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Other Rides and Builds A place for the discussion of Colorado "Side Projects"

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  #1  
Old October 24th, 2015, 17:39
xj-grin xj-grin is offline
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Grin's Dakota QuadCab

So the Titan, while super cushy and powerful, was also super huge, and expensive. While I'm a touch nervous about being back in the "something could break anytime - jeepish" place, I'm pretty psyched not to be in hock to the bank...

The new ride is a 2001 Dodge Dakota SLT QuadCab 4x4 -- straightest body I have ever seen on a used car, but it had the standard mopar electrical gremlins, and while the previous owner (original, bought it with 2 miles on it) was fairly decent at changing the oil and doing the brakes, it had some delayed maintenance issues.

Yes Fred, it is NOW in my driveway...




I really miss the uber comfy seats in the Titan... something will have to be done about it. So far fixed a short in the stereo, and replaced the blower fan rheostat inside -- heat is hot, air is cold. Speakers suck though, and will likely replace the factory Infinity head unit and amp with some aftermarket stuff this winter. Still need to work out some wonky power window issues



Weird custom fit carpet liner in the entire bed -- not sure if it will stay or not. It's nice, but at times it smells like a wet dog.


So 171k on the stock 4.7 -- have flushed and re-filled power steering and brake fluid, both were nasty. changed the oil, replaced the plugs (holy massive gaps on the old ones batman ), seafoamed the mother (before the oil change), chased down a couple vacuum leaks/CE codes (all clear now), runs like a champ.

Came with the 45rfe auto tranny, but I know from my Grand Cherokee experience that the 45rfe is really a 5-45rfe (same tranny that was behind 5.7 hemis until recently), with a different computer flash. So, I put a little Jeep in my Dodge, in the form of a 2002 WJ TCM, which gave me the 5th forward gear, a 0.67 super-OD (stock is 0.75). I averaged 15.8 mpg on the last tank (still 2 mpg better than the Titan!), but we'll see what the new OD does for me.



Sometime this week I'll get the Bilstein shocks in (still on original factorys... rough), and maybe swap some new tie rod ends in... steering isn't bad, but a little spongy. T-Case fluid (NV233 - a HD 231 with electric solenoid shifting) is OK, but I think I'll put some new juice in anyway... not as red as I would like. Axles were recently serviced (8" front IFS, 9.25 rear -- 3.55 gears), so no work there.

Will likely put a 1" body lift on it, and about 1.5" of suspension when the tires wear (Goodyear Wranglers AT-S... could be years) so I can run 285s, as I feel like I'm sitting on the friggen asphalt. But, it'll do.

Last edited by xj-grin; October 24th, 2015 at 17:42.
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  #2  
Old October 25th, 2015, 17:54
in4aride in4aride is offline
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Re: Grin's Dakota QuadCab

What seats are you going to get? Im going to ditch the power/leather on the xj now for something more firm and better bolster. I agree the power and comfy of the T is missed but sure is nice just flat out owning and making it what you want.
Color looks similar to the sienna pearl on the xj???
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  #3  
Old October 25th, 2015, 18:49
xj-grin xj-grin is offline
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Re: Grin's Dakota QuadCab

little bit darker than the "chilie pepper red", but close. Not sure what I'll do on the seats, as the leather/vinyl Dakota seats are only marginally better, doesn't matter whether it is the 40/60 bench that I have or true buckets. apparently SRT-4 neon seats fit and have much better bolsters... we'll see.
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  #4  
Old October 28th, 2015, 07:49
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collkid collkid is offline
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Re: Grin's Dakota QuadCab

Quote:
Originally Posted by xj-grin View Post



Came with the 45rfe auto tranny, but I know from my Grand Cherokee experience that the 45rfe is really a 5-45rfe (same tranny that was behind 5.7 hemis until recently), with a different computer flash. So, I put a little Jeep in my Dodge, in the form of a 2002 WJ TCM, which gave me the 5th forward gear, a 0.67 super-OD (stock is 0.75). I averaged 15.8 mpg on the last tank (still 2 mpg better than the Titan!), but we'll see what the new OD does for me.




Will likely put a 1" body lift on it, and about 1.5" of suspension when the tires wear (Goodyear Wranglers AT-S... could be years) so I can run 285s, as I feel like I'm sitting on the friggen asphalt. But, it'll do.


Really?

