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Dodge Dakota, Truck
Jan 13, 2003 (7:03 pm)
I drove a regular cab short box Ram 1500 with a HEMI in it this weekend, it also had the 20" wheels and a 3.92 rear with limited slip. What an awesome motor. I made a few spirited runs between stoplights and on the interstate. The motor is very smooth and the exhaust sound makes you want to give it more gas just to hear its song! That was the good part, the bad part was the average MPG while driving aggressively was an indicated 6.6 MPG. The sticker indicated it is capable of getting 18 on the highway but I doubt most owners will drive the truck in any way that will allow approaching that number. The 5 speed automatic transmission was way too smooth! With the pedal to the metal the truck will leave a good 100 yards of dual black marks but you barely feel the transmission shift. I was waiting for a 1-2 shift to leave another patch of rubber and to receive a kick to the small of the back as it slammed into second! Too civilized with a 5 speed auto, needs a good 5 or 6 speed manual transmission.
As impressive as the motor was I still think a Regular Cab Dakota with a 4.7 and a 5 speed would give it a good run for the money.
The dealer said that the 5.7 Hemi will replace the 5.9 in the Dakota R/T during the 2004 model year.
I also looked at Dakota Quads and noticed that they are still cutting more corners while raising the purchase price. The overhead console on the Dakota and the Ram 1500 won't hold a pair of sunglasses any more. Now the overhead computer will no longer display the instantaneous MPG reading, only the average (this is the one that helps me get better MPG when I see how much gas it is sucking as I go thru the gears).
I was pricing out a 2003 Dakota Quad on the Dodge web site and happened across a printout of similar equipped one I had done for a 2002. I noticed a truck spec'ed out exactly the same would cost $1,600+ more for the 2003 than the 2002.
I guess these rebates aren't really as good as they seem. My Dakota Quad purchased in 2000 had a window price of $23,890, to replace it today would cost $26,305.
I broke my left leg in a motorcycle accident back in September and had to have a rod installed between the knee and ankle to hold all the pieces together! This condition had me considering an automatic which would raise the price another $1,000 or so.
I think I'll stay with the 5 speed because it only hurts when I push the clutch in <grin>
Rick continues rambling on ----- Has anone seen the Magnum SRT-8 concept vehicle yet??
It too is due out as a production vehicle in 2004 and is supposed to be very close to the show car. This may be my "new" Quad cab. Rick
#4354 of 5120 Rick.................
Jan 14, 2003 (5:21 pm)
My old neighbor (who just recently moved) was an old Mopar gear head. He had a very successful 7+ second Hemi 'Cuda for a while, but traded it for cash. He's starting to convert the cash into old Chrysler product cars. His first venture was a '67 Coronet 440. He gave me a ride last summer. Been awhile since I've had a to go to the chiropractor.
There's what some would call a "slick" '02 RAM1500 around here that's been lowered (ugly, IMO), big racing stripes and what I've been told has a blown 4.7 motor. This thing is fast, too!
#4355 of 5120 Dakota QC Options - 4-wheel ABS vs Rear-only ABS
Jan 17, 2003 (4:26 pm)
I'm almost ready to place an order to upgrade my 2001 3.9L QC 2WD to a 2003 4.7L QC 2WD and am considering adding the 4-wheel ABS anti-locking disc brakes option.
Before, I finalize the options list...can fellow Dak owners please give me some Pros and Cons of this option. Is the standard equipped rear-only ABS adequate? Winters are fairly mild but, can get icy where I live and snow is rare with the exception of 1996 when it snowed 4-5 feet in 7 days. (the worst winter in 85yrs, since 1911)
#4356 of 5120 Re: 4-wheel ABS vs Rear-only ABS
Jan 17, 2003 (6:00 pm)
I will tell you straight up that I'm not a fan of anti-lock brakes. I'm on my 4th vehicle with them and I just don't like them. I've had situations on dry pavement that I could not produce enogh braking to stop.
That aside, my 2003 Dakota Club Cab is the first rear-only ABS vehicle I've owned and the first Chrysler-built ABS vehicle. Maybe it's the type of system Chrysler uses, or the fact that they're rear-wheel only, but my Dakota does not exhibit any of the negative qualities that I dislike about 4-wheel anti-lock.
Just tonight, in fact, I had to stop quick on thick hard packed snow and the Dakota stopped perfectly straight. This is the fourth time I've had to lock them up and it has gone straight every time. I have yet to experience the annoying false trigger of the anti-lock motor that we experience with our Toyota Avalon, especially on first stops after start-up.
I expect (hoping) to have less problems with this system. Our GM cars had the ABS computers fail and at $900 a crack it gets expensive. If the Dakota ABS fails I just won't get it fixed.
Jan 18, 2003 (6:49 am)
"If the Dakota ABS fails I just won't get it fixed"
Do you really want you ass end coming around in a panic stop on wet roads.
That's what usually happens with a pickup without abs on the rear wheel.
That's why most pickups now have rears as standard ant optional on front.
#4358 of 5120 dataguru Re: 4 wheel ABS
Jan 18, 2003 (7:31 am)
Bill, I too am not a 4 wheel ABS fan. My Quad Cab has about every options save, automatic transmission, sound upgrade (I seldom listen except for baseball games), leather (I am not comfortable in bucket seats) and 4 wheel ABS. I feel that it lacks the positive feel of alternative systems. As a CDL driver, I was trained to apply braking force by gently pumping the brakes (ABS actually tries to emulate that) and to avoid panic stops whenever and wherever possible by paying close attention to road and driving conditions. And, while this is not always an option, it does eliminate the need for panic braking somewhat. All in all, this is for me an opinion and preference that is for the most part both personal and anecdotal. I have no valid test and/or scientific information, only an opinion.
