Dakota 4.7 or 5.9

mnevarezmnevarez Member Posts: 3
edited March 2014 in Dodge
I am an extremely satisfied Jeep Cherokee owner
who likes the new Dakota Quad Cab. I was hoping to
get an auto trans with the 5.9L V8, or the 4.7 V8.

I am told that the 4.7 is the same engine as on my
Jeep automatic, which has 200K miles with no major
problems. However, I was hoping to tow a large
boat, so I am looking at the 5.9. Does anyone have
any bad stories/experiences with either of these?
Most of the problems I've seen here relate to the

Also, I was hoping that the Dakota's
shift-on-the-fly part- or full-time four-wheel
drive was the same transfer case as Jeep's Select
Trac, which is outstanding. Does anyone know?

Thanks for your input.


  • hudsonwthudsonwt Member Posts: 2
    Are you saying you have 200,000 miles on a drivetrain which was only released as a '99 model?
  • mnevarezmnevarez Member Posts: 3
    Sorry, make that 20,000.
  • y2ktrdy2ktrd Member Posts: 81
    the new 4.7 is way better than that underpowered 5.9! i drove a grand cherokee with the 4.7 and i was very impressed.the 4.7 makes more power up top
    unlike the 5.9 and is way smoother!....oh by the way the new dakota with the 4.7 is faster than the x-cab r/t in the 1/4 mile....hmmmmm
  • natdmannnatdmann Member Posts: 21
    I have not been as impressed with a truck/engine combination since I bought my 1993 Lightning. The 4.7 with the new 4SP-Auto is the way to go. I havent driven a 5-sp, but i read that combo is a little hard to get used to. The engine is so smooth the human behind the wheel becomes the problem. Apparently the driver can easily make it a rough shift quite easily. This engines power is quite high into the rpm band.
  • keg3keg3 Member Posts: 14
    4.7. all of dodge's future lines of engines are going to be based off this 4.7l platform. 5.9 only has something like 10 more horse anyway. drop a high flow air filter in a 4.7 and you've got those horses beat. the 5.9 is old school, i should know i own a dakota with a 4.7
  • quadrunner500quadrunner500 Member Posts: 2,721
    The 4.7L sounds like a fun engine for zipping around, but I wouldn't minimize what the low rpm torque potential of the 5.9L means to someone who wants it for a stronger regimen of towing duties.
  • chadc777chadc777 Member Posts: 54
    In deciding between the 4.7 and 5.9 for towing, it would depend a great deal on how often you tow, under what conditions (hills/mountians), and how heavy a load.

    How heavy is your boat and how often do you plan to haul it? A 4.7 with a 3.92 rear will tow quite a bit. Then again, so will a 4.7 with a 3.55. Unless this is a monster boat, the 4.7 will likely suit your needs equiped one way or the other. The other benefit is you will not have to suffer the pour mileage of the 5.9 when not towing. Quadrunner500 is right that, for heavy loads, there is no substitute for cubes and torque.

    >>>>...oh by the way the new dakota with the 4.7 is faster than the x-cab r/t in the 1/4 mile.

    Can you or anyone tell me where this test was done or where the times were published? or is this just a "it feels faster" type thing. I agree the 4.7 does feel very quick, but I find it hard to belive that it will accelarate faster in the 1/4 than a 5.9.

    Yes the 4.7 is close on HP to the 5.9, but is lacking in torque which makes a HUGE difference when accelerating a heavy vehicle with an automatic. In an identical truck, 10 more ft/lb of torque will make a truck accel quicker than 10 more hp. Given the same gearing and tire size, is it possible that the new automatic mated to the 4.7 is so much more efficient that it will out accelerate a 5.9? Possible, but I doubt it. Especially once higher speeds (wind resistance) becomes a factor.

    I think a 4.7 will tromp my 5.2, especially down low, but comparing the two when cruising at 70 and stomping on the gas, my 5.2 seems to accelerate faster than the 4.7 from that speed. Yes, that is an "it feels like" statement.

    It would be interesting to see numbers on identically equipped (tires/axle ratio) vehicles except for engine and tranny and get some hard numbers on 1/4 time, 0 - 60 time, and 55 - 70 times.

    Please post if you see any reviews that have such numbers (even if it is only on the 4.7).

  • powerisfunpowerisfun Member Posts: 358
    >>In an identical truck, 10 more ft/lb of
    >>torque will make a truck accel quicker than 10 >>more hp.

