Dodge Dakota - IV

meredithmeredith Member Posts: 575
edited April 2014 in Dodge
This topic is a continuation of topic 1636....

Dodge Dakota - III. Please continue these
discussions here.

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


  • robusafrobusaf Member Posts: 4
    Stationed in Korea, thinking of ordering a truck through the military exchange, but I can't touchy-feely all the options available,so I have some questions...

    Are the Mopar runnning boards shown on a Club Cab in the brochure available for the Quad? If so, how do you think they compare to aftermarket bars?

    What's the general opinion on the 5x7 mirrors vs. 6x9 mirrors?

  • 4daughters4daughters Member Posts: 24
    I am not one to answer for the running boards but as far as the mirrors I would say it is a matter of need. I do not pull a trailer of any sort and am for the most part a mild driver. Sooo I opted for the 5 x 7 power mirrors. I do wish they were made to fold :( If you are to be pulling / hauling frequently I would highly recommend the 6 x 9 power / folding mirrors. Just my 2 cents.
  • bobemotobobemoto Member Posts: 29
    crazycanuck, Some of the pictures you took seem to show wheel flares and mud flaps on the same truck. At one point someone mentioned this wasn't possible. Do you know anything about this?
  • bobemotobobemoto Member Posts: 29
    robusaf, I went with the 6x9 mirrors because they fold. I was in the exit line off a highway in a full size truck (with big mirrors) when a U Haul truck (with big mirrors) came reealll close and whacked my mirror. It folded back with almost no damage. I've had similar experiences with trees (roles reversed). I also wanted the heated elements to de-ice in the cold. I didn't think the 5x7 had that option.
  • tiltboytiltboy Member Posts: 63
    Hey guys, I was wondering if anybody has any more input on Sport colors for the Quad. I have located white, black, red, green, and amber. I really like the bronze, but i don't think it comes in Sport colors. Second choice would be Patriot blue, but ditto on the Sport. I have a Ram Quad sport (emerald green) and I like the solid look of the Sport. I guess I may have to go with the SLT to get the colors I want. And yes ZONK, I got your last e-mail. I think I will wait until summer to order a 2001 Quad, 4.7, 4X4, 5sp. Thanks
  • spike50spike50 Member Posts: 481
    I too remember someone saying the the wheel flares and mud flaps didn't go together. I talked to the parts dept and they mentioned that they had a specific mud flap for the flares. Molded for $43 and then the plain flat ones for $13. This info was just over the phone.

    I also ordered the 6x9 heated mirrors along with defrost in the back window. Here in south central PA, we get at least 4 months of morning frost and occasional snow. Also I don't plan to putting a cap on it so I can be using all mirrors to back-up. Too bad they put a finer heating element into the front windshield so we and others would have to scrap.

    I would have gone with the 5x7 if they folded and were heated. The 6x9 look a little bit like elephant ears.
  • littlejuanlittlejuan Member Posts: 16
    I too have the 5 speed, 4.7L, SLT, and have no problem with stick. My wife is 5-1 and handles it like a pro. I am 5-8.

    I also just had the mud flaps from the Mopar catalogue put on. They were $12 pair and have a Dodge ram's head in metallic. The were put on in no time and look awesome. They are put on with screws, and are fine with the flares.

    I am working on setting up some pics for your guys to check out. My wife just bought a digital camera.

    By the way, nobody answered the questions from my last post! You all got so excited about the pictures. Man, imagine if someone put a naked babe on a quad?! We would have silence here!

    697 miles and counting...
  • ozarkozark Member Posts: 124
    The 6x9 mirrors were the last option I added to my Quad and I am very happy with the choice. They do look a little big but I have not noticed any real wind notice associated with them and the folding feature is great.

