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  • obyoneobyone Posts: 8,054
    Well I guess you don't consider the RAM 3500 with the Cummins diesel a REAL truck. I guess its all marketing causing Dodge to put in disc brakes on all four wheels? Don't believe me? Check it out for yourself.

    Disk brakes leave black dust? Hmmm I don't see any on mine. Course I wash my truck every two weeks. All depends on the pads.

    I'm glad that the truck manufacturers are into marketing cause I'll take 4 wheel disk anyday over drums. Hell of a lot easier to work on too.

  • txyank1txyank1 Posts: 1,010
    drum brakes are still offered is $$$$.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    My reference to REAL trucks was more twards MACK, INTERNATIONAL and other REAL trucks that are expected to run 100thousand miles and stop heavy loads.

    Dont get me started on the new RAM losing the solid front axle.... it is getting more de-trucked as I look at it deeper. (including losing rear DISK brakes) It is that stupid MARKETING again... getting in the way of technically-superiour designs.
    I know people that use Cummins-RAMS for real work and severly dislike the de-trucking of it. Tell them about the value of rear-disk brake when trying to slow down a trailer with a bulldozer on it. (after going thru mud up to the frame)

    It appears that Dodge is following the lead of Ford with its truck line... the base RAM is pretty much a toy... one must pay for the "heavy duty" version of the RAM to get a solid front axle and rear drum brakes.

    I guess the marketing is for folks like you that do not want a REAL truck and prefer a carlike ride with disks all around... throw in those silly oversized wheels (but dont try to go over a curb... lest bust the wheel) Ill bet you even have an automatic tranny on your "truck" ;-)

    No offense meant... if that is what people want to buy... so be it 8-)
  • mopar67mopar67 Posts: 728
    however, despite your misgivings, CR really dumped on the "new" ram in its latest review. Matter of fact, it rated that abortion of a truck, the Chevy Avalance, as superior to the Ram.
    Perhaps in some ways it is. Perhaps its not.

    However, CR is looking at trucks as simply bigger versions of Camrys and expects them to perform as such. Just read their review and their criteria for a pickup in the issue where they waxed niceties about the Tundra!

    I offer the following satire for entertainment as well as to prove a point:

    CR....we like the 747 for comfort but its a gas hog and needs large amounts of real estate to park, take off, and land. Not to mention its not as reliable as a Camry and needs 2 pilots and a flight engineer to fly it. At this time, we cannot recommend the 747 as a viable aircraft.

    CR....our top pick in this review is the F-18 Hornet. Boasting sophisticated radar, a short takeoff and landing plus excellent firepower, we rate it superior to the Boeing entry. Throw in the ability to take off from a carrier and you have a winner. Our CR "best buy" is the F-18.

    Get my point? Apples to oranges here. Same with CR. THey see trucks as extensions of cars or perhaps compliments to cars and therefore expect them to perform like cars....tsk tsk.....

    Finally, you say MARKETING is the evil here. Perhaps....but never forget ACCOUNTING has a BIG hand in the final design of a vehicle these days, be it car or truck. Maybe thats why the ram lost its solid front axle :)
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Okay. My nearly year long search for a truck has me in a Dakota Club Cab Sport Plus 4x2 (although I really, really, really liked the new RAM), 4.7 engine, 5-45RFE transmission, Chrysler 9 1/4 limited slip axle 3.55.

    This truck runs great!!! Despite some saying the 4.7 in RAM was underpowered, I thought it was more than adequate. In the Dakota Club Cab it is much more than adequate! I'll report my fuel consumption later in the week.

    Anyway, this truck has the 26C package. The Sport Plus has standard heavy duty suspension (6010 GVWR), heavy front & rear stabilizer bars, 16 x 7 inch cast aluminum wheels, P245/70R16 tires, and other stuff. The 26C package includes 16 x 8 wheels, P245/70R16 On/Off Road tires, and some more stuff, but says the GVWR is 5350 lbs.

    My question I pose to you ultra-knowledgeable Dakota folks is, what is my GVWR? I find it hard to believe that by going from 16 x 7 inch to 16 x 8 inch wheels and the on-road/off-road tires in the same size that I lose 660 pounds of GVWR, but that's what the invoice implies.

    Any comments will be appreciated.