All you had to do what re-flash the computer and you get an extra gear?!
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  #5  
Old October 28th, 2015, 08:32
xj-grin xj-grin is offline
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Re: Grin's Dakota QuadCab

On my 99 GC I reflashed at the dealer. Apparently the Dakota computer won't take the flash, so I replaced the TCM with an 02 GC TCM that has the OD flash already. Was previously pulling 2k rpm at 67mph, now 2k at 73mph. Should bump my mpg on the highway up over 20. Easy peasy! Literally took 50 bucks at the salvage yard and 10 minutes.
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  #6  
Old October 28th, 2015, 08:40
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Kittrell Kittrell is offline
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Re: Grin's Dakota QuadCab

Quote:
Originally Posted by collkid View Post
Really?

All you had to do what re-flash the computer and you get an extra gear?!
Yes, the 45RFE was built with 3 planetary gear sets. So through software updates it became the 545RFE and eventually the 65RFE.
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  #7  
Old November 2nd, 2015, 17:21
xj-grin xj-grin is offline
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Re: Grin's Dakota QuadCab

Ahh, billie, billie, billie....

What a difference a set of Bilsteins makes. Lots of squeaking going on though... Looking into new control arm bushings and sway bar bushings.
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  #8  
Old November 6th, 2015, 16:36
xj-grin xj-grin is offline
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Re: Grin's Dakota QuadCab

ugh. Blower fan resistor died again -- after 2 friggin weeks! Lame, crappy, chinese-made crap.... I'll put in another and hope the 8 year old that assembled this one was more competent than the last...
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  #9  
Old November 10th, 2015, 17:03
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collkid collkid is offline
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Re: Grin's Dakota QuadCab

You probably know this but, I replaced a blower fan in a friends WJ. He came back a week later and said it died, so I did it again. Died again in a month.

Ended up being the wires. Had to splice in and create a connector pack. Pretty simple.

Once I wiggled the wires a little bit, it kicked back on.
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  #10  
Old November 10th, 2015, 19:00
rockfrog rockfrog is offline
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Re: Grin's Dakota QuadCab

I'm running 285/75/16 on mine with no lift, they do rub a little and at full steer the hit the frame with the stock wheels. I wish they came with a common bolt pattern that made it easy to find decent used wheels.

My heater/Ac only blows defrost and floor, I am guessing some sort of vacuum issue.
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  #11  
Old November 10th, 2015, 20:38
xj-grin xj-grin is offline
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Re: Grin's Dakota QuadCab

well, it could be a wiring issue, there appears to be some excess voltage somewhere -- burned out the second resistor in 2 days this time, just now on the way home from work. It is a moronic design where the resistor, which provides the variable speed, sticks up in the air duct right next to the heater core, and supposedly gets cooled by the moving air... um, no.

researching this common failure on 01-04 dakotas, some say wiring harness fixed it, some say new blower fan, some did both and keep eating resistors... Frack.

Eric -- no way I could get 285's on here with no lift, but I suspect some Dakotas had a bit more height from the factory, mine is low. Are the wheels that odd 6 on 5 pattern, or 6 on 4.5? never really thought about it, since I'm fine with the factory alloys.
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  #12  
Old November 10th, 2015, 22:55
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Re: Grin's Dakota QuadCab

6 on 4.5. Even on the 2WD's....... unfortunately.

I was thinking blower motor drawing excessive current as well.
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  #13  
Old November 10th, 2015, 23:36
xj-grin xj-grin is offline
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Re: Grin's Dakota QuadCab

Yeah, I ordered a fan... Fingers crossed
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  #14  
Old November 16th, 2015, 14:23
xj-grin xj-grin is offline
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Re: Grin's Dakota QuadCab

Hopefully 3rd time is a charm -- replaced the fan resistor, again, but also replaced the blower fan. The old one seemed a little stiff turning it by hand, so I suspect it was pulling more amps than it should and cooking the resistor.

Add-a-Leafs should show up today, so I may have a 1.5-2" lift before the end of the week...
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  #15  
Old November 18th, 2015, 17:17
xj-grin xj-grin is offline
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Re: Grin's Dakota QuadCab

Got the torsion twist done on the front -- 20 minutes, $0, 1.75" lift. No pics, its dark and sitting in 20" of snow... hoping to get the add-a-leafs in before we head out for the holiday, but seems unlikely. Ride is slightly stiffer, but nothing to complain about.
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