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Dodge Dakota - Quad Cab



  • lotech1lotech1 Posts: 112
    Thanks Dusty. I wouldn't be surprised about their honesty/ignorance. The salesman didn't have a good working knowledge of the options available. I really checked the options closely. The burnout scene I witnessed (explained in earlier post 4448) really made me nervous. If the price hadn't been great I would have walked. I did get good reviews of their service department from friends who have dealt with them.

    When you say "Magnum" form what are you referring to? Did they change the camshaft in hopes of improving torque, gas mileage, etc.? That 6 really lopes at idle but it doesn't run too rough.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,931
    The 3.9 V6 is actually based on the 318LA block, just with two cylinders removed. The 318LA engine was introduced in 1967. Somewhere in the '90s, Chrysler made significant changes to the block and head geometry by changing the lifter cylinder angle, which required a commensurate change to the push-rod angle. So, non-magnum heads will not work on a "magnum" motor, and vice-versa. This was mostly the result of going to a roller-lifter camshaft.

  • lotech1lotech1 Posts: 112
    Are there any websites showing the 3.9 parts breakdown? I would like to see that valve train setup.

  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,931
    I'll try to answer some of your questions that you posted on the other board:

    >>I had a Dodge van with a 318 in it and can't help but notice how mopar engines seem to run rougher than other motors.<<

    Well, this may actually be the case, I don't know. But, in my experience not all GMs ran that smoothly, either. My 4.7 is very smooth. Not as smooth as my Nissan or our Toyota, but pretty close.

    >>On the 3.9 you can't manipulate the throttle to get it to stay at 1,000 rpm (with trans in Park).<<

    Yeah, I think you'll notice that on a lot of different vehicles. The engine computer knows when the throttlebody isn't on the idle stop. It's probably the result of being in open loop so close to the closed loop idle speed.

    >>Seems to like either 600 or 1,500rpm but doesn't like to maintain rpms in between.<<

    Hmmm. There may be something wrong with this particular 3.9. That doesn't sound right. I've driven 3.9s and don't remember them acting that way.

    >>Sure wish the 4 speed auto tranny shifted as well as the electronic 4 speed auto in my Buick.<<

    I haven't driven much (many) of the newer 3.9 automatics, but they have a "learn" feature which adjusts for your type of driving. It might take a while for this to occur (a number of miles) depending on how you drive.

    >>What's Chryslers idea behind no coolant recovery system?<<

    According to my Dakota service manual, you have the same coolant recovery tank as I do on my 4.7. When standing in front of the engine bay, with the hood opened, the coolant recovery tank is the right side portion (left side of vehicle) of the washer fluid tank.

    >>Curious as to why the 3.9 is only rated at 175hp when my Buick 3800 is rated at 200hp? What did Chrysler leave out of this motor?<<

    Nothing. Keep in mind that the 3.9 is not a car motor, but only used in truck or van platforms. Look at the torque ratings of both engines and the rpm of the rated HP. The cast iron 3.9 will most likely have a completely different torque/horsepower curve because of the type of vehicle its used in (truck vs. car). It is typical of truck engines to develop more torque or torque sooner in the rpm range. This is usually the exact opposite of car motors.

    Best regards,
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,931
    I'm not aware of any pictures on the web.

  • lotech1lotech1 Posts: 112
    The 600 - 1500 rpm fluctuation is when the transmission is in park. As I recall I experienced that before the engine had time to warm up. I've have since tried that partial throttle open position condition with the motor warm and it's rock solid with no change in rpm. As a matter of fact, it's not doing it now when cold either. I need to remind myself that this truck is new and will require more time for things to settle in before I question stuff like this.

    The "Learn" feature is also on my Buick. That probably explains that situation. I have to re-learn my Buick transmission after the wife has driven it around town :-)

    I found the coolant recovery tank. Thanks for pointing it out as well as the other information in your message.

    Didn't realize the 3.9 is strictly a truck/van motor.

    Sorry to have stirred things up. Wasn't intending on doing that. Thanks again.
  • 3rdtime3rdtime Posts: 7
    Happy to see you have a sense of humor. Now if my new Quad would just get here!
  • lotech1lotech1 Posts: 112
    I'm wondering if I should have waited a little longer. With the new 04's coming out, along with the new competition from GM, Daimler will need to offer some excellent rebates to move all the 03's. I counted 24 2003 units on my dealers lot. Several have been there over 6 months. Mine was there since last fall! One dealer near me still has some 02's sitting on the lot. Don't believe they qualify for the $3K rebate though. Price is around $20K for a SLT 4x4. If I read the fine print correctly, the 3yr/36k warranty wouldn't actually start until the vehicle is "put in service". Still wouldn't have tempted me enough to walk away from the $18K I paid for my SXT Quad.

