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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So i got 297,950 miles out of my 04 Durango and BOOM 馃ぃ馃槀. Decided on a new engine and transmission vs a used vehicle with high mileage. 14k gets me a new engine and transmission installed 馃槑. I want to use it for minimal town driving but mostly camp and trailer pulling. Our trailer is 5200 dry and 2000 gear capability, so not towing over 7200 lbs. from the specs I鈥檝e read, 3:55麓s (which is what鈥檚 in it) will do 7,250 and a set of 3:92麓s will do 8,750 lbs towing. Getting max towing is my goal. With that, questions:

1 Do I change both front and back gears to match (3:92鈥檚)
2 Do I assume the front is 3:55麓s as well?
3 Should I put in heavy duty axels to help strengthen the rear end?
4 I got the new trailer and had 275,000 miles on it. No way could I do mountains. Will I if I do all this work?
5 Any other suggestions to help with towing capacities?

Build Sheet says:
Lock-Up Torque Converter
205MM Front Axle
3.55 Rear Axle Ratio
Corporate 8.25 Rear Axle

Thank you for any help I can get 馃槑
 

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HH:
Welcome to DDN. Wow, that is quite an investment for an 18+ year old D.
The big question here, is does your D have the factory tow group? If not, then you are limited to 2000 pounds as shown below.

Trailer Towing(a)
Drive
Engine
Axle Ratio
GCWRb
Maximum Trailer Weight(b)
2WD
3.7 L V-6​
3.92​
8600 lbs. (3901 kg)​
3700 lbs. (1678kg)​
4.7 L V-8​
3.55​
11000 lbs. (3952 kg)​
5900 lbs. (2676kg)​
3.92​
12500 lbs. (5670 kg)​
7400 lbs. (3357kg)​
5.7 L V-8​
3.55​
12500 lbs. (5670 kg)​
7400 lbs. (3357kg)​
3.92​
14000 lbs. (6350 kg)​
8950 lbs. (4037 kg)​
4WD
4.7 L V-8​
3.55​
11000 lbs. (3952 kg)​
5800 lbs. (2631kg)​
3.92​
12500 lbs. (5670 kg)​
7300 lbs. (3311kg)​
5.7 L V-8​
3.55​
12500 lbs. (5670 kg)​
7200 lbs. (3266kg)​
3.92​
14000 lbs. (6350 kg)​
8700 lbs. (3946kg)​
(a) Maximum trailer weights are rounded to the nearest 50 lbs.(b) Maximum Trailer Weight = GCWR minus Curb wt. minus 150 lbs. (allowance for driver)NOTE: All the above ratings are valid with Trailer Tow Package only.
All the vehicles are rated to tow a maximum of 2,000 lbs. without the Trailer Tow Package.



Re the 3.92 gear, installing those (both front and rear are required with AWD) will help, but you still won't have the HD cooling, etc that the tow group includes.

Don
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you鈥. Yes it鈥檚 a factory tow set up, I ran the build sheet and bought it new. My wife doesn鈥檛 want to give up the vehicle and at 14k investment, I have no car payments and new running gear 馃憤. This will get me by for 3-4 years before I get a new Ram 2500. 60-80k for new trucks is rough lol.


OPTIONAL EQUIPMENT
Prem Leather Trimmed Bucket Seats
Slate Gray Two-Tone
Heavy Duty Service Group
Skid Plate Group
Trailer Tow Group
Mutually Exclusive Package
750 Amp Maintenance Free Battery
Traction Control

So by reding your chart (might be my iPad) looks like I can do 8700 lbs with the factory tow group, and the 5.7 Hemi correct?

when I change to the 3.92鈥檚 how do you think 7200 lbs of trailer will do in the mountains?

and thank you, the help is much appreciated 馃槑
 

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Ok on having the factory tow group. By the chart, you pick up an extra 1500 lbs by switching to the 3.92 gear.
As far as towing experience goes, I don't tow very often. There are other D owners here who tow more frequently, who will chime in.

I recently picked up a fairly decent older 16' tandem axle trailer. It weighs 1900ish pounds, and will haul 5000. I can't see hauling more than 2-3000 pounds anyway. I have updated the trailer with new LED lighting. The last thing on my list, is to install a brake controller into the D, so I can make use of the brakes on the trailer's front axle.

Don
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you鈥. Yeah the trailer brakes make a world of difference. I added them in when we bought our trailer. On one trip coming home I felt the trailer pushing me hard as I came up to a signal light. Pulled over and saw I forgot to plug in 馃槵. Won鈥檛 do that again lol鈥. New trailer owner fails 馃し鈥嶁檪锔
 

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2016 Durango R/T Arizona
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No way in hell would I put 14 grand into that old a vehicle. You're nuts as you'll never get it back out of it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well, I guess that鈥檚 a matter of both choice and opinion鈥. I鈥檓 not looking to get it back out of it. I鈥檓 looking at logging miles as we love the car. I鈥檓 looking at not having car payments. I鈥檓 looking at a vehicle that we enjoy and want to keep. I鈥檓 looking at a vehicle that is safe to give to one of my grandkids to learn on and drive to school safely in. I鈥檓 looking at a vehicle that will pull my trailer until that time comes. I鈥檓 looking at what I can buy used for 15 grand that would compair to it and with all of that said, I鈥檓 60 years old and an $800 a month car payment for a new vehicle is not my thing right now. I鈥檇 rather put that $800 a month towards my retirement鈥. Now when you look at it through my eyes, being 鈥渘uts鈥 isn鈥檛 in the picture鈥 but thanks for the input
 