    If you are set on the mopar running boards I would advise that you try to negotiate them as part of the deal on the front end. Probably will save you some money. There seems to be quite a few after market products becoming available and there will probably be more in the next six months.
  • njt15njt15 Member Posts: 20
    Crazycanuck - The 5 speed interior is basically the same, with obvious modifications to the counsel to accommodate the shifter. The cup holders are still in the same place. With The only difference that you may have to make is you may haved to be a tad closer to the steering wheel & shifter. The manual calls for you to be in a more active position to drive. Much like the dudes in NASCAR; they have to be in a position to reach everything comfortably. Now th good part-- it is definitely quicker.

    By the way great photos of the trucks and Lab. I have one who could be his brother. Their dog hair sticks to the Dakota interior like glue. Plan on vacuuming a lot.

    According to the customer service guys at Gibson & Flowmaster the single 3" exhaust has less back pressure as it has fewer bends in the system to create back pressure. I am certain that there is more math involved in it than simple volume and resistance, but the common sense application will serve.

    Has anybody had any experience with a K & N air filter on this vehicle with a 4.7l? How about a cool air intake system? Better acceleration? Mileage? Torque/Horsepower?
  • njt15njt15 Member Posts: 20
    Oops I forgot. The manual shift throws are fairly tight and close for a truck. It is easy/comfortable to shift. It is not super short like a Mustang nor tight like a gated Ferrari, but it is "sporty."
  • themacguythemacguy Member Posts: 417
    If I'm not mistaken, I believe you're looking for boards instead of nerfs (my preference also). If so, they (boards) are not available (yet) from Mopar. I found an outfit back earlier in the year and posted their e:mail somewhere in here: [] Several have bought them already, and they provide parking lot protection as well. GREAT splash and scratch protection along with the flares (you must add the flares to two wheel drive versions; you can order them installed on the 4X4's), BUT require some drilling to the undercarriage. The Mopar nerfs bolt on (and look fabulous), as do most other brands. Cost is similar for the Starboards and the Mopar nerfs: 5-6 hundred. 3rd party nerfs are much more cost effective - couple hundred. Hotchkiss Performance (primarily chassis tuners) are coming out - I believe - with some side ground effects soon - not nerfs and not tubes - just sort of slight body extensions. Hope this helps a bit.
  • spike50spike50 Member Posts: 481
    Thanks for the feedback on Gibson's claim about their 3" system vs. Flowmaster's dual 2.5" type. Although we need much more info to prove / disprove their claim, that one aspect "less bends" does in fact reduce back pressure. It also goes without saying that the dual cat-back system has to have a longer run on the driver-side pipe, which creates more back pressure than a "passenger-side" only system. But these drawbacks of a dual system could be compensated for by using a larger pipe like a 2.5" - maybe.

    We may never be able to discern fact from marketing on this one without lots more data. One way to cut to the point of which works best is to see test results where someone dyno tested a Quad with all of the different after-market systems. Also, have real "road" results like:
    1. Ease of installation;
    2. Does the new system bang into the chassis where the manufacture got the clearances wrong and how to fix it;
    3. Sound vs. noise, which sounds the best (need 5 people's opinions on that one):
    4. Street-Legal because you don't want to be pulled over all of the time - you want to drive;
    5. Projected life under different driving scenarios like short commutes where the system routinely doesn't get hot enough to vaporize all of the moisture;
    6. Ease of finding and replacing bits of the systems years down the road;
    7. Life-cycle costs where the least expensive system may not be the best choice if you have to replace the whole thing every 2.5 years;


    This would be one for Consumer's Report but they may only pick the foreign systems as the best.
  • jtjohn1jtjohn1 Member Posts: 13
    Has anyone changed their own oil ina 4.7L dak?? If so is there a trick to removing the oilfilter without spilling oil??
  • johnboy9johnboy9 Member Posts: 35
    I use a one pound coffee can slipped over the filter after I loosen it. Then I unscrew it and let it fall into the can.That seems to work pretty
    good. Hope it works for you.
  • crazycanuckcrazycanuck Member Posts: 43
    Bobemoto - sorry, I don't know much about the specifics of the flaps that were on them. All I know is that the rentals that I had personally,
    all had the flaps on them and they seem to fit
    perfectly. I believe one set had "dodge" on them and the others had the Ram insignia. Since Budget simply gets fleet orders from the local dealers, I would assume that they are factory installed/ ordered. Not much more I can tell ya. I want them

    Thanks Littlejuan and Njt15 for the input on the
    stick shift. Sounds pretty good and if it can save a few buck on repairs and fuel......

