Dakota Axle Ratios---Help!!!

dbarkydbarky Member Posts: 9
edited March 2014 in Dodge
I am trying to order a 2000 4x4 Club Cab Dakota
with a 4.7,5speed, and 3.55 axle. There is a
restriction now on this setup. They are telling me
I have to get a 3.92. How bad will this hurt my
mileage? Or will the overdrive in the 5speed be
okay with a 3.92? Should I just give in and buy the
automatic? They said this restriction may not be
lifted. I was a little scared of the automatic
after reading about some of the problems with them.
Then again, I heard there wasn't a problem with
the 4.7 and this automatic. I need some advice



  • andy_jordanandy_jordan Member Posts: 764
    3.92 won't hurt mileage much. Put the 31x10.5 tires on and you are near enough back to 3.55 anyway.

    Can't think of any problems with 3.92 and a 5 speed - its what I have, and you should see my grin.

    Automatic is out of the Grand Cherokee as well as the 4.7. Have a look in the SUV conference - looks like everyone loves the engine but still transmission problems.
  • jwm2jwm2 Member Posts: 43
    I'm getting an average of 16 mpg. right now with a little over 1000 miles. That's city/highway driving so far. I would go that route again as opposed to going with an automatic. I think the 5sp goes so much better with the Dakota setup. It will put a smile on your face just like ole Andy :)
  • andy_jordanandy_jordan Member Posts: 764
    Not so much of the old!!!
  • dbarkydbarky Member Posts: 9
    Did you find your truck or order it? Are you worried about resale value with a manual? I am curious what options you have and what you paid. I am excited about ordering this truck but a little worried also. Better mileage with the 3.55 versus an automatic that may have problems!

  • dbarkydbarky Member Posts: 9
    Sounds like you may have the truck I want to order. Why did you decide on the 5 speed? Did you order yours? Do you pull things or use it mostly for trans of yourself? I am just trying to be informed before I go spend a lot of money. I have to say I was impressed with the 4.7 power. I was thinking of a Tacoma before I drove this truck. What a huge difference there is!

    Thanks for any advice..........
  • jwm2jwm2 Member Posts: 43
    dbarky. I had to order this truck. You can't find one on a lot configured the way mine or Andy's is.
    I personlly enjoy shifting a machine that has a little power to it. I simply can't help it if everyone else wants to just sit in it and take a ride. It's just not the same thing. If I could go back one more here. I don't understand completely why someone would like to just sit in a vehicle that has all this potential to really scream and put an automatic behind it?! Now I do relize that they do make automatics today that can contest the best power shifting person. But you just can't beat the thrill of how the 5sp can run.
    I also relize the resale of this truck most likely won't go as fast as one with the auto. But there again so what! I just would not be happy with a truck like this myself and a auto.
    I am getting a little used to that concept though. Years ago I ordered a corvette. Ha the dealer looked at me strangely when I told him I wanted a 4sp. with it. He said I was the first one in 3 yrs. to order one like that. But you see in my line of thinking if it's a machine that is going to really run don't handicap it with an automatic. No offense meant to anyone that has one with an auto. It's just where I come from and what I personally enjoy about driving.
    Good luck in your decision making process.
  • andy_jordanandy_jordan Member Posts: 764
    I went with manual for a number of reasons. Firstly I have always driven them, am confident in my ability to shift more efficiently than an auto and want the maximum contol over all those horses.

    Secondly I live in rural Ontario, where the weather isn't exactly known for its pleasantness 5 months of the year. In addition I dog sled and so I drive in some pretty inhospitable areas. They haven't made an auto yet that gives as much control in foul weather as a stick.

    Definitely had to order, I actually bought before 2000s were officially released in Canada so dealer did a search in Ontario & Quebec to try and find a 99 that matched my spec - no standards.

    I use my truck for daily driving, carrying dogs, sleds, quads and snowmobiles and towing a 23' boat (around 4,000#). Periodically pull overconfident drivers out of ditches in bad weather too. Incidentally on this subject, first bad storm last week, almost didn't throw a chain in the back. Good job I did, F150 4x2 managed to put its back end in a ditch and ground the differential. Scary part - it had a plough on the front, really scary part - it belonged to the town!!

