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Dodge Dakota



  • thornestarthornestar Posts: 1
    I am looking into buying a Dakota does any one have any suggestions or comments?
  • scourgescourge Posts: 1
    to thornestar, ya don't go to late in the day, i went in at 7:30 today, they close at 8pm. I wanted a dakota loaded v6 club cab, they offered it to me for 22,000 which i practically passed out at, my trade... is a 95 gmc sonoma, with 3,000 of options put into it after sale, going price for that is 10,500 trade in value. they offered me 4,500. I spent an hour, and the sales person actually said this to me at the end "if you can't come up with 4,000 you might as well leave" so i did. they would not move off prices at all. i showed them print outs even from edmunds. i did every tactic that i could think of even "i guess you don't want to sell me a car" and edmunds was right, he turned red at that one LOL it was butifull. But that's when he told me to come up with money and leave. crappy sales person if you ask me. Good luck man and get ready to spend an entire day there. and to utilize every thing on this web site, if it was anything like my experience. It just got me back in the car buying mood again, tomarrow i go for broke,and not the "test drive" grin.
  • devenmdevenm Posts: 2
    i am looking at buying a 1987 dakota 4wd v6 3.9L engine. it has 140,000 miles on the truck with the engine being rebuilt after 60,000 miles. it is only $2000. i would have to have the e-brake replaced and i could get a paint job. is it worth it. please e-mail me about weather this is a good deal. is there a lot of problems with this truck? it is my first truck! Please give me advise
  • devenmdevenm Posts: 2
    would you buy this truck???????????
  • pttaylorpttaylor Posts: 34
    devenm, I would not buy "anything" with that many miles on it for $2K!!!!!
  • Hi folks,
    I am trying to find out if any other people are having problems with there power steering
    pumps on 97 or 98 Dakota. The problem is not constant but for a new truck should not be happening. When decelerating something seems
    to plug up and cause fluid to be forced out the fill
    cap. Of course Dodge denies that there is a problem, but I have talked with one other Dakota owner that had the same problem. Also with the paint flaking off front bumper. Just had it repainted for 2 time. Otherwise the truck has been great. It is 1997 Dakota sport 6 cly reg cab.
    Any other with info please let me know.

    Thanks Randy
  • MipSavyMipSavy Posts: 1
    Hey, I was interested in buying a '98 Dakota x-tra cab (4wd of course) and I was wondering if anyone could tell me what the largest size tires you can put on the new Dakota without getting a lift kit. I know they come with 31x10.75 but is that the largest I can get?
  • timlincatimlinca Posts: 4
    Interesting to read of steering problems. I took
    delivery of my 1997 SLT ext cab on April 1 1997.
    Two weeks later the hose popped off of the power steering pump and it became very hard to steer:^(
    The dealer simply reattached the hose and filled the fluid. Two weeks later the pump froze and caused the belt to pop off. (The pulley froze) This caused the alternator, water pump and everything else on the belt (which is everything) to stop working. Had to be towed in.
    Then, the dealer replaced the pump and belt.
    That, my friends it the only problem I had with the Dakota in over 1 year of ownership. I've got 20,000 miles on it. I just chalk it up to an assemply problem. Someone in the factory didn't tighten a hose clamp screw. The failure of the pump I attribute to driving the truck 1/2 hour without power steering fluid for lubrication. The dealer should have replaced it the first time instead of just patching it.
  • timlincatimlinca Posts: 4
    I thought I would give you folks my own thoughts on Dakota ownership for the first year and 20,000 miles. Like I said in my previous post, the truck is a 1997 that was special ordered from the factory. In fact the sticker in the window said "Specially made for Tim Layman". A nice touch. I got a price midway between MSRP and invoice, not a great deal but not bad. It has the 5.2 liter motor, handling package, 2WD, SLT club cab, heavy duty service package, limited slip dif, premium sound system, standard seats, automatic. Basically set up to tow as much as possible but without a hitch yet.

