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During the season of hurricanes, (we had four, in one year), I decided to volunteer.
So I hauled a Bobcat about 50 miles, to Arcadia.

Arcadia Florida, got hit by 2 hurricanes, in one year. They crossed paths...
So I hauled this thing 50 miles with my 2.5L dakota.

I think the main thing, to this is, we balanced the Bobcat, so it went fine. But is WAS a stretch to let out the clutch, sometime it didn't want to move.

I was REALLY impresses with that year and stlye of Dakota, the engineers did their homework.






By dukeb0y at 2011-04-22
 

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Thats pretty sweet that the little 2.5 was able to drag that thing around. The more I drive and tinker on my 2001 the more little things I seem to notice that the engineers incorporated on them that are either really handy or clever solutions. That picture reminds me of the 87 dak I used to have, I never did find a load that it couldn't handle, although you could tell the engine was working hard.
 

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The old Dakotas were made to be able to work hard when needed.. Watched a guy hook a trailer to a about an 08.. and was shocked how far it squatted. The next "lifestyle" truck should be quite amusing to say the least. Not sure what they're thinking.. wanting a piece of a failed section of the market. With the demise of the Ranger, and the next gen Tacoma getting larger.. Why are we not putting the Dakota back old school to take over a market share??
 

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The old Dakotas were made to be able to work hard when needed.. Watched a guy hook a trailer to a about an 08.. and was shocked how far it squatted. The next "lifestyle" truck should be quite amusing to say the least. Not sure what they're thinking.. wanting a piece of a failed section of the market. With the demise of the Ranger, and the next gen Tacoma getting larger.. Why are we not putting the Dakota back old school to take over a market share??
Maybe because many of todays designers played with dolls and not Tonkas...and I'm not talking about the women... :whistle:
 
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Maybe because many of todays designers played with dolls and not Tonkas...and I'm not talking about the women... :whistle:
There could be so much more truth to that than any of us would want to admit. I've been an avid Chrysler owner since the early 80's.. Wish I'd gotten an engineering degree to go push for a job with them. Wanted to help all I could so got into sales.. Now I'm back trying to find a way to help.. and hearing about some of these corporate ideas.. and feeling that Sergio has got to know better..

The Dakota once challenger the Ram for sales figures.. We need to get it taking the Tacoma market away from them. I'll put a Dakota against a Tacoma any day for durability.

I've put things behind my Dakotas that while I knew they were unsafe and had no business being hooked to that little truck.. I never doubted the the trucks ability to do the needed job.
 

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I had my 88 Dakota 3.9 V6 5speed 8foot bed filled to the rails with cement roof tiles seven times and she survived the ten mile trip home. I know it was overloaded each time, but she did just fine. my 95 Sport had five separate loads of 46 wall blocks, each 51lbs, so the load was 2346lbs plus driver. A little overloaded, sure, but she didn't break a sweat even with worn out shocks! Ford made the unibody trucks from 57-66 (I think), and sales went back up when they went back to framed trucks. Sometimes learning from the past just doesn't happen.
 

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I pulled a flatbed trailer for my brother in law that was built from an old mobile home frame.. When I sat it on the hitch of my '94 it just started to squat.. pulled it fine. Wasn't as much weight as I'd put on it in the past. The pallet of computer workstations I "volunteered" to deliver and the misc that went with them were about a 3100# load.. now THAT made the steering feel a bit light. The lift at Sam's Club had trouble with the pallet; but I felt confident my truck could do it. I sat the stack of 6 workstations on it.. then the 6 desk chairs.. the hand truck.. the tools.. and went to get another passenger to help deliver them 45 minutes to FL and assemble them.
Next project I'm trying to get my brother in law to let us convert one of my Dakotas into a Repo unit.. sneak in on a Dakota and haul off their cars.. LOL
 

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I think its a sad thing now that Dakotas are officially a thing of the past. I think Chrysler, Ford, and possibly GM are not thinking clearly in allowing the Japanese to take over the small truck market. I don't know what I'll do when (hopefully a long time from now) my Dakota dies. Maybe by then Chrysler will have learned from the past and moved past the unibody "lifestyle" truck.
 

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During the season of hurricanes, (we had four, in one year), I decided to volunteer.
So I hauled a Bobcat about 50 miles, to Arcadia.

Arcadia Florida, got hit by 2 hurricanes, in one year. They crossed paths...
So I hauled this thing 50 miles with my 2.5L dakota.

I think the main thing, to this is, we balanced the Bobcat, so it went fine. But is WAS a stretch to let out the clutch, sometime it didn't want to move.

I was REALLY impresses with that year and stlye of Dakota, the engineers did their homework.






