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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Guys,

I can't seem to find the answer to my questions doing a search...soooooo.

We are looking at buying a Durango. A guy my hubby knows said that we want the 1999 as it has a stronger steering rack. So we are going to look for a 99. He also said to look for the 249 gears and I know we need a tow package as we do tow a 25ft ultra light travel trailer from time to time. So I guess we're looking at getting a 5.2 or 5.9 as well. We also do some 4x4ing when time permits. I have a set of basically brand new (maybe 2,000kms) BFG All Terrians 265/75 16's to put on it as well that were going to go back on my Chev diesel 4x4, but we're selling it to buy a Durango. Car seat looks like it will just fine as well as our Irish Wolfhound/lab cross which is nice. So onto the questions....

What are the differences between the SLT, SLT Plus and the R/T? Do one of these give me the options I want/need over the other ones? Leather I can take it or leave it as if the truck gets swamped it would get pretty gross, but like I said we might only go a few times a year. Power windows, locks I love (tho hubby can care less about bells and whistles). Are heated seats available with the leather and do any come with sunroofs? Do I really need to care about what model we buy?

Major things to look for over looking at the fluids, etc?

At what mileage do I need to avoid one? I know to get as low as I can, but there are major price differences between 290Kms and 105Kms...lol. Our old XJ (Cherokee) had 290,000kms when we sold it and it was still running very strong. I think what I am asking is how paranoid do I need to be about mileage on these guys?

I just want to make sure we can tow our trailer and do some 4x4ing and that the Durango will be happy about it. Also that it can fit some drywall inside it as well. That's all the questions I can think of off hand for now. Thanks for listening to me and hopefully answering my questions :biggthump

Jill
 

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well i have a 99 5.9l slt 4x4 w/leather and i love it except for my wife blew the transfer case adapter twice and no one knows what really happened to it. my wife blew it first while i was in korea then we got it out of the shop and i was driving to d.c and it blew again the day after we got it out the shop the first time. but after the second time we have had no trouble with it excet the shop didnt weld up my y pipe right and now i need a new y pipe. but it s got plenty of power alot of space we fold the third row seat down and i got a set of 10 in a box and the x-large dog kennel still fits with room for bags in the back. the 4x4 works great but on wet roads 2 wheel drive isnt that great ,ass keeps wanting to go around, part time 4 wheel drive solves the problem. i towed 2,700 lbs with it and had no troubles. help that helps
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
True Horsepower said:
Hi Guys,

I can't seem to find the answer to my questions doing a search...soooooo.

We are looking at buying a Durango. A guy my hubby knows said that we want the 1999 as it has a stronger steering rack. So we are going to look for a 99. He also said to look for the 249 gears and I know we need a tow package as we do tow a 25ft ultra light travel trailer from time to time. So I guess we're looking at getting a 5.2 or 5.9 as well. We also do some 4x4ing when time permits. I have a set of basically brand new (maybe 2,000kms) BFG All Terrians 265/75 16's to put on it as well that were going to go back on my Chev diesel 4x4, but we're selling it to buy a Durango. Car seat looks like it will just fine as well as our Irish Wolfhound/lab cross which is nice. So onto the questions....

What are the differences between the SLT, SLT Plus and the R/T? Do one of these give me the options I want/need over the other ones? Leather I can take it or leave it as if the truck gets swamped it would get pretty gross, but like I said we might only go a few times a year. Power windows, locks I love (tho hubby can care less about bells and whistles). Are heated seats available with the leather and do any come with sunroofs? Do I really need to care about what model we buy?

Major things to look for over looking at the fluids, etc?

At what mileage do I need to avoid one? I know to get as low as I can, but there are major price differences between 290Kms and 105Kms...lol. Our old XJ (Cherokee) had 290,000kms when we sold it and it was still running very strong. I think what I am asking is how paranoid do I need to be about mileage on these guys?

I just want to make sure we can tow our trailer and do some 4x4ing and that the Durango will be happy about it. Also that it can fit some drywall inside it as well. That's all the questions I can think of off hand for now. Thanks for listening to me and hopefully answering my questions :biggthump

Jill
Hi Jill....The 1999 has the same steering GEAR as the full size RAM pickup, not a rack and pinion (which my 2000 Durango has). The 249 was a reference to the NVG249 transfer case, which was not available in the 1999. You will get either a NVG231HD or NVG242HD.

Like I told Wheatking, the tires should fit with the OE 16" wheels, and a small adjustment of the torsion bars in front.