    Went by the local dealer today to see what new stock they 2001 rams is about all the fact that finance rates are great for reg. and Club. cab Dakotas but not the Quad. Even Rams are getting better rates. Anybody find the same where you are? Particularly in Canada???

    No word on the owners forum yet or ????
    I could be lost.

  • andy_jordanandy_jordan Member Posts: 764
    Don't know what the rates are here in Ontario - I will try and find out - but don't expect much in the way of deals - the quads are just selling too well so they don't need to offer incentives. That may change for 2000 models when the 2001 comes out - but obviously you have to buy from stock at that point.

    In terms of the club, last note I had from Meredith said end of the month - meaning April. Well looking at my calendar I would say that we are late on that deliverable!!

    Not too sure what the delay is in setting them up unless Edmunds wanted to prove the concept first. We are 2nd in line after some mini-van group (I know, its embarrassing coming after a mini-van).

    Incidentally - if anyone is looking to buy imminently I see that Edmunds is offering the loan of a Palm Pilot to assist - look at the town hall front page for details.

    Gee I should get paid for this advertising ;-)
  • ozarkozark Member Posts: 124
    you might want to not only watch the filter but also the oil pan drain as well. With the skid plates oil goes everywhere and involves some cleanup. You might want to fashion some sort of funnel to direct the oil flow.
  • hciaffahciaffa Member Posts: 454
    : Could use some help-- 97 Dakota 4X2 and I want to change the anti freeze but I can't seem to find the drain valve(petcock). Theres this funny looking thing that I tried turning but it turns only 1/4 and nothing comes out. Is this one of those vehicles that you have to drain by removing the lower hose. Any advice is apreciated.
  • jtjohn1jtjohn1 Member Posts: 13
    Thanks for the advice. Before draining the oil I removed the front skid plate (Just four bolts) but after I removed the handy oil filter cap I noticed that the hole that they want you to remove the filter through and the filter don't line up. I made a bit of a mess but I cleaned most of it up (I hope) I will try the coffee can trick the next time I change my oil.

  • 4daughters4daughters Member Posts: 24
    Here in Washington State the Wiper delays are a necesity but.....the control of it in my Quad seems to be disengaged. In most other vehicles I had if you put the wiper on slow or fast delay it followed suit. In the Quad however the delay is so sporadic and goes off and on when it pleases no matter the setting. Does this have a rain sensor or something? Any others notice this or did I simply forget to read the manual on how to adjust it?
    The deceptive whining under the hood is still happening yet only on cool / cold days. On warm days it is silent.???
  • bigal31bigal31 Member Posts: 189
    I can offer only feedback-I live in Syracuse,NY and use my wipers often (way to often)and have had no such problems..Rain sensor- I haven't heard of that..Not a bad idea though!!I'am sure that is in the works..
  • edermaredermar Member Posts: 10
    I asked a friend of mine how he likes his new Dakota and he had no complaints except for a crunching sound when he turns his wheel against the stops. I told him I hadn't noticed that in my Dak. Two days later, when giving the truck a hard left rudder, I hear this crunching type of sound.Has anyone else experienced this, and what would be the cause? Does it need servicing? Thanks, Ed
  • bookittybookitty Member Posts: 1,303
    My wife has this problem chronically on her 1983 Toyota Forerunner. It is caused by the steering stops going out of adjustment. The dealer continues to repair it at no charge, as it is a defect that showed up originally under warranty. It has been okay for sometime now, and usually occurred when turning hard over to the left. It is more prevalent on 4X4's, even though the vehicle is in 2 wd high range. I believe that you are experiencing the same type of problem, but it really is a guess on my part. Talk to someone at the dealership, as they are probably familiar with this problem. Hope this helps.

