As some of you are well aware, we awarded the 2008 Dodge Durango our coveted SUV of the Year award at the time of testing. One of the issues with the long term test vehicles provided us by the manufacturers is the inability to do any modifications to said vehicle. We managed to run down a healthy and clean used example allowing us to show you what can be done with one of these fun and versatile SUVs. Our unit is a 2WD with a PowerTech 4.7L V-8 under the bonnet, factory rated at 235hp and 300 lb-ft of torque. However, those numbers are at the crank, so we will be running the Durango on the dyno to see how our before and after figures come out at the wheels.
With an open book to do whatever we pleased, we brainstormed a ton of ideas and ran down plenty of scenarios. After the dust settled, the decision was made to bring this mid-size performer up to a respectable and streetable trim without going overboard. What could be done by most owners with minimal effort and still be easy on the wallet should you be completely unable to do any of the labor yourself? With K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Stupid) running through our collective brains, we sought help from the pros. True Flow was sourced for one its high-flow intake conversions and Gibson exhaust pulled an aluminized exhaust from its inventory. On the outside, we contacted E&G Classics for a stainless mesh grille to replace the stocker and Tom McWeeney of Kustoms Inc. used paint from PPG to color the door handles and rear hatch trim for a matching fashion statement. Wheels and tires were also included in our makeover, so we went to the local internet ads for a used set. Follow along as we dress up the Durango with more sense than cents.
Time Frame: One day, with the exception of the Kustoms Inc. paint which took two days.
Degree Of Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Tools Needed: 9/16”, ½” and 13mm wrenches, hand-held drill, Phillips screwdriver, 13/16” socket and torque wrench, floor jack and HVLP paint gun.
E&G Classics 1103-1102-07 grille … $221.25
True Flow 30505 intake … $295.26
Gibson 316593 exhaust … $530.18
Boss Motorsports 304 wheel … $300.00 (each)
Nitto 285/45R22 NT420S tire … $260.00 (each)
Painted handles and trim … labor rates vary