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Dodge Dakota - Quad Cab



  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    Pertaining to your followup questions...

    My 2000 Dak has the REAL Shift-on-the-fly lever that is connected directly to the xfer case. I beleive that starting in 2001, the xfer case was changed to some dash-mounted, electronic gizmo.

    The factory foglights were a disapointment to me. They are cheap, plastic lenzes that dont even TRY to focus like a foglamp should. They do not even have a TOP and a BOTTOM... the light splays EVERYWHERE with no sembalance to being 'focused' down underneath the fog/snow. They are very poor quality. They can ONLY be on with the low beams.

    If I were to order again, I would consider somting aftermarket that would be FARR superiour... and I could turn on when I want them on.

    Driving at night in a snowstorm, where the headlights are useless.... using JUST quality-focused, yellow foglights will allow one to see 30 yards... (Fog is not a big issue in Vermont.)

    Gee... when we go night-catfishin.... we PURPOSLY have a coleman lantern on the beach... to draw in the catfish. (Bullpout)
  • ferousferous Posts: 226
    Don't rule out the Century cap. I have had mine for 3 years on my QC and just love the quality, looks and options. I have the flip down coat rod, and for $10 I ordered a camper ceiling light and 12 volt jack from JC Whittney. I have even rigged up an electric heater for the off season camping when just my son and I go camping and we stay in the back. This spring I'm adding Yakama roof racks to the cap. I ordered mine 3 years ago, but back then the Century cap was almost $200 less than the ARE was.
  • brianbmbrianbm Posts: 55
    Ferous .... well, whoever you are, hi. No cap is ruled out, but I've been told that the Leer caps haven't done well on the Burma Road to Moriches Inlet. Too much frame twisting. bpeebles, striped bass and weakfish are light sensitive. A steady light is o.k., but if you cast a moving shadow on the water, they're gone. Striper congnoscenti avoid lights. Lepore, the wife is a big Toyota fan, and I am going to look at a 4runner tomorrow. I think I just missed a Dodge cashback (drat) that would've made for a more convincing price argument. Neither was I aware that a remake of the Tacoma is in Toyota's pipeline. Are the current Tacomas on the same frame as the current 4runners? Aside from price, there's a mileage difference, enough to matter, between the 4runner and the Dakota. (The Edmunds's description of the Dakota as "thirsty as a frat brother" may not be fair, but it's a funny line.) There isn't anything on the market that surpasses the 17/20 claimed for the v6 4runner, not in 4x4 .... may come down to mileage vs. space. The current 4runner seems about the same size as my 93 Explorer, and I could do with a bit more elbow room. The Dakota, now that's enough truck, but (geez) gas is reaching $2/gallon. What are you guys with 4x4 QCs and 2002 or 2003 vehicles getting in terms of real mileage? I see some talk, the last few pages, of specific synthetic oils. I keep synthetic oil in the Explorer, but do so for engine wear; I wasn't aware that it might also add to mileage. Does it?
  • ferousferous Posts: 226
    After 3 years and 57K miles, by 2000 4.7 5spd Man 3.55LSD 2wd has a life average of 22.1 MPG. My best tank was 24.9 and my worst was 15.6 MPG. It would only be fair to mention that this is not average. I use to drive 43 miles one way to work on quite 2 lane roads. Since I was forced to switch jobs, I can't come close to my highs any more.
  • sunburnsunburn Posts: 319
    After 19K miles by a 2002, 4.7, auto, 4x4, 3.92 LSD my "mixed" driving average has been 13.6 MPG. The best has been 14.3, and the worst has been 12.3 (during near-zero temps). My definition of "mixed" driving is 5-20 mile trips over highway, suburban, and rural roads. My "highway" mileage has averaged around 15.6 MPG @ 70-75 MPH, with the best being 17.0 @55-60 MPH. Far short of the 18 MPG the truck is rated at by the EPA. The 2003 5-speed auto (545RFE) is rated 1 MPG higher than the earlier 4-speed auto (45RFE).
  • brianbmbrianbm Posts: 55
    never seem to have much to do with the real world, do they? You never even get close. Well, if my Explorer explodes tomorrow, I'll get either a 4runner or a Dakota QC. The one is pricy and offers less space then I'd like; the second is a bit of a pig - for the difference in size and weight between the Dakota and the Ram, it really ought to be more then 1-2 MPG better then the Ram - and looks crude to the point of primitive when compared to the interior of the 4runner. Rear seat foot room is merely the best of a bad lot, in the smaller trucks. I think I will wait for a bit. The Canyon/Colorado may be an improvement. (If the Dakota remake either improves mileage or rear footroom, I'd probably be content.) The next Tacoma, on the 4runner chassis, may be a useful improvement; the current one is painfully small, however good a machine.
  • sunburnsunburn Posts: 319
    Well, here's been my experience with EPA mileage numbers:

