WELCOME
December 1st 2007
          With xmas around the corner and several folks ordering vehicle parts online my order has been delayed a couple more weeks. ARG! I've learned that when it says that all the items that I've ordered are "in stock", not to believe it. I bought a couple car seat heat/massagers at Canadian Tire along with a 1 into 3 12V plug splitter. This way I can run the navigation direct from the battery and plug in the cell phone and seat heater cushions into the cig lighter socket. As I drive transport I have a 12V cooler that I got used, but in excellent shape. When camping season comes I'll put it to use with the rear 12V socket. I found a place locally that sells automotive LED bulbs, for taillights and such. So, hopefully this will help even out the electrical load when driving, and not drain the battery too much.
November 24th 2007
          The cold weather has arrived. With the Amsoil engine oil the D has been starting excellent. Temps have only dipped to -12C as of yesterday. When the temp drops below -5C or so the brakes are really touchy if I press on them with regular pressure. If I'm really light with the pressure they stop fine. When I increase the pressure they stop abruptly; enough to jerk my head around let alone the wife's. I would bet that the new wheel bearing I had installed (the old one had an ABS sensor on its way out as well) that the ABS system is now performing the way it should instead of pulsing my brakes when I'm idling around in a parking lot with my foot barely pressed against the pedal! It's better than it was in previous years but I have a feeling that I'll be taking the fuse out again this year since the system is rather annoying and unpredictable. My parts that I ordered nearly two weeks ago haven't arrived yet. I'm very anxious to get them installed before I go up to Sudbury, ON after the new year to visit relatives. It'll also put my 180F thermostat to the test.
November 14th 2007
          It's official. I was bitten by the 'mod' bug this afternoon and couldn't help but to order $1000 worth of engine upgrades. I've ordered a K&N FIPK, MSD ignition system w8ith taylor performance spark plug wires and Superchips micro tuner (all were on sale so I coudln't pass up). I also ordered some winter grille and bumper inserts. That was I can keep the 180 T-stat in all winter and not have to worry about the engine temp dropping too low while I'm on the highway. I'll see how they perform when I get them next week. I've also been off work for nearly two weeks from a mild flu/serious cold infection that just wouldn't go away. I'm feeling better now at least so I can pay off the VISA from the parts I ordered. Stay tuned!
November 7th 2007
          I'm glad I upgraded to synthetic engine oils. I've been driving around like mad (just had a baby, OK the wife did), and put on over 3000kms in the last few weeks from visiting out of town relatives. Now that I've caught some sort of mild flu from the hospital over the weekend I'm saddened to say I won't be driving the D much this week. Had the first snow fall of the year last night and I'm already waiting to get some that actually stays on the ground! Bring it on!
October 24th 2007
          Over the last couple months I have aquired a sqeak when making right hand turns. I'm going to replace the U-joints and U bolts when I get new shocks all around (after xmas) and see if that gets rid of the squeak and the poor-ish ride quality I've been noticing. Still, when I get out of my Freightliner and into the Durango, it drives like a brand new lexus!
October 7th 2007
          After a week of running on synthetic oil I have noticed a slight increase in mpg. With split 50/50 city highway I'm averaging right around the 14mpg US mark. Before it was 13-13.5mpg. I do plan to upgrade the transmission and transfer case to Amsoil ATF when the next service is due. Overall the truck has been running well considering I park it during the week while I drive transport. I've recently purchased a Garmin nüvi 360 GPS unit. It wasn't cheap, but the features will serve me well while I sit behind the wheel! I tested it out in the Durango today and it works excellent. I even drove off course and it rerouted me instantly. The only problem with using GPS and driving transport is it won't notify me of low bridges.
October 1st 2007
          Amsoil 5W30 has been installed in the engine! I decided to have a flush done at the dealer before installation. I've never used synthetic oil in my vehicles engines before and there hasn't been any noticeable gains of power/performance but with 5000lbs of truck to haul around its to be expected. With the Canadian dollar at a near 1:1 with the US dollar I'll be ordering more mods! Next month I'll be adding the K&N FIPK. I've decided to scrap the supercharger idea after several months of though. No, it wasn't the price that turned me away, it's the fact that I'll have to upgrade every other mechanical part to handle the increased output. My muffler is starting to rust near the back so that'll be a project for me early next year! Stay tuned....
September 23st 2007
          I started a new job and the D sat in the yard at work for 6 days. As my Durango was my daily driver, having it park for several days at a time worried me. I got back on Friday and man, it started up and ran like nothing before! I suppose I gave it a good vacation and it treated me well. I noticed that the volt meter went up faster than usual when I started it, just over 14V! Awesome. I'm going to order my K&N FIPK from my second pay (when I get it). Also, I'm going to live with the stock shocks for now since it's no longer my daily driver, just weekend toy.
September 10st 2007
          I had an issue after the wheel bearing was installed. Turned out the brake backing plate wasn't secured properly. It was making a rubbing noise at speed; now it runs as smooth as can be! Next item up to add - Bilstein shocks and K&N FIPK! I have two months left on the Lubrico warranty!
