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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I had a 2002 Dakota come in the other day that we are bagging. I came here for a few set-up pics and lurk (read) around before the build. Now, I guess I would like to give back to this forum (if there is interest) by showing pic's, measurements, part numbers, and tricks.

Like I said I will only post if there is interest.

Mad props to lodakdnf for helping with this build and directing me to CustomDakota.com!!

Jason
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you nycdak! I noticed that there wasn't a ton of info on bagging these trucks, so I just figured that I would add my 2 cents. Every bit helps.
 

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welcome to the site!! and post away

i havent done my dakota yet but still in the research part of things. any help will be thank full even tho im now looking at juice
 

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Welcome to the site!

PLEASE post everything! I'm in the process of researching and planning for bags. Anything you could give us would be great.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Sorry for the delay. It seems that browser loads 1/3 of the page then times out...not sure why.
Anyway, lets get on with it.
PLEASE NOTE: I am not saying that I have all the answers, I am just posting my version. I am no stranger to the bagging game.

The Truck: 2002 Dakota ext cab
20x8.5 ADR Rims
245-30-20 Falkin tires
Off-set: Un-known

The Parts:
Air Lift 2B6 1/2 inch single port bags
DJM 3" Lower arms
Asco 1/2 valves 300 psi
Air Zenith Compressor
8 gallon 8 port tank
Air Ride Tech Paralell 4 link for Dakota's
8" bridge

Now as far as pics go, I am on dial-up (can't get high speed on my area) so I will try to post the best ones that show as much as I can.

So far progress is slow due to the fact that just about every bolt has broken off or is seized on and I work a full time job.
The front we are working the bag cup height and have had the front apart about 4 times. Tonight will be number 5.
The bed is off and we are roughly placing parts together just to get an idea of space and where the cuts need to be.

I have had 2 small issues with A.R.T. 4 link. It seems that there are 2 different diff's for the Dakota. I haven't measuered them but one has 2 bolts on the top row and the other only has one at the very top. Be sure to tell them which one you have (see pic). ART has great customer service and has fixed the problems with ZERO down time.
While on this note, R/T's have a larger axle diameter then the other Dakota's. Measure your axle before you order. On this truck it was a 3" axle.

So far,the upper cups are 3.5inches tall and the lower ones are off-set to 3/4" one side and 1.25" on the other. I feel that this taper is needed in order to kep the bag straight/flat when it is compressed. Since I am using Air Lift bags, that 3/4" is the lowest that I can go in order to clear the control arms with the plate the comes with the bags. These plates give more lift with less pressure. I highly recommend using them!! I use the Air Lift bags because they have a little extra lift, don't balloon out, 180 psi rating, and they don't break the bank.
Once I have the final height for the cups, I will weld bolts to the inside of the cup and tightend down to prevent any movement.

Inorder to tuck the front wheels the inner fenders will have to be pulled and everything that is mounted on them moved as well.

Before we pulled the box off we realized that the rear axle will have to be shortened. We are going to finish the bag install first before we tackle that.
 

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Captain Cobalt
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I do know from experience on your front cups you will want to drill a hole in the upper cup and run your airline thru the frame rail. If you go thru the top of the frame your airline will be laying on your exaust manifold when you lay out. You probably know that but I had to learn it the hard way.
 

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I had the 9.25 rear in my 03 quadcab. Axle tube diameter was ~3.5". Good luck with that 4 link. Had a parallel 4 link from suicidedoors.com though. There are some pics of my setup in the gallery.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
So not much new to report from last night.
The 3/4" to 1.25" taper works great so far. The inner fenders will have to be pulled so that we can say for sure. The tie rods bottom bottom out on the frame ralls before the bags fully compress so I hope that upper cup won't have to be trimmed. Without the tie rods in, these bags will compress about another 3/4" to 1".
The pic is shows the angle well.
I also trimmed the outside of the spring pocket about 1/4" half way around so that there was no chance for the bag to rub in the inner lip of the pocket.
Today we are gunna start on the 4 link. Once this is in place, we can start hammering the notch.
My goal for the next 2 days is to get the 4 link fully welded and the notch tacked into place.
 

