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Dodge Dakota Future Models



  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926

    So far the 4.7 has proven to be bullet proof. The 3.7 hasn't been out quite as long, but should be just as reliable. I have not heard of one head gasket problem yet, and some 4.7s are over the 100K mark.

    I'm familiar with the older 2.2 Chrysler-built 4-cylinder engines and head gasket problems. But keep in mind that towards the end of that engines life head gasket failures became much less of a problem. My wife had a 2.5 Plymouth Acclaim that got to 130K on the engine with no engine repairs...ever.

    With respect to the Mitz-built engines, yeah. Those appear to be a problem.

    Best regards,
  • mopar67mopar67 Posts: 728
    6 bangers were also notorious for dropping the valve guides. Follow any Chryco minivan, Dynasty, or Acclaim and if its spewing blue smoke, it has the mitsu 6 cyl engine.
    Not to mention the dist cap wiring was a nightmare as was water pump replacement. From what I reall, the pump was driven by the timing belt of all things! Certainly not a sturdy design!
  • Empty, 17+ on hwy @ 70-80; 15+ in town. W/ 1300# cabover camper + small boat, 12-13 on flat roads @ 70mph.
  • Captjohn,

    I have an 01 quad,4X4,4.7 with 97,000 miles. I have had no problems (knock on wood)with the engine and it runs as good today as when I bought it. I have done nothing but change the plugs, oil and put gas in it. The one complaint is gas mileage, I get about 14 miles per gallon with mix city/highway driving and about 10mpg towing my 3200# boat. But with the performance of the engine it's hard not to have a heavy foot.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926

    At what mileage did you think that 4.7 was finally broken in?

    Best regards,
  • I almost bought a '05 Toyota Tacoma this afternoon (extended cab/long bed). The biggest drawback to this truck is the old style on-demand 4 wheel drive system. You have to choose bewteen locking rear diff/open diff when unlocked, or a limited slip diff. Each has its pros and cons. I'm very excited about the Dakota'a full 4 wheel system. I also like the fact that the Dak's short bed is almost 5" longer than the Taco's short bed.


    This truck will be on the streets 90% of the time/10% in the woods. I am NOT a true 4 wheeler, that is, no boulder hopping, tree stump climbing stuff. My wife and I are avid hikers and we often travel long distances on some pretty rough Forest Service roads to get to trailheads.


    The one thing that I find disturbing about the Dakota is the 7.9" ground clearance. I'm accustomed to the 8.1" ground clearance in our '97 Pathfinder SE (prior to that we had a really crummy '84 Jeep Cherokee- don't know what it's ground clearance was). I noted that some of you have actually BEEN in the F.S. so you're intimately familiar with the kinds of roads I frequent.


    Do you think that this '05 Dakota will meet my needs??? Thanks loads for your experienced opinions!
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    I think the new Dakota is a very good contender when compared to any of the less-than-full-size trucks. Considering power alone, it is even competitive with some full-size entries.


    The 7.9 inch ground clearance may be an issue for you if you think ground clearance is of vital importance. For most 4-wheel drive work that I've seen it would be fine. Then again, I am not a died-in-the-wool four-wheeler. For the average use of a 4-wheel drive I think the new Dakota will be okay, but for the more serious off-roading it will not be.


    Maybe in a few months someone will offer a lift kit for those that like all the virtues of the new design but need extra height.


    Good luck with your decision.


    Best regards,

  • spike50spike50 Posts: 481
    After 4 yrs, I'm still waiting for Energy Suspension to offer alternatives for those "squeakers" Mopar used on the sway bar and rear leaf springs. I guess it's a volume thing so don't hold your breath on many lift kit offerings.
  • Has anybody bought a new 05 Dakota yet? I've only seen one on the road (2wd ext cab) and there doesn't seemed to be much action on this board. Looks like all the action is on the frontier and tacoma boards.
  • spike50spike50 Posts: 481
    We're all current owners of '00-'04 models. Back in "The Old Days" ('99-'03), we were breaking new frontiers and figuring out everything about the new design (4 door body, the IFS front suspension, etc.). Just look at all of the forums that we filled up back then and are now archived. Now we all have what we want and most have between 40K-70K of mostly good experiences. Some moved up to Rams or off into other brands but most come back to the forums to contribute. This was the most civil (to one another) forum I've ever participated in.


