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Discussion Starter #1
Just a quick question for you all out there.....Why is my 99 rango 5.2 4x4 such a dog? ........and I mean a "DOG"........Dodge claims that the 5.2 has 235 horsepower, I believe, and the thing only has 101,000 miles on it. It is in near new condition with the 3.55 gears and absolutely will not break the tires loose; I can almost get them to break loose around a corner but thats it........It has MSD ignition, 50,000 volt coil , 10mm spark plug wires, timing advanced 4 degrees past stock setting, 92 octane pump gas, cat back flowmaster exhaust, I thought this would help but no dice (and with the A/C on, I might as well get out and run).......It's insane........My father has a 99 chevy 4x4 ext. cab with the 5.0 rated at 230 HP and he tears my @#$ up in a race (I mean, literally walks away from me like I'm not moving) and his truck has 215,000 miles on it..........I just dont get it.........Any advice would be helpful...........Please, I do not want to have to sell this vehicle because I cannot even merge into traffic at 12 miles per gallon........How can I make this thing SCREAM!!!!! without boring, stroking it, or spending $3,000.00 for a supercharger?
 

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Have you compaired the weight of the chevy truck with the 305 and your durango with the 318? My bet is the durango is much heaver. Also do you have an anti spin diff. I know a kid down the street has a 98 durango 318 that leaves a single black mark at the stop sign as I come home from work every morning.
Mick
 

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Your first gear i much higher then the minichernobyl gearbox thats
in the chevvy...
 

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I question the advance being bumped up 4 degrees. If you are using the stock Chrysler PCM and crank position sensor for timing, then the base spark timing is fixed. The PCM offers no base timing advance adjustment. Turning the distributor has no effect on spark timing, it only times the fuel injector spritz which should be 'synced' with a scan tool at 0 degrees.
Timing chain wear/stretch can retard valve/fuel sync timing which could lower horsepower.
The Flowmaster might help slightly at high RPM and if a stock ignition system is working well then the MSD/fat wires offers no real power increase. Many of these 'increased horsepower' advertising claims are just marketing hype. Although they will work well replacing 'insufficient output' ignition systems for racing applications.
Even the 5.9L Durango, while offering mungus torque would launch strongly, but wasn't really a tire burner and got around 9 mpg. The Dakotas could light them up because of lighter rear weight. Let your dad win, it's good for him.
 

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You forgot to mention if this is a vehicle you have had for years, or whether a short time, meaning you have full knowledge of the condition of the engine itself.

I have a 95 3.9 in a Dakota and Imperial Crown is right, you can't adjust the timing at all. One thing I have seen and heard about is the fuel/air ratios are on the rich side for the 5.2/5.9, thus they are slow and low mileage because of this, too much fuel is just as bad as too little fuel. How is your compression? Are the rings not doing their job, or leaking valves?

There are a lot of variables to take into effect, as noted, hp to weight ratios, gearing, tire size (that's a biggie actually), rpm, air in/air out..... spark and mufflers is the equivalency to gloves and wool socks in a blizzard, might need a little more investigating into this.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I've owned it for about six yrs........engine is in great shape, good compression, no noises, I replaced the steel plenum cover with an aluminum one that i fabed from 1/4 in aluminum, cuz when I bought it the engine would use about a quart of oil every three days, she doesn't use oil any more........but yeah I'm just used to driving a chevy truck with a 350 in it (huge difference in torque) I had a 1991 chevy silverado regular cab long box 4x4 with the smog pump deleted and also no catalytic converter before I bought this turd and that truck ran HARD.......It would smoke both back tires off then bark into second gear and got about 5 miles per gallon better than my rango.......I dont know........I LOVE how comfortable, luxurious, and roomy my rango is but I think the cons out weigh the pros..........I might just have to sell it and go back to the bowtie..........Oh, and Mick it doesn't have a locking differential, just a one wheel wonder with 3.55 gears........You mentioned that rango leaving the rubber marks........is it a 4x4 rango?

66 buick guy
 

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Well, if smoking tires is more important to you, you answered your own question. I don't mean to sound rude and all, as we all have our priorities.
 

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Marginally relevant data: I found a 1998 Durango/Explorer comparison where the 5.2 Durango's 0-60 is given as 9.8 seconds.... I wouldn't be too shocked at the 99 Chevy having more acceleration.
http://m.motortrend.com/roadtests/suvs/112_9711_1998_dodge_durango_slt/index.html

(addendum: I thought '99 Chevy pickups had the 4.8 and 5.3? Unless there were some '99's of the old style, which is possible.)
 

