thoughts about a dakota

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by DodgeTruckMan731, Aug 21, 2006.

  1. DodgeTruckMan731

    DodgeTruckMan731 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 414

    I was in the market for a truck lately and my grandpa as offered me his 2000 Dodge Dakota SLT quad cab, I'm wondering if its been enough for the mowing/landscape industry, its got the 4.7L V-8 its 4X4, Ive seen them posted on here before and i was wondering how they do. i was looking at a 2003 2500HD but they wanted 16K for it and I'm sure insurance and parts would be more on it. I don't think that this Dakota will be too bad for me since its my first vehicle and i don't have as many accounts as most do on here. its in great condition we've put a yard of topsoil in it and it brought the tires about 2" from the wheel wells which isn't very safe. Whats i was also wondering if i should beef up the rear suspension on it?

    THEGOLDPRO LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,222

    well my brother has a 2002 dakota , with the 4.7 v8 in it, and its got amazing power for towing, the truck overall is a good truck, it could use a little beefing up in the suspension dept, but thats an easy fix.

    one thing you HAVE to watch is the tranny, its junk, we blew his tranny at 23k, its weak as hell, we overheated it and smoked 3rd gear, so if your going to tow, or plow you should put a nice tranny cooler in it, and a trans temp gauge.
  3. DodgeTruckMan731

    DodgeTruckMan731 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 414

    thanks for the advice, abou how much will the trans cooler and temp gauge cost me?
  4. FearThisDeere

    FearThisDeere LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,154

    My dad has a 2003 extended cab Dakota. It is a great truck. It will be fine for mowing and light landscaping. Watch out for the ball joints, but that is my only complaint. Just don't overwork it too hard and you'll be fine.
  5. DodgeTruckMan731

    DodgeTruckMan731 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 414

    Yeah ill take good care of it, then maybe sell it next spring and go a little bigger, anybody use a dakota like this one on here?
  6. stuffdeer

    stuffdeer LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,617

    Dude...If I can use a 4 cyclinder, What can you use a V8? Lol.

    Oh yeah, my mom ended up giving me a ride...
  7. General Landscaping

    General Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 801

    I'll address some of the points from earlier posts:

    Transmission... NOT junk, it is an excellent trans. It's the same one behind the Hemi in the full size HD trucks. Go to a dealer and get the trans controller flashed. All the software updates will automatically get you the 3rd gear lockup. It allows the controller to lock the torque converter in 3rd gear when it sees fit, excellent option for heavier towing. You should already have a auxillary cooler with the 4X4; no need to get another one. Look in the front of the condenser, there will be a trans cooler mounted in front of it(about 8" tall and the width of the radiator. If for some reason you manage to overheat the trans, "trans temp" will light up on the dashboard and the controller will alter shift/lockup stategy to compensate and minimize damage.

    Ball joints(upper)... Recall... no charge:)

    Some common problems:(
    Emission hoses, prone to cracking, DIY repair. Cycle igniton key to get codes, if it comes back to "large/med/small leak detected" check hoses from tank to charcoal canister, cansiter to leak detection pump&purge solenoid. Use the vacuum schematic sticker under the hood.

    Fuel cap, prone to leaking. will set the same codes as a cracked emissions hose. Look for rust streaking at the center of the inside.

    Evaporator (a/c) prone to leaking, no help there. Take it to a reputeable shop and bend over. (NOT DIY)

    4X4 shift linkage, subject to coming off shift arm on transfer case. DIY repair better than factory: Use a short piece of fuel line as a bushing on shift rod and install a "E" clip in groove on shift rod.

    Creaking when going around corners: Service rear axle and don't forget the additive.

    The 2000 MY is a lucky truck. It gets the new generation engine/trans, but it keeps the nice, old style interior. '99 had the 318cid engine; '01 had the cheesy import style interior. Don't even think about a '05 and up MY: It's not near the truck that the AN body style is.

    The 2000 is a great truck, use it within it's limits of a mid size truck and you will be fine.
    If I had the money, I'd buy 10 of them and put them in storage to use later as I need them.

    Don't abuse that 4.7 with dirty, used-up oil, it is a great engine... but... it is a close tolerance engine. If you want something to drive around while ignoring the oil change sticker; buy something else. The ones that get neglected fail grenade style and costly.
    Keep up with your oil change and have no worries.
  8. DodgeTruckMan731

    DodgeTruckMan731 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 414

    Thanks for the info. I really appreciate it but there's a bad on my part the truck is an 02:dizzy: and its been having some electrical problems lately with the drivers taillight anybody else has this problem i guess its pretty common?
  9. RedWingsDet

    RedWingsDet LawnSite Gold Member
    from Detroit
    Messages: 3,556

    buy the chevy, thats a great deal. I sold my 01 2500hd with 75k miles on it for 17k.

    I also sold my 98 dakota for 3500.

    Get the chevy and get business insurance, and it'll be cheap (they dont look at age). I pay 1200 per year for my f350 v10 and 20ft trailer and im 18.
  10. DodgeTruckMan731

    DodgeTruckMan731 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 414

    Thats a deal i would be paying like 200 a month being 16 and a guy driver, darn sexist insurance agency's!:laugh:

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