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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Need help installing a bolt on 4 link?

I have a 200 Dakota RT, and I’m trying to get lower

I just notched my frame and installed the front bags, then I got to the 4 link, nothing seems to fit right. The top and bottom links wind up about 1.5 inches too wide to attach to the brackets on the axel. I could always grab a torch and start bending.



I am confused as to the location of the pan hard bar, I have the bracket to mount it to the pupkin, but there doesn’t seem to be a good place to mount the other bracket.



It looks as if the notch kit is going to interfere with the upper bag bracket.



Do you have to relocate the e-brake cable; it looks like if the upper link was to move over far enough to hook to the axel the e-brake would be in the way.



I know that if it was easy it wouldn’t be as much fun, but this is ridiculous. I am about ready to put the springs back on.



Any advice is greatly appreciated.
 

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If you can take pictures to go with what you are talking about it would help A LOT!!! On my 03 I had to ditch the passenger ebrake because my disc brake rearend (able to modify the cable and use the drivers side). You might have to cut off the spring perch. In the pic on the link below you can see the inside axle bracket is not next to the bars. We found this when we were mocking up the front bracket. I dont have any pics but I mounted my panhard on the axle on the drivers side of the pumpkin and run to the passenger frame near where the rear swaybar used to mount. Hope this helps a little. Ill keep an eye on this for replies.


http://www.customdakotas.com/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/234/cat/500/perpage/24/ppuser/206

Justice
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I will try to get some pictures later today, maybe it was just oo late and my mind wasn't working. Here is a diagram of what I am running into. Was hoping to not have to cut the spring perch, thats why I wnt with bolt on.

One more realy dumb question does the shorter link go on the top?

Thanks
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| | FRAME BRACKET
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| |LINK
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| |AXEL BRACKET
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
timmydatoolaman said:
I| |
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| | FRAME BRACKET
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| |LINK
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| |AXEL BRACKET
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I see the post doesn't retain formating! I will do it again and use o as spacers.
ooo|0000 |
ooo| oooo| FRAME BRACKET
ooo|o|| o|
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ooooo||
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ooooo||
ooooo||LINK
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ooo00||
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| 0 |AXEL BRACKET
| 0 |
 

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Is this a universal 4 link or a "bolt on" kit made SPECIFICALLY for your dakota? I am assuming it is a parallel 4 link and not a triangulated 4 link?? I ditched my ebrake, who needs a e brake when the frame can be your e-brake.

For the panhard bar, you are going to mount the one side to the axle and the other side to the frame. You should box in the framerail with some 1/4" steel to reinforce the area.

As for the upper bag bracket, it is hard to tell you without seeing what kind of notch and brackets you have. I assume you are mounting the bags on the axle?

Don't take this the wrong way, but I think you should seek professional installtion. Having worked at a custom shop for 2 years, we would see these "self" installations that we scratched our head on how the person was still alive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The kit is supposed to be for 97 to 03 dakota. After a good nights sleep, I went back out and looked it over again, the bars line up 1 inch to the outside of the factory spring perch, could this be because its an R/T, is there a difference in the suspension width?

Great I see what your saying on the panhard, it was late and I never thought about using the frame, I was thinking I needed to run a cross member.



I will be mounting the bags behind the axel; the notch kit from suicide will be in the way but nothing that a grinder and a small plate of 1/4 steel won’t fix.



After working on the truck for almost 20 hrs straight, it seemed like the whole damn thing was wrong. I assumed that a bolt on kit would bolt on, well I guess it did, the front brackets bolted on!



Thanks for the tips on the saftey; I agree the suspension is no place to skimp on your vehicle. I have been an engineer for almost 20 years, so I am very safety conscious.
 

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justiz00 said:
On my 03 I had to ditch the passenger ebrake because my disc brake rearend (able to modify the cable and use the drivers side).
Justice
Wait a min... does that mean that i will have to do the same...could you go into a little more detail about how you modified it.
 

