Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Dodge Dakota Suspension and Axles

irish4irish4 Posts: 2
Just the other day a was taking a right turn when i heard a snap come to find out the u bracket that holds the swaybar bushings fell off the bolts snapped,i have had the swaybar bushings replaced three times.Has anyone else have similar problems.


  • jnealjneal Posts: 247
    3 sets of bushing in 6 years??? Hw many miles do you have on that truck?
    Are you using stock bushings or after-market polyurethane or something of that sort?
    Never have seen a bolt snap off on swar bar under normal use, sounds like either were over-tightened or someone didn't use the correct grade bolt.
  • irish4irish4 Posts: 2
    Dealer replaced them 3 times, they keep saying it from the salt and sand on the roads the cause the problems here in connecticut.
  • jnealjneal Posts: 247
    Dang, if that's happening to the bushings, just think what it is doing to the rest of the truck!! Makes me glad I live way down south. :D
  • rich28rich28 Posts: 23
    FYI - I've had my left front axle replaced twice within 74,000 miles. I thought maybe the vibration was from the tires (Goodyear RTS) being out-of-balance, which they were. Anyway, much smoother ride now.
  • I ordered a '99 from the factory with HD suspension. Was not available on my '04, and with a camper shell and spray-in liner, I could really use something other than these super-soft Camry style springs they fit to the Dakota these days. I mean, I do understand why folks love the soft ride of the Dakota, but what I don't understand is why they didn't buy a car instead of a truck to get it.

    When I checked in to it the other day, seems like there is simply no extra leaf or chage-out spring pack available for the Dakota post the '02 model. That's interesting!

    A custom fabricated extra leaf seems my only choice. So that begs the question, is there even a lift kit available for post '02 Dakotas?
  • jnealjneal Posts: 247
    I bought my '06 with HD suspension and towing package and with the Goodyear LT tires it certainly rides like a truck!!!
    You should be able to get the components of the HD suspension from a dealer......
  • I have a 2002 Quad 4X4 with 60K and one of the front wheel bearings is beginning to "growl". On the numerous Caravans I had, changing the front bearings was a sinch once the axle nut was loosened. Any chance the Dakota has such a hub/bearing assembly?
  • How can I tell by looking if my rear end or suspension has been changed or modified, also same with the ABS. :mad: :cry: :confuse: :sick:
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    Study it closely so you know what it looks like... then compare to other Dakotas of the same vintage with simular options. (HeavyDuty option needs to be compared to like option)

    I am not sure why you are asking... but you can compare things like
    *)number of leafsprings
    *)How leaves are bolted on (over axle or under axle)
  • OK so heres the story I was donating some things with my mother at goodwills drop site when I went to the tailgate to help my mom and a girl jumped in my truck and took off. She was with 3 guys in a truck parked around the way, long sstory short 8 days later PD recovers my baby dakota and she limped home The truck appears 2 inches higher than before. When I take a turn the truck leans The brakes are so tough and at 40-50 mph step on the brake it vibrates real bad. My battery was taken and replaced. some wires have been unplugged that go next to the relay box,theres one of my eng mount bolts backed outabout 1 1/2 inches, knee bolsters on both sides are gone, the clutch has been adjd or rode hard, the tranny got a grinding feel when decel
    engine has lost power, my spare is on the p/f rim alloy rim gone,I can tell what fuses they replaced them upsidedown,the interior lamps, horn park lamps, trans pos ind, eng relay, power amp, htd mirror, cig lighter, radio 1, backup lamp, anti lk brakes, so i figure someone knew dakota probally owned one they got up in the dome light and disabled it probally aware that homing devices are put in some models,on top of that i swear that is not my rear end casing mine was black this one is grey and you can see lube on the seam one of my tranny case has a seriuos gap where it meets in the front, and I had to dealer replace the tranny 2xs about a year or so and they said they replaced it the first time but i wasnt better took it back a second time and then snuck into the shop while the tech was at lunch to make sure they replaced it and my new tranny casing was black, now the tranny i have is gray on top of that after i bought her i had her undercoated and there is over sprayon about every thing except the rear end and drive line dont have any i havent flipped it into 4x4 cause im scared what i will find. I bought the 04 quad sxt bright red and whoever had my truck last week took the sxt decal off Leads me to think for signifigance. so I tryed the self diagnosis and it reads chec then acts likeits checking and says nothing the it will display airbags, abs, security,service 4wd,cargo lamp,winsheild bottom filled in, door ajar and engine then it checks the six gages and thats it no p done. I looked at the leafs all 4 are bound and bolted above the axel. so im not sure weather i got the hd option or not I got the sxt 4x4 with tow the 3.7 magnum v6 with abs the six cluster console. NEways Im tore up about this I keept my baby dak clean mechanical wise It was perfect. I had my mas glock 9 in the truck 200 bucks 3 credit cards all the vehicle info and my eagle feathers and ceremonial beads in there.ouchhh! I just hope that whoever did this doesnt log on here too. so thanks for reading this I would love to hear anything yall have to say :sick: :cry:
  • blk4x4blk4x4 Posts: 43
    what did your ins. company say??????? that is some f upped sh#t there , sorry to hear bout that........What did the pd do ?//did they catch the people or just find the truck??
  • blk4x4blk4x4 Posts: 43
    Ok here's my problem a couple months ago i started hearing what sounds like a nobby tire wine and i had put new tires on so i didn't think nothing about it Then one day i went it to the gravel road and it still did it so i went home and put it on the lift and put it in gear and went under to check it out and it is really loud around the drive shaft area so i put it in reverse and it stops doing it so i'm think it's something in the pinnion area but i havent done a hole lot of rear work ........ any ideas????????
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    What you describe sure sounds like the differential ring-n-pinion gears. Unfortunately, dealing with the clearances and adjustments within a differential is perhaps the most skill-intensive part of an automobile. (perhaps more difficult than rebuilding an engine)