  • bookittybookitty Member Posts: 1,303
    Left out an "r" in erdermar

  • bpeeblesbpeebles Member Posts: 4,085
    (4daughters) Yes, there have been 'complaints' about the delay wiper system having a mind of its own. Mine infrequently does a 'double pump' but if I scrutenize its operation it never seems to do it. When I get tired watching the wipers... another double-pump occours.

    According to the DC shop manual, the upper-class (SLT?) Dakotas have a special timer that will double the intermittent speed above a specific road speed. (40 MPH?) The manual does not mention a 'rain sensor' but this feature comes pretty close.
  • brookziebrookzie Member Posts: 5
    I've been lurking for a while, reading all of the good information. Thanks. Ordered my QC on 3/28, 4x4, 4.7, Auto, 3.55 LSD, Sport Plus, Amber, HD & Trailer packages, etc., just got a call from the dealer and said that it is shipping 5/9 (live in Berlin, NJ - ordered from Martin Dodge). Not too bad, just can't wait to get it. Been reading what Bookitty is going though and hope the same doesn't happen to me. Thanks again to everyone for your valuable information.

  • johnboy9johnboy9 Member Posts: 35
    Well heres my problem . I just got back from a
    trip to California.Total of about 700 miles.
    Today I noticed a puddle of tranny fluid under my
    truck. I crawled under and saw fluid sprayed all
    over the frame,tranny pan,exhaust pipe and on the
    engine block. I raised the hood and and noticed
    the tranny dip stick was not seated against the
    filler tube. When I pushed it in it would push
    itself backout about a half inch.I tried bending the dipstick to conform to the fill tube but it
    still worked its way back out. Then I noticed the
    outside of the fill tube was wet with tranny fluid and some splashing on the engine.
    I`m hoping it was just pressure that forced the
    fluid to puke out the fill tube. Has anyone else
    had a problem with the dipstick not seating properly ? I think I will take it to the dealer to be sure thats all it is . I have also been experiencing the harsh shifts others on this forum have been noticing. Any comments or suggestions would be appreciated.Thanks Johnboy9
  • 2drive2drive Member Posts: 90
    Check out post 544 in Topic 1685 for mess free removal of the oil filter using a pop bottle.
  • crazycanuckcrazycanuck Member Posts: 43
    okay....enough theatrics...

    Brookzie - you ordered the Amber eh? Wow! Is that ever a stand out color. Not sure if I could drive it but it sure is attention grabbing...good for you!

    Johnnyboy9 - do you have the 4.7? Auto or Man? Also, are the hard shifts while 2nd
    to 3rd etc...or are they from park to drive and vice versa?

    4daughters - does the whine occur during idle or
    only when the vehicle is in motion. Just curious.

    Andy - I agree you really are worth alot to this forum.....but're prov govt is giving you guys a "bonus check" aren't they? Better than
    B.C.....all we have are some crappy ferries!

  • themacguythemacguy Member Posts: 417
    Yep, I noticed mine sticking out about an inch a couple of times early on - no fluid spray though. I've got about 9k on it now and after pushing it back in firmly the first couple of times, mine held. Guess I'm pretty lucky, but will add it to my next dealer list of things to check. You really need to have this corrected AT the dealer - and FULLY noted in the service history (including the dealer fix) so warranty issues can be avoided in the future.

    As for hard shifts - might be related to fluid loss or something. Dunno. However, loss of fluid usually makes an auto shift sloppily. Mine shifts firmly, but I'm used to Porsche 928S models with Mercedes 4 spd autos - they shift BRUTALLY hard, and have for over 100k each (I have two), and neither has had ANY problem to date, with some extremely (incredibly) abusive driving histories.
    And they don't even HAVE a dipstick. You gotta have the car on a lift to check tranny levels! :-O
  • spike50spike50 Member Posts: 481
    Just curious, have you gotten a ship date yet? Et Tu Bookitty?

