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Old 03-10-2007, 08:53 AM   #1
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94 Dakota as a tow vehicle?

I am selling my Miata and someone has offered to trade me a 1994 Dodge Dakota with 5.2 Magnum V8, 4x4, regular cab. I'm tempted, but have spent more than an hour trying to find the towing capacity of this rig with no luck. I figure if I get a pickup, which would be handy around the property, it would be nice if it could also be used to tow the caravel (2800 lbs loaded) on occasion.

One concern is I've seen a couple mentions on the net of Dodge overstating their tow capacity in the 90s and reducing it from 6000lbs to 2000lbs in some cases, and even having to buy back some vehicles because of it. But I cannot find any details on which vehicles were involved, so even if I find tow ratings for the 94, I'm not sure they're accurate without knowing what the recall was.

So whenever someone posts a towing question here 20 people seem to find the info within minutes and respond. I'm having no luck doing the research myself. Help me out, folks!
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Old 03-10-2007, 09:02 AM   #2
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towing Capacityof Dakota

Hi I own a 96 Dakota v8 with 318 engine 4x4. mine will tow up to 10,000 lbs.has trans, cooler.I own a 4500lbs bambi,just did a cross country trip. up hills at 60 mph no problems
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Old 03-10-2007, 09:15 AM   #3
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Two thoughts -- I've seen a lot of towing data & payload capacity numbers in owners manuals. Been looking online -- am not yet finding Dodge equivalents to GM's RPO (regular production options) codes inside the glove compartment -- that could tell you what kind of rear end is installed. 4.10 is probably a long shot, but you might think differently if it was less than a 3.73.

RPO codes on Chrysler/Dodge products anybody?
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Old 03-10-2007, 09:56 AM   #4
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I dunno... poke around Dodge Forum - Dodge Enthusiast Forums for Ram Dakota Charger Neon SRT Viper Stealth Don't be tempted by the Intrepids ...
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Old 03-10-2007, 09:57 AM   #5
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I still have the owner's manual for our Dakota when we towed our Argosy with it. GCVWR was around 11000 pounds, and the GVWR was 5500, you could tow 4500 pounds when the truck was fully loaded.
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Old 03-10-2007, 10:55 AM   #6
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Dakota Magnum

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stefrobrts
I am selling my Miata and someone has offered to trade me a 1994 Dodge Dakota with 5.2 Magnum V8, 4x4, regular cab. I'm tempted, but have spent more than an hour trying to find the towing capacity of this rig with no luck. I figure if I get a pickup, which would be handy around the property, it would be nice if it could also be used to tow the caravel (2800 lbs loaded) on occasion.......
The gas mileage on those rigs is awful. Fun for a hot-rodder though.
Did you check the spec plate on the door or in the glove box that would help.
The dealer or parts store could tell you based on the VIN.

R
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Old 03-10-2007, 12:26 PM   #7
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new rig?

hey Steph - would that replace the van? I think you'll find the Dakota fine for use... (used to have a 305 Chev van (full size) and used it to tow a 2500# boat - no issue there).

Dodge products are a bit thirsty, but the 318 should be better. I'd also want to check which ratio is in the pumpkin first though. I do think there is a sticker in the engine compartment (mine's on the hood) that shows me which ratio is in the rear).
Marc
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Old 03-10-2007, 01:21 PM   #8
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No, we couldn't replace the van, we use it for our business, and we need an enclosed vehicle for that. But there's times when I need to do a dump run and get rid of nasty dirty stuff that I don't want in my van, and a pickup would be really nice for that, or picking up hay, and I have been wanting a 4x4 to go exploring with (there's a lot of 'jeep roads' in the hills and DNR land around us). I particularly like the idea of a 4x4 that can tow the caravel so we can take it places the van can't go. The van almost got stuck in the mud next to the campsite at BG Lake - it gets one wheel spinning and it's completely stuck.

But Dave doesn't think we need a second gas hog, and he's entirely right, there is a lot of overlap, and the pickup probably sounds more useful than it is. We have a regular car for longer drives, so the milage isn't a big deal. So I don't know if I'll go for it. I've seen pictures but I haven't seen it in person yet because I don't want to waste our time if I don't really want to trade. So I'm still deciding if it's something I want to look into further. It's a good looking truck, I'll give it that.
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Old 03-10-2007, 01:32 PM   #9
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ahhh....

some idea's - I don't know if I'd trade a Miata for a truck - sounds unequal to me.

