97 Dakota SLT Rusted Out Cab Mounts - DODGE DAKOTA FORUM - FORUM AND OWNERS CLUB!
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  #1  
Old 07-16-2015, 05:04 PM
blackIron blackIron is offline
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Vehicle: 1997 Dodge Dakota SLT 4X4
Trim Level: SLT Ext Cab
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Engine: 1997-1999 - 5.2 L (318 cu in) Magnum V8, 225 hp (168 kW)
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Default 97 Dakota SLT Rusted Out Cab Mounts

My 97 dakota SLT has rusted out cab mounts. I cannot find a dealer or vendor where I can buy a new set of mount brackets. Can anyone help?
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  #2  
Old 07-19-2015, 04:54 AM
RXT RXT is offline
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Vehicle: 99 Dodge Dakota
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Sorry to have to break it to you, but it's not something that a dealership or vendor carries. If the Dakota was as popular as say a 57 Chevy or 65 Mustang, then yes, it would be something a vendor may carry because you can find every conceivable part, to even build one of those cars out of nothing but aftermarket supplied parts.

We do not have that kind of luxury, but you have a few options, however, none of them are going to be easy.

Option one, is you're probably going to have to get an auto body shop involved because there is extensive cutting and welding involved in such a repair. If you can do it yourself, great, you'll save a few bucks. Make an assessment of the damage. The rust may have spread beyond the damage you're trying to fix. Most importantly, look very closely at the rocker panels, because the mount point is welded to the rocker panel and if that joint between them is also rusted out, you'll have to repair that too. Check the floors under the carpet as well. If you find rust in the floors, might as well cut out the floor and replace them too.
You're going to need to acquire another Dakota body and you're going to need to cut out the body mount points and the surrounding metal and supports, which includes a section of the rocker panels. The idea is to weld in that entire section to your Dakota body. Here's the catch. If you take it to a shop, the repair may cost more than the truck is worth, because this is likely going to be a frame off job and that means fully disassembling the truck. You'll have to ask yourself if it's worth it because once a truck begins to rust, even if you repair it, rust can form elsewhere, such as the windshield frame, bed sides, etc.

Option two. Junk it. Sadly, this can be a fatal blow to your pride and joy. The truck is going to rust. You can spend a ton of money to fix one spot, but then the rust can pop up elsewhere. Or this truck can be fatal to you. If you have an accident with a busted body mount, your cab can separate from the frame and your whole day is going to be ruined. This is the cheapest of your options and you may even get some cash if it's sold as scrap.

Option three, Replace the entire cab. This is also a huge undertaking because you have to completely disassemble the entire truck before you can remove and replace the cab.

I tell you by experience, because I was facing the same problem. In my case, the body mount completely rusted thru and broke free. I drove that truck with only three body mounts supporting the cab and the opposite mount point was also in pretty bad shape. I decided to go with option three. Replace the cab. I just couldn't junk a perfectly good running truck, but I also took it as an opportunity to upgrade. So what I did was, I had a club cab Dakota, I purchased a rust free quad cab, so that I could have a larger cab body. Other then the actual heavy lifting, I did all of the work myself and it was completed in about three weeks. It's a huge job and not for the faint of heart. In the end I got what I wanted, an extra pair of doors, a full rear seat and plenty of extra room.

Ed
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Ignore my vehicle info. My Dakota has a quad cab swap, a solid axle swap and a Cummins swap
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