No announcement yet.

Dakota Question(s)

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Dakota Question(s)

    I am considering purchasing a Dakota of the 1997 body style.
    I would really prefer either a 239 or a 318, but am most likely not interested in the 4.7. I would prefer a Chrysler Corporation produced vehicle as I have not been too impressed with the 2 vehicles I have owned that were made and designed by DaimlerChrysler.
    I am looking to replace my 1983 Dodge Ram D150 Royal, since my Chrysler Town & Country is probably totaled, I would like something a little newer and a little nicer.
    Hopefully I will find one that is nicely equipped and that has a lid on the bed. I really don't need a Dodge Ram since it is too big and too thirsty.
    Thanks in advance for you help on this as always

  • #2
    That is one of my all time favorite trucks. I think the design is just right. Equipped with the 318 and four wheel drive, it is a little thirsty, the steering box leaks (they all do), and the ball joints wear out regularly (they all do). The ball joints are the biggest nuisance, since a bad ball joint results in the tires going bad. Apart from that, the truck is a champ. Also, I am a medium build guy, and the truck fits me beautifully: not too big, not too small, juuuust right! My son still drives it ( a Durango, actually) with 200,000 plus miles. It is getting a bit ragged at the edges, but still serves his purposes.


    • #3
      1997 would be a good year for the Dakota. It was known as the 2nd generation as it was redesigned that year to look more like the full size Ram of 1994. The 2nd gen. ran from 1997-2004 and are my personal favorites. The 4.7 liter was not available until 2000 when it replaced the venerable 318. I would go with the 318 if you plan on towing at all. I, too prefer the 318. The only problem I have heard about with the 318 magnum is that a good amount of the cylinder heads cracked at the exhaust valve seat between 50-75000 miles. However, the design of the cylinder head was such that the heads would not begin to leak coolant into the chambers until 150,000 miles or more, and some never did. I have a Durango 1999 with 318 magnum at 169,500 so far no problems. Watch the factory style cheap muffler if you are going to tow. They are restrictive and you will end up cracking the exhaust manifolds. I have blown two of these mufflers apart and finally went to a welded performance type muffler. The engine now runs about 15 degrees cooler but I think I can hear the faintest of leaks in the right exhaust manifold. That 318 really barks with a good muffler!