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2000 Dodge Dakota 4x4 - Cummins Turbo Diesel

90245 Views 94 Replies 41 Participants Last post by  jhyneman
Small project log for the truck I decided to build for myself. I prefer Dakotas to Rams but a Dakota never came with a diesel motor, let alone a 5.9L 6BT Cummins.

I started with a 1991 Dodge Ram D350 with a Cummins in it and with that I got the heart of the project, a 12V VE pumped Cummins.

I then bought a 1990 Dodge Power Ram W250 that was a Cummins truck but came with no motor. I used this for the rest of the drive train as is was Dana 60(kingpin) and Dana 70 truck with a large spline 727.

After cleaning up the frame and painting it I assembled the drive-train onto the frame and prepped it for the body.

For the body I bought a 2000 Dakota Quad cab that had a 4.7L in it(WORST MOTOR EVER) and ended up using none of it, lol. The whole truck basically went to the scrap yard. A local junk yard that I go to regularly had a black 2000 Quad Cab come in that was in much nicer shape. So with the help of friends we pulled the whole truck out of the yard(minus the frame) on their $60 all you can carry parts days. Its was a good haul to say the least.

After making my body mounts and box mounts it was onto modifying the body to fit the large inline 6. To do that the firewall had to be cut and a center section pushed 4 inches back. In order for the heater box to be retained it to had to be modified as well in order to bolt to the firewall. I had to cut and re-seal a mirror section of the heater box to the fire wall and then re plumb the heater core from one side of the box to the other(where the AC originally came in) so that it would clear the motor.

Then it came time to make the steering shaft(half Dakota, half Ram), the throttle linkage(Cummins cable with a crimp ball so that it would be tight using a Dakota pedal, and wiring harness. I used a stock Dakota engine harness so bring power to the inside of the truck and then made my own fuse block and added all the necessary circuits for the truck(power windows, power locks, and so on) I also had to build my own turn signal circuit, wiper/washer circuit, horn circuit, and gauge cluster. The truck uses no PCM as the motor is fully mechanical.

For the gauge cluster I opted to spend the money and build a full Autometer cluster. It was worth it, its easily my favourite part of the truck.

There is alot more I could keep writing about as to what I had to do to get it all to work but ill leave it at that for now. The truck is very close to done and now runs and drives.

It has been a long build but now seeing the light at the end of the tunnel its been worth it.

-2000 Dodge Dakota Quad Cab 4x4
-5.9L 12 Valve Cummins Turbo Diesel Swap
-A727 Torqueflite HD Trans
-NP205 Transfercase
-Dana 70 Rear Axle
-Dana 60 Front Axle w/ kingpins
-8 Bolt Hubs
-Skyjacker dual steering stabilizers
-Skyjacker shocks
-Derale trans cooler with fan
-Cobra CB
-Holset HE351CW Turbocharger
-Pure Performance 4" Downpipe, 5" stack
-Pure Performance 3" Intercooler Piping
-CXRacing Intercooler
-Pure Performance Intake Manifold
-DennyT fuel pin
-Injection Pump Turned Up
-Electric Fans
-Autometer UltraLite gauges
-PPF Body Lift and Mounts
-Hurst Shifter
-American Racing Wheels
and more still to be decided..............

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This one is still far from done in my eyes but its on the road and driving and that alone feels damn good. I still want another 8" of lift and 37" tires. I also still have to get the body right and paint it but that wont be until after the winter......no point making it pretty before it snows.

Dont short change that HEMI swap either, I can guarantee you that was more work and money than this. The Cummins requires nothing more than 12V to the injection pump to run, your HEMI takes alot more than that..........and to build this whole truck cost alittle less than $5000.
Very interesting project. I'm not a huge diesel guy but huge props on the undertaking, especially a big 5.9 in a Dakota. I bet that thing moves good and I'd love it to shut up those diesel truck guys that talk bad on smaller trucks. I think you should do a little more work on that stack though. At least an angle cut or something. Twin 45s on each corner would look amazing.
Yeah the original plan was for twin 6" stacks but it wasnt in the budget. It will likely happen next year once all of the important bits are taken care of.
Well now that im driving it I have the urge to make it alittle less right out the junk yard looking so I put on a set of Bushwacker pocket flares and built a big ass 8"x3" 3.16" wall rear bumper with an integrated trailer hitch...........I ordered a set of headlights aswell but they havent come in yet.

PICS ABOVE^^^^^^^^

Next project is to finish the home made flush mount hard tonneau cover.
They dont even have flares like that for 1997+ Dakotas............It took alot of patience and cutting and more patience and more fitting to get them on.

Where there is a will there is a way though. Im sure a set of pocket flares off of a 1990s Chevy would be very close, if not a 2 door Cherokee.........just measure out the wheel openings and see what is the closest and then trim to fit.
Finished the tonneau cover and put on my new headlights

Fucking sick... are you made of money or what? That's more motor then that truck will ever need. Sweet.
lol, I built this because im not made of money. I have less than $6000 Canadian in the whole truck.............Cant even buy a 1998 Ram diesel 4x4 for that here. So I built my own instead.

Now if you were to count the hours I have into it as "money" id be broke. Thank god I dont charge myself for labour.
Put on a set of 37" HMMWV H1 military tires and wheels. Looks alot better.

Dieseldak, I know you modified your flares to fit, but what did you start with. I mean, what truck are they supposed to go on?
They are built off of 2003-2005 Ram pocket flares. just have to trim the hell out of them. Then cut 3" out of the top of your rear wheel arches.......and if you have a quad cab re clock and trim the fuel door. Its alot of work but definitely worth it. It gave the truck a whole new look.
I was gonna say looks bad ass, but it needs bigger tires. But you already handled that. Love this truck, by far the most badass Dakota i've ever seen.
Yeah I will have to lift the truck another 4" to get it to sit where I want and maybe a set of 39s or 40s in the future. But the 37s look good for now, alot better than the 33s that were on it.
All the snow melted ruining any chance or going snowmobiling so me and a buddy took out the beaters and snapped some photos....

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god dammit. i just had to see those fender flares. 430 bucks too.. looks sick.
Yeah, the install isnt for the faint of heart...........lots of cutting and trimming but its worth it. Ive never seen a Dakota other than mine with them.
yea i had that idea in mind for years. just never knew which flares to get and start modding them. maybe if i get lucky ill find a used set.
Yeah, me too. Once I did this swap and was driving around on tiny ass 33s I knew I would need to go to a bigger tire and they would be sticking out way past the factory flares. I had to do something so I went out at night to all the dealerships with a tape measure, pen and paper. I measured a 1994-2002 Ram, a 2003-2009 Ram and a 2007-2012 Silverado. The 2003+ ram was the closest so I went with it. All you need to do it is a grinder with a flap disc(to re shape the flares), a metal cutting disc(to cut the rear wheel wells) and a box of 3/8"x2" self tapping screws(to attach the flares).............
The 4BT is a great swap. I would love to do one of those at some point in the future, its getting hard to find the motors now though.........they are fetching a pretty penny now that the swap is so popular.

Yeah we love our turbo Dodge's up here. You get more fun for the money in those little cars than anything else, thats for sure.
The w250 that u used for the frame was an extended cab right?
Nope, standard cab long box. 131" wheel base
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