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So not much new to report from last night.
The 3/4" to 1.25" taper works great so far. The inner fenders will have to be pulled so that we can say for sure. The tie rods bottom bottom out on the frame ralls before the bags fully compress so I hope that upper cup won't have to be trimmed. Without the tie rods in, these bags will compress about another 3/4" to 1".
The pic is shows the angle well.
I also trimmed the outside of the spring pocket about 1/4" half way around so that there was no chance for the bag to rub in the inner lip of the pocket.
Today we are gunna start on the 4 link. Once this is in place, we can start hammering the notch.
My goal for the next 2 days is to get the 4 link fully welded and the notch tacked into place.

sound like u r doing a nice job . if u need any more idear chack out my pic galler
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
sound like u r doing a nice job . if u need any more idear chack out my pic galler
Thank you! It's the first Dak that I have done so I am spending lots of quality time with my tape measure and level. Like they say, measure 400 times and cut once. Then if it dosen't fit....cut more. lol

Again progress was slow. 3 of us were flat out given'r today for 10 hours and the only things that really got done was: 4 link tacked into place and the inner fenders were cut out to fit the tires.
Speaking of which, I was informed today that the wheels are 9' wide. Sorry for mis-leading everyone.

I can't remember doing more grinding for any other project. The rivits for the stock rear leaf hangers burned up about 3 hours. Then came trying to figure out a way to mount the front 4 link hangers. With everything pushed forward the bars are way too long thus pushing the rear axle back about 2.75 ". This creates a problem cause it pulls the drive shaft off the tranny. I figure that all the bars are going to have to be cut about 1.5" and re-threaded. I will post a final lenght.

Now that the inners are cut, we can fit the tires to check for clearance and to see if the truck will layout. As we found out, the tie rods hit the frame and will have to be notched about 1". This should give tons of room. I will also have to cut the upper cups down about 3/8's of an inch. It dosen't seem like a lot but the math works out. I am drawing a blank on the cup height right now but will post that very soon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
Sorry to everyone for not posting updates. We have run into a few small issues with spacing everything. We decided to triple check all the measurements before we cut.
And so the cutting has started in the rear. The notch is welded in about 90% (just have inner and bottom "skin"). Everything looks good so far.
We throug the 20's on to check out our measurements and noticed that the drive shaft is hitting the back of the cab and floor. Dang, didn't see that coming...

Jason
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Well, we are nearing the finish of the Dakota project but still have a long way to go. As we start to bolt the tires back on for clearance checks, we are noticing that we need to trim a bit more here and there.
The front cups are still not quite short enough @ 2.5" tall so it looks like I might have to shave .5" off...again (I know I said 3/8 last time but...)
We will also have to notch the gas tank cross member about 2/3 of the way up and weld in some steel to give it strengh again.
Speaking of notching, we ended up having to cut a section out of the floor at the rear of the cab because of the drive shaft hitting the can. Looks like we only have to raise it by 1/4" cause we are trying to keep the stock panel on the floor. The panel can be re-used once all the supports are cleaned off on the bottom side and the "lip" off the back of the cab is trimmed off it as well.
I will post all the fine tuning as we go.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
A quick shot of the last couple days progress...

Pic 1)Gas tank cross member test fit.
Pic 2)The the moment of truth...it lays out!!

I notched the cross member up to the weld line which is a little over 1/2 way up. This gives max clearance for the driveshaft and still gives enough factory metal to weld to. The other thing is if the notch "arms" are too high, they will not clear the bed rails once it's back on. I used 1/4" wall steel pipe and steel sheeting. There is zero chance of that notch ever bending after it's welded in. The steel at the apex of the notch is 1/2" tall on BOTH sides of the factory cross member.

Once the cross member was fitted and welded in, it was time to lay this thing out. I have been using blocks to simulate ground so if the block fits under the tires, it will lay:049: .
 

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im tellin you have some one make you a two piece drive shaft i did on my o2 and didnt touch my cab at all but i soon will when i body drop it , like i said though save you alot of frustration and notching everything
 
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