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2003 dakota?

Discussion in 'Ram Trucks' started by 0011001, Apr 9, 2009.

  1. 0011001

    0011001 Junior Member
    from Toronto
    Messages: 9

    Hi All

    Moving into next plow season, I'm looking to get a truck (did it with a blower last season....), but I'm not into big trucks (landscaping Clients are in urban core...with no parking and tight space). All of my clients are residential drives that are fairly small, 2-4 car max, so I've decided I want to get an '03 dakota.

    The '03, from what Ive read here and elsewhere, is the last year with the 5.9 V8 in club or quad cab, and first with standard disc brakes. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find ANY in 4x4, and I've been looking for a while now.

    Did they make these in a 4x4? Do I really need the 5.9 over the 4.7 v8? can someone please explain the R/T package vs the Stampede (they seem like the same thing), and any other tidbits.

    Admittedly, I'm not a 'car guy' (I'm a plant guy), but I do make an effort to educate myself constantly. Most of what I've read online gives you an idea of the options, but not with the specific detail as to what exactly came with each model. Hell, if someone could recommend as truck database/website, that would be great too (I like to research). Your help is much appreciated.
     
  2. BigDave12768

    BigDave12768 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,446

    I doubt the R/T could take a plow at all. That truck has a performance type suspension. never heard of a stampede package. As for a 5.9 over the 4.7 I dont think it would matter. Plenty of people plow with the 4.7 1500 Ram. Here is link to HP specs. I wouldnt worry about the 4.7 at all

    http://consumerguideauto.howstuffworks.com/2003-dodge-dakota-13.htm
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2009
  3. 0011001

    0011001 Junior Member
    from Toronto
    Messages: 9

    thanks.
    In my area, I rarely see Dakotas, so I can't just walk up to someone and ask.
    Well, at least now this will open up my search categories.
    4.7 v8, maybe a 2001-2004, depending on price. Plus, the 5.9 would be a gas pig.

    After looking at the review, I've really got to figure out which options I want.
     
  4. CarCrazed4Life

    CarCrazed4Life Senior Member
    Messages: 171

    2003 is the best year if your looking for the 5.9. A 5.9 came only in the Quad Cabs with the 4x4 option as the R/Ts were the only other way to get them which were all 2wd. The Stampede was basically grey plastic trim instead of chrome or painted plastic. Avoid the Chrome stuff as it will rust in winter.

    I've had a 2003 5.9 and currently use an 04 4.7 Dakota. I had the perfect combo 5.9 but it was stolen... Gave up looking for a 5.9 and bought the 4.7.

    In Short, They are the best compact trucks to substitute half ton use.

    Things to look for in either:

    - 2003-2004 were the years Disc Brakes were Standard.
    - 2004 4.7s have the newer ECUs
    - Try and Find the Tow Package. It includes the Auto Trans Cooler, Larger 256/70/16 Tires, and Usually comes with the 9.25" Rear Axle with the 12 Bolt Hex cover Rear. Try and find an LSD, but if not, you can swap the LSD Gears in for about $250 in parts plus labor.
    - The NV244 Transfer Case is permanent AWD, with 4Hi, and 4Lo shift on the fly. The NV233 is the RWD, 4Hi, 4Lo option. Try and Find the AWD if possible. Driving in either of the 4Hi or 4Lo tend to making turning in issue during plowing small tight Lots/Driveways, etc. If you can't find a AWD version, fear not as the NV244 is pretty popular and can be picked up used for less then $400 and swapped in.
    - Buy yourself a set of Timbrens Front & Rear. They help greatly with this Truck's Load Abilities.
    - Swap out the 265/70/16 for 245/75/16 Tires. Better MPG and Some of the All-Season Truck Tires are Available with the Severe Weather Mountain Flake Symbol to get some decent winter traction.

    The 4.7 is great from a fuel efficiency perspective compared to the 5.9. However, I trule miss the 5.9.

    Overall I say look for the cheapest Dakota you can find, because no one knows how the factory decided which options to throw together. You will most likely be making changes like I did.

    However, as for plows there are only two options... Sno-Way or Blizzard. They allow you to get Mid Size Truck Plows on our Dakotas and the Sno-Way was the option I picked up. The Blizzards are light too, but they had ground clearance issues and I didn't want to modify the brackets and deal with issues if I had any later from it. The Sno-Way on the other hand was a perfect fit and with the down pressure, you had the effect of a plow weight 2-4 times the weight of the plow. It really did wonders on the Ice.

    http://www.plowsite.com/showthread.php?t=74565

    http://www.plowsite.com/showthread.php?t=75349

    Hope those help. As for Dakotas, any other questions you have... feel free to email me.
     
  5. schatzy73

    schatzy73 Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    there was a guy around me that had a 6 1/2 meyers on his truck.... but i don't know if he had to make custom mounts or not.... also if your looking light duty you can get a suburbanite for a dakota..
     
  6. CarCrazed4Life

    CarCrazed4Life Senior Member
    Messages: 171

    Both plows mentioned above aren't really commercial duty. Anything less then 7'6" means at full sweep, you won't cover the track of your width. Thats a little issue ontop of not having at least a 26" plow height.