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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello guys. It has been a while since I have been on this site since I sold my Dodge Ram Pickup. I am now in the market to buy a used Durango. Just trying to get some info on things that I should look for on a 1st gen. Are there any known problems that I should look out for? I know quite a bit about the 5.9 motor since that is what I had in my Pickup. Most of the Durangos I have looked at have the 5.2. Is there anything I should look out for on this motor? Dont want to ramble on but any info you guys could give me would be great. I like to do my research before I jump into buying a used vehicle. Thanks in advance for anything you can help me out with.

Matt
 

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well let's see...

I've got a 5.9l 99 D with 100k km (not miles) here in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia...
here's the work to date after 6 months ownership;

1 X complete engine rebuild, plus also replaced water pump, fan module, radiator, upper suspension bushes(both sides), upper ball joint (one side), rear driver sides window motor, drivers side front and rear power door locks, entire drivers seat, shock absorbers front and back, A/C compressor cooling pipe

in fairness the vehicle had probably been seriously abused by its previous owner with a zero maintenance regime...a lot is going depend on whether you buy a vehicle that has been looked after and has had the oil changes done at the required intervals...

if not, then expect trouble...but the above gives a guide as to where the weak spots are and what to look for...

Chris


Chris
 

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Mostro900
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Chris_G said:
well let's see...

I've got a 5.9l 99 D with 100k km (not miles) here in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia...
here's the work to date after 6 months ownership..........
Chris

aren't you also the one who jumps his D in the sand dunes? i remember somone from the middle east posting pics of getting stuck in the sand dunes.

i've had my durango for two years and 45,000 miles. i love it and have had only one small problem: my driver's window switch- the lockout is sticking, so i'm replacing the master for $25.00.

i had the upper ball-joints replaced under the recall, and that's it!

i'm stoked on my purchase; i drive the piss out mine but since i take care of it, it's been great. i've taken it on multiple backcountry excursions through the sand/slickrock of southern utah and northern arizona in spring and summer, it's plowed through mud and slop in the forests of idaho and one time it took it with me on a trip to death valley in july: it was officially 130 degrees F. when i was there and with the A/C on full, it didn't even hiccup. i am totally impressed with this truck and i'd buy a 2nd one any time.

ps- you might want to look at the 4.7; it's got more power than the 5.2 and gets better gas mileage.
 

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absolutely I'm not the guy who jumped his D in the sand dunes - I saw the pictures as well. My machine is only 2WD for starters. What the previous owner did of course is another question....
 
G

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Umm... I think you may be referring to me, but I don't jump sand dunes. I went through one though. That was only once too. A bit of off-roading is what an SUV is built for. :cool:

I do look after my D... Honest :)

Anyway, the 5.2 mostly has the same issues as the 5.9. Assuming the vehicle is well maintained then these are the problems you are still likely to get (in no particular order):

1) Driver's window motor
2) Other window motors
3) Overheating issues
4) Transmission (44RE in the 5.2 or 46RE in the 5.9) issues
5) Front ball joints
6) Some door lock mechanisms

Points 3 and 4 are less of an issue with the 4.7 and 45RFE transmission setup (I hope I got the transmission setup correct).

Unless you plan to do a bit of towing, the 4.7 is a more modern engine, more fuel economical and probably a better option all round. OK, so you get 10 hp less at the crank than a 5.9. Not sure how it compares to a 5.2. If power is your concern, Superchip it :drivingz:

My D is now suffering from all of the above, less point 6 and I really hope I don't get that too (See sig for details).

The 4.7 has not suffered the same transmission issues the 5.2 and 5.9 have. At the cost of a rebuild of around 1500 dollars at least (and that is a really good price for a rebuild I'm advised), it makes IMO anyway a great deal more sense to get the 4.7 :SPIN: You can do a whole lot of upgrades for 1500 dollars!

Also just looking at the 5.2 and 5.9 engines, they don't produce all that much power for their size, nor are they economical (look at similar GM engines, the 5.0 and 5.7 for example). The DC engines are pretty old designs so ending on a positive note the engines are simple, tried and tested. One of the few things going for it is that it will last a while if looked after.

All the best whichever way you go.
 

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thanks for owning up Katcoota...!!

I concur with your analysis of the weak spots...although my 5.9l D's transmission (as of this afternoon!!) has yet to provide any issues.

I look after my D and it gets serviced as per the book, but it caused all sorts of trouble when I first bought it, especially over heating. The bill has been eye watering even on my expat salary and (including the purchase) now represents about 2/3's the cost of a brand new D (like them or hate them)...

Saudi is rough on any vehicle, what with the 50deg Cent heat, air blown sand, rubbish road surfaces and evil speed bumps...so I guess that any 5 year old vehicle is going to throw a few problems, especially if it isn't maintained properly.

Anyway it drives great at the moment...

You may want to search under my name for a post I left a few weeks ago regarding a burn't out connector for my fan...you may have the same issue. This nearly wrecked my rebuilt engine (with only 3000k's on it) as I had to drive back from the Bahrain border to Riyadh at 120km/hr to keep the airflow up whilst hoping for no holdups at the check points. Managed to get back to the compound with only one stop for fuel and an immediate acceleration back to 120...

Fun, fun, fun...Chris
 

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Keystoner
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add sensors to the list
crank shaft sensor
output speed sensor
rear wheel speed sensor
TPS
IAC
I love mine to death. lots of mods you can do. wouldn't trade it for anything
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
This is great info guys. I am going tomorrow to look at a '98 4X4 with the 5.2 motor. This vehicle looks very nice inside and out, but I need to go drive it and see what happens. The guy is asking $4500.00 for it and it has 112,000 miles on it. Seems like a good deal but we will see. I will let you guys know what happens with it. Again thanks for all the info this really helps.

Matt
 

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Pimp On Sir Don
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On a side note, I've seen a LOT of 1 Gen D's on Ebay lately. Esspecially 98/99's. They have one listed right now with no reserve but it needs a motor apparently. (5.2L). They say it just clicks... it really makes me want to bid on it just to try and fix it. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
This one that I am going to go look at tomorrow was actually on Ebay but it didnt reach the reserve, so I contacted the seller about it so I could drive it before buying it. So we will see
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Bought me a Durango today. The one on Ebay was not what it was cracked up to be. Found another one and bought it today. It is also a '98 4X4 with the 5.9 motor. Needs a new front bumper due to the rusted out one but other than that it needs a good detailing in and out and a good tune up and think it will be ready to go. It has 118,000 miles on it and I got it for $3700.00 bucks. Didnt think that was too bad. Thanks again for all the info and I will try and get some pics posted up here when I get a chance.

Matt
 

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Having driven both a 5.2l and a 5.9l in various applications...I can say this: If you spring for a 4x4 model, you probably wouldn't want anything less than the 5.9, as the low end on these Magnums is a little less than impressive. If you get a 2wd model, though, both the 5.2 and the 4.7 should be perfectly adequate (I happen favor the 5.2, mostly for no other reason than because I'm a pushrod purist + don't like to rev motors much to get my power). In any case, I think we'd all agree that you should avoid the V6, it's a tad bit underpowered for this rig, and as hard as it'll have to work, it probably won't provide any fuel economy or durability advantage over the V8's.

Other than that, it's just the usual stuff that goes with age; electrical accessories and the like are usually the first to go, so the less of those you can live with, the better off you'll probably be in the long run.

I'm sure this goes without saying, but I'll say it anyway: make sure you do all the basic stuff too, like try to get a test drive to see how it runs and drives, take a look at the oil and tranny fluid, etc.
 
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