September 5st 2007
          I came back from Staples the other day with a few office supplies and while travelling down the local expressway I felt a very light pull on the steering wheel and my ABS & parking brake light came on. I thought right away that it was the rear wheel speed sensor. It turned out the right front ABS sensor had malfunctioned. I got the right front wheel bearing replaced and low and behold - a new sensor came with it! I do hate myself for not going around and pricing it first since the dealer took a good piece of me! Ah well.
September 1st 2007
          I've ordered the right front wheel bearing finally! It should be in next wednesday and ready for installation. With my new job pending (starting in two weeks), I've been going through dozens of online performance stores. My warranty runs out in a little over two months and I'm getting the itch to do some modifications to the D. Stage one will be intake, superchips and exhaust (stocker is very rusty). Stage two will include the hotchkis sway bar, fastman TB, MSD ignition system, 20" wheels and tires, upgraded front brakes. Strage three (the final stage) will include a ProCharger supercharger at 9psi for a rated 60% increase in HP and an upgraded transmission from the fastman to handle up to 700hp. I might seek alternate sources if I can find a better deal - but we'll see when the time comes! Stay tuned.
August 19th 2007
          The D cruises graciously at 1550-1700rpm (80-88km/h). Drove to MoparFest (New Hamburg) then onto Stratford to look around, and it was a smooth ride actually doing JUST over the speed limit speeds! Trip computer averaged 18-20mpg as the engine was barely churning over. I'm getting pumped up as some Amsoil ATF arrived that I plan on installing in my transfer case as soon as my next engine oil change is due. At that time I'll be installing Amsoil 5W30 in the crankcase as the warranty on my truck will be finished in a couple more months. This week I'm going to go all out and get the truck undercoated for the first time since I bought it, and do a complete 3 step wax!
August 3rd 2007
          The D is no longer consuming any oil. The plenum gasket has worked marvelously! I'm still in need of a front right wheel bearing (hub assembly) which will have to wait. When the wheel bearing gets replaced I'll have the shocks changed out for some Gas Magnum (Monroe HD) shocks or another aftermarket brand providing the price is right. Last month I inflated my tires to 34psi (from 31/32psi; max is 35) and removed the roof rack cross bars. I have noticed an increase in mileage. With 90% highway driving I achieved over 600km on 80L of fuel. Last tank I netted over 500km with 70%highway and 30% city driving. Needless to say, mileage has improved.
July 15th 2007
          I'm nearly due for another oil change since installing the plenum gasket and have noticed NO consumption! Just gave the D a wash and wax (used Mothers). I noticed that I've accumulated a lot more scratches since the last wash & wax. Yay - more work!
May 25th 2007
          It's installed!!! The plenum and intake gaskgets were installed over the last day and a half at the local lubrico warranty shop. I can now get my emissions test done - lovely. Truck runs great with no pinging or engine hesitation on acceleration! Awesome! Now to get that right front wheel bearing done....
May 3rd 2007
          It's arrived!!! My 1/4" thick aluminum plenum gasket kit from Hughes Engines has arrived! I also ordered an intake gasket kit as well, since the old gaskets cannot be reused.
April 24th 2007
          I have updated photos of the D! I still have no noise coming from the wheel bearing that the dealer wants me to replace. However I will shortly anyway as I want to get the front tires aligned as it's not only overdue but I want these new tires to wear evenly! I'm waiting on my servicing dealer to look up costs on getting an M1 intake installed. Should know the results later this week! Fuel economy is good also, averaging 17L/100km with split city/highway driving!
Mar. 24th 2007
          Another oil change has come and gone. Dealer mentioned that my serpentine belt has a crack in it and wants $160 for a new one, including installation. It dawned on me the other day that I've never replaced the PCV valve. I did that myself and saved $20 in labour! I have yet to notice, but apparently the left front wheel bearing has some play. Quoted $560 and change for the wheel bearing - just the left side! On the plus side, fuel economy has been averaging between 14-15L/100km. Most of that is with freeway driving and ignoring the wifes requests to go through drive thru-windows. I've also noticed over the last month that the truck rides rougher than it used to. Age? Tires? Who knows, it all checks out fine!
Feb. 2nd 2007
          Starting in -21C weather and no starting problems! I've driven nearly 700km on a fresh oil change and have noticed zero oil consumption...what changed? I'm still putting plans together to replace the plenum with an aluminum unit instead of the stock steel, just for added peace of mind. Fuel economy is now my winter average of around 10.5-11.5mpg. Last tank registered at 10.8mpg (23L/100km). No towing was involved but I did load up and deliver several hundreds of pounds of rock salt to some family members/co-workers etc. Largest load was 1100lbs (fifty 10kg bags of salt!). Even when loaded with an 800lb load the D drove as if it wasn't even there. I also must confess that I full throttled the truck when merging onto the highway! If I didn't do that I would probably average a good 12mpg per tank. The new BFGoodrich Long Trail T/A tires are performing better than expected. BSW out!
Jan. 11th 2007

