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

Motor Compatability

Can I take a Magnum V8 motor out of a 2000 model Dakota and put it into my 1989 Dodge Dakota

9 views with 1 answer (last answer 4 weeks ago)

1989 Dodge Dakota 3.9

The wires to the distributor have been cut I need to reconnect them don't see where they go don't see the other end of the wires I think it was a plug-in I do not have the plug-in

2 views with no answers yet

Rough Idle And Stopping

I have a 1989 dodge Dakota 3.9 v6. I am having issues with idle and stopping. It idles very low in park or neutral but when I out it in reverse or drive it wants to sputter and die. Also loses ...

33 views with 18 answers (last answer about a month ago)

Will Drive But Accelerates Extremely Slowly+ Rough Idle

Truck will start but has a really rough idle have to tap the gas for about 30 min before it stays alive on its own. When i drive, it does not want to accelerate at all. takes about half a mile to ...

5 views with no answers yet

1989 Dodge Dakota Has A Constant High Idle. What Besides The Choke Or Throt...

It appears the GPS is not functioning correctly but I'm gonna go qualify that right now..

5 views with 1 answer (last answer 2 months ago)