By dukeb0y at 2011-04-22
Maybe the engineers did their homework, but you didn't. You exceeded the tow rating for that vehicle, abused it. They didn't design it to take what you did to it, it's not a tribute to them. Towing over the vehicle's limits can endanger everyone else on the road.
 

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I think its a sad thing now that Dakotas are officially a thing of the past. I think Chrysler, Ford, and possibly GM are not thinking clearly in allowing the Japanese to take over the small truck market. I don't know what I'll do when (hopefully a long time from now) my Dakota dies. Maybe by then Chrysler will have learned from the past and moved past the unibody "lifestyle" truck.
There really isn't much at all to the small truck market. None of them, even the Toyota, sell in the volumes they did. That market faded away for the most part.
 

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It may have faded, but that is because the market was neglected. A 3200lb truck should do better than 20mpg with a V6, and although bells and whistles are nice, some of us simply want a small enough truck that running around empty doesn't make you feel guilty not having something in the back. I just got done hauling my cut-up Dakota to the metal salvage yard, got most of it in the other one, 1380lbs and I didn't even know the stuff was back there in the bed. Still have about another 500lbs left to haul off, so I am more than confident this little Dakota Sport can more than handle its own in the work department. Build a small truck with the worker in mind. Strong, capable, sturdy, not a lot of gadgets, and keep her inexpensive which is a major key to this, because she is a truck and a worker, then a year later build a sport model with the gadgets, that way you have both worlds. One with working roots, one for the sportier freestyle kids.Every time we give up some little market we never get it back. Don't let that happen.
 

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There really isn't much at all to the small truck market. None of them, even the Toyota, sell in the volumes they did. That market faded away for the most part.
With full-size pickups getting almost the same, or in some cases even better, fuel economy as the smaller trucks, one of the reasons for getting a smaller truck has disappeared.
 

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I was hoping the Pentastar V6 would find its way into the Dakota. Almost as many ponies as the 4.7L with significantly better fuel economy potential. But, alas, it's not to be. :(
 

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I was hoping the Pentastar V6 would find its way into the Dakota. Almost as many ponies as the 4.7L with significantly better fuel economy potential. But, alas, it's not to be. :(
Yes, it makes little sense to spend millions to re-engine a discontinued vehicle, and Pentastar production is very strained right now, just to keep up with demand.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I think its a sad thing now that Dakotas are officially a thing of the past.
Me too. I had more 'faith' in the depedability, workload. and longevity in my 1997 Dak, than my 2000 Raider.(Dak).

I need an extra overdrive gear.....
 

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Hello All
I have a 96 Dakota SLT 5.2 l v8, I have a question regarding towing different trailers. When towing a longer trailer is it better to have a 5th wheel hookup or a tow hitch hook up Transfer case and Transmission Rear end everything is stock. Also planning a trip to Las Vegas from Wisconsin is there any question about hauling a trailer through the mountains?
thanks in Advance
Gary
 

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Depends on the weight of the trailer and what your vehicle is rated to pull.
 

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NYBo said:
With full-size pickups getting almost the same, or in some cases even better, fuel economy as the smaller trucks, one of the reasons for getting a smaller truck has disappeared.
Except that the club cab Dakota will fit in most all garages and the full size Ram club cab will not..
 

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Hello bob,
Thanks for the quick reply.
I havent purchased the trailer yet which is why I am asking the questions. re 5th wheel type or tow bar type. I am guessing it will be 28-32 feet in lenght. The truck VIN # 1B7GG23Y9TS643978 Rated at 5001-6000# GVWR It has the 46RE Transmission and a 231 Transfer case 3.55 Rear Axle ratio and says 8.25 Rear Axle also has anti spin . The box is currently off the vehile as I am repainting everything and scraping and or sand blasting all the rust off it.
I also expect to tow a cargo trailer behind it looking for a tandem axle 7x 12 or 14 foot long unit.
Thanks again
Gary
 

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I just towed the 7X12 cargo box trailer half loaded with my 95 Dakota short bed and lumber rack attached last July with the 3.9 5spd and it handled just fine going over the mountains, headwinds and sidewinds did not have me all over the road either. My mileage was down due to the box itself being pulled, but didn't really have a problem with the gears of 3.55, went through the mountains in 4th and 5th except for a two mile hard hill where I was in 3rd doing 45mph, otherwise your auto should do OK and not be an issue. She did just fine on the flats and 70mph was not an issue. Like I said, mileage was down from 20mpg to 16mpg, but that was to be expected. I didn't have a 5th wheel attachment on mine, hitch ball on the bumper was fine for me.
 
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