    1) Power steering problem listed in previous post.
    2) Engine is very smooth, quiet but believe it or not, seems underpowered to me. Tons of torque off the line but horsepower drops off above 3000rpm. I think what we have here is a lot of low end torque for towing and load carrying but 0-60 is not that good. The engine is powerful for what it should be used for but you won't win any stoplight drag races with it:^) (My wife's 96 2.8liter stratus is faster to 60 but I can tow a boat trailer.)
    3) Gas mileage is 16-16.5 consistently. You may consider that good or bad compared to what you are used to.
    4) Ride is too soft. Big bumps cause the truck to oscillate several times before returning to steady state. I am planning to put stiffer gas shocks to remedy this. (I have the optional handling package)
    5) Limited slip rear end has very slight jitter when starting from a dead stop. So slight that I am the only one to notice it so far.
    6) Truck is very quiet and very comfortable inside. The standard seats and appointments are very nice and comfortable.
    7) A little tough to park in tight spots due to it's size. It is nearly 3 feet longer than my previous 1986 Ford Ranger. I'm still getting used to the size. I like it except when it comes time to park.
    8) It's a 1/2 ton rated truck. You can throw a half ton in the back and not even know it's there.
    9) The optional Infinity and Alpine CD system is great. It adds to comfort level on long trips.
    10)It survived a hail storm that dented the hoods of the small Hondas next to me on the freeway. (They called in the local radio station complaining about this. I just drove home.)
    11) I have not had one squeak or rattle in the entire time I owned this truck. There are no paint problems or fit and finish problems at all.
    12) Contrary to what I read in this list, my auto tranny is extremely smooth and quiet. It shifts perfectly and always at the right time. I must have gotten a defective one:^)

    Those are my pro and con comments. Hope it helps anyone trying to make a decision.

  • bch239bch239 Posts: 1
    I am considering a compact truck purchase by mid summer. Have looked at all of them, foreign and domestic. Am leaning toward Dakota, but with T100 as a second contender. 90% of my driving is to/from work (~ 50 mi per day), so I need low maintenance, dependable, and mileage better than 18 mpg. Not looking to tow much of anything other than an occasional load of mulch, or my ATV to the deer camp. I want a truck for its utility - own a day care and am always buying supplies, food, play equip, cribs, etc.

    Currently have an 89 Nissan King Cab; considered replacement, but it's too small.

    Let me hear about the good and the bad ........
  • BrutusBrutus Posts: 1,113
    Are you sure the Dakota will get 18+ mpg?
  • pttaylorpttaylor Posts: 34
    If you want 18+mpg from a Dakota, you will be lucky to get that with the 3.9LV6! Maybe you could with the 4cyl. though. I drive a 1998 3.9L V6 Auto and do not get over 16mpg in town. I have not had a chance to check the highway mpg yet.
  • dicksmithdicksmith Posts: 2
    Hello all you DAKOTA fans, I just logged onto this sight and have skimmed thru some of the remarks on this great truck. Thought I'd thro in my 2 cents worth. I special ordered mine and took delivery in dec. of 97. Black, 2WD, and V-8 POWER! It stickered at a little over 20 grand, so it's got quite a few goodies. I've also added a few more Dodge accessories including the front bug deflectors, bed liner, wheel moldings(these really look sharp),and plan on adding those nice black anodized bed rails soon.
    I've been a MOPAR fan since my high school days back during the great performance wars in the late 60's and early 70's. When I heard of this new sports truck coming out with V-8 power I had to get one. And let me tell anyone who's reading this, Dodge did a great job, I get comments all the time on how great the truck looks, and anyone I let drive it, really like the power and feel on the road. The upgraded suspension with huge Goodyear Eagle LS's mounted on those sharp looking 15 X 8 in aluminum rims really grip the road. By the way, if anyone else has this option and has noticed unusual wear on the outside front tires, Have a good alignment shop compensate by adjusting the toe spec about 1/16 per side to eliminate the scrubbing.
    I live in upstate New York, and drive almost 50 miles to work one way. Yep, that's approx. 500 miles per week, and with 40,000 miles on it up to now, it drives as good as the first day I picked it up. I do run only synthetic oil with a Prolong boost. I'm just about ready to change the trans fluid and rear end and plan on using synthetics there to.
    The 318 they thru in this is really a smooth little number. I can cruse down the NYS Thruway at 75 MPH and only turn about 2200 RPM, with the 3.55 limited slip rear end! That's not even half the red line! I have the overhead console, and the MPG has stayed between 17.5 and 18 since I've bought it. Anybody want to argue on the reason to buy a V-8 over a V-6!!
    I'm now debating on trading it in on the RT. I've seen a few around and they really look sharp. Haven't seen any short boxes yet. It's gotta be a hell of a runner! I see Edmunds doesn't list the options yet in their sight, but the RT lists about $3000 more on the window, anyone got the dealer costs?
    Haaa... who needs it, I can baby mine around in comfort and at any time, SMOKE almost any stock truck on the road.
    Happy motoring
  • BrutusBrutus Posts: 1,113
    Yeah, but remember, the Dakota V-8 is not even in the class of the Ranger or the S-10, and it's obvious with the price. The question is, is the Dakota the best choice when you can get a full size for a few bucks more?
  • UnhappyUnhappy Posts: 3
    I have a 98 4x4 Dakota CC with the 3.9 V6. The truck is almost 6 months old. I was wondering if anyone has had a vibration problem with their Dak's?? The dealership and Chrysler has been chasing one in mine since day one!! They have balanced the driveshaft, replaced the driveshaft, replaced the ring&pinion, balanced tires and a multitude of other things but the vibration is still there. It seems to come in at between 40-45 mph and stays till over 60. It's like traveling over a road that a bulldozer has been on with the trac marks.