    Ernie said mine arrived in Newark, DE via train. After that it dropped from Ernie's radar screen and I'm now checking through the dealer for the local delivery. Maybe late this week or early next.
  • bookittybookitty Member Posts: 1,303
    Spike, Ernie tracked mine as enroute to Twin Oaks, PA. From there, it travels via car carrier truck and Ernie is trying for an update. I'm really getting anxious now that I have passed along my Expedition to my successor and am driving my bride's Wrangler. Fun to drive, but difficult to transport items larger than an envelope. Tried to order a Class II receiver hitch from J.C. Whitney that accepts a 2"X 2" insert, but it is the worst site that I have visited, and there is no follow up. Wasted money on "dropped" calls to customer service. At this point, I don't know if I ordered 1, 2, or no hitches. Just venting. You will be driving your truck very soon. Have fun.

  • tpmiller1tpmiller1 Member Posts: 165
    Mine's been shipped and should be passing through themacguy's mystic Texas railtour anytime now, enroute to PA. (I ordered the extra rail dust). I see bookitty might get two classII hitches, guess he's going to mount 'em on top of each other and start an east coast trend. Two class IV's will max you out at VIII, until the aftermarket ups the ante.
  • andy_jordanandy_jordan Member Posts: 764
    The fluid could be a puke, but it sounds like a lot of fluid. Best way to check the fluid level is when cold - run the engine a little above idle for a few minutes and then check the level (on the cold side if you have two ranges - I have a stick so I don't know if there is cold and hot on this beast). Agree with themacguy that dealer should certainly be asked to check it out, if only for warranty CYA. The hard shifting is more likely to be symptomatic of the fluid itself than the quantity, the higher the lubricating ability of the fluid the smoother the shift - and ultimately the shorter the life of the tranny.

    Crazycanuck - yeah we're getting a 'bonus' cheque - $200 of our own money coming back to us - why don't I feel more excited about that? Oh and the cheque's in the mail - apparently it will arrive around December / January!!!

    No doubt the whole of North America will be rushing to Ontario now - ever since July of last year the average Joe Ontario even kept more of his money than he paid in taxes - what an honour.

    The ferries - hey maybe I can get a consortium together to buy one with our refund cheques!!!
  • bookittybookitty Member Posts: 1,303
    Spike, have to stack mount the hitces in order to tow the rail cars carrying the Quads. It's not an easy task.

  • bookittybookitty Member Posts: 1,303
    Spike, have to stack mount the hitches in order to
    tow the rail cars carrying the Quads. It's not an
    easy task. The hitches are for the Wrangler. Never tow a really overweight load with your own vehicle. Always employ someone else's unit. An old Hertz joke is; "What's the best offroad vehicle?" "A rental car."

  • johnboy9johnboy9 Member Posts: 35
    Thanks for your input guys. I have a 4.7 Auto/tran
    The tranny shifted hard ,on occasion, before I had the dipstick problem,between 2nd and 3rd.It
    did have a hard clunk between Park and Drive once!
    The truck has 4300 miles on it now.
    I will take it to the dealer as was suggessted.
    It may be more than the dipstick !Johnboy9
  • 99slt99slt Member Posts: 14
    I've been reading this forum for months now, but was just now able to register (it was a cookie thing). I have a 99 SLT, Std Cab, 5.2L, 5spd, 3.55, T&H, Emerald Green with 17k miles. I love it. Not one problem...EXCEPT.

    My key ring also has on it a long GEO Prism key. It has on three occasions got caught in the recessed hole behind the steering wheel. This happened while making a left turn then straightening the wheel. It has happened three times. The key gets caught causing the steering wheel to jamb momentarily. Luckily I have been driving slowly when it has happened.

    I've "solved" the problem with a piece of duct tape over the hole. I've thought about writing D/C so they could make an engineering change, but then I thought this forum is probably just as good for getting the word out.
  • andy_jordanandy_jordan Member Posts: 764
    It makes an ideal steeing wheel lock!!!!

    Sorry, couldn't resist.

