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dakotas

Discussion in 'Ram Trucks' started by FondySnowPlowin, Dec 23, 2009.

  1. FondySnowPlowin

    FondySnowPlowin Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    Are dodge dakota pick-ups good plow trucks. I really don't see many around.
     
  2. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Sure,as as your not plowing the mall.
     
  3. festerw

    festerw Senior Member
    Messages: 986

    They work well IMO.
     
  4. plowguy43

    plowguy43 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,269

  5. CarCrazed4Life

    CarCrazed4Life Senior Member
    Messages: 171

    I love mine. Just do a search and see which years, options, etc. to look out for.
     
  6. DAFFMOBILEWASH

    DAFFMOBILEWASH PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,597

    The newer body style ones are not as good as the older ones. Everyone I know with a 08 and up has had some big issues with them. The drive lines of the older ones are tried and true but harder on fuel.
     
  7. plowguy43

    plowguy43 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,269

    Get a 2003 or 2004 with the 4.7 and 3.92 gears if you can. These years had the best brakes and ball joints along with a reliable drivetrain.
     
  8. CarCrazed4Life

    CarCrazed4Life Senior Member
    Messages: 171

    I actually was going to say the same. However, I prefer the 2003 5.9 with the 9.25" Rear, Not as worried about the gears because thats what you have 4Lo for, but the 3.92 will help. As for finding the truck, you want as much of the following:

    Tow Package (which included the Tranny Cooler, larger 265/70/16 tires vs 245/70/16 9.25" Rear.)

    The 9.25" Rear has 12 Bolts on it and is a Hexagon shaped cover vs the 10 Bolt round cover. They come in both 3.55 and 3.92. I have the 3.92 with an LSD. Its great.

    I also swapped out the NV233 with the NV244 transfer Case and switch. Its what alot of the Dakotas use and it makes it AWD/4Hi/4Lo vs RWD/4Hi/4Lo. When you have the AWD, you will find yourself rarely in 4Hi, which is great for times when you have to do alot of steering and don't want it in 4Hi/4Lo to prevent binding. Those settings only allow a ceratin amount of steering angle before they put major straing on your steering equipment.

    Obviously most prefer not to have chrome bumpers, and the list can go on. But the reality is you'll never find the perfect truck, so its cheaper to negotiate on one and worry about any upgrades you would do later.

    Therefore the biggest thing to look for is the tow package. Swap the 265/70/16s for some 245/75/16s (I went 10ply so If I run over any snow covered curbs or anything, the sidewalls don't give out...) and look for the Severe Weather Service Rating on my tires.

    Also you will turn your Torsion Bars up as much as possible and install Timbrens Front (& Rear) as its probably the easiest mod to do to help with load carrying.

    I would recommend using a 7.6" and the only two plows I'd install on a Dakota are the Blizzard 7600LT or Snoway 26 7'6". The Blizzard is a 29" Tall Blade which is great, and weighs in at 465#. The only problem I saw on the Blizzard was the mounting point left the front end real low and susceptible to scraping on anything above an average inclinde.

    Snoway 26 7.6" is a 26" Tall Blade but includes Down Pressure which is great for Ice and Back Dragging. It uses the Hydraulic Arm to actually put more pressure on the cutting edge which in principle makes the plow act like a larger plow over snow and ice. Its a great feature, and allos my truck to really clean areas that you would expect a larger plow and truck to have done. You can get it in Poly or Steel, and really is worth the extra 15% premium compared to other plows.

    You can compare other plows, but remember its the lightest plow for the job you need done, and I think Blizzard or Snoway will be your best bet. I hate recommending one plow as it sounds bias, but you can tell which one I chose.

    As for Ballast concerns, I decided to use a Tailgate Salter, and I carry a decent amount of salt towards my tailgate, so I made up my Ballast amounts that way.

    I hope that helps!
     
  9. lilpusher

    lilpusher Senior Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 140

    I plow with a 97 Dak with 5.2 (318) and have no issues. I love the tight turning radius. I prefer it to my 3/4 chevy I used last year just easier to manuver.
     
  10. plowguy43

    plowguy43 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,269

    The reason I recommend the 4.7 is because you get the 545RFE 5 Speed tranny which is lightyears ahead of the 46RE that is behind the 5.9. Yes the 5.9 is great for torque but the 4.7 is a ballsy little motor and the tranny backing it won't fail nearly as fast as the 46RE will. Also, I like my fisher- weight isn't a bad thing with a plow- they scrape well and push more snow easier than light plows- believe me I know, I used to have a snowbear lol
     
  11. AbsoluteH&L

    AbsoluteH&L Senior Member
    Messages: 573

    Plowguy43, in the other thread you said they reflashed the tranny in the Dakotas. Does this mean it is internally the same and only computer differences? Can a 4 speed become a 5 speed? I bought a Ram with the 5 speed, it is nice. Otherwise they are nearly the same except for the years and tranny.
     
  12. plowguy43

    plowguy43 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,269

    Yes same tranny except programming.
     
  13. AbsoluteH&L

    AbsoluteH&L Senior Member
    Messages: 573

    Can the tranny in my 2000 Dakota be reprogrammed to be a 5 speed? I would guess this is by using the load sensing 1st gear in this tranny.
     
  14. snowfighter75

    snowfighter75 Senior Member
    Messages: 124

    I plow with my 03 Dakota 4.7 and I'm very pleased with it. Works great!
     
  15. plowguy43

    plowguy43 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,269

    Absolute- I believe so. I know guys were doing a flash because it adds a second overdrive. Check out dakota-durango.com and do a search there is a guy that works at a dealer that will do it for under $100