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Thread: 2008 Chrysler Aspen

  1. #31
    LASERs `R' Us JamesB's Avatar
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    The Durango averaged about 16.5lit/100km overall but if I worked really hard, I could get it down to 13.5it/100km on a highway run if I kept the speed to a max of 85-90 km/hr on the cruise control.

    The Aspen has averaged a calculated 13.8lit/100 over 7130 km (at the last fill) without even trying. Been running studded snow tyres over the past 5000 km and supposedly the sticker rubber compound costs around 1-2lit/100km in extra fuel. Saw AVG Consumption figures on the display that were in the mid 10s about 10 days ago while taking it really really easy on the highway (lots of patches of snow and ice over the road) with a 40-60km/hr tail wind.
    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. #32
    LASERs `R' Us JamesB's Avatar
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    Since nopics has started to actually fill the tank instead of running it nearly empty and putting $20 into it, she's discovered that when it gets to full, the filler spits back fuel when the pump nozzle clicks off. She got sprayed with a litre or so a few weeks ago, and bitched about it. I said that "they all do that" (every single older Durango has a rust stain directly underneath the filler), and I just slow down the fill rate when the tank gets to about 85% full, and I don't have an issue. I learned this when filling the 2005 Durango.

    The problem is a flap valve in the fuel tank that has never worked right, and has even more issues as it ages if the tank has been filled with fuel containing alcohol. As the flap valve is part of the plastic fuel tank, the fix required complete replacement of the fuel tank (cost is about USD$700 according to those that have had it done), and the fix doesn't always work. Apparently they fixed the design flaw sometime in 2008, but owners of 2009 models tell me the new intank flap valve design is as problematic as the old design.

    In responses to nopics bitching, I did some investigation. Turns out that a couple of years back, Chrysler engineered a cheaper fix with a secondary flap valve in a new filler pipe (tank is behind the left rear wheel and tank is in front of the rear axle so it's a long pipe), and even better, made it an unlimited time/unlimited mileage warranty item for Durangos from 2005-2008 and Aspens from 2007-2008.My 10 year old Aspen with 377,000 km on the clock qualifies as it was made 6 months before the replacement design started being fitted on the assembly line. The Chrysler dealership has just ordered the kit for the Aspen and they'll do it at the same time that they replace the passenger side air bag.
    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

  3. #33
    LASERs `R' Us JamesB's Avatar
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    The Media/Nav system in the Aspen uses a 30GB automotive rated, laptop sized, PATA (IDE) interface drive (Samsung HM031HC) to store music, navigation maps, and saved addresses etc. I have been reliably informed that if there are any issues with the Media/Nav system, the first thing to suspect is a failing hard drive.

    The drives run QNX as an operating system, and have 4 partitions (nav/operating system and apps/swap/grace notes and user music), and any decent cloning package that can do bit by bit disk cloning can duplicate the drive or make an image for later drive replacement. Standard PATA interface laptop drives will fit and work, but once the in cabin temperature goes below 0C, all bets are off. Conventional (non automotive rated) drives have been known to freeze solid overnight in Winter, and when they do spin up, they'll often tear the heads off.

    I planned to do a backup of my drive onto a standard 40GB laptop drive as a backup ... but before the spare drive I'd ordered actually arrived, the drive in the Media/Nav system started failing. First it lost all my MP3 files and then it started to have booting issues on colder mornings. When the spare drive arrived, I pulled the OEM drive, let it warm up, and made a clone. The cloned drive worked perfectly, and was noticeably faster to boot than the original drive, so I suspect the original drive has been having issues for as long as I've had it.

    The 30GB drive has about 13GB of overheads (mostly in 3 of the 4 partitions), so there's just 17GB for music storage. If you know your way around a QNX system, then it is possible to clone the 30GB drive data onto a bigger capacity drive, and rebuild the 4th partition to allow for more music space. 40GB is the usual size drive most people go for, as this size Automotive rated drive is the easiest to find (and is sold "ready to go" by a few online vendors). The fully utilized upper drive size limit appears to be around 60GB or 80GB (providing 47GB or 67GB of music storage), as the file indexing system used in the player has difficulty handling the increased number of MP3 files on the bigger drives, and access slows down noticeably.

