November 22nd 2013
          Another exhaust manifold leak has surfaced. It's loud, but not too loud. Alas. The engine light came on last week and gave me a P0505 code. I changed out the IAC, as last time I merely cleaned it and reinstalled it, so it was due to get replaced. Two dats later the engine light goes out and the surging at idle stops. Two days after that (yesterday) it starts to surge again, and the engine light comes back on showing the same code. I checked the history and the TPS was replaced not even 30K kms ago. It might be faulty but I'll do another full throttle body cleaning first, just to make sure.
October 26th 2013
          Oil consumption is still moderate. I believe cylinder #7 is the culprit as the spark plug was wet when I changed it out a few months ago. I suspect either valve seats, or piston rings. Only a compression and/or leak down test will confirm where the oil is getting into the cylinder from. As I can see a bit of black exhaust at higher RPM while only under high throttle, I suspect it is a valve seat problem. If the rings were the culprit I should see black smoke under any form of acceleration.
August 18th 2013
          Valve cover gaskets are installed. I also managed a full interior detail. Total time about five hours total. The exterior needs some body work done, as rust is starting to creep up. I managed to replace the valve cover gaskets without removing any major components, except of the air intake of course. With any luck this will decrease my oil consumption. The old gaskets in a couple areas of each were broken/frayed/melted. The new Felpro gaskets with the reinforced metal centre should last the remaining life of the engine. Oil was also changed with Amsoil 5W30 OE, and a WIX filter.
July 13th 2013
          New parts arrived in a very timely manner. I managed to do the tune up items; spark plugs, cap, rotor, and plug wires. All installed with relative ease although I couldn't use a socket to tighten down the new distributor cap as there wasn't enough clearance. I ended up using a ol' faithful Phillips screwdriver. I made a short jaunt tonight and got the engine up past 5000rpm, and remained in second gear in town between 2500-3500rpm for a few miles just to break in the new plugs. I also wanted to make sure there are no issues with the install. The previous cap and rotor I believe were factory parts. I didn't replace them 45,000kms ago when I had replaced the spark plugs last. The new cap and rotor are brass. The parts I removed were very corroded on the terminals, which was giving me an odd lopy idle at times. There were a few cases where the truck felt like it was going to stall out. As I had removed the TB and cleaned the ports and IAC sensor, I ruled those out as the problem.
July 9th 2013
          The steering shaft tracks excellent! Now, the front right wheel bearing is toast. I've ordered a Timken replacement bearing along with a cap & rotor, new plug wires, and NGK spark plugs. A tune up is due this month! Parts should arrive shortly. I have yet to change a wheel bearing myself but as I have a 32mm socket and breaker bar I'll give it a whirl!
March 29th 2013
          Finally got caught up with some of my maintenance items this weekend. Managed to temporarily stave off the rust, treated some of the front end components and more importantly, after four years, replaced the intermediate steering shaft on the Durango! The Durango feels like a new vehicle. I haven't had time to do a proper highway run but I will tomorrow!
March 20th 2013
          Last week I ordered an intermediate steering shaft through a US dealer for $241 including customs, taxes, and shipping charges! Canadian dealer price is $400+! I plan to install it over the weekend if the weather is decent. For those who aren't up to speed on my 2009 website archives, the steering shaft started to go in early 2009. I only noticed play when I drove down to Florida, knowing due to the higher speed limits.
February 20th 2013
          Upper cooling hoses were replaced and the coolant level has been holding steady for two weeks and counting! Exhaust flange was also replaced which resolved the exhaust leak that allowed fumes to enter the cabin when I had the interior fan on. Next on the list of repair is the intermediate steering shaft. I have yet to replace the fan belt, as it has succumbed to coolant degredation from the slow leak. As winter has finally arrived, mileage has plummeted to the high single digits. I also made another attempt to remove my locking hitch plug to remove the receiver, but I've come to the conclusion that it can remain on until the hitch rusts off with the receiver as a single assembly. The bad news is that fuel has jumped to $1.32/L for 87 octane. I've put on 2,000kms since my last oil change with Amsoil OE 5W30, and I'll knowingly change it every 4,000kms as it seems to get jet black by 3,500kms. Once the warmer weather arrives I'll be installing new valve cover gaskets, as I'm certain at least one of the gaskets is leaking and might be why I need to add oil as often as I do. Plenum is still as clean as new!
January 15th 2013
          My Durango is entering its 13th year in this world and things are starting to fall apart. My lack of maintenance last year has caught up with me now. A couple items have rusted or cracked rendering them wear and tear items. An exhaust flange from the header to the downpipe broke loose allowing the engine to sound quite mean - yes! A slow coolant drip from the upper cooling hose also started in the last couple weeks and I've only had to add a quart of coolant in the last couple weeks. It'll need another top up before the weekend. The exhaust leak has lowered proper engine backpressure allowing an increase of fuel use. Last tank checked in at 23.9L/100km, 2L/100km more than usual - all city driving in rather mild weather for this time of year. On the bright side, fuel was down to $1.169/L so I threw in $100 but it didn't quite fill the tank.
"Did you hear about the guy who finally figured out women? He died laughing before he could tell anybody."
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