    Resale doesn't bother me too much, especially here where standards aren't that uncommon. Sure the price will be lower than an auto, but so was the cost - and mean time I drive what I want.

    I notice you mentioned Tacoma, not sure which is a better comparison for Dakota, Tacoma or Tundra, and I don't want to start a debate on it. BUT, anyone reading this considering buying a Tacoma - the star rating for side impact just came out for the 2000 Tacoma - one star. Think about it! Tundra figures not due yet, and no more tests planned for Dakota because nothing has fundamentally changed.
  • dbarkydbarky Member Posts: 9
    You and I have the same dilemma. I too am worried about an automatic versus 3.55. I want a manual because I like shifting also. Plus you have more control as stated and it costs less. I thought about resale value but not too much. So I still haven't ordered anything yet. And ordering is the only way you will find this setup. I just wish someone could tell me exactly what my mileage would be with a 3.92. I heard as bad as 12-13 mpg. If that is the case, I will go automatic. But I am not sure if that is the case. Still need help!!
  • dbarkydbarky Member Posts: 9
    Thanks for the info. I sure need help with this decision. Just when I think I know what I want, I read something that changes my mind. Like I said, I would like to drive a 5 speed but I am worried about the mileage. I don't want to be at the pumps every three days. I would pull a boat occasionally but not on a regular basis by any means. I would use this truck mostly for hauling my [non-permissible content removed] around and showing off how good looking of a truck this is. I really liked the power this 4.7 has. I don't plan on putting anything in the bed either. I want a hard cover on the box. This vehicle would be my "nice car" to drive. I won't use it to work or haul much of anything. I know that might be a waste of truck but what can I say? With that in mind, do you think the 5 speed would be worth getting. I don't know why I am having so much trouble deciding this. I guess becasue I don't want to spend so much money and end up with something that makes me mad everyday I drive it. Do you think Dodge will have any incentives here before the year is up? I could go order today but am kind of holding off in case that happens. Maybe I am waiting for nothing?

    Thanks again
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Member Posts: 4,085
    Could you please explain why you are worried about the MPG with the manual xmission? I have the 4.7L 5sp with 3.55 diff and I fully expect the MPG to be better than the automatic. I KNOW that I can shift better than any fancy hydrolic gizmo.

    My very first tank of gas was 16.9 MPG and this is during break-in with very little use of the OD 5th gear. It can only get better!

    Besides, My (extensive) research into this powertrain tells me that the 45RFE automatic is still experiencing "teething-pains" and I did not want to be a guinea pig.
  • jwm2jwm2 Member Posts: 43
    I just double checked my mileage. I am getting 15.88 to 16.46 mpg. Right now I currently have a little over 1400 miles on the truck. That's probably what you will get with a 4.7L 5sp. and a 3.92 rearend and the 10x31 tires.
    I have been reading some different sites to see what other Dakota owner's have been doing to improve mileage and performance. Looks like a new airfiltration sys. and exhaust would certainly improve on these figures for another 3-4 mpg.
    bpeeples You are right that you can get better mpg. from your 5 sp. The only reason this dosn't always happen because we or I should say I don't drive em for economy. I like to put my foot in it and have it wind out a little.I belive that I'm not alone in this. It's a problem I've had since I was 16 I guess. An auto just goes the same way all the time. The engine will run at the same rpm all the time. Much less likely to be wound out like you would with the 5 sp. Looks like your getting good milage. What size tires does your Dakota have?
  • andy_jordanandy_jordan Member Posts: 764
    I wholeheartedly agree with the better mileage with a manual argument. Afterall, if you want to you can put it in 5th at 40 or so and forget about it. The main reason manuals get worse mpg is that it feels so damn good to accelerate hard!!

    I am guessing my mileage at around 15-16 now, that's with the 3.92 and 31x10.5 as well as being a 4x4 V8. Also remember that mileage will improve slightly as the truck breaks in.

    Now if you want to max out on economy equipment - 3.55 rear end, 4x2 etc then you will probably get close to 17, maybe better. Also if you want to improve with aftermarket then probably air filter is the biggest bang for your buck - K&N is always the name that gets mentioned.

