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AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter)
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
8/31/20 9:49 a.m.

In reply to Azryael :

i had to check your underhood pix to see if this was an RWAL (my system) or 4WAL (my buddy Mike's system). I see yours has the 4 wheel system. Nice truck! Way back in the day (fall 1996), the MY1998 Durango was the reason i got to go to Sweden. We needed a head-start on ABS development in winter conditions, so I got to spend 4 weeks in Arvidsjaur calibrating the RWAL on snow and ice surfaces.

Azryael
Azryael Reader
8/31/20 10:14 a.m.

In reply to Professor_Brap (Forum Supporter) :

Thanks!! I agree. It has far too much sentimental value to me to ever let it go, and I will keep it on the road as long as I am physically able.

I do see a lot of them on the road down here, mainly the V6 magnums or the later "Hemis", but most times they don't look as well-kept as mine does.

This has to be the best looking Durango, followed by the newest one; the 2nd gen was bloated and ugly looking to me.

Azryael
Azryael Reader
8/31/20 10:20 a.m.

In reply to AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) :

Wow! That sounds like a lot of fun! I was just getting started with school over in Germany after we moved back there for the second time in 1996. We had shipped our '93 (or maybe it was a '94, I don't remember anymore) Jeep Grand Cherokee overseas with us after the lemon law allowed us to get all of its faults fixed, save for the fact that it was a 2WD... Imagine getting stuck in the snow in Bavaria in a Jeep!!! Miss that little truck too, and would love to have one with the 5.2 or 5.9 as well. Ours had the same 4.0L my Wrangler does (which incidentally was bought at a military car sales event overseas to replace the Grand Cherokee).

Don't suppose you happen to have any photos from this testing? I always enjoy developmental research and the images that go along with it.

AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter)
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
8/31/20 12:35 p.m.

In reply to Azryael :

none of the vehicles or the test surfaces, but i do have a pic of me driving a Lambo Diablo VT.  it was a test vehicle for our European colleagues.

Azryael
Azryael Reader
8/31/20 10:37 p.m.

That's unfortunate, but I do remember the VTs. A neighbor kid was big into F1 and fast cars, so we'd spend hours talking about the fastest Ferraris and Lambos of the mid-90s while playing games like Need for Speed and the like. His dad was a rather wealthy dude who owned a blue Viper with white stripes, looking like the twin to the car on the cover of the Test Drive 4.

Man, that brings back some fond memories of what felt like a far simpler time in my life... Is traveling back in time a thing yet?

kevinatfms
kevinatfms Reader
9/1/20 12:02 p.m.

I had a 5.2 ZJ Grand Cherokee that i modded up a bit as a sleeper. KRC Performance, Thorley and Fastman parts were amazing for the price.

The Thorley/Mopar headers are still some of the nicest pieces ive ever put on a vehicle. Fit and finish were just impeccable. The y-pipe on the ZJ was ridiculously restrictive, just replacing that was a massive increase in power.

Does the Durango have that choker y-pipe underneath it?

Azryael
Azryael Reader
9/1/20 1:04 p.m.

In reply to kevinatfms :

It does indeed, or at least something that's reminiscent to it.

I have a long list of cars I'd like to buy, and no place to put them, and I refuse to let go of any that I already have. I need a larger truck for farm/work usage, but I also want to get a true family hauler.

Eventually I'll grab an Excursion, throw a ZF6 in, and call it a day. I've had enough time behind the wheel with both the 7.3 and the 6.0 to know I'd be fine with either or. The 6.0 isn't bad once the factory flaws are corrected.

The Durango has third row seating, but it leaves little for cargo space in the rear. I may change my mind entirely after the 5-speed is in. The AC is showing some signs of needing work, so I'll check the pressures, and then likely pull vacuum on the system to check for leaks and any debris in the system.

Georges1991
Georges1991 Reader
9/3/20 12:48 a.m.

The 1st gen Durangos are still, in my opinion, along with the ZJ GCs, some of the absolute best looking SUVs out there. Chrysler really did a great job. Plenty of power, good styling that has aged well.

Up here in Hell-inois the only complaint is they have returned to the earth, with rock salts assistance, and an alarming rate. The 2nd Gen ones are even worse, along with the Chrysler Aspen SUV. I mean, Christ, those things rot if you spit on them

Azryael
Azryael Reader
9/3/20 2:32 a.m.

In reply to Georges1991 :

The Chrysler Aspen!! That was the name of the Chrysler variant. I for the life of me couldn't remember it. Yes, and they were even uglier than their Dodge counterparts...

I do hope to get another ZJ some day, but that may be a while. When it comes to the 1st gen Durangos, I also have to admit that I prefer the earlier interior styling over the "updated" interior, especially when it comes to the door panels.

It turns out the NV3500 isn't expected to ship until next Friday, so it'll still be a while before I can get the swap under way. I still need to finish up the clutch job on my 190E, so I can get the Durango into the garage. I also need to take a trip to the yard to find a shift tower for the transmission off one of the few manuals that are there, and I might grab a second driveshaft so I can go ahead and have that lengthened so I can keep the vehicle mobile until it's time to do it all. Then I go do what I did on the F350 and do it all in one evening.

I'm actually curious if I could find a driveshaft that's the right length off a Dakota at the yard. It just needs to be 7" longer.

Once this project is knocked out, assuming everything else is good, I can then start on sourcing a 5.3/6.0 for the big Mercedes.

Azryael
Azryael Reader
9/17/20 12:02 a.m.

Trans arrives tomorrow!

I still need to grab a shifter tower and either another driveshaft to have lengthened, or just pull mine.

Azryael
Azryael Reader
9/17/20 1:21 p.m.

It's here!!!!

Solid looking unit. My intent is to document this with lots of photos, that way I can also blast this out to the rest of the Dodge forums, where "okay" write-ups exist but photos to go along with that are non-existent.

Azryael
Azryael Reader
9/19/20 3:14 p.m.

Haven't made it to the yard; might go tomorrow.

It seems parts availability isn't what I'd hoped it would be. I toyed with the idea of just getting a brand new shifter tower, but apart from NOS Hurst alternatives for nearly $400, I can't find a simple stock replacement for the Dakotas. Ram shifter towers are still available, but it would require modifications.

We'll see what happens.

Azryael
Azryael Reader
9/21/21 3:15 p.m.

A year later, and the swap still hasn't been done. Haven't had the time to gather up the remaining bits and pieces.

However, after a stuck caliper, I took care of the front brakes, replacing both front calipers with some Chrysler remans, but still seem to be getting a drag on the side opposite of the one that was stuck. I've surmised it's blocked in either the line, or the ABS pump, but the problem is that you cannot bleed the ABS without some fancy Chrysler DRB/MDS tool...

Has anyone with one of these older Mopars actually been able to figure our a solution to scan ABS codes (I've had the ABS light on for a while now) as well as bleeding the system? I see a lot of Innova aftermarket scanners that say they can bleed ABS, but their coverage checker on their website then says it can't be used for ABS bleeding on this particular vehicle. I'm not really thrilled with the idea of having to take it somewhere just so they can bend me over to do something as simple as burp the ABS.

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