Category: Durango

A/c woes, fixes, and upgrades

I know it’s been awhile, but I have been working on the truck. When it got really hot, 102F, the A/C sucks, and the engine got hot at red lights.  I’ve heard this about these trucks from a few forums. I started to investigate.

1st off, the fan shroud was chopped. The previous owner and his redneck ingenuity, removed the bottom section of the fan shroud to replace the water pump, with out removing the fan. Needless to say the fan did not pull air correctly at idle. I replaced it.

I also added a helper fan to push air through the condenser:

fan helper

I don’t think it really does 2500 CFM as advertised, but the price and size was right. I even though I only needed 30 amp relays, I found a great deal for 5 70 amp relays and harnesses for only 15 $$!  Here’s a picture of the relay tapped into the fuel pump hot wire ( the fan relay clicks on when the fuel pump comes on, with the key turned in the ignition)relayThe biggest improvement I made was the foil duct tape to seal the air gaps between the radiator and condenser. This ensures that the air is pulled through the condenser and then the radiator.  Now that it’s all done, the engine doesn’t run hot sitting at stop lights, the A/C runs great at 98 degrees and below. There seems to still be a knee curve on the A/C performance above 98 degrees F, where the thing works as hard a s possible, but can’t remove and more energy from the air.  I’ll check the 143a coolant levels in the coming weeks and see if there’s a problem, but the system might have reached its limit.Thanks for reading.



I’ve got the bars installed It took about 30 minutes:


I know they shouldn’t always touch the spring, and should “slap” from about .5 inches away, but, there’s so much axle wrap, that’s just where they landed.

The only mod I made was cutting a notch to let the shock mount flush up:



I’ll test it tomorrow going to work!

Poor man’s ram air

As promised I’ve finished the intake plumbing from the last post. I had to cut a hole in the inner fender right in front of and under the air box:


Then I installed the flexi hose I had on hand and ran it down the hole:

air hose

I removed the passenger side fog lamp and installed the 3″ to 4″ adaptor in the hole:

(click here to see a video of the fog lamp removal)

grill, installed

To keep the adaptor in the hole, I found an old nylon ratchet tie down and wrapped the 4″ side fo the adaptor with it. Then I covered that with electric tape and pressed it into the hole by hand. It holes nice and snug.

Now I’m going to watch Roadkill!

This sucks (air)

After the oil filter re-locator post, I said I’d be back to fix the intake. Well, here we go! The inlet to the air box has an odd shaped hole, that I can’t just put a connector on:


I lobbed that off and put a 3″ PVC drain pipe fitting on the face with some Ultra Black RTV to seal it. Before every one goes and gets all butt hurt about how I’m choking the engine, don’t worry. The duct from the airbox gets abit smaller than what you see going into the fender. I’ve also run a 3″ pipe on this engine before with no issues. It’s a daily driver, not exactly a performance machine that needs Mega CFM’s. Overall, I didn’t measure, but the old output connector was about a 3.5 inch diameter if it was circular, not a big loss:


I did trim the front of the pipe shorter, but now I need to get some flexi-duct ready. I already had this accordian style duct on hand, and made a grill out of speaker mesh to keep the bugs out. I’m thinking that the 4″ to 3″ adaptor will fit right where the driver side fog lamp goes.

flexitube grillz

I need a tool to cut a hole for that, so stay tuned for part 2!


**** Be safe don’t do anything you see me doing ****
**** Make sure who have the vehicle surley supported witch jack stands ****
**** Dont stretch leafs with a jack ****
**** Fire is hot! ****
**** Power tools are more powerful than your flesh! ****

SO, the bolts had corrosion welded themselves to the bushings, I had to chop them off flush and then press the rubbers out with a ball joint press, after I torched the suckers loose. Kind of like this guy:

The metal sleeves stayed in the leaf!
stuck sleeve

To get those out I put a saw-zaw blade in the hole and cut them in half longways. Then I got a big electric hammer and pressed them out.

Then even with the truck frame jacked all the way up, the wheels hung, but the back of the leafs still did not hang enough to get the new shackles in. A jack between them and the frame fixed that:

spring jack

**** Don’t do that at your home!!! ****

After all that, I used my big electric hammer to press the new bushings in. The jack between the fram and spring also served to stretch the springs down to get the to match up with the bottom of the new shackles.

I used grade 8 bolts and ny-lock nuts. The instructions said to tighten everything to around 100ft-lbs, but getting anywhere close just started bending the mounts. I’m not worried about it coming loose due to the ny-locks though.

I’ll post a pic or two tomorrow after it’s light and I have the truck on level ground.

95% done

It’s done. I had to chop my 7/8th wrench to a stubby so I could tighten the barbs that I did swap with the pugs of the engine manifold. The transmission was in the way, so I could not do this before it was installed.

*The above image is rotated correctly, it is just displayed side ways. I can’t figure out why.

Here’s were I mounted the easy to access filter manifold:

The last 5% is just finishing the intake ducting.

Prepped for install

While inside I got the adaptor manifolds ready for install. The right manifold goes on the engine, and I can switch the placement of the barbs and plugs to make the hose come out at the correct angle. It should be GTG out the front: