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DODGE DAKOTA QUAD CAB

1757678808193

Comments

  • mopar67mopar67 Posts: 728
    with certain dak owners.
    I had the flash done to mine to cure the loppy idle, cold start stalling. Both those symptoms went away yet my MPG stayed the same.
    I wonder if they got the correct update? Its a known issue that CHrysler, in an attempt to cure spark knock, has a PCM update that really cranks back the ignition timing. Result? Lower MPG and often, a loss of performance.
    I'd sit on their shoulders until you get some answers. Call daily if need be. Write letters to Chrysler. Insist on speaking to a zone rep.
    The squeaky wheel gets the grease......sometimes!
  • bookittybookitty Posts: 1,303
    Bill, I agree with Ben (mopar67) especially regarding the part where he mentions contacting the area representative. When you do, ask why the dealer hadn't heard back from him/her. Stay on the case until you are satisfied.

    Bookitty
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    I just purchased a 2003 Dakota Club Cab Sport Plus with the 4.7 a few weeks ago. At 1800 miles no sign of a poor idle yet. My last tank was just over 19 mpg and it has LOTS of power. Since it's a '03, maybe they've resolved the problem. There have been no PCM flash updates issued for the '03 4.7s to date.

    I'm trying to build a relationship with a tech at my new dealer. (They let me scour through some service manuals and TSBs last week.) So far he's been a good source for technical information and appears to be rather straightforward and forthcoming about service related problems. I just ordered some accessories for the Dakota so I'll see if I can learn anything next time I'm down there.

    Dusty
  • mopar67mopar67 Posts: 728
    I do know that the EPA (god love 'em) has pretty strict requirements for open loop, warm up, and closed loop emissions. Chrysler, like any other maker, has to abide by these or face lots of fines in addition to bad publicity.
    It took my dealer a while to get the correct flash, but once done, I never looked back. The truck ran great from that point on.
    Perhaps you may be right; maybe Chrysler did get it right from the get go. Its tough to make a lean running motor run perfectly all the time I know. But still, other makes manage to pull this off and so should Chrysler.
  • sunburnsunburn Posts: 319
    I just passed the 1 year mark with my 2002 QC, 4x4, 4.7/auto, 3.92 LSD. In the past year, I've accumulated over 15K miles. Here are my comments:

    Likes:
    1) Utility - great combination of people
    hauling capability and cargo hauling
    capability
    2) Size - not too big or too small.
    3) Power - the 4.7L is just right for this
    truck, whether running solo or towing 3000
    lbs.
    4) Ride and Handling - very comfortable long
    distance cruiser. Very maneuverable for a
    truck.

    Dislikes:

    1) Gas Mileage - I don't expect a 4x4 V-8 truck
    to get 20 MPG, but the best highway mileage
    I've seen while driving at 70 MPH is 16 MPG.
    In mixed driving (50% highway/50% suburban)
    the average is around 13.5. I don't have a
    heavy foot and the truck only sees WOT 2-3
    times per month. This is the first vehicle
    that I have ever owned that did not meet or
    exceed its EPA highway mileage rating.
    2) Poor paint quality - the paint has more dust
    specks in it than another other vehicle I've
    owned. The past three vehicles I've owned (a
    Mazda, Toyota, and Subaru) have all had
    flawless paint jobs. Also, the Dakota's
    paint is very fragile. It scratches very
    easily. Dodge could learn something about
    paint from Toyota.

    Problems: Nothing major, but a few nits and quirks.

    1) Occasionally harsh upshifts and downshifts
    from transmission. Most problem occurs at
    low speeds and light throttle. Not as bad
    now as when new, but every now and then it
    happens. When your wife comments about it,
    you know it's bad!
    2) Drivetrain Jerking - happens a couple of
    times per week at between 45-55 MPH. It
    feels like a one time cylinder misfire.
    3) One time the transmission failed to go into
    reverse. The gear indicator said "R", but
    the transmission behaved as if in neutral.
    Shifted from "R" to "D" and back and
    problem went away.
    4) Passenger side power window switch
    occasionally fails to work.
    5) Erratic idle - not as bad now as when it was
    new. Once every couple of months the engine
    will almost stall when shifting from "D"
    to "P".

