10 Things We've Learned While Up-fitting a Dodge Durango...

Posted by Chris Griffith on Jul 30, 2019 10:58:16 AM

Durango Deep Dive

Hey, I'm Chris, the shop manager here at KELTEK. After dozens of Durango upfits in the KELTEK shop, we want to take a moment and pass along some of our insight regarding installation nuances this vehicle has – which may have implications for your department’s budget and lead times. All vehicles present challenges for an upfitter, and the Durango is no different. KELTEK has identified 10 Durango installation dynamics for you to consider.  

1. Push Bumper

When adding a push bumper to a pursuit Durango, it takes a bit longer than normal to remove the front skin of the vehicle because there are screws that are not easily accessible. Reassembly presents the same challenge because the fasteners are barely accessible and fairly fragile.

2. Trim

Both the exterior and the interior trim packages take longer to deal with than other squad makes. The Durango requires more of the trim to be removed to accomplish the clean build for which KELTEK is known. Though Dodge gets the “clean build” aspect correct with their hidden screws within the trim, this is an additional time issue that impacts the overall installation time and cost.   

3. The Console

Plain and simple, the OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) console is tricky to take out. The shifter is within the console, providing integration challenges for all of the needed squad technology within easy access for the officer. The Havis console shown below, though clean, illustrates the challenge with this vehicle – how many components can you identify missing from the pictured Durango below? (And how would you maneuver the shifter to include your department's needed technology?)

4. Wiring

Durangos are not pre-wired for aftermarket add-ons that are the norm to most pursuit vehicles. Unlike Chargers, Explorers and Tahoes, Durangos are pursuit-rated but do not have the same tap options. Lighting options will need to be supported by an upgraded siren/light control module – KELTEK prefers the Whelen Carbide or CanTrol system.


Ford's Interceptor pre-wiring loom

5. The Battery

The Durango's battery is under the passenger seat – one of the least convenient locations for an upfitter. To provide a high level of integrity for your Durango upfit, the implication here is simple – additional hours to upfit your Durango.

6. Wire Harness

In addition to the trim issues described above, the vehicle presents challenges for the upfit wiring harness by not offering routing and placement systems for a public safety specific vehicle. In a nutshell, we must get very innovative in dealing with the KELTEK 180+ wire loom.

7. Howler

Placement options for a low-frequency siren does not exist on the Durango itself. In this instance, we’ll use Whelen’s “Howler” for example. The Howler location option on the Durango is limited to the push bumper. For example, with the Interceptor we can also mount, and hide, the Howler in the fender wells.

Making matters more challenging, choosing a push bumper mounted Howler eliminates the ability to put wraps on the push bumper and alters how we think about lighting a push bumper.  

We tend to shy away from solutions that limit our departments’ choices, but with the Durango, we experience this challenge, including the integration of a low-frequency siren.

The lower frequency siren also has a very limited amount of mounting options on the Durango.

8. Antenna

Because of the trim dynamics listed above, including headliner, it is simply more time-intensive to work on this area of the Durango as compared to other vehicle models. This also presents challenges to deal with the variety of antennas needed to support technology in the squad vehicle.

9. Lightbars

The complexity in working with the vehicle’s trim also impacts the vehicle’s lightbar installation. Due to the laborious nature of working with the trim and, specifically, the headliner, we duplicate the same challenges with the Durango’s lightbar.  

10. Weapons mount

There is only room for a single gun lock in the Durango’s cockpit, mounted on the front of the cage. A dual gunlock is just too tight, and the configuration eliminates other common must-have elements found in the console. Officer safety and ergonomics is a priority in each upfit we perform, and a dual gunlock configuration sacrifices both of these.

Our Durango standard is a single gun mount for a front-mounted rifle. If a shotgun is required, we often mount behind the driver or store/mount in the rear of the vehicle.

KELTEK is here to partner with your department in all of your squad projects, from upfit to technology integrations, and when paying for the project in a single invoice or over several years.

Our goal isn’t to dissuade you from choosing a Durango squad vehicle, but rather to educate you on the reasons additional labor is often needed for a Durango upfit. We are happy to work with you to understand your vehicle needs and goals, and to provide you a quote for any vehicle you are considering so you have the best information possible in making your departmental decisions. We are proud to serve those that protect us.

