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2005 Dodge Dakota Laramie, 4 X 4, quad cab
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello All, I've bought my 2005 Laramie Dakota new, have had it almost 18 years. Transmission had to be rebuilt under warranty at 60K miles and been OK since then other than the transmission module one year ago. Beginning 5 years ago, I've replaced a number of failed or worn-out parts (front driveshaft, radiator, differential pinion gears, A/C compressor, water pump, front end assembly), and some other things. It also has a new battery and tires. By comparison, my former gf still drives her 2010 Subaru Outback up and down the east coast and it has 250K miles and has never needed repair work other than normal maintenance (brakes, etc). The only things on my Dakota that haven't been replaced are: alternator, starter, timing chain, oil pump, timing chain, and ignition coil). I have AAA Gold membership. My friends advise me to rent a car for this trip, but I love my truck.

So, a few questions:
Would any of you (or have any of you) take your Dakota with similar or greater mileage on a 5K-mile cross-country road trip?
What kind of problems can I anticipate?
Anything I should proactively have replaced just in case?
 

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2003 RT (5.9)
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757 Posts
If it was me, I'd live dangerously & drive the Dak.
MAYBE proactively replace the alternator. Maybe.
You didn't mention the fuel pump. How many miles does it have on it?

And I am curious, do you remember what the failure was that required the tranny rebuild?
 

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2005 Dodge Dakota Laramie, 4 X 4, quad cab
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4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Fuel pump not replaced. Transmission was too many years ago. It has 176,000+ miles on it. I don't recall the transmission failure reason but it's run almost 120K on it since then.
 

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2011 Ram Dakota Laramie (QC, 4.7L V8)
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65 Posts
I'd run it. If you don't trust it for long trips, why have it?

That said, I might also have a local mechanic that I trust give a detailed maintenance check just to get another opinion on whether it will handle the long trip.
 

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2003 RT (5.9)
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757 Posts
Fuel pump not replaced. Transmission was too many years ago. It has 176,000+ miles on it. I don't recall the transmission failure reason but it's run almost 120K on it since then.
I would think about the fuel pump. They don't last forever, and that is definitely not something that you are going to want to try to do on the side of the road.

Through most of the 2,000s I was making 4,000 mile round trips two and three times a year (plus other lower mileage road trips). (However, it was mostly in a GMC, not a Dak, and it was, at the time, a lot younger than yours.) But regardless, I still didn't want to break down, so I kept a regular maintenance schedule so that I felt that at anytime I could hop in it & leave for anywhere without doing anything except maybe an oil change beforehand without concerns. That maintenance schedule included every five years doing a flush, replacing the S-belt & thermostat & hoses (which, on the hoses, I now feel was a bit over the top). But anyway, if you don't remember the last time you changed that stuff, it wouldn't be a bad idea. I know that I have read a couple of posts here from people who have had that plastic union/filler-cap (in the OEM upper rad hose) break and they dumped a lot of coolant awfully quick.

Also, on edit: how about your rear driveshaft u-joints?

The reason I asked about your tranny is that my Dak has about similar mileage as yours did when your tranny failed, & when I pulled the pan a little while ago, there was some ugly stuff in the bottom of it and it took a lot of adjusting to get the 2cond gear band where it was supposed to be.

I used to love taking a good long road trip. Good luck, and regardless of how you elect to travel, enjoy the trip!
 

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just my opinion but if you love your truck i would leave it home, don't take a chance on it breaking down to far from home to be able to get it back home at a reasonable cost. even a small problem along the road can be awful if you dont have the tools and parts to fix it. have you thought what towing,possible storage fees waiting to get it fixed (in my experience if broke down far from home garages charge premium prices). motel prices waiting for the repairs also add up. if your dakota gets the fuel milage mine gets ( 14 mpg,) on a 2002 dodge dakota 4x4 ext cab with 4.7 v8. all things considered with the better fuel milage you would get on the rental car it would help defray the cost of renting, this is just my opinion ultimately the decision id yours. if i took the dakota i would take some cheap tools with me and also a couple jugs of water in case of coolant leaks. best of luck 01hunter570
 

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With AAA membership, I would not hesitate to hit the road, and enjoy the ride in YOUR Dakota.

Turn the key, point it in the direction you want to go and GO.....do not look back :)

I have 160,000 on my 2007 w/3.7 V6, and it is my long road trip cruiser. Would not think twice about taking my own truck on a 5k road trip!
 

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Paulg hope you have a great trip whether you drive the Dak or rent. Nice to see someone who had bought it new and kept it still. I would not drive it across the country. I have an 06 V8 club cab bought new back in 06 still love driving it, has 150K miles on it. Transmission still good thank goodness. My truck has been relegated to 25 miles max since have multiple newer vehicles. Love this truck, when I first bought it someone said I was crazy should have bought Tacomas. Never heard from him again.
 
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