Dakota Durango Forum banner

rebuild of my sxt

5096 Views 24 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  03SXT
it's been almost two years since i wrecked her and she has been sitting in the backyard ever since. so about 3 months ago i started gathering parts and have been slowly making progress. only things i have left to do is fix the place the bumper mounts bolt to since the driver side got ripped out, get a new passenger door, and buy a bumper, then i'll have to either silicone the windshield seal or get a new windshield bc i think the seal is leaking, my headliner has watermarks and started falling down, but could be bc i pressure washed the truck a couple weeks ago. anyway, i have the radiator, a/c condenser, and a 136 amp alternator to replace the 117, all should be here in a couple days. she still runs like the day i wrecked her too, no hiccups or anything. once i get it all together and done, i'll sand it down, prime it, and she will be off to the shop for a fresh paint job. it won't look as good as it did before i wrecked it, but i'll get it back to that point eventually, right now i'll just be glad to have a more fun daily driver back. here's some pics and a vid of the progress:

the day i wrecked it

start of the tear-down

got a good conditioned radiator frame from the local pull a part and painted it to match the truck

here's one of the fenders. i painted the inside to match the truck, gonna let a shop do the outside

the other fender, inside painted and cleared

the hood

installed hood and driver fender
See less See more
  • Like
Reactions: 1
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
passenger side installed

still had the original grille, picked up the grille support at the junkyard


rims with new tires...just need two more tires for the rear, using old slicks to move it

and finally, the headlights installed...need turn bulbs and to fit them better, don't plan on using them long, but they will get me by until i order new ones. this is how she sits as of this evening.
See less See more
here's a running video:

Looking good! It's amazing how even a multi-colored, but straight, truck looks so much better than a dinged one.

It'll look good as before when it's all one color again.

Good on you for doing the mechanical work yourself as well.
Thanks man. It's slowly coming along. I'm hoping to have it road ready by the end of next week. And yea, I think once I get it painted it'll look brand new. Might be a while for that though. Can't wait to get it back on the road though :D
got the new radiator and ac condenser today. waiting on my high output alternator to get here tomorrow hopefully. only issue with the radiator is that the tabs that hold the condenser will need to be cut a little deeper to let the condenser bolt holes line up on the bottom......gotta love made in china stuff. also have to get a newer top beam that the radiator and hood latch attach to....i guess the 97-00 ones are a little different dimensions because the bolt holes don't line up and the angles put it in a bad spot to drill new ones, hard to explan. luckily the local pull a part place has an 01 durango that should have the right beam. gotta cut the bottom support holes a little wider for the radiator legs to fit in also, they are off by about 1/4" on each side when fitting it since it was from a 98.

other than that it should be drive-able again by the weekend, i just gotta get insurance and update the tag and hopefully fix the bumper mount spot so i can get a new bumper, but that's not gonna hold me up at least. i think i was lucky enough to be able to reuse the two tires that were on the front wheels...looks like they just got bumped hard enough to break the rim to tire seal and lost air, didn't get cut or anything and they were low miles so the tread is still good, so guess i won't have to buy two new tires :woot:. i'll need an electric fan soon too in order to pull enough air for the a/c to be cold, i don't think the clutch fan will do it by itself.

things left to do:

get a new passenger door, dent is too big to bondo

install bulbs in the headlights

weld up the driver side section where the bumper mounts go...driver side got the bolt holes ripped out, passenger side is fine just needs a new mount. easy breezy.

silicone the top of the windshield and back glass...apparently has a small leak, i pressure washed it down a couple weeks ago, the next day there was a water stain on the headliner and it had fell down which i'll probably just take it out and do something different for it anyway. i need a new windshield but it'll have to wait till i can afford it.

sand it down, prime it, then paint it. my buddy is gonna help me do all this and fill in the holes where i had the tool box, as well as some small ding repair, then prime it and paint it back to the original graphite metallic.
See less See more
Damn i didn't know you wrecked it, i just thought you sold/traded it for the R/T.

