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Dodge Dakota Owners - Meet the Members



  • Hi all,
    Pardon the bad pun, but the intros almost sound like an AA meeting: "Hi, I'm Larry and I've been an alcoholic for....
    I'm Larry, in Jackson, Ga (midway between Atlanta and Macon), and I've been a Dak owner for two weeks now. Bought a 2000 Club Cab, Blue, 3.9, auto, bedliner, fatter tires than I wanted but they'll do for now. Kids are grown and wife and I like to camp in a popup trailer. Sold my F-150 to buy her a Honda Odyssey, but wanted something that would pull better, smaller than fullsize, bigger than small, Dak fit the bill. Week after bought it, got engine light, came online and got help figuring out what it was and how to fix it (new gas cap). Great site and a lot of good folk willing to help. Thanks.
  • Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,095

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  • bookittybookitty Posts: 1,303
    Karen, thanks for the update. No Hemi, but still a nice truck.

  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Yes, thanks for the full review on the new Dakota.

    My first perusal of the '05 led me to believe that I love my '03 even more. It's not that the new Dakota isn't a worthy contender, but like the reviewer in the article I was disappointed in the interior. What bothered me even more was the lack of a full set of gauges, a real no-no in my opinion, both for a truck and especially bad for a Dodge.

    Of course, I still have a hard time getting my face to straighten out after I look at the front-end, which I find unappealing. That by itself wouldn't stop me from buying one, but it doesn't make it easier. The lack of a hemi wouldn't bother me. My little 287 (4.7) runs great and performs better than I would've expected. But I do find it puzzling why Dodge didn't size the truck for the hemi. If it did I'm sure the Dakota manufacturing lines would be two shifts all next year.

    Still, I've talked to a fellow who owns a '05 and he says it's the best handling, best riding, and quiet est truck he's ever driven. And he just came from a Tundra.

  • Had an '01 quad, manual 6 cyl. Excellent vehicle.

    Had 40,000 mi on it and had no trouble. Still had original tires with good tread.


    Picked up an '05 the day before Thanksgiving, fresh off the truck. Since it was late, dealer didn't have much time to 'make ready'. Had a loose fuse and loose piece of back door trim ( I fixed them and jokingly 'complained' to the dealer-who is an hour's drive from me)


    I LIKE IT!!


    It is smoother, quieter, tighter. Finally dried up enough around here where I could lay under it for a while and get acquainted. Several things I like more, as well as more ground clearance.

    Now, admittedly, I had to 'rationalize' just a bit over the initial appearance. But, hey, I even like that, now.


    Initially, I wasn't too thrilled in having to take an automatic, but the manuals hadn't been shipped out yet.


    The main reason I even traded, was of financial/investment considerations.


    The first mileage I have checked, which has been town driving, has been 14.9 mpg. Which is actually a bit better than I had gotten with the manual.
  • 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 between 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!
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    Unless they have changed the "Full Time" 4WD on the Dak, it is simply a 3rd open differentail in the xfer case. In other words, if any one wheel spins, you are stuck. Adding the LSD rear end actually makes matters WORSE. (The details of these facts have been described in previous postings.)


    Given the type of off-roading you have described, you would be locking the xfer case in 4X4 anyway. You may be better off to have an xfer case that can be set to rear-wheel-drive when on the street. That will increase MPG and reduce wear-n-tear that the 'full time' has been proven to cause. (reduced tire and drivetrain components life)


    That ground clearance concern you have may not be a realistic measurement that has meaning while off-roading. You will find that a LONGER WHEELBASE will tend to bottom out more often. (even if the "ground clearance" number that the manufacturers quote is higher.)


    Of course, any experienced off-roader knows the basics of putting the wheels on the "high spots" of the trail. (putting your wheels in an existing rut is a no-no)
  • spike50spike50 Posts: 481
    I agree with bpeebles' points plus I have a '00 part-time 4WD w/ a LSD w/ 5 sp and I've driven on hilly, muddy, icy / snowy, gully-laidened gas pipeline right-of-ways every hunting season:


    1.) Go w/ a part-time 4WD system w/ a LSD rear.

