View Full Version : 2001 Dodge Dakota question
01-12-2011, 07:54 PM
I have a 2001 Dodge Dakota that I need a little help on. The differential is not what I want it to be. Once one wheel starts spinning it is game over. I want it so when one wheel spins the other kicks in (limited slip?). What am I looking at to get it upgrade?
01-12-2011, 08:06 PM
OK I found a better way to ask my question.
How do I convert an open differential to a limited slip differential?
Or do I have to change out the differential all together?
01-12-2011, 10:07 PM
I'm no mechanic, so feel free to jump in and correct me anyone, but you can go either way. Either a swap or a regear:
You can regear the existing differential, but you're looking at probably around a $1000 or more if you have someone do it for you from what I've seen, probably 400-600 if you do it yourself, depending on what you pay in parts. That's just a guess, you could definitely get a quote if you're really interested, but personally I'd be hesitant to drop $1000 unnecessarily into a 10 year old truck for gears. Most of the people I see regearing their trucks is for when they want to stick huge tires on them.
I believe you could take the differential parts off of a truck at the scrap yard that has the gears you want and swap them out. Also if you've got 4WD you have to change the gears in the front as well.
I looked into it a little bit and it's a quite a bit of work and not something to be attempted by an amateur mechanic (not calling you one, just saying that it's not something I would attempt myself). If you don't get everything set in there and calibrated just right, you can cause yourself some damage and costly repairs.
That's just my .02 on it, doing a little bit of googling on "differential regearing" will yield you all kinds of information. Is your current set up causing you a lot of problems?
01-12-2011, 10:32 PM
I do not care if it does cost a $1000. I like this truck but it can get stuck on a banana peel. I got stuck a patch of ice the other day. I got out and felt like crying at what I seen. The both front were on ice free clear pavement. The right rear was on ice free clear pavement. The left rear was on a small sheet of ice. The ice sheet was only about a foot wide and maybe a foot and a half long. I had been spinning my tires (tire) and getting not where. I seen that small patch of ice that stopped me dead in my tracks I said every curse word I know and even made up a few new ones. I put the truck in neutral and push it off the small patch of ice feeling like some kind of fool. That is when I made up my mind to get the rear end worked on. I will not have the money until late summer so I have so time to do some research on it.
01-12-2011, 11:16 PM
Hahaha, well that does paint a pretty funny picture, having to get out and push your tire off of a 1 foot patch of ice. Best of luck to you man. It's a little involved, but if you don't mind spending the dough then more power to you.
Don't know what you're riding on, but maybe next time you're due for new tires get ones with a more aggressive tread too? I had some BF Goodrich ATs that I really liked, but when those were done got sold on some Michelin tires that had a much less aggressive tread. These Michelins are lasting longer, but I can't get any traction starting off in even a tiny bit of water or snow. If this truck of mine makes it to my next set of tires, I'll switch back to the BF Goodrich.
01-13-2011, 06:22 AM
would be your best bet
01-13-2011, 01:02 PM
There are several companies that build LSD's, I'm sure one of them builds one for your axle. Auburn and Eaton are two off the top of my head. The cheapest fix may be to find a good used axle with LSD already installed, in a salvage yard or something. You can also go and search on the dodge dakota forums because I use to have one and they talk about LSD's pretty regularly.
01-13-2011, 01:08 PM
Here you go.
01-13-2011, 04:53 PM
Did some searching too and the only result I turn up quickly is what Binky already linked you to. You would have to find a good shop to install a rear diff because it doesn't sound like you would be up to the technical challenge of doing it... if you are prepared to spend $100 or so, you will be fine though...
Do a search for local Dodge clubs in your area and find suggestions of what shops do good work... I wouldn't leave something like this up to Pepboys or some chain shop like that...
01-17-2011, 07:33 PM
Fixer, check out this retrofit.
For around $500.00 you can have limited slip and you do not have to fool with the ring and pinion gears. I know someone who did this retrofit by themselves and it is very straight forward. Here is the link to the installation guides:
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