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I'd like to start with an introduction of myself, my name is Justin I've been a diesel mechanic for about 10 years now highly skilled in metal fabrication and custom metal work. So I purchased my 2001 dodge Dakota sport quad cab not to long ago my goals for the truck is a 4bt swap and a solid axel conversion my questions that I'm looking to get answered from all of you that have done a solid axel swap is what axels are you running on front and rear? What gear ratio should I be looking at for 35" tires the truck is used to get me to work and play up on the mountain I work about a mile from my house so it rarely goes on long trips but after looking around the forums and on the great internet I have come to the conclusion that the isn't much for suspension lifts for my year do to the weak bearings and cv axels and the rack and pinion steering I want to get a good amount of travel out of the suspension and the ground clearance from the 35" tires all while being able to fit a 4bt Cummings in the dog house I have a body lift for it but I'm wanting travel my other questions are what steering box have you used after converting and if there was anything you would have done different or some good advise I'm looking at doing a coil over system with the solid axel thank you in advance for the help and advise and sorry for the lengthy post also if you know of any good pictures or videos I'd love to see them
 

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So I purchased my 2001 dodge Dakota sport quad cab not to long ago my goals for the truck is a 4bt swap and a solid axel conversion my questions that I'm looking to get answered from all of you that have done a solid axel swap is what axels are you running on front and rear?
I'm running a fully rebuilt Dana 60 out of a 98 Dodge 3500 Ram 4x4. And I have a Dana 70, I already had. Most people will suggest you run a Dana 60 front and a Dana 60, or Dana 70 (and maybe up to a Dana 80) rear axle. They may also suggest you find one out of a Ford because they have a more desirable high pinion design and come with stronger components, compared to the Dodge version. If you plan to upgrade the axles, The Dodge axle can be beefed up and they tend to be cheaper and easier to find.

With a 4BT or if you have to run a V8, you could probably get by with a Dana 44 front axle, It's a fine axle but it's not for hardcore offroading.

In my case I have a 6BT and it will be turned up, so I needed the bigger, stronger axles

What gear ratio should I be looking at for 35" tires the truck is used to get me to work and play up on the mountain I work about a mile from my house so it rarely goes on long trips
With a diesel, you're able to produce much more torque than a gas engine, so you can probably do taller gear ratios. You could probably push a set of 3.55 to 4.10s depending on if you want some pull or fuel economy, FYI I'm using 4.56 with a 41 inch tall tire. The equivalent gear for a 35" tire would be a 3.90 ratio, which is between 3.55 and 4.10 I suggested

…but after looking around the forums and on the great internet I have come to the conclusion that the isn't much for suspension lifts for my year do to the weak bearings and cv axels and the rack and pinion steering
That is the unfortunate fact of the Dakota, the factory suspension isn't really designed for off roading, and there aren't any third party manufacturers making lifts for these trucks. You're taking the only reasonable approach by doing a SAS

…..my other questions are what steering box have you used after converting and if there was anything you would have done different or some good advise I'm looking at doing a coil over system with the solid axel thank you in advance for the help
No problem, my steering box is a modified Dakota steering box and it's been modified to use ram assist. The suspension uses the Ram's coil spring suspension with one difference. The Ram had a 4 link, mine is set up with a "two" link, similar to a Ford radius arm lay out. I decided not to go with coil overs…I wanted to save some money in the build and I didn't really need miles of suspension travel, because my primary type of wheeling is mud

also if you know of any good pictures or videos I'd love to see them
Been having trouble with Photobucket, so if the link is broken, try again later;





First time on it's tires





Water intercooler





Power Wagon inspired bed, H1 Rims and rear mounted Griffin radiator




Believe it or not, this was my Dakota after 9 yrs of ownership (Yes I also swapped cabs)

Ed
 
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