1997-1999 Dakota questions

1992-1996 Dakotas seem to be hard to come by in my neck of the woods so I’ve expanded the search to include 1997-1999. There’s a decent 1997 that I have my eye on.

I’ve read that the shock has to be relocated from in front of the rear axle to behind it but have been unable to find any details on how to do this.

Is there a build that might show what is involved in the relocation? My fab skills are limited but I’m willing to learn by doing.

Is there anything else to keep in mind if using a later model Dakota?


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Hello Daniel.

You are correct about moving the shock to rear of the axle.

Kevin DeLonay has a 97 or 98 dakota , I cannot remember which. He said it was no problem moving the shock.

I would try to get a 5.2 or 5.9 vs the 4.7 . It seems with the 4.7 the timing can not be manipulated .


Daniel, I have a 1998 Dakota Sport 4x4 with a 5.2. It’s a red 1998 built by Richard Cooper. Kevin Delonay has a 1997 Dakota. If you are looking for a truck for interstate driving you would be better with an older square body Dakota. I had a long conversation at Argos with Kevin Delonay about all of the things that he did to cut the weight and improve performance. These Dakotas have a higher profile and they catch a lot of wind. From my experience, its better to blend gasoline if you are going to run over 55 mph. About 600 miles on the char bed. Still looking at reducing weight and drag to help performance. This truck will probably will never achieve the fuel performance of the square bodied Dakotas


Thanks for the heads up. I’ll continue the search for the square body.


Seems like the square body ones are getting harder to find, if you have to go newer get one that’s a two-wheel drive it’ll probably be 500 pounds lighter right from the start. My 97 does 60 miles an hour no problem on the flats. As far as moving the shock, if you plan on building the gasifier by the time you get to moving the shock that’ll be a piece of cake.