    I have been doing my experimentation with 40GB and 80GB standard grade drives, but those won't work reliably when the cold weather returns. As a long term solution, I have an 80GB Toshiba MK8050GACY Automotive/Industrial drive on order with the same low temperature rating as the OEM Samsung HM031HC drive. A few people have suggested going to a SSD drive in a PATA adapter, but so far nobody on the various Dodge/Chrysler/Jeep forums has been able to get one to work.
    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. #34
    LASERs `R' Us JamesB's Avatar
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    As a side issue on the Media/Nav system.

    While the update to the GPS maps is a $150 + tax item, and the files have to be unlocked with a code that is linked to the vehicle's VIN. Once the files have been installed, the drive can be pulled and the contents of the first partition can be copied onto the hard drive of any other vehicle with the same Media/Nav system. I know of a couple of companies that will pull the drive and copy the latest nav files onto it for around $70. I'll be sending one of those companies an already pulled drive.

    Once I have the new files on a drive, I'll be able to update other local vehicles with the same Media/Nav system.
    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

  5. #35
    Registered User irsa76's Avatar
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    How recent are the updated maps? Mitsubishi released an updated map for my thing but the map data is actuallly 2016 which means it's only slightly less useless than the map I'm running, 2012 data. And they want to sting me $250 for it, I'm not keen on intergrated navi systems anyway and this just reinforced why.

  6. #36
    LASERs `R' Us JamesB's Avatar
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    Map in the system in the Aspen is the same map it came off the production line with ... dated 2006. There's whole sections of highway that have moved since then.

    The currently available map is late 2017, with a new maps coming out late each year.

    There's two different manufacturers of the systems. Mine is a Harman Becker made model that uses NavTeq maps. There's also similar looking Mitsubishi made units (repairers tell me that not even the screws are the same between the manufacturers) that uses Garmin maps and have hacked/patched code from a Garmin hand held running as as an app on the MyGig system.

    The 3 digit sales code down in the lower right corner is the critical information on what you actually have. Mines a RER. The 6 CD stacker in the Durango was a RAQ.
    Last edited by JamesB; 01-06-18 at 08:15 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

  7. #37
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    VW head units used a 30GB drive just like yours and I replaced it with an 120GB SSD and had good results. There was a smaller SSD available as well but I opted for the 120 on the theory that bigger is always better. If you are interested I might be able to find out where we got it from.

  8. #38
    LASERs `R' Us JamesB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mini View Post
    VW head units used a 30GB drive just like yours and I replaced it with an 120GB SSD and had good results. There was a smaller SSD available as well but I opted for the 120 on the theory that bigger is always better. If you are interested I might be able to find out where we got it from.
    If it is not too much trouble, I'd certainly be interested in that SSD information. The results of people in North America trying to get SSD drives running in the Harman Becker units in Dodge/Chrysler/Jeep vehicles, has not been very successful. I was going to get a 60GB SSD drive to play with, and if it didn't work, it'd go into one of my older laptops. The SSD drive may negate some of the cold weather issues, so it's worth trying.

    I know that the same Harman Becker NTG4 system was used in a few European cars (and I suspect some of the US made Mercedes models developed during the Damlier/Chrysler union), and I also know that VW used a system with the same Samsung HM031HC PATA/IDE drive, but I'm still researching info on the actual system that VW used the drive in.

    I do know that the same Harman Becker NTG4 was fitted to the 2008-2014 Ferrari California (and apparently a few other Ferrari models). A used Harman Becker NTG4 with Ferrari labels/part numbers is about 6-7 times the price of a similar condition Dodge/Chrysler/Jeep labeled model. The only difference I can see is the colour and finish of the front panel/switches.

    There's two different models of the NTG4 (with and without navigation), and they come configured for vehicles that use either a low speed CAN bus (earlier Dodge/Chrysler/Jeep vehicles like my 2008 Aspen) and later models with the high speed CAN bus. The 2007 Jeep got if first, and it came to the Durango and Aspen for the 2008 model year. The CAN bus connection is critical, and you can't even power them up without a connection to the right speed CAN bus (or a USD$600+ CAN bus emulator unit). My research indicates that they can't be reconfigured for a different CAN bus speed. The MyGig hardware repairers/experts sell used models for either low speed or high speed bus. The data on the hard drive is the same for the low speed and high speed bus versions, so it's got to be a hardware/firmware difference.
    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

  9. #39
    LASERs `R' Us JamesB's Avatar
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    My Aspen is temporarily off the road with a failed front right wheel bearing.

