1998 Dodge Dakota

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dakight

Rank III
Member
Adventure

Member III

733
Gilbert, AZ, USA
First Name
David
Last Name
Kight
Member #

28374

Ham Callsign
KB7DK
I will follow this up with pictures and further description later but I wanted to introduce this rig. Since this is only my 3rd or 4th post I don't think I'm allowed to post pictures yet anyway. It isn't much, but it's what i have and I figure it's better to start with what I have rather than wait for something better that may never come along. So here is in a nutshell:

1998 Dodge Dakota. The paint is faded and peeling after 23 years and 240K miles but it runs and has been reliable. It has a 5.2L gasoline engine, automatic transmission and 4 wheel drive. I have lifted it approximately 3" using lifting blocks on the rear and reclocked torsion bar keys. It's not ideal, but it works. The wheels are stock 15x7 alloy with 31x10.50R15 All Terrain tires.

I have also addes a fiberglass camper shell on the 6'8" bed and a bed slide to make access to the cargo easier. I've had it out once and I'm happy with the arrangement but I will have to fine tune my organization and packing skills.

I currently have the interior stripped out completely to install new carpet and a new dash shell. The original dash was badly cracked and broke like glass when I was attempting to remove it. It was very old and brittle so a new one will improve things greatly.

I am also replacing the AC condenser and all the seals in the system to hopefully stop a slow refrigerant leak.

SO there it is, a start. Hopefully more to come.
 

Shakes355

Rank IV
Member

Member III

1,116
Bellingham, WA, USA
First Name
Chris
Last Name
Adams
Member #

24526

Half ton truck in a midsized. Great rigs. Solid choice.

-Quick tip: R+R the Intake Manifold and change the lower separator gasket. They suck-in and cause a vacuum leak into the crankcase. Causes oil consumption, poor fuel economy and surging at times. If it gets bad enough it can stall randomly.

Enjoy!
 
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dakight

Rank III
Member
Adventure

Member III

733
Gilbert, AZ, USA
First Name
David
Last Name
Kight
Member #

28374

Ham Callsign
KB7DK
I had a 98 Dakota 318 as well. I loved it. I had 32s on it with 2 inches of lift, waag front grill guard tail light guards and side tube steps. It had a whole bunch of extras on it... To much to list really but it was an awesome truck. Can't wait to see yours.
It's a great truck and has served me well for 23 years so far. It's not a great rock crawler but it should be more than adequate as an overlander. I have run the Broken Arrow in Sedona, the Coves at Lake Saguaro, including a rocky wash through The Rolls OHV area east of Fountain Hills, the Hassayampa River in Wickenburg including Box Canyon but I did have to bail out on a pretty gnarly rock garden beyond the canyon exit. I have also taken her it to the top of Harquahala Peak. My most recent outing was from Phoenix to the Swansea mine and ghost town via Salome and Vicksburg then from Swansea through a narrow canyon into Parker. We camped at Swansea but the Mrs. wanted a Motel and dinner out for the second night. Since it was our 50th anniversary I agreed.

I think there should be a passable trail from Swansea to the Bill Williams River then along the river to Alamo Lake but I'll have to do some research to figure it out. The desert is crisscrossed with trails, washes and primitive roads.

It's too hot now for man or beast and the desert is literally on fire so it will probably be August or September before we get out again.
 

dakight

Rank III
Member
Adventure

Member III

733
Gilbert, AZ, USA
First Name
David
Last Name
Kight
Member #

28374

Ham Callsign
KB7DK
Half ton truck in a midsized. Great rigs. Solid choice.

-Quick tip: R+R the Intake Manifold and change the lower separator gasket. They suck-in and cause a vacuum leak into the crankcase. Causes oil consumption, poor fuel economy and surging at times. If it gets bad enough it can stall randomly.

Enjoy!
Been there, done that... along with new heads because of the vacuum leak. That's my one major disappointment with the vehicle.
 

Shakes355

Rank IV
Member

Member III

1,116
Bellingham, WA, USA
First Name
Chris
Last Name
Adams
Member #

24526

Half ton truck in a midsized. Great rigs. Solid choice.

-Quick tip: R+R the Intake Manifold and change the lower separator gasket. They suck-in and cause a vacuum leak into the crankcase. Causes oil consumption, poor fuel economy and surging at times. If it gets bad enough it can stall randomly.

Enjoy!
Been there, done that... along with new heads because of the vacuum leak. That's my one major disappointment with the vehicle.
Fair enough. Read more like a new rig rather than one you've owned for so long. After 23 years I'm sure you've seen everything its fixing to throw at you. Lol
 
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Enthusiast III

1,212
Grand Falls-Windsor, NL, Canada
First Name
Steve
Last Name
Adams
It's a great truck and has served me well for 23 years so far. It's not a great rock crawler but it should be more than adequate as an overlander. I have run the Broken Arrow in Sedona, the Coves at Lake Saguaro, including a rocky wash through The Rolls OHV area east of Fountain Hills, the Hassayampa River in Wickenburg including Box Canyon but I did have to bail out on a pretty gnarly rock garden beyond the canyon exit. I have also taken her it to the top of Harquahala Peak. My most recent outing was from Phoenix to the Swansea mine and ghost town via Salome and Vicksburg then from Swansea through a narrow canyon into Parker. We camped at Swansea but the Mrs. wanted a Motel and dinner out for the second night. Since it was our 50th anniversary I agreed.

I think there should be a passable trail from Swansea to the Bill Williams River then along the river to Alamo Lake but I'll have to do some research to figure it out. The desert is crisscrossed with trails, washes and primitive roads.

It's too hot now for man or beast and the desert is literally on fire so it will probably be August or September before we get out again.
It's a great overland platform. Decent power, great size, and comfortable. I wish I could find a crew cab version that is in great condition with the 318. I would probably jump on it for sure. I loved the mopar black valve covers I put on mine too. HA HA HA.
 

Sneaks

Rank IV

Enthusiast III

1,165
Maine
First Name
Scott
Last Name
Swenson
Ham Callsign
KC1MUR
I had a 99 with the V6, great truck. Only issue I had with it was the pressure line on the PS, which for some reason was NLA when it went. I've had at least a dozen 318\360s over the years, damn solid motor.
 

dakight

Rank III
Member
Adventure

Member III

733
Gilbert, AZ, USA
First Name
David
Last Name
Kight
Member #

28374

Ham Callsign
KB7DK
I finished putting the interior back together today. I had to replace the dash shell because years of sitting out in the sun had made it brittle as glass and it had large cracks and even pieces falling out of it. I have covered it with a molded carpet cover to prevent that in the future. I also replaced the carpet. Despite the age and use of the truck, the seat upholstery is still in excellent condition and just needs a good cleaning.

Next on the list is a replacement of the air conditioning condenser because has been damaged and the brackets are broken. I will also replace the orifice tube and all the o-ring seals.

Finally I need to change the transmission filter and pan gasket because it is leaking. I will also replace the 3-4 accumulator spring while I have it open.