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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
With this many miles on my 1998 Durango I can't help but get a little nervous with RPMs while towing my trailer. The engine does great with everyday driving but with 3500 lbs hooked to it (tandem axle trailer with 2 Harleys) and the back loaded with luggage, it definitely needs more RPMs for towing uphills especially. With level ground it can go all day, even with the OD turned on, but it's the hills and longer grades that worry me when it drops a gear or two to maintain highway speed and the RPMs jump up over 3000-3200. Am I being overly cautious? At what RPM range should I still be able to feel comfortable? The transmission was replaced a couple years ago so it is no worries at all there.
 

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So just to give you true peace of mind I would do a couple of things. First, I would send my oil out for analysis this will tell you if your engine is scrubbing metal off of lubricated parts. Second I would have a compression check and most importantly a leak down test. This will tell you how "well" your engine is actually feeling. I will say this we used RAM 1500 trucks for deliveries to my customers. We drove them to 200K and then turned them in as they were leased. In my 8 years, we never had an engine failure. The leasing company had us change the oil every 5,000 miles and they spec'ed dino oil not synthetic.
 

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NCD:
Welcome to DDN. Is your D RWD, or 4x4? With the 5.2/318 engine, you have the 44RE trans, which should have the bands adjusted every 30-40k. Doing that, gives you a chance to do a drain/refill filter change, as the pan comes off to adjust the rear band.

Don't forget your T case (if 4 x4) and differential(s).

Don
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
NCD:
Welcome to DDN. Is your D RWD, or 4x4? With the 5.2/318 engine, you have the 44RE trans, which should have the bands adjusted every 30-40k. Doing that, gives you a chance to do a drain/refill filter change, as the pan comes off to adjust the rear band.

Don't forget your T case (if 4 x4) and differential(s).

Don
Hi! My Durango is 4x4 with the towing package and the transmission is fine. It was replaced a couple years ago and works great. The shop made sure to match the trans with the VIN to get the right one rated for towing and added an external trans cooler. My concern is I'm worried about turning too many RPMs while towing to maintain speed on hills or long steady climbs. With 270,000 miles I'm sure my engine doesn't have the power it had new. Watching the tach jump up into the 3000+ range on the highway when the transmission downshifts makes me a little nervous. Maybe I'm overthinking it but I don't want to hurt it and end up on the side of the road while on a trip.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
No worries, should be good to redline. Key is that the engine is not overheating or lugging...both bad.
Otherwise pedal down!
Hi! I keep an eye on my gauges, especially with my trailer in tow, and everything looks good. I expected the temp to maybe climb a bit but it doesn't. I don't tow often and the hills and steady inclines are the only time the engine is really strained. I just get nervous when it downshifts and the RPMs jump up into the 3000-3500 range to maintain or regain my speed. I never turn that many RPMs under normal driving. Maybe I'm worried for nothing. My mother tells me I drive like an old man, lol.
 

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Maybe you just need a lower mileage tow rig and then you'll have nothing to worry about?
 
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