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I'm looking for a replacement for my '97 5.4L 4WD Expedition. I need at least 7000 Lb towing capacity and off-road performance is important. I am considering a Durango 4x4 as it has been very well reviewed by a number of magazines.

I note, however, that a limited-slip rear differential is apparently not available on Durango 4x4. Brake + electronic throttle control (ETC) traction control is available as an option.

Please give my your feedback on how well your Durango goes off-road, with or without traction control. I'm especially interested in max-traction-required situations such as deep mud and deep sand where traction control may be a poor substitute for limited-slip.
 

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I do have a Durango, however mine hasn't seen much off roading other than down new neighborhoods that haven't been paved yet.

However I did want to point out that if you want the full towing capacity of the Durango, make sure you get the 3.92 rear.
 

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It's debatable but with the way new traction control is on most vehicles and the ability to move torque from one wheel to the others if needed, limited slip seems archaic. I've heard others say the same. That being said, the occasional die-hard still complains about the lack of limited slip.

I've had it off road some without any problem. I've also been through my share of snow. No problem. But, I wouldn't call it seroius off road work.
 

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Asmodaus,

The Durango needs a locker or at least a LSD. I was almost stuck in the snow w/ my Hemi Ltd AWD. The right rear wheel was spinning and the traction control was kicking in and truck was going no where; this was w/ 4LO engaged. The left rear tire was just sitting there with all the traction and the right rear tire was digging a whole for itself to the point it was melting the snow and encased the entire tire, wheel, brake in a mix of snow and mud and pebbles.

Traction control is a poor substitute for a locker. Pretty useless in my case.

After my trip, I had to disassemble the right rear brake system right down to removing the rotor, pads, calipers, rear shoes for parking brake, to get out all the dirt and small rocks since it was screeching so loud. Not a lot of fun.

I looked into getting a Power Trax NoSlip Locker but have not made the investment yet. If I lived in a heavy snow area I'd definitely get it.

Willy
 

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Well, if you're serious about off-road, I'd think twice about a D. I really like my '04 LTD w/5.7 & 3.92 gearing but it's NOT something for deep mud & sand.... Ground clearance is poor... the lack of a locker... weight, although power is good it can get you in to trouble ;)...

I really, really like the D, but for off-road I use my IH ScoutII. Why not look at the a Hemi Ram 2500 Quad cab?
 

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I agree, My Durango w AWD and Hemi is good in the snow but only in a straight line and I'm not impressed with ground clearance or suspension travel. I had a 2500 with limited slip and heavy duty suspension which had better articulation than any other truck that I've seen, it was down right impressive off road. How often, and how serious is your off roading going to be? I tow a 2000lb trailer with a 4000++lb 4wd full size Dodge truck on it with little effort and still get 13mpg. (19mpg- 21mpg, highway unloaded).
 

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Auburn Posi

You can upgrade your Durango after purchase with a posi.

Dodge makes one for about $250, but I went for an Auburn for $360, which is heavier duty.

I swapped my stock 3.55s for an Auburn posi with 4.10 gears. Total installed price for gears and Auburn was $900. It would've been less for just the Auburn, perhaps $650.

They are dead quiet, but I was warned by the shop that sometimes 4.10s can be noisy. I lucked out, no noise at all.

-Todd
 

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I should add that my D is 2 wheel drive, so I did the gear swap and Auburn posi for the rear only. If you kept the stock gears, you could just do the Auburn posi in the rear. If you want to change ratios as well, you'd have to do that up front too.

Todd
 
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