brakes, rotors, pads, calipers. Before they started fitting any new bits, they took me into the workshop and I saw just what was needed. About the only thing that was a "maybe" was the right hand backing plate, but it was on its way out and would need replacement within a year or so.

    As they needed to pull both axles to do the backing plates and some of the hand brake mechanism, it also got new rear axle seals and the diff oil was changed.

    I had expected to be told that I'd need to have the muffler replaced (to the point where I had a replacement bookmarked on an online parts supplier's site), as technically it's a different construction to the stock muffler. The stock muffler is about 3 feet long and a proper muffler. The guy I bought it from replaced it with a FlowMaster that's about a foot long. The Hemi makes a wonderful sound through it when you put the boot in. I do like the sound that the Hemis make.
    When I picked the car up this morning, I was told that they considered replacing the muffler as it sounded like the baffles were gone when they backed it out of the bay ... but they didn't as it had all been signed off as having passed the inspection.

    With the swar bar link and the charge for the safety inspection, the total bill for everything (including $360 in labour) was a few pennies over $1000 ... and there was 15% GST on top of that.

    So much for the "It'll only need new tyres to pass the inspection".
    It's now safetied until the last day of March 2018. The 2 year licensing fee is due at the end of April and will be around $212.
    James

    Nothing says unprofessional job like wrinkles in duct tape.
    Quote Originally Posted by Malcolm Nance (35+ years in US Intelligence)
    Coincidence takes a lot of planning!
    Nova Scotia Lasers - LASER engraving
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  21. #21
    Registered User Marlin's Avatar
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    Salt. Brutal stuff.

  22. #22
    Registered User irsa76's Avatar
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    Have you got a plow attachment on this yet? Friend of mine in New Brunswick is regretting she didn't get a plow kit for her new Chevy 1/2 ton when she bought it last year. She's had to use her parent's old F350 a few times to plow her driveway.

  23. #23
    LASERs `R' Us JamesB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by irsa76 View Post
    Have you got a plow attachment on this yet? Friend of mine in New Brunswick is regretting she didn't get a plow kit for her new Chevy 1/2 ton when she bought it last year. She's had to use her parent's old F350 a few times to plow her driveway.
    Not enough driveway for a plow (sold our plow over a year ago). Plus, we have a 30" width snow blower and the neighbour plows the driveway with his tractor.
    James

    Nothing says unprofessional job like wrinkles in duct tape.
    Quote Originally Posted by Malcolm Nance (35+ years in US Intelligence)
    Coincidence takes a lot of planning!
    Nova Scotia Lasers - LASER engraving
    1989 Jaguar XJ-S V12
    2008 Chrysler Aspen Limited (mini van on steroids)
    2003 Land Rover Discovery SE7

  24. #24
    LASERs `R' Us JamesB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marlin View Post
    Salt. Brutal stuff.
    Anything over 10 years old is on borrowed time. 5 years is enough if they don't treat the car properly and give it a regular under body wash during winter.
    James

    Nothing says unprofessional job like wrinkles in duct tape.
    Quote Originally Posted by Malcolm Nance (35+ years in US Intelligence)
    Coincidence takes a lot of planning!
    Nova Scotia Lasers - LASER engraving
    1989 Jaguar XJ-S V12
    2008 Chrysler Aspen Limited (mini van on steroids)
    2003 Land Rover Discovery SE7

  25. #25
    LASERs `R' Us JamesB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JamesB View Post
    In other news, the battery drain problem seems to have been solved with the vigilant monitoring of the position the ignition switch is in when the key is removed. Also it's been noted that once I figured this out, it's only when nopics has driven the truck that it has problems, so I suspect she's not as careful with the key position. We bought her a 2002 Saturn SL1 on Friday to use as a commuting vehicle, so there's no need for her to drive the Durango unless the weather is bad.
    A week ago, I put a new ignition lock cylinder assembly in the 2005 Durango. Bought an uncoded cylinder kit with a full set of tumblers and coded it to match the existing keys. With the new lock cylinder fitted, the key can be removed ONLY when it's in the lock position.

    This is critical, as less than a week after we bought the Saturn for nopics, she slid it off an icy corner and put it into a ditch. While I get the Saturn back on the road (nothing major, just busted plastic headlight mounts and cracked or pushed in plastic body panels), she's been driving the Durango to work.

    In the week before I replaced the lock, she was regularly discovering that the Durango's battery was dead when she tried to drive home after a night shift. Since that lock cylinder went in, there's been no re-occurrence of the mystery overnight battery drainings.
    James

    Nothing says unprofessional job like wrinkles in duct tape.
    Quote Originally Posted by Malcolm Nance (35+ years in US Intelligence)
    Coincidence takes a lot of planning!
    Nova Scotia Lasers - LASER engraving
    1989 Jaguar XJ-S V12
    2008 Chrysler Aspen Limited (mini van on steroids)
    2003 Land Rover Discovery SE7

  26. #26
    LASERs `R' Us JamesB's Avatar
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    A bit of online research, and it looks like replacing the plastic cowl panel at the base of the windscreen of the Durango is good insurance. The original design cowl is notorious for channeling rain water onto the engine which does nasty things to the coil packs and crank position sensor. Unfortunately, the 5.7 Hemi in the early Gen 2 Durangos also has bigger problems. Water sits in the V between the heads and the intake manifold. If the engine has more than a few miles on it and the intake manifold gaskets are a bit dried out/compressed, after heavy rain, the engines have been known to suck that water into the engine, hydrolock, and throw a rod. A $180 updated design cowl panel that was specifically engineered to re-route the water is cheap insurance. Replacing the intake manifold gaskets is also recommended.
    James

