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Thread: durango vs Dakota suspension?

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    durango vs Dakota suspension?

    Okay, I'm new here so I'll start with hey. I've been off-roading for years and have other forums I'm on. Anyways Here's my question. The Durango's come sprung under and the Dakota's over. Exactly why is that? Does that mean the IFS is diff? Would the Dakota IFS fit the Durango? They must be different cause if I SOA my Durango my torsion bars would never crank enough to match the rear. Thanks for your time guys an gals.

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    The fronts are the same. You're saying that you can't level your Durango front to back? If that's so, your rear springs must have been beefed up at some point and have extra arch in them. From stock position, if you crank your torsion bar adjusting bolts 8 full rotations, that'll give you 1.5-2" of lift up front. The rear at that point should need a 1" lift.
    If you can, take a pic of your rear leafs and shackles and post it. Someone may have made a modification back there and we may be able to tell from the pics
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    Re: durango vrs. dakota suspension?

    Quote Originally Posted by onelow
    Okay, I'm new here so I'll start with hey. I've been off-roading for years and have other forums I'm on. Anyways Here's my question. The Durango's come sprung under and the Dakota's over. Exactly why is that? Does that mean the IFS is diff? Would the Dakota IFS fit the Durango? They must be different cause if I SOA my Durango my torsion bars would never crank enough to match the rear. Thanks for your time guys an gals.
    Hmmm, I'll try to help ya a little. Any year specifics? model/etc would limit the front swap but they're fairly similar with 1" difference. If you flip your rear axle, you'll never gain enough front torsion to level it even, and if your maxing out your torsion bars just to get that magical lift-I hope you have money for new components. I'd recomend just doing shackles in the rear and 8 turns torsion in the front? Durango's are heavy SOBs made to take the abuse of most P/Us (guilty) and Dodge lowered the rear 1" to eliminated wheel hop, ride comfort issues, high center of gravity, weight control, etc., etc. and used a calibrated S leaf spring.

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    Super Moderator tomk's Avatar
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    As a wild guess, the Durango is sprung under because the frame rails need to be lower in the rear-seat area than they need to be on the Dak??

    But that's just my guess.

    The Dak and the gen-1 Durango have generally the same front suspension, but they have changed over the years and the changes may not have happened in the same model year for both.
    "It's a magical world, Hobbes ol' buddy ... Let's go exploring!"
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    I already have 1.5-2" shackles in the rear and the t-bars cranked 1.5". I'm just wondering cause I see Dakota's are sprung over stock so, with shackles and a t-bar crank, they'd be taller then a Durango with shackles an a t-bar crank. I have a 1998 Durango 5.9l 4x4 every option except leather an LSD. I don't know what year the last Dakota I looked at was. Basically this is my tow rig for my off-road truck/buggy and I'd like to run 35's and look clean as all I use it for is to recover my off-road truck as needed. I don't want to make another post about this as you guys already have a lot of posts about this and I believe there's a search button for a reason. Also, a D with a body lift scares me to death as there's way to much weight on there. I can SAS it with a 44 outa a Ford (link and coil style) it but am not sure on the wms-wms and just haven't taken it to that level yet. I really don't get the whole S-spring idea either as I still get axle wrap from down under when I light into it and get the tires turning.
    Pacific-crawlers.com

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    You can only go @ 8 turns on the t/bars before they bottom out. You won't get the front end any higher than that stock. You could get some new keys that are designed for more lift, but I dought seriously that you'd get the 3.5 - 4" of lift of a soa setup. The real problem with soa conversions is the matter of springwrap. The plates designed for the springa to sit on are too short, thus allowing the spring to wrap up on high torque situations.
    To do an soa properly you'd need a new spring pack designed for that and longer spring pads.

