Help Buying a used Durango

Hello, this is my first time posting here. I am looking a 2003 Durango Sport 4.7 with 44000mi. And a 2000 Durango SLT with leather 24000mi 5.9 Both are very nice condition, but what i would like to find out, is the
5.9 better (reliable) than the 4.7, which is better on gas, do they both run on unleaded. Is there anything i should be aware of in the 2000 to 2003 models. And finally what year & options do you like the best. Thanks for your help
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Every gas engine runs on unleaded :) IF you're asking if they both run on regular (87 octane), the answer is yes.
Both engines have good reliability records... the 5.9L's potential problem area is the intake manifold's bellypan (or plenum) gasket - it's prone to leaking, allowing the engine to suck in and burn oil. It's a relatively simple problem to fix if it does occur.
As for fuel economy, the 4.7L will beat out the 5.9L. A co-worker drives a '00 Durango 4x4 with the 5.9L, and he gets a little better than 13MPG with mixed driving. I'd expect a couple more MPG's out of the 4.7L.
If you plan on towing, you might want to give the nod to the 5.9L, for it's higher torque. The 4.7L likes to rev, and as such, doesn't make a whole lot of power down low in the RPM range.
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How good are the transmissions and brakes, electrical. On 2000 and 2003 models. After reading alot of reveiws on Durangos, i come away withthe impression they have trans, electrical, and oil pump problems. Do you think it would be a good idea to have a extended warranty if i bought one?
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Only if it's a Chrysler Service Contract - most aftermarket warranties aren't worth the paper they're printed on
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Tom Lawrence wrote:

Wasn't that corrected in 2001's and newer? 2000 is when the TSB went out to the dealers regarding that issue and I'm almost positive it was for 2000's and prior. I can't recall anyone with a 2001 and newer 5.9L having that problem.

A few I've talked to seem to report only 1 or 2mpg better with the 4.7L. I greatly prefer the 5.9L. Is it true the 4.7L uses a timing belt rather than chain? Heard that somewhere. If so, that would suck.
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problem
to
drives a

with
someone correct me if im wrong but i belive the 4.7 uses a timing chan system simmular to the 2.7 v6
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Yep - three chains, actually: one from the crank sprocket to the idler sprocket, and then one each from the idler sprocket to the cam sprockets.
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oh really? the crank chain doesnt go to the intake shaft? then the chains linking the exhaust shafts to the intake??? hmmm had not been into one of those, they came out right before i left the dealership for the diaper factory.
still leaves me wondering "WHAT THE HECK WAS I THINKING?" at times.

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What's an intake shaft?

Oh, OK... you're talking about a DOHC head. These are SOHC heads.
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wow and i thought the 4.7 was a DOHC

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Yep, single - same with the 3.7. The 5.7 could have been designed as a DOHC, because of the hemispherical combustion chamber, but they decided to go the simpler route and do an OHV setup instead.
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