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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Haven't been on the forum for a long time, but I'm still alive and kicking.

These days I'm constantly playing a game of "Lets find the weakest link" on my Turbo Diesel AWD (NP203) powered Dodge Dakota. Love the fuel mileage and the torque, she averages 27-33mpg depending on if I'm towing, have the fuel cranked up or running around empty. She loves eating factory Dakota parts and 1310 U Joints.


I keep putting off doing a SAS and NV4500 Swap, even with the valve body screwed up (have to manually shift it), at least until I get the plow installed on my '97 Ram 1500 with a 5.2 and NV4500 so I can afford to have the Dakota down for the upgrades
 

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{mirror}
 

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Welcome back.  Yeah, early Dakota's aren't real robust to begin with.  Mine decided to eat itself last night.  Not sure if it's the rear axle or the transmission but I got the alarming "screech - BANG!" and it tried to lock up going down the road.  Seems like the stock 3.9L is about all my drivetrain wants, I can't imagine anything with more torque.  ;D
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yours isn’t one of the ones with a factory 9.25” Rear is it? If so, that Bang was probably the 9.25” saying “you know what, I don’t like this pinion anymore.”

When I do the SAS on mine it’s getting a D44HD or 60 front and a 60/70 Dually Rear.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I’m actually impressed (knock on wood), with the 7.25” Front and 8.25” Rear in my Dakota. I thought for sure those would be the first things the diesel ate for lunch. No, it moves right to eating U Joints, the rubber Spool mounts that the front differential hangs from, a steel NP203 Divorced Mount bracket (actually, that may have been someone’s homemade job, it didn’t seem very stout. Replaced all 4 brackets with my own design)

Oh and it ate the CAD actuator on the front differential. I ended up gutting the Actuator Housing, Ran a Bolt down through the Vent Port (relocated the vent to the 4WD Indicator Switch Port) To Lock the fork in the Locked position permanently. Because, sadly, unlike the full-size CAD actuators, you can’t just flip the fork and put it back on.
 

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ChrisKD said:
Yours isn't one of the ones with a factory 9.25" Rear is it? If so, that Bang was probably the 9.25" saying "you know what, I don't like this pinion anymore."

When I do the SAS on mine it's getting a D44HD or 60 front and a 60/70 Dually Rear.
Nah, mine is just a 2WD with the 8 1/4". If it had a 9 1/4", I wouldn't drive it. It's a pity because the body and interior is pretty nice, but it's really not worth putting much money into and I doubt I really feel like rebuilding the axle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Elwenil said:
Nah, mine is just a 2WD with the 8 1/4". If it had a 9 1/4", I wouldn't drive it. It's a pity because the body and interior is pretty nice, but it's really not worth putting much money into and I doubt I really feel like rebuilding the axle.
Throw a truck 8-3/4" under it and use it as an excuse to build a nasty street truck?
 

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Well, I do have a 3.55 geared 8 3/4", lol.  Nah, it's large bolt pattern, though I do still have a couple car housings around.  Still more work than it's worth.  Besides, any money I spend I would rather go to my Ramcharger.  But I still plan on tearing into the Dakota to see what went wrong.  Might be something simple, though that sort of thing rarely stops you dead in your tracks from 30 MPH, lol.
 

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I'd like to see the divorced mount you made. I'm going to remake the one I'm using on my crewcab
 

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Nice to see you back. I just came back h to RCC myself. Driving a 2000 Durango with the 4.7 in it. Seems to be a pretty decent setup.....for now.

Chris
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
mttaff said:
I'd like to see the divorced mount you made. I'm going to remake the one I'm using on my crewcab
I'll see if I can get a decent picture under there, it's cramped under the truck (still running the Dakota IFS).

