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They were the most popular Dodge Dakotas ever made, consistently out-selling the first and third generations alike. The Dakota started out as a two-door only, but the Quad Cab, with four doors, was added in 2000 (keeping roughly the length of the Club Cab by using a smaller bed). With a sophisticated, well-tuned suspension, the Dakota provided a surprisingly luxurious ride despite good cornering. The original 1987 Dodge Dakota had been bigger and stronger than the Ranger and S-10, but was reportedly engineered largely by a contractor.
Wind noise was an issue at higher speeds, as was ventilator noise with the fan at any but the lowest positions. Visibility was excellent, with large mirrors, strong, well-focused headlights, low windows, and good sun visors (though we missed the two-way visors in the big pickups). The Dodge Dakota was expected to add to Chrysler Corporation's then-rapid international expansion. Light trucks made up most of Chrysler's international sales, though mainly these were Chrysler Voyager minivans, and the Jeep® Wrangler, Cherokee, and Grand Cherokee.
Since Chrysler's re-entry into the international arena in 1987, sales increased year-over year by double-digit percentages to 204,362 units in 1995. The new Dakota was expected to open markets in Latin America, Asia­Pacific, and Europe. For 1999, the major change was the use of the NV1500 five-speed manual transmission with the four cylinder. The 4.7 liter V8 was new, and was combined with a 45RFE automatic transmission that had four regular gears and a special kickdown gear for better highway passing. The Dodge Dakota switched to weight-saving tubular stabilizer bars, and revised the steering geometry to reduce low-speed cornering tire wear; a hybrid engine cooling fan was quieter yet delivered better performance. For 2003, the 545RFE five-speed automatic was optional with the 4.7 on the Sport, Sport Plus, SLT, and SLT Plus. Tony Richards, General Manager, Jeep-Truck Product planning, wrote, a€?They told us we had to demonstrate competitive superiority in these seven areas in order to reach them. Durability and Reliability: Body dimensional integrity was improved by using Ram frame technology, with higher torsional stiffness. Overall Size and Roominess: Already the biggest truck in its class, the 1997 Dakota was made even bigger and wider.

Powertrain Performance: Dakota boasted the only V-8 engine in the compact market, and added 10 more horsepower (230) and an additional 10 ft-lbs. Ride and Handling: The Dakota team refined the steering and suspension geometry, increased wheel and tire sizes, and altered the shock absorbers and bushings, the chassis will respond to tuning. We make no guarantees regarding validity, accuracy, or applicability of information, predictions, or advice.
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You must have JavaScript enabled in your browser to utilize the functionality of this website. Now based on the Dodge Ram and engineered in-house, rather than being largely subcontracted, it could fit V8 engines instead of topping out with a V6. In 2000, a new 4.7 liter V8 replaced the ancient 318, providing a bit less low-end grunt but better economy, lower cost, and higher horsepower. We don't know if the standard models perform as well as the Sport, but if they do, it's an impressive achievement.
Unlike past Chrysler V8s, the 4.7 does not have gobs of torque at low rpm and little to spare as engine speeds climb. Mopar Performance sells headers with oxygen sensor mounts, as well as a complete catback exhaust system to reduce airflow restriction. Tom Gale, head of product design and international operations, wrote, a€?In Brazil, for instance, sales of large and medium size pick-up trucks increased 66 percent over the four year period, from around 30,000 in 1992 to just over 50,000 units in 1996.
Next-generation front airbags were used as they became available, and a passenger airbag switch was added as a running change. There were new colors and new interior trim and fabrics; the adjustable, retractable cupholder was redesigned. The base V6 got a new manual transmission, and the optional full time transfer case eliminated two wheel drive mode. The rack and pinion steering system on 4x4s was changed for better precision, and used lifetime-lubricated tie rods.
A four-gauge cluster was standard on base and SXT models, and a six-disc CD changer became available midyear.

Electro­coated frames provided better resistance to corrosion, while full body anti-chip primer gave more resistance to paint chipping. Dennis Moothart, Executive Engineer for Truck Chassis Engineering, wrote, a€?We put our money into getting the basics right.
Inside, seat travel was increased along with rear seat access on Club Cabs; a new instrument panel followed the shape of the grille. They usually wear them toRead More   Natural Hair Care TipsTaking care of hair is too necessary for all hair types.
There was some wheel hop without a load, but again, that's to be expected of a heavy duty suspension. The Quad Cab's rear doors open all the way, so you can more easily fit large objects into the opening. The larger diameter tire also increases the force moment arm acting on the brakes, causing longer stopping distances. And the market shifted from virtually 100 percent large pick-up trucks to more than 60 percent mid-size pick-up trucks.
Four-wheel disc brakes with rear-wheel anti-lock were standard on 4WD models and 2WD models 5350 lbs. These are fully independent, real doors, unlike the suicide (reverse-opening doors with internal handles) on the current four-door Rams. The transmission helps to make this transparent to the driver, by downshifting into the power zone as needed.
Major body panels for both the Ram and Dakota were provided by Chrysler's Warren Stamping Plant, next door. Richards said, a€?We logged more than four million miles of chassis testing and increased our durability testing by 50 percent over previous launches.
This can cause a little hunting between 55 and 65 mph, but that disappears as the electronic transmission gets used to the driver's style.

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