  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,703
    I have been under the impression that thru 2002 the Dakota and Durango all had rear drum brakes without the option of 4 wheel disc, but they did add them in 2003...that was my simple point...having had 4 wheel disc on my last 6 cars, I always thought I stopped better, wet or dry, than disc/drum combo...also, GMC, Chevy and Ford have added 4 wheel disc to their half ton trucks in the last few years, I thought it was time for Dakota, altho smaller, should catch up...for those who prefer disc/drum, I do not have an answer for you, except that I am happy :)
  • bookittybookitty Posts: 1,303
    Bob, I have no axe to grind in either direction, but was relating my "real time" observations as regards the use of disc versus drum brakes. In 37 years of working for manufacturers of heavy duty all wheel drive/steer off road construction equipment as well as truck and truck mounted cranes, the compelling factor for going to disc brakes was the vendor. It was cost effective (cheaper) to supply axles with disc brakes mounted on them. In off road equipment usage, braking distances are really not a consideration so much as is brake failure. You can imagine what happens to the disc rotors and calipers when they begin to "plow" rocks and debris buried in the mud. Great for parts sales. In over the road CDL type equipment (> 26,000 GVW) disc brakes were not offered (or desired) and air operated drum brakes were preferred. All braking systems suffer somewhat in wet conditions. Some feel that disc brakes suffer more. So you see, Bob, I am only relating my personal experience even though it is anecdotal.

  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    It just so happens that I saw two Dakotas on my dealer's lot that had rear wheel disc brakes. I believe they were 2003 models.

    Bookitty makes some good points. I'll add that the major and probably only advantage to disc brakes is in significant reduction of brake fade on long or repeated stops. A secondary advantage is the elimination of the brake adjustment factor for correct operation, especially on the front brakes.

    Just about everything else are disadvantages. Caliper seizing is a very common problem, and in general disc braking systems are more susceptible to environmental impacts and subsequent maladies. They are not necessarily less expensive to maintain and service, nor necessarily easier to service. This depends on the model vehicle, of course.

    Some in the service repair business will argue that brakes have always been a major problem in motor vehicles, and that is most certainly true. However, on vehicles equipped with front disc brakes and rear drums (a common configuration), the rear drum brakes are generally serviced far less.

  • bookittybookitty Posts: 1,303
    Dusty, I forgot to mention that the disc brakes that I was referring to, as being used on the off road heavy duty construction equipment were outboard dry discs, configured as automotive type brakes with the rotor mounted to the outside end of the axle and located inboard of the wheel. Some of the smaller machines used a wet brake contained in the axle hub. These had somewhat reduced (unimportant) stopping power, but were not exposed to dirt, debris and rocks. Very difficult to service, especially in the field. Then there are the inboard brakes (used on farm equipment and some European models) where the brake is part and parcel of the differential "pumpkin." Much reduced stopping efficiency since it is further from the wheel. Hope that this has not been too boring.

  • If your going to keep bashing all the accountants, than you should throw in the union too!!

    It has to be real tuff getting 90% of your paycheck if you get laid off. Wonder why trucks cost so much... just ask the guy making 75,000 per year to put seats in it.

    anybody that has ever been in business for themselves, knows that labor is usually your greatest expense!

  • mopar67mopar67 Posts: 728
    wow....which union? I'm ready to sign up! How doI apply?
    Once I saw my old mans paycheck (union I might add) and I did some math and it was no where near 75K a year. Wish it was however.

    You're right, in addtion to the finance folks, we should look also at institutional shareholders and management at large. Mustn't forget those big time pay packages and exhorbitant stock options (regardless of the financial performance of the company, just look at Kmart!)Not to mention severance packages big enough to float the titanic. I wonder how many workers (the people who actually DO stuff) could be hired for the same amount a CEO gets paid these days. I would imagine quite a few.

    You are right, labor is such a huge exepense, (Bob Lutz states in his book it amounts to 13% of the cost of building a car)something MUST be done.
    It already has. Its called moving jobs offshore in search of lowest cost/highest quality. Might was well keep a good trend going right? After all, who needs an "industrial" economy in the information age? Who needs tomake a good living manufacturing things when you can do just as well in the service economy? Walmart's always hiring, always. How many towns and cities can function w/o the tax revenue and the business taxes (example Flint MI) when the jobs go overseas? Nothing like watching a factory close and people go begging for jobs only to have a walmart step in and save the day. How much is wal mart paying these days anyway?