    You have a couple choices,
    *) Replace the fluid in the diff and live with the sound.
    *) Pay to have a qualified differential tech look at it.
  • blk4x4blk4x4 Posts: 43
    yeah that's what i was thinking too. I already changed the fluid and checked out the teeth and there are none broken or weird looking ones, all normal which has me thinking it the bearings but not sure, it has the normal play between the gears , so i guess i'll just run it til it blows apart cause there are no good rear mechs around here..think i might try the junk yard for a complete assembly
  • Ins co covered it shop has had for 3 weeks now, pd caught 2 people in truck but they didnt steal it but were charged with possesing it. yaeh way fffffup
  • blk4x4blk4x4 Posts: 43
    so does the ins. co think that its going to repaired back to the way it was cause i dont see that ever happening where you from cause that sounds like sh@t that happens round here
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    The following applies to the current rear axle assemblies manufactured by Chrysler or American Axle & Manufacturing (AAM) used on the Dodge Dakota:


    Drive the vehicle at least five (5) miles (more in colder weather) to warm the differential lubricant. On a smooth road accerate the vehicle to the speed range where the noise becomes the greatest. Shift the transmission out-of-gear and coast through the peak noise range. If the noise stops or changes significantly, the following may be the cause:

    *The differential lubricant level is low or the lubricant has expired.

    *Incorrect ring gear backlash

    *Moderate to heavy gear face scratches or galling, or other gear damage.

    If the noise is heard when the rear axle is loaded, the problem is the rear pinion bearing.

    If the noise is heared during a coast, the problem is the front pinion bearing.

    If the noise is constant and the pitch varies with speed, the problem is the differential bearings.

    If the noise level changes when the vehicle is turned sharply either left or right, the problem is the axle bearings. If the noise goes away with increased speed, the problem is light axle bearing wear or damage.

    If the noise is a low speed knock, the problem is worn U-joints, worn side gear thrust washers, or excessive pinion bearing shaft bore.

    If the noise is drive line snap, the following are suspected items:

    *High engine idle speed
    *Incorrect transmission shift speeds
    *Loose motor, transmission, or transfer case mounts
    *Worn U-joints
    *Loose spring mounting hardware
    *Loose pinion gear nut
    *Excessive ring gear backlash
    *Excessive side gear-to-case clearances


    Check for the following:

    *A damaged or bent drive shaft
    *Missing drive shaft balance weights
    *Out of balance wheels & tires
    *Loose wheel lug nuts
    *Worn or binding U-joints
    *Loose, weak, or broken rear springs
    *Worn or damaged axle shaft bearing(s)
    *Loose pinion gear nut
    *Excessive pinion yoke runout
    *Bent axle shafts

  • blk4x4blk4x4 Posts: 43
    do you know where to get a good manual for rear end repair I have rebuilt everything from engines to tranys but i have never needed to do any major rear work..... Thanks for the info that really help
Sign In or Register to comment.