    I like the truck, but this has been very frustrating. Nothing like the 95 Ram 4x4 I sold to buy this truck. Any help you can lend will be appreciated. Right now I've asked for a replacement vehicles, as this falls well within the Lemon Law requirements.


  • truckenvytruckenvy Posts: 4
    5 Years ago, I would have only considered 1 small truck on the market - Toyota. With the look of the Dakotas, reliability of the Rangers, and prices of the imports, I am now ready to change my mind. However, these little trucks all cost about the same as buying a full size. Where is the logic there? Also, with the new Dakotas, they talk about beefing up the undercarriage. Historically, Dodge has not been the most reliable. Have things improved with the new styling?
  • sgrantsgrant Posts: 5
    What does your service department say about the noisy shifters?
  • E3MP6E3MP6 Posts: 70
    I just got a new 4x4 Dakota SLT Club Cab. Awesome truck. Beats everything on the market hands down (except maybe the full Ram). Price was something that started to turn me away from the Dakota though. You're right. The Ranger and S10/Sonoma are cheaper, but the dakota is much bigger. My truck is just as long and tall as a Chevy 1500 (longer than a Ford F-150), just not quite as wide. After all, it is still a mid-size truck. The thing that finally got me to go with the Dakota instead of a full size like the Ram was that by going to a slightly smaller truck but keeping the V-8 engine (I've got the 5.2 ltr.)I was able to add on the club cab, 4x4, and load it out on the power options for about the same price as a Ram with some options and the 5.9 ltr V-8
  • ed44ed44 Posts: 1
    I'm interested in purchasing a Dakota but am not a big fan of Chrysler engines, does anybody know the history of the 5.9L V8 ? What is its reliability and repair records ? What other cars does Chrysler/Dodge put it in ?
  • E3MP6E3MP6 Posts: 70
    The 5.9 for the Dakota is only in the R/T model. It's a street muscle truck through and through. I don't know 'bout the reliability stuff, but it will smoke almost anything off the line now that Dodge shoehorned that 5.9 into the Dakota.

    the Dakota 5.9 is the same 5.9 in the Ram. I have friends with 5.9 Rams, no complaints so far (both '97 models)


    I want to put a dual exhaust system on my 5.2 V-8 Dakota (wish the 5.9 was avail. in 4x4). I've never done dual exhaust before and have heard (comments in the 'Coupes' section of TownHall) that I need to be careful not to mess up the balance between the intake and outake. I don't want to get too in depth in what I have to change. Anybody have from the cats back or headers back? Pipe size? FlowMaster? etc...
    I'm not real interested in raising the horse power, just getting a good solid rumble. None of that glass pack stuff.

  • E3MP6E3MP6 Posts: 70
    Almost forgot that one. Anybopdy know of any other Chrysler vehicle using the 5.9? So far Dakota R/T, Ram, and Durango.
  • lab357lab357 Posts: 3
    I have been looking into purchasing a 98 Dakota Extended Cab 4X2 V6 and have been reading your comments on the Dakota in general. It seems that several people are having problems with the engine and transmission. Is this limited to a certain model and engine combination?
  • I just bought a 93 dodge dakota, with a v6 3.9l, it makes a clicking noise under the engine and the guy that sold it says that all dodge 3.9's do that. Someone else also mentioned that. Is there really a problem?
  • mmcelroymmcelroy Posts: 1
    Does anyone here own a Dakota?
  • leedy1998leedy1998 Posts: 1
    I'm wanting to by a mini or mid sized pickup. And I've looked at some Nissan's and some dakota's. I'm a real mopar fan. And I'd much rather have DODGE.

