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Dodge Dakota

jjohnsjjohns Posts: 1
edited March 1 in Dodge
Has anyone had trouble with the new 1997 Dodge
Dakota? My experience has been incredibly
disappointing -- timing chain replacement, bad
connecting rod (engine replacement), bad computer
module, transmission not shifting properly, water
leaks in the cab and front end prematurely wearing
tires. I would like to know if other people have
similar issues with this vehicle and what has/can
be done.
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Comments

  • Thanks for bringing your question here, jjohns. I noticed there is a topic already open on Dodge RAM trucks, so I think it's great to start a separate topic for the Dakota model.

    So now, LET'S HEAR FROM YOU DAKOTA OWNERS! ;-)
  • Keep in mind that I am not trying to act like a know-it-all and tell you how to live your life.

    I do not own a 1997 Dodge Dakota. I own a 1994 Dodge Dakota. I always owned cars before, so this is my first truck. It actually has been the best
    vehicle that I have ever owned. Before the truck, I owned an 1977 AMC Hornet, a 1986 Chevy Celebrity, and a 1990 Dodge Daytona.

    So, that it why I would continue to buy either a Dodge Dakota or a Dodge Durango. I wouldn't mind also buying a Jeep Cherokee (regular or Grand), a Chrysler Concorde or a Dodge Intrepid. I now believe in Dodge/Chrysler products.

    When I look at buying a new vehicle, the one thing I always look at (now) is how popular the vehicle is. I have noticed that when you buy a vehicle that has become popular (like the Dodge Dakota), you begin to find problems like you are talking about.

    I believe that because certain vehicles become popular, manufacturers have to pump out these vehicles from their plants. When that happens, corners get cut just to get the vehicles out of the plants.

    I am sorry that I could help you with your problems. I wish you luck with your Dodge Dakota.
  • I'm looking into buying a 1998 Dakota. I've compared it (so far) to the 98 Nissan Frontier, and a 98 Toyota Tacoma. I must say that the Dakota beat the pants off the other two. It has forced me to reconsider my position on American engineering considerably!

    What I'm wondering is what other owners think of their Dakotas. Anyone else having the same problems as jjohns?
  • I am currently looking at buying a 98 Dakota extended cab. I also like it better than it's competion. Sure would like to hear from others about their experiences with this type truck.
  • 27172717 Posts: 1
    SINCE MY 1991 CHEV. BLAZER WAS STOLEN I KNEW THAT I WOULD WANT ANOTHER 4X4. I LIKE THE DODGE RAM BUT THOSE THINGS ARE HUDGE AND THE DAKOTA OFFERS IT ALL BUT IN A SMALLER PACKAGE. BUT WHAT I'M WONDERING ABOUT IS THE RELABILITY FACTOR. I WANT A TRUCK THAT I CANE DEPEND ON SO THAT'S WHY I WANT A 1998. SO WANT IS THE BEST TRUCK IN THE DAKOTA'S CLASS? AND WHAT COMPANY HAS THE BEST PRICES?
  • Have ordered a 1998 extended cab Dakota, and want to buy a canopy and bedliner, but which one? Any help out there? I have heard good and bad about the spray on liners. There are many brands of canopies and this is my first new truck. Want to make the right choices.
  • It takes a real man to drive a Dodge
  • Does anyone know how well the '96 or newer Dakotas will tow a horse trailer? I would be towing about 5000 lbs. total. I know what the Dakota's towing capacity is, but I am hoping someone has tried this, and I am interested in the results. I would primarily be traveling on highways, occasionally in mildly mountainous terrain. I am also considering purchasing a Ram, but was hoping the smaller Dakota V8 could do the job well.
  • Kristine,
    Check the towing capacities within Edmunds specs or in the brochures at the dealer. You'll find the new Dakota 2WD with a 5.2 V8 offers, I believe, more towing capacity than the Ram. Same engine less weight = more tow.
  • Hey jjohns, sorry to here about the bad experience your having with your truck. I have a 97 Dakota also with the 5.2 V8. The only real problem I've had (other than a drunk old lady backing into my fender in a parking lot) with it is a bad spark-knock (pinging) noise from the motor while accelerating. I've had it back to the dealer 6 times for this reason but unfortunately the problem still exist. The timing has been adjusted, the chambers and fuel injectors have been cleaned, the computer has been reprogrammed, and I have tried every brand and grade of gasoline that is made. Nothing has made a difference. My service department has told me they don't have any idea what else to try and for me to wait to see if the problem gets any worse. Does anyone know of anything else I can try?
  • joedjoed Posts: 1
    check the link to TSBs from edmunds and you will see the dealer tsbs on most all the problems you had with your truck !! was it yellow in color by some chance??
  • jlflemmonsjlflemmons Posts: 2,240
    Rick,
    Did anyone think to check the knock sensor? If Dodge works like most, the sensor will keep advancing the timing until knock/pinging is detected. If the sensor doesn't "hear" anything, the timing advances to a pre-determined maximum.
    No matter what the static timing is set at, the ECM will start from there and advance.

