2001 Dakota QC Diesel

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Motohead1

Rank III

Traveler I

Hi all this will be a slow update thread but thought I would start a to compile ideas and get input other than my usual lurk method. The short story is I needed a 4 door truck to haul the family for trips and daily drive for work while getting good fuel mileage. Budget was too tight for a used taco so I found a old dakota with a quarter million miles on it. Fixed all the broke dodge stuff and drove it like that for about 6 months.

I hope these pics work.





The plan was always to swap in a diesel after an oversees trip had me drooling over all the quad cab diesel trucks everywhere you looked. So we found a 2002 ALH bug with 160k that tagged a light pole and still ran.


We worked on the swap on and off whenever there was time and got it drive-able after 6 months.


So fast fwd have over 8000 miles on the swap and it averages 28.5mpg .

Here is a pic from a 2100 mile trip we just did.
 

Brandon Harvey

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Wow you took an engine out of a TDi and put it in a Dakota. That is like something out of Roadkill or Dirt Everyday. What do you call it? The DakWagon or the Volksota. Very cool indeed!
 
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Justin Forrest

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Nice work. If you are still using the Vw software, hpa Motorsport in British Columbia can remap it for even more power. They are hardcore Vw guys and off-roaders as well. They have a kit for putting that same motor into jeeps. What did you do for an adapter plate? Is your truck a manual or auto?
 

Motohead1

Rank III

Traveler I

Wow you took an engine out of a TDi and put it in a Dakota. That is like something out of Roadkill or Dirt Everyday. What do you call it? The DakWagon or the Volksota. Very cool indeed!
I like watching those dirt everyday type shows they are good fun and not sure why we havent more TDi swaps These ALH motors are cheap and the common rail motors can be had for not much more.

Nice work. If you are still using the Vw software, hpa Motorsport in British Columbia can remap it for even more power. They are hardcore Vw guys and off-roaders as well. They have a kit for putting that same motor into jeeps. What did you do for an adapter plate? Is your truck a manual or auto?
Yea its the stock 121 ecu I had it tuned by Malone. Back in the day i would have tuned it myself but for $300 I dont have to learn a new language and saves me lots of time. HPA puts out a decent product from what i have seen but we ended up doing the same thing at like 1/3rd the price. Adapter is from http://gastodiesel.tdconversions.com/. He makes lots of adapters and mine was the first dodge small block plate. Better than anything out there IMHO for multiple reasons. I kept the stock dodge NV3500. Its rwd only right now as I yanked the front pumkin to get ready for the gear swap. Details on the swap are on tdiclub.
 
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4wheelspulling

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Nice job on your engine swap and getting all the little things sorted out! What gear ratio are you running? What Tire size? On my Jeep build, I started with 3.07 gears, and 215/70/15s. Now I have 4.10 in and have to break in the gears, still have not had the money to do so and see how it is working. I have almost wore out 235/75/15s. Thinking 31 x 10.5 x 15s should be about right? Still sorting our all that out.
 
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Motohead1

Rank III

Traveler I

Nice job on your engine swap and getting all the little things sorted out! What gear ratio are you running? What Tire size? On my Jeep build, I started with 3.07 gears, and 215/70/15s. Now I have 4.10 in and have to break in the gears, still have not had the money to do so and see how it is working. I have almost wore out 235/75/15s. Thinking 31 x 10.5 x 15s should be about right? Still sorting our all that out.
Stock 3.55 for now will be going to 4.56 or 4.88. Tires are 265/70 r17 so about 31.6" the little TDi will spin to 5K but is happy cruising at hwy speeds north of 2500rpm. Right now with the .73 5th gear I caint even use it at all . Yea this gear swap will cost me about half of what i paid for the tuck but im still under $10k on this whole thing so not to bad.
 

4wheelspulling

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That was the same with me! Had to change gears, then wanted lockers and you know the rest! I am at $11500. Total. No garage to work in and not much use with my hands, due to an illness. Had to find a rig that had the hard part of a diesel swap already done, then take it from there. Also, something I could afford! That is cool that you were able to do the swap your self.
 
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4wheelspulling

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Forgot to say the my 617 diesel redline is at 4500. But likes to cruise at 2500-3000. Would love to catch up with you in person some day and compare trucks! Benz.
 
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Motohead1

Rank III

Traveler I

That was the same with me! Had to change gears, then wanted lockers and you know the rest! I am at $11500. Total. No garage to work in and not much use with my hands, due to an illness. Had to find a rig that had the hard part of a diesel swap already done, then take it from there. Also, something I could afford! That is cool that you were able to do the swap your self.
Forgot to say the my 617 diesel redline is at 4500. But likes to cruise at 2500-3000. Would love to catch up with you in person some day and compare trucks! Benz.
I caint imagine not having a garage do do a swap or an illness that would debilitate my hands. you have done well picking up a already swapped 617. It would be a long road trip but if we ever made it out that far for sure would have to meet up.
 
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Motohead1

Rank III

Traveler I

So I need some help compiling ideas on a bed topper for this truck. Requirements are it has to stay open for daily duty so a shell is out of the question. Not sure I could find a cheap one anyway. I was thinking somthing along the lines of raising the bed bars up to the roofline and tying them with a crossbar as close to the cab as possible. Then add a removable rear crossbar when needed. I could pin that one or clamp it. My wife can sow up a cover that would only be installed for trips. We only need to keeps stuff dry as we would be tent camping anyway. If you have other ideas or examples please post away. Thanks.
 
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4wheelspulling

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What about a Tonnele cover ? You could make one out of marine plywood, make some nice storage hatches that you could lift up without having to lift the whole cover. Them make it easy to remove when not needed. Does that make sense? Benz.
 
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Motohead1

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Traveler I

What about a Tonnele cover ? You could make one out of marine plywood, make some nice storage hatches that you could lift up without having to lift the whole cover. Them make it easy to remove when not needed. Does that make sense? Benz.
Yea I thought of doing somthing to that effect but will carry a ton of stuff (My wife is literally from timbuktu so she preps for everything and anything) and will need somthing higher than the top of the bed.
 
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Motohead1

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Not much of a overlanding update but winter is coming so i finally hooked up my glow plugs. They really are not needed till it gets in the low 30s. Made a harness and using a 5 pin relay.


Also installed some cheap but effective helper shocks a while back. The spring is supposed to add about 800 lbs extra payload. Definitely dosent sag when loaded now.



 

Motohead1

Rank III

Traveler I

I wasent going to put a custom bumper on this thing but I need to increase the intercooler size and I would like it out front to make it more efficient and give it some more clearance. So today I fired up the old amazon CAD program and made some templates. There are absolutely zero affordable options out there for an old dakota that i could find anyway. Luckaly I have a fab buddy of mine that will cut out all my CAD pieces and hopefully I can get this done before summer hits again. One great thing about this dakota is the stock bumper can be removed and installed in less than 5 min so I can work on this a little at a time whenever I find time.



 

Motohead1

Rank III

Traveler I

Finally got the rear gear changed out to 4.56. Man what a difference! Added a .3 mpg increase as well. Ill be ordering gears and stuff for the front pumkin soon. Will be nice to have 4wd again. Plates are getting cut for the front bumper but not sure when Ill have time to even get started on that.
 

Motohead1

Rank III

Traveler I

So I got lots of plate cut for a bumper but after going back and forth I decided for now to push the stock radiator/condenser combo back 3" and fit the larger intercooler behind the stock bumper. Its 3X the volume of the old setup and now my intake temps are 8*F above ambient instead of 20-30 on the old cooler. I will probably end up with the steel bumper but now this gives me more room to design it a little more compact.
 

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