Worst and BEST truck I have ever owned. Purchased in 2003, sold in 2008 as trade in for less of a Beast. 4 sets of tires, and numerous tickets had to let it go. After I made all the modes I wanted, not diving into the engine itself, I had a real runner. Would smoke any Honda trying to make a run at me on the H3, Honolulu, HI with so much torque. Just loved hearing them grabbing lower gears thinking they could catch me. Pegged speedometer once in WA state on a super long back road, and still had 2 grand to go (never did that again scared me so bad).
Replaced entire front/rear suspension with polyurethane bushing and KYB shocks, did so because the Dodge's were notorious for ball joint failure. That turned the truck into go-cart like handling, stiffening up the suspension all the way around.
Engine wise: Throttle body plate, cold air intake, stainless steel headers (kept single pipe out), high flow cat, high flow muffler, Mopar performance computer, 165 degree thermostat, 8mm spark plug wires, platinum spark plugs, and MSD 6a digital ignition.
I still think about that truck all the time and wish I never got rid of it........why? Oh, my reasoning above, but why?
Have been in a Dodge truck family my whole life (Rams, Durangos, and my own Dakota) and i couldn't be more pleased with a 16 year old truck. Drive a 2000 dakota "sport edition" 3.9 v6. Religious fluid changes, brakes, tire rotations, all done myself. Yes, rust is an issue, but thats the only big issue I've run into. No major engine or even transmission issues (which is unusual for an old dodge truck) have occurred yet, besides an oil pan gasket. Cold air intake and bigger, meatier tires than stock and my baby overcomes anything i throw its way. Looking to replace its status as my daily with a charger r/t, but even after that my Dakota will not be gotten rid of until every part has seized. If i could go back, i think i'd buy it again.
This review is specific to the 4.7l v-8 in the extended cab base truck. First off the engine is absolutely bulletproof. I bought it with 62k miles in 2005, now 10 years later i have 170k miles and it still runs/drives so smoothly. Aside from tires and oil changes, I've had to replace are driver side tie rod end, water pump, number 7 fuel injector, front wheel bearing ($33 on amazon, it just slides on) and the two trans sensors that measure output speed (i think, they are side by side). all told most of labor i did my self but i've spent about $750.00 in the life of the truck. The alignment goes out once a year, its probably a bushing and the a/c, it has been out for about 3 years, not sure the cause but its not simply freon. This truck has taken 5 grown men from birmingham to ohio and illinois 4 times while pulling a large trailer. Its taken the same group numerous times to new orleans, tampa and south carolina. All I can say is it is still extremely reliable and if you have the opportunity to get a dakota with the 4.7, please do yourself a favor and jump on the opportunity. My wife is always asking when i'm going to buy a new truck and trade mine in (the paint is looking rough lol). I explain that I plan on my son who is 18 months, to drive it for is first car. I have all the confidence in the world, that with good maintenance and decent driving the truck will easily last another 15 years.
2000 Dodge Dakota SLT Plus 2dr Extended Cab 4WD SB
I bought my 00' Dakota SLT 4.7 v8 4x4 brand new in 2000. It currently has 195k miles on it and runs great. Doesn't burn oil, doesn't smoke, and doesn't even have an oil leak. The only problems I 've had is 2x freeze plugs, 2x speed sensors, and one oxygen sensor. I've pulled a Kubota 4wd tractor, a Massey Ferguson, and pulled a fullsize truck on a trailer 300 miles. The 4WD has worked great and the limited slip rear diff. has got me out places that other 4x4's couldn't. I've taken care of it mechanically and used semi-synthetic oil every 5k miles. I would buy this truck all over again with question.
4.7 v8 towing and performance, handling, and reliability.
I get 70-80k miles on a set of tires.
Seating needs improvement, sound systems could use better speakers.
Bought my Dakota new in Nov. '00, 10 yrs later and it's still going strong. Absolutely the best truck I've ever owned. Been cross country 4 times and it's comfortable for the long trip. My only complaint is the mileage is lower then I wold like, but then again, I bought the big V8 for the power and reliability. It's been both, 114K miles, engines never been torn apart, religious maintanence, it's been driven hard and still looks, runs, drives like new. Recently passed Colo. emissions at near perfect levels, with a superchips tuner active at the time.