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No its 2wd and a 3.9 V6 not a V8 I just assumed it was a 318 truck but I accually went over there and spoke to the kid while he was changing his plugs . That raises the question is your truck Awd or full time 4wd? I am not sure how they were configured.
Mick
 

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No its 2wd and a 3.9 V6 not a V8 I just assumed it was a 318 truck but I accually went over there and spoke to the kid while he was changing his plugs . That raises the question is your truck Awd or full time 4wd? I am not sure how they were configured.
Mick
You mean to tell me 66 buick guy has a 3.9 instead of a 5.2, or did I miss something?
 

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" 99 rango 5.2 4x4"
This means its a 318 (5.2) / 904 od (44re)/ 4*4 (np231?? or maybe a np 242)
It should have the 2H, PT4*4H,( FT4*4H maybe??) and a 4*4L, im not sure that the 5.2 was avail with the 242 tcase whitch gave FT4*4H or "AWD" (this was standard on the 5.9, so was traclock 9 1/4 rear, ( dont know about trac-loc for lesser models.)
Note that the R/T whitch came went to a weaker rear and no 2H to even out loads in between the axles.
 

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You mean to tell me 66 buick guy has a 3.9 instead of a 5.2, or did I miss something?
No.Tthere is a kid down the street from me that likes to leave a little balck mark at the corner on his way to work in the mornings(also a early durango) about the time i am passing him on my way home from work. i thought the truck was a 318 and was asked if it was a 4wd. So when I was on my walk i saw the kid working on his truck so i went over and introduced my self and saw it was a v6 2wd. which is why i was asking if 66 buick guy's truck was full time 4wd or awd.
mick
i should have quoted his question but didn't.
 

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OK, thanks for the clarification. 66's may be full time 4WD.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Mine is the part time four wheel drive with the 4 hi-4low-nuetral-2hi lever on the floor, 9 1/4 rear, 3.55 gears, 1 wheel wonder, crappy AMC front differential (I believe), other then that the thing is LOADED, SLT with every option available.........I think I'm just too used to driving my 12 second quarter mile buick ;)

Oh, and dana 44, I dont need it to smoke the tires; I just wish I didn't have to push the pedal to the floor and watch the tach jump to 4,500 rpm to merge into traffic with the A/C on.....;)

66 buick guy
 

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OK, just checking.
 

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My guess is weight is your enemy.
Do you have traction control. I am not sure if theyused it yet or how good it was. My 03, 05, and 08 3.8L minivans all have it and can\could spin the tires at will, and my 11 avenger 3.6L has it but won't spin the tires (a good thin in my opinion)
 

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Discussion Starter #17
No traction control. Maybe I'll just save up money, chip it, put bigger injectors in it, stall torque converter, and supercharge the SOB...lol.............The MPG cant get much worse than it already is...;)..........actually it might get better with the power increase...
 

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Have fun I hope you can get it the way you want it.
Mick
 

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I question the advance being bumped up 4 degrees. If you are using the stock Chrysler PCM and crank position sensor for timing, then the base spark timing is fixed. The PCM offers no base timing advance adjustment. Turning the distributor has no effect on spark timing, it only times the fuel injector spritz which should be 'synced' with a scan tool at 0 degrees.
Timing chain wear/stretch can retard valve/fuel sync timing which could lower horsepower.
The Flowmaster might help slightly at high RPM and if a stock ignition system is working well then the MSD/fat wires offers no real power increase. Many of these 'increased horsepower' advertising claims are just marketing hype. Although they will work well replacing 'insufficient output' ignition systems for racing applications.
Even the 5.9L Durango, while offering mungus torque would launch strongly, but wasn't really a tire burner and got around 9 mpg. The Dakotas could light them up because of lighter rear weight. Let your dad win, it's good for him.
Exactly! The ignition timing is NOT adjustable. If you turned the distributor 4 degrees, what you did is messed up your fuel injector timing, which can cause the problem you mentioned. Set it back to TDC, or ideally, use a scan tool to put the fuel injector timing back where it belongs.
 

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Exactly! The ignition timing is NOT adjustable. If you turned the distributor 4 degrees, what you did is messed up your fuel injector timing, which can cause the problem you mentioned. Set it back to TDC, or ideally, use a scan tool to put the fuel injector timing back where it belongs.
As a quick check on the timing/injector fairly accurate setting without a scan tool, there is a notch on the top edge of the distributor. Set the engine to TDC and make sure the distributor rotor points directly at this notch. From the front of the engine looking back, it appears to be at the 8:30 position roughly.
 
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