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Old 07-10-2011, 05:46 PM   #1 (permalink)
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2003 Dodge Dakota axle swap.

For you Dodge Dakota junkies.....


2003 CC Dakota
V6 motor
Parts I am using include:
9" rear 4:56 and lockrite drum brakes
77 Hp44 4:56 open diff
Rancho 44044 leafs for the front
Custom front crossmember
Astro steering box
ARE767 wheels

Rough cost for this list of parts...$2500

I will add more as I go along.

Pics...











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Old 07-10-2011, 05:48 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Stupid me I only got 4 u bolts made up...2 for the front and 2 for the rear..lol. I will get for more bent up tommorrow.







My helper in training. He doesn't do much.lol

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Old 07-10-2011, 05:49 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I tell you thank god for having a plasma machine. The cutting with the plasma took 1hr and I have been grinding all day since 11am.

Anyway driver side ready to go. I just need to fab a plate to go over where the upper control arm was. I am not going to bother removing that little bit of bracket.




Just whipped this up. I am quiting for today. Going in to make dinner. I am working on a bowl of cereal from this morning. I feel like shit right now


Last edited by stickbug; 07-10-2011 at 05:50 PM.
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Old 07-10-2011, 07:36 PM   #4 (permalink)
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So here is my first question. In the attatched photo, The frame got cut with the plasma while burning the control arm bracket off. It is cut all the way through. Does it need to be stitched together or will the 3/16 plate be enough to support it so it doesn't tear with frame flex??

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Old 07-10-2011, 07:40 PM   #5 (permalink)
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it doesn't hurt to stitch it first....
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Old 07-11-2011, 10:56 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Smile

Stich it it'll only take a few minutes.
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Old 07-11-2011, 12:27 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HLL.RZR.DAK View Post
Stich it it'll only take a few minutes.
agreed. However the plate would probably will void any holes in the frame under it. But might as well keep it as strong as possible.

Doesn't need to be pretty just weld it up and throw the plate over it.
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Old 07-11-2011, 08:40 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I am pretty happy with the spring plates I made. They turned out perfect and the holes were bang on.


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Old 07-14-2011, 04:35 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I have the front mounts tacked into place but the rear ones are not. The axle is about 7" forward from factory. Of course this will be plus or minus after everything is welded in place.


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Old 07-15-2011, 11:22 AM   #10 (permalink)
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you might want to make a lip on the edges of the u-bolt plates to keep them from bending. i know they are thick, but they will still bend.
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Old 07-15-2011, 12:14 PM   #11 (permalink)
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you might want to make a lip on the edges of the u-bolt plates to keep them from bending. i know they are thick, but they will still bend.
Agreed I will be rounding the corners and beveling the front and rear edges to eliminate the point pressure on the springs. If I can find a set of oem ones then I will replace them but for now they will work for mocking things into place. Thanx for the tip though.

Looking for any advice for my build and critisism is welcome as well. This is the first axle swap I have ever done so please tell me what you think..ie if you see something that should be changed or modified for strength etc.
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Old 07-15-2011, 12:45 PM   #12 (permalink)
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looking good. keep it up get some more detailed pics up.
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Old 07-15-2011, 01:06 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I had surgery done to me hand today so I don't think there will be much that I can do in the short term. I have this buld on a couple of other sites and the suggestion is to try mounting the front hangers on the front of the cross member.
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Old 07-18-2011, 06:22 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Does anybody see a problem running the tire this far forward?? I like it this way. Sorry for the crappy close up pics but I am right against the wall taking them. (pinion not set nor is shackle angle) Also I think I may need a different style front shackle.


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Old 07-19-2011, 10:29 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I managed to plate the frame today.




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Old 07-20-2011, 10:57 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stickbug View Post
I managed to plate the frame today.




i think its a little far forward. that will make steering harder to line up i think.

the shackles are a tad long maybe an inch shorter would be good.
but make sure you tie the two sides together like a capital H.
if they are two separate sides it will drive like shit.

but lastly looking good. way to take your time and make sure its where you want it. i like how the spring is almost level how it should be
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Old 07-21-2011, 07:53 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I forgot that I have leafs with off center pin so I can turn them end to end to gain an inch or so and my perches have three holes as well so I think I am gooder.
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Old 07-23-2011, 01:51 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Made this up for the driver side. Now I just need to copy it for the passenger side.


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Old 07-26-2011, 02:29 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Welded in the front mounts. Now starting on the rear.


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Old 07-26-2011, 02:49 PM   #20 (permalink)
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i know your in a small garage so i wont give you to much crap about the pictures

on the other hand looking good
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Old 07-26-2011, 03:40 PM   #21 (permalink)
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I ran into a snag. My factory ubolts are to short to re-use with the factory spring plates. sux that i don't have any that fit on top of the spring instead of under the axle.

Should I remove the fqactory overload spring and use the remaining three leafs or keep it in? That would give my the disztancs I need to mount the ubolts.

Last edited by stickbug; 07-26-2011 at 03:42 PM.
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Old 07-26-2011, 06:09 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stickbug View Post
I ran into a snag. My factory ubolts are to short to re-use with the factory spring plates. sux that i don't have any that fit on top of the spring instead of under the axle.

Should I remove the fqactory overload spring and use the remaining three leafs or keep it in? That would give my the disztancs I need to mount the ubolts.
you should be putting new ubolts on anyways. But who am i to speak lol.

Keep the over load oem ones are really REALLY SOFT.
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Old 07-30-2011, 05:42 PM   #23 (permalink)
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I am all jacked right now. This is a huge confidence boost for me.






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Old 07-30-2011, 06:33 PM   #24 (permalink)
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I would have put the shackles on the back side of the axle not on the front crossmember. With it setup as is with the shackles in front of the axle and the axle as far forward as you have it your tires are going to eat your bumper plus you get way better approach/departure angles with the shackle on the rear instead of hanging down in the front. When you flex the axle is going to move forward even more because of the shackle swing, If you put the shackles behind the axle as you flex the axle moves towards the rear which moves the axle more towards the centerline of the fender. Hopefully that makes sense if not maybe these pictures will show you...

In my opinion you would want your shackles like this.

Solid spring mount in the front crossmember


Those springs will flex very well for you, That is what im running on my blazer also.

Stuffed

extended


Ive got my axle moved forward like 4" over stock just because there is alot more trimming room in the front side of the fender on the s10's than on the rear side back by the doors. With how my shackles are mounted behind the axle you can see in the stuffed picture i posted above what i mean about the axle moving back during flexing.
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Old 07-30-2011, 08:17 PM   #25 (permalink)
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The truck took me everywhere I wanted to go with the IFS setup so I am pretty sure it will take me where I want to go now.

I did the front mounted shackle idea for 2 reasons:

There was a guy in another thread on PB that swore by running them up front on these trucks. He said he tried shackles in both locations ie front and rear, and said front was the way to go.

The other reason is that because of the drastic difference in the shape of the frame I would have had to run a nasty drop hanger at the front to get the spring to set level eye to eye. Look at my spring eyes, they are damn near bang on level.

I will build my truck this way for now and if I decide I don't like the way it performs then I will change things around.

Nice Blazer BTW.

Last edited by stickbug; 06-07-2012 at 12:21 AM.
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