Project - 2003 Dodge Dakota, working name Frankentrucken

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Speeder
Posts: 10763
Joined: Fri Apr 30, 1999 9:12 pm
Location: 2021 Dodge Durango R/T 2WD, 2008 Colorado work beater, 2003 Dodge Dakota pro-touring project

Project - 2003 Dodge Dakota, working name Frankentrucken

Post by Speeder »

My next project is in progress. Suspension work will be first up. After that, engine and trans.

The project is my before mentioned 2003 Dodge Dakota. Yes, I know, doesn't seem like me and doesn't seem like the right place, but its heart will be Chevy so I figure it's OK. I've worked out the suspension already, the truck will have a Ford 9 inch rear end attached via an offset triangulated 3 link, with coilovers in the back, and a regular A arm suspension with coilovers and a manual rack. Brakes will be 4 wheel disk, just as it has now. There will be a load bearing airbag setup on it, that won't be used unless the bed is loaded. I'm working with a local guy who builds Cobra AC kit cars from scratch and does pretty well himself on the local pro-touring circuit and the suspension is being set up to be able to handle pro-tour racing. I don't know what the truck's final weight will be, but its current weight is 4000lbs which I am going to use as the final weight. Going to try making it lighter, but we'll see. The truck will be running on 29 inch tall tires.

Now then, I need a little advice from the collective intelligence of this board, which I may or may not take. I'm going to go with a 6.2L engine, but which one is a problem. Basically, it's a decision between a Gen 4 LS3 6.2L with a 6 speed auto, or a Gen 5 LT1 6.2L with an 8 speed. Initially I was looking at boosting input and going with a 700ish HP engine, but I've scaled it back for financial reasons. Maybe in a few years I might try supercharging or turbocharging the truck. But, given the same circumstances, would you go Gen4 or Gen5? My rear ratio is flexible, 3.42, 3.55 or 3.73. Pricing is not an issue, as I'm going to be picking up a takeout from a salvage yard and the cost is roughly 10 grand either way I go.

Ford and Chevy parts in a Dodge, FRANKENTRUCKEN ooooOOOOoooooHHH!

Bushwacker
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Joined: Wed Jul 04, 2012 4:05 pm

Post by Bushwacker »

With either gen 4 or gen 5 you will need to delete the afm.

Speeder
Posts: 10763
Joined: Fri Apr 30, 1999 9:12 pm
Location: 2021 Dodge Durango R/T 2WD, 2008 Colorado work beater, 2003 Dodge Dakota pro-touring project

Post by Speeder »

Strange, I would have thought there would be some back and forth by now. Oh well, guess nobody's interested. Nobody likes me, everybody hates me, I think I'll eat dirt.

Image

Heh heh heh...

Chevy 97
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Post by Chevy 97 »

I have nothing to contribute. What you ask is beyond my expertise.

z71gmc06
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Location: Michigan

Post by z71gmc06 »

Speeder,

Don't eat dirt, ti's bad for your teeth.

I watched this last week and thought it was one of the better ones out on youtube. I don't have an answer for you, but the LS3's seem to be a good balance of power, simplicity and cost.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ji78AVLeirM

Speeder
Posts: 10763
Joined: Fri Apr 30, 1999 9:12 pm
Location: 2021 Dodge Durango R/T 2WD, 2008 Colorado work beater, 2003 Dodge Dakota pro-touring project

Post by Speeder »

Thanks. Yeah, that's the problem, the LS3 is a super engine but I have to go with a 6 speed. The LT1 has a lot of advantages plus an 8 speed, but it's going to cost quite a bit more because the aftermarket's not up on them yet but the 8 speed has pretty much perfect shift drops for getting you to your powerband and keeping you there. I keep flip flopping between the two.

97k15004wd
Posts: 1167
Joined: Fri Oct 27, 2006 7:32 pm
Location: Waikikamukau

Post by 97k15004wd »

Well, if it's about the same I'd say you have to convince yourself. Maybe list the pros and the cons and see how it tallys up.

For me, availability of parts and the cost of those parts is a big factor. I had to make a decision like this once, and I had to do the list to convince myself which way to go. Only way to get the emotion out of the decision.

Also, afterwards when I was kicking myself for having done what I did, I could look at the results of the original list and go "well, it wasn't a bad decison" because the premise was correct at that time for what was done.

