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Thread: Need help figuring out Chrysler Aspen model year options

  1. #11
    Durango Expert Old_School's Avatar
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    It really depends on what you plan to do with it. You say it'll be your wife's, but do you plan for it to just be her grocery getter or would you also use it for weekend getaways where you could be towing a boat or a trailer??

    If you plan to tow with it, I'd go with the 5.7 just for the extra power. If not, then the 4.7 will save ya a little fuel and would fit the bill for her needs.
    Jeremy M

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  2. #12
    Durango Jedi Don Fox's Avatar
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    2004 Hemi SLT AWD Turned 100K Jan of '17. New engine September 2008 at 39K due to dropped valve.
    All other things being equal, I also vote for the Hemi as having the extra power won't cause any issues. But, if you needed to add it someday, it'd costs a bundle. Remember, the upgraded 4.7 engine was pretty new at that point while the Hemi had been around since 2004. With the Durango's 5000+ lbs to move, mpg difference will be minimal and the pricing should be similar Hemi or not.

    At the end of the day, either engine should do a fine job for you so look for the best deal you can get in the color you want and go for it. From some quick research, it appears that both the 303 HP 4.7 engine and the older 235 HP 4.7 used the same VIN designation of N in the 8th digit so you'll want to make sure any 4.7 you look at is the "upgraded" double plug version like the Hemi. There was also a "Flex Fuel" 235 HP 4.7 version indicated by a P in the VIN. The early Hemi's were indicated by a D while the later ones used a 2 and then a T for 2009.

    Hope this helps.

    Don
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    de N8ECH

  3. #13
    Administrator IndyDurango's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by all_bran
    So, if I'm understanding what you're saying, I shouldn't notice any significant?
    No

    What we're saying is get the Hemi? 5 times now!

    The Aspen is too large to be a comfortable daily driver with the 4.7 pulling it around. And, as Don has pointed out, since the price isn't going to be a big difference one way or the other in the used vehicle market, get the better choice of the two.

    And, if you can find one that's NOT flex fuel, that's the one to get. Flex Fuel was a bust IMHO.

    Done

    IndyD

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  5. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Don Fox
    All other things being equal, I also vote for the Hemi as having the extra power won't cause any issues. But, if you needed to add it someday, it'd costs a bundle. Remember, the upgraded 4.7 engine was pretty new at that point while the Hemi had been around since 2004. With the Durango's 5000+ lbs to move, mpg difference will be minimal and the pricing should be similar Hemi or not.

    At the end of the day, either engine should do a fine job for you so look for the best deal you can get in the color you want and go for it. From some quick research, it appears that both the 303 HP 4.7 engine and the older 235 HP 4.7 used the same VIN designation of N in the 8th digit so you'll want to make sure any 4.7 you look at is the "upgraded" double plug version like the Hemi. There was also a "Flex Fuel" 235 HP 4.7 version indicated by a P in the VIN. The early Hemi's were indicated by a D while the later ones used a 2 and then a T for 2009.

    Hope this helps.

    Don
    Ah ha, this is all very good info! So the 303 HP upgraded 4.7 has 16 spark plugs like the Hemi and the old 235 HP 4.7 only had 8? Is this easily identifiable under the hood or is it all buried under those fancy new integral coil packs?

    And, just so I understand the VIN codes correctly, could you please verify the below and clear up what the 2 means? Did they put the 376 HP Hemi in some later model 2008 Aspen's?

    8th Digit from VIN Code:
    • N = 2007 Aspen: 235HP 4.7L V8 Gas Only
      P = 2007 Aspen: 235 HP 4.7L V8 Flex Fuel
      N = 2008-2009 Aspen: 303 HP 4.7L V8 Gas Only

      D = 2007-2008 Aspen: 335 HP 5.7L Hemi with MDS
      2 = 2008? Aspen?HP 5.7L Hemi with MDS
      T = 2009 Aspen: 376 HP 5.7L Hemi with MDS
    Thanks!

  6. #15
    Durango Guru
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    Thanks to MDS the Hemi actually has better highway mileage than the 4.7, officially at any rate. Personally, given the choice, I'd get the Hemi and 4/AWD (I forget what the designation for the Durango is) as having to treat the gas pedal so gently when it gets remotely slippery is a little annoying. Not that being careful is a bad thing, but I like to be able to set off from lights with my foot touching the gas pedal? even when it's wet.

  7. #16
    Durango Jedi Don Fox's Avatar
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    2004 Hemi SLT AWD Turned 100K Jan of '17. New engine September 2008 at 39K due to dropped valve.
    I'm going to pull back a bit on my HP numbers. While it's true the Hemi was rated at more than 335-345 HP in other platforms such as the Charger, 300, etc., I can't find anywhere at present where the Hemi Durango was rated more than that; except for the hybrid which is quite the rare bird.

    Find a Hemi and you won't be disappointed!

    Don
    2004 Durango SLT Hemi AWD "The Flame Red Rocket." ( 3/26/10 Cleveland, OH.)
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    de N8ECH

  8. #17
    Grasshopper
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    I think you're right. These reviews show the 2008 5.7 Hemi makes 335 HP, the 2009 5.7 Hemi makes 376 HP and the 4.7 for both years makes 303 HP.

    2008 Dodge Durango Performance

    2009 Dodge Durango Performance

  9. #18
    Super Moderator tomk's Avatar
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    What I've seen on the web for the HP of the 2009 Durango/Aspen 5.7L is:
    • 356 HP (probably a typo of 365 HP)
      365 HP (alleged to have come from a Chrysler press release)
      376 HP (what's shown in the 2009 Durango brochure)
      385 HP (I think this is the Hybrid configuration?)
    At any rate, get the Hemi!

    ?tom
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  10. #19
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    I just picked up a fully loaded 2008 Aspen with the Hemi, 4WD, DVD, digital thermostat, Nav, buckets in the rear, etc., etc. and have two questions on the engine. I went to buy oil and a filter for my first oil change and found there are two different filters listed for the 2008 Hemi Aspen. One with 22mm threads and the other with 3/4-16" threads.

    Did they change which Hemi was in the 2008 Aspens from the 335HP ones to the 376HP ones mid-year? My VIN has a "2" in the 8th position so which engine does it have, 376HP or 335HP? Which filter do I use, a Fram PH16 (3/4-16") or PH2 (22mm)?

    Thanks!

  11. #20
    Super Moderator tomk's Avatar
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    The Mopar Parts catalog shows two 5.7L engines for 09 Aspens, but only one for 07-08. I didn't drill down into the 08 pages to see if there are parts that changed based on VIN. VIN.8="2" is the only call out for 07-08. It changed to "T" for 09 and both 09 5.7L engines have the same VIN digit. I'd be surprised if they did a mid-year engine change, if only because of emissions certification issues, so I believe you have the 2008 335HP engine.

    The Mopar Parts catalog only shows the 22mm filter for 08 5.7L Aspens, but aftermarket catalogs seem to say it depends on which "adapter" you have installed??
    If I am a good man and sure in all my ways
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    07 JGC Red Rock Limited 5.7L
    And some past Durangos
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