    Bottom line if you want a truck like the Dakota then you aren't going to get Honda Civic gas mileage, but I don't think that the figures are bad. After all, would you want the 4 cylinder just for economy?
  • dbarkydbarky Member Posts: 9
    The reason I was concerned about mileage is because right now there is a restriction on getting a 5 speed with a 3.55 rear end. I would be very happy if i had what you have but i can't get that. I would have to get a 3.92 and that worried me a little. I was afraid my mileage would drop a bunch.
  • dbarkydbarky Member Posts: 9
    The reason I was concerned about mileage is because right now there is a restriction on getting a 5 speed with a 3.55 rear end. I would be very happy if i had what you have but i can't get that. I would have to get a 3.92 and that worried me a little. I was afraid my mileage would drop a bunch.
  • dbarkydbarky Member Posts: 9
    Thanks a bunch for the mpg info. I guess I can live with those figures. I am getting sick of thinking about it too much. I am interested in what this air filtration and exhaust would do for the truck. I have another question for you. Do the stabilizer bars with the tire and handling package really make a difference? I really didn't want the more expensive rims and tires because i wanted to put something original of my own on the truck to make it stand out a little. But I wanted the stabilizer bars because i thought they would help a lot. I don't know if they help or not. Or is it something I could put on myself later if I needed to? Would appreciate any advice.


    PS. Is everyone happy with their 2000 dakota so far? Any complaints?
  • andy_jordanandy_jordan Member Posts: 764
    Hard to say whether or not anti sway makes a big difference with this truck because I haven't driven one without it. I can tell you that the handling with the tire and handling package is great - no problems at all.

    You can add an afermarket anti-sway bar, no problems. You can then get exactly what you want - though of course you will probably end up paying a little more. Still if you are thinking about customizing your wheels / tires this may not be a big deal.

    Just a thought on that (sorry if this is obvious), don't forget to have the computer tweaked if you change your tire size.

    I am very happy with my 2000. I have noticed the 'ticking' that is discussed at length in the Dakota topic, but I can't say it bothers me.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Member Posts: 4,085
    (jwm2) I have the 10.5X31X15 that come with the handling package. I fully appreceate the Power behind this stick shift! Much cheaper to buy and insure over a sporty car. (plus it can go through rivers, over frozen lakes, through the snow or to the market)

    (dbarky)Sorry to hear about the 'restriction' on the 3.55 track-loc Diff. (I was told that that one HAS to get the Track-lok axle with the 4.7L and 5sp?)
    I had the same delima with the "Handling package" and went ahead and got it. However, after ordering my Dak, I stopped by a local "customizing shop" and picked up 2 free catalogs just FILLED with cool Dodge 'stuff'. There are nice antisway bars available in NON-OEM market. I am quite impressed with the handling of the my 4x4 Dak. Do not forget this baby has RACK-n-PIONION steering for precise control over the positioning of the front wheels. My last real truck (1976 K10 Blazer) rode and drove like a TRUCK.
  • tgr1tgr1 Member Posts: 92
    dbarky- I have a '97 dakota, and have a 2000 quad cab on order. Do yourself a favor and get the wheel and tire package. Its not that expensive, besides, if you still decide to upgrade from the 15 x 8s, which in my opinion are THE nicest looking factory rims, you can sell them as "new takeoffs" for pretty good money. Keep in mind though, the market for the dakota/durango/viper (yes, viper) lug bolt pattern is limited. You won't find a huge selection in after market wheels for this truck.
  • jwm2jwm2 Member Posts: 43
    dbarky it's hard to find fault with this truck. In my opinion everything that was put together is good and the way it all works is great. That's why I believe as I said earlier it was worth the wait. It took them a while but when it got here everything was in great shape. This truck really is a lot of fun to ride in. Why?
    1. Quiet
    a. no wind noise on interstate.
    b. motor is very quiet.
    c. no rattles squeaks.
    d. no ticking (for me)

