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Dodge Dakota - General Topic



  • Hi,

    This question can't be answered by the dealers. The club cabs have a California 4.7L v-8 engine that has a much less GVWR(5,350lbs) than the same truck with a v-6(6,010lbs) The curb weight is just a tad higher(70 lbs), so payload is reduced dramatically. I live in New England and only have seen the California 4.7L v-8s in the Club Cab.

    Question is...why is the GVWR so much lower in the v-8 Clubs compared to the v-6s...and why do just the Club Cabs have the California engine?

    Please help me out here, No one seems to have an answer.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    (greggpats) What you refer to as the "California engine" is really the "Border states emmissions package". This is (obviously) the emmissions package designed to meet the CARB regulations for California.

    There are several other states that have jumped on the bandwagon by passing laws which mandate that the CARB equiped vehiceles are sold in their states. (VT, NH, NY... 5 in total) Unfortunatly, the special GASOLINE formulatoin that california mandates is NOT available in those 5 states.

    This is NOT based on being a "club cab" ... it is based on the laws in the state where you live.

    As for the GVWR... I havent a clue.
  • Thanks for the reply. The GVWR is really bugging me so I called Dodge, and customer service didn't have an answer so an enginer will be contacting me.

    730lbs less payload is a substantial difference if I get the 4.7L v-8 engine in MA compared to the v-6.

    In regards to the club cabs, they are the only body type that have the lower GVWR and on the Dodge web site under "towing guide", it lists the engine as "Californis engine". No Cal. engine listed with the regular or Quad cab in the 4.7L v-8. Strange....and not a misprint, as the window stickers state the same.

    Bottom line, If I want the 4.7L v-8 Club Cab in MA, the payload is reduced by 730 lbs..5,350 opposed to 6,010. Makes the decision to get the v-8 (which I really wanted)much tougher as I lose 730lbs in payload(which I MIGHT need).
  • bcarter3bcarter3 Posts: 145
    I was under the impression that starting with the 2001 Dakota that all 4.7 engines met California requirements. If I'm not mistaken the horsepower dropped from 235 to 230 that year. Maybe some of the other long time posters here could confirm or deny this. I think the discussion came up about three years ago when I was researching the Dakota and everyone was still breaking in the new Quads. Then again, maybe I'm just having another "senior moment". (^_^)
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    (bcarter3) You are correct... starting in 2001, I beleive all 4.7L V8s had the tripple cats.

    In 2000, only specific vehicles that were delivered to certain states had the tripple cats. (Like my VERY early 2000 delivered to Vermont in late 1999) The "Border states emmissions package" was manditory for me to add to my order. (at no charge to me)
  • mopar67mopar67 Posts: 728
    my 2000 4.7 dak had three cats.
  • But the question is, why does the club cab 4.7lv-8 4x2 with the so called "california engine"(as stated on the Dodge web site under towing guide)have a GVWR of 5,350.....whereas the same truck with a v-6 has a rating of 6,010. That's 660lbs less and a huge reduction in payload(weight of both trucks are about equal) by getting a truck with a larger engine...makes no sense.

    I called Dodge customer service and an engineer was supposed to get back to me in 24 hours...but no response.

    Any guesses out there?
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    I think you are correct about the configuration situation. Now that I think about it, I do not recall seeing a Club Cab with the 287 motor over 5350 GVW.

    I wonder, what about a Club Cab with the trailer towing option? Does that raise the GVW?

    But...we know the engine is more than adequate for 6000 lbs plus in a Dakota. As for the 545RFE transmission, it's the same unit put in 4x4 RAMs with trailer towing and plenty durable. The 9.25 axle is more than adequate also.

    The two things I don't have an immediate answer for would be the brakes and springs. They might add more swept area to the higher GVW rating, and it would surprise me if a correctly equiped Dakota got heavty rear springs with 6000 GVW and up. You might also get a three-row core radiator, I don't know.

    But to answer your immediate question, I don't have a clue why this is so. I live in New York, so everything under a certain GVW gets the California emmisions package.

    By the way, I have carried around 1500 pounds in the bed on one occasion. That dropped the back around 2 inches or there abouts. With the ATV, tools, shovels, chainsaws, etc. (about 800 lbs., nothing really happens much. I might drop about 1 inch max.

