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You are in the Dodge Dakota-2010 and older
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Dodge Dakota, Truck
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#31 of 142 Re: I'm a tad disappointed... [quadmeister #30]
Apr 15, 2004 (6:15 pm)
I agree with you. The 2004 lists its ground clearance at 7.9" vs 9.1" for the 2003. That's a big drop. Even the Ford Explorer has 8.6" of ground clearance. I really don't know what Dodge is thinking on this one. They must really need the cost savings of having only one suspension.
I'm still trying to figure out why they are going to a 6-speed manual in the 2004. I can only figure the driving factor is the 3.7L engine, since the 4.7 with the 5-speed seem to mate very well. I checked out the gear ratios for the 5 vs 6 speed trannies and the 6 speed's 6th gear is taller then the 5th gear on the five speed. The closer ratios should allow you to shift faster, which is good, but they decided to drop the rear end ratio from 3.55 to 3.25 to save the gas mileage hit due to the taller 6th gear. I know that the final ratio is what matters, but are there durability issues with using a lower ratio in the rear? I've never heard of any serious towing rig having lower then a 3.55 rear. 3.73 or 4.10 is more common. 3.25 sounds like something you'd put on a passenger car.
Though nobody has it listed yet, I figure the new truck must be heavier then the old one, due to the wider/longer body. Not good for power or gas mileage, since the standard 4.7 is the same output as the last generation, and the HO 4.7 needs premium fuel (heck with that). Also, what is the deal with no manual tranny on the HO 4.7?? Are you telling me the new Getrag trans can't handle the extra 20 HP and 10 lb-ft of torque of the HO motor??? It should be bolt-and-go as far as I can tell.
The only feature that I'm somewhat interested in is the new all wheel drive system. We bought my wife a new Explorer last year, and I am extremely impressed with the control-trac system that Ford puts standard on all 4x4 Explorers. If the system on the new Dakota is similar, I would probably get my next one with it.
As it is, I don't think the new Dakota has a lot going for it.
#32 of 142 Re: I'm a tad disappointed... [quadmeister #30] [ford_bii #31]
Apr 16, 2004 (5:37 am)
yup, and I don't get how they figure better gas mileage with higher gears. Theoretically, yes, higher gears mean better gas mileage, but realistically, when the tranny has to downshift once or twice to try to maintain a consistent speed up a hill it does not help the fuel mileage... not in this neck of the woods, anyway.
When I first heard of them revamping the Dakota, I had visions of... well, sort of what they did, but with 10 - 12 inches of ground clearance (I can still dream), and... um... I hate to say it, but basically a better looking Nissan Titan.
#33 of 142 Re: I'm a tad disappointed... [quadmeister #30] [ford_bii #31] [quadmeister #32]
Apr 16, 2004 (9:41 am)
Here is some info on transmissions/gear ratios that might be interesting:
Getrag 238 6-speed:
The standard rear on the 2004 Dakota was a 3.55, with a 3.92 option. So the final drive ratio (I think it's the final drive, or is the final drive ratio the ratio of just the rear?) would be 0.73*3.55=2.59. The 2005 Dakota has a standard rear of 3.21 with the 3.55 as the optional rear, so it would have 0.79*3.21=2.53 . So, the better gas mileage comes from a reduced overall drive ratio (trans*rear).
The alternate rear ratios result in 3.92*0.73=2.86 / 3.55*0.79=2.80.
So in any case, the mileage will be better due to the lower final drive ratios of the new trans/rear combo.
If you do the above calculations for the first gear for each trans, you will see that the 2005 has a final ratio of 13.57:1 vs 14.2:1 for the 2004. (with 3.55 vs 3.21 rears)
So, in summary, the new dakota will have less grunt off the line and will be even more of a pig in top gear on the highway. But, it will get better gas mileage.
As somebody who tows quite a bit with my 2001 QC, I like the idea of the closer ratios in the 6-speed trans, but I would probably get the 3.55 rear to compensate for the drop in the overall drive ratio due to the 3.21 rear.
#34 of 142 Re: I'm a tad disappointed...................
Apr 16, 2004 (2:05 pm)
Regarding the transmission availability with the 287 (4.7) HO motor, I would guess that the lack of a manual transmission is due to emissions certification. I believe the HO version 287 is not available with manual transmission in any platform that uses it.
#35 of 142 Re: I'm a tad disappointed...................
Apr 19, 2004 (5:31 am)
The lack of the manual on the HO is a bummer. but I can live with the auto.
I would have liked to see a diesel version of the new Dak. With a six speed... and more ground clearance
...and congratulations to Dodge for having the creative vision of finally putting back doors on the club cab. The only reason I now have a quad cab instead of the club cab (for the longer box) is because of that lack of vision on Dodge's part. Even a third door would have been good, but... required too much plant retooling, I guess...
...OK, I'm done grumbling about Dodge designers and engineers... for now.
Somebody out there start developing a 6 inch suspension lift for that thing
#36 of 142 Quad..................
Apr 19, 2004 (1:42 pm)
You know that's one thing I can't say I've ever seen is a lifted Dakota. Hard to believe someone doesn't make a kit for them.
But, there is a local Dakota around here with something in it that is very, very, very fast. I've been told that it's a 318 with a blower, a hyper 360, and one report it was a 383 (which I doubt).
#37 of 142 Ground Clearance
Apr 19, 2004 (2:16 pm)
I've actually gotten stuck riding in a government issue 4wd Dakota when the vehicle went into some deep muddy ruts and it bottomed out, with all 4 wheels spinning. Seeing that ground clearance has dropped is troubling.
I could have steered around and made it through the mud bog, but I had a woman driver, which is another story....
Apr 20, 2004 (3:36 am)
There are a couple lift kits... or sorry, lift systems available out there, but they're a little involved which = fairly expensive ( too many $$ for me to justify to the spouse, anyway).
Speaking of fast Dakotas... there's a guy in my hometown who took the 340 (with Predator carb, NOS, etc, etc...) out of his 4X4 race truck and dropped it (with tranny/transfer case) into his '01 club cab. That's one stock looking Dakota you don't want to challenge for pink slips, on or off the road.
...and atlgaxt, now be honest, was it the truck, the driver, or the navigator
#39 of 142 Re: lift and fast [quadmeister #38]
Apr 20, 2004 (6:51 am)
I had a highly attractive, highly intelligent and highly educated U.S. Forest Service Rangerette touring me through the property.
However, driving (especially off road) was not one of her fortes. The funny part was after we were stuck as soon as she called in on the radio and before she even told why she was calling, the guy on the other end started laughing and said "all right (Name deleted to protect the innocent) - where do I have to go to come get you?"
Apr 21, 2004 (5:45 am)
nothing like a highly attractive, highly intelligent and highly educated U.S. Forest Service Rangerette helplessly stuck in the mud... buddy was probably a little disappointed you were there with her.
... enough about that now.
Hopefully the new Dakota just "sounds" low to the ground... like I mentioned before, I think the Toyota Tacoma Prerunner is a good idea. It would sure be nice if they had a "Rubicon Edition" of the new Dakota... I know, it ain't a Jeep, but it's the concept. Maybe call it the "Appalachian Edition"