    I'm looking at a 1994 Dakota ext Cab v-8 slt 4x4
    It has all the extra's and a bedliner and camper top.(probably take that off) But it has 98,000 miles. That kind of mileage scares me just a little bit. Edmund's say's it's worth $11,446. I called the dealer and he said he wanted $9,950. By the end of the conversation he wanted me to come check it out and he dropped the price to $9,500. I can't go look at it until this weekend but i think if i take $9,000 cash with me. He will probably take it. SOMEBODY PLEASE TELL ME THEIR PAST EXPERIENCE WITH DAKOTA'S AND MILEAGE LIKE THIS.

    I think high mileage is the only way i can afford a truck like this.

    Thanks feel free to E-mail me!!!
  • ggoldbergggoldberg Posts: 1
    I have test drove 2 V-6 4x4's with 5 speed trans. Both had a slight miss in the engine, almost as if the computer didn't quite know what to do Does anyone know if this is normal ? The dealer said that it was and that it would go away w/ an auto trans.
  • kaateekaatee Posts: 1
    I posted this message in the wrong place so before the Webmaster catches me, I'll try again...
    I'm just visiting this forum, I usually hang out
    at the Durango site and have been doing so for 6 months. One problem someone reported was water and or mud splashing into the engine compartment thru large openings in the front wheel wells of the Durango. Since the Dakota has the same sheet metal on the front I thought any of you with the same concerns might benefit from my solution to the problem. Below is a "reprint" of a post I made earlier on the Durango site:

    Before I got my D I had read about the large
    openings in the front wheel wells and the frame.
    I think Purdy was the one that reported mud being splashed onto the engine thru the holes. I had forgotten about it until a couple of weeks ago when I was driving through one of the summer thunder storms Va. is famous for. I drove into a large puddle and water must have splashed onto the exhaust manifold, for a second there I though I had a fire under the hood...turns out it was steam. I agree with others on this forum that it cannot be good for the engine, starter and other components to have water, mud etc. constantly splashed onto these parts. I
    fixed the problem with a design taken from my old
    Pathfinder. It had rubber splash guards installed
    over the openings to keep out unwanted debris
    and water. I made templates from paper and using these, cut rubber flaps to cover the holes. The rubber is held in place with automotive nylon
    fasteners. The result looks like it came from the
    factory (I don't know why they don't do it). Most
    of the work was in making the templates to fit
    around the brake lines and the opening in the
    plastic inner fender. After the rubber was cut it took about 30 mins. a side to install. A side benefit is there seems to be less brake dust on the front wheels, there must have been a lot of air coming thru the grill and going out those holes and thru the front wheels, carrying brake dust with it. If anyone is interested in a materials list and detailed instructions on how to install these, E-mail me. I would also be willing to mail people on this forum a complete "kit" (at cost, about $15 a side) with the rubber, cut to size, and the fasteners to hold them in place.

  • E3MP6E3MP6 Posts: 70
    Service Bulletin on '98 Dakota/Durango

    Anybody experiencing this?

    Knocking sounds like it's high up in the engine compartment, is in perfect timing with the idle of the engine, and becomes almost unnoticeable after revving up over 1500-1800 RPMs. Also, it can be felt in the steering wheel, dash, and or shifter if you've got a manual tranny.

    One lame-o service center at a dealership I took it to said it was the exhaust "baffling" where the two manifold out-takes merge into the one pipe to go to the catalytic converter. That's a load if I've ever heard one. The knock is not always present, gets louder after being run for a while, and is obviously much higher in the engine than the relatively low lying exhaust pipe merger point. Bunch of crooks!

    Anyhow, I took my truck to another Dodge dealer and the mechanic knew what it was before I even popped the hood. There's a black plastic valve housing about 3" long and 1 1/2" in diameter mounted to the firewall on the driver's side of the engine compartment, all the way at the top of the firewall. Has 2 or 3 hoses attached to it. Put your finger on it when you hear the knock (careful, it can be pretty hot). If it feels like someone's tapping it with a hammer, BINGO! Go see your service center and have 'em order the replacement part. It's not going to hurt anything, the knocking just gets annoying.

    I'll see if I can get the service bulletin # and post it here later.
  • Hi!
    What figures do I use to calculate a good offer on a 1998 Dodge Dakota SLT (+)?
  • rattmannrattmann Posts: 1
    I own a 90 extended Dak, w/86000 miles. My overdrive goes in and out at highway speeds. It drives me crazy! Any one else have this problem, and if so, what needs done? I had a 92 plymouth minivan that the trans went out on, and i'm concerned about this truck. Any comments are greatly appreciated! Thank you.
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