    2.) The above set-up gives you the best gas mileage.

    3.) When I'm in the deep do-do, the above set-up is spinning all 4 wheels and I've gotten out of it - so far.

    4.) I've banged the bottom a few times and as a result, I've slowed down and learned to "read" the best way through the problem areas.

    5.) Most of the time, for me, the clearance has been OK. The Dakota's small wheel wells don't lend themselves easily to simply installing bigger tires and therefore getting more clearance. The aftermarket lift kits that I've looked at require major surgery and seem to be "under-shocked" to prevent more body roll. But if you're thinking about going that way order the 3.92 rear gear ratio rather than the 3.55 since you'll eventually be spinning bigger tires.

    6.) I think the the Dakota can do what you want. Have you ever thought of starting your hikes where the trails cross over a more improved road rather your current MO?
  • eharri3eharri3 Posts: 645
    You really find a 2/10s inch ground clearance difference to be that much of a problem? You really sure this has created an issue for you or are you just zeroing in on numbers and stats instead of real world driveability?
  • Hi Bonnie Rick, Im new to this Forum.. I have a 95 Dakota Sport 2WD, 5 speed 2.5L 4 banger! ;) I need help on where to post on the site.. If any of you can help that would be great. Need to switch bucket seats out and put in a bench if any of you have done this yet please send me a e-mail. Thanks - Tom
  • masfoxmasfox Posts: 1
    I know it's been awhile but what was the problem fix, my 2000 Durango came down with the problen yesterday. I ran a code check but it comes up with zero codes. can you help me out and yes the fuild is good.
  • I can see that this post has changed topics, but I'll probably be around for a little bit so I figured I'd say hey and introduce myself.

    Clinton Jenkins from Hughesville, MD (right next to Waldorf, MD if you know where that is)
    2001 3.9 V6 automatic Club Cab Dakota 4x4 SLT Pearl Blue with gray undertone, including Fender Flares, Line-X spray in bedliner, fiberglass tonneau cover, American Flag windowscape across the back, fully loaded, on 265/70 tires and I love driving it (course that could be due to the fact that my last vehicle was an 88 Oldsmobile Cutlass Cierra but still)

    I have taken it out in the snow in western maryland and the sands at Oregon Inlet on the outer banks and have yet to get stuck (knock on wood)
  • bookittybookitty Posts: 1,303
    Welcome to the fold Clinton. I know just where Waldorf is, sort of the gateway to the Eastern Shore (the Shore) as it is known locally. Also spent many winter days traveling from Hagerstown (Fairplay) up to Matiki Coal in Hancock, MD. Pulled those long hills in snow and ice. The Dak 4X4 beats a Pontiac (company car) hands down.

  • Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,095
    Look who is in the Owners' Spotlight! :shades:

    Edmunds Manager UGC Click on my screen name to send a personal message. Need help navigating? Check out Getting Started in Edmunds Forums.
    Need help picking out a make/model, finding inventory, or advice on pricing? Talk to an Edmunds Car Shopping Advisor

  • bookittybookitty Posts: 1,303
    Karen, I am both humbled honored. At last, my "15 minutes of fame" has arrived. Onward to infamy! Thank you.

    Norm (Bookitty)
  • jnealjneal Posts: 247
    Hello everyone. Just a bit about me.....60 yrs old, retired from Public Safety/EMS, married w/1 child and 1 grandchild.
    Long-time Dodge truck owner and currently own a 1993 Dakota SLT 2x4, CC.3.9 V-6,auto w/125K on odometer.Never any major problems with it.
    Just took delivery on '06 Dakota QC SLT 2x4, 4.7L,Auto,LSD w/just about everything except heated seats..not really useful in Louisiana!
    Plan to continue to drive the '93 until the wheels fall off and leave the '06 in the garage except when I want to make neighbors envious....

    Been lurking on the Dak forums and really received a lot of help in deciding on the '06 and what equipment etc, especially the 4.7L engine as I knew nothing at all about it.
  • bookittybookitty Posts: 1,303
    Welcome to the fold jneal. This is the best auto/truck forum bar none. Made up of many bright and helpful people. Good luck with your new (and your old) truck.