    I don't know where the newbies hang out but we're just old fuddy-duddies around here.
  • ford_biiford_bii Posts: 120
    Are you sure you actually SAW the 05 Dakota on the road?


    If you did, the reason why there isn't much talk about it should be clear. Its UGLY.


    A shame, really. I absolutely love my 2001 QC, and Dodge has given me a really good reason to keep it for a LONG time.
  • I agree! I keep hoping that I will wake up one morning and like the looks of the 05 but it hasn't happend yet.


    I too have a 2001 QC 4X4 with 99,000 miles on it. I have had litte trouble with it but I am ready to get something else. Unfortunately the 05 dakota will not be on my list.
  • Yes. I have bought a new '05, Quad, 6cyl. Traded in an '01.


    Lot of 'little' changes. So far, I have found them all for the better. I've had it for nearly a month.


    Indeed, it is a bolder look. Mine is black ('01 was black). I would rather have had the manual (6 spd. on the '05) as was my '01, but they had not begun delivery of the manuals.


    Not a whit wrong with the '01. Just one of those spur of the moment things.


    This is the freshest off the assembly line vehicle I have ever bought.


    I like it. Smoother, quieter, tighter.


    Inside is perhaps a bit more 'plain', but also a bit more thought out. But then, I like plain.
  • spike50spike50 Posts: 481
    I did read a little about them ('05) and there were suppose to be certain advantageous improvements, although I can't exactly what they were.


    I dread buying a new truck ('00 QC 4x4), so I hope mine lasts for as long as I need it. I'm so screwy about making changes that I usually buy two of everything (wristwatches, radios, boots, TV remotes, backpacking headlamps, etc. - small stuff that wears out) so I don't have to go back out in the market and buy something different that I know I won't like. I takes me a lot of time and studying all of the angles before I spend real money. I also redesign stuff to make it the way I want it. For example, I just redesigned a store-bought shoulder holster (snub .38) and my mother re-sewed it up for me.


    I don't know what the syndrome is but I got it.
  • saabgirlsaabgirl Posts: 184
    Now that you mention it, I haven't seen an '05 Dakota on the road. And the dealer lots don't have enough selection to put me in a buying mood,yet. I crawled all over every compact pickup at the Connecticut auto show last month and thought the '05 Dakota, especially the crew cab, was the pick of the litter. Yeah, it's a little "high style."
  • Got a noticably cool reception, especially after leaving the popular Tacoma area, with 20" mags on it. I almost felt sorry for it. One older couple, that own a current one, seemed to like it.



       Wonder if 'Yota can handle the extra business Dodge is tossing it?



  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    I have seen a few on the road so far. Of course around here Dodge inventory seems to move into this zone a little more slowly than other parts of the country.


    I noticed on Friday that my dealer finally has some semblance of a stock. I counted nine. There are no '04s left on his lot. One '05 I see almost every day. It's a white 4x2 with the V8. I noticed that Dodge is putting on a fairly bold "V8 Magnum" emblem on the tailgate.


    Yeah, the front-end of the Dakota doesn't warm me or hasn't so far. Maybe after time. I'd still have a problem buying a truck without a full set of gauges. That, I think, bothers me even more.


    An acquaintance bought one that I have yet to see, but he says it's the best handling and quietest truck he's ever been in.


    Snowy, cold and windy here in Rochester, New York today.



  • saabgirlsaabgirl Posts: 184
    >>Wonder if 'Yota can handle the extra business Dodge is tossing it?<<


    Interesting Q. Personally, I think the '05 Tacoma is also a tad "high style." The Tacoma teevee ads I'm seeing are clearly aimed at a younger market. But they also reinforce the "tough truck" brand. Lot of good choices out there in the compact PU market segment. A price competition has to break out in the Spring, I think, I hope.


