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Dodge Dakota - General Topic



  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,931
    Sunburn, yes. The 2004s all have a chrome grille with the exception of the base model.

    The base model front fascia and grille are gray. The rear bumper is black upper and gray lower.

    The SXT has a chrome grille with gray front upper and lower fascia. It comes with body-colored wheel flares. The rear bumper is black upper and gray lower.

    The Sport gets a chrome grille with the upper fascia black and lower fascia body color. The wheel flares are no longer standard. The rear bumper is black upper and gray lower.

    The SLT has a chrome grille, chrome upper front and gray lower front fascia. The rear bumper is chrome.

    The only body-colored grille is with the Stampede package, now a model variant instead of an option. This includes a full body-colored front fascia and rear bumper.

  • mopar67mopar67 Posts: 728
    it relies on the person filling out the questionaire to determine what constitutes a "serious" problem.

    I know this for a fact as I have filled out and sent in this very device for 7 years now. Often the mindset of the participant as well as good or bad dealer service can influence how those questions are marked.

    Suffice it to say, CR is ok at best, downright biased at worst.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,931
    According to the parts person at my dealership, 2002 and newer Dakotas and Durangos received completely different brake components, including different rotors. He said that their incidence rate of in warranty rotor replacement has dropped to near zero (he said that one 2002 Durango got warranty replacements at 31K).

    This might explain why I haven't heard of any rotor complaints on newer Dakotas.

  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,931
    Now at 20,000 miles my '03 Dakota Club Cab 4.7 and 545RFE has a to-date average of 16.57 mpg. The last two tanks were 13.45 and 13.59, but it has also been sub-zero temperatures here in Western New York state. This was a similar pattern last winter. The last tank includes a rather hasty trip on the expressway that would be considered non-conducive to good mileage. All through October and November the average remained above 17.2, and that included a lot of around town driving.

    One thing I noticed was an apparent increase in mpg after I replaced the factory air filter. Unfortunately the temperatures dropped precipitously soon after so that cannot be verified.

  • hennehenne Posts: 407
    Well, I traded my 02 Quad Dakota for a 04 Chevy Silverado. I hope none of you have to go through the same problems I had and I wish you all the best of luck. I will look in once in a while to say hello and see how everyone is doing.

  • Good luck! Hope your Chevy meets your expectations. Rick
  • bookittybookitty Posts: 1,303
    Robert, please don't be a stranger. We like Silverado guys as well. Here's wishing you the best with your new mount, and please continue to monitor and post. Let us know how you like the Chevy Silverado. It is a good looking truck. Give us all of the details.

  • ford_biiford_bii Posts: 120
    Your only mistake is that you should have bought a new F-150. :)

    Sorry, I'm a Ford/Dodge guy. Never did like Chevys.

    Good luck.
  • spike50spike50 Posts: 481
    Its has been interesting to note everyone's truck experiences over the last 4 years in the context of a statistics class that I just finished. The original design and construction quality of every component on the truck varies widely (more than it should it seems). And there appears to be certain trucks that get more than their share of marginal or outright junk components destined to fail prematurely, making life miserable. It's unfortunate that it happens in this day and age with all of this potential to do the right things in the beginning to produce and maintain a good product and loyal customers.

    Although 99.99% of us have never met face to face, it is a loss, nonetheless, when "one of the family" leaves under these circumstances. Good luck with your next truck and may the "good" statistics be with you.
  • dodgetrukndodgetrukn Posts: 116
    Happy St Pattys Day!! DRINK GREEN BEER !!
    Replaced original plugs at 45k confirmed after 3 tankfulls of gas, that my avg has gone up from ~16.2 to ~16.8 mpg! Even using the OEM plugs, champions..Quick job, and didnt break the clips holding the water hoses over the intact manifold. Waiting for dry warm day(s) to change the rotors, as definitely needed. Be safe tonight!!
    Ger, 2001 quad,4.7L - 3.92lsd
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,931
    My subject vehicle is a 2003 Dakota Club Cab in Bright Silver metallic. The finish is very smooth with no orange peel anywhere.

    I have used NuFinish for a number of years on a number of vehicles. Although there have been others tested that appear to shine a little better, I have liked the NuFinish liquid product for the following reasons:

    *very easy to apply
    *fairly easy to remove after haze
    *more durable and longer lasting than other products I've used

    All things do not remain the same and having seen the recent ads for Turtle Wax Ultra Platinum Series I decided to try it.

    Today was in the mid sixties here in Rochester, NY with overcast skies and sporatic drizzle. After a good wash I applied the Turtle Wax Ultra leaving the hood as my compare test (half NuFinish, half Ultra). With the exception of the hood this is the first coat of wax since last fall.

    Comparatively the Turtle Wax Ultra is creamier in consistency. NuFinish liquid is as consistent as Pepto Bismol while the Ultra is more like yogurt. The Ultra goes on noticeably easier than NuFinish, but I found that it took longer to come to a haze. The Ultra appears to go on and come off with less labor.

    My shine evaluation is subjective to my eye, but it appears that the Ultra seemed slightly better. It was most certainly not less shiny as the NuFinish. Even if it is, the application labor is less than NuFinish which has a tendency to go dry quicker. The Ultra appeared to have less friction when lightly dragging my fingers across the two finishes. One thing I noticed was the Ultra actually removed dried NuFinish from last fall around the "Dakota" and "Dodge" tape emblems on the tailgate and left no residue in its place.

    We'll have to wait to determine which lasts longer.