  • jnealjneal Posts: 247
    Thanks for the welcome, bookitty. I agree with you that this is the best forum, bar none. How could it not be, given that it is comprised of people who are smart enough to own the best trucks made!!! :D

    Hope I can be a worthwhile member and contribute something to the forum.
  • guess this makes me pretty stupid
    I bought a 2000 dakota 4x4 quad from a dealer at same time as a new mustang a month ago. As I had traded my good truck in I needed something to pull my bass boat. So far so good - however I took it for an oil change this am to be told there was no front drive shaft!!
    It runs in four wheel drive - yep but with no four wheel drive
    Took it back to dealer who said they would take care of it

    However why would someone remove drive shaft, I suspect to hide faulty transmission prior to dealing in

    Can anyone shed any light - I feel a dummy of the first order
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    On my 1976 full-size blazer with full-time-four-wheel-drive, I used to remove front driveshaft during summer to save on wear-n-tear. In fact, in one case, my WIFE removed the front driveshaft to go shopping because I was busy with other tasks arond the house. My point... it is trivial to remove a driveshaft.

    I have a 2000 Dak. (purchased new in fall of 1999) and the shift-on-the-fly system has been flawless over 90K miles.

    Removing the front driveshaft would NOT hide a xmission problem... The xmission is used ALL THE TIME irreguardless of the state of the xfer case.

    My initial question for you... does your 2000 Dak. have full-time-four-wheel-drive or the shift-on-the-fly system?
  • Many thanks, the Dakota has a shift for 4wd, the mileage is now 132k but I have no service history as to what was repaired/replaced etc in the past.

    All facory recalls have been carried out

    cheers John
  • chuckc1chuckc1 Posts: 3
    Chuck Condry
    Phoenix, Oregon (near Medford)

    Today I bought a nice 1993 Dakota LE regular cab 4WD with a V6 and 5 speed.

    It's good to know there is a place to go for advice and information.

    Best wishes,

  • jnealjneal Posts: 247
    Welcome to the forums. Hope you have as good luck with your 93 as I have. Bought 93 SLE ClubCab new, now have 120K virtually trouble free on it. Best vehicle I have ever owned.
  • chuckc1chuckc1 Posts: 3
    Thanks. I'd like mine to be as dependable. It's got 89K on it and seems to have been maintained well. It's dark red with the usual mottled paint on the roof and hood. The previous owner had already bought the necessary paint, so it's going to look sharp in few weeks.
  • I have attempted several times to get advice for my problem
    and, so far have been ignored. You seem to know your
    auto mechanics and are a pro or sharp shade-tree mechanic.?
    My problem is my 1987 Dakota 4x4 won't come out of 4-wheel
    drive without killing the engine and letting it sit for
    awhile. What's wrong with it?
  • You seem to be a sharp shade-tree mechanic. Maybe you can
    help me with my problem: my 1987 Dakota 4x4 won't come out
    of 4-wheel drive without stopping, killing the engine and
    waiting several seconds. What's wrong?
  • Hey guys, joined last year but haven't been able to post much. I have a 1993 dodge dakota le club cab with a 318 and a 5 speed standard transmission. The engine is a transplant and has dual 2 1/4 inch exaust from the manifold to the end exiting to the sides at 45 degrees. I'm currently painting it and getting rid of the dents(got ran into last week). I'm also building a ram air system for the truck and am wondering, just to wonder, if people would be intrested in a air intake system for older dakota's( 92- about 95) since there almost impossible to find.
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516 well as the Membership Agreement, we ask that you please not include your email address in your messages. The forums are searchable by all internet engines, and you put your email address at risk. You may always make the email address in your profile "public" (use the preferences link to the left) which will make it visible to Edmunds registered members only.

    kcram - Pickups Host
  • My bad. I'm sorry I was at work and typing in during breaks. I dint get to read the agrement tell after i got home. It's habit cause I do it at work all the time. I'll fix the problem in the future.
    JAG :(
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516
    Just trying to keep you from getting spammed :)
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