Get a quote

Read More

Topics: Vehicle Upfitting

2019 KELTEK Roadshow

Posted by Holly Johnson on Jul 11, 2019 10:00:00 AM

Registration is now open for our 2019 Roadshow, this is an event you don't want to miss out on!  This year the event will be held on October 9th 2019, with a hospitality night in your honor the night before. Go ahead, write that down,  put it on your calendar.  Free food and drinks on KELTEK : ✔️

Read More

The Keys to Covert

Posted by Rocky Barber on Jun 28, 2019 12:30:00 PM

Duuunn dun...duuunnn dun....dun dun dun

Hopefully you uncovered the ominous Jaw's  theme song I am trying to portray here. This week's topic covers the keys to a covert police vehicle build.   Keeping these up-fits as stealth as possible can be a challenging task, but if anyone can do it's our expert team here at KELTEK. Here are my 3 Keys to a covert police vehicle up-fit...

Read More

Topics: Vehicle Upfitting

Buying VS Leasing: Fleet & Equipment

Posted by Jesse Peters on Jun 20, 2019 10:00:00 AM

Your fleet is likely the largest line item in your department's annual budget.  Before you read any further, stop and make a pros & cons list for leasing fleet vehicles and equipment. Seriously, make a list... We'll wait...

Now that you have a list, let's compare it with ours.

Read More

Down in the Dumps: The Real Cost of Downtime

Posted by Holly Johnson on Jun 14, 2019 3:44:00 PM

The True Cost of Vehicle Downtime

For many fleet managers calculating the cost of downtime is something they don't sit down and do. The reason for the inaction on this topic is -there's not enough time in the day!  KELTEK thought we could bring some light to the issue in an easy to understand format that prioritizes your fleet's maintenance and service. 

Read More

Planning Ahead for Body Worn Cameras - With A Lower Cost.

Posted by Tyler Richard on Jun 6, 2019 9:45:00 AM

Body worn cameras have been a topic generating a lot of media attention in recent years.  With a number of successful deployments under our belt, we've helped numerous departments plan the training, and implementation of body worn cameras for their officers a little ahead of the curve. KELTEK is always happy to jump in as s trusted advisor partnering with departments, providing their fully rugged body cameras. We thought we'd share some of their storys in an effort to help you visualize the path towards a successful body worn camera purchase, implementation and deployment.

Read More

2019 Havis Partner Event

Posted by Andrew Grapp on May 31, 2019 7:41:25 AM

This May, our partners at Havis, held a partner event in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania their hometown headquarters. If you are not familiar with Havis, they are one of our K9 transport, computer mounting and docking manufacturing partners.  Seeing the full cycle from where ideas are generated at Havis, to the ideas coming together in real time on the manufacturing floor was very beneficial and informative. 

Read More

Time is Running Out, Do You Have a Plan?

Posted by Ryan Surber on May 20, 2019 3:26:07 PM

Time is Running Out, Do You Have a Plan?

The end of the fiscal year is upon us. Do you have a plan? It seems like every year, it sneaks up on departments and we want to help. In this post I want to share some great ideas on how to maximize your budget...

Read More

Topics: Insider, Vehicle Upfitting, Budgeting, Computers, Technology, Products, Video

Panasonic Partner Summit 2019

Posted by Holly Johnson on May 10, 2019 9:23:11 AM

Most of you don't know me (yet) but I'm Holly Johnson, the new Marketing Coordinator at KELTEK.

Read More

Topics: Insider, Computers

Secrets of the Vehicle Upfitting Industry: Power Management

Posted by Drake Dawson on Mar 26, 2018 8:00:00 AM

Ask any of the guys in our shop and they’ll tell you one of the most common calls we get is, “Our battery keeps dying.”

There's a great scene in the movie Ironman where Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) realizes that his power center has been rendered useless and he asks his assistant for help. She comes to his aid and asks, “Is that the thing keeping you alive?” Ironman’s response is, “It was, but it’s now an antique…”

Read More

Topics: Vehicle Upfitting, Products

Subscribe to Email Updates

Recent Posts

New Call-to-action