    Wishes (features only) for Future Dakota QCs

    1) 6ft bed.
    2) More underseat storage.
    3) Less plastic and more soft vinyl on interior
    door panels and dashboard.
    4) Doors that open less forcefully - I'm always
    paranoid with the kids opening the doors
    when parked next to other vehicles.
    5) Better quality carpeting - this is the
    cheapest looking carpet I've seen in any
    vehicle recently.
    6) Put the storage pocket back on the back of
    the driver's seat. It went away in the 2002
    model year. When traveling with two kids,
    this is a nice to have feature.
    7) Dual zone climate controls. The Durango has
    it, why not the Dakota?
    8) Rear seat heat/AC vents. Again, the Durango
    has them.
    9) More effective heat/AC. Climate control is
    slow to respond to changes and not well
    balanced. It also makes too much noise for
    the volume of air flowing.

    Overall, the likes outweigh the dislikes and I am happy with my choice. DC just needs to work on the powertrain refinements and some of the quality issues. Hopefully, the next year goes by as smoothly as the last year did.
  • glzr2glzr2 Posts: 70
    Just thought I would give everyone an update. I've had Eda for about a month now. I bought her door sills (thanks to the recommendations on this site). They installed easily, and I can tell this purchase was worth the money. I paid $28 for the set of 4. I also bought the Husky fitted floor mats. I pondered this purchase for a while because they aren't cheap. I think that in the long run, they will also be worth the money. Specially in five or so years when the carpet still looks new.

    I hit the road last Friday for my first long distance trip. I drove from the burbs of Detroit to Oneida Lake, Northeast of Syracuse, NY. I have absolutely no complaints about this vehicle. I averaged 16.7 mpg there and 15.9 mpg on the way back (strong head wind). I drove to NY to duck hunt with my mothers extended family. My dad has a sixteen foot flat bottom duck boat that I volunteered to tow up to lake Ontario. I hardly noticed to boat was there. (4.7, auto, 3.55). The QC work well because all the waders and coats fit into the rear of the cab with the seats folded up, and all the decoys were in the bed. We had to launch the boat on a 50 degree boat access that was slicker than Georgia clay. Not a problem in 4hi. Glad I had the door sills and the floor mats, as they are now covered with sand and mud.

    At the end of the day, I think my dad was pondering purchasing his own QC.

    Before the road trip, I change the oil. This was the first time I changed the oil. What a pain. I used a fabbed up 2-liter bottle which catches the oil coming out of the plug and drains it through the skid plate. It works, but there is a learning curve (I didn't watch it close enough and the last bit of oil drained on the skid plate). When replacing the oil filter, I hand tightened it. When I checked the filter the next day, it had a drop of oil at the end of it. A guy at work said his Durango did the same thing. He hand tightens the filter on his Ram, and it never leaks oil, but he has to wrench down the filter on his Durango. Oh well.

    All in all, I'm extremely happy with my purchase.
  • Have not seen any discussion about this engine in the DAK QC. I am considering a purchase equipped with this motor. Appreciate any advice from those who have experience or knowledge of it. Fuel mileage, reliability, axle ratio etc. Can also go with the 4.7L. Will use it for towing on occassion but mostly pleasure. Thanks
  • bookittybookitty Posts: 1,303
    Gene, the 5.9 is a good and reliable engine. It is old technology, and the only time that I would consider it, would be if I towed maximum loads on a constant basis (up and down hills). It is a most uneconomical engine as well. The 4.7 is a high tech improvement over the 3.9, 5.2 and 5.9. All Dinosaurs, so to speak. However Gene, the 5.9 has plenty of grunt (torque) to be used under the aforementioned towing conditions. Hope that this helps.

    Bookitty
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    I've never driven a 5.9 (360) Dakota. However, the 4.7 I've got in my 2003 Dakota Club Cab 4x2 is one heck of an engine in this platform. It's very fast, seems exceptionally strong under load (firewood, ATV), and my average MPG over eight tanks of gas is about 17.4 MPG. Very, very, very smooth engine/transmission combination (comes with the 545RFE trans).

    I'd have a hard time believing that only but a very few people would consider the 4.7 inadequate.

