WELCOME
December 5th 2010
          Thanks to dad, I managed to get the Durango oil sprayed early this year. I did however forget to inflate and remove the spare tire before they sprayed! Xmas is closing in and knowingly my travel will be kept to a minimum as I have all the gifts I require!
November 22th 2010
          Cold weather has arrived. Mileage plummeted with the majority of my last tank burned up with city driving. Average was 10.9mpg (US) or roughly 23L/100km. This tank is looking more hopeful at around 21L/100km with no highway and some idling. A few extra lower speed highway trips to the airport should help improve it to under 20L/100km. Alas, 91 octane was in the $1.209/L range or higher, so I cheapened out and put some $1.149/L 89 octane in the tank instead. I haven't tried the new SCT tune on regular fuel, but it's in the works to lower my overall fuel costs. Especially in the winter when I don't pull the trailer. I want to get a compression test done as well to make sure everything is OK in the spring.
October 25th 2010
          Well I hit some trails last weekend up in northern Ontario. I put the D through it's paces and it held up great! I haven't had it get that muddy in a LONG time, it was a good sight only because with the beige paint, it wasn't overly bad looking, but merely added character! Mileage was decent as well even considering the trail time, I averaged 15.8L/100km, and highway speeds were a touch faster than normal as well on this trip.
October 4th 2010
          I managed to remove the old rear A/C line. I know it wasn't a necessary thing to do but I got sick of looking at the cut lines under the hood. It was kept in place along the inner frame with plastic clips screwed into the frame. The clips were very brittle and I persuaded them off with a blade screwdriver. There were 3 clips, the last one was in behind the front wheel well which made accesibiltiy a bit hard, but with the right length screwdriver it only took about five minutes to remove the clips and cut the lines going up into the B pillar. They were loaded with moisture and dust from being left open under the hood over the past year. It looks cleaner under the hood now! I'm also debating a T/S lift (2"), for about $100 and a LOT of elbow grease, but for now I'll leave it alone as I don't plan to install a larger tire size.
September 1st 2010
          FINALLY! No more engine knock under medium to full throttle while towing! Engine is smoother at idle as well, no more pulsating feeling back and forth. Not that it was overly noticeable but I did notice it. SCT came through with a new tune to try. It's suppose to help highway mileage (meh) and give more mid-range grunt. I installed the 91 octane program to try it again, as the engine previously pinged more on 91 program than the 93 program so I kept the 93 program in. Even now that Sunoco is getting phased out of Canada which is the only station that carries 94 octane (they're turning into a mix of Husky or Petro Canada gas stations), I can now get 91 anywhere! More options, more refinement and more grunt is a big plus! I can't wait to hook the trailer up with a ton of aggregate in it so see how it pulls! I also managed an exterior wash and two coats of Mothers wax - took me 3 hours! I added some tire shine and the D looks awesome!
August 17th 2010
          It's official, my Durango requires an appointment with a car wash! I haven't washed it once since last fall. Rust is getting to be a bit more pronounced inside the bottom of the front doors, and along the front bumber (center section). It doesn't help any that I've added a few dents and scrapes myself from backing the trailer into tight quarters at clients homes delivering landscape supplies. It does add some character at least. A full interior clean is also in the works this weekend!
July 11th 2010
          Oil change has been done. Took some coaxing to get the filter off (I actually had to use a filter wrench!) but it came off. It wasn't entirely uneventful however. The oil cap didn't want to come off, so I was forced to 'fix' it. It twisted around both ways and clicked. I popped the top off with a blade screwdriver and found that the plastic was warped and not catching for me to remove the cap. I installed a custom sized piece of dowel wood along with the spring to push the grip out more and grab the plastic grips on the inside. It worked needless tosay and I was able to add fresh oil! Tire rotation is needed. I might take it in for an alignment only because the front right tire is starting to wear faster on the outer edge. I don't want my new HP tire on the back to succumb to the same problem in 20K.
June 24th 2010
          Fluids are holding well. oil change is on the menu - it'll be a year in a week since the last one! Made two trips through the city here with 2000lbs of wood pellets (in bags) in the trailer, plus another 1000lbs in the back of the Durango. Including the weight of the trailer empty (about 700lbs), total weight each trip was 3700lbs and it towed it like a champ! Fuel economy wasn't the greatest of course - in about 60km I chewed threw about 1/5 tank.
May 28th 2010
          Dealer visit went well, but it's still going to cost a bit to fix. The steering rack is OK, but BOTH lines are leaking. Durango's going in on the first of June to fix the lines. Tires will get rotated next week as well as an oil change, which will be due shortly.
May 20th 2010
          Well, due to my own budget neglect I ran 80L of regular fuel over the last week and a half. Fuel economy went down as I have the SCT installed for 93 octane. FIlled up with 94 octane at Sunoco and everythings good now, seeing as high as 17mpg so far already - city driving! Either my steering rack is shot, or I have another broken line as I'm going through fluid at a good pace. It's going into the dealer on Tuesday as I couldn't pinpoint the source, it's a mess under there. Then, I must do an oil change and I want to replace the valve cover gaskets as well as I'm certain that's where I'm losing oil from, as everything under the vehicle is dry (except for power steering leak). My right front tire is also wearing fast on the outer edge. I assume an alignment should alleviate the problem. I'm overdue on a tire rotation by about 10K. Closing in on 20,000kms since the last one. My own neglect of course. Still haven't managed a wash and wax this year yet either! Stay tuned....