Basically I built an underslung cradle/crossmembers for the Divorced NP203 (should work for a Divorced NP205 too) for the Mounts and Transfer Case to sit in. Seemed safer and stronger than the original design of the Divorced 203 or 205 hanging from a crossmember above it. At least this way, if a mount breaks or the rubber isolators fail, the cradle keeps the 203 from hitting the pavement at highway speeds
 

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Ha ha a $500 Merc diesel that keeps tearing up engine mounts with the stock 2wd Merc trans and a divorced T-case.

Best $500 you ever spent.  ;)

I should figure out how to drop the other one I have in the Durango instead of selling it to you.  :p
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
mopar65pa said:
Ha ha a $500 Merc diesel that keeps tearing up engine mounts with the stock 2wd Merc trans and a divorced T-case.

Best $500 you ever spent. ;)

I should figure out how to drop the other one I have in the Durango instead of selling it to you. :p
Not hard, you trim a little off the corner of the factory Magnum motor mount brackets to clear the starter and oil filter housing (and make some adapters to connect the block to the Magnum mounts) Use a generic Chevy Transmission Mount and slot the bolt holes in the crossmember to slide the mount back to line up with the transmission, and use a Jeep Pinion Yoke on the rest of the Transmission to use a normal driveshaft.

Word of advice, if you seriously do a Merc Swap ever. Install a 2" Body Lift, otherwise you will hate changing the oil. Without a 2" Body Lift you can't get the top off the Oil Filter Housing without removing the brake booster or loosening the motor mounts and tilting the engine with a pry bar. With a 2" Body Lift, the cap lifts right out with no problems.
 

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ChrisKD said:
Not hard, you trim a little off the corner of the factory Magnum motor mount brackets to clear the starter and oil filter housing (and make some adapters to connect the block to the Magnum mounts) Use a generic Chevy Transmission Mount and slot the bolt holes in the crossmember to slide the mount back to line up with the transmission, and use a Jeep Pinion Yoke on the rest of the Transmission to use a normal driveshaft.

Word of advice, if you seriously do a Merc Swap ever. Install a 2" Body Lift, otherwise you will hate changing the oil. Without a 2" Body Lift you can't get the top off the Oil Filter Housing without removing the brake booster or loosening the motor mounts and tilting the engine with a pry bar. With a 2" Body Lift, the cap lifts right out with no problems.
while I love to have the mpgs and ability to run veggie oil I just want to turn the key anymore. it's yours when you are ready.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
mopar65pa said:
while I love to have the mpgs and ability to run veggie oil I just want to turn the key anymore. it's yours when you are ready.
Yeah, right now there's a bit of work with her. When it doesn't break parts she is a turn key vehicle (well, almost... you do have to wait for the glow plugs).

Cool. Still cleaning up and hauling out crap that I've been hanging on to for way to long. Why in the world would I hang on to a Subaru for so long? Lol! That's the next thing going to the scrap yard.
 

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ChrisKD said:
Yeah, right now there's a bit of work with her. When it doesn't break parts she is a turn key vehicle (well, almost... you do have to wait for the glow plugs).

Cool. Still cleaning up and hauling out crap that I've been hanging on to for way to long. Why in the world would I hang on to a Subaru for so long? Lol! That's the next thing going to the scrap yard.
{cool}
 

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Hey ChrisKD - you still alive?

I got reading a few of your posts over the years as I stumbled upon them. Im researching what all is involved in changing my 3.21 gears to 4.10s in my 76 w100
I see you made some pretty good comments to some young guy who were thinking the same thing way back in 2010

 

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Evenprime said:
Hey ChrisKD - you still alive?

I got reading a few of your posts over the years as I stumbled upon them. Im researching what all is involved in changing my 3.21 gears to 4.10s in my 76 w100
I see you made some pretty good comments to some young guy who were thinking the same thing way back in 2010
yeah but he's not on here much. On FB though. LOL............. :p
 

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I too have been gone several years. I know you....... and most of the rest here and Elwinel who always came to my aid/rescue on topics and applications.. Good to see all of you
 
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