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I just got a 2001 v8 Dodge Dakota. I love the outdoors and wish I was more truck savvy but unfortunately I'm not I would definitely like to know more that's why I have came here. If anyone has any ideas and tips on what I can do I would highly appreciate it. It's basically bone stock I would like to make it fit for the mountains. Anything helps.
 

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You didn't mention if the truck is 4wd or not. And savvy? Well, that comes with experience. First thing to do is get familiar with the truck. As far as what you can improve for use in the mountains? Start with a plan as to what you want. For example; Do you want bigger tires? More traction? That can be done. 4wd Dakotas typically have very small front drivetrains. The front axle is tiny and it comes equipped with crappy wheel bearing, so my suggestion is to limit your tire size to 31-33 inches, so that the axle isn't in danger of damage. 2wds do not have these problems and could run a slightly taller tire, if you make the room for them. You can also run different size tires on a 2wd, using slightly taller tires in the rear, which is the easier suspension system to lift. Another problem with (4x4) Dakotas, is suspension lifts are almost nonexistent, but there are body lifts available. You may see that there were some lifts available for the 99 Dakotas, but in 2000, Dodge changed the steering system, and the lift won't work with it. There were some suspension lifts for the 2wds, but I don't know enough about them to comment.
Adding traction; No matter if it's a 2wd or 4wd, you could have a limited slip or locking differential installed in the rear axle. The limited slip will enhance traction, a locker will absolutely make both tires spin, even if one is in the air, however it's not something for an inexperienced driver to use driving everyday on the road, as it has some quirks that can affect your vehicle's handling. If you're concerned, but want more traction, go for a good limited slip. Finally, equip the truck with basic recovery gear.

Ed
 

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Thanks Ed. It is a 4x4.. I wasnt planning on putting on anything bigger than 33's anyway. As far as a body lift to give it some extra inches will this effect the truck long term? Wheres the best place on line to look for truck parts? I have heard about carID but little skeptical about the site.
 
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