    It depends on where that 10 hp is in the rpm range. If the extra 10 hp is around the 2600 rpm range, for instance, that translates into about 20 added lb-ft of torque (using the formula hp = torque*rpm/5250). Since trucks rarely go over 5250 rpm, 10 hp is always more than 10 lb-ft of torque.
    I think your point, though, was that added torque down in the low rpms verses added peak horsepower (usually in the high rpms) is better.
    I agree with that.
  • y2ktrdy2ktrd Member Posts: 81
  • moparmadmoparmad Member Posts: 197
    Trying to decide which truck tows better by which one is faster in a quarter mile,is almost as dumb as reading a car magazine to learn about a truck.
    The 4.7 is probably faster in a quarter because it breathes better on top,and it's lighter rotating mass revs quicker.It probably picks up the few thousandths at the big end of the quarter,at about seventy where noone on the street will ever care.
    And now a little information...
    at 1000 rpm the 4.7 makes roughly 50hp and 225 ftlbs,5.9 makes roughly 85hp and 325 ftlbs
    at 2000 rpm the 4.7 makes roughly 85hp and 255 ftlbs,5.9 makes roughly 140hp and 335 ftlbs
    at 3000 rpm the 4.7 makes roughly 140hp and 280ftlbs,the 5.9 makes roughly 205hp and 345ftlbs
    at 4000 rpm the 4.7 makes roughly 200hp and 290ftlbs,5.9 roughly 240hp and 340ftlbs
    4.7 peaks at [email protected],[email protected]
    5.9 peaks at [email protected],[email protected]
    This being said I think that the 4.7 would probably still pull any boat the Dakota's frame will handle,if your boat is approaching the 6000 pound plus weight rating of a Dakota then I would suggest a fullsize anyway.The real issue between the 4.7 and 5.9 is one of how much power do you like,not need.Either will do the job the 360 will give up gas mileage but will deliver more torque and more perceived acceleration between stop lights.The 4.7 will give plenty of power,gain some gas mileage,but is still an untested design compared to the venerable 360.Anyone who tells you the 5.9 liter is a dog has probably never driven one,or something was very wrong with the one they drove.
    I have posted elsewhere a topic on the replacement for the 360 and it is not related at all to the 4.7,it is a clean sheet design,the bore centers on the 4.7 limit it's size.The new engine will be a true Hemi,354 cu in.
  • moparmadmoparmad Member Posts: 197
    Check out topic 1462 for the skinny on the replacement for the 360.Mopar Action magazine claims that this is the prototype engine and very close to what we will see.It looks pretty impressive.
  • hennehenne Member Posts: 407
    i have the 4.7 in my dakota quad, auto, 4x2, 3.92 rear and the truck never downshifts going up steep hills, what kind of rear end did you have in those trucks, they may have been a 3.55. my best friend has a 2000 silverado with the 5.4 and his downshifts on the same hills mine doesnt and i can even accelerate on those hills and not downshift.

  • busenitzbusenitz Member Posts: 3
    Does anyone have experience with the 4.7L and the
    5spd manual? Somebody earlier said the shifting
    could be rough. Any thoughts?
  • chadc777chadc777 Member Posts: 54
    Robert, I made sure the 4.7 I drove/compared to my 98 dakota 5.2 was set up the same. 4x4, 3.55, 31x10.5 tires. I only noticed the downshifting when accelerating from 70mph. I did not encounter any long hill at that speed so I can only comment on the willingness to shift from acceleration.

    The more general comments I made about the new generation engines downshifting more than the old seems to be across all manufactures and I suppose is do to the lack of low end torque when compared to the engines they replace. Most do still have plenty to get the job done and more horsepower, but I am talking about comparisons with the engines they replace. The powerbands are just different and the new engines seem to need rpm.

    You probably meant the 5.3 in your friends silverado. 5.4 is the Ford Triton engine.
    The first thing I noticed about a friends 99 Silverado with 5.3 was how much it downshifted on the hilly backroads compared to his previous truck. I know it wasn't just me because he said he was finally getting used to it shifting more often. It downshifted out of overdrive way more often than his previous Chev with a 350. He (and I) still love the truck, though, and he has had none of the problems some other Silverado owners have had.

  • hennehenne Member Posts: 407
    the downshifting you are noticing may actually be the lockup torque converter, which is acutally not a real gear, it is there to just lower your rpms when you get up to more stable speeds,(not sure all the engineering in that), when i accelerate even uphill at those higher speeds i dont downshift unless i get on it, my torque converter doesnt even kick in, and that 3.55 looses alittle in the torque on your engine sot hat is probably whats doing it.

    good luck,

  • chadc777chadc777 Member Posts: 54
    Robert, now that I think about it, the 4.7 could have just been unlocking the torque converter and not downshifting, but it was a quite large rpm change so it very well may have been downshifting (skipping the torque converter unlock before downshifting).

