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Discussion Starter #1
Hi folks,

(I’m new to this forum, so please, if this has been asked feel free to send me a link to the thread, I tried searching and didn’t find one.)

I have a 2000 Durango 4WD 5.9L, 3.55 Axle. I’ll be purchasing an RV Travel Trailer this year. I was wondering if it was possible to change the gears in this, or is the 4WD going to mess me up?

Thanks

-John
 

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They can be changed. Just be sure to do both the front and the back, and expect about $1100.00 parts and labor.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Great, thanks! :clap2:

Do you have an idea what it physically entails (if I did it)? :banana2: Do I need special tools or presses (pressing gears on/off)?
For the back, I would guess just the back cover of the differential, but for the front would I need to drop the trans?
 

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Some things do need to be pressed. The drive shafts need to be disconected. Im not sure what else needs to be done. The transmission soesnt need to be taken off. call around in your area to price shop.
 

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the inner pinion bearing is going to have to be pressed on to the pinion. You'll need a foot-pound torque wrench and an inch-pound torque wrench to check rotating force. You'll also need the special tool for the rear end side adjusters(i made my own).
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks guys!

A assume some of the parts would include changing out a speed sensor for the transmission?

Anyway, I appreciate the preview to the work, I'll have to decide if I'll tackle it or punt to a garage -- I'm not as young as I used to be. :drool:

-John
 

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Changing gears is not hard but you really have to know what you are doing to set them up else you will have noise and or problems. The setting for the gear ratio is in the CAB and the dealer can set it if you go with the factory 3.92. If you are considering another ratio, verify that the front is available. I know there was a change in the type of differental used for the front around 00 and there was not many ratios available.
 

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With the 5.9 you should be ok, I would leave the gears alone for now and see how it pulls. How big of a trailer are you getting?
 

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I think you will be alright, My owner manual sy my truck can tow up to 5,000 pounds and i just have a 3.7 v6 auto, so the 5.9 should be able to pull that. i hope you are going to run trailer brakes.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Break-in period?

Well, I’m going to go ahead with this. I’ve talked to 3 different places and worked through many issues (like ratio, warrantee, OEM/aftermarket). But I can’t confirm one item.

Has anyone heard of breaking these gears in before towing? One person I talked to insisted that I run the car for 2-3K miles before I tow my camper. Has anyone else heard this?

Thanks

-John
 

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It is VERY important to break in the gears properly. 500 miles should be good. The gears have to go thru a few heat cycles so they can seat in properly. Diveing about 25 miles and let them cool and repeating this is the best way to break them in.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
chris4x4 said:
It is VERY important to break in the gears properly. 500 miles should be good. The gears have to go thru a few heat cycles so they can seat in properly. Diveing about 25 miles and let them cool and repeating this is the best way to break them in.
Thanks Chris,

Agreed, 500 sounds reasonable (and thanks for the 25 mile cycles). But what about 3000?
I would have expected the break-in to be more in line with the original new car break-in (like 500), not 3000 miles?

Could some aftermarket gear manufacturers need more?

-John
 

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no, alot of times manufactors get complaints from people who blame the failure of products on what they recomend n such, hes probley just trying to be safe, i would assume 3,000 times is a little high
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Ace said:
...3,000 times ...
Just so we’re talking about the same things, I meat 3000 "miles", not 3000 x 25 miles trips…

Ok, thanks a bunch that helps. I need too go on a trip soon that I’d have to cancel if I got new gears; otherwise I’d have to change the gears after the trip.

-John
 

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FYI. I talked with a friend who has alot of gear experiance and he said the most important thing on breaking in the gears is no full throttle, and no towing. Just drive normally for the first few hundred miles, then do some full throttle pulls, and then if you have some hills, go up them a couple times. Then you should be in the clear.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Done!

Ok, the truck is back from the shop with my new 3.92 gears (yes, I was chicken and had them done). Now that the smoke cleared I can pass along a couple of things:
• There is a cut-off on the gears for the front diff for the 2000 Durango’s, so make sure you order your gears with the production date available.
• My dodge dealer (not where I had it done) says there is no way to change the gear ratio on the ABS because the ABS takes its programming from the PCM which is tied to the VIN. The only recourse seems to be to fake it out with a tire size change. :rant:

I’d be interested in learning more about how you guys (that have done it) dealt with the computer? :bow: I'm planning on just using my Hypertech programmer and just find a good tire size.

-John
 

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I'm not sure what you mean tied by the VIN. I tought the tire size and gear ratio could both the set in the CAB.
 
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