    From memory that 'hole' is probably something to do with the tilt steering, but thinking about it it does seem quite large. There must be a reason though, I mean the appearance would be better without it, and I can't believe that cost is a major factor on that little plastic - any one got any ideas?
  • jimbuckjimbuck Member Posts: 16
    The tranny leak might be the vent hose the is off or pinched. That was the problem with mine. Dealer spent an hour on the phone with DC to fix it.
  • snowedinsnowedin Member Posts: 58
    Twice I heard something during hard left turns but had the music so loud I wasn't sure what it was and had no luck trying to recreate the noise. Now I will be looking for it. How often do you hear it?
  • spike50spike50 Member Posts: 481
    E-town Dodge will have it prep'd for Thursday (tomorrow) night pick-up. That's great but by Friday at 4:30 pm, I'll be off "Boy Scouting" with the troop's newest 11 year olds for the weekend. Going to be a difficult wait until Sunday afternoon to drive it again.
  • spike50spike50 Member Posts: 481
    E-town Dodge will have it prep'd for Thursday (tomorrow) night pick-up. That's great but by Friday at 4:30 pm, I'll be off "Boy Scouting" with the troop's newest 11 year olds for the weekend. Going to be a difficult wait until Sunday afternoon to drive it again.
  • bookittybookitty Member Posts: 1,303
    Spike, don't sweat the scouting thing. Tim and I will happily exercise your truck. Tim can do some PA mountain off roading, then pass it on to me for beach buggy duty at the Jersey Shore (not Jersey Shore, PA). Problem solved. When can we pick it up?

  • tpmiller1tpmiller1 Member Posts: 165
    I'll break it in correctly and return as is but I can't vouch for bookitty as it appears he wants to double up on every accessory and I personally think two caps will look stupid.
    I'd invent a badge for Quad riding.
  • edermaredermar Member Posts: 10
    snowedin: I've heard it a couple times. Normally I try not to turn the wheel to it's max.Would probably hear it more often if I did. Still curious as to what it is. Ed
  • mailman54mailman54 Member Posts: 111
    Went for a ride in my 00 Dakota 4.7 the other day and when I got back noticed that my radiator and oil cooler were covered with bugs. It seems that the big fancy ram grill is a bug catcher! It has several large openings in the grill that suck in the bugs. I know it helps keep the engine cool, but it is not going to stay cool with the radiator core filled with bugs. Thinking maybe I should put some kind of mesh over the openings to help trap the bugs before they get to the radiator. Is that a good idea or should I just scrape the bugs off the radiator every time I drive the thing???

  • bookittybookitty Member Posts: 1,303
    Tim, make that two badges.

  • spike50spike50 Member Posts: 481
    I didn't know exactly what both of you would say but I knew it would be different. I think if I'd actually take you up on your offers you would be more careful than I'll probably be.

    Over the last couple of years Boy Scouts have being pushing for new members. I think that the introduction of the "Quad" Badge would get the "right" adults back into the program. From what I've read so far we're a good bunch of people.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Member Posts: 4,085
    (edermar) I have had the 'crunching' sound on MOST of my vehicles over the years. When the front wheels are all the way to the limit, there are stresses on the front suspension. Often this is heard while reversing and a front wheel traverses a bump. My 2000 Dakota exudes this sound at times but I choose to ignore it. I have NEVER encountered problems on any vehicle that exhibited this 'problem'. They all went over 100K miles!

    I did have a VW that the steering wheel FROZE while I was reversing and accidentally turned to the lock. Anyone that has driven a MANUAL rack-and-pinion knows the upper-body strength that is required just to turn the wheels while stationary.(The manual steering rack 'jumped' off the pinion) ...imagine having to 'muscle' the steering wheel ALL THE TIME just to stay on the road!!

    The 2000 Dakota has a BRAND NEW DESIGN front suspension that includes a "rack and pinion" steering gear. This new design has a phenomenal range of motion as compared to other 4X4 trucks. (Tight turning radius)

    The simple answer is to NEVER turn the steering wheel to the lock at ANY time. It is a good way to burst power steering hoses. Many owners manuals warn against this.
This discussion has been closed.