The heated seats were not available then, but can be easily added with aftermarket kits for between 100-200.00 per pair.

As far as milage, the 318 will go easily 200,000km with care-the only weak spot I know of is the oil pump-if the engine, when warm, will not hold at least 35lbs of oil pressure, the pump will need to be replaced and soon.

Best regards as always,

Bob Sheaves

PS-Let me know if you guys want to borrow mine for a few days to give yourselves some "seat time" in one....
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks Terry, that helps some, yes. Esp that I will have room with the dog, our daughter and have room leftover for luggage...lol. We didn't have much room in the Cherokee. :)

Hi Bob, :wave:
Thanks for chimming in as well.. I didn't want to bother ya with a ton of questions as I know you are super busy...lol. So a 99 so we get the good steering box and either NVG231HD or NVG242HD (I'm going to guess those are the only ones available?) and the 5.2 (as that's the 318?). Does the SLT, SLT Plus, RT matter at all? I know you know exactly what we need in one talking to Dave and all. I just wanted to know what to look for when I talk to the dealers when I do the leg work...lol. Thanks again for everything Bob! :)

Thanks!
Jill
 

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Hello Jill,

Although some will assume that the Ontario that you say you are from is Ontario, California. After reading your mileage question I think you must be closer to me.

Anyway, my wife and I were looking for a non-mini van solution for some of the same duties as you are.

We really like our Durango! The one thing you should keep in mind, both when buying and when owning it, is that it is a truck. It rides like a truck, runs like a truck, consumes gas like a truck and should be maintained like a truck. With that said, it will also last like a truck. If it were a Dodge K car, at 100K Km it would be ready for the scrap yard. These Durangos (and Dakotas) are just getting started at that mileage.

We bought a 99 basically because of price and the options that I was looking for. In 99 there were only three engine options (V6, 5.2 & 5.9). I think it would be rare to even find a V6 up here in the Great White North, so, you will most likely be looking at 5.2 and 5.9 powered Durangos. In most cases, like all SUVs, they have been used as family cars and have never seen mud or towed heavy trailers. The drivetrains on these things are based on Dakota trucks and are quite robust. If the used Durango looks good on the outside, and it has never towed a tank, it will usually be in good mechanical condition as well. The engines, themselves, have a proven track record and have been manufactured for years without many major problems. The transmissions have had a few problems, but, good maintenance goes a long way.

We bought ours at 120,000km and have had to do a few repairs over the last year or so to keep it near perfect. There is a common problem with the intake manifold plenum gaskets leaking (common with all Magnum V8s), but, this will only have to be fixed once (hopefully by the previous owner). I have also heard of the oil pump problems, but, it isn't as common as you think. Keep in mind that there have been over a million of these things built since 98!

Shortcommings of the Durango:

Heavy gas consumption (I want Christmas cards from the oil companies)!
Rough truck like ride

Benifits of a Durango:

Handles like a much lighter SUV
can tow anything!
seating for 7 adults

My wife was a little intimidated when I brought it home. She thought that she might have difficulty parking it and navigating through traffic. She now drives it like it was a Mustang! It can do a 180 degree turn, from curb to curb, on out street! With the 5.9 (and a handful of aftermarket parts) it will light up the tires on command and keep up with most other cars on the road (something my wife has really grown to love).

I had a Ford Explorer before this. The Ford was very fragile and has some really undesireable road habits. The Durango is a real truck! Some of the owners on this site and others have over 300,000 MILES on theirs and still going. I say go for it. Other than the gas mileage issue you will learn to love it! I would recommend looking for a SLT 4x4 based on what you need it to do. The Sport models are stripped down too much. The SLT+ added wood grain trim and that is about it. I'm not sure if a R/T model was available in 99, but, I'm sure I will be corrected on that one!

Good luck!
 

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Well hello fellow canadians and durango owners :wave: Just thought i'd give some thoughts here as well. I bought my durango a little over 2 years ago, and i love it. I went with the 4.7 engine. Mine is a 2000 so i obviously got the rack and pinion steering.

