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Thread: 2008 Chrysler Aspen

  1. #1
    LASERs `R' Us JamesB's Avatar
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    2008 Chrysler Aspen

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    Bought the Aspen yesterday, and immediately took it on a 1600km road trip to get it home. Doesn't look quite that good in the flesh (some patches of bubbling paint), but overall there's a lot less rust issues than there were on the 2005 Durango before nopics had her way with it.

    Did the calculations on what it cost me to buy it, pay the taxes, and putting it on the road, plus the costs to get there and drive it home, get there, and drive it home, and by my calculations I have $5 left from the insurance payout I got for the written off 2005.
    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

  2. #2
    Ellis Juan mizone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JamesB View Post
    Of course I'm sure. I owned a 2005 Durango for a year. The leading edge of the cowl panel in front of the windscreen is pretty much on the axle centre line.
    What I meant is are you sure you really wanna be pulling all that plastic out and cursing every time you service it.

    Well I guess judging by the above photo, the answer is yes.

    Is the interior typical Cerbera Chrysler blah?

  3. #3
    LASERs `R' Us JamesB's Avatar
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    Spent Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning upgrading the software in the MyGig media and navigation system. Initially the upgraded software presented me with a Jeep logo on the boot screen, but this morning the Chrysler logo was there. Apparently Jeep was the first vehicle to get this particular Harman Becker system, and Jeep is the default state. It can take a few power cycles and a few hours wait before the system figures out what brand of vehicle it is in, and displays the relevant brand logo on the screen.

    The navigation database appears to be the original from delivery, and was a year or so old even then. The 2017 map files are just about to be released, and on special, will cost USD$149.95 plus $25 delivery ... however I've found a cheaper method that involves a flaw in the drive security. Once the map has been installed, and that requires entering the VIN and an unlock code tied to the VIN (in order to ensure it can't be installed on any other vehicles), the entire internal hard drive can be cloned, and the map will work fine when the cloned drive is installed in another radio. I can buy a replacement hard drive with the map files already cloned onto it for CAD$90 delivered.

    The Aspens are rare beasts in Canada. They were on the market for just 3 model years (2007-2009), and the plant that built them (and the 2nd Gen Durango) was shut down in Dec 2008 and demolished. During the time the Aspen was on the market, just 4063 were delivered to customers in Canada. Even in the US, they sold less than 65,000 vehicles.

    Had a good look at the body work and compared it to a face lifted 2nd generation Durango, and it appears that the roof, tail-gate, and maybe the front doors are the only exterior panels that are interchangeable between the two "badge engineered" versions. I think the fog lights may be the same, but the head and tail lights are definitely different and non-interchangeable.
    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

  4. #4
    Registered User Milkman Don's Avatar
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    Are these things same as the Dodge Journey sold in oz but with the right drivetrain?

  5. #5
    LASERs `R' Us JamesB's Avatar
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    The only similarity between the 2nd Generation Durango/Aspen and the Journey is some of the styling.

    The 1st generation series of Durango, was pretty much a Station Wagon version of the Dakota and is classified as a Mid Size SUV. The 2nd Generation Durango (plus the Aspen) is a more radical rework of the Dakota Chassis and a unique Minivan style body and is classified as a Full Size SUV. Both are RWD/4x4 full chassis vehicles with north-south engines.

    The Journey was a rework of the Dodge/Chrysler minivan platform and is a FWD/AWD platform with an east-west engine. It's about the same size as the 1st Gen Durango, but is a lot smaller than the 2nd Generation Durango. I suspect that the executives hoped the Journey would capture the same clientele as the Durango when they made the decision to shut the Durango production line in late 2008.
    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

  6. #6
    WOOOOT!!!!!! DrNick's Avatar
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    V8 skid AWD snow skid machine?

    S

  7. #7
    LASERs `R' Us JamesB's Avatar
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    It'll be getting a set of studded snow tyres on 18 inch rims (hopefully in time for this coming winter), as snow skids are something I really don't want. The Durango wasn't fun to drive on icy roads with all season radials. Had some interesting moments in Halifax traffic last Winter after a failed wheel speed sensor caused the ABS and Traction Control to be disabled. Less of a problem on the local roads in our area if you take it really gently, but frightening in big city traffic.
    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

  8. #8
    Registered User irsa76's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Milkman Don View Post
    Are these things same as the Dodge Journey sold in oz but with the right drivetrain?
    D-C, especially Dodge, had a hard on for the block style at the time. Pretty much everything they had all looked pretty similar.
    The Journey was a classic Chyrsler gap filler, as mentioned with the upsized Durango they wanted a 3 row crossover to fit below it. It is said they also wanted to appease the AWD minivan buyers who were shitty that Chyrsler had dropped the AWD option in '04, a small but still reasonable market. It's interesting that the new Pacifica minivan is available with AWD, it's said the Journey won't be replaced at the end of it's cycle either.
    Last edited by irsa76; 15-09-17 at 06:35 AM.