Regarding the spinning wheels - I too had this issue with the big Dodge Van (aka- the purple one). I had Randy's Ring and Pinion put a limited slip rear in my van - what a difference. Just pulling our trailer out of our "storage" camp site (uphill, dirt and leaves) used to leave me spinning, and almost stuck on occasion. Also, I wasn't looking forward to using it as a ski vehicle (my inlaws needed their 4 wheel drive Previa this season).

What a difference. I feel MUCH more secure now, it's almost unstuckable in normal wet/muddy conditions. It even feels better in the rain. It was about $700.00 (and they're a top shop) from them (better than the $1000+ from the dealer). I should've done it earlier. I've seen 4x conversions on Fords from Overlander (I think that's the name). Although that's a bit spendy too. Mud tires and a limited slip should get you almost anywhere you'd want to go with the trailer. If you want to do more, just put a winch on the front! I did some dirt roads with our van - got some looks, but plenty of clearence with our van.

How about a small utility trailer to use for dump runs? I know I'd like a p/u, but a trailer (rented from UHaul) did the trick for me. I think you have space for one around your yard, right?
Good luck!
Marc
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Old 03-10-2007, 02:16 PM   #10
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Hola There

We have an 1995 regular cab Dakota 4 x 4 that we known to pull with. My biggest problem is the 1970 AS is wider than the location of the truck's factory mirrow's. If I am to check the area behind me I just do a little wiggle-waggle.

For the pulling part of your request is that if I press quickly on the foot throttle while pulling the AS, my "launch" from the red light is close to an easly driven car. Without the AS, my mpg figures with the Dakota are always around 20 mpg ( 4 x 4 remember ) .

The vehicle that I enjoy most when pulling the 1970 AS with is one of the Vintage Imperials.

Rodger & Gabby
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Old 03-10-2007, 03:36 PM   #11
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wow...can't believe you got 20mpg with a 4x4 dakota. I had an 87 dakota 4x4 with the V6, and it would only get 15 when it was tip-top-tuned.

I don't know exactly what it had for a rear end, but I can tell you that when I had it absolutely loaded, I could barely tell the difference in terms of acceleration. it was very stout...and it pushed snow like a champ. and this was only a "6"

That Dakota will absolutely pull a caravel without any problem.

I have the 318 in my current full size truck, and it gets between 13.5 and 14mpg. I would imagine that the dakotas lower profile, and somewhat lighter weight would gain you a mpg or 2 over that.
the rear end is only a 3:55, but it pulls my 5800lb trailer ok. a little pokey on the hills. I know the newer dakotas/durangos typically have the 3:93 if they have the factory tow package, which would be great...don't know about the 90's vintage.

Firedog: the tow rating is NOT 10,000lbs on your truck. thats what is stamped on the *receiver*, which was bought from reese by Chrysler. it is NOT the truck's tow rating. you'd have to look up the actual tow rating in the owner's manual.
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Old 03-10-2007, 05:54 PM   #12
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I guess I could sell the Miata outright, spend the cash on a limited slip for the van to make it more capable and still have money left over. We do have a friend who loans us their single horse trailer for dump runs if we need it, it's just nice to not have to go borrow stuff when you want to do that. I'd probably be better off letting the dakota go and just sticking with what I've got.
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Old 03-10-2007, 06:40 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stefrobrts
I guess I could sell the Miata outright, spend the cash on a limited slip for the van to make it more capable and still have money left over. We do have a friend who loans us their single horse trailer for dump runs if we need it, it's just nice to not have to go borrow stuff when you want to do that. I'd probably be better off letting the dakota go and just sticking with what I've got.
You can get a decent utility trailer around here for $300 - $500.
It sounds to me like the diff upgrade and a trailer may be a logical choice. On the other hand, what makes sense to me may not fit your circumstances or wishes.
Dave
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Old 03-10-2007, 06:50 PM   #14
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I am in the process of buying a '65 Caravel that is in Florida. I don't like the idea of the headlights being one width apart and along comes something wider a millisecond behind it.

Barry in PA
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