    2. Handling
    a.smooth enough to take refreshment
    drink along.
    b.has a very tight turning radius.
    c.not a vette but I can take this
    where I'd never take the vette.
    a. 4.7L @ 235hp is no slouch.
    Sure there is room for improvement in my mind for the power but for what you get starting out isn't bad.
    I don't order a new vehicle all the time but from my previous experience in the past I have always had problems with em from day one. This one I have had since 10/12/99. And I don't have any complaints at all with the Dakota.
    bpeeples no comparison with a 1976 Blazer 4x4. If I remember back then you would have to pick your stomach up off the floor after a ride in one of them. I would compare this more to one of a more luxurious cars for the ride. Not sure what I would say because that's another catagory to but I like it better than my wifes Aurora.
  • jwm2jwm2 Member Posts: 43
    bpeebles just curious what is the difference between the trac loc axle and the limited slip rearend?
    So far as I know you are the only one that has been able to get the 3.55 ratio. So just would like to know what th trac loc axle is since I had to go with the 3.92.
  • crazycanuckcrazycanuck Member Posts: 43
    Could someone explain to me the advantages and the disadvantages of both the 3.55 and 3.92 axle
    ratios in relation to the Dakota?

    Much appreciated!
  • andy_jordanandy_jordan Member Posts: 764
    you have to factor tire size into the fuel economy issue.

    Basically the axle ratio is the rate that drive shaft revolutions are translated into axle revolutions. The bigger the tire, the greater the circumference and therefore the further the vehicle travels for every axle revolution.

    Obviously the further you travel per axle revolution, the greater the fuel economy.

    So the maximum economy comes from the 3.55 rear end with the larger tires, alternately the 3.92 rear end with the 31x10.5 is close to the 3.55 with stock tires.
  • crazycanuckcrazycanuck Member Posts: 43
    Thanks to both. I wasn't sure why someone would choose one over the other; you have answered that question. On a window sticker at a local dealer,
    it stated 3.92 axle for 'no charge', that's what confused me. How can anything be for free and still be any advantage. Anyway, for my purposes, possibly towing a tent trailer, it doesn't sound like it matters much. But the acceleration...hmm.....
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Member Posts: 4,085
    The Trac-Loc differential is Dodge's "brand name" for a limited-slip differential. The shop manual says that the trac-loc is identical to the regular diff with two clutch packs added.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Member Posts: 4,085
    Good overview of the GCWR data but lets not forget that their are 2 available "payload ratings" as well. These are represented by the 10-bolt 8 1/4 inch and the 12-bolt 9 1/4 inch differentials. Both of which are available in the 3.21, 3.55 and 3.92 ratios.
    (See page 19 of 2000 Dakota sales brochure for details/restrictions)
    I think that the different axle ratios are "no fee" but the optional payload rating is xtra cost.
  • hennehenne Member Posts: 407
    invoice is right on for what i got, you didnt say what kind of truck that is, as for the farm bureau, take out that 500 dollars before you figure in your tax, you dont want to pay tax on money that isnt there.

    I am paying 800.00 over invoice for a quad dakota, v8, 4x2, auto, loaded.

    good luck,

  • dbarkydbarky Member Posts: 9
    The truck I am getting is a 4x4 Club Cab. I ordered it last saturday. I tried with the Farm Bureau thing but was told it had to be after taxes. I don't know if this is true or not. At that point I didn't care. This was actually the most painless auto purchase I have ever done. I paid within $60 dollars of what I expected to pay. I was pretty happy with that. It really pays to do your research in advance and be very patient. I strung this salesman along for about 5 weeks or more. I came armed with all my info, calculator, etc. I knew the numbers by heart. I honestly think he realized I wasn't in a hurry to buy and I knew what the prices should be. He didn't try to add on any charges or other bogus crap. Of course I haven't talked with financing yet so I still have to deal with all that hassle. I am pre-approved though so it's just a matter of telling them I am not interested in undercoating, warranty, etc. I don't have a problem with telling someone to go scratch if they get too pushy.

  • moparmadmoparmad Member Posts: 197
    I would suggest if you want the auto get it.There are hundreds of thousands of Dakotas and Cherokee's with this combo.People beat the piss out of some of them then complain they broke,the vast majority have no problem but they are not heard from because they have had no problem.You will see little to no differance in mileage in the gear change I would guess, because the modern engine is tuned to run in many different rpm ranges.The computer control of the fuel and spark is so precise that it doesn't make much difference if your motor turns 1800 or 2000 rpm at 55mph. If you like power and like to use the full potential of your V8 you may even get slightly better mileage from the deeper gears.
  • meredithmeredith Member Posts: 575
    As a result of 30 or more days of inactivity....

    this topic is being "frozen". It will be archived or deleted in the next 10 days or so.

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