  • #noname#noname Posts: 58
    What is the 287...the California engine?

    Do you know why just the club cabs get this 287 engine? On the Dodge site under towing guide, the club cub is the only body type that has the "California engine" as an option. Unfortunately, in MA, that's the only engine I can get. So, 700 lbs less in payload for the clubs with 4-8s......and no one has an answer for this.

    I called customer service and was told an engineer would be getting back to me within 48 hours....did not happen. It appears no one has an answwr or wants to give it..
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926 the cubic inch expression for 4.7 liter.

    The person at Chrysler that you talked to probably hasn't gotten an answer, either!

  • Since yesterday was the last day for the then current rebate program I logged into the Dodge site to see what was coming in the form of new rebates. While on the board I looked at the Ram 1500 area as I upgraded my Dakota to a "Monster Quad" last June just to see what was up in that area. I noticed you could now price a 2004 Ram 1500. Being the curious type I decided to build and price a 2004 that duplicated the features of the 2003 I had just recently purchased. What a shock!!! To duplicate the features of my 2003 in a 2004 model reflected a $1,480 increase. With the current rebate of $1,000 subtracted the 2004 would require a Farm Bureau discount just to match the MSRP price of the 2003.
    When I was looking at 2003 Rams before I actually purchased mine I looked at a 4x4 off road package Ram that was actually built in September 2002. This truck was $1,700+ less than than a truck with identical options that had just recently been delivered. I asked the sale manager about the discrepancy in prices and he related Dodge had had 8 prices increases up to that point in the 2003 model year.
     I noticed a similar escalation in prices in the Dakotas on the lot as well. I actually started shopping for a Dakota Quad cab however I only needed a 2wd and everything on the lots around here were 4x4s.
     I wonder how people continue to be able to afford new vehicles. If it weren't for the almost $9,000 discount off of the 2003 I purchased it would never have fit into my budget.
    A guy I work with just bought a new Chevy Tahoe for his wife that had a window price of $45,000+. I don't know what he actually paid for the Tahoe but I'm sure it was still more than his gross annual salary of $33,000. Sooner or later all these price increases will have to make these vehicles unaffordable to the majority of the consumers, then what happens to the economy? Oh well, the forum has been awful slow lately, maybe this will fire up some activity. Rick
  • bookittybookitty Posts: 1,303
    Rick, I had an uncle that always used to say: "You can build anything if you're handy with money." I guess he was correct.

  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    A friend of mine has been in my Dakota a number of times and driven it as well. He has been looking for a truck to replace his aging Silverado and up until now has owned nothing but Chevies. He has been considering something smaller but his experience with S10s has not been good and they are too small for his requirements.

    Anyway, he's taken a shine to my Dakota and we went around last week looking for a used one. He was hoping to find a nice clean '00 or '01, but the used Dakota inventory is pretty scarce around here. We stopped at seven dealerships and only found 4 candidates. There are actually more at used independent dealers, but none in the year range or with the right equipment. Out of the 513 used trucks listed in the last Auto Trader, only 11 were Dakotas, and some of them are 70 miles away.

    How plentiful are used Dakotas in your areas?

  • usaf52usaf52 Posts: 70
    Out of curiosity, I scanned used vehicles in the Winston-Salem area papers and found very few used Dakotas. What was available were priced very high, some prices in competition with new prices with the rebates offered.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    (dustyk) This is one reason I bought a NEW one. Apparently, most Dakota buyers hold on to their Daks. The used market was slim-pickens and cost almost as much as a new one. I ended up just ordering EXACTLY what I desired.

    Figuring in that a new one will last at least as many years longer as a used one is old.... (In otherwords, amortizing the value of a used one against a new one) The Dakotas really hold their value well. (if you can find a used one at all)

    It just made sense for me to purchase a new one. It was fully paied off this past spring and I expect at least 10 more years of payment-free ownership 8-)
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    ....yeah, that was the other thing. Although the few we saw at new car dealerships were nice specimens, the prices marked were right at the high end. One dealer had a marked price of 18,799 for a used 2003 with very low miles. Although I'm sure there was dealing room, I told my friend that I paid 17,800 for the same year new!

    Independents were better. We looked at a few that were in very good apparent condition, but with high mileage. We did drive a '97 that was very tight, but manual transmission.