    Jim
  • jaksynjaksyn Posts: 4
    HI THERE! We are thinking of buying a '98 Dakota with the V-8, Towing Pkg, and Handling Pkg, but I cannot find the V-8 option in this Edmund's site. Do any of you know the dealer cost, etc - so we can be 'informed' buyers? Also, I see some of you already own similar Dakotas - how do they handle, run, etc? With this power plant and the 3.55 gears it ought to run REAL good. We have never owned a truck before - we hope to have a good experience with a Dakota. Any info would be appreciated.
  • My husband and I bought a 97 Dakota (V8, extra cab sport, towing package) last march. To date we have only had two problems, a torn rubber cover on one of the axl joints in the rear end (sorry that I don't have all of the legitimate names for the parts) and a transmission shifting problem. Other than that.. it has been an excellent truck! I think one of the best things about it is how powerful it is! This truck has a lot of torque and handles beautifully. The other great thing about it is that even though you are buying a truck that is in the 'compact' range when you park next to a ranger or sonoma, you DWARF them! even the Toyota Tacoma (in the full size class) is about the same size!
  • traptrap Posts: 2
    hi, i am new to this site. i have been a gm truck owner for years,but have been considering on buying a sport dakota. i like the looks and options , but know of guys who have bought new ones & had transmission problems. can someone help me with this issue?
    thanks.
  • rmcrmc Posts: 1
    Is it true that the Dakota does not offer the "third door"!!!!???? Is the Dakota really a "compact"-- it seems gigantic when I think of the 87 Mazda (which has been an absolutely perfect truck for eleven years) which I am planning to replace this year or perhaps next. I'd love to hear comments pro and con about the Dakota; it does seem to cost alot compared to its competition from even Chevy and Ford, not to mention Mazda, Isuzu, and Nissan-- the latter three, of all which, were most impressive. I'm kind of stuck in the circle of looking at all these trucks and coming up with so many variations. Whatever experience the Dakota owners might offer, I'd appreciate it.
  • thing1thing1 Posts: 1
    In response to rmc; I too am looking at the same trucks, and what is swaying me to the dodge is the fact that the dakota is the only "small" pickup that has a rear bench seat. If you look at some of the other pickups out there you get the little "jump seats" that I would not want to ride in for very long. Also with most of the third doors you loose one of the seats to the door.
  • traptrap Posts: 2
    I LIKE THE SIZE OF THE EXTENDED CAB COMPARED TO THE OTHER "SMALL" TRUCKS ESPECIALLY WITH THE BACK BENCH SEAT. I HAVE HEARD THAT THE THIRD DOOR WAS SUPPOSE TO BE OFFERED IN 1998 ,BUT IT SEEMS IT MIGHT BE LATER THIS YEAR OR NEXT. IN MY AREA THE PRICE OF THE DODGE COMPARED TO OTHERS ARE THE SAME PRICE. I BELEIVE YOU GET MORE FOR YOUR MONEY WITH THE DODGE SINCE IT IS BIGGER.
  • jaksynjaksyn Posts: 4
    Just found out a friend is on Dakota #2, traded his first one for #2 when it only had 30,xxx miles on it! He liked the improved looks and upgraded to the V-8. Says he wouldn't trade it for love nor money. The way I stack the numbers, the Dakota comes up way ahead - and I am one of those up-tight engineer types. The tranny comment from trap concerns me, especially with all of the V-8 power - any info out there?
  • damishdamish Posts: 1
    In response to rmc....you'd really have to try hard to convince me that the Dakota is a compact. Compared to other "compact" trucks I've seen, it is quite a bit larger....guess you would call it a mid-size for lack of a better term. I have a 95 Dakota with the Magnum V-6....enough power there for me. It has an 8' bed, which I HIGHLY recommend. You can put just about anything in that. I got it a couple months ago, with 60,000 miles on it. Very tight, and the transmission has been checked.....no problems there. Let us know what you decide on!
  • I would appreciate any suggestions from Dakota owners about the following question: I am interested in buying a '97 or '98 Dodge Dakota Regular Cab 4x2 Shortbox. I need to know if that 3.9L V6 w/Auto Trans. would be good enough for me based on the following: Besides the normal home/work travel which is in city for me, I will be doing some interstate travel from Omaha to Des Moines during the summer on the weekends and occasionally a vacation trip to Hot Springs, AR in the spring time next year. I will not be hauling anything like a trailer or any equipment nor doing any moving of consequence. I'm trying to save as much money as I can and I know that V8 is well capable of my needs, but would it be wise to save money and go with that V6 and not run into problems say, 40,000 or 50,000 into my use. I am avid on getting fluids checked every 2 1/2 months or almost 3,000 miles. Any advice or suggestions for me? Would you or do you feel confident in using that V6 engine for something like what I will be doing with my truck?
  • Winstat,