    Under fairly heavy throttle acceleration at speed, my 5.2 seems to either stay in overdrive with the TC locked or downshifts in this sequence: first TC unlocks and a second later it downshifts(At full or near full throttle, it, of course downshift immediately). It seems to take a real precise effort to get my 5.2 to only unlock the TC without downshifting. Dragging the brakes at highway speed being the only time I've seen it (this was when the truck was new and I was seeing how the TC was setup).

    There is not near as much rpm change when my TC unlocks as I experienced with the 4.7, but this could be attributed to different engine/tranny designs or it could have actually been a downshift. I'll have to go for another 4.7 test drive and pay more attention to that particular thing this time. Good excuse, anyway.

    I have not order my Quad yet. I will likely wait until they are off restriction (4x4, limited slip, and handling package, all of which I will order). May end up in a 2001 if this keeps up much longer. Thats OK though, still happy with my 98 extended cab.

  • marsha7marsha7 Member Posts: 3,703
    While I realize that "pickup truck" and "MPG" should not be in the same sentence, I would like to know what some real-world mpg figures are. An earlier post quoted a souce stating 15 city/20 hwy. Is anyone getting close to this? I hope to be in the market this year for a Dakota, either 3.9 or 4.7 and I am trying to make an honest comparison. It will mostly be used for wife's commuting 10 miles to work, and do-it-yourself yardwork and landscaping. But, I don't want a truck that needs 30 seconds to go 0-60, for obvious safety reasons, and I also do not want 8 miles per gallon either. A quandary, to be sure, but enough of you have experience to inform me of what the real scoop is. Thanks.
  • themacguythemacguy Member Posts: 417
    I've got about 5k miles now on my 2000 Dakota 4.7l/4-auto/2wd/3.55/non-lsd Quad Cab combo. the good news is usable power (almost as much as my Porsche 928S), verryyy smooth & quiet ride; nimble chassis and all around 'usefulness.' One of the KEY SELLING POINTS for this truck overlooked by everyone to date is the low 'reachover' height. I'm about 5'8" and I can reach the center BOTTOM of the truck bed from the side of the truck, yet it has plenty of ground clearance for the oilfield two lane caliche roads where I use it for work. Plus, I don't have to use those #@$% grab handles everybody puts on to get in this truck. Neither will your wife. But, the existing ones on the Quad do help on the dirt roads though. And I'm sure they would help a woman getting in during a rain wearing slick soled shoes. But it doesn't rain where I live & the women only wear heels and short dresses. ;->

    Bad news (to date - is it just me?): This little pickup sucks (fuel) = about 14.5 in mixed driving. Of course a tankful (about 300 miles) of my typical driving is usually 50% 'zipping' quickly through town, 20% of 75 mph cruising and about 20% at 90 mph (or so) on totally empty, brand new, smooth as silk two lane blacktop - with 10% dirt road & an occasional (maybe) hour of idling. When I try to get some real figures (driving sanely), I get 15/19 @ best. Needless to say, my O/D switch is off a lot of the time. Come to think of it, it's pretty good mileage all things considered...

    Also, several of us including: henne, bpeebles, myersed and others EXCEPT bookitty (who will never get his truck) :-O are trying various ways of adding additional mileage. Won't know till they're all 'broke in' and all the goodies (KN filters, upsized tires, different rear gear sets, cat
    back exhausts, etc.) have registered in with some longer term results. All that said, the 3.9 'might be' a little 'underwhelming' in this particular truck, and haven't, by any postings - or my local dealer reports - been getting any significantly different mpg's.
  • bookittybookitty Member Posts: 1,303
    Okay Bill, I saw that little remark about me never getting my truck. It's not the delivery timing I'm worried about, it's whether my life expectancy allows me to participate.

  • hennehenne Member Posts: 407
    party time, i can drive and hear that sweet little
    4.7 whisper down the road and roar when i ask it,
    and its all thanks to (houtslaw), that tsb fixed my
    ticking and my truck is so quiet i cant believe
    its the same truck, the dealer was so confused that
    this would actually work, but whammo, ticky gone,
    ticky gone gone.

    the tsb is for trucks with the 4.7 made before nov
    23rd 1999, so go get this done now, it will change
    your whole outlook on your truck.