#4359 of 5120 Anti-lock brakes - continued
Jan 18, 2003 (2:44 pm)
One of the reasons I special ordered my truck was to get the 4 wheel anti-lock brakes.
All the vehicles I drive at work have 4 wheel anti-lock brakes!
My wife and daughter both drive cars with 4 wheel anti-lock brakes!
For standardization if nothing else I wanted 4 wheel anti-lock on my Quad. I figured in a panic situation I didn't want to have to try to remember what type of brakes the vehicle I was driving had!
Other members of my family also drive the Quad and it is easier to tell them to just stand on the brake pedal and steer around the situation (if possible) than have them try to remember to pump the brakes and keep them on the edge of lockup!
I have a hard enough time making them check to see the tires are still round before driving off.
I drive either 3/4 ton Chevy Suburbans or a 1 ton GMC crew cab at work. All have 4 wheel drive and 4 wheel anti-lock brakes as well. The Dakota anti-lock is far superior to the General Motors anti-lock in my opinion. The only time you notice the Dodge brakes is when the anti-lock kicks in, none of the weird sounds when you first start off like GM.
As crazy as people drive around here and the crappy weather in the Midwest I personally feel the 4 wheel anti-lock brakes are a extra little bit of insurance and well worth the additional cost.
As an aside if you buy a Ram 1500 Quad Cab with a Hemi the anti-lock brakes are a required addition. Rick
#4360 of 5120 Re: Anti-lock brakes
Jan 18, 2003 (2:59 pm)
How were pick-up trucks driven before the advent of anti-lock brakes? If people know how to drive a vehicle safely the lack of anti-lock brakes is irrelevant.
Now maybe the 2-wheel system on the Dakota is better. But my 4-wheel systems all gave me trouble. My wife and I went through a stop sign once that came up on us very quickly (dry pavement). The ABS brakes on her Avalon would not let me stop the vehicle. Any other car without them would've stopped. That's just as dangerous as any situation where anti-lock brakes might provide a benefit. Our GM cars sometimes needed what seemed like a thousand pounds on the brake pedal to stop on dry pavement.
And, oh by the way, the supposed feature of anti-lock brakes working in such a way to allow one steer is also not without exceptions. One afternoon a friend of ours drove into a icy church parking lot and promptly hit a pole because the car still went straight even though the wheels were turned.
#4361 of 5120 Anti-lock Brakes
Jan 19, 2003 (12:40 pm)
I ordered my 2000 2 WD QC with 4 wheel anti-lock brakes and I am mixed 50/50 on them. This is my first car/truck with them and I like it and hate it. I was cut off this summer under perfect conditions and I couldn't stop the truck within a distance that I should have. On the other hand I was able to steer around the 18 wheeler in my path to avoid hitting him. In the snowy weather up here in Michigan, I love the ABS. With the 5" of fresh snow last night, my ABS kicked in a couple of times this morning. So I love ABS in the winter, and hate it in the summer.
#4362 of 5120 4-wheel ABS vs Standard Rear-only ABS
Jan 20, 2003 (5:25 pm)
(dustyk, bookitty, iowabigguy, Others)
Thank you Gentlemen for your positive feedback & helpful comments. It's only from real life experiences that one can truly appreciate the full value of either Having or Not Having this option.
As of 2003, I understand that most Dakotas models (over a certain GVWR weight) now come delivered with 4-wheel disc brakes and rear-only ABS as standard equipment. This fact only should render much improved stopping with disc brakes as compared to the previous front discs/rear drums combination.
Personally, this is my first vehicle with any ABS system as my 2001 QC has the front discs/rear drums with standard rear-only ABS. I'm usually in the habit of pumping my brakes whenever I plan to stop regardless of road conditions. However, on one occassion, I had to make a (stand on it NOW) panic stop in wet slippery road conditions and discovered the rear-only ABS was of no help in stopping within a reasonable distance. At the time, I was carrying a full tank of gas and approx. 200 pounds of cargo. I, too believe that I could have stopped in a shorter distance with no ABS system whatsoever.(but who knows) Thank goodness I reacted in time to avoid an accident. Based on that experience, I'm now of the opinion that ABS (both, rear-only or 4-wheel ABS) is only valuable for panic stops where room is available to steer around the obstacle and not too helpful for very slippery/icy conditions (black ice) where steer around room is not available and skidding is going to take place regardless of lockup/release. Things may be different in deep snow. ( just my opinion )
I do agree, that with good driving habits (no tailgating, no speeding, good awareness of road conditions, alertness, knowing how to brake/steer during panic stops, good tires, etc etc) one should be able to get by with only the standard equiped rear-only ABS. (especially, given that 4-wheel disc brakes are standard equipment for most Daks) However, one may consider having 4-wheel ABS as additional insurance only if used appropriately. In Canada, the extra cost of this option is listed as $290 (CDN$), so I will likely not order it. I sure hope it's the right decision for overall driving conditions here in the Pacific Northwest. (rare snow but often wet/slippery/icy conditions)