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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, I just bought an 02 Durango SXT 4X4. This unit has 58K miles and is clean as a used car could be. The owners manual did not come with the vehicle and I seem to be having trouble finding out some information. I purchased the vehicle because I want to tow a 20ft. 3500# travel trailer. My Durango has a V-8 4.7 litre, with 3:55 gear ratio. Auto trans w/ O/D.
I love this Durango!!! I feel safe and the power it has it great! We have not had a V-8 in a car for many years. Any feedback on the towing capabilities would be appreciated. Also any other info that might be helpful to a new owner. Ps. The dealer is putting on a tow package for me next week. I am insisting that they install a trailer brake while they are at it.
Looking forward to being a part of the group.

Cher in Denver :crazy:
 

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I believe it is rated around 4700#. It should tell you on the driver door sticker I believe.

With the tow package and trailer brakes, you should be fine with that trailer.
 

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Mine has the same gears as yours and it does have issues towing up mountains. Now I definetly overload her but I should have been ok in my mind ;). We have a 17.5 foot ski boat and it loaded with gear for 7 people on a weeks vacation was too much for the hills in west virginia in August. (I overheated on one of the hills) I have the superchips tuner and you will be amazed at the difference it can make for you. That would be my 1st purchase along with a freeer flowing muffler and better air filter/CAI. My next big purchase will definetly be the 3.92's or maybe the 4.11's. If you find your climbing mountains and having trouble I would upgrade to the taller gears, after the tuner though of course :)
 

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They have hills in West Virginia? Must have missed `em when I was there this year...
 

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The western portion of the state has the applacian mountains or maybe they are the blue ridge something like that. I was fine untill I was in the higher elavations and trying to climb. There was one point I had to almost floor it on a fairly flat stretch because of the thin air and being so heavy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
:gr_patrio Thanks for the information on the tune-up. You know I am just assuming that the vehicle has 3:55 gear ratio, basing this on information that I read somewhere. Hopefully my darling husband will climb in, under and all around my D to tell me all about it. I was amazed that it had a 25 gallon gas tank! I haven't had to fill it yet, I guess it will be sticker shock upon the first trip to the petro station. What does the gear ratio have to do with towing anyway? Just looking at the rear end, it is much larger and heavier than my husbands 4X4 in his F150.

Having lots of fun looking through all of the posts, and am learning alot!
 

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cbmine said:
:gr_patrio Thanks for the information on the tune-up. You know I am just assuming that the vehicle has 3:55 gear ratio, basing this on information that I read somewhere. Hopefully my darling husband will climb in, under and all around my D to tell me all about it. I was amazed that it had a 25 gallon gas tank! I haven't had to fill it yet, I guess it will be sticker shock upon the first trip to the petro station. What does the gear ratio have to do with towing anyway? Just looking at the rear end, it is much larger and heavier than my husbands 4X4 in his F150.

Having lots of fun looking through all of the posts, and am learning alot!
It should tell you the gear ratio on a sticker in the glove box. Given the same engine/trans, a higher gear ratio will allow you to tow more.
 

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I live in the NW part of Virginia and WVa is nothing but a Mountain State especially going thru Rt 50.
 

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Sorry, just some poor West Coast humor. "Mountains" with 1500 foot summits make me chuckle (the driveway at my cabin is at 4400 feet).
 

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East Coast West coast? You poor flat landers! My cabin is at 9400ft. I have to go over three passes, 1 canyon, 2 ravines, and a door high river crossing to get to mine. The mountain goats behind the cabin have a hard time breathing! Loaded or not I've never had any problems. Seriously though... if you're new to the D, respect it and pull over if it overheats or you'll do damage. Worst thing to see is a busted D.
 

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Oh, I forgot! Has anyone noticed an engine restriction when going downhill? I've noticed that if I am on a long steep grade and shift down and get the RPM's over 2600 the engine restricts and slows the D down. What is this and will it do damage?
 

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Colorado Blue- that sounds to me like engine breaking. Engine breaking uses the compression of the engine to help slow the vehicle down. Instead of the engine turning the wheels, the momentum of the car is transfered through the wheels and turns the engine and the compression of the engine causes the vehicle to slow. The nice thing about using engine breaking is it helps you control your speed without using your bakes as much so you avoid overheating or wearing out your brakes on a long downhill stretch. Unless theres something i dont know, this is perfectly safe and should damage anything. I use it all the time driving around town (anyone whos been to Houghton, MI knows this city is almost nothing but hills).
 

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brad- Thanks for the advise! I am familiar with engine braking. It is used often in off-roading to maintain speed and traction on steep decents. However, on other vehicles I have used, it is a gradual build up of compression. With the D it is a sudden hit of compression at 2800 rpms, such as you get w/ hitting the engine brake on a big rig. Even sounds similiar, although much lower in tone. Mine slows the truck fast enough that I would be concerned using it in an off-road capacity or slippery conditions.
 

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Well that doesn't seem normal. I also have a 2000 with the 4.7L and i like to downshift going down some of the crazy steep hills here around Houghton and i dont ever recall that happening. Might be be advisable to get it checked out but im out of my range of expertise on it now.
 

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Brad- Give it a try. Find a long downslope that normal compression will not allow the D to slow. Put your D in 2nd gear and head down. When you hit 2500 rpms take your foot off the gas and let the weight of the D Pull it over the 2800 mark. I have a friend who is a mechanic @ a dodge dealership. He said the same thing that you did. He was rather suprised and said he would look into it, but he moved before I could get an answer. Another friend of mine tried it and found the same thing.
 
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