         Vehicle EPA Hwy MPG My Hwy MPG
    1988 Mazda 323 GT 28 30-32
    1990 Toyota 4x4 PU 21 22-23
    1994 Subaru Legacy AWD 27 27-28
    2002 Dakota QC 4x4 18 15-16

    With the exception of the Dakota, every vehicle I have owned has meet or exceeded it's EPA hwy MPG number. When they first came out, the EPA numbers were way over estimated. But, after enough complaints, the EPA revised the test to make it more realistic. This happened in the mid to late 80s (I think). Based on my experiences, the Dakota is a bit disappointing. My neighbor claims that his Toyota Sequoia, with 4.7L, has yet to break 16 MPG on the hwy. Maybe it's just par for the course.

    As far as the next gen Taco is concerned, it probably won't share the 4Runner chassis. I remember reading that the new 4Runner chassis was developed exclusively for the 4Runner. I would, however, expect the Taco to be larger in its next incarnation. My complaint also was that it was too small.

    The new Tundra 4-door looks nice. How about that? It's not much bigger than the Dak, but is bigger on the inside and has a 6'-3" bed.
  • zonkzonk Posts: 208
    Guess I'll throw my two cents in on this. I have a 2001 QC Sport, 4.7L, auto, 3.55 with 17,500 miles on it. Gas mileage in town 13.5-15.5 mpg, mostly in the 14's, about equal numbers of 13.5's and 15.5's. Highway is 19+ mpg. Wish the mileage was more consistently in the 15 range in town. Love the looks and power, comfortable and enjoyable to drive. No problems so far, although my brakes do squeak and here lately have noticed a thunk (only sometimes) when it shifts into second, while driving at parking lot speeds. Only disappointing thing is a foot and a half scratch someone did to the rt rear door. I guess you can't keep anything nice these days. Best thing is my 7 year old grandson loves riding in it with me. Overall, very happy with it.
  • kjcdr1kjcdr1 Posts: 26
    regarding my (Ken) 2 year update. Sorry for the long delay as I am not a frequent visitor to this site--or any site. No walking to work and no driving there either -- now in full time retirement. Most of my trips in the Quad are fairly short which does reduce the gas milege--especially with the auto transmission.

      The mileage on the odometer stays low because I am an old Navy flyer. Taught my wife how to fly many years ago and most trips over 100 miles we do by air. It's safer.

      During the summer I do more frequent 50 mile one-way trips to get to the areas where I hunt woodchucks. That probably helps get the MPG average above the 15 level.

      The software change, update or whatever the dealer did at the 12K maintenance to get rid of the occasional transmission clunk has had a positive effect on the operation. There had also been some slight hesitation on the first start in the morning. This is also gone.

