Dodge Dakota

The Dakota is a midsize pickup truck from DaimlerChrysler's Dodge brand. It was introduced in 1987 alongside the redesigned Dodge Ram 50. The Dakota was nominated for the North American Truck of the Year award for 2000.

The Dakota has always been sized above the compact (Ford Ranger, Chevrolet S-10) and below the full-sized (Ford F-150, Chevrolet Silverado) pickups and Dodge's own Ram. It is a conventional design with body-on-frame construction and leaf spring/live axle rear end. The Dakota has also long been the only midsize pickup with an optional V8 engine. One notable feature was the Dakota's rack and pinion steering, a first in work trucks.

1987

The first generation of the Dakota was produced from 1987 through 1996. Straight-4 and V6 engines were offered along with either a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission. Four wheel drive was available only with the V6. Both 6.5 ft (2 m) and 8 ft (2.4 m) beds were offered. Fuel injection was added to the 3.9 L V6 for 1988 but the output remained the same.

1989 saw the unusual Dakota convertible. The first convertible pickup since the Ford Model T, it featured a fixed roll bar and complicated manual top. Just 2,482 were sold that first year. Another important addition that year was Carroll Shelby's V8-powered Shelby Dakota, his first rear wheel drive vehicle in two decades.

An extended "Club Cab" model was added for 1990, still with two doors. This model allowed the Dakota to boast capacity for six passengers, although the rear seat was best suited for children and shorter adults.

For 1991, the front of the Dakota received a more aerodynamic grille and hood, and Dodge added the 5.2 L V8 as an option, inspired by the earlier Shelby Dakota option. This engine produced 170 hp (127 kW). Both of the V-configuration engines were updated to Magnum specs the next year, providing a tremendous power boost.

In 1996, the first generation's final year, the K-based 2.5 L I4 engine was out of production and had been considered vastly underpowered compared to the competition, so Dodge borrowed the Jeep 2.5 L I4 (rated at 120 hp) and installed it as the base engine in the Dakota. It was the only major change for 1996, and would be carried over as the base engine in the new, larger 1997 model.

Engines:

  • 1987-1988 - 2.2 L K I4, SOHC, 96 hp (72 kW)
  • 1987-1991 - 3.9 L LA V6, 125 hp (93 kW)
  • 1989-1995 - 2.5 L K I4, 99 hp (74 kW)
  • 1991 - 5.2 L LA V8, 170 hp (127 kW)
  • 1992-1993 - 3.9 L Magnum V6, 180 hp (134 kW)
  • 1991-1993 - 5.2 L Magnum V8, 230 hp (172 kW)
  • 1994-1996 - 3.9 L Magnum V6, 175 hp (131 kW)
  • 1994-1996 - 5.2 L Magnum V8, 220 hp (164 kW)
  • 1996 - 2.5 L AMC I4, 120 hp (90 kW)

1997

The second-generation Dakota was built from 1997 through 2004. It inherited the semi truck look of the larger Ram but remained largely the same underneath. 1998 saw the introduction of the R/T model with the big 5.9 L 250 hp (186 kW) Magnum V8.

Four-door "Quad-Cab" models were added for 2000 with a slightly shorter bed, 63.1 in (160.2 cm), but riding on the Club Cab's 130.9 in (332.5 cm) wheelbase. The smaller V8 was replaced by a new high-tech V8 as well.

2002 was the final year for the four-cylinder engine in the Dakota, as Chrysler was ending production of the former AMC design. Most buyers ordered the V6 or V8 engines, which were considerably more powerful and, in the case of the V6, which was made standard for 2003, nearly as fuel-efficient with a manual transmission.

2004 was the end of the old OHV V6 and the big R/T V8.

Engines:

  • 1997-2002 - 2.5 L AMC I4, 120 hp (90 kW)
  • 1997-2003 - 3.9 L Magnum V6, 175 hp (131 kW)
  • 1997-1999 - 5.2 L Magnum V8, 230 hp (172 kW)
  • 1998-2003 - 5.9 L Magnum V8, 250 hp (186 kW)
  • 2000-2004 - 4.7 L PowerTech V8, 230 hp (175 kW)
  • 2004 - 3.7 L PowerTech V6, 210 hp (157 kW)

2005

The redesigned 2005 Dakota shares its platform with the new Dodge Durango SUV. This model is 3.7 in longer and 2.7 in wider, and features a new front and rear suspension, and rack-and-pinion steering. There are one V6 and two V8 engines available: The standard engine is a 3.7 L PowerTech V6 (specs below). Two 4.7 L V8 engines are available as well. The Dakota is built at Warren Truck Assembly in Warren, Michigan.

