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Hey guys,

I was just wondering what is included in the factory "tow package". I'm about to upgrade to 4.10 gears (from 3.55) and just wondering what else I should do to maximize my towing capacity. When I tow my boat up to the low Sierras I notice that my engine temp gets really high at times during long ascents... would an upgraded radiator and tranny cooler be a good option for me? Anything else I should look into?

Thanks in advance
 

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I hate you people.
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Someone just asked the same question not too long ago and is somewhere on here, I don't remember where at. My response to that thread is there and you will have to search the forum for answers to your question.
 

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C'mon Dodge - NEW DAKOTA
2003 Dakota Club Cab Sport 4.7L
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Chances are that your radiator is clogged, unless it's been replaced. It's 18 years old now! I replaced mine in my '03 and it's run cool ever since, even when towing, even in 100 degree weather. A quick test is to feel the radiator and see if it feels uniformly warm top to bottom. Obviously the bottom tubes clog up first. The bottom tubes will feel cooler with no coolant flowing thru them. An IR thermometer will also tell you the status.

If you replace it, at the same time of course, do the hoses, the water pump, the serp belt, the idler pulley, radiator cap, and a chemical cooling system flush. (Add a flush tee to the heater hose)

The towing package would have included a higher capacity radiator -- two rows instead of 1 (or maybe 3 rows instead of two?) and an auxillary transmission cooler. The high capacity radiator is basically impossible to find now. Lots of sites will claim to have it but when you order it, it arrives as standard radiator. Even Dodge can't get you one. I believe you can still add the tranny cooler.

Lots of guys toss out the clutch fan in favor of a higher output electric fan. The clutch fan does rob some HP but it pays to keep it and have a reliable electric fan. Especially for towing.
 

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Hey guys,

I was just wondering what is included in the factory "tow package". I'm about to upgrade to 4.10 gears (from 3.55) and just wondering what else I should do to maximize my towing capacity. When I tow my boat up to the low Sierras I notice that my engine temp gets really high at times during long ascents... would an upgraded radiator and tranny cooler be a good option for me? Anything else I should look into?

Thanks in advance
I recently had this very question as I was sifting through all of the option groupings in the hunt for a Dakota capable of some very specific towing requirements. From what I gathered from my research at the time — later confirmed once I purchased my 2002 Dodge Dakota SLT Club Cab 4x4 — the Trailer Tow Group consists of the following:
  1. Class IV Receiver
  2. 7-pin round trailer light hookup
  3. 7-to-4 pin trailer light adapter
  4. Pre-wired harness for electric brake controller in dash
  5. Several related fuses and relays in the PDC
What it sounds like you may be more interested in / in need of is likely the components found in the Heavy Duty Service Group:
  1. 750 CCA Battery (600 CCA is standard)
  2. 136A High-Output Alternator (117A is standard)
  3. Auxiliary Transmission Oil Cooler located in front of AC Condenser
  4. Power Steering Fluid Cooler
  5. HD Engine Cooling, consisting of a secondary electric fan located behind the radiator. This is in addition to your primary belt-driven fan.
The towing package would have included a higher capacity radiator -- two rows instead of 1 (or maybe 3 rows instead of two?)
This is the first I've read anything about a different radiator being part of the HD Service Group, but it's certainly possible. I will run out and check my truck tomorrow to count how many rows it has so someone else can compare to the radiator on a vehicle without the HD Service Group option.

Regardless, I believe what will likely serve the OP best is an auxiliary transmission oil cooler and an aftermarket transmission temp gauge to monitor transmission temperatures. You can find OBD-II gauges that will display that parameter or plumb in a sender in the transmission oil cooler line or transmission bell housing. I'm in the midst of researching that mod myself at the moment.
 

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C'mon Dodge - NEW DAKOTA
2003 Dakota Club Cab Sport 4.7L
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162 Posts
You may be right on the towing package .vs. the heavy duty package -- my '03 has both (as far as I can tell) and did indeed come with a 2 row radiator, which I was unable to find when I needed to replace it. I could tell the difference by thickness of the core when I removed it. Several sources claimed to be able to supply the part but none actually could.
 