    We did see two Quad cabs, but out of the 10 samples only one Club Cab and that was a 4x4. He didn't want it.

    So, my friend is going to continue to look and hope something nice comes up. He doesn't need a truck just yet, and he just poured a bit of money into his Chevy so hopefully it will last through winter.

  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    I just completed a round trip of 135 miles to pick up my daughter from Geneseo, NY. Most of the driving was on I490. I kept the cruise set at 62 MPH and got 22.93 MPG. So it can be done on real highways.

    That is a vehicle best MPG at 16538 miles.

    Yesterday my trip to the property on the same highway all the way to Corning and back netted 18.69. That's with about 1000 pound load (ATV, chainsaws, etc.). That also included 38 miles of around town driving. It was not the best MPG outing for that drive, but I was bucking very high headwinds on the southbound leg.

  • I am looking to buy a 2004 Dakota club cab with the V6 in the next 60 days or so. It will be a daily driver for me. I have never owned a pickup before, and I am hoping to get some input on whether I should go for the 4x2 or 4x4.

    I am wanting the Dakota V6 for some light hauling(standard home improvement projects) and some light towing(small bass-fishing boat). I live in central Illinois, where the winter weather usually gets bad a few times a year. I could see myself making use of the 4 wheel drive some, but I don't know if it would really be worth the $2000-$3000 extra over the RWD.

    Can some of you Dakota owners give me some advice before I head to the dealer to start looking at trucks? Thanks!
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    I have owned both 4X4 and RWD trucks. If you expect only an occasional encounter with snow... It may be wise to get the RWD. A second set of wheels fitted with REAL snow tires are more than adequate. Add a couple 50lb bags of sand located over the rear axle and you will not get stuck on snow-covered roads

    With RWD the MPG is is better, the ride is smoother, there are less wear-n-tear moving parts.

    Here in Vermont, I have more than an occasional opertunity to use 4X4. At least a full month a year I am locked into 4X4. I also know that the RESALE VALUE of a 4X4 retains the initial xtra cost of the 4X4. So I hav more need and less to loose by getting 4X4.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Well, I live in snow country (western New York state) and I have found my 2-wheel drive Dakota to be exceptional in the snow. Now, mine came with the limited slip differential and the Goodyear Wrangler SR/A off-road/on-road tires. I have put three 70 lb. bags of sand in it for about a month last winter and the extra weight did make a difference.

    I do traverse some unmaintained roads in the winter since I own property near the border of Pennsylvania. During hunting season I have my 650 pound ATV in the back and it is almost like having a 4-wheel drive

    Almost. There could be situations where my combination would fail me that only a 4-wheel drive would be truly helpful. But I am careful, even when I'm on the property where there are no roads at all. But 2WD is cheaper, for most people will get better gas mileage, and has less mechanicals to maintain or require service. It really depends on your desire, however. You do not need to "justify" a 4WD just because for others it they don't deem it practical.

    My only other comment would be to consider the 4.7 V-8 engine. I believe that you will probably get better gas mileage from the V-6 than you would the 4.7. However, depending on your style of driving the difference may not be much or not all at.

    In defense of the 3.9 motor, for a six I think it has plenty of torque and power. I've driven several in regular cab, and one extended cab and for everyday use with occasional hauling I think they are fine. In a Quad Cab or a 4x4 the six might leave you with an unrewarding experience. A lot depends on what you've been use to driving and expect for power.

    In my Club Cab I have gotten very good mileage with the 4.7 (287 CID) engine. But I drive sedately. When loaded with the ATV and gear my Dakota still has plenty of power for hills and such, not even downshifting unless its a real steep grade. The price is paid, however, if I drive impatiently. It can easily turn in MPG in the 14s if I get on it a little bit.

    My weekly average is 17.4 back-and-forth to work, around town. My loaded interstate best was 20.76, unloaded I just turned in 22.96 MPG. My to-date average is 16.54. Cold weather and short trips take their toll.

    I have found my Dakota to be a very comfortable and pleasant vehicle to drive. It's just the right size, and with the front and rear sway bars and larger tires it handles exceptionally well, in my opinion. I have had no defects in components or in assembly at 17,070 miles.

    Best of luck,
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