    Where are you going with this? Larger tires/wheels? If off-roading, be very careful of torque loads on the front end with tires larger than 31"s, as the diff housing tends to break easily. You can get 33's on your D with a Hanson/Kennesaw/Road Armor front bumper and minor trimming/reshaping of the wheel well liner on the front and doing nothing on the rear.
    Hanson front bumper, Kennesaw rear bumper, Ranch9000xl's w/ remote, Detroit Locker, lots of other goodies

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    I'm going to give ya'll a lil one-on-one on me and my D really quick here. Let's see? Name's Cody from Hillsboro, OR. I'm a local fabricator and build all my own bumpers, sliders, cages etc. I live, breath and sweat rigs I spend just about every ounce of my time, money, and energy on? I'm a gearhead from heek! My Durnago's 1998 5.9l Silver with tan/woodgrain interior. I've been the proud owner for one year now. T-bar crank and shackle lift, black 33" rock crawler wheels, Rhino lined below the trim level and PIAA fog lights. I've put this Durango to the test and it's been beaten on. I take care of her but I do expect a lot outa my rig's. My off-road truck is a 1983 Nissan/Datsun 720 frame up build. Chev 350, th350, np205 and dana 200 (dual t-cases.) Triangulated 4-link rear, sas dana 44, extra cab swap, bobbed an dove tailed bed, 38.5 boggers? the list goes on. So with all that said, this isn't my first rodeo. I know the pros an cons of IFS joint abuse and have shattered 3 CV-joints in the D and a ball joint snaped and sent me into a fire hydrant etc. I was just wondering why a 2"+2" lift on a Durango is lower than a Dakota? The only difference I see is the spring over axle. Sorry if that comes off rude? not meant to be, just giving you guys a heads up on what I know.
    Pacific-crawlers.com

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    Super Moderator tomk's Avatar
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    hm, well, replacing the ball joints top/bottom/left/right in a '98 is probably A Good Thing To Do. If there are any factory ones still in there, they're surely toast by now.

    My D's were never lifted, so all I can speak to is what I know of the front-end geometry.

    Lifts are tough on the CV joints, because they're being run way outside their normal angles.

    More than 8 turns on the torsion bars and you'll be on the down bump-stop all the time? and eventually the bump-stop falls apart from overstress and you end up breaking shocks and cv joints? Daks and Ds should be about the same in terms of front-end cranks, but that's not to say there aren't overcranked Ds or Daks out there?

    There are some people with serious offroad experience here (e.g. Mike has alraedy chimed in)? probably fewer that have done lifts for tire clearance or appearance? and there are lots of towers here, but AFAIK none of them run lifts?

    ?tom
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    I always assumed the rear differences were for the load the Dak could carry in the bed verses the lessor load we can carry on the interior.

    IndyDurango

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    In no way am I a expert, more or less word of mouth, reading etc. I can't find the origional article I remembered but I did find a allpar entry about the lower I mentioned
    http://www.allpar.com/model/durango-trucks/chassis.html

    Rear Suspension System

    Though conventional in construction, using leaf springs and a solid axle, Durango's rear suspension uses S-shaped main leafs pioneered by Chrysler to provide desired handling characteristics. The unique shape contributes to overall handling precision that's unavailable without this feature. A tight toe specification for the rear axle housing contributes to handling precision by assuring that rear wheels maintain a toed-in attitude. Splayed frame rails to accommodate a larger fuel tank necessitated the following rear suspension variations relative to Dakota:

    * Front spring hangers mount beneath the rails
    * Front spring eyes are turned down
    * Compression rear shackles are used
    * Springs are underslung relative to the axle

    Underslung springs contribute to smooth operation by reducing axle "power hop," relative to springs mounted atop the axle. As in front, ride height is reduced 1 inch (25-mm) to enhance passenger entry and exit.

    Single-stage springs provide consistent ride quality. Smaller variation between loaded and unloaded conditions, that occur with pickup trucks, make two-stage springs unnecessary and avoids the harshness that occurs when loading or sharp bumps bring the secondary leaves of two-stage springs into action. A high basic rate also keeps the body attitude more consistent from empty to loaded condition than do two-stage springs.

    A rear stabilizer bar is standard. Larger than that used on Dakota, it helps reduce lean of the taller, heavier Durango body and contributes to handling precision. The bar pivots on the axle housing and is connected to the frame through low-friction links. To enhance stability, rear shackles are 0.5-inch (13-mm) wider at the frame than at the spring and include washers that restrain the rubber bushings. The combination reduces lateral deflection of the springs without affecting ride or increasing harshness. Shock absorbers mount behind the axle to provide entry room for third-seat passengers, but are "sea legged" to help reduce vehicle sway and control lateral shake

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