April 28th 2010
          EAA filter is in, and installed! Perhaps it was just me, but either my two year old K&N was really dirty, but the Amsoil filter was half the weight of the K&N unit. There's also more surface area as the filter has a larger diameter, another plus. The EAA ran me about $66 with delivery & taxes at dealer cost. A replaceable K&N would be similar in cost, but I really don't like the fact that it's oil based. Sure, it can be reused many times, but what can I use in the meantime when I have to take the filter off for a few days to wash, air dry and re-oil it since I drive my Durango daily? Amsoil is rated up to 100,000kms, but I'm sure that's on the more extreme end. I'm sure fuel economy might pick up some with the SCT tuner installed...we'll see.
April 19th 2010
          After a trip to Niagara Falls, mileage is a decent 15L/100km, mostly highway at 115-120km/h. Generally traffic doesn't go this fast and I end up setting the cruise control at 105km/h. However, for the speed mileage is decent. I've received my other NGK V Power plugs for the D, and should get them installed over the next couple weeks, along with ordering an Amsoil EAA cone filter. Just passed 186,500kms. The lawn care season has officially begun today! Bring on the nice weather!
March 27th 2010
          I've tightened the exhaust (check updated photos), lubed some chassis parts and checked the rear diff fluid. I was quite impressed by my RTV sealing job! MUCH better than the sloppy dealer job a few years ago. I didn't use any more sealant than necessary to create less crap that gets into the pumpkin and mixes with the oil over time; in other words degrades the oil faster! It's ready to take an Owen Sound trip tomorrow, so I'll check fuel economy. I still have to get a new air filter to replace the K&N unit...haven't got around to measure the size I need!
March 17th 2010
          Amsoil order has arrived. UPS delievers at 7pm? Wow. I picked up some HD metal sprays, a quart of 0W30 for top ups along with some small engine oils (4 and 2 stroke). I ordered 8 spark plugs...and low and behold, FOUR are back ordered! Ah well. I also ordered a can of Amsoil Power Foam. It's to compete with SeaFoam that's quite well known to clean out internal carbon buildup, etc. Once I get my other plugs in, I'll run the power foam through the TB and do a tune up. I want to change out my K&N cone air filter for a similar sized Amsoil unit. Once I take proper measurements I'll order one in. The K&N's passed the point of being able to get clean fully, as I haven't cleaned it in nearly two years, I'll just replace it.
March 6th 2010
          I've put off a new vehicle for the time being. I'll be moving at the end of April and that's the time I have to get gearing up for the lawn care season. I plan to get a 48" walk behind mower along with a new 6x12 enclosed trailer this year, which the Durango will pull like it's not even there. With the new equipment, I should still turn a profit before the end of the season. As soon as the snow is gone I think I'll stick with the Amsoil XL oils. I don't like having the oil 'black' for so long. I've used two full quarts to top it up since last fall and want to replace the valve cover gaskets along with the distributor as it's original and I don't need it failing during my busy season. My CarQuest battery that is just over two years old, has corroded terminals once again, after only a couple months. I'll likely replace it with another batt, although in the 600cca range instead of the 750cca unit. The trailer will be LEDs all around so the smaller battery will have nil effect on power consumption. I also need to do some body work on the front bumper before it gets too out of hand!
Feb 7th 2010
          One thing I forgot to do now that I'm changing the oil once a year, is to lube the doors and locks. The drivers side door, as it gets used more than the others, started creaking very badly a week ago. I've since lubed the hinges and it's now A-OK. The rear hatch lock/handle mechanism is sticking again. I know what's causing the problem, as you'll find in my archives, a small metal bar has corroded, which causes friction, especially in cold weather, as it sticks to the metal housing. Removing the interior plastic hatch panel exposing the handle hardware and spraying it down with Amsoil HD spray seems to be the best temporary fix. However, the more the latch handle rusts, the more frequent I have to spray the hardware. Again, I haven't washed the D yet either, but even so, salt accumulation doesn't get past the exterior handle seal. It's purely moisture over the last 10 years. As much as I don't want to say it, I've been eyeballing a 2010 Chevrolet Equinox with the 2.4L 6 speed auto transmission. Nothing big performance wise and it's a step away from what the Durango can offer, in regard to passenger capacity, towing capacity and sheer cargo volume, but if I can save 50-65% in fuel costs throughout the year, that alone will be worth while. Another option of course is an F150, crew cab with the 6.5' box and 3 valve 4.6L V8 and 6 speed auto. Fuel bill will still be cut by 25% and I'll retain capability, and in some cases, exceed what the Durango can do. The only drawback is the larger size. A Dodge quad cab with the V6, 2wd can tow 3500lbs, can be had with a 121L fuel tank and with current incentives, priced below $30K with tax in. Not a bad deal, either.
Jan 23rd 2010
          I've held off on the wash and wax. Waiting in line for an hour or more at the car wash turned me away on several occasions. I checked the oil level today. It's been six months since the Amsoil 0W30 was installed. Another few more months to go before I change it out. I'll more than likely go back to the standard Amsoil 5W30, it's less cost and the warranty is the same. or perhaps a 5W20? Hmmmm, decisions! I'm going to do a proper underboy spray again in the spring. I'll more than likely order a case of Amsoil HD oil spray to coat the underbody of the Durango and the cars. Mileage has been rather pitiful, but I blame that mostly on myself. Averaging not much better than 24L/100km. Some warm up idling was involved of course and most of the driving was all around town. I also used a Canadian Tire (5 use) fuel injecter cleaner. I used it twice for two tanks of fuel due to my tank size. I can't say I noticed a difference though. I also thought about trying the RESTORE can and seeing if that can boost compression pressure back up to stock specifications. I'll more than likely try it myself, but I'm going to order a cap & rotor kit to install (with brass terminals!). It'll be around $60 with shipping I imagine. I want to get the Durango in good running order for the upcoming lawn season.
Jan 2nd 2010
          I picked up some silicone spray for the weatherstripping and some litium grease (finally). A good wash and wax is in the works now that the snow should be done with for the next few days! Happy 2010!
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