Document Sample

The success of any new truck is measured from its frame up and the all-new Dodge
Dakota does not disappoint. Dodge’s credo of “do more, get the job done” was
melded with a goal to improve refinement and safety. As a result, the all-new 2005
Dodge Dakota’s frame is designed for improved stiffness, energy management,
strength and durability compared to the previous Dakota frame.

“The frame is critical on any truck and the new Dodge Dakota benefits from the
hydroforming experience we have gained from the development of two all-new Dodge
Ram trucks and the all-new Dodge Durango,” said Eric Ridenour, Executive Vice
President, Product Development, Chrysler Group. “The new Dodge Dakota is a real
truck, with full-size truck capability and with more comfort and refinement than the
previous generation Dakota.”

The Dakota’s all-new frame is designed for improved stiffness, strength and durability
and has improved performance during frontal, offset frontal and newly mandated
high-speed rear impact events. It uses the same patented octagonal front rail tips as
the all-new 2004 Dodge Durango. The rail tips are hydroformed to achieve the

                               ENGINEERING             1
tapered shape needed for energy absorption under impact and were named “Best of
What’s New” by popular Science magazine.

Welded steel frame construction, combined with fully-boxed hydroformed and
roll-formed frame rails were developed using technology learned from the new
designs of the Dodge Ram line-up and the all-new Dodge Durango. A total of four
frame assemblies cover all configurations. All use the same side rails, because all
models have the same wheelbase.

The 2005 Dodge Dakota’s 4.7-liter Magnum engine is the only V-8 offering in the
mid-size segment, allowing the new Dodge Dakota to boast class-dominating power,
torque and a 7,000 lb. plus towing capacity. In fact, Dodge offers two V-8 powertrain
choices, a Standard Output or an available High Output configuration. Both
V-8 engines are designed to deliver a four-percent or better improvement in fuel
efficiency than the previous Dodge Dakota V-8 engines.

The 4.7-liter High Output Magnum V-8 dominates the class in power and torque with
250-plus horsepower and 300 plus lb.-ft. of torque. The High Output 4.7-liter engine

                             ENGINEERING              3
will be available only on SLT and Laramie models and requires an automatic
transmission. It replaces the 5.9-liter V-8 last used in 2003. It is the only high-output
V8 engine available in a compact or mid-size pickup truck. The High Output 4.7-liter
Magnum V-8 engine produces more horsepower, faster acceleration and better fuel
efficiency than the 5.9-liter Magnum V-8 engine. The Standard Output 4.7-liter V-8
Magnum is rated at 230 horsepower at 4,600 rpm and 290 lb.-ft. of torque at 3,600
rpm. Both 4.7-liter Magnum V-8 engines are available with to the 5-45RFE five-speed
automatic transmission.

For 2005, the 4.7-liter Magnum V-8 was modified to improve fuel efficiency
approximately three to four-percent. A new electronically modulated converter clutch
(EMCC) allows partial lock-up of the torque converter at low speeds for improved fuel
efficiency. Dual knock sensors allow more spark advance while preventing potentially
damaging engine knock.

Exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) improves fuel economy by replacing some of the
incoming fuel-air mixture with inert exhaust gas.

The 3.7-liter Magnum V-6 returns as the only standard V-6 engine in the mid-size
segment and is fitted with an all-new Getrag six-speed manual transmission that
delivers improved fuel efficiency and drivability. Available on both two and four-wheel

                              ENGINEERING               4
drive Dakotas, the 3.7-liter Magnum V-6 delivers 210 horsepower at 5,200 rpm and
235 lb.-ft. of torque at 3,600 rpm. A 42RLE automatic transmission is also available
with the 3.7-liter engine.

A stiffer frame, with box-section rails throughout, helps the all-new Dodge Dakota
achieve excellent bending, torsional and lateral stiffness for NVH control. Box-section
rails extend the full length of the frame aft of the rail tips. The frame sections are
stamped or roll formed and all joints are welded for maximum strength and stiffness.

A new lower-control-arm cross member connecting the rear lower control arm pivots
also increases torsional stiffness, and increases the frame’s lateral stiffness to enhance
handling. The transmission, fuel tank and spare tire cross member designs required
special attention to meet the torsional frequency objectives.

The all-new Dodge Dakota retains its best-in-class steering feel, and handling
precision while achieving a more comfortable ride. The new Dakota’s improved ride
dynamics benefit from enhanced spring and shock absorber tuning capabilities
provided by a new “coil-over” shock absorber configuration and a stiffer frame. The
steering system, stabilizer bars, spring rates and bushings are also fine-tuned to

                               ENGINEERING               5
achieve optimum handling qualities. An all-new rack-and-pinion steering gear,
used on both 2WD and 4WD models, facilitates fine-tuning of the steering response

An all-new, common-architecture short and long-arm (SLA) independent front
suspension system with a “coil-over” shock absorber module and a tall steering
knuckle replaces separate 2WD and 4WD systems on all Dakota models. The all-new
Dodge Dakota is the first Dodge truck to use a “coil-over” suspension configuration.
The new system delivers smoother ride characteristics.