Engines:
  • 2005 - 3.7 L PowerTech V6, 210 hp (157 kW) at 5200 rpm and 235 ft·lbf (319 N·m) at 4000 rpm
  • 2005 - 4.7 L PowerTech V8, 230 hp (172 kW) at 4400 rpm and 290 ft·lbf (393 N·m) at 3600 rpm
  • 2005 - 4.7 L HO PowerTech V8, 260 hp (194 kW) at 5200 rpm and 310 ft·lbf (420 N·m) at 5200 rpm

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The Dakota is built at Warren Truck Assembly in Warren, Michigan. The titular character of "My Name is Earl" owns an El Camino, although it has suffered damage and now has several replacement parts. Two 4.7 L V8 engines are available as well. It is one of the few drift cars that use an automatic transmission instead of a manual transmission. There are one V6 and two V8 engines available: The standard engine is a 3.7 L PowerTech V6 (specs below). The drift team Bubba Drift uses a 1986 El Camino as their drifting car. This model is 3.7 in longer and 2.7 in wider, and features a new front and rear suspension, and rack-and-pinion steering. The Discovery Channel program Monster Garage once turned an El Camino into a Figure-8 racer (dubbed the "Hell-Camino").

The redesigned 2005 Dakota shares its platform with the new Dodge Durango SUV. Many El Caminos are still used as daily drivers, and some are used in various racing venues. Engines:. Around 200 unsold 1987 El Caminos were sold as 1988 models. 2004 was the end of the old OHV V6 and the big R/T V8. 1984 to 1987 El Caminos (and its sister, the GMC Caballero) were produced in Ramos Arizpe, Mexico. Most buyers ordered the V6 or V8 engines, which were considerably more powerful and, in the case of the V6, which was made standard for 2003, nearly as fuel-efficient with a manual transmission. Production ceased after the 1987 model year, as sales of the Chevrolet S-10 were outselling its passenger car counterpart.

2002 was the final year for the four-cylinder engine in the Dakota, as Chrysler was ending production of the former AMC design. After 1984, GM shifted El Camino production to Mexico for three more years. The smaller V8 was replaced by a new high-tech V8 as well. V6 engines (based on the Buick 3800 or Chevrolet 90 degree V6 - based on the small block Chevrolet*) were available for the first time, and from 1982 through 1984, Oldsmobile-sourced diesel engines. Four-door "Quad-Cab" models were added for 2000 with a slightly shorter bed, 63.1 in (160.2 cm), but riding on the Club Cab's 130.9 in (332.5 cm) wheelbase. Since the Chevelle was no longer produced, the El Camino instead shared components with the Chevrolet Malibu and Chevrolet Monte Carlo. 1998 saw the introduction of the R/T model with the big 5.9 L 250 hp (186 kW) Magnum V8. A new, smaller El Camino was unveiled in 1978, with more sharp-edged styling.

It inherited the semi truck look of the larger Ram but remained largely the same underneath. A front-end restyle with quad stacked headlights was done in 1976, but otherwise it was the same car until 1978. The second-generation Dakota was built from 1997 through 2004. It was the largest generation of El Camino, but thanks to lighter construction, it weighed less than the previous generation. Engines:. For 1973, the car was restyled again, matching changes to the Chevelle. It was the only major change for 1996, and would be carried over as the base engine in the new, larger 1997 model. A rebadged El Camino called the GMC Sprint debuted in 1971.

In 1996, the first generation's final year, the K-based 2.5 L I4 engine was out of production and had been considered vastly underpowered compared to the competition, so Dodge borrowed the Jeep 2.5 L I4 (rated at 120 hp) and installed it as the base engine in the Dakota. Little changed but still lower power outputs for 1972. Both of the V-configuration engines were updated to Magnum specs the next year, providing a tremendous power boost. Single headlights replaced double for 1971, and the grille came now to a point. This engine produced 170 hp (127 kW). The 1971 model saw reduced power and performance, along with the rest of Chevrolet's line, as lower-octane unleaded fuel was mandated, and emissions controls began to be felt. For 1991, the front of the Dakota received a more aerodynamic grille and hood, and Dodge added the 5.2 L V8 as an option, inspired by the earlier Shelby Dakota option. The LS6 454 in³ engine, rated at 450hp and 500 lb-ft of torque, gave the El Camino 1/4 mile times in the upper 13 second range at almost 105 mph.

