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    Thread: 1st Gen Dodge Durango R/T

    1. Member SICKVDUB1's Avatar
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      09-09-2019 03:33 PM #1
      As the title says i'm looking for info on those 1st Gen Durango R/Ts, any mods, aftermarket support for speed off road whatever comes to your mind.

      Any reliability issues, during the weekend me and a friend were arguing about trucks that are capable of seating 7 that are not mini vans ( i had a chevy astro, quest) that would put up a fight compared to a Tahoe or Explorer.

      TIA


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    3. Member
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      09-09-2019 03:45 PM #2
      Martin Saine for a transmission and high stall torque converter, at this point a Durango RT is likely on its third transmission, 50-60k and they’re usually done.
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    4. Member Maximum_Download's Avatar
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      09-09-2019 04:28 PM #3
      Around here in the rust belt they are all solidly Buy Here - Pay Here fodder, with significant rust issues and no clearcoat left.

      I'd stay away.
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    5. Member SICKVDUB1's Avatar
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      09-10-2019 03:05 PM #4
      Guess, is not even worth it to look at them... such a shame, figure for 2500USD that would be a heck of a little 7 seater hauler.

    6. Member Off Pump's Avatar
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      09-10-2019 03:12 PM #5
      Quote Originally Posted by SICKVDUB1 View Post
      Guess, is not even worth it to look at them... such a shame, figure for 2500USD that would be a heck of a little 7 seater hauler.
      Its ok to look at them...but they had issues. Theres not going to be 488 good ones available, but if you find a well sorted one, then its just fine.

      Best bet from the early 2000s are GM full size. Expeditions were crap, Durangos didn't hold up great. Excursions of course are a different beast, might be too big.

      I had a 98 Grand Cherokee 5.9, and those were owned by more 'discerning' owners.

      Always had a soft spot for a nice 1st gen Durango. All the cool kids or their parents had them when I was in high school
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    7. Member Crispyfritter's Avatar
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      09-10-2019 04:04 PM #6
      If you can find a running driving, rust free example that doesn't have any issues, they're a tremendous value. They have tons of room inside and the 360 can be made fast with some HCI work.

      Chris
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      09-10-2019 04:34 PM #7
      I had a crew cab version years ago through work, and there were two things that stand out in my memory: 1) The motor had good snap, and 2) It went through brakes like $hit through a goose.

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      09-10-2019 06:04 PM #8
      It depends on what you want it for...

      Do you want an SUV that will go fast, but doesn't have to offer off road capability? Maybe.

      Grand Cherokee 5.9 is a better off road rig by far, and a GMT800 SUV is a better 7 seat hauler (and more durable/reliable).

      These were built to a price using parts bin components (the rear hatch and tail lights are straight from the then-current ChryCo minivan, for instance) and unfortunately most of them have not aged well.

    10. Geriatric Member BRealistic's Avatar
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      09-10-2019 08:20 PM #9
      Quote Originally Posted by Crispyfritter View Post
      If you can find a running driving, rust free example that doesn't have any issues, they're a tremendous value. They have tons of room inside and the 360 can be made fast with some HCI work.

      Chris
      I guess that also applies to the lighter Dakota R/T?

    11. Member 16volt's Avatar
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      09-10-2019 08:26 PM #10
      My parents have a 5.9L first gen Durango R/T, its been ok. They have had it for the better part of a decade and its been through one gearbox and one motor. But the cost cutting comments are apt. And they live in the Midwest so its mostly rust now even after having been painted once. Its the slowest 5.9L V8 you will ever drive I would think.

    12. Senior Member UncleJB's Avatar
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      09-11-2019 06:23 AM #11
      Like most Dodge's from this generation rust is what killed them in the Northeast. My buddy had one back in the early 2000's and it was actually pretty stout. He put some beefier tires on it and an exhaust and it was pretty mean sounding. It was used as the drunk bus on many occasions when the we went out with the roommates. Had enough room to bring home some ladies too if any of us got lucky.

    13. Member geofftii2002's Avatar
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      09-11-2019 11:39 AM #12
      First gen Durangos are rust-bucket garbage - regardless of the engine. There's little in the way of redeeming factors on these turds - even more of a rolling traphouse than a Trailblazer.
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    14. Member Pnuu's Avatar
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      09-11-2019 11:41 AM #13
      I've spent some time in a same-gen Dakota, they're relatively narrow inside and I wouldn't count on actually seating seven normal size humans comfortably in a Durango. Six would work though.