    >>Snowy, cold and windy here in Rochester, New York today.<<


    You're not planning on sending your weather North East, I hope;-)
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    >>>You're not planning on sending your weather North East, I hope;-) <<<


       Saabgirl, well, we have to send it someplace! Bests, Dusty
  • eharri3eharri3 Posts: 645
    After all this time of seeing them on the lots, I saw my first one on the road just a few days ago. IT's wierd... most newly redesigned vehicles, as soon as they're available to the public you'll usually start seeing them out on the road driven by those with the 'first on the block to have one' syndrome. Not this one. I have seen NONE on the road in Philadelphia or the surrounding area until this first one headed North on I-95 earlier this week, even though they've been available at least 2-3 months by now. Wish I could have gotten a better view as this was the first one I saw in motion. But I'm getting the impression there may start to be some hefty incentives on this one before too long. It's too bad, had I waited another year and had a tolerance for the goofy styling and the un-macho 4x4 stance I could probably have gotten a decent deal considering the seemingly slow initial sales.


    04 Quad V8 Sport Plus

    4x4, 4.7, 5speed auto.
  • I had considered going back to a Dakota. I had a 2000 Quad and replaced it with a 2003 Ram Quad.


    I'm considering replacing the Ram because I want side curtain air bags and a few additional options that were not available when I bought the 2003. I am also getting disenchanted with the Hemis poor gas mileage so that I would consider a smaller motor.


    I have priced out a 2005 Dakota Quad and a 2005 Ram Quad. I have found that a comparably equipped Dakota would cost me more to buy than the Ram. The Dakota rebates are nowhere as good as those offered on the Rams.


    I got a mailing from Dodge that offered an additional $2000 off any new Dakota or Durango if I was a current Dakota/Durango owner but that is no longer the case.


    Like others I haven't warmed to the new look either. I thought the 2000-4 Dakota to be a much more attractive package. I have yet to see anyone driving a new one here in Omaha, even the salesmen drive the Rams for demos. I suspect the $2000 offer for current owners may be extended to the general populace just to start moving them off the lots.


    The only real thing the new Dakota has going for it is the option of heated cloth or leather seats. It was -3 degrees here the other morning and that sure would have been a nice option to have. Merry Christmas to all the Mopar community (ever those lurkers who have strayed from the pack) Rick
  • saabgirlsaabgirl Posts: 184
    >>I suspect the $2000 offer for current owners may be extended to the general populace just to start moving them off the lots.<<


    Here in Connecticut, I've noticed that the advertised prices are getting attractive. This morning a local Dodge dealer has an ad in the paper offering to sell new '05s at invoice (I forget whether further rebates were included) and will make a $250 donation to a local charity. Problem is that the selection is limited. I'm betting that when Dodge, Toyota, Chev/GMC and Nissan get more new product on the lots that your suspicion will come true. Yes, heated seats are nice below zero. (That plus a bottle of peppermint schnaps under the seat.)
  • I agree that the body styling of the 05 Dakota is fugly. Even worse is the Durango. It looks like a school bus or mini-van on steroids. However I also think the 05 Taco and the Chevy/GMC Colorado/Canyon are no better. Also not impressed with pictures of the upcoming Frontier. While on the subject what in the world is taking Ford so long with the Ranger? My own two cents is that Trucks and especially SUV's are so popular with consumers and so profitable for the manufacturers that not a lot of thought and R & D really needs to be devoted to styling. Just put a fender flare here and a bulge there and we're done! All Ford did with the new F-150 was shrink the body styling of the F-250, and not successfully in my opinion. And I hate to say this but the latest Ram looks like a cartoon character. But you know, how many ways can you style a square cab on top of a rectangular body and bed? I think Chevy took the right approach with the Silverado. Over time the conservative styling has aged well as has the earlier Ram and Dakota. All of the above is my opinion. I understand that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.


  • tcsmpsitcsmpsi Posts: 31
    I know that the front end on the '05 Dak puts some folks off. The protruding front bumper, most notably. However, it is function oriented more than cosmetic. It's design is to, most especially as it is directly frame related with two rather massive octagon members. The front bumper set up would take a great deal of shock and trauma before allowing damage to more intricate equipment.