This model allowed the Dakota to boast capacity for six passengers, although the rear seat was best suited for children and shorter adults. Chevrolet's largest and most-powerful engine of the time was also put into a select few El Caminos. An extended "Club Cab" model was added for 1990, still with two doors. 1969 models were very similar, but 1970 saw the availability of a new SS396 which actually displaced 402 in³ (although all emblems read 396). Another important addition that year was Carroll Shelby's V8-powered Shelby Dakota, his first rear wheel drive vehicle in two decades. A new, high performance Super Sport SS396 version was launched, alongside the Chevelle version. Just 2,482 were sold that first year. 1968 introduced a longer El Camino, based on the station wagon/4-door sedan wheelbase.

The first convertible pickup since the Ford Model T, it featured a fixed roll bar and complicated manual top. Air shocks were introduced, allowing the driver to compensate for a load. 1989 saw the unusual Dakota convertible. The El Camino followed the Chevelle's styling update for 1967, with a new grille, front bumper, and trim. Fuel injection was added to the 3.9 L V6 for 1988 but the output remained the same. The 1965 327 would run low 15s in the 1/4 mile (at some 90 mph), while 1966 to 1969 models were easily into the mid to upper 14s. Both 6.5 ft (2 m) and 8 ft (2.4 m) beds were offered. 1966 brought added a 396ci engine to the line-up rated at 325-375 hp.

Four wheel drive was available only with the V6. 1965 saw the availability of performance versions of the 327 engine with some 350hp. Straight-4 and V6 engines were offered along with either a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission. That 1964 model was basically identical to the Chevelle forward of the B-pillars, but Chevrolet considered the vehicle a practical, utility model and the Chevelle's most powerful engines were not available. The first generation of the Dakota was produced from 1987 through 1996. Four years later, with Ford's Ranchero still selling well, Chevrolet reincarnated the El Camino, based on the new Chevrolet Chevelle platform. . Sales were a little down at 14,163 and Chevrolet decided to discontinue the model.

One notable feature was the Dakota's rack and pinion steering, a first in work trucks. The 1960 model tracked the changes on the Impala, with an extensive restyling. The Dakota has also long been the only midsize pickup with an optional V8 engine. The car's development was rushed, and it was not as successful as the Ford, with 22,246 built the first year. It is a conventional design with body-on-frame construction and leaf spring/live axle rear end. The first El Camino was produced for the 1959 model year (2 years after the Ranchero) and was based on that year's Chevrolet Impala. The Dakota has always been sized above the compact (Ford Ranger, Chevrolet S-10) and below the full-sized (Ford F-150, Chevrolet Silverado) pickups and Dodge's own Ram. .

The Dakota was nominated for the North American Truck of the Year award for 2000. The Chevrolet El Camino, a car-based small pickup truck built by Chevrolet in the United States, was produced in response to the success of the rival Ford Ranchero. It was introduced in 1987 alongside the redesigned Dodge Ram 50. The Chevrolet 90 degree V6 is actually a modified small block V8 motor with a split-pin crankshaft; this design is still in production today as the GM 4300 V6. The Dakota is a midsize pickup truck from DaimlerChrysler's Dodge brand. 2005 - 4.7 L HO PowerTech V8, 260 hp (194 kW) at 5200 rpm and 310 ft·lbf (420 N·m) at 5200 rpm.

2005 - 4.7 L PowerTech V8, 230 hp (172 kW) at 4400 rpm and 290 ft·lbf (393 N·m) at 3600 rpm. 2005 - 3.7 L PowerTech V6, 210 hp (157 kW) at 5200 rpm and 235 ft·lbf (319 N·m) at 4000 rpm. 2004 - 3.7 L PowerTech V6, 210 hp (157 kW). 2000-2004 - 4.7 L PowerTech V8, 230 hp (175 kW).

1998-2003 - 5.9 L Magnum V8, 250 hp (186 kW). 1997-1999 - 5.2 L Magnum V8, 230 hp (172 kW). 1997-2003 - 3.9 L Magnum V6, 175 hp (131 kW). 1997-2002 - 2.5 L AMC I4, 120 hp (90 kW).

1996 - 2.5 L AMC I4, 120 hp (90 kW). 1994-1996 - 5.2 L Magnum V8, 220 hp (164 kW). 1994-1996 - 3.9 L Magnum V6, 175 hp (131 kW). 1991-1993 - 5.2 L Magnum V8, 230 hp (172 kW).

1992-1993 - 3.9 L Magnum V6, 180 hp (134 kW). 1991 - 5.2 L LA V8, 170 hp (127 kW). 1989-1995 - 2.5 L K I4, 99 hp (74 kW). 1987-1991 - 3.9 L LA V6, 125 hp (93 kW).

1987-1988 - 2.2 L K I4, SOHC, 96 hp (72 kW).

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