    All the bolts are out, but I can't get the hub out of the alloy steering knuckle. It's an unfortunate side effect of 10 years of winter driving with salt used as a de-icer, combined with a steel hub in an alloy steering knuckle. I'm currently debating either popping all the ball joints and taking it somewhere to get it pressed out, or shelling out $200 for a Lock Technology LT830 hub shocker. My big fear is breaking a $600+ alloy steering knuckle if I use the hub shocker.

    We are in a rural area without public transport, so as the one day bearing replacement job has turned into a 10 day ordeal, and we took nopic's Saturn off the road late last year (won't pass the bi-annual safety inspection), we needed another car that we could get both cheaply and quickly. We found a good deal on a high mileage local equivalent of a VT Commodore as a daily while we sort out the Aspen (and build one good Saturn that will pass the inspection out of nopics' car and our "parts donor" Saturn), and picked it up on Sunday evening.

    It's a one level up from the base, 2003 Chevrolet Impala LS with a moo-3800. Got it for $950 from a girl that just lost her license for 2 years for a DUI, and needed cash in a hurry to pay a $1,000+ fine. She had it priced at $1,300, and we felt shitty about only offering her $950, but it was as much as we could afford on the wrong side of pay-day.

    Runs well for a vehicle with 320,000 km on it, and all the Impalas are built in Canada, so parts should not be an issue, but this one has had a particularly poor level of maintenance in the few years that the girl had owned it, and electrically it's a nightmare. Looks like she had a friend that "knew all about auto electrics" and could fix things at no cost. Here's a partial list of the minor issues:
    • Driver's side front door card was off when we picked it up on Sunday evening, and the wires to driver's side window control has been crudely cut and shut to use the rear seat window switch immediately behind it in the door (and wired so the switch works backwards).
    • Driver's side front door lock doesn't lock from the remote ... unlocks fine, just doesn't lock.
    • Horn doesn't work (unplugged), and the horn relay is permanently activated (popping the fuse to the horn causes the horn relay to release).
    • Right hand front indicator doesn't work. Works fine when the hazard switch is activated. Apparently this generation of Impala is notorious for problems with both the hazard switch contacts and the indicator switch contacts.
    • Neither exterior mirror adjuster works.
    • Both boot support gas struts are missing, and with the optional spoiler, it's a heavy boot to open. At least you can open it up to past vertical and it will stay there.
    • Dash and control lights that should be on are out, and ones that should be out are on.
    • ABS, Traction Control, and Cruise Control are out, but my code reader tells me it's a failed front wheel sensor (they are notorious for connector and ground issues).
    • Odometer and gear position indicator are too dim to read wxcept with the instrument lights on full brightness. This is a common issue and is usually fixed by resoldering all the connections to the display in the instrument panel.
    • Sounds like a typical Oz Taxi ... moo-3800 and a wheel bearing that's going thump thump thump (all wheel bearings are tight whith the wheels off the ground, so I suspect there's a bearing issue that only manifests itself when it's under load).

    If we fix all the issues (about $150 in parts and some of my time), we could probably sell it again for about $1,500, but nopics likes that it feels far more stable on the road (especially in crosswinds) than her lightweight Saturn, so she's angling to sell the Saturn once it's fixed instead of the Impala.

    EDIT: A few hours after I wrote this, nopics tried playing dogems with a large deer. Deer moving the same direction that the car was heading bounced off and kept moving, but the right front guard on the Impala is a bit pushed in. No other damage.
    Yesterday we did an 1100 km+ total run to Moncton, NB and back. Impala averaged around 8-8.5lit/100 km (by nopics calculations) so that's pretty good. She was happy getting 6lit/100 in the Saturn, but it was a little frightening in any sort of a cross wind, so the decision has been made to keep the impala and fix and sell the Saturn (and the Saturn parts car). No issues on the trip other than the failing wheel bearing adding a low frequency grumble to the thump.
    Last edited by JamesB; 18-06-18 at 04:55 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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