Posted on 18 Comments

Next up on the Dakota kits

I have a 1953-56 F100 frame disassembled Bill W donated a 1965-66 frame, both ready for drawing up the kits and over the next few weeks I will be spending my after hours getting them ready for market.

Chris Shelton came by a few weeks back and did an installation article showing me install a kit on a 1964 frame clip donated by Dave G (Garbz) and it should hit Classic Trucks magazine in the next few months. So keep an eye out for it!

18 thoughts on “Next up on the Dakota kits

  1. Hello Steve,

    I have a 1959 ford crew cab short bed and was wondering if you had a kit available for it. The plan for the truck is to slam it to the ground and phase it powered by a twin turbo 5.9 cummins. Please let me know my number is ……

    1. Bill, I don’t have one available right now. This is one of the trucks we will cover, however I need a donor to develop the kit from.

      1. Steve, my 59 is here in Tucson if you would like to use it for mock up for the kit. If you are interested just let me know.

        1. That would be fantastic!

          1. Steve,

            Lets get it set up, let me know what you need from me and how long you wil need the frame. I could get the frame up to you when your ready.

            1. I am going to be at the Watson Lake Swap on Saturday, next Saturday would be wide open.

    2. I’m working on my 57 2door longbox that i will be sticking a 5.9l cummins in as well…. just waiting on a kit and hope itll handle the weight of a monster 5.9l with some power going through it?? Thanks steve for doing what you do! Everything your shop puts out looks incredible! Love seeing what u are working on posted on facebook!! And i would send my frame to you, but i live up in Minnesota and thatd be a spendy shipping bill i think…. unless i just make a trip out of it and haul it down myself?

      1. I am going to guess you are recessing the firewall and keeping the engine back just a bit to give you room for the radiator and intercooler. I think the V8 springs should be enough to hold up the 1200 lb Cummins. My small block guys use the four cylinder springs and bigger/heavier big block guys use the V6 springs. There is some crossover, it’s hard to determine what the final weight of the truck is when you do a custom build like this.

        Aftermarket springs from MOOG CC770 is rated at 1400 lb loaded an is a progressive rate spring. The CC772 is rated at 1700 lb loaded and is also a progressive rate. Either of these available aftermarket springs would be more than up to the task if the stock V8 spring isn’t.

        The stock 1987-1996 Dakota ball joints are the same K7025 and K778 ball joints in all the trucks and vans up to 1ton, so I don’t perceive a problem with the rest of the suspension being able to hold up to the weight.

        The next trick is to find out of the 3/4 ton 8 lug rotors will fit the Dakota spindle, I’m thinking it will!

        1. Steve, The Dodge 3/4 rotors will have clearance issues with the spindle. I used ’92 GMC 3/4 rotors, stock bearings, you will need to sleeve the spindle and the stack height is slightly taller. I bit the bullet and ordered wilwood calipers as the newer fact 3/4 caliper mount surface is obscured by the spindle. Jim

          1. I was looking at some pictures of someone rebuilding the front end on a 1989 D250 and they share the same spindle makeup (two piece) as the stock Dakota. I wonder if you could bolt the spindle upright from the 250 or 350 to the Dakota steering arm, I know the ball joints are the same for all the trucks, I would bet the bolt pattern on the steering arms is the same too. The only thing in question would be the KPI.

  2. I’m strongly considering purchasing one of your Dakota kits for my 1964 F100, just have a few questions. First, I am planning on running a 4.6 sohc in my truck, do you for see an fitment problems with the a/c compressor and p/s pump sitting so low on the engine and interfering with the crossmember? Second, do you offer any control arms that work with your crossmember? I was considering the ones offered by chassis tech (airbag, but was wondering your opinion on them. And lastly, for ride quality do you consider the stock coil springs or airbags, it will basically be a daily driver type of truck, would you recommend the 4 or 6 cylinder springs for the 4.6, and would you consider using a 2″ dropped spindle a good idea or not? Does your kit recommend running a sway bar. I know I have asked a lot questions, but I’m just unsure of what I should purchase. With the economy the way it is I really don’t want to spend any unnecessary money if I can help it. I appreciate any help you can give me and hope me writing was not a bothermto you. Love your work and hope you have a great week.

    1. Charles,

      My kit gives you 28.5″ between the frame rails, a low mounted crossmember and rack and pinion and has a good shot at fitting your engine. You will need to do some measuring.


      As far as the rest of the components, I don’t have stock or tube arms at this time. If the company you mentioned has them for a stock 1987-96 Dodge Dakota two wheel drive, they should work just fine. For a daily driver, I would recommend coil springs. The four cylinder Dakota springs should be correct for this application.

      Once you complete your installation, drive it to determine if you want to add the anti-roll bar. Most of the kits we sold in the past drove just fine without one. However, if you do drive spiritedly and take corners aggressively I would recommend a minimum of a 7/8″ bar.

      1. Thank you for your help and I feel confident enough and would like to use your setup so I will be making an order soon. One more quick question, do you run shocks with this setup?

        1. I have been a huge fan of the Bilstein shocks. However I just recently had my hands on the RideTECH shocks by Fox, supremo!

  3. Hi, I’m inquiring about the 53-56 Ford F-100 Dakota front end kit. Is it available for purchase and how much?

    Also, My plan is to build the truck to use as a daily driver truck, so I’d like to get a few other questions answered about the Dakota suspension.

    1. Is rated at a half ton?
    2. Is it possible to install it without dropping/lowering the trucks front end – i.e. stock height?
    3. Can I get a 5 on 5-1/2 bolt pattern?

    1. While the Dakota is not rated as a full half ton truck, it shares the same ball joints as the rest of the whole truck line up, even the 1ton. The D150 rotors and calipers bolt directly onto the Dakota spindle, I have done this personally. This swap gives you a 12 X 1.25″ rotor with the 5 on 5 1/2″ bolt pattern.

      If you use the Dakota V8 springs and are otherwise using a small block type engine, the ride height does drop only by a few inches. I am not really keen on this as the ride quality is a bit firmer than we like.

      1. Thanks, I came across the D150 rotor swap after I posted the questions. So by it lowers the truck by “a few inches”, do you mean three or so?

        1. The kit does lower the truck, how much is not as easy as just saying X inches because I need to know where your truck is now before making that judgement.

          If you follow this link: Instruction Sheet

          There is a formula to determine just where your truck should sit after installation.

Leave a Reply