          The new tires have been installed and the ride is excellent! The BFG Long Trail T/As should prove themselves more as I roll on more miles. The BFG's must be made of softer rubber compounds as compared to my Goodyear Wrangler HP tires they replaced. The HP's were only good on dry surfaces but were beginning to show their age (cracking, and uneven wear from a previous bad tie-rod). The steering wheel is true to form and highway slogs should be a breeze. With any luck the tires will last a good 80 000kms! It's night out now but I plan to take some pictures after I wash'r up this weekend...so stay tuned.

I'm also working on getting to the bottom of oil consumption problem. As my truck is still covered by a Lubrico warranty for all powertrain problems I hope they'll cover the repair. Even if they do not I'll get it fixed out of my own pocked and order a Hughes Plenum Gasket which is said to be far superior to the weld-in ones. We'll see....

Jan. 10st 2007
          It's been a week and the Amsoil gear lube is working great! Great driveability! With the anti-slip (friction) modifier I required just a touch over 4 quarts of 75W90 severe gear fluid. I haven't switched to Amsoil engine oil quite yet (it's ready and waiting to go in that crankcase!) as my engine has been starting to consume oil over the last few months. I suspect the plenum (intake) gasket is leaking. I glanced down my TB and didn't see any excessive black oil buildup so I'm guessing if it is leaking it'd be leaking toward the front of the engine. The only course of action is to take it to my Lubrico repair facility to see if they will cover the repair. I've added a quart of oil to bring it up just below the 'max' line on the dipstick after 2000kms. It's at the 'add' line already and I'm due for another change and could easily add 1.5 more quarts. The sump holds 5 quarts (maximum capacity). I'll post again when I find out more details.

          Canadian Tire also phoned to let me know that the tires I had ordered are ready for installation. Tomorrow I get the new tires installed!. I'm keeping both rear tires from my current set as they still have a good 5/32 of tread remaining (front tires are at, or just above the wear bars - arg!). The two rears will make good spares. The right rear tire over the last couple months has been holding a steady 20psi. I'll top it up to 32psi and it won't even last a week. Perhaps the offroad abuse has caught up to the tire. Not that the R/T rims are meant for such use!

Lastly, I've started looking around and collecting prices and specs on header/exhaust/Y- pipe and muffler setup. The whole system is starting to show its age, let alone the rusted exhaust tip looks horendous on a freshly cleaned, rust free vehicle (for now)!

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This site and all of it's contents are operated and maintained by Brian Wilson for Bio Diesel Technologies and BAW Enterprises © 2003 - 2006.
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