    The rear bumper is also much better equipped to withstand collision.

    The entire frame and supension has been re-evaluated and upgraded. Even the window glass is thicker to help with road noise (which doesn't mean much to me as I am not comfortable not hearing the sounds outside and always have the window open a bit). Since I am a bit long-bodied, I am pleased with the extra headroom inside.


    Though the body lines may be a bit 'bold' for some, the structural integrity it adds to the sheet metal is notable.


    Now, I suppose many of the more 'add-on' changes might not appeal to some. I like the plain truck, no power windows and the minimal package with 2WD. Generally, I leave my rock climbing, etc to my personal physical enjoyment, and have taken 2WD vehicles many places where 4WDs would 'disagree'. :)


    So far, relative mixed driving has produced +/-20 mpg, with the 4spd auto transmission and 6 cyl.


    Got about 1500 miles on it presently, and becoming more acquainted with it, has brought me only to appreciate it more.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    The new RAM didn't turn me on and the new Dakota even less so. That being said I would not shun owning either one based on that single lack of merit alone. What bothers me more about the Dakota is the lack of a complete set of gauges.


    I guess I'm just getting old but none of the new truck designs appeal much to my eye. Currently, the Tundra is probably the most pleasing to me, followed by the GMC version. The new F150, Titan, and the Chevy have made the RAM my third choice.


    When it comes to exterior looks alone the '97-'04 Dakotas were the best in my opinion, the '01-'04s inside as well.



  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    I work with a fellow who really loves his '05 Dakota, says its the best handling and riding truck and super quiet. His gas mileage matches yours as well.


    Good luck with yours.


    Best regards,

  • roper2roper2 Posts: 61
    I was at the dealer 3 week's ago . While I was waiting I looked at the 05 Dakota Didn't look very good then but got off work the other day and there was a white one parked out front.Sitting along with other cars it had a better persepctive.I looked at it again and liked it a lot better.
  • I find it interesting how the color of a particular model can sometimes make the truck or car look better. I generally find the Titan styling too over the top. However I saw an all black one today that was a little more pleasing to my eye.


    I also agree that age probably is a factor in the new "bolder styling". The new "bolder" looks are generally more appealing to younger people who are a prime target demographic buyer. My opinion has always been that the styling of any automobile that I buy should appeal to my taste in its base form, without all the plastic and chrome add ons. In that sense the last generation Dakota and the current Silverado are tops. When you fully trick out the Ram and the 4 X 4 F-150, they are obviously much more pleasing to the eye. But it's also obviously much harder on the pocket book.


    I consider both form and function when buying a vehicle. The last generation Dakota was the best fit for my bill. I don't think the current model blended form and function nearly as well as the last. I agree that function is most important in a truck. But I do not agree that that to take a step forward in function requires a step backward in form.


    Does anyone know whether any of the manufactures seek consumer opinion on new design changes or is it all left up to the in-house design team?
  • saabgirlsaabgirl Posts: 184
    >>Does anyone know whether any of the manufacturers seek consumer opinion on new design changes or is it all left up to the in-house design team?<<


    All manufacturers do focus groups. Curb appeal is too big a deal to leave entirely to any one roomful of people. The target market will be the one most widely represented in the focus group.


    But manufacturers are also keenly interested in branding. They want their products to be instantly recognizable as one of the family. So the Dakota had to look like the little brother of the Ram. To my eye, the Ram is kind of a cartoon truck, so it's not surprising that the Dakota inherits some of that.


    For something similar see the Tacoma/Tundra, Frontier/Titan or Colorado/Canyon/Silverado.


    I don't have a strong aversion to the appearance of the 2005 model, though I might slightly prefer the less "high style" look of its predecessor. Still haven't seen one on the road here in central Connecticut. Did see half a dozen Tacomas. (Or maybe the same three twice each.)
  • 99srt99srt Posts: 1
    Does anyone have any info as to wether or nor the old regular cab will ever come back into production. Or is it a thing of the past. The way it looks now, I'm just going to have my 5.2L V8 5spd rebuilt when the time comes and keep on truck'n.
This discussion has been closed.