    I love to hear about the high cost of labor in this great republic of ours. All the analysts says if we could only get labor costs under control, we'd be world beaters. Funny, all those so called high quality workforces in the third world barely earn enough to sustain a consumer driven economy; thus those nations MUST export. And of course, in the never ending drive for lowest possible cost, we abide by 18th trade principles that most of the rest of the world ignores. Let the cheapest of the cheap come in here then scratch our heads when we cannot compete with 50 cents an hour slave labor elsewhere.
    Why does the country that produced the likes of Eli Whitney, Thomas Edison, and Andrew Carnegie have such a tough time competing in machine tools, consumer electronics, and steel?

    Is it all unions fault? If it is, where does boneheaded management decisions and the lust for even more $$$ come in to play? What about the cost of government regulation, Social Security contributions, and contribution to the clean air act? All these things cost money. As sam walton once said, keep your workforce happy and you won't have to worry about fighting a union.

    Why can a guy like Jack Welch be idolized in the business world but no one looks twice at HIS huge salary an benefit packeage. Is one person really worth all that much? Oh, he is. I forgot how he got the nickname "Neutron Jack" (he "vaporized" jobs but left the buildings intact or so I read).

    And unions are the problem.........uh huh.
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,703
    the unions or I might start a flame war, but I would like to add to the disc/drum discussion...I believe that the Dakota may have 4W disc as an option on the upper end models, maybe not on all of the error...I believe it does help against brake fade...oddly enough, when I was working in an auto machine shop, we used to overhaul frozen calipers all the time...yet I have never personally experienced caliper freeze on any of my vehicles...
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,703
    the unions or I might start a flame war, but I would like to add to the disc/drum discussion...I believe that the Dakota may have 4W disc as an option on the upper end models, maybe not on all of the error...I believe it does help against brake fade...oddly enough, when I was working in an auto machine shop, we used to overhaul frozen calipers all the time...yet I have never personally experienced caliper freeze on any of my vehicles...
  • Anyone know where I can buy skid plates besides from the dealer. They have been on back order from the dealer for 5 weeks and they have no idea when they are coming in.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    2003 Dakota Club Cab Plus, 4.7 w/545RFE, 3.55 limited slip axle, on/off road Goodyear SR-A tires, 6010 GVW package ---

    I know this isn't a Quad Cab report, but my first 275 miles on 16.3 gallons (US) gave me 16.87 MPG. This was mixed driving, mostly around town, then some open rural roads. About 55 miles was expressway driving. It also included some full throttle demonstrations for interested parties, including my daughter who "lit the tires" up a few times.

    I honestly didn't think I was going to get this mileage from watching the fuel gauge. The gauge just seems to drop steadily compared to my '93 Sentra.

    A few observations:

    Its real easy to overfill the tank. I'm use to clicking a few times after the nozzle shuts off automatically. I did this today and found a tenth of a gallon on the ground in no time.

    There is next to no wind noise in this Dakota. In fact, I noticed that our '99 Avalon has more. A friend drove it today who still has a 1994 Dakota and the first thing he said was how quiet it was. Now the Goodyear SR-A Wranglers, unfortunately more than make up the difference. They are extremely noisy to me. Others said they were moderately noisy. I'm use to Michelins.

    Handling is superb. I've never driven a truck that handles this well, of course with a nearly 2-inch front sway bar and a 3/4 inch rear, it should, I guess. The ride is stiff, but not punishing and not annoying. My anti-truck spouse has yet to complain.

    Found an adhesive tag on the frame that had the vehicle serial number. My truck was on the line on 17 August. Not sure when it was shipped.

  • Your right... its the accountants!!!

    Not once did I say that the problem was the Union!!!!!!!! I said that if you were going to bash, then bash everybody involved. P.S. That includes the union. Notice how even in your response the only people not responsible for the problems seemed to be the union. Of course that was after you said that your tranny must have been built on friday. How was the accountant responsible for that one?

    (deep breath)

    I don't want to have a union vs. non-union debate. Just a couple of questions.

    Do you have stocks? Retirement accounts? Want that money to grow? If you do then maybe your to blame... just like the rest of us. It's just not as easy as you think...keeping labor happy, consumers happy, stock holders (owners) happy. They all have different goals, short term at least.

    You have obviously spent may hours reading about the likes of some of the "great" (i say that loosly) managers of our time. What would have happened it they didn't react like they did? Bankrupcy? Unable to compete? Unfortunetly I don't know!

    Simply put.... I agree with a lot of what you have to say. Especially that we need to retain manufacturing within our borders!! But blame for our current situation needs to be placed on everybody.

    That is all I'm trying to say!