    NuFinish Liquid 16 ounces = $5.99
    Turtle Wax Ultra Platinum Series 16 ounces = $7.99

  • I use Meguires. Goes on easy, comes off easy. Not overly expensive. Gives a really nice finish. My truck is silver and it leaves a wet look with good "alder abrasion resistance". It did wonders for the look of my old wine colored truck that had many light scratches (from said alders while Rain Dance was applied). The burgundy wine color looked as if the paint was just sprayed on, all the time.
  • ronslakieronslakie Posts: 58
    Dusty - I used NuFinish for years but switched over to Zymoil about 3 years ago. I believe it gives a better shine and it definitely lasts longer. I do mine twice a year but find that water is still beading on the finish 6 months later. It is a little pricey at $12.99 but it was rated #1 by Consumers Report in there most recent tests.

  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,081
    Has anyone noticed that ZYMOL is the most expensive wax on the wallmart shelves? This is for very good reason. Do some research on Caranuba wax and find out for yourself.

    I tried that NU-FINISH stuff once.... the next rainstorm, it "bled" from the roof to the windshield which made night-vision impossible for months. (no chemical was able to remove the silicone residue)


    Personally, I am looking for protection... not "gloss" nor "beading". Neither of these are very good measurments of protection or longevity.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,931
    Bpeebles, are you thinking of Finish 2000? The Nu-finish doesn't run at all and it contains no silicone. It's advertised as a "ceramic coating." Nu-Finish has always been in a medium orange plastic container around here. The Finish 2000 comes green and an off-color orange. I've never used it, but it appears to be a spray on, I think.

    I just picked up some Rain-x glass wax tonight and noticed that the shelf where the Zymoil was kept was completely bare. The counter guy at AutoZone said it's the best selling wax they carry, and the most expensive, too.

    How does the Zymoil do for lasting?

  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,081
    (Dusty) I find zymol leaves a *deep* finish rather than a glossy finish. Folks that finish cars for show often use a yardstick to see how *deep* the paint is. (by looking at the reflection of the yardstick held vertically agains the paint)

    As for "lasting", I have been using zymool on my Dak for several years. The dirt just falls off when it is hosed off. I do not use *beading* as a measurement of "lasting" but it is obvious that the zymol is still there after several months.

    Interestingly, a sticker fell off my VW TDI this past winter exposing NON-zymoled paint. I found it very noticable that one area of the paint is ALWAYS more dirty than the rest of the vehicle. At first, I thought there was some sticky-residue on that area attracting the dirt but after a thorough washing to make sure, that area of the paint was dirty after the next rainstorm. My only conclusion is that the zymol on the rest of the car (applied last fall) is allowing the dirt to "shed" and not stick to the paint.

    You may draw your own conclusions...
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,931
    Last fall in an AutoZone store I saw gallon containers of HOAT antifreeze that was pre-mixed to 50-50. I was in this afternoon and they didn't have any in stock and said that was a first time purchase. They had never carried it before. The counterperson did not remember the name of it.

    Anyway, has anyone seen something like this in any auto parts stores?

    Thanks in advance,
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,931
    This is our first week or so of weather constantly above 55 degrees (F) in Western New York State. My 2003 Dakota (CC, 4.7, 545RFE, LSD 3.55) now has 23750+miles:

    * Mobil One 0W-30 motor oil
    * plugs changed at 10,000 miles
    * air filter replaced at 20,000 miles
    * no modifications from stock

    My daily drive is 6.4 miles to work with a few miles each day on the company facility. There are approximately 5-8 restarts per day.

    The last five tanks returned (in descending order) 16.68, 16.95, 17.34, 16.13, and 16.12 MPG.

    The running total since the vehicle was placed into service is 16.42 MPG.

    From 1 June through 15 October of last year, the average MPG was 17.1 (low 16.21, high 20.16).

    Best regards,
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,081
    (Dusty) Those Milage numbers are about right for an automatic xmission.

    One suggestion. Just reciently, Mobil has started to repackage its "Delvac1" oil for consumer use. Anyone that knows oil can attest that Delvac1 oil is perhaps the very best engine lubricant available today. It has seen MILLIONS of miles of use in fleet usage. With proper filtration on an engine, this oil can easilly go over 30K miles between changes.

    Now you and I can get this very same oil packaged in quart containers. It is called "Mobil 1 Truck&SUV 5w40" and is now on the shelves at Wallmart. The next time you are there, actually READ the bottle and see what I mean about this oil. It faaarrrr surpasses anything else on the wallmart shelves. (And costs the same as 'normal' Mobil1)

    Besides, that 0w oil you are using may not be desirable for your engine. ;-)
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,931
    Look at the Mobil 1 specifications:

    Mobil 1 0W-30:
    Viscosity @ 82F = 56cst
    Viscosity @ 212F = 10.3cst
    Pour point = -54F
    Viscosity Index = 175
    Flash Point = 234

    Mobil 1 5W-30:
    Viscosity @ 82F = 56cst
    Viscosity @ 212F = 10.0cst
    Pour point = -45F
    Viscosity Index = 167
    Flash Point = 224

    The 0W-30 in Mobil 1 is the better oil. With a VI of 175, its actually more stable and has a higher viscosity at higher temperatures. In actuality the 0W-30 in Mobil 1 is nothing more than their 5W-30 with a lower pour point. This increases pumpability and ensures start-up and low temperature flow better than the 5W-30. The additive package formula will also increase moisture purging better than their 5W-30.

    Unless I were to plan a summertime trip to Arizona or someplace hot, I plan on running it all year from now on.

This discussion has been closed.