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Looks like a pretty solid truck so far! Did you level it your self? What motor does it have, and what are you're goals for performance and appearance? If I might suggest a few cheap upgrades you can make that will make it look better though, take some fishing line and get behind the badges/lettering on the door panel and get them off, then you can get a rubber eraser wheel off ebay for super cheap (and no it will not harm your truck at all) which will take off the adhesive, then clean it up and pick a method for getting the ghost lines off and it'll look a lot better. I see the bed decals have already been taken off too. And if you have more patience then money, buy some smoked tint film off ebay for all three taillights and your front turn signals and watch a youtube vid on how to put it on (it's a real pain, takes a lot of patience but it looks so good!), I'll copy & paste some advice I posted elsewhere on these forums.

You can also select a pattern of mesh you like, rip off the old plastic slats of your stock grille, and redo it, look up a youtube vid on that too. Or you could try what I'm doing if you prefer a plain mesh without the signature cross, scroll to the bottom of page 3 to get an idea of what I've done (definitely don't get a mesh pattern like mine though haha, I'm not very happy with my selection) 02 4.7L V8 Dakota Project Thread | Page 3 | Dakota Durango Forum (dakota-durango.com)

Those few things are little upgrades I know, but they really contribute to the overall look, especially the smoked taillights and front turn signals! You should be able to do all three for $20-$30. I see your truck has been worked, but if you doctor up the paint and give it some TLC you can really change it I'm sure! Good luck!

Link to a cheap eraser wheel: 4" Rubber Pinstripe Eraser Wheel Drill Bit For Car Adhesive Vinyl Decal Remover | eBay

You can find a huge selection of tint film on ebay, I don't remember exactly the one I bought tint film smoked | eBay

Copy and pasted from elsewhere on these forums: Have you considered buying some tint film and putting it on yourself? Although I wouldn't recommend it to most people (it's a LOT of work and takes a ton of patience), if you redid your own headlights I'm sure this wouldn't be much work for you lol! For some reason it never occurred to me to look it up on youtube when I did mine until I burnt through my whole roll and only barely had enough left, so don't repeat my mistake! Also at least the vid I used didn't really make a point of this, but yo HAVE to heat and stretch!!!! Stretching is the only way to get the wrinkles out and of course you need heat to stretch. I had a helper keeping a hair dryer on low heat all the time while I worked and popping it onto high for a few seconds occasionally. And of course spray the adhesive side and the taillight with a soap and water solution to dilute the sticky temporarily, and let it cure 24 hours when you're done. You can use a small firm squeegee to help in places too. Mine didn't turn out perfect, there's still some little wrinkles around the edges, but I'm happy with it considering what I paid, and it changed the look of the tailgate so much! I think I have a scrap big enough for the turn signals on the headlights so I might do that too until I replace the headlights.
 

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Oh and also, you can get one of those Wipe New headlight wipes that help de-fog them, I did it to mine and it's not perfect but it definitely helped!
 

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Thanks for the advice all very good ideas. I plan on new paint new wheels it's got the 4.7 and the guy before me leveled it but there will be a 2 in suspension lift plus body I had a couple different ideas on interior but those seem to be the hard to find parts especially oe car grab handles and pillars I wish I knew about the fishing line trick I used a straight edge knife on the sport badges and well as you can see it took it straight to metal I'm going with the halogen head and tail lights pre smoked the one thing I suck at is rolling tint that's the only I have to pay someone eles to do I won't be having bubble all over my window like it did when I first got it that's why there is none on the front so yeah it's my project for now I also had the same Idea for a mesh grill it will definitely make the front pop out nicely thanks again
Ps do you have the 16 or 32 tooth on yours jw
 

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02 4.7l Dakota
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244 Posts
Thanks for the advice all very good ideas. I plan on new paint new wheels it's got the 4.7 and the guy before me leveled it but there will be a 2 in suspension lift plus body I had a couple different ideas on interior but those seem to be the hard to find parts especially oe car grab handles and pillars I wish I knew about the fishing line trick I used a straight edge knife on the sport badges and well as you can see it took it straight to metal I'm going with the halogen head and tail lights pre smoked the one thing I suck at is rolling tint that's the only I have to pay someone eles to do I won't be having bubble all over my window like it did when I first got it that's why there is none on the front so yeah it's my project for now I also had the same Idea for a mesh grill it will definitely make the front pop out nicely thanks again
Ps do you have the 16 or 32 tooth on yours jw
I've learned you should ALWAYS look up youtube vids before you do anything you haven't done before, there's always something useful there that can save a lot of time and money. Tint film was a disaster for me too, but once I figured out the heat and stretch method it's way cheaper and has a much glossier finish then even the smoked covers. Good luck with your grille! I believe I have the 16 tooth but I never actually confirmed that before.
 

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I've learned you should ALWAYS look up youtube vids before you do anything you haven't done before, there's always something useful there that can save a lot of time and money. Tint film was a disaster for me too, but once I figured out the heat and stretch method it's way cheaper and has a much glossier finish then even the smoked covers. Good luck with your grille! I believe I have the 16 tooth but I never actually confirmed that before.
I'll definitely give it a shot I'll send pic when done still dealing with a funding issue at the moment I see lots of unessecry overtime in my future lol
 

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