1989 Dodge Dakota Overview


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1989 Dodge Dakota Overview

Ever curious to know how the cargo sitting out in your pickup bed feels as it's cruising along the highway? Well, in 1989 you could could find out, with the introduction of the Dodge Dakota convertible. That's right, realizing that the mid-size truck was being used just as much for fun and adventure as it was for hauling, Dodge produced the first convertible pickup since the Model T. Most buyers loved the addition of the manually operated top and roll bar, although it was difficult to see out of the murky plastic rear window when the top was up. Added to a Sports Package that included fog and offroading lights and a sports suspension, the convertible was purely a pleasure-oriented truck.

Amid criticims of underpowered engines, the 1989 Dodge Dakota got another new addition, the unique Shelby Dakota, built on the shorter 112-foot wheelbase and Sport suspension. This high-performance pickup got its extra zip from the same 5.2-liter, 175-hp V8 engine that sat in the Ram. It was paired with a new 4-speed automatic, that was also available in the other Dakotas, replacing the 3-speed automatic. The Shelby sported the Shelby badging and supposedly hit 0-60 in 8.7 seconds, solving the labored acceleration problems from previous years.

Another change in the 1989 Dakota was a base model upgrade to a 2.5-liter, 4-cylinder, 99-hp engine. The 3.9, 125-hp V6 was still offered, and all models came as standard 2WD, with a 4WD option in V6 or higher engines. All Dakotas received rear-wheel ABS brakes in 1989.

The convertible was a big hit with those who bought it, saying it added an adventurous and fun spirit to the mid-size pickup. 4WD Dakotas were highly valued for their ability to conquer rough road and weather conditions. The fact that the 1989 Dakota handled like a smaller truck but had a large cargo bed was also a plus, as was the hard-to-kill engine. Drivers still complained of a lack of power, the sluggishness of the 4-speed, and problems with paint decay.


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Dodge Dakota Questions

Long Bed Or Short Bed, What Is Size Difference For 1989 Dakota?

Need to know length difference of short and long bed model 1989?

1,479 views with 3 answers (last answer 2 days ago)

No Reverse?!

I own a 1989 Dodge Dakota and for some reason I do not have reverse anymore what are my options that it could be?

2 views with no answers yet

Transmission Leak

I have a big leak in my transmission how can I find this leak without having a clue of what I'm looking at I want to know show me how the fluid in my transmission flows

0 views with no answers yet

I Have A 1989 Dodge Shelby Dakota V8 It's Been Sitting Awhile And Now It Wo...

3 views with 1 answer (last answer 2 weeks ago)

1989 Dodge Dakota 3.9 Liter V6

Cold start issue! Engine turns over. I have spark and fuel but it's just flooding. Unclogged my injectors and the original problem, which was too much fuel, is fixed. Is this a vacuum issue? Thank...

18 views with 2 answers (last answer 3 weeks ago)