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It's been 3 1/2 years since we purchased our son a 2000 SLT Plus, 5.9. It's since received a T/S lift and 33s. Had to do some trimming on the wheel well liners, but it's been fine otherwise. Now that my son is working full time, we're looking at some upgrades. I was wondering if anyone had experience with any of the following modifications, and what the pitfalls were/are, or if they are even worth it. These Durangos are a little frustrating, as they seemingly have so much to offer over the competition.....1/2 ton drivetrain, 9.25 rear end, etc, etc, but they are seemingly ignored by the general public (probably because it doesn't say "4Runner" on the side), which has driven a lackluster aftermarket. Anyhow, enough of my rant....here are some thoughts:

1) It's got the full time 4wd transfer case with the manual shifter. While it works fine, what would it take to convert to the part time version? I am thinking the full time aspect is killing both performance and fuel economy. What is the proper model to acquire, and is it a direct swap? Driveshafts? Linkage? Etc, etc. Also, if anyone has done this swap, did you notice a gain/loss in the overall "driving experience>"

2) Re-Gearing - The rear end is the Chrylser 9.25 with 3.92 gears. To regain "stock" gearing, I'd have to go ~4.24, which means I would choose 4.56. I know the rear end can handle that, but that front end.....any red flags there?

3) Going to have to get into the engine a little bit....just maintenance, etc. One of the injectors is bad, so I was also thinking, maybe now is a good time to consider other upgrades. Hughes intake? Programmer (I've heard Superchips does well)? Throttle body? Headers? Any thoughts on whether or not the juice would be worth the squeeze on any of these mods, assuming that there would not be a cam or head swap? Or, should we look at heads? Should we just do the injectors and forget about the rest? Any thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you!
 

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2004 Dak 4.7 5sp
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I had a great experience with the SCT with some canned tunes tunes from HemiFever. Not apples to apples though, I’m 4.7 with the HO cams and all the bolts ons. Supposedly making over 300hp now with the tune and everything else(measly 210 is stock), have one of those HP, 0-60,1/8,1/4 estimator gadgets. Made 270-290 before the tunes depending on the conditions, 310 on 87 and 319 on 93 octane settings with optimal conditions.

I know nothing of the needs of compatibility of the T case swap you propose, sorry.
 

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Look into Utawesome Performance and his modified stock kegger manifold. Better intake velocity, better throttle response, and better low end torque. He also has all the engine mods if you want to go up from there. Of course cam and heads would be your biggest power upgrades. He also uses SCT tunes. (Disclaimer: this is Internet research on my part, not actual experience).

I'll speak to the transfer case since I've done mine. I went the other way. I took out a part time NV233 and upgraded to a full time NV244. They are both electric shift on my 04 Dakota. The awd in the NV244 drives the same as 2wd on the NV233, but now all 4 wheels get power, so it goes when I might otherwise lose traction on loose surfaces. I lost about 1 to 2 mpg, and sometimes average the same as before. So you could see a slight increase in mpg with your swap. The swap was bolt in. Same driveshafts and all, but I did upgrade the front driveshaft for better reliability. Your manual shift cases should bolt in too, but I can't speak to the linkages. In your situation, I might look at the NV242 that some Durangos came with. They have 4hi, 4lo, full time, neutral, and 2wd. But later years eliminated the 2wd option. And the part time case you're looking at for your year is the NV231 (2hi, 4hi, 4lo, n).
 
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