Major suspension system components are shared between 2WD and 4WD systems,
with variations occurring only in tuning to reduce build complexity. This provides a
common ride height for both configurations. The coil-over configuration provides
greater flexibility in tuning for ride and handling than either of the systems used on the
previous Dakota.

The new Dodge Dakota rear suspension has the same Hotchkiss architecture as its
predecessor, but has been redesigned to improve ride quality. Multi-leaf rear springs
include a main spring stage optimized for a class-leading 11,500 lb. gross vehicle

                               ENGINEERING               7
weight rating (GVWR) and common ride height. Spring rates have been selected to
provide improved ride quality compared with the previous Dakota.

The all-new Dodge Dakota is the only mid-size pickup to offer a two-speed full-time
four-wheel drive transfer case. The full-time system provides even torque to all wheels
during dry or slippery conditions and allows four-wheel drive power to be used on all
surfaces, all the time. A center differential allows the front and rear drive shafts to
rotate at different speeds as required for steering on dry pavement without threat of
damage to the drivetrain.

A new electric shift mechanism uses analog, rather than digital, output signals to
indicate mode and range selection. A new powdered-metal differential in the
NV244HD transfer case reduces its weight 2.5-lbs. (1.1 kg) while maintaining the same
durability as its steel predecessor.

A part-time four-wheel drive system is the standard four-wheel drive offering on
2005 Dodge Dakotas.

Box sizes are the same as the previous Dakota: five-foot-three-inches and six-feet-six-
inches long with Quad Cab™ and Club Cab®, respectively. The box rail height on both

                               ENGINEERING             8
body styles remains at a level that permits over-the-side loading, compared with some
competitor trucks that have raised the box sides to increase capacity, thereby making
over-the-side loading very difficult.

The box itself was also re-designed for more utility. New vertical formations in the
inner panels aft of the wheelhouses on the Club Cab box will hold a two-inch-thick
board cargo divider. This feature continues on the Quad Cab box. As in the past, the
box inner panels and wheelhouses include indentations for 2 x 6-inch boards that can
be added to support a full-width upper load floor.

New bolt-on tie-downs have been added to improve cargo stability. Under-floor
tie-downs are also supplied and are bolted to the Quad Cab front box pillars, welded
into the Club Cab box support rail below the box floor, and bolted to the tailgate
pillars on both boxes.

The performance of the new Dakota’s multiple safety systems is integrated to protect
vehicle occupants in regulatory, consumer ratings and real-world impacts, including
NCAP (New Car Assessment Program), SINCAP (Side Impact New Car Assessment
Program), and IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) Offset impacts. A revised
occupant protection standard also applies to the new Dakota.

                               ENGINEERING            9
Patented, hydroformed octagonal front rail tips that extend the frame three inches
(75 mm) farther forward of the front wheels than the previous frame absorb frontal
impact forces at speeds up to about 25 mph (40 km/hr). These rail tips were first used
on the 2004 Durango. They are formed separately and welded to the front of the
frame rails.

The all-new Dodge Dakota frame is designed to help protect occupants in real-world
impacts. It is specifically designed to meet new regulatory requirements for occupant
protection and newly mandated fuel system protection requirements in high-speed
rear impacts. The robust rear section of the frame is designed to meet the anticipat-
ed 50 mph (80 km/hr) offset rear impact safety standard for fuel system integrity.

Available side curtain air bags offer protection for front and rear seat occupants. The
driver and front passenger seat belts include pyrotechnic pre-tensioners. In a collision
that deploys the front air bags, the pre-tensioners take slack out of the belts and snug
them around the occupant prior to contact with the air bags. The Dodge Dakota also
offers shoulder belts for three rear seat occupants.

All 2005 Dodge Dakotas feature an OCS (Occupant Classification System) as
standard. OCS is a factor in determining whether or not to deploy the front passen-
ger airbag in an impact, and, if deployed, how forceful the deployment should be.

                             ENGINEERING               11
The 2005 Dakota’s OCS determines whether the front passenger air bag will deploy
at all, and if so, how or if the second stage will deploy. It also prevents first stage
deployment if the seat is unoccupied, or, in the unlikely event it is occupied by an infant
in a rearward facing child seat.

Designed to maintain optimal positioning in case of an impact, rear seats on the new
Dakota Club Cab feature fixed outboard rear head restraints mounted to the roof and
cab back. The new Dakota Quad Cab also features larger coverage head restraints
that are fixed to the top of the rear seats. The new design was developed to maintain
optimal positioning in the case of an impact.

Both Dodge Dakota Club Cabs and Quad Cabs feature rear child seat tether anchors
mounted on the cab back panel. These tether anchors work with LATCH-equipped
child seats, as well as child seats that use the vehicle seat belts for primary retention.

                              ENGINEERING                12