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When I mounted the parallel 4 link I removed the frame bracket that holds the e brake cables. I tied the cable to the 4 link frame bracket. Since the drivers side cable needs the passenger side cable to work I had to cut the passenger cable and use cable clamps to attach it to the drivers side cable. I set the tension at ride height, but any taller and it would be too tight to engage and any lower in vehicle height and It would not hold the truck. It is a catch 22 that I dealt with. Drum brakes Im sure would be easier. Here is a link to the only picture I could find of the bracket I removed.

http://www.customdakotas.com/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=1165&cat=500
 

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timmydatoolaman said:
The kit is supposed to be for 97 to 03 dakota. After a good nights sleep, I went back out and looked it over again, the bars line up 1 inch to the outside of the factory spring perch, could this be because its an R/T, is there a difference in the suspension width?

Great I see what your saying on the panhard, it was late and I never thought about using the frame, I was thinking I needed to run a cross member.



I will be mounting the bags behind the axel; the notch kit from suicide will be in the way but nothing that a grinder and a small plate of 1/4 steel won’t fix.






Thanks for the tips on the saftey; I agree the suspension is no place to skimp on your vehicle. I have been an engineer for almost 20 years, so I am very safety conscious.
We need pics. I am trying to picture the 4 link kit, but can't see it. I am used to Pete and Jake 4 link kits that are weld on. Who makes the "Bolt on" 4 link kit you have? I don't know why the notch kit wouldn't allow you to mount the bags over the axle, unless you got the circle, triangle or bolt in c-notch. I hope you didn't get the bolt in c-notch. That thing is going to hit your axle when you lay it out. I don't think the suspension is different for a R/T to a regular dakota. The only thing different would be the leaf spring packs since the R/T's are a inch or so lower.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I just poseted some pictures in my gallery, if you have any ideas let me know befor I get out the grinder and the welder.
Thanks
 

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I hate chassis tech, air bag it, aim for dodge, etc. After seeing this I am not suprised it is not working. In the top picture you will need to cut somewhere inthe vecinity of the black line so that the upper bracket will sit on the axle but still hold it firmly in place. You notch is designed for someone with a 5-6" rear drop and most likely wont work (depending on tire diameter). You will most likely will have to go with an 8" notch kit. I would like to see a picture from the back of the truck looking down the outside of the frame rail. That front frame bracket could be bent or the axle is off center. The picture of the frame would be very helpful.

Picture of what you may need to cut.
http://www.customdakotas.com/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=1176&cat=500

If you can take a picture similar to this one, but closer to the front of the truck.
http://www.customdakotas.com/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/237/cat/500/ppuser/206

j
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well I can say the axel is centered, and the brackets are straight and square. Pic like your asking for would be real hard with the box on. As far as the notch, I know I won't be able to lay it out, but I wanted to go a littel farther then the blocks that were in the truck when i got it.

What I am thinking is I will cut the tab that comes down from the top bracket, in a step pateren, so half is on the lowere bracket and half is on the spring perch. Drilling the spring perch to allow the two inboard bracket bolts to pass through it. I am undecided if I would them weld the inboard edge of the lower bracket to the spring perch. Let me know what you think,
 

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Just as Justiz pointed out. That upper bracket will need to be cut. That should sit flush with the axle. I would say return the link kit to AIM, but they are going to charge you an large restocking fee.

You said "I know I won't be able to lay it out, but I wanted to go a littel farther then the blocks that were in the truck when i got it". Whats the point of going through all this trouble for only a 6" or 7" drop? Just get some shackles and hangers or lowered leafs and blocks and throw in the bolt in c-notch and a pair of air shocks. I don't think you need a 4 link kit for a 7" drop.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
[/QUOTE]

You said "I know I won't be able to lay it out, but I wanted to go a littel farther then the blocks that were in the truck when i got it". Whats the point of going through all this trouble for only a 6" or 7" drop? [/QUOTE]

With the air bags I will have an adjustable suspension, so I can tow my jet skis :)
 

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i saw how everybody dogged you over at ssm thats why i dont post over there anymore everybody always talking shi*t and got something smart to say
 

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you should have just done a simple 2link bout 1 hour worth of work and about 60$-100$ to build yourself or gone with the art rear kit
 
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