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2016 Durango R/T Arizona
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Keeping it in the family is a great idea but do realize that all the other things that will go wrong on an 18 yo 300K mile car will make it a burden on anyone else. Just read through the struggles people have with DDs in the Gen 2 forum and you might realize how this isn't a good idea. Heck, you might get some of those impossible to find problems yourself after you drop the 14K and then you're stuck. I completely understand the dislike of the $800 payment but why do you need a new DD when you can get a good used one for less and combined with your $14K down payment I'd bet you'll be around $400 for 5 years. I am in the same boat and we decided to not buy a second DD right now, especially since we still have a payment on the current DD. We are also trying to build up the retirement and we realize how hard it is to do it with a payment but I would definitely way the future of this one against the future of a newer vehicle.
 

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All depends upon the quality of the work IMO which will determine any future problems....and at least he knows the vehicle history as compared to buying a used vehicle which you don't know how it was treated.
I'd lean to towards repairing what I have.

BTW, towing with 3.92's is much easier on the drivetrain.
 

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Given the current absolutely stupid car pricing at present, I think I'd also lean towards fixing the old girl up as long as the body and frame are in good shape. Unfortunately, here in our SW Ohio winters, my '04 shows the wear and tear of 18+ years in Ohio.

I was gonna comment on the Charger in the pic above earlier, and forgot. Love the color! I'd have that in my garage any time.

Don
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Body is straight, never crashed, California car with no rust, drilled and slotted rotors with ceramic brakes, paints good, minimal dings and interior is way above average for the age鈥. She鈥檚 a keeper 馃槀馃.
so is the Charger馃槣
 

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2016 Durango R/T Arizona
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I would put that kind of money into my Roadrunner because it will create value in it. I understand that your DD is beautiful and well-cared for but at 300K it's honestly just going to keep costing you money. Sometimes you have to make a business decision, not an emotional decision. By the way, you didn't say what happened when "BOOM."
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I would put that kind of money into my Roadrunner because it will create value in it. I understand that your DD is beautiful and well-cared for but at 300K it's honestly just going to keep costing you money. Sometimes you have to make a business decision, not an emotional decision. By the way, you didn't say what happened when "BOOM."
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Well, based on how it happened and not getting into tearing it down (only having it towed home) or doing any detail inspections on it, I鈥檓 quite sure I had a bad internal failure. May have been a valve let loose, may have punched through a piston鈥 won鈥檛 know for sure for a bit. What I do know is that it made a bad noise, sounded and shook like a blown tire鈥 got to the side of the road instantly as it shut itself down and a bunch of oil smoke came out the top end鈥 oil all over the bottom end which means to me that it may have cracked the block at the same time but, one things for sure鈥 since I got the average max life out of it, I鈥檓 not going to mess with it. It served its time and I鈥檓 happy with the miles it gave us 馃槑
 

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2018 Durango R/T AWD
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I would put that kind of money into my Roadrunner because it will create value in it. I understand that your DD is beautiful and well-cared for but at 300K it's honestly just going to keep costing you money. Sometimes you have to make a business decision, not an emotional decision. By the way, you didn't say what happened when "BOOM."
Don't listen to Tinfoil hat. He just goes around ripping everyone else while his cars sit on blocks
 

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Keeping it in the family is a great idea but do realize that all the other things that will go wrong on an 18 yo 300K mile car will make it a burden on anyone else. Just read through the struggles people have with DDs in the Gen 2 forum and you might realize how this isn't a good idea. Heck, you might get some of those impossible to find problems yourself after you drop the 14K and then you're stuck. I completely understand the dislike of the $800 payment but why do you need a new DD when you can get a good used one for less and combined with your $14K down payment I'd bet you'll be around $400 for 5 years. I am in the same boat and we decided to not buy a second DD right now, especially since we still have a payment on the current DD. We are also trying to build up the retirement and we realize how hard it is to do it with a payment but I would definitely way the future of this one against the future of a newer vehicle.
Such rubbish! Go back to the can Oscar!
 

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Well, I guess that鈥檚 a matter of both choice and opinion鈥. I鈥檓 not looking to get it back out of it. I鈥檓 looking at logging miles as we love the car. I鈥檓 looking at not having car payments. I鈥檓 looking at a vehicle that we enjoy and want to keep. I鈥檓 looking at a vehicle that is safe to give to one of my grandkids to learn on and drive to school safely in. I鈥檓 looking at a vehicle that will pull my trailer until that time comes. I鈥檓 looking at what I can buy used for 15 grand that would compair to it and with all of that said, I鈥檓 60 years old and an $800 a month car payment for a new vehicle is not my thing right now. I鈥檇 rather put that $800 a month towards my retirement鈥. Now when you look at it through my eyes, being 鈥渘uts鈥 isn鈥檛 in the picture鈥 but thanks for the input
I'm 48, and that kind of payment will NEVER be my thing. :)

Cars are like women. ALWAYS, "cheaper to keep her" .
 
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