    Nothing says unprofessional job like wrinkles in duct tape.
    Quote Originally Posted by Malcolm Nance (35+ years in US Intelligence)
    Coincidence takes a lot of planning!
    Nova Scotia Lasers - LASER engraving
    1989 Jaguar XJ-S V12
    2008 Chrysler Aspen Limited (mini van on steroids)
    2003 Land Rover Discovery SE7

  27. #27
    Registered User I'm DJ!'s Avatar
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    Done any big trips in her?
    DJ's don't need sigs

  28. #28
    LASERs `R' Us JamesB's Avatar
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    Nowhere any further than Halifax (that's about 3 hours away), but on the last trip there, we came back with a car on a trailer (2002 Saturn SL1). Just getting a feel for it as a tow vehicle. Only got a 7000 lb rated Class III hitch in the Class IV receiver at the moment, but before I start playing with loads that require me to fit a Class IV hitch and ball, I'll be fitting an electric brake controller (it's apparently pre-wired).
    James

    Nothing says unprofessional job like wrinkles in duct tape.
    Quote Originally Posted by Malcolm Nance (35+ years in US Intelligence)
    Coincidence takes a lot of planning!
    Nova Scotia Lasers - LASER engraving
    1989 Jaguar XJ-S V12
    2008 Chrysler Aspen Limited (mini van on steroids)
    2003 Land Rover Discovery SE7

  29. #29
    LASERs `R' Us JamesB's Avatar
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    Been a busy week in the Durango ... couple of longer trips to look at food trailers/food trucks for a friend in Newfoundland ... New Glasgow and Halifax on Monday (1000 km) and Halifax yesterday (650km).

    Lost the serpentine belt about 1 km from our destination in Halifax yesterday. First I knew was the power steering went out, so I just pressed on through the Halifax traffic until I got to the destination. Without the water pump, the temp gauge did a rapid rise, but was still below the redline (or the warning light) by the time we arrived. There was no "charge" problem light, so I need to check that.

    I had been planning on changing the belt when I got some free time, so I had a spare belt in the back of the truck, but the real battle was figuring out how the belt was run ... no diagram anywhere in the vehicle. Fortunately I had my laptop in the car with the 6661 page service manual on it. The serpentine belt removal/replacement pages showed a generic pulley example which didn't match the Hemi pulley layout. Here's the diagram they gave on the manual in the remove/install serpentine belt section.



    Eventually I found a drawing of the engine on page 4503 that showed the belt. It was good enough to show mw how it ran. Here's a better diagram that a Dodge forum member found after he encountered the same problem dealing with the generic diagram in the manual.



    Unfortunately where I was working (in the car park of a tavern), there was no internet connection that I could leech, so I had to work with what I had.

    Dealing with the belt tensioner without a proper tool was a nightmare, but eventually I managed it by partially releasing the belt tension by levering the tension pulley with a large flat blade screw driver just enough to partially get the belt onto the crank pulley. I then rotated the crank pulley with a socket wrench to wind the belt the rest of the way onto the crank pulley. About 2 and a half hours from start to finish.

    I'm now researching a proper tool to carry in the vehicle with my spare belt.

    EDIT: Apparently there's a 3/8" square drive hole in the tensioner on my model of 5.7 Hemi. The only tool needed to do a belt change is a 3/8" drive ratchet handle. All the socket tools I normally carry in the car are 1/2" drive, so I'll need to add a few 3/8" tools to the set.
    Last edited by JamesB; 18-07-16 at 01:21 AM.
    James

    Nothing says unprofessional job like wrinkles in duct tape.
    Quote Originally Posted by Malcolm Nance (35+ years in US Intelligence)
    Coincidence takes a lot of planning!
    Nova Scotia Lasers - LASER engraving
    1989 Jaguar XJ-S V12
    2008 Chrysler Aspen Limited (mini van on steroids)
    2003 Land Rover Discovery SE7

  30. #30
    LASERs `R' Us JamesB's Avatar
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    Just received a recall notice for the Durango in today's mail. Looks like I have one of the infamous Takata airbags fitted to the passenger side. It appears they don't have the parts to do the fix at the moment so I'll get another letter when the parts are available. A woman that received a similar recall notice from Toyota over a year ago said that it came with a warning not to let anyone ride in the front passenger seat, and then it took Toyota over a year to get the parts to fix the air bag. Other than a warning that metal shrapnel from the inflator could pass through the airbag and hit passengers (and coincidentally rupture the airbag), there's no other info or warning. When I travel solo, that airbag is disabled when the weight sensor in the passenger seat detects that it's empty, but when somebody is sitting there, they are basically in the firing line.

    Just looked up my VIN on the recalls.mopar.ca page, and apparently my Driver's side airbag is also from Takata and needs to be replaced as it suffers from the same inflator fault (bad choice of propellant with the subsequent shrapnel problem), but in this case, the parts are available. The recall for this must have been sent to one of the previous owners.
    Last edited by JamesB; 11-08-16 at 03:30 AM.
    James

    Nothing says unprofessional job like wrinkles in duct tape.
    Quote Originally Posted by Malcolm Nance (35+ years in US Intelligence)
    Coincidence takes a lot of planning!
    Nova Scotia Lasers - LASER engraving
    1989 Jaguar XJ-S V12
    2008 Chrysler Aspen Limited (mini van on steroids)
    2003 Land Rover Discovery SE7

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