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Dodge Dakota, Truck
#786 of 840 Re: DAKOTA SLT CLUB CAB AWD [malcolm1]
Apr 10, 2005 (6:37 am)
malcom1, If you purchased a 1994 Dodge Dakota with a 4.7 V8, hold on to that truck. It will be on display at the Smithsonion Museum, because the 4.7 was not available on the Dakota until the 2000 model year. Full time 4WD is just that, an "on demand" other than 4WD lock and 4WD low range. It differs from the part time 4WD system, as it has a differential within the transfer case. Bruce (bpeebles) or Dusty can offer a clearer defining of this type of unit.
#787 of 840 Re: DAKOTA SLT CLUB CAB AWD [malcolm1]
Apr 10, 2005 (4:30 pm)
First, you have to determine the ACTUAL model-year of your Dakota.
There are 2 things that you mention that WERE NOT AVAILABLE in 1994
1) The 4.7L v8. (not available in Dak until 2000)
2) Pushbutton xfer case. (Not available in Dak until 2001)
We need to know what you have before we can be expected to discuss it intellegently.
#788 of 840 aftermarket rotors
Apr 12, 2005 (2:46 am)
for those who UPGRADED, how are these rotors holding up in regard to longevityand braking performance?
#789 of 840 DAKOTA CLUB CAB SLT AWD 2004 "CORRECTION"
Apr 12, 2005 (7:51 am)
In my haste typing the message Sunday, I misstated the year of my truck. It is NOT a 1994, but a 2004 with a 4.7 V-8 engine. I do not believe that 2WD option is available on this truck. The switch indicator has three (3) positions: (L) AWD, (C) H4WD, and (R) L4WD. The salesperson at the dealership told me that it is possible to shift into the center position of H4WD while going 30 mph or less. However, the truck must be stopped prior to selecting the (R) L4WD position.
In other words, this truck apparently does not have 2WD as an option. Does anybody have an experience with this type of system? Does the truck drive in AWD constantly except when the switch is shifted to the other 4WD options? When should the other 4WD options be engaged?
Basically, we liked the overall appearance and maneuverability of this truck more than another 4.7 V-8 truck that I think had the 2WD option. What are the good and bad points with this type of operating system. I have heard that gas mileage is not good with the AWD operating system constantly engaged, nor is it optimum with the other 4WD options engaged.
I read one member's posting describing some differences between the AWD on the truck and the so-called normal AWD of vehicles (Subaru), which supposedly have a different differential. What is the track record with my type of truck, and how many miles can I expect in AWD? Sorry for posting the incorrect year; indeed, that would make it a collectible relic for the museum. Any feedback concerning these or other issues with this specific model of truck will be greatly appreciated.
#790 of 840 Re: DAKOTA SLT CLUB CAB AWD [bpeebles]
Apr 12, 2005 (8:10 am)
Seems as if you have been recommended by a few of the members for expertise with the Dakota truck systems. My posting today will reveal that my truck is actually a 2004 model SLT with a 4.7 V-8 engine.
My control panel inside the truck does not offer a 2WD option, but AWD and 2 4WDs. There appear to be differences, according to some postings I have perused, between the AWD of lets say a Subaru and the truck. What is your opinion of the AWD system on my truck?
One of the 4WDs can be switched on at 30 MPH or less, but the other has to be switched on when the truck is completely stopped. This is the first time that I have owned a truck with these specific options, and there are several questions:
1) How is gas mileage with the AWD versus the 4WD options? It probably is not as good as the truck with the 2WD option.
2) Is the AWD system in this model truck a good one, or are there shortcomings?
3) What is the longevity of this specific model if maintained and used properly?
We have driven approximately 300 miles since it was purchased a week ago. It seems to handle quite well and has more than sufficient horsepower. We both really enjoy the truck so far, but because of the short time of ownership, are not familiar with the nuances.
Please provide any other information that you think might be helpful as far as proper maintenance and care. I plan to keep the truck for some years at this point. My wife and I did not want a very large truck, nor did we want something as small as the Ford Ranger. Therefore, when we observed this truck at the dealership and test drove it, it seemed to be precisely what we needed in terms of size and power.
I was thrilled when I discovered the Dodge Dakota Owners forum online, since I lack knowledge as to the truck capabilities, etc.
#791 of 840 Re: DAKOTA SLT CLUB CAB AWD [malcolm1]
Apr 12, 2005 (3:22 pm)
To answer your specific questions;
1) How is gas mileage with the AWD versus the 4WD options? It probably is not as good as the truck with the 2WD option. You are correct. You really have "full time four wheel drive" which is soaks more power from the engine than Rear wheel drive would.
2) Is the AWD system in this model truck a good one, or are there shortcomings? I personally dont care for that type of system. (I used to own one) It is simply an "open differential" in the xfer case. If any one wheel does not have tracion-- you are not going anywhere. (SURPRISE -- it is really ONE WHEEL DRIVE)
3) What is the longevity of this specific model if maintained and used properly? You will find that "full time four wheel drive" tends to wear the tires and drivetrain components more than rear wheel drive would.