      Otherwise, they're typical early 2000s Chrysler quality. Not complete garbage, not good either. Easy to work on and parts are pretty cheap and plentiful. If you can find a clean and well maintained example it wouldn't be a terrible vehicle for the money (assuming it's not much money).

      But personally, I'd spend a tiny bit more on a GMT800 Tahoe and have a much better vehicle.
      Last edited by Pnuu; 09-11-2019 at 11:46 AM.

    15. Member HI SPEED's Avatar
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      09-11-2019 12:53 PM #14
      I had that generation Dakota as a company vehicle. I was glad that I didn't have to pay the repair bills. Even when it was still newish it was totally falling apart.

      That was from the darkest days of FCA planned obsolescence

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      09-11-2019 01:24 PM #15
      Quote Originally Posted by Pnuu View Post
      But personally, I'd spend a tiny bit more on a GMT800 Tahoe and have a much better vehicle.
      Bingo.

    17. Geriatric Member BRealistic's Avatar
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      09-11-2019 01:29 PM #16
      Quote Originally Posted by HI SPEED View Post
      I had that generation Dakota as a company vehicle. I was glad that I didn't have to pay the repair bills. Even when it was still newish it was totally falling apart.

      That was from the darkest days of FCA planned obsolescence
      Seriously?
      I figured the PIG next gen was the sh*t version.
      F**king pig.




    18. Member geofftii2002's Avatar
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      09-11-2019 01:32 PM #17
      Quote Originally Posted by BRealistic View Post
      Seriously?
      I figured the PIG next gen was the sh*t version.
      F**king pig.
      Equally turrible, just in different ways.
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    19. Member SICKVDUB1's Avatar
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      09-11-2019 02:23 PM #18
      Quote Originally Posted by Crispyfritter View Post
      If you can find a running driving, rust free example that doesn't have any issues, they're a tremendous value. They have tons of room inside and the 360 can be made fast with some HCI work.

      Chris
      Thanks this is some of the things i wanted to hear, i was able to source one locally for around 2500 that looked a bit beat, but no rust whatsoever.

      Quote Originally Posted by Off Pump View Post
      Its ok to look at them...but they had issues. Theres not going to be 488 good ones available, but if you find a well sorted one, then its just fine.

      Best bet from the early 2000s are GM full size. Expeditions were crap, Durangos didn't hold up great. Excursions of course are a different beast, might be too big.

      I had a 98 Grand Cherokee 5.9, and those were owned by more 'discerning' owners.

      Always had a soft spot for a nice 1st gen Durango. All the cool kids or their parents had them when I was in high school
      I remember when it came out, i had the car and driver with the article on it i fell in love with it, never got a real chance of driving one.

      Quote Originally Posted by Numbersix View Post
      It depends on what you want it for...

      Do you want an SUV that will go fast, but doesn't have to offer off road capability? Maybe.

      Grand Cherokee 5.9 is a better off road rig by far, and a GMT800 SUV is a better 7 seat hauler (and more durable/reliable).

      These were built to a price using parts bin components (the rear hatch and tail lights are straight from the then-current ChryCo minivan, for instance) and unfortunately most of them have not aged well.
      I'm dead set on a Tahoe but since budget came to the table, we were aiming for a lower budget SUV, i really don't need one to go fast, it has to be quick sure but not lightning or srt fast, as long as i can fit my two child seats and 3 more monkeys in there it would fit the bill to carry my in-laws around.

      Quote Originally Posted by Pnuu View Post
      I've spent some time in a same-gen Dakota, they're relatively narrow inside and I wouldn't count on actually seating seven normal size humans comfortably in a Durango. Six would work though.

      Otherwise, they're typical early 2000s Chrysler quality. Not complete garbage, not good either. Easy to work on and parts are pretty cheap and plentiful. If you can find a clean and well maintained example it wouldn't be a terrible vehicle for the money (assuming it's not much money).

      But personally, I'd spend a tiny bit more on a GMT800 Tahoe and have a much better vehicle.
      I'm dead set on a Tahoe, or even a denali version if i can get one, just haven't found the right truck. Most of the ones i have found here are way to overpriced or are too beat.


      Quote Originally Posted by geofftii2002 View Post
      Equally turrible, just in different ways.
      Guess there is a reason why you don't see many on the road anymore compared to burbans or tahoes of that same era.

    20. Member HI SPEED's Avatar
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      09-11-2019 04:25 PM #19
      Quote Originally Posted by BRealistic View Post
      Seriously?
      I figured the PIG next gen was the sh*t version.
      F**king pig.



      This generation was much better, but yikes on the looks

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      09-11-2019 10:01 PM #20
      Transmission made out of glass and a body so rusty it resembles swiss cheese.
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