    Your uses are exactly what I have been using my 97 Dakota for. The V6 has more than enough power for me. In fact I have driven a V8 and unless you plan to do some heavy hauling or pulling the V6 should be plenty of muscle. The only thing I wish I would have waited for was the airbag disable switch. That would be a definite selling point for me to buy a 98 vs. a 97.
  • I have a 95 Dodge Dakota 4x4 with SLT pack. and 5-speed. It was wreaked (by someone else!) and rebuilt (by my dad's friend). It has 30,000 miles on it and had been a great truck for me since I got it in July. I like the new Dakota's styling, but the actual headroom and interior space is much smaller, I think. Other opinions??? JBThompz@aol.com
  • Am considering buying a 98 Dakota, Regular Cab, Short Box, V-6 with 5-speed. Wonder if anyone has any experience with this combination. What are you getting for gas mileage? Any problems? Hear that there have been some water leakage complaints. Very interested to hear from you!
  • 1990 4wd pu: this truck does not run smooth:
    is this a common experience
  • see note above --=- the best way to give
    response is to enter response in the posting
    box and then hit post
  • farrewj1farrewj1 Posts: 1
    Hi!

    I have a Duraliner bedliner in my 10 year old MAZDA (I just ordered a Dakota). I never had a single problem with it in all those years - no cracks, holes, etc. The Duraliner for the new Dakota is $185 installed (a good price, not a retail price). I went for the "over rail" version.

    Sorry, no experience with caps or canopies.
  • amanda1amanda1 Posts: 1
    am thinking of new dakota extended 4x4
    any experience out there good or not so good with this model?
  • dwedwe Posts: 5
    Does anyone know for sure if/when Dodge will add a third or fourth door to their club cab Dakotas? I'm thinking of buying, but really want a rear door.
  • PhylrichPhylrich Posts: 1
    I'm looking for a tool box for my 98 Dakota. I can't use cross over type due to side rails. Anyone know of a manufacturer or retailer that may have access to a box that will fit inside bed. I need space to store golf clubs. I've found models that aren't long enough. There's about 56 inches across to fill but wheel flares are a factor.
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