Speeder
Posts: 10763
Joined: Fri Apr 30, 1999 9:12 pm
Location: 2021 Dodge Durango R/T 2WD, 2008 Colorado work beater, 2003 Dodge Dakota pro-touring project

Post by Speeder »

This sucks. I had worked up an agreement with a guy to redo my truck's suspension. After several months of being put off, he decided that he's getting out of the business and is going to build cars to sell instead of doing work for others. I'm not out any money, we only got as far as he looked at the truck and was going to work up an estimate but that was back in February. So here it is June, and my project hasn't advanced so much as a single day.

So, my question to you all is, anyone know of a reputable suspension builder who can handle ripping a suspension out down to the frame, and installing a custom suspension near Tulsa? I've been searching the internet using just about any term I can think of that's related to it, and I keep coming up goose-eggs. When I do find someone that does the work I want to do, referenced in a thread somewhere, I find that they're out of business. Driving me batty here.

97k15004wd
Posts: 1167
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Location: Waikikamukau

Post by 97k15004wd »

I'd check with some off road shops. They seem to do just about any work like you are talking about. There has to be some guys near you

Speeder
Posts: 10763
Joined: Fri Apr 30, 1999 9:12 pm
Location: 2021 Dodge Durango R/T 2WD, 2008 Colorado work beater, 2003 Dodge Dakota pro-touring project

Post by Speeder »

There are a lot of off-road shops around here, but most of them are socket jockeys. If you can't do it with a pre-engineered bolt-on kit, they can't handle it. I'll add them to the search though, you never know.

Speeder
Posts: 10763
Joined: Fri Apr 30, 1999 9:12 pm
Location: 2021 Dodge Durango R/T 2WD, 2008 Colorado work beater, 2003 Dodge Dakota pro-touring project

Re: Project - 2003 Dodge Dakota, working name Frankentrucken

Post by Speeder »

For what it's worth, since the board has been acquired by Hormel since the software update, I'll post up an update in the hopes that a gearhead will see this before the board crashes into oblivion.

So far, no luck in getting anything done on the truck itself. However, I still have hopes that I can find someone to do the job. On the engine/transmission front, I've figured out a path to success. At least one person has successfully mated a Dodge 8HP70 to a Chevy LS3 physically, and I've found a conversion kit although the company selling it priced it like it's made of gold. Worse comes to worse I'll use it, but I'm still trying to find a cheaper way to do the same job. I've also located a company that makes a standalone controller for the Dodge-built 8HPs. 1300 for the adapter, 1000 for the controller, and I can make it happen. I'm still exploring other ideas, like perhaps keeping it Dodge and doing a 6.4L, or getting a 6.2 takeout from a late model Camaro with a 10 speed. I'll know what I'm doing in the end when I buy the stuff, so the drivetrain is up in the air at the moment.

In other news, I'm taking a small break from my project to put an engine in my dad's 2001 Silverado. My mother's truck came out great, so he decided he wanted me to do his engine. I have an iron 6.0L-based 408 being built now, which should be ready around Thanksgiving. I plan to install the first half of December, and the nice thing is this job should just take a couple of days because his truck is kept in perfect mechanical shape. I won't have to fix a bunch of crap as I go like I did on my mother's truck.

Speeder
Posts: 10763
Joined: Fri Apr 30, 1999 9:12 pm
Location: 2021 Dodge Durango R/T 2WD, 2008 Colorado work beater, 2003 Dodge Dakota pro-touring project

Re: Project - 2003 Dodge Dakota, working name Frankentrucken

Post by Speeder »

RIP to my dad, who passed away in November, a few days after I made the last post. The engine was cancelled and his truck was sold. I was really looking forward to that project.

In other news, I've been made an admin on this board, and will do my best to de-spam it. Send me a PM if you find a spammer and I'll investigate.

My 70 Chevelle has been sold. Now I have room for my own stuff. Man was I glad to see that car gone! The guy that bought it has a shop and he restores old cars, so he can give the car the attention it needs. Much as I wish it were otherwise, I don't have the skills to do the concours restoral that the car deserved. I'm more of a "make it the way I want it" kind of guy.

Now back to the project - I've located a shop who will do the job, and they do some pretty good work. I'll be pulling the engine next week, weather permitting, and the car goes to the shop in early April.

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