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Discussion Starter #1
I have recently bought a 2001 Quad Cab, SLT. I got it for a decent price because it has some issues, one being that it pulls slightly to the left, and the brakes are a bit "grabby". After pulling the wheels, and removing the calipers for inspection, I saw an unusual wear pattern on the load-bearing surface of the steering knuckles...the machined surfaces where the brake pads rest, and slide back and forth as the caliper opens and closes.
Pics are attached. The wear pattern..."divots" in the surface of the knuckle, seems to be restricting the movement of the pads, causing drag.
I know that some brake pads come with a stainless clip that goes over this surface to protect it and make for easier sliding of the pads, but I don't know if these are supposed to have them or not. If they were left off during a brake job, causing this problem, a bitch slap is in order...

The bad news...the steering knuckles are manufacturer-discontinued a/o 2013, according to my local Dodge dealers parts counter. I found one place on line listing them...for $637 each. Too much for my budget. So, the junkyard is my next stop. Question: would I be able to find units not similarly worn??

Interestingly, while researching part#s for all of this, I learned that a redesign occurred for the 2003 model year. The change? Dual piston calipers, with redesigned pad slider surfaces. I verified this by doing a "stare & compare" between my truck & my friend's 2004. It's obviously a superior setup.

Hhmmm...could they be compatible?? After alot of eye-balling, and some measuring, I believe that a swap of parts will bolt the later model brakes to my truck...with no issues. I think this is so because the parts that set the geometry of the setup are common. The knuckles are different, of course, but their attaching points...upper & lower ball joints, outer tie rod ends, and hub assembly are the same. Also, the master cylinders are the same, so fluid volume is not an issue. I have a spreadsheet of the part# comparison, as well as a couple of part sources...wrong file type for attachment here, but I will provide if interested.

I am interested enough in this idea to go to the junkyard, pull these parts, and do a test fitment on my truck. I am posting this, at the risk of exposing myself as a bonehead, who has missed an obvious roadblock to the project, because I want the benefit of all of your collective expertise...I would be happy to email pics/documentation, should you want to see it.

Thanks for looking,

riccoh
 

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1988 Dodge Dakota LWB RC 3.9V6 3 speed auto
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It's a fairly common upgrade, and your problem is a fairly common problem.

Do a Google on "2003 Dakota Knuckle Swap" and see how many links you hit. Here's one of the better lists I found: http://www.dodgedakota.net/boards/gen/17764.html

The hardest will be the look on the AutoZone counter person's face when you go to order parts ...

RwP
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Ha...around here, the "Auto Zone Face" is always hard to look at...

So, I have reinvented the wheel here, huh? Oh well, at least I know my reasoning was sound. Thanks for the link...I will check it out.

riccoh
 
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