On to the models. Like said above, the sport models are pretty well basic and got the least amount of options. The SLT+, i beleive each year they added more and more. Stuff like leather, the woodgrain, chrome interior door handles i think started in 00, heated leather and powered both front seats in 01. Stuff like that. The RT's came with the 360 and AWD, sport suspension, and 17's, and different leather interior. Someone with an RT will be able to elaborate more on this.

couple more sites for info are: www.dodgetalk.com & www.canadodge.com

Good luck with your purchase :biggthump
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Please see my comments in bold:

True Horsepower said:
Thanks Terry, that helps some, yes. Esp that I will have room with the dog, our daughter and have room leftover for luggage...lol. We didn't have much room in the Cherokee. :)

Hi Bob, :wave:
Thanks for chimming in as well.. I didn't want to bother ya with a ton of questions as I know you are super busy...lol. Not a problem, always time for you guys... So a 99 so we get the good steering box Correct. Some people like the rack and pinion, and it does offer some advantages-like more road feel- but it is my experience that it is not as durable as the recirculating ball on the 1999. and either NVG231HD or NVG242HD (I'm going to guess those are the only ones available? Correct-the 231 is only a part time 4WD transfer case and the 242 is a combination part time/full time transfer case. The 242 would be my choice as the added traction makes the Durango more dynamicly road stable. ) and the 5.2 (as that's the 318? Correct ). Does the SLT, SLT Plus, RT matter at all? Just for trim levels-the Dakota and Durango both at the show are SLT's. The only one I'd stay away from is the SXT which was the "cheepo" version. The R/T was only a 5.9, which was not exactly a miser when it comes to fuel. The 5.2 and 3.9 burn about the same amount (the Dakota averages 14.4mpg with the 3.92 gears and the Durango with the same axle ratio and the 4.7 (also in AWD, not 2WD) will give between 16.7 and 17.2 consistantly-neither of which I consider bad. I know you know exactly what we need in one talking to Dave and all. I just wanted to know what to look for when I talk to the dealers when I do the leg work...lol. Thanks again for everything Bob! :)

Thanks!
Jill
Not a problem, again....anytime.

Best as always,

Bob
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hi Guys,

I corrected my area and I am in Canada, sorry about that confusion. :) We are in K-W.

The size of it won't bother me at all as right now I drive a Silverado P/U 2500HD Ext Cab, Long Box, 4X4, diesel...lol. (Anyone know someone that wants one? lol) Few years back I used to own a 6.2 Diesel Suburban and my sister in law refused to drive with me as she said I drove it like it was a Miata... lol. I want the truck feel. I test drove a Grand Cherokee and didn't like it as it was too cushy.. it could have been that one, but I didn't like it and I test drove a Durango back to back with it. I don't like things that feel like a Minivan and too many SUVs have that feel. And while gas mileage would be great to get 100mpg- it's an SUV with a V8, so that doesn't bother me too much. :jester:

I loved our old 96 Cherokee and we go off road out in Minden area (Between Toronto and Ottawa for people not familiar with the areas here). Last time we were there we had water coming over the hood of the Cherokee and that was with a 3 in lift. We try and go at least once a year, so it's not tons of off roading, but we'd do it more if we had the time.

Thanks for the clarification on the models, it doesn't sound then like it would make much difference in what we choose. The sport model sounds too cushy from what you are saying. Looks can be added on if we want and so far it seems they all have power windows and locks, a/c, which is all I care about. My Hubby is already looking into modifying it...lol.

We tow a 25 ft travel trailer that weighs about 4500 and from time to time a car trailer. The Cherokee pulled the trailer ok, but at times the tail was waggin the dog on the 401. We have a load leveling hitch/ anti sway bar set up thingy and that helped a bunch.

Anyone set a sheet of drywall into it at all? I think that's the only reason we have the truck as we are remodeling our house...lol.

There are a few in London it looks like, but we're in no big rush. We're going to be patient and get the right one. Looks like a friend of ours might be looking at one as well or a Dakota Club cab to replace his 4Runner.

Thanks again!!!
Jill
 

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True Horsepower said:
Anyone set a sheet of drywall into it at all? I think that's the only reason we have the truck as we are remodeling our house...lol.

HaHa good luck on that one though :jester: durangos are roomy inside, but not in that way.

we have a 99 durango w/ the 5.2L and its been an overall great rig for us. one thing that I'm sure you might have read on the boards is that just like the dakatoas is that the front end components need attention around 100k so when your shopping around be sure to ask if any of that stuff has been replaced. just keep that stuff greased if you live in a dusty climate.

This summer we drove our durango from AK through canada to washington state across to the midwest, then back out to WA and back through canada again. no problems whatsoever :biggthump We kept changing the the fluids en route were we could and replaced the shocks :)

Try doing that with a ford or chevy :joke:
 
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