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Old 01-31-2010, 09:31 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Modding the Dakota

So, I don't want to make a aerocap for the Dakota, I don't really want to lose the bed, but I want a little bit better gas mileage.

I'm getting about 22 driving 60 right now. 24 going 55. I am hoping for 27 or 28 going 60 when I get done.

My plans are: grille block, belly pan, possibly lowing the rear 1".

I "have" to drive it back and forth to my mom's. (don't ask) So I can't drive the Geo the 50 miles round trip. So, i'm wanting the best mileage I can without going overboard.

Ideas, thoughts, rants?

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Old 01-31-2010, 09:45 PM   #2 (permalink)
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That isn't too bad for a Dakota. Mine is an '06 w/ v6 quad cab. I have a solid bed cover, but a soft roll up would do.

I have noticed that the underside is very dirty (aerodynamically) and suppose a belly pan would help a lot. I'd love to find a lowering kit for mine, let me know if you find something.
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Old 01-31-2010, 09:58 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bikin' Ed View Post
That isn't too bad for a Dakota. Mine is an '06 w/ v6 quad cab. I have a solid bed cover, but a soft roll up would do.

I have noticed that the underside is very dirty (aerodynamically) and suppose a belly pan would help a lot. I'd love to find a lowering kit for mine, let me know if you find something.
I plan on putting a 1" "lift" block above the axel, to lower the rear an inch. (i think the Dakota is an axle on leaf, not leaf on axle system)
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Old 01-31-2010, 11:11 PM   #4 (permalink)
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The springs are under the axle on your Dakota, IIRC. To lower the rear, you'd either shorten the shackles, or place a block under the axle, over the leaf spring. *Between them*
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Old 01-31-2010, 11:24 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christ View Post
The springs are under the axle on your Dakota, IIRC. To lower the rear, you'd either shorten the shackles, or place a block under the axle, over the leaf spring. *Between them*
Okay, so my idea of the 1" block wouldn't be a bad idea.

I'm hoping to do that after I do the belly pan, or maybe before, not exactly sure yet.
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Old 01-31-2010, 11:26 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Can you weld? You either need to extend the spring pack's alignment pin by an inch, or you need to weld a new alignment pin onto your block and drill the spring side of the block for the pin that's already on the spring pack.

You could also just remove the overload spring, if you don't load your suspension up too much normally.
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Old 01-31-2010, 11:33 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christ View Post
Can you weld? You either need to extend the spring pack's alignment pin by an inch, or you need to weld a new alignment pin onto your block and drill the spring side of the block for the pin that's already on the spring pack.

You could also just remove the overload spring, if you don't load your suspension up too much normally.
I can weld, I don't have a welder. How much drop am I looking at if I remove the overload spring? And how much am I looking at losing in carrying capacity? *no I don't load it up often, but I don't want to not be able to put a couple hundred in the back.
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Old 02-01-2010, 12:11 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Crap, that was more difficult than it had to be.

I'm not sure about the drop in height or capacity with the O-spring, but it's been suggested to me by people "in the know", so I thought I'd pass it on.

For the spring locator pin, you can remove it from the spring pack (if it's not on the axle tubing) and replace it with almost any other steel pin the same diameter, but you then have to put a plate under the spring packs to hold the pin in. The plate gets held in place by the u-bolts that hold the axle housing to the springs. You want a pin with a slight interference fit, so that you have to freeze it before it will go in, and that it fits nicely once it's in there, and doesn't pull back out.

The block you need to make if you don't want to swap pins will look something like this:

Where this pin goes into the axle's receiver hole
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V


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^
And the pin on the leaf spring pack goes here.
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Old 02-01-2010, 08:30 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Good ideas. If I had a truck bellypan would be second on my list too, right after the grill block. I dunno why more guys don't do this.
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Old 02-01-2010, 09:28 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daox View Post
Good ideas. If I had a truck bellypan would be second on my list too, right after the grill block. I dunno why more guys don't do this.
I'm gonna lower my 4wd Eff-series. And put a belly pan.









Just as soon as I have the time.

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