      Best regards to all. Ken
  • tmatthewtmatthew Posts: 26
    2001 4x4 quad, 4.7, auto, lsd, 3.55. Have 40,043 miles. average 15 - 17 MPG with mixed rural and in town. I get the 17 when I drive like an old geezer, 15 when I lean into it a little. Two problems so far. Lost a battery at about 28K. Dealer replaced it for free. It is a crapp one but free is free. Just after my factory warranty ran out last month my stereo stopped working.I had the cassete model. Dealer stated it was shot and needed replacement. Of course my expensive extended warrenty won't cover it. I wont due that again. So I had a nice Kenwood CD player installed, About $200. It is 180 watts and the stock infinity speakers handle it well. No other problems.....I have kept up on the owners manual maintenance......Lets hope she holds together for another 40K.
  • bookittybookitty Posts: 1,303
    Bruce, interesting article, thank you for the link to the Post. Even more interesting is that the inventor of this engine, Rudolph Diesel committed suicide by jumping off of an ocean liner. He considered himself as well as the engine; a failure. Initially, he experimented with coal dust prior to trying coal oil (kerosene).

  • kevino40kevino40 Posts: 2
    I have a 2000 dakota that makes a clunking noise when i make a tight turn, told dealer they greased the bushings helped for a short while but returned, truck also sounds like one of those ( covered wagons ) that you see in the westerns maybe bad shocks need some suggestions
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    (kevino40) If you still have the original shock absorbers... they are shot. I installed Edelbrock IAS performer shocks on my 2000 Dak and it is SIGNIFICANTLY better. (ride, cornering and stopping.)

    As for the other issues you have, the upper balljoints are a known weak spot on the 2000 dak. One of mine got pretty squeeky and I replaced with a GREASABLE "Moog" balljoint.

    I am sure you are aware that the front antisway bare bushings are known to squeek.

    Be aware the the front brake rotors may need attention soon too. Mine rusted terribly after 2 Vermont winters (roadsalt) I installed some powerslot rotors and the braking is much better.
  • Has anyone besides Click & Clack commented on the fact that the mirrors on the 2000 Dakota are just too big? I have a 2WD QC SLT with the remote heated mirrors, and while they don't give me too much trouble (I'm 6'1") my wife refuses to drive the truck since so much of her critical viewing area is obscured by the mirrors. I know they down-sized the mirrors in 2001 and I'm wondering if I can replace the mirrors with either Mopar or after market. I don't need to keep the heat function but power would be useful still.

    Any thoughts??
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    If they didn't change the mounting base pattern from the 2000 vintage, the newer style would probably fit right on. Hopefully, the electrical wiring would be the same.

    By the way, after this icy winter the heated side mirrors was the one thing I'd wish I had on my Dakota.

  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    (time2little) The 2000 Dak was available with at least 3 different mirror styles. You must have orderd the unfamous "elephant ear" mirrors.

    Personally, I orderd the standard mirrors. Although I felt they were too small at first, I have learned to back up with them just the same.
    (I have a cap on my tuck and cannot see behind me any other way)
  • bookittybookitty Posts: 1,303
    I ordered and enjoy the larger (6X9) powered mirrors. I would have opted for the heated version, except that I wanted the sliding rear window. The slider was not available in 2000 in the heated mode, and the heated (fixed) rear window was required in order to have heated mirrors. I wanted it all, but took what I could get (matter of priority). As we are building a home in FL, selling our PA home and spending the warm months at our NJ beach house and the winter in FL, the heated mirror issue has solved itself. I really like the larger mirrors, as I am used to using only the outside mirrors, and they come in quite handy when towing the 5X8 HD utility trailer.

  • ferousferous Posts: 226
    The 6x9 mirrors are worth every bit of extra $60 for the option. I ordered them with the tow package option because I often pull a utility trailer or my pop-up camper. I am now upgrading from the pop-camper to a 21' travel trailer, and I'm glad I have the bigger mirrors.
  • traumagastraumagas Posts: 64
    hello all
      Has anyone seen a quad cab pulling a 5th wheel trailer ? I want a 5th wheel trailer utility, I know I can get a box type utility but like the look of the 5th and the ride and pulling characteristics of
    the 5th wheel. Also I know the towing cap of my 4x4 4.7 3.92 rear end quad. I know those ratings are rated for stopping. Would you guys think a trailer with elect 4 wheel disc brakes would allow little more towing capacity? The truck has the HD tow pkg
     Whats your take on this ?
                      Thanks Jon
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