Make no mistake the Dakota "full time four wheel drive" is not like the Suberu system which truly puts the power the wheels with the most traction. Instead, your Dak will always put the power to the wheel with the LEAST traction. (That is exactly what an open differential does)
As for longevety, keep an eye on the front brakes. Also my shock-absorbers were junk after about 2 years. (leaking fluid) I got over 60Kmiles on the original tires. (you wont be so lucky 8-( with that "full time four wheel drive" system)
On the plus side, The 4.7L engine has proven itself to be VERY reliable. (and somwhat effiicent -- I have seen 20MPG on the highway.) The body also tends to rust much less than other trucks.
Since you are still braking in the engine -- do not forget to follow the recommendation to use BURSTS OF FULL THROTTLE ACCELLERATION followed by decelleration. This will help seal the piston rings and reduce oil-consumption as the engine ages. You will find that the MPG may increase for up to 20K miles -- this indicates that the engine is still breaking in and the pistons rings are sealing up.
I hope this helps answer your questions.
#792 of 840 Re: DAKOTA SLT CLUB CAB AWD [malcolm1]
Apr 12, 2005 (6:26 pm)
I can only offer some recounting on the 4.7 (287) engine. Like many other Chrysler engines, the 4.7 appears to take longer to break-in. After break-in they are very efficient, as Bpeebles commented. But so far I've found them to be strong, durable, and exceptionally reliable engines. I've talked to a few owners with 80K plus, and one with 110K, and they reported absolutely zero problems. Even the dirty fuel injector problems that plague other engines seems to be near absent. My local Dodge tech. told me that they've only had one apart. That engine suffered a premature oil pump failure (about 1100 vehicle miles). Since then he's replaced one water pump on a 4.7, out of warranty (as of December, 2004 when I last spoke to him on the subject).
Bpeebles also mentions a little realized apparent fact...that Dakotas of any year seem to be stubborn resistors to rust. I see seven and eight year-old S10s all the time with rust perforation. I don't even see rust on a eight year-old Dakota. Dakotas are the longest lasting mid-size truck on the road, in part to the fact that they stay rust free longer than their competition. Probably another reason why Dakota resale values are higher, at least in around here.
#793 of 840 AWD vs 4WD vs 2WD
Apr 13, 2005 (3:09 pm)
When comparing the AWD and the 4WD (part time), the MPG differences are probably minimal since the hubs on the 4WD Dakota don't disengage when in 2WD mode. When a 4WD is in 2WD mode, the front axles, differential, and driveshaft are still all turning. The AWD and 4WD Dakotas will get less MPG than a true 2WD Dakota.
As far as tire wear is concerned, I have a co-worker with the AWD option on his 02 QC Dakota. So far, he has gotten over 80K miles out of his original Wrangler RT/Ss. Granted, he does a lot of long distance highway driving, but I seriously doubt that the tires on an AWD Dakota will wear significantly faster than the 4WD or 2WD variety.
#794 of 840 BREAKIN MILES FOR 4.7 V-8
Apr 21, 2005 (7:53 am)
How many total miles does it take to break the 2004 Dakota truck in fully? I've heard that one should alternate between bursts of full acceleration and deceleration during the break-in period, but do not know exactly how long that period is.
I am relieved to hear that the body of the Dakota truck is resistant to rusting, especially here in Maine where winter salt is used on the roadways. It is not always feasible to remove the salt residue immediately, and therefore, the residue may remain on the truck for a few days prior to rinsing off. We have now owned the truck for three weeks and its been great driving so far. Since we own two other vehicles, we are not driving the truck full-time of course.
We intend to keep the truck for a period of five plus years, or until it starts to have major problems beyond normal servicing and maintenance. Glad to see that somebody posted a note regarding the best type of sparkplugs to use in the truck.
On May 3rd, we have an appointment to install Rhino lining in the truck bed. Are there any suggestions about the benefits of Rhino lining versus the traditional bed lining? Also, are there any benefits to having a cover or shell installed, or does that primarily depend upon the normal purpose for which the truck is used? We do want to place some type of lining in the bed of the truck, and think that the Rhino dealer also sells regular beds.
The shells to cover the bed of the truck probably vary in design. I have observed some covers that simply cover the truck bed and are exactly the same height as the rim of the bed. There are undoubtedly some disadvantages in having a shell/cover installed as well as some advantages. We would like to hear from other owners about their experiences with covers and shells. One apparent advantage, of course, is the capacity to carry things in the truck bed during snowy or otherwise inclement weather.
#795 of 840 Re: BREAKIN MILES FOR 4.7 V-8 [malcolm1]
Apr 21, 2005 (5:00 pm)
Your owner's manual will contain reference information on break-in. I'm sure opinions will vary, but I believe the best way on Mopar V-series blocks is to take it extremely easy for the first 500-1000 miles. After that moderate driving -- including heavy acceleration bursts -- should be okay. I would not use full throttle, long duration bursts until you have a few thousand on the engine.
The 3.7 and 4.7 engines have a reputation for more than average miles to complete break-in. I think mine was done around 17K or so. Since it's never used a drop of oil I can't tell for sure, but after that mileage fuel consumption stabilized.
Good luck with the new Dak.