  • edharri3edharri3 Member Posts: 35
    The guy asks what is the best engine to tow his boat and everyone tells him how the 4.7 is faster in the quarter mile. Are we driving drag car or pickups? If you want to to win quarter mile races get a Vette. If you want the engine that will tow your boat with the least effort regardless of mpg get the 5.9. If you you want to tow it with a little more effort but get better unladden mpg get the 4.7
  • edharri3edharri3 Member Posts: 35
    Post number three do you ever even use your truck to tow? Someone said something about the idiocy of learning about trucks from a car magazine and you illustrate their point. I don't know anyone whose ever driven a 5.9 whose ever called it underpowered. I do know lots of people who buy trucks for style but expect them to accelerate like sports cars. Maybe you mean it's horsepower peak is lower than the 4.7's. It's torque actually kicks [non-permissible content removed] and makes it the better motor for what the original post asked about, towing. The 4.7 is actually the underpowered motor. IT just makes the most out of its power for acccelertion purposes.
  • bookittybookitty Member Posts: 1,303
    My uncle told me many times, "there is no substitute for cash money or cubic inches."
  • edharri3edharri3 Member Posts: 35
    a pretty smart guy, your uncle
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Member Posts: 4,085
    Best for towing?
    Whichever engine can do the job for the least cost. (Fuel, Maintenance, repairs....etc)
    Anyone who has to truck for a living will tell you this.
    It has already been stated that the 4.7L uses less fuel and "just makes the most out of its power..."

    If the 4.7 fits this criteria.. so be it!

    Only the test of time/miles will satisfy the rest of the equation... (RELIABILITY!?!)
  • stvdmanstvdman Member Posts: 62
    Initial cost of the 5.9 over the 4.7 is $600 plus if you want to tow with a manual tranny there is not one available with the 5.9, add another $975 for the Auto (both msrp prices, but the difference is about the same for msrp and invoice). So you can actually spend up to $1575 more on initial cost just to get the 5.9 for towing purposes. SO take that into the cos accounting. I personally feel that the weak link in chryslers trucks is not the engines, but in the tranny's. That is the exact reason I chose the 4.7 with the new auto, why buy a tranny with a bad record. I took the chance on the new one and I hope it pays off. Although I did get a 100,000 mile warranty just to cover myself.
  • edharri3edharri3 Member Posts: 35
    No, whichever engine can do the job for the least cost is just whichever engine can do the job for the least cost. Cost of upkeek has nothing to do with how easily the engine pulls a load down the road. If cost is not an option, the 5.9 will tow more effortlessly. The 4.7 will do it with less upkeep, but not as effortlessly and probably will not last as long because it will have to work harder. The 4.7 does not do anything MORE with its power than the 5.9. It just does something different. Whereas the 5.9 makes its power down low in the Rev range were a good towing engine should spend most of its time the 4.7 makes it higher in the Rev range becasue truck buyers are now demanding car like acceleration at the expense of the low end torque that used to make pickups do what they do best.
  • andy_jordanandy_jordan Member Posts: 764
    an am genuinely confused. This engine was used in the R/T where the application was obviously designed purely for Sport - the tow limit on an R/T is 2,000#.

    Why then is it such a great towing engine? Not suggesting it isn't - just asking.
  • themacguythemacguy Member Posts: 417
    yields a nice, low sporty ride but gives up some work 'ability.' In this case some leafs were removed, either shock valves were reworked or replaced with different units and larger wheels & tires used for 'handling & wheelwell filling' looks. Just like the Ford Lightning. Or the GMC Syclone & Typhoons (I had one). --Etc.-- The torque of the engine remains, so the truck is still usable as a (lesser, but still) truck. That's why lowered or 'slammed' trucks require airbags to help boost suspension for towing uses.
  • gbilhimergbilhimer Member Posts: 53
    My dad has an R/T Club Cab and the reason for the lowering of the tow limit was due to the leaf springs as I understand it. the leaf springs on the R/T are almost totally flat, no curve at all.
    evidently someone at Dodge missed this when printing the brochures and caused a lot of problems for them. the 5.9 runs very well and could tow almost anything if not for this oversight. R/T owners were offered several options all the way up to repurchase of the truck.
    since my dad does not tow anything heavy he chose the $500 in Mopar Performance Parts. he got the new PCM engine computer and man what a difference!
    before I thought my 4.7 would give it a good race, not now! throttle response is instant and it lights the tires up!
  • catnip2377catnip2377 Member Posts: 42
    Any idea if they have one of those computers for the 4.7?
  • bookittybookitty Member Posts: 1,303
    Hey guys and girls, how about helping out a student working on a doctoral dissertation by participating in a painless survey. Go to topic 1693. Thanks.

  • meredithmeredith Member Posts: 575
    The PICKUPS Conference has gotten WAY too big....

    it is unwieldy to manage, and difficult to use for "newbies". There is entirely TOO much topic duplication, so I will be doing some SERIOUS topic consolidation in the next few weeks, getting us down to not more than 2-3 topics per vehicle type, and ultimately down to 200 topics or less.

    THIS weeks consolidation candidates are: F-150's, Silverado's, Dakota's, and Dakota Crew/Quad cabs.

    In that vein, please consolidate this Dakota topic to Dodge Dakota - III and continue these discussions there.


    Front Porch Philosopher
    SUV, Pickups, & Aftermarket and Accessories Host
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