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By way of an update, I did some digging online and came across this helpful thread detailing which radiator sizes / specs came standard with the third-gen Dakota's equipped with various options. I just checked the radiator on my '02 possessing the Heavy Duty Service Group, here's the specs for sake of posterity:
  • Core Width — 1.5"
  • # of Vertical Rows — 2
  • # of Horizontal Rows — 55
  • Part Number — 52028818AD
  • Date of Manufacture — January, 2002
2020-02-08 2002 Dodge Dakota Radiator Part Number 002.JPG

The fact that the HD Service Group included an upgraded "Max Cool" radiator was new info to me, so thanks for the education, @radioactive! Just in time, too — I was prepared to pull my three heat exchangers up front and replace them, you saved me from an expensive miss-step when ordering a replacement radiator.

It looks like the OEM "Max Cool" radiator (Mopar P/N 52028818AD) is available through both Rock Auto and Wal-Mart currently, but it's a pretty penny compared to the after-market options with one vertical row and 1 1/4" thick cores, at 3-4x the price.
 

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Been down this path years ago, so just thought I'd add to this thread. My 03' has the tow pkg with HD cooling and I replaced the radiator years ago.

If you want to match the HD radiator, get the CSF 3516 radiator. It's single core, but the core's thickness is 1.63" vs 1.25" of the typical aftermarket. It is also greater than the combined 1.5" thickness of the dual row OEM. I'm not claiming that it beats the surface area of two rows, but it does increase fluid capacity and I've towed cars on 4 wheel trailers for 8 hours straight uphill and down, with no cooling issues (O/D off of course). Truck is currently 312K mi on original drivetrain with no rebuilds, so it seems to like it.

https://www.amazon.com/CSF-3516-Radiator/dp/B00BR2ULM2 currently $118 shipped

This is what the OEM tranny cooler looks like.

 

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C'mon Dodge - NEW DAKOTA
2003 Dakota Club Cab Sport 4.7L
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162 Posts
By way of an update, I did some digging online and came across this helpful thread detailing which radiator sizes / specs came standard with the third-gen Dakota's equipped with various options. I just checked the radiator on my '02 possessing the Heavy Duty Service Group, here's the specs for sake of posterity:
  • Core Width — 1.5"
  • # of Vertical Rows — 2
  • # of Horizontal Rows — 55
  • Part Number — 52028818AD
  • Date of Manufacture — January, 2002
View attachment 109795

The fact that the HD Service Group included an upgraded "Max Cool" radiator was new info to me, so thanks for the education, @radioactive! Just in time, too — I was prepared to pull my three heat exchangers up front and replace them, you saved me from an expensive miss-step when ordering a replacement radiator.

It looks like the OEM "Max Cool" radiator (Mopar P/N 52028818AD) is available through both Rock Auto and Wal-Mart currently, but it's a pretty penny compared to the after-market options with one vertical row and 1 1/4" thick cores, at 3-4x the price.

By the way -- you do not need to pull your heat exchangers -- they swing out of the way enough to get the new radiator in. Just be gentle and support everything to avoid excess stress on the lines. I actually tied min to the hood using wire or cord, just enough to support the weight.
 

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I drive with two feet
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Plenty of good advice has already been dispensed, but I'll add my experience here. My 2002 QC 4.7L with manual tranny came with the "HD" cooling option. Since the radiator didn't need to cool down the automatic tranny the HD variety for the manual is the 1 row, 1" radiator. The same as the automatic tranny vehicle without the "HD" cooling. Woefully insufficient.

I tow a 20' toy hauler (quite nicely, thanks), and with the original radiator it would always run very hot when towing. I would need to run the heater (full fan) to bleed off heat when climbing hills, which was just great in the Summer. I replaced it with the 2 row 1.5" radiator used for the "HD" option in automatic tranny trucks. It made a world of difference. Still, I would like a little larger one that is not custom made and $1000.
 
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