  • Wow, I haven't checked in with this group for two years. (Don't pay the ransom, I got loose). Good to see it's still active! And Bookitty, so good to 'see' you again!!

    FWIW, my 2000 4.7L auto, 4x4 Quad Cab now has over 42k miles now, no problems whatsoever. Gas milage has slowly improved, up to over 18mpg on trips, despite the lead foot. It's been a great truck.

    I've even finally gotten used to my 'beige' headliner .....

  • mopar67mopar67 Posts: 728
    a $75,000 union worker, I had to respond. Sorry to get hot under the collar, but I am proud of my dad and the work he did as a union worker in a factory. Because of his work and the decent salary he commanded, I was able to obtain a college education.
    Didn't mean to write a book here, but I felt compelled to say what I felt.
  • I apologize for coming off on the wrong foot.

    Just remember that my dad worked hard too, and the slights that you make to "white collar" workers does not justify your position.

    Keep on truckin!

  • mopar67mopar67 Posts: 728
    ".......and the slights that you make to "white collar" workers does not justify your position."

    It justifies it at about the same rate as your slight to blue collar workers.
  • bookittybookitty Posts: 1,303
    Jeff, it was good to see your post. What do you mean, "beige?" I thought it was "greige." Jeff, don't be a stranger. This remains a pretty active group given that 90% of the posts are no longer referencing "delivery." I'm still happy with my 2000 Quad even though I have far less mileage. When I was working, I drove over 50,000 miles per year. Now, I only drive when "driven." Stay in touch.

  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    You can look forward to better fuel economy as you put on the miles. The first 20K miles seems to really make a difference with the MPG. (Tight engine... takes time to burnish-in the moving parts)

    After I switched to full synthetic lube (RedLine) in both axles, xfer case and manual tranny, I got some more MPG out of it. The addition of a Borla catback seemed to give me another 1-2 MPG too.

    I now can expect 18-20MPG on most trips My MPG s touched 21MPG (4.7L);-)
  • A cell phone charger (despite having a fuse in the charger plug) went dead short and took out my accessory jack, complete with an exciting couple seconds of sparks and even a brief wisp of smoke.

    Needless to say, my accessory jack is now dead. There has to be a fuse for the accessory jack somewhere, but I can't seem to find it.

    Any experiences or suggestions?


    2000 Quad Cab
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Unlike owner's manuals of years past, my 2003 Dodge Dakota manual does not show a diagram of the fuse box and the corresponding fused devices.

    A fuse panel (I think for interior devices) is on the extreme left side of the instrument panel. You will need to open the driver's door to access it.

    Another fuse panel is in the engine compartment on the left side of the vehicle. there is a quick snap-off cover over it, although I suspect exterior fuses are located there.

    Good luck,
  • I've checked both of those areas and nothing is marked for the accessory jack. The manual says the AJ will handle 20 amps and is connected directly to the battery (unswitched). But there has to be a fuse somewhere.

    In the past couple of weeks I've installed a new HF ham radio rig in the QC and 100W driving lights on the safari bar, so I've been all over much of the wiring of the vehicle. I've kept and eye open for a fuse holder around the firewall and under the dash, but haven't found it yet.

    The accessory jack fuse has got to be in some stupid simple place that I've blindly overlooked, .... which I'll immediately blame on my new bifocals.

  • Thanks Dusty!

    I let my ticket expire several years ago, as working in commercial two-way day in and day out sort of burnt me out with it as a hobby for awhile. But am going to go test in the next few weeks and get back into it again. I'm very thankful for the new 5wpm rule. I think I'd rather have a root canal than slug through getting my speed up to 13wpm!

    I installed a 706MKII (remoted) with an AH-4 tuner and 40m stick, lots of grounding w/3" copper strap, nice, quiet RX. Looking forward to trying it out in the near future!

  • bcarter3bcarter3 Posts: 145
    Jeff, I have an '01 Service Manual but they should be the same. The fuse for the Power Outlet is located in the Power Distribution Center under the hood. It is fuse D, 20amp. On the inside of the cover it is identified as PW OUT. Hope this helps.

  • Your right.

    I will try to bite my tongue when you bring it up again
  • Thanks Dick. Apparently the '01 is different. In looking thoroughly at my '00 power distribution center, there is no fuse labled 'D' or 'PW OUT'. I've looked at every fuse inside and out, and every circuit is labeled and seems to be accounted for .... except the Power Outlet (accessory jack).
This discussion has been closed.