Author Topic: 1997 Dodge Dakota  (Read 1469 times)

jeepidude

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1997 Dodge Dakota
« on: August 13, 2017, 01:17:45 AM »
I paid too much for this thing. I'll get some pics up tomorrow, but it ain't pretty. The underside of the rockers are rotted out. The bed is just about shot. Transmission shifts rough. CEL w/ emissions code popping up. Frame is rusting through. Ugh.

I got it so I have a 4x4 backup to my Fiesta and it's super handy to have a truck.

I was gonna take the bed off to reinforce the frame but the bolts just stripped and I'm tired of laying on my back to get them loose so I'm working on cutting the entire bed off with a plasma torch piece by piece and building a flatbed to replace it after the frame is done. I'll probably cut out the bottom of the rockers and put a slab of 3/16 or 1/4 steel in place like I did on my Tracker.

jeepidude

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Re: 1997 Dodge Dakota
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2017, 08:26:11 PM »
Started removing the bed today




Kalgorn

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Re: 1997 Dodge Dakota
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2017, 09:41:01 PM »
I'm surprised someone wasn't giving it away.

2002 Silverado | 1995 Talon TSi AWD | 1989 Prelude Si 4WS

jeepidude

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Re: 1997 Dodge Dakota
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2017, 10:11:12 PM »
Honestly this one isn't in terrible shape compared so some I've looked at; I'm just grouchy that I found a couple of weak spots and the bolts wouldn't come out. The interior is in great shape and everything works. Trucks hold much more value than cars here, especially with working 4x4. The frame is rusty but it only needs plating in a couple spots. I'll use a torch to pop the rusted metal off, wire wheel it, use rust converter, weld on what reinforcement is needed, and coat it a couple times with chassis saver.

jeepidude

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Re: 1997 Dodge Dakota
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2017, 10:19:03 PM »
For perspective, here's the last truck I had:



It was missing a lot of frame around the forward spring mount. Lots of welding and plating.

Delta

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Re: 1997 Dodge Dakota
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2017, 05:50:31 PM »
Damn, you're more dedicated then I am.

If you want a relatively rust free truck I'd be glad to sell you the S10...
2017 VW Golf GTI - 6spd
2015 Toyota Camry SE
2012 Jeep Liberty Sport 4x4
1999 Chevy S10 - 5spd

jeepidude

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Re: 1997 Dodge Dakota
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2017, 09:02:01 PM »
I'm sorry about the tiny pics, here's a big pic of the Ranger where you can see the giant hole in the frame and where the moron who owned it before me welded a bolt to the frame to replace the rear shackle:



Here's the end result of the frame repair (and new shocks, drums, ebrake, brake lines, spring mounts, etc):



And here's today's progress ripping off the Dakota's bed:



I would have kept the Ranger if it had 4wd, it was useless in the snow and I didn't want to fool around with weight in the bed or chains. I've always liked how this generation Dakota looked; that's why I ended up with this one. I plan on keeping it and continue fixing things as they break.

jeepidude

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Re: 1997 Dodge Dakota
« Reply #7 on: August 27, 2017, 09:42:09 AM »
Been pretty busy with things and stuff this week, finally got to do a little work yesterday. Pulled the bumper and tow hitch. Cut off the pieces of the bed left behind when I cut around the stuck bolts. I dunno if heating the bolts did much but judging by how I didn't round any of them and it was relatively drama free I'd say it did the job.


Kalgorn

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Re: 1997 Dodge Dakota
« Reply #8 on: August 28, 2017, 08:30:33 AM »
I'll be interested to see this thing when you're getting the flatbed together.

2002 Silverado | 1995 Talon TSi AWD | 1989 Prelude Si 4WS

87Warrior

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Re: 1997 Dodge Dakota
« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2017, 12:10:37 AM »
I've always had a soft spot for that generation Dakota. This will be fun to watch come together!

jeepidude

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Re: 1997 Dodge Dakota
« Reply #10 on: August 31, 2017, 09:47:22 AM »
Same here.. I think they hit the nail on the head with the styling. I should be able to put more time into it this next few weeks, I've been super busy