    Word from my GM employee friend is that car/truck sales are off 10% due to all the people who have previously taken advantage of the rebates/incentives.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,931
    You stirred things up?? I don't think so. Seemed like rational questions to me.

    Around here (Rochester, NY area) the Ford dealers are the ones that have lots of '03 inventory. My local Dodge dealer did have one '02 stripper Dakota for sale up to mid-April, I think. But RAMs around here seem to be moving okay. By March they had moved all of their '02 RAM stock.

    Good luck with your new Dakota Quad.

    Best regards,
  • tb11tb11 Posts: 8
    Hi all :)
    Im thinking of getting a 03 quad, here is the setup.
    2wd, 4.7l V8, 5sp auto, leather, cd, power driver seat, anti-spin axle, infinity speaker system, pwr convience group, pwr overhead group, rear window defroster, bodyside molding, deluxe convience group. Price is $21,996. Ive looked all around my area and this is the best price ive seen. sound good to you guys? I really want to get a truck now, I wish I knew what the 04's looked like. Should I wait or buy now?
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,081
    What ratio on the rear axle are you looking at?
  • tb11tb11 Posts: 8
    Its the standard axle gear. Im still looking around but so far Im learing towards this one.
  • lotech1lotech1 Posts: 112
    1300 miles on the odometer and I've got two irritating noises from inside the cab.

    1. Dash rattle when motor idles in gear.
    2. Growling sound coming from the steering column. Sounds like power steering pump noise traveling up the column.

    Time to test the service departments capabilities. Anyone else experience this?
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,931
    No, neither one here. In fact, mine is one of the best assembled vehicles I've owned.

    I do have a slight whistling sound that appears to be coming from the driver's defroster outlet when I have the passenger window opened just a crack. But not one rattle or discrepant noise otherwise.

    Good luck with the new truck.

  • lotech1lotech1 Posts: 112
    Dash rattle ended up being the sun shade rattling against the plastic piece where it snaps into place. My wife is always undoing the shade and not putting it back in place. She does the same thing to our Buick. Didn't have to take it into the dealer after all.

    Steering column growl has stopped and haven't heard it again. Didn't contact the dealer on this either.

    My Quad is at 1,500 miles now. Will take it in for the first oil change as recommended by the dealer. Engine is settling down nicely and is running very smooth. 4 speed auto tranny has learned my driving habits and is very smooth. I fooled it by backing off of the gas when it was expecting more. Stayed in second gear longer because of this but realized what I was up to and shifted :-) Seems to be pretty intelligent (LOL)City mpg is around 17 to 18 with one tank at 16 due to the breakin full throttle routine. Applied the first application of Zaino show car polish. If you aren't using Zaino better read the maintenance discussion boards here at Edmunds. Have not found anything that compares to it.
  • fvpfvp Posts: 147
    I am talking with a local dealer [Western PA] that is selling a used '03 Dakota [4 door] SLT+ with 18,500 miles. It has a 3.55 rear end and the 5.9 engine. The dealer wants $20K for it.
    The truck is in good shape and my only concern is the 5.9 engine - I would much prefer the 4.7.
    Any comments on the 5.9? I don't see this engine in the Dakota much and I am concerned about it's gas mileage because of older technology. Any other issues to look for in a used '02 or '03 Dakota?
    Thanks in advance for your comments.
  • ferousferous Posts: 226
    Old vs. new, gas $ vs. economy, lotsa power vs nice power.

    You should find the 4.7 does it all, but the 5.9 will give you extra (overkill?)
  • fvpfvp Posts: 147
    Since I don't tow anything, the 4.7 suits my needs fine. Too bad it has the 5.9. I think I'm going to pass on it.
  • iowabigguyiowabigguy Posts: 552
    The price seems a little high. Ought to be able to buy a new one for that price if it is not a 4x4. A SLT+ Quad optioned out nice with a 4.7 and auto trans 2wd would be about $25K, rebate and discount should pull at least $5K off that. 4x4 would add another $2.5K or so back on. My dealers floor manager told me he was taught the rule of thumb that when you drive the new vehicle off the lot you have lost 1/3 of the MSRP in the value of the truck. Most dealers try to keep the trade in value $4K or so below what they expect they can sell the truck for on their used car lot. Rick
  • tb11tb11 Posts: 8
    What is the difference between the standard 3.55 and the 3.92 Axle Ratio. I dont know much about vehicles and the truck Im looking at has this axle.

    thx :)
This discussion has been closed.