    Best of luck,
    Dusty
  • txyank1txyank1 Posts: 1,010
    5.9 is a great engine as long as you don't care about mpg.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    As I was washing my Dakota the other day, I noticed some leaves stuck in the fins of the air conditioning condenser. The condenser on Dakotas are quite low and a fair portion of it is exposed in the air stream openings below the grill. Since I had an issue with a rock hitting the hood and windshield on I-86 the other day, I couldn't help but wonder if anybody has experienced a damaged condenser (or radiator in it's absence) from road debris.

    Does anybody know of a screen protector to fit in front of the condenser? Also, does anybody know where the factory mounts a transmission oil cooler on a Dakota? There sure doesn't seem to be much room for one.

    Thanks in advance,
    Dusty
  • glzr2glzr2 Posts: 70
    I have not bought a set as of yet, but they are on my wish list. I can't seem to find the link to the ones I like, but if you scan the Dakota accessories board, someone posted the product there. Or go to http://www.pickuptruckaccessories.com/Item.asp#items.


    I will continue to look for the ones I want, and if I find them, I'll tell you where.

  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    (dustyk) There are MANY aftermarket grill-inserts available for the Dakota. I spent 5 minutes serching and came up with these links. Judging from all of the Dakoata catalogs I receive in the mail there must be 15 differend companies making grill-inserts.

    link
    link

    link
  • gator72gator72 Posts: 115
    FIRST: Thanks Bookitty and Mopar67 for your posts.

    Since my last post, I've gotten exactly no where. The dealer flashed my computer yet again. But, the idle is still rough and the mileage has dropped to 11~12 mpg city and 13~14 hwy. (FYI: I've got a 4.7 L V8, auto tranny). Also, my transmission "pops" when shifting at low speeds. (It's so bad, I look in the mirror to see if I've been rear-ended).

    The Service Manager supposedly spoke with the Zone Rep.; who supposedly said I should "learn to live with it" because there are no additional "flashes" AND they can't re-install the original "flash" settings. The Service Manager remarked that the Zone Rep had a poor attitude. But, he has no other advice for me.

    At this point, I'll have to start the consumer complaint process and hopefully work my way to a "buy-back". If not, I'm prepared to sue under my State's Lemon Law. (FYI: I did not sign an arbitration agreement - otherwise, I'd be out of luck because it is so much more expensive than going to court. Dealers are real big on arbitration as a way to prevent lawsuits because they know the average consumer cannot pony-up the $2,500.00 arbitrator's fee just to start the process; (does not include his/her daily fees).

    I don't want to do any of this. I really like my 2001 QC SLT+. It's the right size, right platform and looks great. I special ordered mine to get eveything I wanted (Plus Pkg., HD, etc.).

    There's nothing else out there that I would want to drive: The Ram Quad is TOO big. The Tacoma Crewcab is TOO small and ... you get the picture.

    ** If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know. Otherwise, I'll keep you posted.
  • haselhasel Posts: 64
    joust installed grill inserts on my DAK from www.grill-tech.com, price is right and service is great had the inserts 3 days after i ordered them.
  • I am thinking about replacing my 245's with 265's any advise on the benefits? Ride better? Handling better? This is a great truck . . no complaints except fot he gas mileage.
  • Looking to replace my 245's with 265's. What are the advantages or disadvantages? Great truck by the way.
  • glzr2glzr2 Posts: 70
    Since I haven't received any responses to my posting on the "Dodge Dakota problems" board, and since this is the only board with activity, I will ask again;

    Does anyone have any information on how to kill the auto door locks for the '02 quad cab? Whether it be a fuse or anything that I can pull to stop them from continuously unlocking! The dealer hasn't called back with a solution or to tell me the parts are in, and I'm getting sick of pulling the battery cable!!!

    Please help!
  • obyoneobyone Posts: 8,065
    Ever thought of calling another dealer? Maybe they could help you over the phone...for a temporary fix.
  • glzr2glzr2 Posts: 70
    I thought I would try the experts 1st. I know a couple people on the Dakota boards have the service manuals. I talked to the dealer and only one of the switches came in, and they claim there isn't any way to kill the power to the door locks with out killing the entire "body control" unit? I couldn't tell if they were telling the truth since telling me to try something might make them liable.

    It really is driving me crazy....
This discussion has been closed.