Nice little project you got going there, when i get back down to FL i may need to ride over and check it out, speaking of being in FL, i found out we live in Bellview im not sure if that's the correct spelling, but Saufley Field is in my back yard,literally.

So I ain't far from Mobile
oh yea? you're like right next to the state line then lol. and yea, i kept it stored in the backyard since 09. looking back it would have saved me money to just fix it from the get go rather than buying the r/t, but i'm glad i got the r/t...the 03 will be the daily and the r/t will be the project. i'm taking the 408 back out of the r/t right now so it'll be down for a minute until i find out what the internals look like, so fixing the sxt was timed well lol.

and yea man, feel free to ride over one weekend or something. have you ran it at the track yet? if not, let me know one friday and we can hit up the strip. or you can come pick on some ricers at the local hangout lol.
Taking the 408 out? Let me get that off ya? lol

Have not ran at track, just a few street runs.

I need to bring my truck over to your house and let you do all the work it needs lol

I'm back up in Huntsville for the weekend, came back to get the R/T, gonna drive it back down to FL in a few days. It's still doing that irritating miss/stumble at highway speed..bitch better not give me any trouble going to FL
haha. half my friends bring theirs over, what could one more hurt lol. good luck on the drive back, i know how that stumble/miss thing goes....idk what causes it but the 408 did the same thing, so did the 360 when it was in it. i have seen alot of other people post about it too. i guess it is just a bug that we get in these trucks :huh:.
Yeah IDK wtf it is.

You'll be at like 50-60, and it acts like it cut fuel or spark for a split second.

But it won't do it if you're dogging the hell out of it, which is how i drive most the time, but you know, slow fucks get in front of you, then you gotta slow down, etc then that's when it will do that miss thing.

Hell, I'll take ya up on that, my truck don't need much, just those damn control arm bushings, front end shit like that. Something to make it not handle like total shit when you hit a bump.
Yea. Stock bushings suck. Get the energy suspension poly ones. I have a few that I may not need. I'll check to see if I do but if I don't I know I have both lowers and one upper set left and you can have em if I don't put em on the sxt.
I had found the Energy Suspension ones online before, like a total bushing kit. but I lost the link.

It needs them bad, they are dry rotted and mushroomed out. Dude i'm tellin you, you hit a bump and it feels like the front end just fell apart. The ass end does the same thing, no idea what to do about that..
Sure the control arm bolts are tight? My upper bolt on the rt was loose and sounded and felt like shit when I turned or hit a bump. Idk what to tell ya about the rear though
I haven't touched them, but it does have a random front end clanking sound.

I'd like to go through the front end all at once, ball joints, tie rods, bushings, etc

The rear probably needs shocks,etc
got my radiator and a/c condenser installed. gotta charge the a/c and it should be good to go. the radiator fits great now that i cut the bottom beam holes for the legs. i won't be able to run the v shaped support bar but i don't see that being a problem, didn't have it in there before anyway bc i had a black magic fan that i needed it out of the way for. i found the original electric fan also, i just gotta mount it and hook it up to see if it still works. i don't have a fan shroud though, so i'm gonna save up and get another large high flow electric fan like the black magic one. i also gotta get the little clips that screws go into to go on the radiator tabs that hold the coolant tank. other than those things it is done mechanical wise. i'm gonna check the old tires tomorrow or in the next couple days to see if i can run them again and not buy two new ones. pics are kinda shitty, but it was night time so meh.

See less See more
Coming together nicely
Thanks man. I drove it through the neighborhood yesterday just to see how it drives and it did great. Felt sooooo much slower though lol. I've gotten so used to the 408 power that driving the sxt is gonna be weird as hell to get back used to.
lol i know what ya mean..

I made it back down to Pcola w/ the R/T.

At 70-75 mph, it never once did that stutter thing, only 50-55 is where it likes to do it..wtf its just driving me crazy lol
oh yeah, it only got 211 miles on a FULL tank and it was 100% I-65, Cruise set at 70 to 75, no city traffic whatsoever..shit mpg
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.