  9. #9
    LASERs `R' Us JamesB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mizone View Post
    Is the interior typical Cerbera Chrysler blah?
    To be honest, as uninspired as the dash was on the Durango, it was far better looking. The rearranging of the Durango dash to incorporate the (traditional) Chrysler analog clock messed up the styling. The brow over the instruments was shortened on the Aspen (it continued to the right side of the centre stack on the Durango), and a growth appeared above the centre stack to fit a clock that wasn't much bigger than a watch ... and not that easy to read. On the positive side, the moulding depression in the growth in which the clock sits is a great place to store loose change for a toll booth or drive through.

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    The rest of the dash and the interior really looks like someone has just sprayed everything with grey primer and then added a few bits of fake brushed stainless trim (silver paint on plastic) and some fake wood accent panels. On the premium spec full leather trim models (like mine) that grey is the only interior colour choice. According to the sales brochure, the lower spec models (and you can't have a lower spec model with a Hemi, so if you want the Hemi, you have to get the high spec model) have a choice of 5 different interior colour combinations. Doesn't make any sense. There's a fair bit of speculation that Daimler ensured that the design and the execution of all the Chrysler interiors was kept pretty down market and uninspired (the panel trim gaps are "less than optimal") to make the Benzes look even better.

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    The front seats are nice on a long trip, and the 2nd row seats are basically low spec Durango (or something out of the Dodge/Chrysler parts bin) front bucket seats trimmed in leather with suede accents that match the front seats, but without any of the position adjusters, or the adjustable lumbar support, and with the recline limited to 11 degrees of movement. The 2nd row does have a seat heating system that's identical to the front seat heating (each seat has an independent 2 level heating system with auto timed shut off), which is nice when it drops down to the minus teens here.
    Last edited by JamesB; 15-09-17 at 10:31 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

  10. #10
    LASERs `R' Us JamesB's Avatar
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    Hunting this weekend for a spare tyre for the Aspen. Where the spare should have been is just the rusty end of a tyre hoist cable. Didn't spot the lack of a spare until I arrived home. The cleanliness of the floor pan above where the spare should have been indicates the vehicle has been through a car wash or two since the spare went missing, so it didn't come off while I was driving. Can't carry a can of tyre foam as the foam stuffs the tyre pressure sensors, so a spare tyre is a must have.

    It's taken me a few days to find out details about the actual size of the wheel for the spare. On my Durango, the road wheels were 17x8 Alloys and the spare was a slightly narrower 17" steel wheel, all shod with P265/65R17 tyres.

    The Aspen has 20x8 Alloys with P265/50R20, but the only official information about the spare is that tyre placard says it should be fitted with a P245/70R17 tire. Somebody on a Dodge forum pulled their spare and confirmed that it was on a 17x7.5, and this matches my online research which indicated the spare was a steel 7.5JJ x 17 wheel with a positive offset of 35mm and a 5x5.5 PCD. Should be able to find a Dakota or RAM wheel to match those specifications at the wreckers. The wheel and tyre sizing gets critical in a full-time AWD system, and the P265/50R20 and P245/70R17 tyres differ in rolling diameter by just 0.1 inch.

    In a month or two I'll be hunting for a set of 17" or 18" Durango alloy wheels to use for mounting a set of snow tyres. I've been informed on a Durango forum that most RAM truck wheels won't fit, and 17x8 wheels from the early 2nd gen Durango models are easy to find (I can get an entire basket case Durango for $500) and P245/70R17 or P265/65R17 studded snow tires are a common size.

    Might pay me to replace the entire hoist assembly instead of just the cable and tyre holding plate. The hoist is unique to the 2nd gen Durango and Aspen, so it's not something I'm likely to find at a wrecker. New one is $199.42 delivered. If I get a basket case Durango, then the ancient cable on that one is probably ready to go, so a new one may be a safer bet. A number of people on Durango forums have informed me that they have lost their spares in similar circumstances.
    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

  11. #11
    Registered User irsa76's Avatar
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    Have you cross checked the spare tyre hoist part number with the one on the pre '05 minivans? It's a well known failure on them, even in areas that don't see much snow they can fail. I dropped my, full size, spare out of the van and cleaned and lubed the whole thing. Was surprised to see a bit of rust, and a hell of a lot of dust, in it. Speaking of rust, I also had to drop my headliner because somehow a couple of the rivnuts for the roof rails had broken loose, PITA to retighten. When I was doing that I spotted a bit of rust under one of the brackets.

    Rockauto for the spare tire carrier:http://www.rockauto.com/en/moreinfo....441258&jsn=388
    Last edited by irsa76; 16-09-17 at 11:38 AM.

  12. #12
    LASERs `R' Us JamesB's Avatar
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    Thanks for that. It's the same Dorman part number as the one I found for the Durangos, so I guess it's not unique to the Durango line as I was led to believe. Lots of those minivans at the wreckers, so I'll have a look at the rest of the Dodge line.
    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

  13. #13
    Registered User irsa76's Avatar
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    I had a quick look at the minivan part, looks like it's a different piece, although they were pretty specific about the application being SWB with space saver for the listed part number for the minivans. My van was a LWB with full size spare so it is actually possible it had a different part. Still worth a look, although given the vans reputation for dropping spares out the back I'd be surprised if you find a useable one.

  14. #14
    LASERs `R' Us JamesB's Avatar
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    Today I was formulating a plan while I did the 50 minute drive back from the Farmers' Market ... I'll pull the hoist off the Aspen, take it apart, and investigate fitting it with stainless aircraft cable.
    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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