durango help

my daughter turns 15 in a couple months and im in the process of buying her first vehicle (montana licenses kids at 15). after a lot of careful consideration, we have decided to get her a durango and we spent the day
test driving. heres what i found so far:
2001 durango slt loaded w/ 4.7 v8. 41,000 original miles, $10,700 out the door. no third seat. leather, very clean. http://billings.montanawheelsforyou.com/details.php?eqvehicleid $921826&eqdealerid0738 carfax says its clean, with only 1 owner. vehicle originally registered in alaska. service records on carfax were impeccable.
2000 durango slt loaded with 5.9 v8. 99,500 miles, $8,000 out the door. http://billings.montanawheelsforyou.com/details.php?eqvehicleid $921821&eqdealerid0738 carfax says its clean with 2 previous owners (wisconsin and montana). truck drives great, feels a little weak compared to the 4.7. 4x4 indicator did not work, dealer says 4x4 works.
2000 durango slt loaded with 5.9 v8. 88,000 miles, $8,500 out the door. (sorry no link) leather, overall very clean BUT the truck has racing stripes, glass pack mufflers, air box replaced by an edelbrock carb style breather. no obvious signs of abuse, but typically people who do these sorts of things to their trucks drive them harder. 4x4 indicator did not work, dealer says 4x4 works.
2000 durango loaded with 4.7 v8. 87,000 miles, $7500 out the door. cloth seats, no rear air. front end shows minor damage, but nothing major. carfax shows the vehicle originally listed in michigan as a leased fleet vehicle, and shows a total of 6 owners (no differentiation between 1 and 4, uses same slot. perhaps lease renewal or something?). overall it appears to be the cleanest of everything i drove today, with exception to the 2001. "brother lean" in the steering wheel (needs aligned probably) and a very slight vibration in steering wheel at 75 mph. the 4.7 was surprisingly perky. truck has a trailer brake controller installed which means the truck did tow (not necessarily a bad thing). tranny fluid appeared new. 4x4 indicator did not work, dealer says 4x4 works.
so far im strongly considering the 2000 durango with the 4.7 @ 87,000 miles and the 2001 durango with the 4.7 @ 41,000 miles and could go either way at this point. i like that the '01 has only had 1 owner and has 41,000 miles on it. i like that the '00 has the third row seating as well as cloth seats instead of leather.
- is there any real advantage to the 4.7 over the 5.9? both _felt_ stronger than the 5.9s. - are there any known tranny concerns with either? - is the 4x4 indicator known for going out? none of the 3 different '00s i drove indicators worked. - anything else i should know or consider before purchasing? thanks,
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Nathan In Montana
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On Sat, 20 Oct 2007 19:02:24 -0600, Nathan W. Collier wrote:

Nathan i cant speak for the 4.7 as i never owned one, but the 5.9 drank gas like it was going out of style in my 99 that my wife insisted we buy (this was her truck before the liberty and fuel costs to feed it were the reason for the liberty)
IRRC the 4.7 sees the 545RFE trans, its the same trans thats in my liberty and aside from a torque converter recall i have nothing bad to say about the trans. someone can correct me if im wrong about the 545 behind the 4.7
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Chris
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The 4.7 will feel a little peppier driving, and will get a little bit better MPG. The 5.9 will out-tow the 4.7 easily.

You're probably a little ahead of the game with the 45RFE behind the 4.7. The 46RE behind the 5.9 has the concern with the OD unit, which went south on my co-workers '00 Durango. Granted, he wasn't the best at maintaining the transmission, and he did tow with it quite a bit.

Same deal as on your other Dodge (you've had so many, I've lost track - but the one I sent you the replacement vacuum lines for)... suspect either the wiring to the switch on the CAD, or the vacuum lines. Either way, no big deal to fix. If the dealers say the 4x4 works, and you can verify that (try it on the pavement, and go into a gentle turn, feeling for a little binding [hey, you don't own it yet :^)] - if so, the front axle's engaged), then it's just the indicator switch or wiring.

I have three friends that own '00 Durangos with the 5.9, and they've been having similar failures regular as clockwork... brake lines at about 100K, waterpumps at about 120K, PS pumps at about 125K. Nothing really shocking here... they are pretty normal wear items - just something to consider with the mileages you're looking at.
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many thanks chris and tom. is an '01 with 41,000 miles _really_ worth $10,700? thanks,
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Nathan W. Collier wrote:

That seems high for a 2001. I don't think my 2004 Hemi SLT Durango is worth much more.
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IMO, the big problem with the 46RE was the number of clutches in the front clutch pack. Behind the 5.9, three clutches isn't enough. With maintenance, it should last quite a while, but still isn't "bullet proof."
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http://inlinediesel.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID 4
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