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Planning a swap into a 2nd Gen Dakota....
Thomcat316 Offline

Posts: 12
Joined: Mar 2015
Location: South Florida, USA
RE: Planning a swap into a 2nd Gen Dakota....
(04-03-2015, 09:25 AM)CRD4x4 Wrote: Thomcat,
I'm really digging your small diesel 5th wheel project but I wonder if a Dakota is the right truck for the job. I'm interested as to why you chose this dodge as you're base.

Why the Dakota? Four doors, seats five, good long-haul driveability, low donor cost, good chassis/body/interior parts availability, "midsize" allows easy parking when it's split from the trailer, very tight turning radius, available in 2WD. Other possibilities explored were: Dodge and Chevy 1500 crew cab (too big), S10 Crew Cab (too rare), Colorado crew cab (too costly), Tacoma crew cab (too rare, too costly).

Quote:I've had similar thoughts in the past and settled on a Willys/Jeep FC170 dually as my ideal base for a small 5th wheel. They're not easy to find but they offer so many advantages with their 4wd cabover design over conventional truck layouts.

Looks like a blast! I'd probably do an Isuzu NPR or Mitsubishi Fuso if I were heading to bigger/heavier. Actually did a set of comparison designs for a self-contained (Class A?) motorhome based on both the long-frame Isuzu and on a frame-stretched Tahoe. Turned out that neither met the needs I had in mind.

Quote:The OM606 is so much more powerful than the OM617 so I'd stick with that.
Mating with a manual can be challenging  (where I'm currently stuck) or costly but can be done with bellhousing chop & weld.

Looking forward to playing with it! I see where 4x4 Labs uses a Ford V10 starter for their adapter plate, so there's a lot of research I don't have to do right off the bat!

Quote:Would you use a Sonoma again? I've inherited a low miles 03 with 2.2 auto & have been trying to sell or trade it locally for something more fun/diesel.

My 1996 ExtCab 2.2 2WD Sonoma is my daily driver, and runs like a happy little watch. I'll be getting this Dakota to convert to a dedicated tow vehicle, but will be keeping the Sonoma. I like how simple it is to work on, and as a GM vehicle with over 200K miles this is a factor.... ;-)

Quote:I'd love to hear more about your trailer too!

To keep from going too far off topic here in DieselLand, here's links:
Build Journal:
04-06-2015, 10:10 AM
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RE: Planning a swap into a 2nd Gen Dakota.... - by Thomcat316 - 04-06-2015, 10:10 AM

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